Thursday, June 20, 2024

VENGEANCE EXACTED: Retired Pakistan Brigadier Behind 2018 Attacks In J&K Killed By Unknown Gunmen In Jhelum, Pakistan

Retired Pakistan army Brigadier and key ISI figure who facilitated terror attack on India, Amir Hamza, was killed by unknown gunmen in Pakistan's Jhelum district in Punjab late on Monday

Hamza was known for his involvement in ISIS-planned attacks against India. He was alleged as one of the masterminds behind the 2018 attack on Sunjwan Army camp in Jammu and Kashmir. As many as six jawans were killed and 12 others were injured in the attack.

Hamza’s car was ambushed by four men on motorcycles when he had reached the Lilla interchange in Jhelum. The shooters surrounded his car before the pillions fired successfully and fled the area.

Hamza’s wife and daughter, who were with him in a car, were also injured. The shooters did not take away any belongings, said Pakistan police as reported by TOI. The rescue services confirmed the injuries suffered to terrorist supporters wife and daughter.

Hamza’s brother, Ayub, was an eyewitness as he was behind the car on a motorcycle, reported the Pakistani media.

"We are investigating it as a 'blind murder case.' We have registered a case and probe into the targeted attack is underway,” said Pakistan police to local media.

Hamza held key supervisory posts after retirement. His last position was as director general of the Emergency Services Academy (1122).

The killing marks the elimination of the second Pakistani involved in the Sunjwan attack. LeT commander Khwaja Shahid alias Mia Muajhid was killed in November 2023. He was found beheaded near the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The police said that it was a targeted killing and that the retired army official had no personal enmity. The killing is the latest among the series of recent Pakistanis linked to ISI-engineered attacks in India. In April, Amir Sarfaraz, a key ISI henchman and heavily protected, was killed by unidentified gunmen in Lahore. Unidentified men had also gunned down Adnan Ahmed aka Abu Hanzala, a top ranking Lashkar-e-Taiba commander and plotter of a series of attacks on security convoys in Jammu and Kashmir over the years, in Karach in December 2023. In October last year, Jaish-e-Muhammed terrorist Shahid Latif, chief handler of the fedayeen squad (suicide squad) that attacked the Pulwama air base in 2016 was killed in Sialkot.

India's Race For Cobalt in Contested Ocean Waters

India is currently racing to secure rights to explore a cobalt-rich underwater mountain in the Indian Ocean. This bid is driven by concerns over China's presence in the region and its dominance in the global cobalt supply chain.

Cobalt is a critical mineral used in electric vehicles and batteries, making it a vital element in the green energy transition. India's application to explore the cobalt-rich underwater mountain comes at a time when Sri Lanka is also looking to mine the region for precious minerals.

India has applied to the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for rights to explore two vast tracts in the Indian Ocean seabed. One of these regions is the Afanasy Nikitin Seamount (AN Seamount), which is known for its rich deposits of cobalt, nickel, manganese, and copper. The AN Seamount rises from an oceanic depth of about 4,800 km to about 1,200 meters and has been surveyed for about two decades.

To extract these minerals, interested countries must first apply for an exploration license to the ISA, which is an autonomous international organization established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

India's application to explore the cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts of the Afanasy-Nikitin Seamount has faced challenges, as another unnamed country has claimed the seabed area that India has applied for.

India's efforts to secure rights to explore cobalt-rich areas in the Indian Ocean are driven by concerns over China's presence in the region and its dominance in the global cobalt supply chain. Cobalt is a critical mineral used in electric vehicles and batteries, making it an essential element in the green energy transition.

India's application to explore the cobalt-rich underwater mountain is part of its strategy to secure access to critical minerals and reduce dependence on imports from countries like the UK, China, and Norway.

India's exploration efforts in the Indian Ocean are significant as they aim to tap into high-quality minerals from largely unstudied ocean areas. The demand for critical minerals is surging, and exploring the oceans may provide a valuable alternative source.

India's race for cobalt in contested ocean waters reflects the broader competition between countries like China, Russia, and India to access the vast mineral resources found thousands of meters below the surface of the oceans. These resources are crucial for renewable energy production, electric vehicles, and battery technology.

