Anticipating pressure from Biden, Pakistan accuses India of sponsoring terror - The Daily Guardian
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Anticipating pressure from Biden, Pakistan accuses India of sponsoring terror

As Islamabad is cornered internationally over sponsoring terrorism in forums like FATF and the incumbent Biden administration is likely to tweak the US-Taliban deal putting in a small contingent of US troops, a visibly worried Pakistan is making such claims.

Aveek Sen

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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar, in a joint media conference, on Saturday accused India of sabotaging the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and sponsoring supporting terrorism in Pakistan. “The first objective is to disrupt Pakistan’s path towards peace and for the same, sub-nationalism is being promoted in Gilgit-Baltistan, erstwhile FATA and Balochistan,” Qureshi said. The second objective is to disrupt Pakistan’s economy and the third objective is to create political instability in Pakistan, he said. Qureshi added that India has spent Rs. 22 billion for the purpose of carrying out acts of terror in Pakistan.

“India is sabotaging CPEC as they know the project’s success can be an economic game-changer for Pakistan. There are also reports that India has established a 700-strong militia to target CPEC projects,” he added. “[Indian intelligence agency] RAW transferred Rs55,581 through a bank, whereas, $0.82 million had been transferred to TTP commanders besides raising a militia of 700 terrorists by spending $60 million. $23.5 million funds were used creating anarchy in Balochistan. Altaf Hussain group had been given $3.23 million. India has been found involved in disrupting peace in Pakistan by assistant different organisations. In the terrorist attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) in Karachi, Indian explosive material and suicide jackets had been used by the attackers. RAW dispatched Rs22 million funds for upscaling terrorism in Pakistan, whereas, its handlers had kept meeting TTP representatives,” they said. “Arms worth $0.26 million had been given to Altaf Hussain group, whereas, India is running 87 terrorist camps. A former Indian diplomat and military general had visited a terrorist camp in Hajigak, whereas, $30 million was dispatched for establishing a camp in [Afghanistan’s] Kandahar. Four terrorist camps had been established for Altaf Hussain group where 40 terrorists received training,” they added.

At a time when the military establishment is facing pro-democracy protests from the PDM and increased protests by Baloch and Pashtuns over human rights violations, this is a diversionary tactic. Also, sections in the US are showing irritation at increased violence in Afghanistan by the Pakistan-backed Taliban. Pakistan aims to drag India’s name into sponsoring terrorism to get a clean chit from FATF and also aim these claims towards the incumbent Biden administration. Hence this attempt at creating equivalence between Pakistan and India over sponsoring terrorism is made at this point. Afghanistan has rejected these claims and proposed a UN commission to investigate. Pakistan’s military establishment is also worried about the recent bonhomie between MQM(L) led by Altaf Hussain, who ruled the roost over vital port-city Karachi and Hyderabad once, and separatist Sindhi groups like Shafi Burfat led JSMM (Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz). Mohajir and Sindhi groups, even non-separarist, have typically been at loggerheads fighting pitched street battles.

The coming together and unity between such diverse forces has spooked Pakistan. Pakistan’s military establishment is bringing back former MQM leaders to form a new minus-Altaf Grand Mohajir Alliance like it did with PSP and the MQM-Haqiqi faction in the past. They have offered them amnesty, permission to reopen sealed businesses and money in return. Haider Abbas Rizvi has already reached Pakistan. Nadeem Nusrat and Wasey Jalil in US are in contact with them and planning to go back soon. Pakistan’s military establishment is trying to gather them all on one platform against Altaf Hussain and playing Mohajir card as Altaf Hussain plays the Sindhudesh card.

As Pakistan is cornered internationally over sponsoring terrorism in forums like FATF and the incumbent Biden administration is likely to tweak the US-Taliban deal putting in a small contingent of US troops, a visibly worried Pakistan is making such claims. When it sees that it may face pressure over increased Taliban attacks, it tries to deflect the blame by trying to create a false equivalence with India over sponsoring terrorism. Claims of India supporting separatist Baloch armed groups and terrorist groups like TTP and ISIS are nothing new. It is the timing again that should be noted though.

