Five Pakistani nationals on medical visas stranded in India managed to return to Pakistan through the Wagah land border on Sunday after coordination between Indian and Pak authorities. They had been stranded in Delhi and neighbouring Noida due to the Coronavirus travel restrictions.

In a statement, the Pakistan High Commission stated, “Five Pakistan nationals, namely Chaudhary Muhammad Ashfaq, Nighat Mukhtar, Yasir Mukhtar, Muhammad Khalid and Chaudhry Muhammad Asif, today, successfully returned to Pakistan via Attari-Wagah border. These individuals had come to India on medical visas and they were stranded in Noida/New Delhi (India) due to coronavirus – related restrictions. The regular movement across Attari-Wagah border is also currently suspended.” Continue reading


The satanic Islamic State (IS) attack in the old city of Kabul came not too long after a US Institute of Peace (USIP)’s forecast in January 2020. I had quoted this in my column dated March 13 that a precipitate US withdrawal without a broad-based peace deal would help Pakistan’s proxy terrorist groups to mount attacks on Indian interests in Afghanistan. However, this time, the attack did not come from Pakistan’s proxies in Afghanistan, but independently.

On Wednesday (March 25), a Gurdwara and Dharmshala in the Shor Bazar area, populated by Hindu and Sikh minorities, were attacked by terrorists. They lobbed grenades and sprayed bullets on 150 worshippers who were inside. 25 devotees were killed and 80, who were trapped inside, were rescued by Afghan Special forces and International troops. Official sources claimed that all terrorists were killed. Continue reading


A Former Foreign Minister of parody nation Pakistan has now come up with some wild conspiracy theories accusing the US of ‘inventing’ the virus in lab and giving a clean chit to China which has actually perpetrated the virus on all of humanity.

Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister, in what appears to be reading a lengthy WhatsApp message, shared his fantasy theories claiming that the coronavirus is not natural but created in a laboratory in collusion with Israel, UK and the United States to halt fast-emerging China. Continue reading


Designing simple to operate ventilators, manufacturing of sanitisers, oxygen canisters and masks while putting on hold manufacture of rockets is what Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), part of ISRO, is doing to meet the emergency needs of the people and owing to lockdown, said a top official.

He also said all the staff at the VSSC are safe and not affected by Coronavirus. Based in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, the VSSC part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) makes the rockets that launches the Indian and foreign satellites. “We are designing ventilators that are different from what is already there. We are designing ventilators that can be operated in a simple manner and when power supply is not there,” VSSC Director S Somanath told IANS. Continue reading


From manufacturing hand sanitizers, protective masks and bodysuits to identifying and preparing military hospitals for treating novel coronavirus patients, India’s defence establishment is doing its role, albeit away from the spotlight, to help the nation deal with the crisis.

Indian military establishments are running isolation and wellness centres across the country, hosting groups of Indians brought back from Covid-19 hotspots such as Iran. On Sunday, a fresh batch of 275 evacuees from Iran, who reached India, were taken to the Army Wellness Facility in Jodhpur, according to a statement from a defence spokesman in Rajasthan. A previous batch of 277 Indians evacuated from Iran is already at this centre and is being taken care of under Operation Namaste, the spokesman said. Continue reading

SOURCE: Tribune News Service

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has designed a casualty evacuation bag to evacuate persons infected with coronavirus. The bag is water and air-proof and designed to deal with biological agents.

“The design of the bag was finalised this week and DRDO will be procuring an initial lot of 500 such bags,” a senior DRDO official said. “We are looking at the private industry, which has expertise in this field, to manufacture them,” he added. DRDO’s Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), which researches aero-medical engineering and life support equipment and Nuclear Chemical and Biological (NBC), protection systems, has developed this bag. Continue reading


In the midst of preparing for elections in Sri Lanka, main Opposition leader and former minister and presidential hopeful Sajith Premadasa speaks to The New Indian Express about India, China, the rise of nationalism and Covid-19.