Finally, India's bid to explore cobalt-rich areas in the Indian Ocean is driven by concerns over China's dominance in the global cobalt supply chain and the need to secure access to critical minerals for the green energy transition. The application is currently facing challenges due to competing claims over the seabed area.

Our Bureau

India Plans To Develop 28nm Chip Technology; Could Catapult India To Semiconductor Manufacturing Leadership

Experts say this particular node is one of the most resilient commercially

India's Strategic Entry Into Semiconductor Manufacturing

India is eyeing 28nm chip technology as a strategic entry point into semiconductor manufacturing. This move is seen as an opportunity for India to establish itself as a tier-1 semiconductor nation and strengthen its position in the global semiconductor value chains.

Importance of 28nm Chip Technology

The choice of 28nm chip technology is significant for several reasons. First, the chances of denial of access to the deep ultraviolet (DUV) technology used in the 28nm process are lower compared to more advanced technologies like extreme ultraviolet (EUV) or EUV-High NA technologies used for 10nm or lower geometry. Second, 28nm CMOS Logic node with high-performance computing optimized platforms is considered the right entry point for India in 2024. Additionally, the 28nm node is versatile and has been repurposed for various applications, including IoT, automotive, connected devices, and smart appliances.

India's Subsidies And Commitment To Semiconductor Manufacturing

India is offering unparalleled subsidies, commitment from the highest level of government, and a fast pace of doing business for semiconductor manufacturing and packaging players. This favourable environment is attracting attention and making India an attractive destination for semiconductor manufacturing.

Potential Benefits For India

India's entry into semiconductor manufacturing has several potential benefits. It can enhance the country's manufacturing capacity for export-oriented component production, strengthen its position in global semiconductor value chains, and localize the electronics supply chain. Moreover, semiconductor manufacturing can reduce India's dependency on imports for essential infrastructure like defence and power.

Challenges And Recommendations

Despite the opportunities, there are challenges that India needs to address. The lack of infrastructure and the absence of a legacy in the semiconductor business have kept top players away from investing in India. To overcome these challenges, industry experts recommend focusing on the 28nm technology node and becoming a raw material supplier to the global semiconductor industry. Acquiring an existing foundry in good condition could jump-start semiconductor manufacturing in India and help develop the necessary skills and base for subsequent fabless foundries.

Finally, India's strategic entry into semiconductor manufacturing through 28nm chip technology is a significant step towards establishing itself as a major player in the global semiconductor industry. With favourable subsidies, commitment from the government, and a growing domestic market, India has the potential to strengthen its position in the semiconductor value chains and reduce dependency on imports for critical infrastructure.

Our Bureau

Two Terrorists Killed In Sopore Encounter

Two unidentified terrorists have been killed in an encounter in Hadipora in Sopore. This is the second encounter since Monday in north Kashmir. Security forces comprising army, police and the CRPF launched a search and cordon operation in Hadipora village on Wednesday after they received specific input about the presence of terrorists.

Two days after the killing a top local Lashkar commander in Bandipore, two unidentified terrorists have been killed in an encounter in Hadipora in Sopore.

This is the second encounter since Monday in north Kashmir. Security forces comprising army, police and the CRPF launched a search and cordon operation in Hadipora village on Wednesday morning after they received specific input about the presence of terrorists.

The search operation turned into an encounter which is still in progress. A senior officer said that two unidentified terrorists have been killed during the encounter. “The operation is still under progress.”

Army has confirmed the killing of two terrorists in the encounter.

“On specific intelligence input regarding presence of terrorists, a joint operation was launched by #IndianArmy &@JmuKmrPolice today in Hadipora area of PD Sopore; two terrorists eliminated, operation in progress,” Army spokesman said on X.

On Monday in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district security forces killed a local terrorist who was identified as Umar Akbar Lone, a category A terrorist of Lashkar-e-Taiba who was active since 2018.

In March security forces killed two terrorists at Check Mohalla Nowpora in Sopore after a joint operation by police, army and the CRPF. Police and army had launched several operations in neighbouring Rafiabad and Sopore to track down the terrorists.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

China Claims Fusion Tech Breakthrough With World's First Hh70 Tokamak: Chinese Media Report

China witnessed a historic moment with the completion and operation of the world's first fully high-temperature superconducting tokamak device, named HH70, in its eastern Municipality of Shanghai on Tuesday, marking a significant leap forward in global fusion technology development for clean energy, reported Chinese Communist Party bullhorn CGTN.