Aveek Sen is an independent journalist working on cybersecurity and the geopolitics of India’s neighborhood, focusing on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Bangladesh. His Twitter handle : @aveeksen

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Defence

Assam Rifles honours Covid-19 warriors on Sammaan Diwas

Ashish Singh

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New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown brought lives to a standstill and most of us enjoyed the privilege of staying safe at home. But the medical community including doctors, nurses and the medical staff fought this disease on the frontline, putting their own lives at risk. The healthcare professionals had cut themselves off from their families and loved ones. Several doctors even went to the extent of sacrificing their own lives in the line of duty. As the first immunisation drive started for 44 Assam Rifles under the aegis of 22 Sector Assam Rifles (AR)/ Inspector General Assam Rifles (IGAR)- East, the battalion took the opportunity to extend gratitude to all the healthcare professionals for their service by organising ‘Sammaan Diwas’ in Tamenglong HQ.

The Commandant felicitated the Covid-19 warriors stating that the sacrifices they have made every day for the safety and welfare of humanity is priceless and deserves our lifelong gratitude. The Commandant stated that although vaccination is voluntary and is being provided by govt free of cost, yet it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of Covid-19 vaccine for protecting one- self about this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to other close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers. The Covid vaccination drive is a proud moment for us Indians and is a great milestone in India’s scientific research capability.

The Indian scientists and innovators have come forward to serve the cause for humanity. This development is an acceleration on the road to a healthier and Covid-free society. He urged the local public to come forward voluntarily to get vaccinated.

A local haat was displayed at the event showing different colours of the northeast through a range of handicrafts made of wood, bamboo and metals. These crafts, made by the villagers of Tamenglong, are part of 44 Assam Rifles’ initiative for ‘Vocal to Local ‘ to promote the crafts of the Northeast to the rest of India and provide a push to the local economy.

Due to nationwide lockdown in 2020 many local youth lost their jobs and are now struggling for their livelihood. The Northeast has earned appreciation from all across the nation for its rich culture, heritage and art. Since time immemorial craftsmanship and artistry have been a source of livelihood in rural areas.  These artisans were given tremendous respect admiration and appreciation. Lack of opportunities and demand have overshadowed the excellence, creativity and hard work of these rural artisans and their traditional artistry.

To further strengthen the Vocal for Local and Make in India initiatives, 44 Assam Rifles is helping rural artisans and craftsmen by providing skills, employment, opportunities, offering facilities to sell their products in newer markets. The unit is showcasing these local handicrafts in all its public outreach programmes to seek prospective buyers.

The Commandant also thanked Dr Pinky Sarangthem, Rapid Response Team WHO, Dr Chambo Gonmei, CMO Tamenglong & his medical team from the Office of the District Health Society, Tamenglong and the CMO, doctors and other medical staff of the battalion for their immense selfless contribution to society.

In the address to the troops and public at the event, Dr Pinky Sarangthem, RRT WHO and Dr Chambo Gonmei, CMO Tamenglong highlighted the effectiveness of the vaccine stating that the post vaccination symptoms are minimal and temporary but at the same time cautioned that drinking and smoking will interfere with the production of antibodies in the body after the vaccination has been carried out.

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Defence

Coast Guard averts major narcotics transshipment in Lakshadweep sea

Ashish Singh

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New Delhi: Indian Coast Guard has once again been successful in averting a major drug transshipment via sea route in the Lakshadweep Sea. Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft while on patrol off the Lakshadweep islands observed suspicious movements of three Sri Lankan fishing boats. The boats were continuously monitored by the CG units and were subsequently intercepted and checked at the opportune moment.

Initial investigation revealed that Sri Lankan Fishing Boat (SLFB) Akarsha Duwa was at sea for longer duration of over a fortnight. Inconsistent information received and abnormal behaviour of crew further raised the suspicion level. As the crew were giving misleading statements, they were interrogated tactfully upon which the crew admitted having been involved in smuggling of narcotics/contraband. While en-route, the crew noticed presence of Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft in the area. With the fear of getting apprehended, the crew decided to flee the area.

