The Indian Army has deployed more troops along the Line of Control (LoC) over the past two months to deal with an unusual spike in infiltration by Pakistan-backed terrorists looking to stir trouble in Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre’s move revoking the special status of the state on August 5, one of the army’s top-most commanders said on Sunday.

Northern Army commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said anger over the government’s move to effectively scrap Article 370 of the Constitution and J&K’s bifurcation into two Union Territories was subsiding in the Kashmir valley but Pakistan was trying its best to reinvigorate the terror machinery in order to destabilise the border region. Continue reading


As the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering, meets in Paris for its crucial plenary, it will most likely vote to keep Pakistan in the grey list. Though the Asia Pacific Group (APG) sub group has recommended that Islamabad be downgraded to the black list due to its poor compliance on measures to tackle terror funding, the FATF is most likely to keep it in the grey list.

The FATF is currently headed by China and has Malaysia, Turkey as well as Saudi Arabia are its members. China, Malaysia and Turkey are most likely to vote against a downgrade for close friend Pakistan.”The APG has recommended that Pakistan should be downgraded from grey to black. But the APG is not empowered to downgrade, which comes from the FATF,” strategic expert and Pakistan watcher Jai Kumar Verma told IANS. Continue reading


Jammu and Kashmir, which has witnessed restrictions since the Centre’s August 5 decision to withdraw its autonomy, will return to normal within four months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Maharashtra on Sunday, while launching his party’s election campaign in the western state with a sharp attack on the Opposition bloc of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

In Jalgaon, he accused the Opposition of “politicising” the central government’s “unprecedented” decision to nullify Article 370, which gave special status to the militancy-hit state, and asked the Congress and the NCP to clear their stand on the issue that has triggered an intense debate. Continue reading


As the mobile phone connections will be restored in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday from 12 noon, the police and security forces deployed in the region are taking all precautionary measures. According to sources, there will be strict monitoring on hate mongers and deployment of extra forces will be done at strategic locations to avoid any unlawful gathering called to disturb law and order situation in the Valley.

When asked about the precautionary measures for Monday as the mobile phone connections in the Valley will be restored after over two months, Director General of Police (DGP), Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbagh Singh told ANI, “All precautions shall be taken.” Continue reading


From rifles to tanks, the Army is looking at setting up a real-time database on the condition and status of each of its approximately 30 lakh pieces of equipment. Launched by the Army’s Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) on September 1, Project Beehive, which seeks to achieve greater automation of the Corps and connect all its workshops to an integrated smart network with real-time data analytics capabilities, is expected to be up and running by October next year.

“The next five years will be hugely transformative for the Indian Army to become a network-centric force,” Lieutenant General Anil Kapoor, DG, EME, said during an interaction last week. “By October 15 (EME Corps Day) next year, we should have the Beehive up and running,” he said. Continue reading


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday discussed the situation in Kashmir with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani amidst tensions with India after New Delhi abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Khan, who visited Tehran on Sunday to help mitigate tensions between bitter regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, held talks with President Rouhani at the presidential palace and later met with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said Khan discussed the situation in Kashmir with Rouhani and expressed gratitude over “Iran’s support” on the Kashmir issue. Continue reading


The workers of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will go on an “indefinite strike” from Monday as talks held by the management over the unions’ demands including wage revision, ended in failure. While the HAL on Sunday said workers decided to go ahead with the “indefinite strike” despite it making “all-out efforts” to avert it, an apex body of the employees’ unions said the management ‘refused’ to consider their “fair and reasonable demands”.

The employees’ unions of the city-headquartered HAL have served notice at all locations of the Defence PSU to go on the indefinite strike from October 14 with regard to the settlement of wage revision effective from January 1, 2017. The HAL in a release said it held conciliatory talks on Saturday and Sunday in a bid to avert the strike and offered to enhance allowance under the cafeteria system and revised rate of fitment benefit at 11 per cent among others. Continue reading


Pakistan will on Monday present its report to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris amid reports that the country’s efforts to tackle terror-financing and money laundering could fail to comply with the requirements mandated by the global body. Pakistan, included on the “grey list” compiled by the FATF, has been under increasing pressure to stop financing militant groups operating on its soil.

