G4 Countries Seek Early Reform of UN Security Council

G4 Countries Seek Early Reform of UN Security Council
G4 Countries Seek Early Reform of UN Security Council

G4 Countries Seek Early Reform of UN Security Council
G4 Countries Seek Early Reform of UN Security Council

Foreign Ministers of G4 countries, including India, have called for an "early reform" of the UN Security Council and expansion of its permanent and non-permanent members.

At a meeting here on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly Sessions of the United Nations, the ministers of G4 countries - Brazil, Germany, India and Japan - asserted that such a reform was essential to make the most powerful wing of the UN more representative and effective, reflecting the ground realities of the 21st century.

A joint statement was issued after the meeting attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Brazilian Foreign Relations Minister Aloysio Nunes, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Japanese Foreign Minister Tarp Kono.

The four countries called for an "early reform" of the UN Security Council and enhanced role for developing countries as major contributors to the UN and improvement of working methods in order to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representatives.

Recognising that the number of the United Nations Member States has increased from 51 in 1945 to 193 today and that the current composition of the Council does not reflect the changed global realities, the Ministers stressed that the Council needs to reflect today's world in order to be able to tackle today's complex challenges," the joint statement said.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar later told reporters that India had consistently maintained its position on expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council.

We have actually pushed for reform of the council including in both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership. We are happy that we are going to move towards a text based negotiation. And this is what we hope will happen in the present session of the General Assembly," he said.

The ministers welcomed Secretary General Antonino Guterres's commitment of launching reforms to render the UN for the 21st century and recalled that an essential element of the overall efforts to reform the world body remained the reform of its Security Council.

Swaraj had a series of bilateral meetings throughout the day.

She met San Marino Foreign Minister Nicola Renzi, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Moldova AndreiGalbur, Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir and Brazilian Foreign Minister Nunes Ferreira.

Swaraj exchanged pleasantries with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldayev and had conversation with Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi.

Kumar said the focus of her meetings was on expanding bilateral relations especially in the economic and commercial areas.

During the bilateral meetings, Swaraj pitched for foreign direct investment under the 'Make in India' and other initiatives, he adding that the leaders also discussed creating a dialogue mechanisms at the earliest.

With San Marino, food processing sector and packaging industry were identified as possible sectors for cooperation. With Saudi Arabia, a need was felt to diversify trade and same was the case with Brazil and Indonesia," Kumar said.

In her address to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ministerial meeting, Swaraj said India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

There can be no justification for any acts of terrorism," she said.

Noting that connectivity with SCO countries is India's priority, Swaraj said New Delhi wanted connectivity to pave the way for cooperation and trust between their societies.

For this respect for sovereignty is essential. Inclusivity, transparency and sustainability are imperative. Our involvement with the international North South transport corridor, Chhabar agreement and a decision to join the Ashkhabad agreement are all relevant," Kumar said.

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China Not Prepared Enough To Handle A Cultural Giant Like India As Neighbour, Says Shyam Saran

China Not Prepared Enough To Handle A Cultural Giant Like India As Neighbour, Says Shyam Saran
China Not Prepared Enough To Handle A Cultural Giant Like India As Neighbour, Says Shyam Saran

Only a handful of Indian diplomats have had the experience of understanding China like former foreign secretary Shyam Saran did.

China Not Prepared Enough To Handle A Cultural Giant Like India As Neighbour, Says Shyam Saran
China Not Prepared Enough To Handle A Cultural Giant Like India As Neighbour, Says Shyam Saran

Only a handful of Indian diplomats have had the experience of understanding China like former foreign secretary Shyam Saran did.

During an interactive session hosted by The Indian Express, the 1970-batch IFS officer, who served in China on various occasions, spoke on the intricacies of the bilateral relations between the two neighbours and the way forward for the two Asian giants especially after the recent Doka La standoff.

While breaking down the Doka La crisis, which has dominated the news cycles in India for over two months, Saran said that standoff precipitated due to China's disbelief that India could stand its ground and come to Bhutan's rescue.

China were caught unprepared to confront India. Beijing never thought that Indian troops would enter a third country (Bhutan) and defend the disputed territory. When the plan did not go according to the plan, then the Chinese indulged in vitriol to deter India from emboldening itself," Saran said.

With China's state-sponsored media continuing to toe to a belligerent line, the Indian media feared an imminent border skirmish akin to the 1967 Cho La incident.

However, better sense prevailed and the standoff ended on 28 August after India and China agreed to withdraw their troops to their respective sides of the border. Saran called this a "significant success" for diplomacy but also speculated on other reasons for the ceasing of hostilities at the tri-junction.