However, on realising that fleeing from ICG ships was impossible, they dropped five bags of contraband weighing around 260 kg of narcotics in water. The value of these narcotics in international market is approximately Rs. 2100 Cr. In a similar operation in Nov 2020, Indian Coast Guard had apprehended Sri Lankan fishing boat ‘Shenaya Duwa’ off Kanyakumari, carrying narcotics worth value approximately Rs. 1000 Cr in the International market.

Due to rough sea conditions off Minicoy Islands, the boats were brought to Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram on 7 March for further interrogation by the concerned security agencies. Post rummaging and joint investigation at Vizhinjam, SLFB Akarsha Duwa alongwith 06 Sri Lankan crew was detained for final investigation. Two other Sri Lankan boats with crew were released for handing over to Sri Lankan authorities for further investigation due to considerable quantity of fish stock onboard.

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Defence

In a first, Indian Naval Ships to visit Bangladesh’s historic port city

Ashish Singh

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New Delhi: Indian Naval Ships Sumedha, an indigenously build Offshore Patrol vessel and Kulish, an indigenously built guided missile corvette, are scheduled to make a port call at the historic port town of Mongla in Bangladesh from 8th to 10th March to commemorate the ongoing Swarnim Vijay Varsh and reiterating the historic Indo-Bangladeshi friendship.

This is the first time that any Indian Naval Ship is visiting the port of Mongla in Bangladesh and the visit is aimed at paying homage to the Bangladeshi and Indian combatants and citizens who laid down their lives during the Liberation War of 1971, and reiterate India’s firm resolve and commitment to maintain peace, stability and good order in the region, in line with SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region), as articulated by the Prime Minister. On behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff, the Commanding Officers of the ships will call on the senior Bangladesh Navy hierarchy to reaffirm Indian Navy’s solidarity and partnership with the Bangladesh Navy.

Following all Covid-19 protocols, the ships’ crew will also participate in professional and cultural exchanges as well as friendly sports fixtures with their counterparts in the Bangladesh Navy, further enhancing synergy between the two navies.

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Defence

INDIAN ARMY CELEBRATES WOMEN’S DAY AT MULTIPLE CORPS

Ashish Singh

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New Delhi: Command Hospital, Northern Command, Udhampur celebrated International Women’s Day 2021 on Monday highlighting the contributions and personal sacrifices made by lady corona warriors of Command Hospital (Northern Command) during the recent Covid pandemic. The theme of the event was “Corona Ke Vaar Pe Naari Shakti Ka Prahaar!”

Despite long working hours they put their foot forward to save innumerable lives. Experiences of these women of substance were shared with the audience. Sudha Mohan, Regional Vice President AWWA (Northern Command) was the Chief Guest and she felicitated the brave women on this occasion. Sudha Mohan also lauded the efforts of the uniformed lady health care workers during the pandemic. Speaking on the occasion, the Commandant of the Command Hospital, Northern Command, Maj Gen A.K. Jindal highlighted the compassion with which the women corona warriors worked selflessly during the fight against corona & thanked them for extreme dedication and their tireless work for the community.

Among the first Service hospitals to initiate RT-PCR testing, the Command Hospital, Northern Command at Udhampur was the first service hospital to conduct more than one lakh Covid tests. During the Covid pandemic the Command Hospital, proactively conceptualised and operationalised capacity building for Covid-19 patient care & extended full support to the Civil Administration in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.  

VIRTUAL VEER NARI MEET

As part of annual the ‘Atoot Bandhan’ initiative, Machhal Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, Kupwara organises felicitation program for the Veer Naris every year. However, this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and various advisories on the subject, it was not prudent to organise such a large gathering. Therefore, this year the event was conducted virtually in which the Veer Naris were not required to travel physically to the venue and had participated online via video-conferencing. Necessary co-ordination was done by the volunteers from the battalion for the smooth conduct of the event.

These volunteers on behalf of the battalion presented mementoes to the Veer Naris. To make this event possible, the volunteers of the battalion travelled all the way from Machhal to Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Bhavnagar & Vadodara in Gujarat, Gorakhpur (UP), Bhagalpur (Bihar), Sangrur (Punjab), Ujjain (MP), Jhunjhunu & Bhilwara in Rajasthan and Satara, Sangali, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Parbhani, Beed & Mumbai in Maharashtra. They also apprised the families regarding the activities of the battalion and about the various welfare schemes and provisions by the Government of India, State Government & the Indian Army.