“My policy will be to implement the 13th amendment by strengthening the system of provincial councils and thus ensuring the widest, deepest, devolution of power and autonomy possible within the parameters of a unitary state.” Continue reading


The Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force, as well as employees of the defence ministry, have decided to donate one day’s salary totalling around Rs 500 crore to the relief fund announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Separately, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that he will donate one month’s salary to the fund. On Saturday, Modi announced setting up of the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading


Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation have sent the first tranche of medical supplies to India on Saturday. This was donated to Indian Red Cross Society and more supplies are expected in the future. Joint Secretary of Health Ministry, Lav Aggarwal said, “We got a shipment yesterday, which has masks, Personal Protective Equipment and ventilators”

India in February sent 15 tonnes of medical assistance comprising masks, gloves and other emergency medical equipment to China.The assistance included 1 lakh pieces of Surgical masks, 5 lack pairs of Surgical gloves, 75 pieces of infusion pumps, 30 pieces of external feeding pumps, 21 pieces of the defibrillator and 4000 pieces of N95 mask. The total cost of these medical supplies was worth Rs. 2.11 crores. Continue reading


As India battles Coronavirus (COVID-19), two Indian Army officers have tested positive for the pandemic on Sunday, as confirmed by the Indian Army. Both officers had a history of travel in the first/second week when the pandemic broke. While one of the affected officers is a Colonel (Dr) in Kolkata, the other officer is a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in Dehradun.

Two Army officers test positive

The Army has also confirmed that both officers are keeping good health and stable. Necessary contact tracing has been done and identified persons have been quarantined. Currently, India’s total tally stands at 1024, with 27 deaths. Continue reading


Pakistan Army has deployed troops across the country, including Pakistan-administered Kashmir, to assist civilian authorities in containing the spread of Covid-19. “Troops have been deployed to aid civil authorities under Article 245,” Said Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, spokesperson of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The deployment was approved by Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on the request of the Interior Ministry. According to the government notification, only hospitals, shops selling food items, medical stores, and food and medicine manufacturing industries will remain open. All schools should remain closed, it added. Continue reading


Two special aircraft carrying 275 Indian nationals stranded in corona-affected Iran reached Jodhpur in Rajasthan on Sunday morning. According to sources, they were brought in SpiceJet and IndiGo flights in the morning. All the people were thoroughly examined by army doctors at the airport.

The group includes 133 women, 142 men, 4 children and 2 newborns. After screening the passengers, they were kept in a special quarantine centre prepared by the Army. They will be kept under the supervision of doctors here for the next 14 days. “As per the procedure, preliminary screening of the evacuees upon arrival was conducted at Jodhpur airport by the Medical teams from Civil Administration and Army. Thereafter, they were moved to the Army Wellness Facility at Jodhpur. Continue reading


Indian Air Force (IAF) for the first time has been allowed to lease aircraft under new defense equipment proposal which will see IAF procuring much required In-Flight Refueling Tanker Aircraft at the fraction of the cost and will have the ability to add additional aircraft without the need for actually buying it in Wartime emergency to maintain its global reach and strategic advantage.

Leasing of aircraft in the civilian sector is quite common and practiced the world over since buying an airplane is quite expensive and leasing costs just about 1% of aircraft cost per month which makes economical sense for airliners who can’t afford the purchase of several aircraft in one order and leasing of military aircraft too works in similar functions but has additional facilities for its customers. Continue reading


The threat of a terror attack looms large over the capital. An intelligence agency on Saturday received a specific input about a possible strike being planned by Islamic State operatives in the coming days. The input, accessed by TOI, mentions human intelligence sources stating that two Pakistani terrorists, who were operating in Shopian region of J&K till now, had moved out to launch a terror attack somewhere in the mainland. “The terrorists owe their allegiance to ISIS and are using Telegram to communicate,” it added.

The agency was given the tip-off that the two terrorists had left the Valley last week by road and were going to reach Delhi in a couple of days.
Security has been stepped up in Delhi and efforts are on to disperse the crowd gathered at various interstate bus terminals and at the UP border. Police of states like Punjab and metros like Mumbai have also been alerted. Continue reading


A total of 9,308 military personnel from 103 countries had participated in the 10-day military world games, also called the Olympics of the military, that was held in Wuhan, Hubei, from 18-27 October 2019. On 17 November 2019, less than 20 days after the event had ended, China identified the first Covid-19 patient, a 55-year-old man from Wuhan, which has now emerged as the ground-zero of the pandemic. India, too, had sent a delegation of about 100 personnel from which 10 won medals. Other major participants were the US, which had sent a team of 300 men, France, Italy, Germany and Brazil.

These games are held every four years. However, this time, the games were special as it was for the first time that the games were not confined to the military bases like in the past, but a separate athletes’ village was built in Wuhan. The athletes’ village was built in an area of 5,65,000 square meters, comprising about 35 blocks and is located on the bank of Huangjia Lake, Jiangxia district, Wuhan. The village is less than 20 km (as the crow flies) from Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market which is regarded as the place from where the pandemic started spreading and 13 km from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a state owned state-of-the-art laboratory that works extensively in the field of virus study. Continue reading

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