Saturday, January 18, 2020

As India Rejoices, TEJAS Navy Prototypes Continue Exciting Sea Party With INS Vikramaditya

Bangalore: Year 2020 certainly has touched down with new horizons and hopes for India’s naval aviation with two prototypes of the TEJAS Navy strutting their stuff on board INS Vikramaditya.

The ongoing rubber-burning-carrier-campaign of TEJAS Navy, the first-ever by these two prototypes – NP-1 (Trainer) and NP-2 (Fighter) – has generated immense interest among naval aviators across the globe.

This rare achievement of India, to make a home-grown military jet land and take-off from an aircraft carrier, has also boosted the morale of engineers, scientists, test crew, support staff and certifying agencies part of this mission.

Results Key

An Indian Navy official, who is looking into the current campaign at the Directorate level, said that the synergy at which various teams from ADA, HAL, CEMILAC, NFTC and Indian Navy worked for the current mission has set new benchmarks.

“Certainly it has been a huge learning curve for those who are on board INS Vikramaditya for the first time. It is important for us (Indian Navy) to make other stakeholders understand the challenges of operating from a carrier. For us it has become a way of life, and for many it could be the beginning of a new course,” says the top-ranked officer.

As this piece is being put together, NP-1 and NP-2 have completed 18 cycles of landings and take-offs from INS Vikramaditya since January 11.

“They (ADA, HAL, NFTC) will have to now mine the data generated from these trials. The lessons are huge and what you derive from these matters. As a professional force, we will be looking at results and deliverable,” the officer added.

Perfect Modelling

The ADA-HAL-NFTC team is elated after the successful completion of the current campaign (probably a few more days to go).

“We are happy that we were able to beat the March deadline. As per our earlier plans, we had to factor in a possible software update. However the approaches to the carrier were flawless from handling point of view (during trials before the actual arrested landing). The modelling we had done of the ship wake turned out to be very good. Hence, no software update was needed and we could the beat March deadline,” says an engineer part of the mission.

It is now confirmed that the current trails are meant only to put the platform for basic engagements.

“The target is to engage on each of the three wires. Also ship speed is being varied from maximum to minimum to check loads on aircraft and hook. This is a very systematic study to get data for design. These are not just random engagements,” he said.

With TEJAS Navy taking the social media by storm and thousands hailing India’s added might, defence observer Anshul Anand captured the mood in a tweet.

“In the history of indigenous systems, rarely has a platform gathered such positive attention. Availability rates of NP-1 & NP-2 have led to sustained murmurs in aviation circles worldwide. TEJAS Navy has arrived on the big stage,” he tweets.

HAL Has Designs On A Full TEJAS For Navy

TEJAS during its successful take off from INS Vikramaditya on January 12

It eyes lead role in light plane project

After playing a prominent supporting role in the TEJAS naval prototype’s tricky landing and take-off debuts from a Navy ship last week-end, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd eyes the prospect of fully designing and developing a twin-engine fighter plane for the Navy if or when an occasion comes up.

Asked what the successful twin acts of naval prototype NP2 mean for its manufacturer HAL, company Chairman and Managing Director R Madhavan said the recent ship-based trials will, of course, not translate to business from the Navy unless a twin-engined fighter project formalises from the Force.

Mr. Madhavan said, “It is our desire that the twin-engine Navy project be given to us so that we can design TEJAS-Navy as required. Such a step will lead to speeding up the project.”

HAL has already been deeply involved in the ongoing deck trials of the two naval prototypes; it has produced them for the Defence Research & Development Organisation DRDO. The defence public sector company has contributed to designing sub-systems of the TEJAS project - a plane that was originally started for the Air Force.

The DRDO’s special arm ADA or the Aeronautical Development Agency in Bangalore is tasked with designing and developing the TEJAS versions and future indigenous fighter planes.

Vital Parts

HAL said many critical paraphernalia and support staff for the naval prototype were its contributions, both before and during the recent trials on the ship.