Of course, diplomacy played a major role in diffusing the situation. But one cannot deny there may have been other factors too. BRICS Summit was supposed to take place in Xiamen and the Chinese would not have wanted it to be impacted. Another was an internal factor. The Communist Party of China's will be holding its congress in October, which is crucial for Xi Jinping, who is hopeful for a second term as general secretary," Saran said.

While Doka La is essentially a bilateral issue between China and Bhutan, Thimpu enjoys protectorate-like status vis-a-vis New Delhi. As per the 1949 friendship treaty, Bhutan's foreign and defence interests are taken care off by New Delhi.

This is a major problem for a resurgent China, which is looking to build strong trade and security ties with all South Asian countries. China considers it to be quite abnormal that Bhutan does not have any diplomatic relations with it," said Saran.

However, the lack of diplomatic ties did not deter Thimpu from dealing with Beijing over the border issue. According to the ex-diplomat, Bhutan and China engaged in 24 rounds of talks in at least 20 years.

Saran claimed that China had also offered to give up on some territories in northern Bhutan for the Doka La plateau. But as the talks were inconclusive, the standoff could have been China's ploy to nudge Bhutan to either accept the offer or face military action," he said.

Lauding India's foreign policy establishment for not losing sight of its objectives while bringing the Chinese to the negotiation table, Saran said, "As a major power, India dealt with the issue with maturity. Both nations had only one limited objective and that was to enforce the status quo. Both India and Bhutan succeeded in it.

Quoting extensively from his latest historical cum personal memoir How India sees the world: From Kautilya to the 21st Century, Saran said that in order to understand China and its geopolitical action, one needed to look back at its ancient history.

China always thought itself as a centre of civilisation. It has been an insular nation-state and not very good at dealing with the world. This is the reason for frequent misunderstanding it has with its 18 neighbours," Saran said, adding, "With rapid economic growth, China wants to recapture its predominant position in Asia. For much of its history, the Chinese empire was surrounded by smaller and weaker tributary states. With China becoming world's second-largest economy, it wants to signal that this old political order is the natural one.

The recent standoff with Bhutan may be a manifestation of China's ancient belief of being a superior power, but the geopolitical dynamics have changed, Saran said. China never shared a border with India, but after the 1951 annexation of Tibet, both became neighbours. For the first time ever, China had to face an unimaginable prospect of neighbouring another cultural giant. On its western frontier too, China had to face the humiliation of witnessing an erstwhile tributary (Japan) becoming a global economic power.

Saran, now a senior fellow at Centre for Policy Research, argued that a rising China would like to play a larger role in the world. A country whose security and economic capabilities are growing, China would naturally like to have a greater say in regional as well as international affairs," Saran said.

However, he urged India and several South East Asian countries to counterbalance China, which has been attempting a "unilateral assertion of power" like in the case of Doka La and the South China Sea dispute.

Despite Doka La and a series of border incursions in the past, Saran was hopeful that such incidents would not derail the growing relationship between the two countries. Arguing for cooperation between India and China at global platforms, Saran said, "Both countries must come together to achieve to change some international regimes and also shape some new ones. For example, the climate change. If China and India work together they might be able to get a better climate change regime than if they work separately.

Trade ties between India and China have boomed in the last decade. However, China has had an upper hand in the bilateral trade as India's imports is five times greater than its exports to the country. While the trade deficit which stands at $51. 9 billion (2016-17) is a cause of concern, one cannot ignore the fact that India is a humongous market for Chinese companies.

The record over the last several years has been the remarkable ability of two countries of keep border skirmishes at back burner and focus on the economic opportunities that both countries provide. India and China need to expand the economic and commercial relationship, which over the period of time may help manage political problems too," Saran said urging increased economic ties between the two Asian giants.

However, despite booming trade ties, there are two major issues that remain unsolved: The growing bonhomie between Pakistan and China, and the border dispute at the eastern and western sector.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403759-china-not-prepared-enough-to-handle-a-cultural-giant-like-india-as-neighbour-says-shyam-saran

'It's India's Nuclear Power That Pakistan Fears': Highlights From Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's First International Interview

'It's India's Nuclear Power That Pakistan Fears': Highlights From Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's First International Interview
'It's India's Nuclear Power That Pakistan Fears': Highlights From Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's First International Interview

In his first international television interview as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi dismissed US' allegations that the country was hosting terrorists on its soil.

'It's India's Nuclear Power That Pakistan Fears': Highlights From Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's First International Interview
'It's India's Nuclear Power That Pakistan Fears': Highlights From Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's First International Interview

In his first international television interview as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi dismissed US' allegations that the country was hosting terrorists on its soil. Speaking to CNN International, Abbasi maintained that, despite differences, Pakistan was together with US on its stand against terror. Abbasi spoke to the channel on the sidelines of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

Abbasi told CNN International that his country was an ally in the war against terror and it viewed India as a threat instead.

