As China is busy playing aggressor on the India-China border, the Indian security establishment is not only defending its geographical borders but also firming up its next step post abrogation of Article 370. Tilak Devasher, a member of the National Security Advisory board, spoke to THE WEEK on how India should move beyond cartographic assertions and weather bulletins of Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan, and Aksai Chin, the disputed border between India and China, to developing an understanding of these regions, of their history, culture and language.

Q/ What is the strategic significance of the region stretching from the Gilgit-Baltistan to east Ladakh to Kalapani and beyond? Continue reading


The Supreme Court will hear on June 2 a plea which has sought a direction to the Centre to amend the Constitution and replace the word India with ‘Bharat’ or ‘Hindustan’, claiming it will “instill a sense of pride in our own nationality.” The plea has sought a direction to the government to take appropriate steps to bring amendment in Article 1 of the Constitution, which deals with name and territory of the Union, to the effect that “the same refers to the country as Bharat/Hindustan, to the exclusion of India”.

The petition was listed for hearing on Friday before the apex court but it got deleted from the list as Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde was not available. As per a notice uploaded on the top court website, this matter would be listed for hearing on June 2 before a bench headed by the CJI. The plea, filed by a Delhi-based man, has claimed that such an amendment will “ensure the citizens of this country to get over the colonial past”. Continue reading


Raja Farooq Haider Khan is the current prime minister of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, officially known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir. He is one of the founding members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party in Kashmir and a close aide of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Haider is known for his bold and outspoken statements on different political and geopolitical issues. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he has not only successfully implemented a strict lockdown in Kashmir to save the lives of his people, but has been openly critical of the slowness of the national government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to respond to the outbreak. Continue reading


Failing to mobilize international opinion against India following the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan has no arrow left in its quiver, except the use of terror to destabilize peace in Jammu and Kashmir. Recent failed attempt to trigger a car bomb in Pulwama is seen as a step in that direction. The evidence available with security agencies on the ground once again points the needle of suspicion towards Pakistan for utilizing services of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief, Masood Azhar and his gang to bleed India.

Investigations expose the role of the Jaish module – comprising commanders from Pakistan – for orchestrating re-run of Pulwama bombing to inflict maximum casualty of security forces. Continue reading


Amid war of words between Washington and Beijing over multiple issues, Republican Senator from Texas John Cornyn tweeted that “A wealthy, powerful and democratic India would help frustrate China’s hegemonic ambitions.” Sharing an op-ed written by Walter Russell Mead in The Wall Street Journal in which the US academic argues that helping India lift its long-term growth rate should be one of America’s top foreign policy goals.

The United States won the Cold War by helping democracies become rich and now is the time to revive that approach and India is the place to start, said Mead. Continue reading


India has “substantially” reinforced its border areas and has prepared itself for the long haul at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in East Ladakh region where it is engaged in a military stand-off with China, official sources based in South Block told The Sunday Guardian. These sources said that “everything that is needed, will be needed and even more than that” has already reached the region in the last two weeks to face any eventuality that might arise in case China decides to up the ante and adopt an aggressive stand.

“When we say we are ready, it is not a statement that we are making in thin air. Our ground situation, military wise, is very formidable now, something which China too has realised,” an official source said. According to these officials, who have first-hand knowledge of the ground situation, the tension on the ground is still there, but it has not “increased”, while adding that there is no danger to multiple assets in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector. Continue reading


Amid tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday has stated that India does not want a war while also warning China against any attempt to intrude into Indian territory. In a major statement, the former Indian Army Captain said that India would not tolerate any bullying from Chinese side, adding that it is not 1962. The Punjab Chief Minister who had served in the Indian Army and participated in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War stated that China cannot stop India from building any infrastructure on its side of the border.

“While we do not want war, we will not tolerate any bullying by Beijing. This is not 1962,” he said, according to an official statement. “They (the Chinese) do not listen to us when we object to them making roads inside our area in Aksai Chin, but when we make one road inside our area they react with aggression,” he added. Continue reading


Over 300 cadets of the 138th course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) completed three years of rigorous training and passed out on Saturday in a ceremony which had less than the usual sparkle, but all its military spirit intact.