It contributed the arrestor hook system, a redesigned landing gear, a speed controlling device for landings, a drooped nose to give the pilot a good view, a stronger fuselage and the fuel dump.

“We anyway design the TEJAS structures. Our engineering is proven. If it is possible to extend it to the full project, it would speed up the R&D,” Mr. Madhavan said.

“If a twin-engine naval aircraft project should come up, then HAL can offer the Navy a deck-based aircraft.” With a design house each in Bangalore and Nashik, he said HAL was up to taking up such a task.

The two Navy prototypes NP1 and NP2, seen as potential trainers, are derived from the IAF version of the indigenous light fighter. A production standard version called NP5 has also been considered.

All these are single-engine while the Navy indicated in 2016 that it needed only two-engined aircraft. With a double-engine TEJAS being some time away, more so for the Navy, it is an area of interest for its stakeholders.

Rare Capability

The second TEJAS-Navy prototype TEJAS-NP2 achieved two technologically challenging feats. On January 11 it did an arrested landing on the relatively narrow decks of the carrier INS Vikramaditya and took off the next day ìn what is called the ski jump style.

Underlining the achievement, Mr. Madhavan said only 3-4 countries have such a technology to deploy or land their fighters from the limited confines of a carrier.

Currently HAL’s fixed-wing design house is working on the HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft.

About the scope for a naval aircraft fleet an informed person said its current fleet of Russian origin MiG-29Ks are expected to go obsolete around 2028-32. Another opportunity to replenish naval aircraft could arise if the country goes in for a third aircraft carrier around the year 2040 as envisioned for the long term.

Conveyed Our Concerns To India On 'Quad' On Multiple Occasions: Russian Ambassador

Russian Ambassador said Moscow was "concerned and apprehensive" over the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US as it has completely ignored existence of Russia and China while pushing forward its agenda for the strategically key region. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had also criticised the US-led Indo-Pacific initiative , calling it a "divisive approach"

NEW DELHI: Russia on Friday said it has conveyed to India on multiple occasions its concerns over the US-backed Quadrilateral coalition for the Indo-Pacific and held that introduction of competitive structures will create friction among the countries of the region.

Russian Ambassador Nikolai Kudashev said Moscow was "concerned and apprehensive" over the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US as it has completely ignored existence of Russia and China while pushing forward its agenda for the strategically key region.

Kudashev's comments at a press conference came two days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov strongly criticised the US-led Indo-Pacific initiative, calling it a "divisive approach" to disrupt existing regional structures and contain China.

"I would say quite frankly that we expressed to India time and again our concerns about the American strategy, our concerns about the Quad. As far as I understand, our concerns were taken into consideration and our dialogue on these issues (with India) is continuing," said the Russian Ambassador.

In November 2017, India, the US, Australia and Japan gave shape to the long-pending "Quad" coalition to work closely in the Indo-Pacific region. The move was seen as an attempt to contain China's growing influence in the region.

"We need to deepen our mutual understanding of the events evolving in the Pacific ocean and Indian Ocean... Why should we introduce some competitive structure to divide the countries of the region rather than bringing them together," the Russian envoy said.

Last September, the four countries held talks at the foreign ministerial level, signalling "significant elevation" of the cooperation. The US, Japan and Australia have also been pressing for a greater role by India in the Indo-Pacific region.

In an address at the Raisina Dialogue on Wednesday, Lavrov called the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US as "divisive".

"We are concerned and apprehensive. We are not in favour of the western design and western concept of Indo-Pacific strategy. They want to negate the dialogue culture in the region. They ignored the existence of Russia and China though Russia has one of longest shores facing the Pacific," said Kudashev.

He said India's strategy is not to contain anybody and to deny anybody opportunity in the Pacific Ocean.

Asked about India being part of the US-backed 'Quad', Kudashev said: "I cannot speak for India... I am not in a position to interfere in India's foreign policy. We never mix India and the US. India is our special privileged strategic partner. This is the difference."

The Indo-Pacific has been a major focus area of India's foreign policy in the last few years and its strategy is pushing based on bringing peace and stability of the region.

