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SOURCE: HT

The fallout of the drawdown of US troops on the security situation in Afghanistan and the need to pressure Pakistan on terror financing and sanctuaries for terrorists will be on the agenda for US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s visit to India this week, people familiar with planning for the visit said on condition of anonymity on Sunday.

The two sides are expected to discuss ways to deepen defence collaboration, including exercises, defence transfers and technologies, as part of preparations for the fourth 2+2 dialogue of defence and foreign ministers to be held in the US later this year, the said.

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SOURCE: PTI

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s customised space-themed merchandise programme in partnership with industry has taken off with multiple companies on board. Now, one will be able to purchase authorised products connected to ISROs missions and work, such as scale models, T-shirts, mugs, space-themed educational games, science toys, and more.

ISRO believes this brand promotion exercise can play a “game-changing” role in creating awareness and kindling interest of students, children and public, in the domain of space science & technology, and propagating its achievements.

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SOURCE: ANI

One of the three militants killed in gunfight with the security forces in J&K’s Bandipora district had exfiltrated to Pakistan via Wagah border in 2018, police said on Sunday. The militant was killed on Saturday. “A resident of Bandipora, Sariq Baba had exfiltrated via Wagah border in 2018 and had infiltrated recently through the LoC”, Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) told reporters.

Kumar said Sariq was affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit. The other two militants killed in the gunfight at the Sumlar-Aragam area in Bandipora district on Saturday were foreigners.

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SOURCE: THE PRINT

Secrecy is fundamental to the working of any intelligence agency because covertly, they defend their country. Covert operations are an important part of international relations (IR). Does it need rethinking in a system which wouldn’t provide any literature for scholars of IR? 

Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is India’s foreign intelligence agency. Inception of RAW occurred in 1968 as per the direction of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1968, RAW started creating its information gathering network with Pakistan and China because of the intelligence failures of wars in 1965 and 1962, respectively. RAW is an agency filled mostly with Indian Police Service officers. This is not a good situation because these people lack subject expertise. As a result, one might never get that kind of an optimum input as the Ministry of External Affairs desires from this agency.

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SOURCE: TASS

The Russian Helicopters Group (part of the state tech corporation Rostec) plans to develop drones with a lifting capacity of 200 kg and 1 tonne, Company Marketing and Business Director Oleg Landin said on Sunday.

“Our next scope will be 200 kg of payload and the next step will be 1 tonne,” the company’s executive said. Today the existing Russian drones have a lifting capacity of 50 kg (the BAS-200) and 70-80 kg (the VRT-300), he said. The BAS-200 is an unmanned rotorcraft with a maximum take-off weight of 200 kg. The drone is 3.9 m long and 1.2 m high, can develop a speed of 160 km/h, carry a payload of up to 50 kg, climb to an altitude of 3,900 meters and operate for four hours.

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SOURCE: IANS

West Bengal, which shares 2,217 km of the total 4096 km border with Bangladesh, has always been a soft target for the Bangladeshi terrorists. But now, sleuths of the Kolkata Special Task Force (STF) investigating the terror modules operating in the state have reasons to believe that not only from Bangladesh but extremist groups from Pakistan and agents from China are also making their way to India through this route.

“The recent arrest of a Chinese spy Junwei Han (36 years) in border area Malda district and the arrests of nine Al Qaeda terrorists from different districts of the state by the National Investigation Agency are enough to understand that the neighbouring countries are targeting the huge porous border of the state to enter India,” a senior officer of the Kolkata STF said.

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SOURCE: News18

Human rights and democracy are universal and extend beyond a particular national or cultural perspective, government sources here said on Sunday, a day after the US said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will raise the issues during his upcoming visit to India.

As a long-standing pluralistic society, India is open to engaging those who “now recognise” the value of diversity, the sources said. “Issues such as human rights and democracy are universal and extend beyond a particular national or cultural perspective. India is proud of its achievements in both domains and is always glad to share experiences,” said a source.

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SOURCE: PTI

A month after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to mainstream leaders of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Sunday that there has been “no follow-up results” on the ground. Adbullah said this in reference to the Prime Minister’s remarks at the June 24 meeting in New Delhi that he wanted to win the hearts of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and remove “Dilli ki doori” (the distance from Delhi) and “dil ki doori” (distance between hearts).