The FATF, in meetings being held in Paris from October 13 to October 18, will scrutinise if Pakistan should be blacklisted, which could entail extensive economic sanctions and impact a $6-billion bailout programme by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Continue reading


Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday slammed Pakistan at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Belgrade after it cited developments in Jammu and Kashmir for its inability to host the group’s plenary, and said the country was attempting to politicise the forum by referring to an internal matter of India.

Tharoor, took the floor at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly convened on the sidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union annual meet, to deplore a letter from the chairman of the Pakistan Senate which blamed developments in Jammu and Kashmir for the country’s inability to host the APA plenary scheduled for December 2019, sources said. Continue reading


An army soldier was killed on Sunday when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, an army official said.

The Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire in north Kashmir’s Uri sector by resorting to unprovoked firing on Indian posts, the official said. The soldier, who was injured in the Pakistani firing, was taken to a medical facility for treatment, where he died, he said. Continue reading


At a time when the Indian Air Force (IAF) is batting for indigenisation, the Force is planning to acquire the new 21 MiG-29 fighters from Russia and equip them with indigenous weapon systems such as the Astra air to air missile. “The proposal for the acquisition of 21 MiG-29s would be placed before the Defence Acquisition Council soon. The IAF wants the MiG-29s to be of the upgraded MiG-29s that are already in service,” defence sources told ANI.

“The IAF also wants that the aircraft should be equipped with the Indian weapon systems including the Astra missiles,” they said. The sources said there are other indigenous equipment and weapons which would be integrated with the aircraft once the deal comes through. Continue reading


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who received the first of the 36 Rafale jets earlier this week, on Sunday said that if they had the fighter aircraft at the time of Balakot airstrike they could have eliminated terror camps even while sitting in India.

Speaking at an election rally in Haryana’s Karnal, the defence minister said they need not have gone to Pakistan to carry out the aerial attack against terror camps in February this year if they had the French-built fighter jets back then. “If we had Rafale fighter aircraft with us, then I think we need not have gone to Pakistan for Balakot airstrike. We could have eliminated terror camps there, even while sitting in India,” Singh said. Continue reading


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday challenged the country’s opposition parties to bring back the Article 370 and Article 35A for Jammu and Kashmir. “From the holy land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, I am challenging the opposition — make your stand clear and announce whether you support the government’s decision to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A or not,” said Modi, addressing his first election rally in Jalgaon, north Maharashtra.

He dared the opposition that if they had courage to include in their election manifestos, in the October 21 Maharashtra polls and also in future elections, that they would revert to Article 370, and reverse the BJP government’s historic decision of August 5. The PM said the government is constantly endeavouring to ensure return to full normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir and it would take another four months or so to achieve that. Continue reading


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday took a swipe at Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan over not doing enough to act against terrorists roaming freely on its soil. The Defence Minister, while suggesting a solution to Pakistan that involves India’s intervention, also dropped in a word of advice to the Pakistani Prime Minister, who on Sunday reached Iran following a request from the US and Saudi Arabia for him to try to defuse rising tensions in the Gulf.

“I would like to make a suggestion to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. If you are serious enough to fight against terror, we are ready to assist you. If you want our Army, then we will send them there for your help,” Mr Singh said at a rally in Karnal in Haryana, where the assembly election will be held on October 21. Results will be out three days later. Continue reading


France on Saturday (local time) said it has decided to suspend arms sales to Turkey over its ongoing military incursions in Syria.

“France has decided to suspend any plans to export to Turkey war materials likely to be used as part of the offensive in Turkey. This decision is of immediate effect. The EU Foreign Affairs Council, which will meet on 14 October in Luxembourg, will be an opportunity to coordinate a European approach in this direction,” Sputnik quoted the French Defence and Foreign Ministry as saying in a joint statement. Continue reading