Last month, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh said the Quad does not have a military role at the moment.

There has been concern in India over China's fast expanding military and economic clout in the Indo-Pacific.

Govt Snubs Jeff Bezos, Was Refused Appointment With PM, BJP Slams Amazon CEO-Owned Washington Post

NEW DELHI: Vijay Chauthaiwale, the chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP's) foreign affairs department, said there was “a lot of problem” with the newspaper’s (Washington Post) coverage of India, without giving any specific examples.

The swipe at the Post came a day after a cabinet minister gave short shrift to Amazon’s investment plans for India.

Bezos has praised India during his ongoing visit, saying the 21st century will be the Indian century and that the dynamism and energy in the country was “something special”.

“I am not opposing Amazon as a company, in fact I am a regular customer ... Jeff Bezos should go home tell Washington Post what is his impression about India,” Chauthaiwale told Reuters.

“The Washington Post editorial policy is highly biased and agenda driven.”

Washington Post’s India bureau chief, Joanna Slater, referred a Reuters request for comment to the newspaper’s spokespersons in Washington, who did not immediately respond outside regular business hours.

Chauthaiwale has in the past been critical of foreign media’s reporting on political issues, including on Kashmir, saying coverage has been biased against Modi.

Amazon did not respond to an email seeking comment on Chauthaiwale’s remarks.

In Amazon’s statement on Friday announcing the job-creation plans, Bezos said “we’re excited about what lies ahead”, but street protests this week by small retailers and adverse comments from politicians have made Bezos’ visit a public relations nightmare for Amazon.

India’s shopkeepers have represented a core constituency for the BJP since the early days of the party. And sources told Reuters that Modi, who has otherwise courted foreign investors, was unlikely to meet Bezos during his visit despite repeated requests by the company in light of traders’ concerns and an ongoing antitrust probe.

Souring Sentiment

India last year enforced stringent rules for foreign investment in e-commerce which forced Amazon to rework its business structures and strained ties between New Delhi and Washington.

In recent months, the government has said it is concerned about issues raised by India’s brick-and-mortar retailers who say they’ve been hit by Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart which flout regulations and burn billions of dollars to offer steep discounts. The companies deny the allegations.

India’s antitrust body this week launched a probe into both Amazon and Flipkart.

On Thursday, Bezos attended a company event in Mumbai with Bollywood actors such as Shah Rukh Khan and said the company would “double down” its investments on its video streaming service, Prime Video.

But the event was largely overshadowed by comments made by India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal, who raised questions about the company’s business practices while addressing a security conference in New Delhi and said Amazon had done no big favour to India by announcing a new $1 billion investment.

Industry executives and their advisers told Reuters on Friday that Goyal’s remarks were likely to put off foreign investors, denting India’s economic growth which is already projected to fall to a 11-year low this year.

“This clearly is unbecoming, and it will hurt how the world views India as a destination,” said a senior executive of a US-based company operating in India.

Not Ready For Peace With India Without Resolving Kashmir Issue In Just Manner: Pakistan Foreign Minister

Addressing the CSIS think-tank on Thursday, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan's demand that US President Donald Trump should mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue.Ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories on August 5, evoking strong reactions from Islamabad

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is not prepared to pay any price for peace with India and certainly not without resolving the Kashmir issue in a just manner, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said.

Addressing the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think-tank here on Thursday, Qureshi reiterated Pakistan's demand that US President Donald Trump should mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Ties between India and Pakistan came under severe strain after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories on August 5, evoking strong reactions from Islamabad.

Pakistan has been trying to rally international support against India on the issue.

"Our government wants peace in the neighbourhood. We want, we need peace in order to focus on achieving our domestic agenda for economic reform and development. But we are not prepared to pay any price for peace with India, certainly not our dignity and certainly not without resolving the Kashmir dispute in a just manner," Qureshi said.

He alleged that instead of fighting poverty and hunger together, the "RSS-inspired BJP government has embarked upon the project of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra".