Tokamak devices, often called "artificial suns," are traditionally large and expensive.

Designed and built by a commercial company, Energy Singularity, the HH70 is smaller and cheaper to produce, paving the way for more commercially viable fusion reactors in the future, said Guo Houyang, co-founder and CTO of Energy Singularity.

The HH70 boasts a magnetic system constructed from high-temperature superconducting materials, a global first. Energy Singularity achieved this feat within two years, setting a world record for the fastest development and construction of a superconducting tokamak device.

The successful operation of the HH70 marks a significant milestone for China. It signifies a major step forward in verifying the engineering feasibility of high-temperature superconducting tokamaks, paving the way for a clean and sustainable energy future.

According to the World Energy Outlook, if fossil fuel like oil, natural gas and coal gradually exit the global market, humans will face more than a 10 percent energy shortage by 2050. This is a huge opportunity and a challenge for taming controlled nuclear fusion energy.

Over the past few years, breakthroughs in high-temperature superconducting materials and other technologies have made it possible to develop an economically viable tokamak, according to Guo. The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion. Controlled nuclear fusion offers a clean and sustainable energy solution that could help combat climate change and resource depletion, said Gao.

By 2027, Energy Singularity aims to build a next-generation tokamak, a steady-state, high-magnetic-field, high-temperature superconducting model. This project will lay the groundwork for commercially viable fusion energy acquisition, with an ultimate goal of a demonstration power plant by 2030, Guo added.

As Per A Chinese Media Report

Made In India Pinaka System Attracts Interest

The Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher system, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and manufactured by various private and public sector firms in India, has attracted interest from European and Southeast Asian countries. This weapon system has been one of the first few Indian military terms to be exported to foreign countries, including Armenia. Private sector companies involved in the project include Larsen & Toubro, TATA Defence, and Economic Explosives Limited, according to a TOI report.

At the Eurosatory 2024 Defence Show in Paris, India's indigenous military technologies, including the Pinaka system, have garnered attention from European and Southeast Asian nations interested in acquiring these advanced systems. The Indian Army has a requirement of 23 regiments of the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher as part of its larger artillery modernization plans.

The Pinaka system has also attracted interest from South American countries due to its capabilities. The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is working on developing long-range rockets for the Pinaka system, which would be able to strike targets at distances of 120 km and 200 km.

India has been making serious efforts to promote defence exports, with defence exports reaching a record ₹21,083 crore (about USD 2.63 billion) in the financial year 2023-24, a growth of 32.5% over the previous fiscal year.

Overall, the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher system has generated significant interest from various countries, showcasing the success of indigenous Indian military technologies in the global defence market.

Our Bureau

Reasi Attack Terrorist, Disguised As Guide, Arrested In J&K: Cops

Further interrogation and investigation of the case is going on, police said

Jammu: J&K Police on Wednesday said "a major breakthrough" has been made in the June 9 Reasi terror attack, in which 9 pilgrims were killed and 44 others injured, with the arrest of a terror associate.

"A major breakthrough has been achieved in the case pertaining to the terrorist attack on the pilgrim bus which was coming from Shiv Khori on June 9. In this connection, one terror associate, namely Hakam, 45, has been arrested at Reasi. This person was involved in harbouring the terrorists multiple times," SSP, Reasi, Mohita Sharma said.

"Along with providing food and shelter, the said person also acted as a guide and helped them reach the spot of the incident. The arrested person is a prime terror associate who helped the terrorists in the execution of the attack. Further interrogation and investigation of the case is going on," she added.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

United States And India Share A Unique Bond of Friendship, Says White House

NEW DELHI: The United States and India, being the world's oldest and largest democracies, share a special bond of friendship. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's visit to New Delhi aims to further strengthen the US-India partnership, contributing to a more secure and thriving Indo-Pacific region, the White House has said.

Sullivan's trip marks the first visit by a high-ranking Biden administration official since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government assumed power for its third term.

During his visit, Sullivan met with Prime Minister Modi and his Indian counterpart, Ajit Doval, on Monday. John Kirby, White House National Security Communications Advisor, emphasized that "As the world's two oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India share a unique bond of friendship, and Mr Sullivan's trip will further deepen the already strong US-India partnership to create a safer and more prosperous Indo-Pacific."