The grievances and difficulties faced by the Veer Naris were also noted for resolution. This Battalion has served in Uri, Baramulla and Machhal (Kupwara) since raising in year 2004 and this was the first time in the history that local Kashmiri Youth had participated in the event and felicitated the Veer Naris on the behalf of Kashmiri Awaam. Patriotic Kashmiri citizens have physically travelled to the location of events all the way from Kashmir to express gratitude and pay their respect to the soldiers’ families who had made the supreme sacrifice for the cause of Kashmir.

NCC GIRL CADETS FELICITATED

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the NCC Directorate of Maharashtra organised an event to commemorate the contribution of Women and Girls of NCC in various fields. Yashomati Chandrakant Thakur, Honorable Minister for Woman and Child Development in the Maharashtra government, who had also been an NCC Cadet, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest along with Sunil Kedar, Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports in Govt of Maharashtra. Principals of various schools/colleges of Mumbai were present along with lady Associate NCC officers. Nearly thirty NCC Girl cadets from various schools & colleges attended the function.

Maj Gen Y.P. Khanduri, Additional Director General NCC Maharashtra Directorate and Khanduri introduced the Ministers to all the officers from NCC and the cadets from all three wings of Armed Forces who have been instrumental in various socially relevant programmes especially in times of Covid 19 pandemic. Yashomati Chandrakant Thakur also exhorted the girl cadets to continue their stellar contribution to the society and always strive hard to achieve their objectives by never giving up.

Cadet Warrant Officer Kashish Methwani of 3 Maharashtra Air Squadron Pune, who was adjudged the best cadet in the Republic Day Parade 2021 and Junior Wing Cadet Kaamya Karthikeyan of 1 Naval unit, Maharashtra were presented a memento by the Chief Guest for their achievements. Cadet Kaamya also shared her experience of an adventurous journey of being a young mountaineer and awardee of Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar for being the youngest girl to summit Mt. Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America.

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Defence

MOU BETWEEN ARMY NORTHERN COMMAND AND IIT JAMMU TO DEVELOP TECHNOLOGIES

Ashish Singh

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A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Headquarters Northern Command represented by Lt Gen S. Harimohan Iyer, Chief of Staff, Headquarters Northern Command and Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu (IIT Jammu) represented by Prof Manoj Singh Gaur, Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu.

The objective of this MoU is to leverage the academic and technological prowess of Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu and domain knowledge/ expertise of Northern Command, in development of defence technology solutions and taking up joint projects for innovative solutions to weapon systems and equipment related problems of Northern Command.

The scope of the cooperation will be Research and Development (R&D) activities related to Northern Command, leveraging IIT Jammu’s expertise and technical infrastructure, and mutual interest and benefits on Research and Development (R&D) projects to solve Army’s problems which require research and experimentation.

The cost with respect to development of the project will be borne by the respective organisations as mutually agreed upon in respect of each project.

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Defence

NCC conducts week-long combined annual training camp in Agartala

Ashish Singh

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A week-long Combined Annual Training Camp for NCC cadets of Tripura NCC units which commenced at Agartala on 28 February culminated on Sunday. About 115 Senior Division & Senior Wing Cadets from various institutions in Tripura participated in this camp.

Professor Satyadeo Poddar, Vice Chancellor, MBB University, Agartala, was the Chief Guest at the Camp Closing Ceremony who gave away Prizes to the participating Cadets. He complimented the NCC training staff for imparting excellent training to the Cadets. Sharing his personal experience as a former NCC Cadet, he exhorted the Cadets to be physically fit, mentally robust and imbibe the virtues of NCC training in letter and spirit. He emphasised upon the need to work selflessly and contribute individually as well collectively towards Nation building, keeping the Motto of NCC always as the guiding factor.  

The camp was conducted by 13 Tripura Bn NCC Agartala under the aegis of NCC Directorate, NER, Shillong and NCC Group HQ Silchar with the timely assistance of Education Department, Government of Tripura. It was the first camp to be organised post Covid-19 pandemic.  The closing event was preceded by a Swachhata Awareness Rally.

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