"The adherence of Hindutva and an Akhand Bharat have established this ascendancy with disastrous consequences for all in India and the world to see," he alleged.

Qureshi said on August 5 India tried to change the "disputed status" of Jammu and Kashmir and "alter" its demographic structure, breaking all relevant international laws and "violating" several UN Security Council resolutions in the process.

India has been seeking to break the will of the Kashmiri people by imprisoning them in their homes and imposing a communications blockade that continues to this day, he said.

"Indian narrative that Kashmir is India's internal part is firmly refuted by its being on the Security Council agenda. If this were not the case, why would the French President raise it with the Indian Prime Minister?" he asked.

"We know that President Trump is profoundly worried by the Kashmir situation and we welcome his repeated offers of mediation in resolving the Kashmir dispute. The United States alone commands the moral authority and respect in South Asia to resolve the longest pending dispute on the UN agenda," he said.

"We hope president Trump is successful in realising his goal and can make a lasting contribution to substantial peace in South Asia. That could be his enduring legacy," Qureshi said.

Although President Trump has offered to mediate on the Kashmir issue in the past, New Delhi has told Washington that it is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and there is no scope for any third-party mediation.

On the sidelines of the G7 summit in the French town of Biarritz in August last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while interacting with the media alongside President Trump, categorically rejected any scope for third party mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, saying the two countries can discuss and resolve all issues bilaterally and "we don't want to trouble any third country".

On a two-day visit to Washington DC, Qureshi is scheduled to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien on Friday. On Thursday, he met lawmakers at the US Capitol.

In his speech, Qureshi referred to the recent arrest of an Indian police officer and joined the conspiracy theory about terrorist attacks in India.

"Meanwhile, we all followed reports of capture of Indian police officer, Davinder Singh, whose footprint is now being seen in some major terrorist attack, which India itself orchestrated and blamed on Pakistan," said Qureshi.

"We have been consistently warning the world community about another false flag operation against Pakistan that Davinder Singh was accompanied by two militants on his way to Delhi in close proximity to Republic Day celebrations should not be lost on anyone," the minister said.

Qureshi said that the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens were raising fundamental questions about the ideals like democracy and secularism that India's founding father passionately advocated.

He said that every other day, military officials or politicians from India make veiled threats against Pakistan.

Earlier in the day, Qureshi met members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Mumbai Blasts Terror Convict ‘Dr Bomb’, Who Jumped Parole, Nabbed In UP

Ansari, who is known as Dr Bomb, was arrested by a team of Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad with the help of a special task force of Uttar Pradesh police while he was coming out of a mosque at Faithfulganj in Kanpur at around 1 pm on Friday

Jalees Ansari had gone missing from his second-floor residence at Ittehaad Co-operative Society in Mumbai’s Mominpura area on Thursday morning.

Jalees Ansari, convicted for carrying out several blasts in trains in 1993, was arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur on Friday, more than 24 hours after he went missing from Mumbai before reporting back to prison at the end of his parole.

Vinay Rathod, the deputy commissioner of police (ATS), confirmed Ansari was arrested from Kanpur and said he would be brought to Mumbai soon.

The team also recovered Rs 47,780 in cash from Ansari along with his PAN and Aadhar cards, officials said.

Ansari had gone missing from his second-floor residence at Ittehaad Co-operative Society in Mumbai’s Mominpura area on Thursday morning.

“Ansari was serving life imprisonment in Ajmer central prison in Rajasthan but he was brought to Mumbai and was kept in Arthur Road Jail. He was released from Arthur Road on parole a month ago and was supposed to report back on January 17 by 11 am,” said a Mumbai crime branch officer.

Ansari has been accused of plotting and executing several bomb blasts across the country in the early nineties to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya in 1992.

He allegedly helped set off a series of 43 explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate explosions on trains on December 6, 1993, the first anniversary of the Babri Masjid’s demolition. He was convicted for carrying out the blasts in trains.