In New Delhi, Sullivan co-chaired the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), a significant partnership aimed at expanding strategic cooperation across key technology sectors, including space, semiconductors, advanced telecommunications, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, biotechnology, and clean energy.

Kirby refrained from commenting on the case of Indian national Nikhil Gupta, who has been extradited to the US from the Czech Republic for his alleged involvement in a murder-for-hire plot against Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun on American soil. Gupta appeared before a federal court in New York on Monday and pleaded not guilty. India has stated that a high-level inquiry is investigating the evidence provided by the US in the alleged plot.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

DRI Issues Show Cause Notice To Pakistan Based Bank For Importing Dual-Use Nuclear Equipment

Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has issued a show cause notice under Section 124 of the Customs Act, 1962, to Allied Bank Limited, based in Lahore, Pakistan. The bank is alleged to be the guarantor and importer of dual-use nuclear equipment and machinery which was seized at the Nhava Sheva port in January, 2024. The notice was issued through the ministry of external affairs recently. The seized machine is known as Nuclear Dual Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machine at Nhava Sheva Port in January. The machine was en route from China to Karachi, and following a sensitive tip-off, it was offloaded at Nhava Sheva Port for further investigation..

The CNC machine is capable of serving both civilian and potentially military purposes, including in Pakistan's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) filed a report confirming the dual-use (both civil and military) nature of the consignment, which led to its seizure. According to DRDO findings, the possibility of the equipment being used for Pakistan’s nuclear program could not be ruled out.

According to sources, the investigation revealed that Allied Bank Limited, a Pakistani commercial bank based in Lahore, Punjab, has allegedly been identified as the guarantor and consignee of the nuclear dual CNC machine. The bank allegedly presented that the consignment was for Pakistan Wings Private Limited, a company based in Sialkot, Pakistan, identified as a leading sea and air freight consolidator and third-party logistics provider, according to its corporate profile. The initial investigation by the nodal agency found that several documents were masked with a web of companies that did not appear to be substantially linked to the import of CNC machines. In 2020, Allied Bank Limited was named among the global banks flagged by the US Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for money laundering.

The nodal agency is seeking an explanation regarding the nature and intended use of an imported CNC machine. The notice compels to Allied Bank Limited, and Pakistan Wings Private Limited to clarify the purpose of importing this specific machine.

According to sources, initial documents indicated that Shanghai JXE Global Logistics Co. Ltd was the consignor, with the consignment delivered to Pakistan Wings Pvt Ltd in Sialkot, and Allied Bank Limited recognized as the guarantor and consignee. However, deeper investigation revealed that the CNC consignment was actually shipped by Taiyuan Mining Import and Export Co Ltd, located in Shanxi province of China. and this consignment was intended for Cosmos Engineering, a defence supplier in Pakistan.

The show cause notice was issued as suspicion intensified due to several factors. The CNC machine, seized by Indian authorities on January 23 and suspected of having potential use in nuclear weapons, has not been claimed by the importer company Pakistan Wings Private Limited and the guarantor Allied Bank Limited to date. Additionally, the documents, bills, and paperwork showed that identities were masked, and there was involvement of Cosmos Engineering, a Pakistan defense supplier which came under the radar of security agencies in 2022 as well when Indian authorities intercepted a shipment of Italian-made thermoelectric instruments at the Nhava Sheva port.

The Dual Machine Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) is currently held in the Customs Container Freight Station (CFS) area under tight security. The CNC machine controlled by super computer to produce a scale of efficiency, consistency and accuracy not possible manually for achieving critical nuclear fusion is a dual-use military-grade equipment.

The CNC machine, allegedly used by North Korea in its nuclear program, is considered a critical component and would be useful in manufacturing critical parts for Pakistan's nuclear missile development program.

In the Show Cause Notice, the nodal authority provided details of the investigation. Based on intelligence input, customs authorities intercepted a Malta-flagged merchant ship named CMA CGM Attila at the port en route to Karachi on January 23rd. They inspected a consignment weighing 22,180 kilograms, which contained a CNC machine. During the inspection conducted by officials from the DRI and Customs, sensitive cargo was discovered. Subsequently, these officials informed the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) to examine the cargo and determine its exact nature. After conducting its analysis, the DRDO filed a report confirming the dual-use (both civil and military) nature of the consignment, which led to its seizure. According to the sources DRDO findings said the possibility of the equipment being used for Pakistan’s nuclear program could not be ruled out.