Abbasi said that 70-year-old relationship between Pakistan and US' relationship had seen its own ups and downs and Afghanistan was not the only thing which defined the situation.

We have always been an ally, especially a partner in the war against terror. We may have difference of opinion, especially based on the modalities of how we operate, but we want to work with the US to counter this menace of terrorism," the prime minister said.

Abbasi, who replaced deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in August, had met US vice-president Mike Pence on the sidelines of the General Assembly on Tuesday. Pence briefed Abbasi of ways that Pakistan could work with the United States and others to bolster stability and prosperity for all in South Asia.

It was the highest contact between the two countries since Trump announced his new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia in August where he warned Pakistan for the nation's continued support to terrorist groups. Trump had said that Pakistan had much to "gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan," much to the dislike of Pakistan.

During his meeting with Pence, Abbasi also expressed concern over the greater role that Trump advocated for India in his new Afghan policy. Interestingly, Trump in his maiden speech at the General Assembly on Tuesday touched upon the subject of countries acting as 'safe havens' for terrorists. In a not-so-veiled reference, Trump referred to countries who are sheltering, supporting and financing terror groups like Al Qaeda and warned them.

On 30 August, Pakistan's National Assembly had passed a resolution dismissing South Asia policy. The lawmakers said it was a lack of respect from Washington for the country’s sacrifices in the war against militancy and its successes against groups like Al Qaeda, Islamic State or the Pakistani Taliban.

Rejecting US' claim that Pakistan was not taking enough measures to stop terror on its soil, Abbasi said that terrorism is a threat for everyone. For us, India was the force that we have fought three wars with. India is a threat to Pakistan, we accept that," Abbasi said.

He explained that it was India's nuclear power that Pakistan feared. We have to defend ourselves several times. We developed nuclear weapons against the threat that India posed," the prime minister said.

At an event organised by the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday, Abbasi had also affirmed that Pakistan had developed short-range nuclear weapons as a counter to the India's Cold Start doctrine.

At the same event, he also alleged that the Indian aggression along the Line of Control (LoC) was meant to draw attention away from the actual struggle of the Kashmiris "who have today risen against the Indian occupation there.

Demanding the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir, Abbasi had also maintained that Pakistan wanted normal relations with India "but on the basis of trust and respect.

Speaking on US' earlier move to suspend military aid to Pakistan, Abbasi said that his government expected no major change in US' stand. I met US vice president Pence on Tuesday and explained our role to him. We don't expect a significant shift. We are willing to work with the US to fight the war against terror. The enemy is the same," he said.

Trump administration had in July decided to block $350 million in coalition support fund to Pakistan after denying that Islamabad had taken "sufficient actions" against Haqqani terror network.

Speaking to channel, Abbasi added, "We are trying to work with President Trump. We listen to his viewpoint, speeches, policy statements. As Pakistan, we need to work with the US, on issues related to the world, especially terror.

Calling North Korea's irresponsible firing of missiles "a cause of concern," Abbasi expressed that Pakistan was against the country's programs. North Korea needs to submit to the international regulatory authorities. We have not contributed to North Korea's programme, that should be very clear. We have always stressed North Korea to behave responsibly, as per the world community wants," he said.

North Korea has received much criticism from other nations for carrying independent nuclear programmes, with the UN also imposing sanctions after its sixth and largest nuclear test. However, Pyongyang had defended its action saying that it was doing so to protect itself from "hostile" US forces.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403757-it-s-india-s-nuclear-power-that-pakistan-fears-highlights-from-shahid-khaqan-abbasi-s-first-international-interview

DRDO To Share Food Tech With Entrepreneurs

DRDO To Share Food Tech With Entrepreneurs
DRDO To Share Food Tech With Entrepreneurs

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to transfer various technologies — initially developed for the armed forces — to small entrepreneurs during a two-day conclave beginning Thursday.

DRDO To Share Food Tech With Entrepreneurs

DRDO To Share Food Tech With Entrepreneurs
DRDO To Share Food Tech With Entrepreneurs

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to transfer various technologies — initially developed for the armed forces — to small entrepreneurs during a two-day conclave beginning Thursday.