One of his three daughters, who did not want to be identified, said Ansari woke up around 4:30 am on Thursday when the family was sleeping and left the house without telling anyone.

“My mother woke up around 6 am and thought that he has gone to prayers as usual. But when he did not return by 7 am, we started inquiring with our neighbours but no one had seen him while going,” the daughter said.

She said he had come home on December 28 and had to report back to Arthur Road Jail on January 17. She said he did not say anything and that they were not aware why and where he had gone.

“After coming out on parole he only used to go out for prayers in the morning. We inquired with neighbours where he used to go for breakfast or have tea but no one was aware,” said another daughter.

Ansari’s son Zahid said everyone in his family was worried after they learnt about his disappearance.

“We all want that my father should be arrested soon. We are cooperating with the police and making all possible efforts to search for him,” Ansari’s son Zahid said before his arrest.

“As soon as we learnt that he left the house with his bag, we immediately inquired with the neighbours and relatives, and informed Agripada police station…” he said.

Ansari’s wife had approached the Agripada police station on Thursday after they found Ansari’s phone switched off and tried to locate him but could not establish any contact.

Mumbai Police along with the anti-terrorism squad, crime branch and several other wings of the police force had been looking for him.

Lukewarm Response To Kashmir Issue From International Community, Admits Imran Khan

BONN (GERMANY): Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday admitted that there are no takers of the Kashmir issue from the international community.

In an interview with DW, a German state-owned public international broadcaster, Khan said that there has been a "lukewarm response" to the Kashmir issue and said that "commercial interests are more important for the Western countries".

"Unfortunately, commercial interests are more important for Western countries. India is a big market and that is the reason behind the lukewarm response to what is happening to some 8 million people in Kashmir, as well as to minorities in India," he said.

"Sadly, yes. Consider the sort of media attention the Hong Kong protests are getting. The tragedy of Kashmir is much greater," Khan told DW's Ines Pohl when asked whether the world is paying little attention to the Kashmir issue. Khan once again devoted a major part of his interview by raking up anti-India rhetoric and said that New Delhi did not respond to Pakistan's peace overtures because of what he called "RSS ideology".

Asked about the rise in tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir, Khan said: "I was the first leader to warn the world about what is happening in India. India has been taken over by an extremist ideology known as 'Hindutva.' It is the ideology of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)."

"The RSS, a political organisation founded in 1925, was inspired by the German Nazis, and its founding fathers believed in racial supremacy. Just as the Nazi ideology was built on hatred for minorities, the RSS ideology is also based on hatred for Muslims and other minorities, including Christians," he continued.

"After I became prime minister, I made an effort to talk to the Indian government and Prime Minister Modi. In my first speech as prime minister, I said that if India moved one step forward, we would take two steps toward to resolve our differences. But I soon came to know that India did not respond well to my offer because of the RSS ideology," he stated.

Khan made the comments days after China and Pakistan held an informal closed-door consultation on Kashmir in the UN Security Council in New York, more than five months after India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in August.

India's ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said that the overwhelming majority of the UNSC believed that the world body was not the right forum to discuss the Kashmir issue.

"An effort was made by Pakistan through a member of UNSC to once again misuse the platform of UNSC. The overwhelming majority of UNSC was of the view that the UNSC was not the right forum for such issues and it should be discussed bilaterally between India and Pakistan," Kumar had said during the weekly press briefing in New Delhi.

"The formal closed-door meeting, therefore, ended without any outcome. In our view, it was once again highlighted Pakistan desperate measures to peddle baseless allegations and present an alarming scenario it lacks any credibility," the spokesperson said.

The UNSC's closed-door meeting was called to discuss an issue relating to an African country. China made a request to deliberate on the Kashmir issue under the agenda of "Any Other Business Points." No other UNSC member, barring China, commented on the meeting after it ended given that it was an informal consultation.

India has time and again made it clear that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan and there is no scope for third-party mediation.

