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With the deal for 36 Rafalejets in kitty, Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier today said the French company is game for the ‘Make in India’ initiative and open to manufacturing the fighter aircraft in India if the plane is shortlisted for a bigger order.

He said that with the Indian contract going through, the company feels that more international orders of the plane, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, will come in. Continue reading


India and the US are planning to go in for a major upgrade of theirbilateral combat exercises after inking the military logistics pact+ last month in tune with their “joint strategic vision” for the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean Region.

Defence ministry sources say the aim is to “further increase the scope and complexity” of bilateral military exercises and engagements “across the board”, which will now be facilitated by the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) inked during defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to the US on August 29-30. Continue reading


Voices within India demanding action against Pakistan, after terrorists attacked an army base in Uri and killed 18 soldiers last week, are growing louder. One suggestion making the rounds is India turn off the Indus river tap that waters much of Pakistan. It is suggested that doing so could compel Pakistan to crackdown on non-state and state actors acting against India.

“Eventually any cooperative arrangement requires goodwill and mutual trust on both sides,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said last week. Continue reading


The four terrorists who attacked the Army’s 12th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Uri last Sunday had brought with them two sets of Japan-made wireless sets that stand testimony to the attackers’ Pakistan link. The wireless sets are inscribed with the words ‘bilkul naya (brand new)’ in Urdu and ‘new’ in English.

Sources told TOI that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is investigating the terror attack, has procured the details of the sets’ sale from the manufacturer ICOM. “The wireless sets in any country are sold to a security agency. We are already in the process of confirming the sale of these models in Pakistan. We will send the details to Pakistan officials through our formal channel,” a home ministry officer told TOI.

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As Pakistan splintered into two in 1971 and the world crooned along with Joan Baez as she sang the song “Bangladesh”, opposition Jan Sangh leader and rising political star Atal Bihari Vajpayee famously described then prime minister Indira Gandhias a manifest Durga. India had militarily intervened to reshape the subcontinent, sowing the seeds of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation(SAARC) that would come into being, in Dhaka, in 1985.

With SAARC celebrating its 31st anniversary in a month or so, it will be truly ironical if PMNarendra Modi or his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina refuse to attend the meeting in Islamabad for one reason or another. The rules will then kick in, with the summit getting postponed for a more congenial day. Continue reading


With US Secretary of State John Kerry invoking North Korea’s latest nuclear explosion as a “reckless act of provocation,” the UN Security Council has approved a resolution urging quick global implementation of a treaty that would ban tests of such weapons. Kerry said universal adoption of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty would result in a “safer, more secure, and more peaceful planet,” as the United States and 18 other council members approved the resolution yesterday, with none opposed and Egypt abstaining.

Security Council approval comes as the Comprehensive Test Ban Organisation set up to administer the treaty marks its 20th anniversary. CTBO chief Lassina Zerbo welcomed the vote, telling The Associated Press that “it will remind the international community … that we have to finish what we started 20 years ago.” European Union foreign policy coordinator Federica Mogherini said approval is “an important step” toward global enactment of the treaty. Continue reading


From time to time, the Indian government has warned of the dangers of the rise of puritanical, Saudi-style Islam in India, most recently, during the unrest in Kashmir, when it warned it will not allow a ‘Wahhabi theocracy’ to take root in the Valley.

But such statements are not backed up with facts about the funding and growth of this strain of Islam, known interchangeably as Wahhabism or Salafism, with its roots in Saudi Arabia.NDTV scrutinised records of the past three years of the government’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) website, where Indian NGOs have to log overseas funds received. Continue reading


India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, has completed two years around the Martian orbit on Saturday September 24, accomplishing its planned mission objectives.

Initially, the life of the Indian Mars orbiter was estimated to be about six months after insertion into the Martian orbit. However, MOM has outlived its estimated life span by a year-and-a-half, bringing cheers to Indian Space Research Organisation scientists who designed, built and launched the spacecraft.

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The arrest of 300 suspected instigators of stone-pelting by the Jammu and Kashmir police over the last one month has drastically reduced the number of such protests, and made the streets of Srinagar and surrounding areas much safer, officials monitoring the situation in the Valley said.

The current spell of such protests, which are targeted at government buildings and security installations and personnel, was triggered by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8. As part of the Centre’s strategy to curb the protests, the J&K police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have systematically nabbed stone-pelters and sent them to jail under the Public Safety Act. They have also arrested some Hurriyat members. Continue reading


India’s nationalist media is hurting India. Let’s first put aside the question of whether a country’s media organisations should consider themselves extensions of the state. That is, of course, hugely problematic because it suggests our foremost media outlets might choose not to report on problematic government conduct simply because it is not “in the national interest.”

But right or wrong, it has been clear for some time now that India’s major mainstream news organisations already do this. They considernationalism a key part of their brief – especially when it comes to Pakistan. Our media organisations don’t just think of themselves as the public relations departments of the state and also weapons in the battle against our neighbour, they would like to believe that they are the faces of the Indian republic. Put another way, they like to think of themselves as the Nation. Continue reading


Amid tension following the terrorist attack in Uri, an Indian TV Channel has said that it will stop telecasting Pakistani TV shows.Zindagi channel, which syndicates content from countries such as Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey, said it will revamp programming without channels from Pakistan.

“Will not shut down Zindgi channel but revamp programming without Serials from Pakistan, we will have Indian subjects on Muslim community,” chairman Subhash Chandra said. Continue reading


External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj arrived here to address the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, with all eyes and ears set on her speech on Monday which is expected to give a stinging response to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s “tirade” on Kashmir.

Swaraj arrived on Saturday and will address the UN General Debate on Monday morning. Continue reading


This week India-Russia relationship moved from being ‘special’ to regular. As Russian troops landed in Pakistan for a two-week counter-terrorism joint exercise, the ‘degree of separation’ of the original strategic partners only increased, coming as it did in less than a week after the Uri terror strike.

Even though India and Russia are also engaged in counter-terrorism exercises in Vladivostok (for the eighth year running), watching Russian troops land in Pakistan is a new experience in the region. In another couple of weeks, India will host Russian President Vladimir Putin for the annual summit when India and Russia will struggle yet again to put economic ballast into their strategic partnership. Continue reading


Amid rising tensions at borders with India, China unequivocally has promised its support in the event of any foreign aggression and maintained its support for Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute.“In

“In case of any [foreign] aggression our country will extend its full support to Pakistan,” Consul General of China in Lahore Yu Boren was quoted as saying by the CM Office on Friday. Continue reading

SOURCE:  Indian Defence Review

In the 1950s, the People’s Republic of China upped its ante for occupying Tibet. In the year 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama escaped from his land and the Chinese occupation of Tibet was “complete”.

Besides getting a big boost in its territorial expanse, access to South East Asia and mastery over the huge natural resources of Tibet, China gained control over 46 percent of the world’s population (as per current figures) who depend upon rivers originating in Tibet— these rivers include the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween and Mekong. Continue reading

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