Since 1996, CNC machines have been covered under the Wassenaar Arrangement, which is an international agreement aimed at controlling the transfer of dual-use goods and technologies that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. India is one of the 42 member countries involved in this arrangement, where information on transfers of such items is shared to prevent their proliferation.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

How The Gulf Became Integral Part of India's 'Extended Neighbourhood' Under PM Modi

New Delhi: The Gulf region has become an increasingly important strategic partner of India and an integral part of its 'extended neighbourhood' under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a report by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) stated.

PM Modi's second-last visit before the Lok Sabha elections was to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar

India's relationship with the Gulf states has transformed ever since PM Modi assumed office in 2014. The Gulf has become a foreign-and security-policy priority for India, in which New Delhi too has increasing interests and influence, writes Viraj Solanki, a Research Fellow for South and Central Asian Defence, Strategy and Diplomacy, IISS in the report for the ISPI.

Earlier, the relationship was focused only on energy, trade and Indian expatriates, the relationship evolved into a new framework encompassing political relations, investment, and defence and security cooperation.

Today, India's priorities include attracting investments to increase economic growth, addressing regional security concerns (including in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf), and enhancing its regional presence and influence.

Prime Minister Modi's visit to UAE in 2015 was the first by an Indian prime minister to the UAE in 34 years, while his August 2019 visit to Bahrain was the first ever made by an Indian prime minister. His recent UAE visit was his seventh to the Gulf nation.

India has a large stake in Gulf stability given that approximately 8.8 million Indian nationals reside in the region.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is India's largest regional bloc trading partner. Trade with the GCC comprised 15.8 per cent of India's total trade in FY2022-23, compared to 11.6 per cent of total trade with the European Union.

The UAE has consistently been India's principal trading partner within the Gulf and is India's third-largest trading partner overall, with Saudi Arabia in fourth place.

India's growing strategic and economic interests in the Gulf region have resulted in a new framework for India-Gulf ties based on investment, political relations, and defence and security cooperation.

The increased Gulf investments in India have also increased economic cooperation between India and the Gulf. Most notably, with India becoming an increasingly attractive economic market, Saudi Arabia and the UAE had announced investment targets in India of USD 100 billion and USD 75 billion, respectively.

The UAE is the seventh largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in India, currently at USD 15.3 billion. Saudi Arabia had invested USD 3.2 billion as of March 2022, while Qatar invested over USD 1.5 billion last year.

In August 2023, the Qatar Investment Authority also announced an investment of USD 1 billion in Reliance Retail Ventures. Additionally, in February 2024, Saudi Aramco stated that there were serious discussions with Indian companies to enhance the company's downstream investments in India.

Moreover, in September 2023, Modi and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman signed an agreement to set up a joint task force to fast-track the project in Ratnagiri.

India engaged with the I2U2 grouping and joined the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). During PM Modi's visit to the UAE in February, India and the UAE counterparts also signed an inter-governmental framework agreement on IMEC.

The ISPI report further emphasised that personal relations between Prime Minister Modi and Gulf leaders, including with the UAE's President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, have deepened India's political relationships with those countries, building trust and a willingness to work together on sensitive issues. This has also resulted in increased defence and security cooperation, including counter-terrorism, maritime security and naval cooperation.

India stands to gain much more by broadening its relations with the Gulf, but researcher Solanki in the report for ISPI stated that New Delhi also faces challenges in developing political and economic ties due to the deteriorating security environment, in the Middle East.

The outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war and shipping attacks in the Red Sea directly impacted India's energy security and economic growth.

As the Modi 3.0 government has taken the charge after third consecutive victory for PM Modi, India's foreign policy priorities will include strengthening India's relations with the Gulf.

India will likely become an increased 'strategic partner' for the Gulf states. Managing mutual challenges, while focusing on growing political, economic and security interests, will be the key to enabling India-Gulf relations to strengthen and become more ambitious, the report added.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

India To Hold Memorial Service For Victims of Air India 'Kanishka' Flight Bombing In Toronto

Toronto: The Consulate General of India, Toronto on Wednesday (local time) announced to organise a memorial service for victims of the Air India 'Kanishka' flight bombing in Toronto on June 23 from 12-1 pm at South Lawns, Queen's Park.