The solemn ceremony was held in the historic Habibullah Hall, as against the tradition of holding the Passing Out Parade on the Khetarpal Ground of the tri-services academy, Khadakwasla, overlooking the Sinhagad valley. One important thing missing was the cheerful presence of proud family members of the cadets, and that of many serving and veteran military personalities, who could not attend the ceremony because of the nationwide lockdown. Traditionally, family members of the passing out cadets are invited and accommodated in the academy for about three days prior to the Passing Out Parade, during which they witness various facets of training that a cadet undergoes in the academy. Continue reading


The defence ministry has sought 11 special trains to move workers from Jharkhand to Jammu and Chandigarh from where they will be taken to areas close to the China border for building roads, three officials familiar with the matter aid on condition of anonymity.

The move comes even as Indian and Chinese soldiers are eyeball to eyeball at four locations along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. “There is no question of halting work on the road projects because of the standoff that could go on for weeks. The working season has begun and we cannot waste time,” said one of the officials cited above. He said some work has already started on the strategic Darbuk-Shyok-Daulet Beg Oldie road in Ladakh. Continue reading


The Jammu and Kashmir Police along with security forces have arrested three terrorist associates of proscribed terror outfit LeT from Sopore in North Kashmir and recovered arms and ammunition from their possession. According to a police statement Sopore Police along with 22 Rashtriya Rifles unit of the army and CRPF 179 Battaliom have arrested three terrorist associates in a joint operation at Shangergund area of Sopore.

They have been identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, Mudasir Ahmad Mir and Athar Shamas Mir, all residents of Sopore. Police said incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from their possession. Continue reading


For a woman, the birth of her child is always a celebration irrespective of time and place. In an incident amid the ongoing hard time, a woman gave birth to a baby boy in the no man’s land between India and Nepal as she was awaiting her turn to cross over to India. The woman, in the bliss of her motherhood, named her son as ‘Border’.

Writhing with labour pangs, as the woman felt that it was time for delivery, she sought the help of other women present there who surrounded her to facilitate the birth of the baby. Immediately after the delivery, Nautanwa police rushed both the mother and the baby to Nautanwa Community Health Centre (CHC) in Maharajganj district. On reaching the CHC, the doctors took the duo in their care and as the day ended, both had consolidated. “Both the mother and the baby boy are safe and healthy,” said Nautanwa CHC staff nurse, Amisha Williams. Continue reading


The formation of the second Tejas squadron (No 18 Flying Bullets) at Air Force Station Sulur on May 27 was an historic event for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), private industries and many other national laboratories supporting India’s home-grown military efforts.

It was also a very significant one for the Thiruvananthapuram-headquartered Southern Air Command (SAC), which has under its belt three fighter squadrons now – No 45 Sqn Flying Daggers, No Sqn 18 Flying Bullets (both at AFS Sulur operating Tejas) and No 222 Sqn Tigersharks (at AFS Thanjavur operating the Sukhois). Continue reading


The Indian space agency has got the patent for its method of manufacturing highland lunar soil simulant or simply lunar/moon soil. As a part of its Moon landing mission Chandrayaan-2, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had to prepare an artificial moon surface so that the Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover could be tested.

On May 18, the Indian Patent Office granted patent to ISRO for an invention as to the method of manufacturing highland lunar soil simulant. The patent is valid for 20 years from the date of filing the application, i.e., May 15, 2014. The inventors are: I. Venugopal, S.A. Kannan, Shamrao, V. Chandra Babu (all from ISRO), S. Anbazhagan, S. Arivazhagan, C.R. Paramasivam, M. Chinnamuthu (all from the Department of Geology, Periyar University, Salem, Tamil Nadu) and K. Muthukkumaran from the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. Continue reading


The U.N. General Assembly has decided to hold elections for the five non-permanent members of the Security Council next month under the new voting arrangements due to the COVID-19 restrictions, with India assured a win being the sole contender for the Asia Pacific seat. The 193-member General Assembly adopted the decision on Friday titled ‘Procedure for holding elections by secret ballot without a plenary meeting during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic’

According to the decision, the elections of non-permanent members to the Security Council and the election of members to the Economic and Social Council will be held simultaneously in June 2020 without a plenary meeting. Election for the five non-permanent members of the 15-nation council for the 2021-22 term was originally scheduled on June 17. Continue reading


India and China are talking to each other at military and diplomatic levels to resolve the Ladakh standoff, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday. Singh’s statement is the first from a senior central minister on the standoff with China at four points along the Line of Actual Control.

Rajnath Singh told news channel Aaj Tak that both countries had made it clear that they wanted to resolve the problem. In course of the interview, Rajnath Singh also underlined that there was no need for the United States to meditate since the two countries already had a mechanism to resolve problems and it had been set in motion. Continue reading