“That was a welcome statement but there is no effort on the ground to win the hearts of the people. People continue to be locked up and dissent is not tolerated. We want to see the change on the ground, a visible effort to win back the people who went through the trauma of their state being dismembered, its special status removed in one sudden blow,” the three-time former chief minister told PTI here.

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SOURCE: PTI

Voters in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir went to the polls on Sunday to elect the legislative assembly.  There are over 3.2 million eligible voters who can elect 45 members of the Assembly for a five-year term. India has previously slammed Pakistan for its decision to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said any action to alter the status of the militarily occupied region has no legal basis.

The Assembly has a total of 53 members but only 45 are directly elected, while five seats are reserved for women and three are meant for the technocrats.

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SOURCE: HT

It is a worn-down cliché to say that the 1999 Kargil war is a reminder to India that Pakistan can never be trusted. Can an enemy ever be trusted is the logical question to this surmise. On the eve of the 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas, it is obvious that the Pakistan army’s perfidy in the rarefied heights of Mushkoh, Drass, Kaksar and Batalik sectors of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was aimed at exploiting the Indian fault lines with Srinagar in mind.

With the Narendra Modi government dividing the erstwhile state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and abrogating the special status of the former J&K state, the fault-line has virtually been erased. For the past three decades, Pakistan has also been using terrorism as another weapon to create fissures within India and polarise the communities.

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SOURCE: NEWS18

It was a chance conversation with someone who had a ringside view of all the air action in Kargil from the Strike Planning Cell at Srinagar that led me to the exploits of 108 Squadron equipped with the MiG-21 Type 96, also called the Hawkeyes. The squadron, where this author cut his teeth in the IAF in the early 1980s, was among the first fighter squadrons from Western Air Command to be inducted into the battle from Week One of the conflict.

Operating from the Awantipur air base in South Kashmir along with MiG-23s and MiG-27s, the squadron flew over 150 operational missions by day and night in the strike role, targeting enemy positions around Tiger Hill, Tololing and in the Batalik Sector.

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SOURCE: NDTV

Nine Rohingya refugees, including three women and a child, were arrested from the railway station in Assam’s Guwahati on Sunday morning. They were allegedly carrying fake UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) ID cards. A GRP, or Government Railway Police, personnel said the group – six women, three men and a child – was arrested during a check on the Agartala-Deogarh Express. They were accompanied by an Indian citizen – Aman Ullah of Jammu’s Narwal.

On Friday, 15 Rohingya – six children, six men and three women – were arrested by GRP personnel in Badarpur in Karimganj district as they tried to board the Silchar-Agartala train. Since none of the 15 have valid papers, their arrest is being treated as a case of illegal entry, the GRP said, adding that they had travelled from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, where they were looking for jobs, and were trying to return to Bangladesh.

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SOURCE: PTI

A country of the size of India with its independent foreign policy has been a welcome entrant into the UN Security Council, providing “much-needed” balance vis-a-vis the powerful UN body’s five permanent members and their inter-se fissures, New Delhi’s envoy to the UN said ahead of its Presidency of the Council in August.

India will assume the rotating Presidency of the UN Security Council on August 1, the country’s first Presidency during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the 15-nation UN body. India will again preside over the Council in December next year, the last month of its two-year tenure.

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SOURCE: Republic

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued its first domicile certificate to Abhishek Saini, who is the husband of the Union Territory’s resident Bhavana Gupta. Republic Media Network on Saturday spoke exclusively to the couple, who has been married for the past 8 years but was devoid to exercise any right in J&K. 

Earlier, if a woman from J&K married a man outside the state, the spouse was not given the domicile of the state. With the abrogation of article 370 and today’s order, the husband of a woman from J&K is eligible to apply for a domicile certificate

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SOURCE: ANI

Terrorists have snatched an AK-47 rifle from a police constable in the Khudwani area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Police sources have informed that terrorists have snatched an AK-47 rifle from a police constable in Kulgam’s Khudwani area.

Further details are awaited. Earlier today, it was reported that three terrorists are in hiding at a place in Kulgam, of which one had been killed in an encounter with security forces in the Munand area of the district.

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