DRDO To Share Food Tech With Entrepreneurs

The defence food research laboratory (DFRL), Mysore, that has developed an array of food products and has transferred over 500 technologies to more than 300 entrepreneurs, will showcase 142 food products and processing technologies comprising ready-to-eat foods, instant foods and mixes, ready-to-drink beverages, ready-to-reconstitute beverages, and mixes ready for commercialisation. The technologies on offer range from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2. 5 lakh. Financial institutions will offer funding schemes, said Goa State Industries Association president Rajkumar Kamat.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403756-drdo-to-share-food-tech-with-entrepreneurs

Portugal PM Antonio Luis Da Costa Supports India's Bids For UNSC Membership

Portugal PM Antonio Luis Da Costa Supports India's Bids For UNSC Membership
Portugal PM Antonio Luis Da Costa Supports India's Bids For UNSC Membership

Portugal PM Antonio Luis Da Costa Supports India's Bids For UNSC Membership
Portugal PM Antonio Luis Da Costa Supports India's Bids For UNSC Membership

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Luis Da Costa has supported India's bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council, asserting that efforts must continue to ensure greater representation in the most powerful wing of the world body.

Achieving sustainable peace will require greater synergies in the Organisation's structures and missions on the ground. The ongoing efforts should also give fresh impetus to the reform of the Security Council to ensure a better representation of today's world," Da Costa said in his address to the UN General Assembly yesterday.

The African continent cannot be denied a permanent presence, and Brazil and India are also two inescapable examples," he said.

The Prime Minister said the complexity of the global problems these countries face requires them to foster partnerships, involving not only States, but also civil societies, international financial institutions, public and private entities.

He said reforming the architecture of peace and security was an absolute priority.

Prime Minister Da Costa had expressed Portugal's support for India's permanent membership of the UN Security Council when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lisbon in June this year.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403755-portugal-pm-antonio-luis-da-costa-supports-india-s-bids-for-unsc-membership

Testing Pakistan’s Conventional Response Below The Nuclear Threshold

Testing Pakistan’s Conventional Response Below The Nuclear Threshold
Testing Pakistan’s Conventional Response Below The Nuclear Threshold

The Doklam issue stands resolved after a nearly 73-day standoff, at least for the time being.

Testing Pakistan’s Conventional Response Below The Nuclear Threshold
Testing Pakistan’s Conventional Response Below The Nuclear Threshold

The Doklam issue stands resolved after a nearly 73-day standoff, at least for the time being. It has been a tremendous battle of nerves and resolve on part of the Indian Army’s to not only intervene in time, but hold on to their positions steadfastly and give adequate time until diplomatic parleys finally found a successful breakthrough. This has once again shifted focus back to India’s traditional adversary - Pakistan.

Time and again, whenever there is a terrorist strike in J&K or elsewhere in the country, there are endless debates in the media, news papers get filled with all kinds of ideas on responses that must be galvanised into powerful actions in order to make Pakistan pay more for its misadventures against India which it routinely denies and stresses the activities as having been carried out by ‘non-state’ actors that they are never aware of. is hide and seek has been going on since the decade of the nineties more proactively, but at large for close to seven decades.

Often enough, there has been a debate on the possibilities of a conventional war under the nuclear threshold. However, it is about time to debate and discuss Pakistan’s threshold of conventional response to India’s trans LoC raids that Delhi should decide to undertake at a time and place of its choosing the moment it is able to trace back its linkages of terrorists striking Indian territory that lead back to the Pakistan establishment or terrorist outfits based inside Pakistan. e latest trend in Pakistan is that these terrorists outfits are in the process of being ‘converted’ into a legitimate political force by forming political parties with stakes in governance making it even more difficult to detect and act against them.

There are two specific instances, when it nearly came very close to a full-scale war scenario. First, when mountaineous heights in the Kargil sector, overlooking Srinagar-Leh highway were occupied in May 1999 by the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) having the full back up of the Pakistan Army; and second, when the Indian Parliament was attacked in 2002 by Pakistan-supported terrorists belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the follow on full-scale mobilisation undertaken by the Indian Armed Forces in preparation to an armed response to Pak-sponsored terrorism in India.

However, in these cases, actual conflict and full scale mobilisation follow through was controlled due to what some believed to be ‘deft diplomacy’ while some others argued the nuclear flashpoint on either side. atever may be the case, the fact of the matter is that these terror strikes on India from across the border have continued unabated with a varying degree of intensity and frequency. The number of terror camps and launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has gone up as per Indian Army’s Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Devraj Anbu. Militants waiting to cross over to this side (via the LoC from PoK) are nearly 250 in north Kashmir and around 225 in south of PirPanjal (Jammu Region) he said recently. The internal NIA raids on separatists and the killing of top militant leaders by security forces have helped in improving the security situation in Kashmir.

