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Tuesday,13-April-2021

International News

India and China begin military talks to de-escalate tension at Hot Springs, Gogra, Depsang

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Indian and Chinese military dialogue to de-escalate tension at the Line of Actual Control started on Saturday morning. The 10th round of Corps Commander meeting started at 10 a.m. at Moldo on Chinese side.

Indian military delegation is led by Lieutenant General P.G.K. Menon, Commander of 14 Corps based in Leh. The Corps Commander will discuss disengagement at friction areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and 900 square km Depsang plains.

The build-up in Depsang was not being considered part of the current standoff that started in May last year as escalations here took place in 2013.

However, India has insisted during recent military commander meetings to resolve all issues across Line of Actual Control.

“The initial attempt will be to resolve Gogra and Hot Springs. Finding a solution to Depsang might be tricky and take longer,” said an official.

The representatives during the current round of “corps commander level” meet will also check the status of disengagement at northern and southern banks of the Pangong Lake.

However, just a day ahead of the meeting, China began a “psywar”, where it released a video of Galwan Valley clashes on social media accusing Indian Army of being aggressive and leading to the clash.

Indian Army didn’t react to the video of the clash released by China and maintained silence over the issue.

The video was released on a private news channel in China and thereafter it went viral.

It is after eight months that China has released a video of the clash which took place on June 15 last year. India had lost 20 soldiers and China only this week claimed clearly its four casualties, earler it had been evasive.

China, for the first time, has released the names of their soldiers killed in the clashes on Friday.

So far disengagement process at both banks of the Pangong Lake has taken place.

It was on February 10 that China made an announcement that New Delhi and Beijing has agreed to disengage at Pangong Lake.

Indian Army team along with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) team are physically verifying and re-verifying disengagement at Pangong Lake.

The agreement states that Chinese troops will move back to Finger 8 and Indian troops will pull back to the Dhan Singh Thapa post between Finger 2 and 3 of the north bank of Pangong Lake. Further, there would be temporary moratorium on military activities, including patrolling to the traditional areas.

The mountain spur jutting into the lake is referred to as Finger in military parlance. The north bank of the lake is divided into 8 Fingers. Indian has claimed its territory till Finger 8 and China dispute it claims till Finger 4.

India and China are engaged in a ten-month-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control. The confrontations began on the north bank of Pangong Lake, both in the waters and the bank as Chinese incursions increased in early May last year.

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International News

Pakistan and India cannot afford a war, says Shah Mahmood Qureshi

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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that India and Pakistan cannot afford to engage in an all-out war, as both countries are powered by nuclear weapons.

Pakistan Foreign Minister’s comments came after questions were raised over a statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who had said that some counties changed their position over just one phone call. Qureshi maintained that the statement made by the Chinese Foreign Minister was not directed at Pakistan.

Commenting about India-Pakistan relations, Qureshi said that it is Pakistan’s firm belief that “all issues could be resolved through dialogue”, adding that it is India’s responsibility to create a conducive environment.

“Pakistan has a clear stance on trade with India. It’s now India’s turn to make the environment conducive for dialogue,” he said.

Saying that Pakistan had “serious concerns” about the in situation Jammu and Kashmir, Qureshi said, “The people of Kashmir and different political parties had already rejected the Indian government’s decision of August 5, 2019.”

Qureshi’s statement comes at a time when the Imran Khan-led government in Pakistan took a U-turn on its decision to open trade with India, summary of which was later rejected in the cabinet meeting, which reiterated that there can be no trade with India until it reverses its decision of August 5, 2019, which changed the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, by abrogating Articles 370 and 35A.

While the Pakistan government maintains that its position on Kashmir cannot change, opposition benches have raised serious questions on the government’s intentions and competency in taking major decisions related to the country’s foreign policy.

Moreover, questions have also been raised over the country’s foreign policy and approach after it was ignored by the US for a recent environment conference. Qureshi, however, maintained that invitations to the conference were only extended to countries, which were creating pollution.

“The US government had invited only those countries, which were creating pollution. Prime Minister Imran Khan is a role model for developing countries regarding his efforts to control global warming and environmental pollution,” he said.

“I wrote a letter to the special envoy to the Joe Biden administration and former Secretary of State of America, in which I have conveyed that Pakistan and America have the same policy on environment and both countries can work together on the issue,” Qureshi added.