India has always been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and opposed the justification and glorification of terrorism, India's Consulate General in Toronto said, as it reminded the world of the Kanishka bombing and termed it "one of the most heinous acts of terror in civil aviation."

The Consulate General of India in Toronto said that an annual memorial service is being held at South Lawns, Queen's Park, in Toronto to mark the 39th anniversary of the bombing of Air India flight 182 (Kanishka), which claimed the lives of 329 people, including 82 children.

In a statement shared on X, the Consulate General of India in Toronto stated, "India has always been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and has opposed justification and glorification of terrorism. 23 June 2024 marks the 39th anniversary of the bombing of Air India flight 182 (Kanishka), which resulted in death of 329 innocent victims, including 86 children, and remains one of the most heinous acts of terror in civil aviation."

"We have always stood firmly with the families of the victims. The annual memorial service is being held from 12-1 pm, 23 June 2024 at South Lawns, Queen's Park, Toronto. This event is open for public participation. The solemnity of the occasion may be respected during the memorial service at all times," it added.

On June 23, 1985, Air India 182 Kanishka flight, flying on Montreal, Canada-London, UK-Delhi, India route, exploded mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Ireland, due to "cowardly act of terror, carried out by Canada based Khalistani terrorists," Indian High Commission in Ottawa had said in a press release in 2023.

The memorial service is being hosted by India amid strained ties with Canada over the issue of Khalistani terrorists. The ties between the two nations have been strained after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged in September last year that Indian agents were involved in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

India has dismissed the allegations, calling them "absurd and motivated." Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by India's National Investigation Agency in 2020, was shot and killed outside a Gurdwara in Surrey in June last year.

Earlier in May, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar once again denied receiving any evidence implicating Indian nationals' involvement in the killing in Canada of India-designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Responding to media queries here, Jaishankar stated, "I also read that another arrest has been made. If that person is an Indian national, then usually by consular practice, you inform the government or the embassy of the country of origin. But beyond that, we have long maintained that if anything, any event in Canada, any violence in Canada, has any evidence or information which is relevant to be investigated in India, we are open to investigating it."

He emphasised that while any Indian national's arrest would usually prompt notification to the government or embassy, no specific evidence justifying investigation by Indian agencies has been received to date.

"But to date, we have never received anything which is specific and worthy of being pursued by our investigative agencies. And I'm not aware anything has changed in the last few days in that regard," the External Affairs Minister said at a media interaction at a seminar on Indian Capital Markets 'Roadmap for Viksit Bharat' at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in Mumbai.

He made the remarks after the Canadian police arrested a fourth suspect over his alleged involvement in the killing of Nijjar, CBC News reported. The accused was identified as Amandeep Singh (22).

(With Inputs From Agencies)

'Story of India Is Under-Told': U.S. Senator Emphasises India's Innovation, Strategic Potential At USISPF's VII Annual Leadership Summit

Washington: At the VII Annual Leadership Summit hosted by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) in Washington, DC, US Senator, Dan Sullivan highlighted India's "untold" narrative of innovation and strategic promise.

He underscored the need to amplify India's achievements and stressed the potential for deeper collaboration between the world's oldest and largest democracies.

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) hosted its VII Annual Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on Monday. The Summit was the first high-level US-India dialogue post-India's General Elections and touched on themes of the enduring friendship between the United States and India and elevating the most important strategic partnership of the 21st century, according to an official release.

The Annual Leadership Summit brought together a distinguished cohort of eminent individuals, from policymakers to prominent business leaders, high-ranking political figures, senior officials, and key stakeholders from both countries.

USISPF President and CEO Mukesh Aghi kicked off proceedings and welcomed everyone for the first in-person USISPF DC summit post the pandemic.

John Chambers, Chairman of USISPF, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco, and Founder and CEO, of JC2 Ventures spoke about collaboration and the future of technology and said, "AI will be the most fundamental change in the future. AI will disrupt every business and every country. This is the chance for our countries to come together".

Chambers later sat down in conversation with Republican Senators, Steve Daines (R-MT), and Dan Sullivan (R-AK). Senator Daines echoed the strength of the relationship and a special Montana-India partnership in agriculture and said that the state of "Montana is the number one in pulse crops. So, we are working with the Indian government to reduce tariffs. India is the number one consumer of pulse crops, and Montana is the number one producer. So, there is a natural relationship."