'Ridiculous': Owaisi Slams CDS General Bipin Rawat Over His Counter-Radicalisation of Youth In Kashmir Remark

Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2020, CDS General Bipin Rawat had said that India should start counter-radicalisation programs in Kashmir. During the discussion, Rawat had also said called for the need to carry out a US-like war on terror against countries sponsoring terrorism. What about de-radicalisation of "Badla" Yogi & "Pakistan jao" Meerut SP? - Owaisi said

New Delhi: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has hit out at Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat over his statement that programs aimed at counter-radicalisation of youth in Kashmir should be started for saving them. In a series of tweets, Owaisi said that this is 'not the first ridiculous statement' Rawat has made. Owaisi also questioned who will de-radicalise "Badla" Yogi & "Pakistan jao" Meerut SP?

"Who'll deradicalise lynchers & their political masters? What about those opposing citizenship for Assam's Bengali Muslims? Maybe de-radicalise "Badla" Yogi & "Pakistan Jao" Meerut SP? Maybe de-radicalise those imposing hardship on us through NPR-NRC?"

This is not the first ridiculous statement he has made. The policy is decided by a civilian administration, not by any General. By speaking on policy/politics, he is undermining civilian supremacy," Owaisi said in another tweet.

During a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue 2020, Rawat had underlined the need to start counter-radicalisation programs while identifying who are the people to have been radicalised and to what degree.

'We Rule The Skies': IAF Tweets Photo of Sukhoi Su-30MKI Fighter Pilots

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI, code named 'Flanker-H' by NATO, is a twin-jet multi-role air superiority heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter jet, developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under license by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is striking terror into the hearts of its enemies with the help of formidable fighting machines such as the Sukhoi Su-30MKIs, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29UPGs, Mirage-2000s, Jaguars and the indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, the Air Force said in a statement.

The IAF on Friday posted a tweet from its official handle on the social media site with the caption "We Rule the Skies" and posted a photo of IAF fighters on a mission inside the formidable Sukhoi-30 MKI.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI, code named 'Flanker-H' by NATO, is a twin jet multi-role air superiority heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter jet, developed by Russia's Sukhoi and built under license by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

While the initial deal signed between India and Russia 20 years ago was for the manufacture of 140 Sukhoi Su-30MKIs, IAF's arsenal currently includes over 250 Sukhoi Su-30MKIs. 272 such jets will be operated by the Air Force. While the jet is configured to carry one 30 mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 auto cannon along with 8,130 kilograms of external armament including missiles and bombs on its 12 hardpoints, the IAF is modifying 42 Su-30MKIs to launch the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. IAF's lethality will increase manifolds once the modified Su-30MKIs capable of launching BrahMos missiles join the service.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will oversee the induction ceremony of Su-30MKIs with BrahMos missiles in the 222 Squadron (Tigersharks) on January 20. With the capability to strike targets over the vast seas surrounding India's western, eastern and southern coasts, the Tigersharks will help the country maintain a tight vigil over strategically important Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Tigersharks Squadron was raised on September 15, 1969, with Su-7 fighters and later flew the MiG-27 jets.

With the French Rafale jets also in the process of joining the IAF, the force will become the undisputed ruler of the skies in Asia. Su-30MKI and Rafale combination will give unparalleled muscle to the IAF in comparison to its adversaries particularly the Pakistani Air Force and China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).


China Defends Decision To Raise Kashmir Issue At UNSC, Says 'Dispute Should Be Resolved Peacefully'

China today defended its decision to raise the Kashmir issue in the UNSC and said that this “dispute” should be resolved peacefully

New Delhi: Defending its decision to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council, China today said that its position on the issue of Kashmir is consistent and clear. Issuing the statement, Chinese Foreign Ministry called Kashmir issue “a dispute left over from history” and added that it should be resolved properly and peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.

Beijing had earlier defended its interference in India’s internal matter by saying it was only trying to de-escalate Indo-Pak tensions and raised the issue at the UNSC out of "Goodwill".

It had further claimed that most of the members of the council have voiced their concern over the situation in the Valley.