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Crime

Pakistani agencies desperate to stop key D-company financier’s extradition to US

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In a last ditch effort, Pakistani agencies exercised all available resources to thwart extradition of Dawood’s Ibrahim’s key finance manager and drug operator Jabir Motiwala to the US.

Officials of Pakistan’s High Commission in London were reportedly seen with Motiwala’s pleaders, pursuing D-company aide’s appeal in High Court, in a bid to prevent D-company’s ultimate trial in the US, sources in Indian Intelligence agencies said.

Intelligence sources said that once the High Court clears Jabir Motiwala’s extradition, his subsequent trial in the US on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering will unmask D-company’s link with the ISI and its entire underworld operations in a US Court.

“The trial of the Jabir could also highlight, how Dawood, a global terrorist wanted in serial bomb blasts in Mumbai has been operating from Karachi and sharing drug routes with major terror outfits patronised by ISI,” said a senior IPS officer in New Delhi.

Motiwala, who operates for Dawood Ibrahim, is a Pakistani National, presently imprisoned in Wandsworth jail in south west London.

The High Court on Thursday reserved its judgement on Jabir Motiwala’s extradition to the US, earlier granted by a Westminster Magistrate’s court, last year.

Sources said that in a few weeks time, the High Court’s judgement on Motiwala’s fate could be expected. A section of Pakistani media, meanwhile has said that Motiwala, who hails from a well to do family in Karachi has been framed by US law enforcing agencies in drugs operations.

On the other hand, the US agencies have provided documentary evidence of drug dealing and handling finance of D-Company including tapes, against Motiwala in the court.

Pakistani diplomats had earlier tried to thwart the extradition move by submitting a letter on behalf of accused’s lawyer in the Magistrate’s court, saying Motiwala was a “well known respected businessman in the Pakistan”.

In fact Pakistani diplomats fear that once Motiwala is extradited to US, the close aide of D-company can reveal the entire nexus between Dawood Ibrahim’s underworld network (being operated from Karachi) and don’s connection with Pakistan’s spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The US had already declared Dawood a global terrorist running international drug syndicate and sharing gang’s routes with Pakistan based terror outfits.

Sources said that Dawood’s key finance aide Jabir Motiwala, was produced in Magistrates courts in London after his arrest by Scotland Yard Extradition Unit on charges of money laundering and sharing proceeds of narcotics money earned on behalf of the D-company.

Sources said that Barrister John Hardy, appearing on behalf of the US government, had earlier revealed to the Magistrate’s Court that Jabir Motiwala, a close aide of Dawood, travelled extensively and conducted (underworld crimes related) meetings for his boss Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian who along with his brother Anees, are wanted for terror crimes in India.

During the extradition trial Defence lawyer for the D-company member, told the Court that Motiwala was suffering from depression and had made several suicide attempts in the past few years.

The lawyer argued that in such a situation, Motiwala cannot be extradited to the US to face trial.

Sources said that contrary to the Defence lawyers claim, Motiwala has been investing D-company’s black money into various projects abroad. He is said to be involved in drug trafficking and also travels to collect money on behalf of the D-company in Europe.

Sources said that Motiwala’s extradition to the US, if endorsed by higher Court would be a setback for Dawood as well as his patrons in Pakistani establishment.

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International News

Narendra Modi and Rajapaksa agree on regular bilateral contact

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday agreed to maintain regular contact between relevant officials, including in the context of the continuing Covid-19 challenges.

In a telephonic conversation, the key leaders of their countries also reviewed topical developments and the ongoing cooperation between the two countries in bilateral and multilateral forums.

Prime Minister reiterated the importance of Sri Lanka to India’s Neighbourhood First policy.

The conversation between Modi and Rajapaksa happened days after Sri Lanka received 10 state-of-the-art railway passenger coaches from India as part of the supply of 160 coaches to Sri Lankan Railways by the Rail India Technical and Economic Service.

Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay earlier this week also visited the Ram Setu in the island nation and offered his prayers on the occasion of Mahashivratri.

The official prayed for reinforcement of strong bonds between the people of India and Lanka, recalling their millennia-old links and the role of historical structures in creating these links.

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