In September 2016, in response to the terrorist attack on Uri very close to the Line of Control in which 19 Indian Army soldiers were martyred, a response called ‘surgical strike’ was crafted and undertaken by the Indian Army. e term generated more political spin offs than military pay offs. But once again, it did not put a complete stop to the regularity of terror strikes in the Kashmir valley.

Notwithstanding the statements at the global level against terrorist strikes, the situation on ground has remained unaltered for decades now, due to the conflicting interests of various stakeholders on the Global War on Terror (GWoT). It emerges that the response to these terrorist strikes have to be undertaken by the victim states themselves, given that there appears to be just no possibility of a joint or collective action at the regional or global level.

The attack on the Amarnath pilgrims on 10 July 2017, in which seven Yatris were killed and 14 seriously injured, has once again sparked a debate on the possibility of taking stronger action against the perpetrators of the crime. However, one big change that has taken place this time is that unlike earlier occasions, the terrorists groups operating from Pakistan particularly the LeT have not really come forward to stake claims to this strike fearing an adverse reaction from the international community. That notwithstanding, the method and timing of the attack are clear indicators that this strike too was on the lines of an established pattern of the past.

This brings us to the real question of India’s options to deal with such situations adequately not only to douse the public outcry on this unabated heinous crime, as also to raise the costs to the supporters of this proxy warfare that seems to be waged with impunity. For long, New Delhi has taken the moral high ground of not getting involved in a ‘tit for tat’ action to this low-cost, vaguely deniable interference by Pakistan; but that seemingly has only emboldened India’s adversary.

Pakistan has smartly tried to take India’s ‘increasing’ threshold of tolerance and its own ‘nuclear umbrella’ for granted. given boost to its recent boldness is its strategic partnership with China and veto power protection given by Beijing to keep Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

There have been heightened activities of Pakistan-supported terrorists in the valley with proactive trans-LoC support from across. There are rumblings already of Chinese getting emboldened to interfere in J&K scenario due to its own strategic partnership with Pakistan, based on the Indian response of siding and interfering on behalf of Bhutan in the just concluded standoff in Doklam. Besides, the ‘nuclear and Chinese umbrella’ that is being enjoyed by Pakistan, it has the strategic assets of home-grown terrorists at its disposal. erefore, considering all these factors, Pakistan continues to pose a serious and potent challenge to India’s security establishment.

The conventional capability of Indian armed forces has clearly been recognised to have an edge over Pakistan. It is in the nuclear domain that they have brought in the angle of the low-yield battlefield nuclear weapons (TNWs). In talks of India’s ‘measured responses’ to terrorist strikes, particularly in raising the cost of its proxy war against India, Delhi firstly must recognise the big differential that exists in the use of force. a does not have the luxury of responding with any cheaper options against Pakistan’s cannon fodder, i. home-grown terrorists. India’s response necessarily has to be using its conventional capabilities like the one displayed during the surgical strikes which can be termed as a loose term though, militarily. The real problem lies in controlling the escalatory ladder, as regards the dynamics of fallout that may arise in such a situation.

A significant positive that has emerged recently has been the US aid to Pakistan now reduced to half and that too made strictly conditional. The Trump administration seems to be totally disenchanted as far as Pakistan’s contribution to the war on terror is concerned. India’s stand on the Doklam issue has found favour with the international community particularly East Asia and South Asian nations although all may not have unequivocally accepted it in as many words. It is time for India to test waters with Pakistan and ensure that this rogue nation state, similar to a ‘North Korea in the making’ is indicated India’s limit of tolerance in no uncertain terms.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403754-testing-pakistan-s-conventional-response-below-the-nuclear-threshold

Surgical Strike: Indian Soldiers Got Into Close Combat With Pakistan Army, Says Ex-Commander

Surgical Strike: Indian Soldiers Got Into Close Combat With Pakistan Army, Says Ex-Commander
Surgical Strike: Indian Soldiers Got Into Close Combat With Pakistan Army, Says Ex-Commander

Surgical Strike: Indian Soldiers Got Into Close Combat With Pakistan Army, Says Ex-Commander
Surgical Strike: Indian Soldiers Got Into Close Combat With Pakistan Army, Says Ex-Commander

The cross-LoC surgical strike last year was carried out by Indian troops to send across a "strong message" to Pakistan, which could not have been conveyed through other means, former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army`s Northern Command Lt General DS Hooda (Retd) has said.

Hooda, who oversaw the September 2016 attack across the Line of Control in Pakistan as then head of the Northern Command, told a news channel that they were also prepared for retaliation from Pakistan`s side but it did not happen.