This statement from Beijing comes after India asserted that China's latest attempt to raise the Kashmir issue at the UNSC on Pakistan's behalf had failed miserably with an overwhelming majority of the 15-member body saying it was not the right forum to discuss the bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.

China Isolated In Pak Corner at UNSC As Other P5 Nations Refuse To Discuss 'Bilateral Issue' Kashmir

Despite China's second failed attempt in five months, India is bracing up for any possible developments in March when China takes over the rotational presidency at UNSC

New Delhi: China on Wednesday once again mentioned the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council in a closed-consultation meeting but its second bid since August last year to internationalise the dispute over Kashmir came a cropper.

Four other permanent five members clearly said the issue is a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.

French diplomatic sources told News 18 even before the start of the meeting that their position has not changed and is very clear: the Kashmir issue must be settled bilaterally. They said they have stated this on several occasions and will continue to reiterate to our partners on the United Nations Security Council.

Sources said while UK urged that the matter be resolved bilaterally, US said there was no need to discuss this issue at the Security Council.

Russian envoy to UN tweeted his country's stand within minutes after the meeting ended.

Dmitry Polyanskiy said: “Russia firmly stands for the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan. We hope that differences between them will be settled through bilateral efforts based on the 1972 Shimla Agreement and the 1999 Lahore Declaration.”

Another current UNSC member Germany was also of the view that UNSC was not the place to discuss Kashmir dispute, accordingly to sources.

In December last year, China had been testing waters to bring up the matter of the Kashmir dispute again at UNSC by looking for closed consultations. At that time, a source from a P5 country had pointed out that it should be no surprise that China would want the matter revisited five to six months after the abrogation of Article 370, a move that revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and triggered the debate in the first place.

What is noteworthy is that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was in New York as this second bid was attempted.

He met the UN secretary general and the press release states that he welcomed the consideration of the issue for the second time in five months by the UNSC and that it "reaffirms the disputed status as per UNSC resolutions."

India's defence minister Rajnath Singh had said that the only dispute that now remains is the status of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Shah Mehmood Qureshi also met the President of the UN General Assembly. In what is being considered as a signal being sent out to Pakistan, the Vietnamese permanent representative Dang Dinh Quy met him not in the UNSC president office but in the mission office. Vietnam is currently holding UNSC presidency for the month.

India's permanent representative at UN Syed Akbaruddin said, "We are glad that it was pointed out by many friends that bilateral mechanisms are available to raise and address issues that Pakistan may have in its ties with India. Pakistan's practice of using false pretences to distract from the malaise that afflict it has run its course today."

Despite China's second failed attempt in five months, India is bracing up for any possible developments in March when China takes over the rotational presidency at UNSC.

India is not a UNSC member currently and hectic diplomatic parleys behind the scenes by Indian diplomats have so far ensured China is unable to use its P5 status beyond getting to mention Kashmir at closed consultations.

Opposition Parties Differ On Imran Khan’s India Visit For SCO

Imran Khan could be in New Delhi as India will play host to the annual meeting of the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) later this year

Leaders of several opposition parties differed on Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan’s possible visit to India this year as some remained guarded and others said they supported the government in its decisions on foreign affairs.

Imran Khan could be in New Delhi as India will play host to the annual meeting of the council of heads of government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) later this year. However, it remains unclear whether he will accept an invite that India is going to send out.

Congress leader Anand Sharma said that since India, as a host, has to extend an invitation to Pakistan, the party would reserve its comments.

“It would be Pavlovian to comment on the development at this moment. As a host country, India is bound to invite Pakistan. We don’t know yet if Pakistan would accept,” said Sharma.

The Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP’s) Majeed Memon said that when it comes to external affairs, the party stands with the government. It is only on internal matters like the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Population Register that the party stands opposed to the government.

“We want cordial relationships with our neighbours and a shrewd and successful diplomatic policy by the Indian government. We need India to articulate among global partners that it is a victim of terrorism emanating from one’s neighbourhood,” said Memon.

He added that it will be in Pakistan’s interest, as well, to understand that Kashmir is a bilateral issue which can only be discussed on the table in a peaceful manner.