Senator Sullivan echoed Senator Daines' message on strengthening the partnership saying the "story of India is under-told. We need to get the story out there. From my visits to India, I can see the tremendous innovation there. The vision for the world's oldest and world's largest democracy to do much more strategically together."

Senior White House Official, Jon Finer, Principal Deputy National Security Advisor spoke with Tucker Foote, Executive Vice President of Mastercard, according to the release.

Neera Tanden, Domestic Policy Advisor to President Biden spoke with Ambassador Tim Roemer, the former US envoy to India and USISPF Board Member.

In a fireside chat, Tanden highlighted the importance of the people-to-people connection and the role of the diaspora in shaping the contours of the US-India strategic partnership. She said, "I started my career at the Clinton White House. Back then, there were only a handful of Indian-Americans in the Executive Office of the President. Today, I feel fortunate to be one of the many Indian Americans advising the President".

Tanden added, "The values that we share between the United States and India in entrepreneurialism, innovation, and education and the convergence of these values is what allows so many Indians who come to the US and innovate and become leaders in their chosen fields".

Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan, Charge d'Affaires at the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, in her address stated, "We need to have our companies working closely on the very areas that we have prioritised. That will determine our success in the coming century. In fields like defence, space, communications, and biotech, our companies must see each other as partners of first choice."

USISPF honoured Henry R Kravis, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP (KKR), with its 2024 Global Leadership Award for his unwavering commitment to enhancing the US-India relationship. Under Kravis' leadership, KKR has emerged as one of the largest investors in India and has invested over USD11 billion over the past two decades across an eclectic mix of sectors, creating thousands of jobs and contributing to the growth of the Indian economy, the release also said.

"I am thrilled to accept this honor and grateful for the recognition," said Henry Kravis, adding, "India has long been a key market for KKR due to its impressive growth, dynamic population, and innovative entrepreneurs and businesses community".

Kravis was in conversation with USISPF Board Member, Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO of IBM, and spoke about why he is bullish on the India growth story. 'India is a terrific country to do business in. There are a lot of opportunities there with 860 million on the Internet and a lot of innovative entrepreneurs," he said.

USISPF's VII Annual Summit took place as the US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan visited New Delhi for the initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) dialogue and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar and his counterpart, the Indian NSA, Ajit Doval.

USISPF's Summit was attended by close to 300 people, including USISPF Board Members, members, U.S. Government officials, and Embassy of India staff, as well as fraternity from the media, think tanks, academia, and non-profits.

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) is committed to creating the most powerful partnership between the United States and India. As the only independent not-for-profit institution dedicated to strengthening the U.S.-India partnership in Washington, DC, and in New Delhi, USISPF is the trusted partner for businesses, non-profit organisations, the diaspora, and the governments of India and the United States, the official release stated.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed

Jaishankar Meets US Congressional Delegation, Appreciates Their Support For Strategic Partnership

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a meeting with a bipartisan US Congressional delegation led by Congressman Michael McCaul on Wednesday. He appreciated their "strong and continued" support for the strategic partnership between India and the US.

The US Congressional delegation includes former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US Representatives - Gregory Meeks, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Nicole Malliotakis, Ami Bera and Jim McGovern.

In a post on X, Jaishankar stated, "Pleasure to meet with the bipartisan US Congressional delegation led by @RepMcCaul. Thank @SpeakerPelosi, @RepGregoryMeeks, @RepMMM, @NMalliotakis, @RepBera and @RepMcGovern for joining. Appreciate their strong and continued support for the strategic partnership."

The US Congressional delegation, which arrived in India on Tuesday, was received by officials of the Central Tibetan Administration at Himachal Pradesh's Kangra Airport. Upon arrival, the US lawmakers headed to Dharamshala to meet Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

On Wednesday, the high-level US Congressional delegation, led by US Congressman Michael McCaul, met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharamshala.

Before meeting the Dalai Lama, the US delegates attended a public felicitation programme at the main Tibetan temple. The disciples of the Dalai Lama were also seen in the temple complex this morning. Children performed and displayed Tibetan culture at the felicitation ceremony in the courtyard of the Tsuglagkhang Complex in Dharamshala.