He said one soldier was injured in the operation, though it was not in firing from the Pakistan`s side, but in a landmine explosion on the Indian side of the LoC. Hooda said a part of the soldier`s leg was blown off.

Asked why the Indian Army chose to go across the LoC to destroy the terror launch pads instead of using air attack or any long-range attack weapon, Hooda said those attacks would not have sent across the same message.

I think a strong message has to be sent sometimes. You can say you could have done it from air, from long-range artillery. I think a message had to be sent out, a strong message had to be sent out," Hooda told the news channel.

After the June 2015 strike (by the Indian Army across the India-Myanmar border), a lot of statements had come from Pakistan - from their Interior Minister as also their official spokesperson - which said Pakistan is not Myanmar, and we will give a befitting reply if India resorts to any adventurism. Those were the kind of statements that were made.

Once the surgical strike was carried out, they just went totally quiet. I think that was more of a moral victory," he said.

The kind of message we wanted to send across, I don`t think could have been done by strikes from afar.

Asked whether they anticipated any retaliation, Hooda said: "We had, and why not? It would be unprofessional to say there will be no retaliation, and that we should not plan for it.

We were prepared, we were ready. But, as I said, I think the Pakistanis were quite shell-shocked. The minute they said surgical strike did not happen, we knew that a response from their side will at best be very very limited," the retired Lt General said.

Asked whether the attacks took place on both sides of the Pir Panjal, Hooda said it was "across the Jammu region and across the Kashmir region. On both sides, there were multiple strikes".

Hooda said the most difficult aspect was planning the return of the troops, and multiple plans were made on how it could be done.

the key element was not casualty, but not leaving any man behind".

Multiple plans were made in case there was a fighting extrication; how it would actually be carried out; what assets would be required for such a contingency; whether in terms of aerial assets or whether in terms of even sending some more people across to bring our people back. So that kind of planning had been put in process and we were conscious that there could be a fighting extrication," he said.

Asked if there was any contact between the Indian soldiers and the Pakistan Army, Hooda replied in the affirmative.

Yes, there was. The Special Forces had gotten into places where they were confident they could cause maximum number of casualties. So they had to get fairly close to where the camps were and there were some Pakistani posts in close vicinity. So that also had to be catered to. So, yes, they did get into close combat," he said.

The retired Lt General said there was need to provide better equipment to the Special Forces soldiers.

I think compared with anyone, (they are) the best in the world, our Special Forces people are very good. Having said that, if there is a shortfall, I think its in their equipment. That`s something we need to take a hard look at - give them little better equipment," he said.

A surgical strike was conducted by the Indian Army on September 28-29 night in 2016 on terror launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

The strike came following a terrorist attack at an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 19 soldiers were killed.

In June 2015, the Indian Army had carried out a surgical strike along the India-Myanmar border on the camps of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) militants, days after an ambush in which terrorists killed 18 Army men in Manipur.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403753-surgical-strike-indian-soldiers-got-into-close-combat-with-pakistan-army-says-ex-commander

China Pressuring Pakistan On Terrorism?

China Pressuring Pakistan On Terrorism?
China Pressuring Pakistan On Terrorism?

President Donald Trump, in an announcement on the recent overhaul of U. S. strategy in Afghanistan, admonished Pakistan for sheltering “the same organisations that try every single day to kill our people” in the fight against the Taliban.

China Pressuring Pakistan On Terrorism?
China Pressuring Pakistan On Terrorism?

President Donald Trump, in an announcement on the recent overhaul of U. S. strategy in Afghanistan, admonished Pakistan for sheltering “the same organisations that try every single day to kill our people” in the fight against the Taliban. t analysts have questioned whether Pakistan really needs to heed the United States’ call to “demonstrate its commitment to civilisation, order, and to peace,” given the growing warmth of its relationship with China. ite China being the first to rush to Pakistan’s side and denounce President Trump’s remarks, the declaration following the 2017 BRICS Summit held in Xiamen proved to be significant – it marked the first time Beijing agreed to condemn Pakistan-based terror groups like the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), despite repeatedly blocking the United Nations Security Council from listing JeM leader Masood Azhar as a globally-designated terrorist in the last year.

China’s diplomatic support for Pakistan at these critical moments prevented sanctions that could have had negative political and economic ramifications on Islamabad. At the time, India deemed China’s action at the international forum to be a confirmation of the “prevalence of double standards in the fight against terrorism. o, what has changed? Despite public statements in support of Pakistan, China’s increasing economic stakes and evolving security concerns in the region seem to be forcing Beijing to reorient its internal calculus and tighten its grip over security in Pakistan.