“There’s no room for intimidation,” he added.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Manoj Jha said that there is a complete lack of consistency on the government’s position on Pakistan.

“At one point we are severing ties, and at another, we are inviting them. Mature democracies do not work like that,’ Jha said.

India will be hosting the meeting of the council of heads of government of the China-led SCO for the first time this year.

India and Pakistan were admitted to the eight-member economic and security bloc in 2017, sixteen years after it was founded in 2001 by Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Travel To Kashmir And See For Yourself: Russia To Doubters of Normalcy In J&K

Russia has reacted to Pakistan and China's latest bid to bring up the Kashmir matter for discussion during the closed-door consultations of the United Nations Security Council

New Delhi: Russia on Friday extended all-out support to India over the issue of Kashmir, stating anything related to Kashmir was an “internal matter belonging to constitutional space of India”. Russia’s Ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev, also criticised the latest bid by Pakistan and China to raise the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Security Council.

China had earlier this week, at the behest of Pakistan, sought to raise the Kashmir issue at the closed-door consultations at the UNSC. However, other members of the 15-nation council refused to take up the issue calling it a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan.

Reacting on this, the Russian envoy said: “As far as the discussions within the UNSC are concerned, we have never been in favour of bringing this issue into the United Nations agenda. This is strictly a bilateral matter for India and Pakistan to discuss on the basis of the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.”

Kudashev also reacted on foreign envoys' recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir, where restrictions imposed after the August 5, 2019 revocation of special status are being gradually revoked.

“Those who are concerned about the situation in Kashmir, those who put in doubt the Indian policies in Kashmir, they could travel if they wish. They could see for themselves. We never put it in doubt,” Kudashev said, in a vindication of the Indian government’s stand that normalcy was fast returning to the Valley plagued by terrorism.

Pakistan’s Bid To Paint Alarmist Situation of Kashmir Fell Flat, Glad Our Friends Backed Us: Syed Akbaruddin

India’s diplomatic allies, including France and the US, backed the country’s stand on the Kashmir issue. Akbaruddin stated that “those who attempted to raise Kashmir got a stinging response”, referring to China’s isolation at the UN following its attempts to once again raise the issue. India abrogated Article 370 and revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year

Washington DC: India on Wednesday lashed out at China and Pakistan for falsely painting an alarmist picture of Kashmir during a closed-door meeting at the United Nations Security Council and said that none of the claims was found credible.

India’s diplomatic allies, including France and the US, backed the country’s stand on the Kashmir issue.

“The outcome of the consultations was on expected lines. We are happy that neither the alarmist scenario painted by the representatives of Pakistan nor any of the baseless allegations made repeatedly by various representatives of Pakistan in the UN fora were found to be credible,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

India Supports US-Taliban Negotiated Peace Deal: CDS

The newly appointed CDS officially confirmed that India has shifted its stance on Taliban. India has traditionally been opposed to the Pakistan-backed Taliban in Afghanistan

New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said that he supported a negotiated peace deal between the US and Taliban in Afghanistan. Gen. Rawat was speaking along with other world leaders at Raisina dialogue organised by India's influential think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

Arguing that terrorism was going to stay in the world as long as states were going to use it against other states, he said it was important to prevent states from using terrorism as a "proxy war". "The only way to deal with it was what the US did post 9/11," he said, adding that the war against terror was necessary.

However, now a peace deal with Taliban is required, Gen. Rawat said. "It must be a negotiated peace deal so that the Taliban stops using terrorism," he added. Hinting that the US should maintain its presence in Afghanistan, the CDS said that though Afghan security forces are now equipped to fight back terror groups in Afghanistan but they still need support.

The newly appointed CDS officially confirmed that India has shifted its stance on Taliban. India has traditionally been opposed to the Pakistan-backed Taliban in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghans were given refuge in India when they fled the country due to oppression and terrorism of the Taliban regime. India is in alignment with the democratically elected government in Kabul that the Taliban remains supported by Pakistan.