China is investing over $62 billion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has been deemed the “flagship” initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road project, which envisions enhancing connectivity between China, Europe, and the Middle East through a network of trade and transport corridors. e CPEC intends to bolster the Pakistani economy by modernising its infrastructure, China is concerned about the security risks terrorism poses to its investments. This is why it has added a security dimension to the plan, including a full system of real-time monitoring and 24 hour surveillance in major cities, and the construction of explosive detectors and scanners for “major-roads, case-prone areas and crowded places.

Further, China is concerned for the safety of its nationals in Pakistan. Despite a Special Security Division of 9,000 Pakistan Army soldiers and 6,000 paramilitary forces dedicated to the security of individuals working on CPEC, the kapping and killing of a Chinese couple in Quetta by Islamic State affiliates in June highlights the limitations of the state’s ability to protect Chinese nationals in Pakistan. The influx of Chinese nationals in Pakistan since the launch of CPEC in 2015 shows no signs of slowing down, given that the number of Chinese residents in Pakistan has now tripled to around 30,000 while over 71,000 Chinese tourists visited on short-term visas in 2016.

China’s interests in South Asia also lie in Afghanistan, where it has deepened its political, economic, and military engagement and is eyeing a trove of untapped mineral resources estimated to be worth $1 trillion. To this end, a Chinese consortium consisting of the China Metallurgical Group Corp. and Jiangxi Copper Corporation won a bid worth $2. 9 billion to develop Mes Aynak in Afghanistan, one of the largest undeveloped copper fields in the world, estimated to contain up to $88 billion worth of ore. The Chinese National Petroleum Corp is also tapping into Afghan oil reserves, extracting 1. 5 million barrels of oil from the Amu Darya basin in northern Afghanistan annually.

While China has economic incentives to promote stability in Afghanistan, it also holds political and security concerns. Concerned that dissidents in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region bordering Afghanistan will coordinate with extremists like the al-Qaeda-linked East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which seeks an independent Uyghur homeland in the northwest of China, Beijing has reason to urge Islamabad to crack down on terror groups that may be finding sanctuary in Pakistan.

One cannot underestimate the significance of the 2017 BRICS declaration, particularly since China blockedefforts by India to name Pakistan as a hub of terrorism at the BRICS Summit in Goa last year. After the 2017 declaration was released, the director of the Chinese government-affiliated China Institute of Contemporary International Relations said, “It is beyond my understanding how China agreed to this […] Pakistan will be very upset. ter Trump’s denouncement of Pakistan, it is already feeling pressure.

Though China has denied a change in policy and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that “Pakistan has done its best with a clear conscience” on counterterrorism, it is clear that the message conveyed in Xiamen has reached Islamabad. kistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who visited China in order to discuss the BRICS declaration and Trump’s new Afghan policy, acknowledged that Pakistan should “impose some restrictions on the activities of elements like LeT and JeM, so that we can show the global community that we have put our house in order.

After President Trump’s public recognition of the challenge of Pakistan-based safe havens to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation efforts in Afghanistan, the BRICS declaration is momentous. It represents China’s capacity to shift its stance from one of perennial defence of Islamabad to one in which it may work towards ending Pakistan’s selective approach to combating terrorism. ina will benefit from motivating Pakistan to withdraw its support of terror outfits, not for altruistic reasons, but because instability in the region will limit the return on its investments. While China has been content to free ride on the relative stability maintained by the United States in South Asia, its willingness to build on these efforts may prove instrumental in compelling Pakistan to give up its support of terror.

Arushi Kumar is a researcher at Carnegie India.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403752-china-pressuring-pakistan-on-terrorism

India’s Maritime Security Policy A Key Driver In Future: UK Think Tank

India’s Maritime Security Policy A Key Driver In Future: UK Think Tank
India’s Maritime Security Policy A Key Driver In Future: UK Think Tank

India’s Maritime Security Policy A Key Driver In Future: UK Think Tank
India’s Maritime Security Policy A Key Driver In Future: UK Think Tank

India is rapidly moving towards its goal of becoming a leading power in the Indian Ocean region through the sponsorship of security and economic agreements, according to a key global strategic survey by a leading London-based think tank.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) focused on India's maritime security policy, but also commented on US President Donald Trump’s policy on Afghanistan and South Asia and on the narrative and impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in the survey for 2017 released on Wednesday.

In 2018, IISS sees the geopolitical agenda being dominated by four themes across different regions.

The themes are nuclear proliferation, principally by North Korea but also potentially Iran, terrorism inspired by Islamic State and others reaching the Americas, Europe and Asia, as well as the Middle East and Africa, information warfare, largely led by Russia, generally executing a policy in Europe and elsewhere of “disruptive engagement”, and the use of proxies by state actors, principally Iran but also Russia.

On India’s proactive and robust maritime policy in the region, Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, senior fellow for South Asia at IISS, told Hindustan Times: “This leverages India's new and emerging capabilities and assets in the Indian Ocean to maximise political and security dividends.

India now seeks to challenge China's narrative in economic and infrastructure development, deepen maritime security cooperation beyond that of a 'net security provider', push for diplomatic dividends in the south western and the eastern parts of the Indian Ocean, and enhance India's strategic links with the US, Japan and Australia.

The survey noted that intractable problems of cross-border terrorism, as well as instability in Kashmir, continued to damage relations between India and Pakistan in 2017, while accelerating competition between major powers was seen to undermine efforts to stabilise Afghanistan’s parlous security environment.

It also said the development of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative was strengthening ties between Pakistan and China.

At the global level, the survey concluded that rival powers would continue to exploit opportunities opened up in 2017 by the fracturing of western alliances until the damage is repaired.

The fracture of various partnerships and alliances, mainly from the inside, is opening up more opportunities for large countries, who perceive the status quo to be stacked against them, to exploit and widen these fissures,” IISS director general John Chipman warned at the survey’s launch.

According to the survey, a significant phenomenon over the last year was the dramatic fracturing of international alliances and strategic relationships that had previously appeared solid. The actions of the US administration had contributed to the trend, but so too had actions of other state parties, it added.

On geopolitical risks for 2018, the survey said most attention will be focused on North Korea. Israel may also soon be engaged in a conflict with Iranian proxies and possibly Iran itself along its border with Syria and Lebanon, it said.

The deal to contain Iran’s nuclear program, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, “is in jeopardy”, the survey said.

Although the so-called Islamic State had suffered major losses, it was inspiring “an increased tempo of terrorist attacks around the world”.

Europe is facing a ‘new normal’ of small-scale, opportunistic, random attacks that tie up the security agencies and so create space for planning of larger-scale assaults. spectacular’ attack in the US or Saudi Arabia is likewise a possibility, while more sustained threats are emerging in Asia,” the survey said.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403751-india-s-maritime-security-policy-a-key-driver-in-future-uk-think-tank

Cold Start: India's Clever Plan To Punish A Nuclear-Powered Pakistan

Cold Start: India's Clever Plan To Punish A Nuclear-Powered Pakistan
Cold Start: India's Clever Plan To Punish A Nuclear-Powered Pakistan

Cold Start: India's Clever Plan To Punish A Nuclear-Powered Pakistan
Cold Start: India's Clever Plan To Punish A Nuclear-Powered Pakistan

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Wednesday his country had developed short-range nuclear weapons to counter the 'Cold Start' doctrine adopted by the Indian Army.

The doctrine has been in talks for many years but the government and the armed forces have seldom owned it in public. In an interview, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat publicly acknowledged the existence of such a doctrine when he took charge in the beginning of this year.

What is the Cold Start Doctrine?

The name 'cold start' suggests the wish to avoid a full-scale 'hot' war. It means Indian forces making swift and hard inroads into Pakistan. Such strikes will be limited in scope so as not to give any reason to Pakistan to launch a full-scale retaliation. Surprise is a key element of the Cold Start doctrine. In traditional offence, the mobilisation of troops takes a lot of time. By then, the enemy country can not only prepare for a response but also activate international diplomatic channels to prevent Indian attack.

Why Cold Start?

The need for the Cold Start doctrine emerged out of the fact that Pakistan being a nuclear country, the war will ultimately be mutually destructive. Pakistan has used its nuclear-power status to counter India's warnings of armed conflict. Pakistan has indicated often that it would not shy away from using nuclear weapons against India. A cold start gives India an escape from the inevitability of nuclear conflict with Pakistan. A cold start allows India to attack Pakistan without the possibility of a full-scale war breaking out since cold start strikes are limited in scope and never raise enough temperature to give Pakistan a reason to mobilise its forces for a full war.

Pakistan PM Abbasi's statement reflects that the doctrine has upset Pakistan enough that it is finding ways to counter it. Pakistan and critics of the Cold Start doctrine think that India's success in a cold start depends on various factors such as terrain, the element of surprise and how Pakistan deploys its forces. But the fact that Pakistan has designed short-range nuclear weapons to counter the cold start itself implies that it has been forced by India to shun reliance on the option of a full-scale war. India has imposed its choice of a limited war on Pakistan even if Pakistan plans to fight it with smaller nuclear weapons.

Read more http://theindiansubcontinent.com/defense/item/403750-cold-start-india-s-clever-plan-to-punish-a-nuclear-powered-pakistan

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