During their meeting at his residence in Dharamshala today, McCaul presented Dalai Lama with a framed copy of The Resolve Tibet Act, a bipartisan bill passed by the US Congress to enhance US support for Tibet.

Last week, the US Congress passed a bill urging Beijing to re-engage with the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan leaders to peacefully resolve their dispute over the status and governance of Tibet.

The legislation rejects Beijing's stance that Tibet has been part of China since ancient times and urges China to "cease its propagation of disinformation about the history of Tibet, the Tibetan people, and Tibetan institutions, including that of the Dalai Lama," Radio Free Asia reported.

The Dalai Lama presented Buddha Statue to Pelosi at the end of the meeting with the US Congressional delegation, the office of the Dalai Lama said.

The members of the US Congressional delegation also posed for a group photo with the Tibetan spiritual leader after their meeting.

(With Inputs From Agencies)

4 Adani Ports Feature In World Bank's 'Container Port Performance Index'

Adani Ports has seven located ports and terminals on the western coast and eight on east. "This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team as well as our ongoing commitment to deliver exceptional service to our customers," said Ashwani Gupta, CEO and Whole Time Director of APSEZ

Ahmedabad: Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) on Wednesday said four of its ports have been featured in the prestigious 'Container Port Performance (CPP) Index 2023', developed by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

While Mundra port was ranked 27th, Kattupalli came in at number 57th, Hazira at 68th, and Krishnapatnam at 71th in the Top 100 list.

"It reaffirms our position as a key player in the global container port industry. This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team as well as our ongoing commitment to deliver exceptional service to our customers," said Ashwani Gupta, CEO and Whole Time Director of APSEZ.

The global index is a highly-regarded benchmark that assesses the performance of ports on parameters such as productivity, efficiency and reliability. It serves as a reference point for key stakeholders, including national governments, port authorities, development agencies, supra-national organisations and private operators, of trade, logistics and supply chain services.

Nine ports from India made it to the top 100 list, including four from the Adani portfolio, underscoring the APSEZ's commitment to operational efficiency and world-class service standards.

Last week, Adani Ports was recognised by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) for its exceptional efforts in tackling climate change and implementing best Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices across its supply chain through a robust engagement programme. The global non-profit organisation assigned APSEZ a leadership band "A-" in both climate change and supplier engagement.

Adani Ports has seven strategically located ports and terminals on the western coast and eight ports and terminals on the eastern coast, representing 27 per cent of the country's total port volumes.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed

Russian President Vladimir Putin Arrives In Vietnam On State Visit

Hanoi: Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vietnam on a state visit. Putin landed at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport on Thursday after concluding his visit to North Korea, Russian news agency TASS reported.

A red carpet was laid out at the ramp and a guard of honour was presented to welcome Putin at the airport. Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha, head of the CPV Central Committee's Department for International Affairs Le Hoai Trung and Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Thi Thu Hang met Russian President Putin, TASS reported.

During his visit, Putin will hold meetings with four Vietnamese leaders, including the President, the general secretary of the Central Committee of the country's Communist Party, the Prime Minister of the government and the chairman of the National Assembly. He will also meet graduates of Soviet and Russian universities, the report said.

Before his Vietnam visit, the Russian President travelled to North Korea. During his visit, Putin declared a significant elevation in ties between Russia and North Korea, emphasising a commitment to mutual assistance in the event of aggression, following what he described as a "breakthrough" strategic partnership announced during his rare visit to the reclusive state, CNN reported.

Thousands of North Koreans chanting "welcome Putin" lined the city's wide boulevards brandishing Russian and North Korean flags and bouquets of flowers as Putin commenced his first visit to North Korea in 24 years.

According to Russian state news agency TASS, the leaders signed a comprehensive partnership agreement that supersedes previous accords from 1961, 2000, and 2001.

Putin elaborated on the agreement, stating, "The comprehensive partnership agreement signed today includes, among other things, the provision of mutual assistance in the event of aggression against one of the parties to this agreement."

He hailed the pact as covering political, trade, investment, cultural, and security spheres, labelling it a "truly breakthrough document." Putin also criticised joint military exercises involving the United States, South Korea, and Japan as "hostile" towards North Korea, characterizing US policy as "confrontational."

In response, Kim Jong-un praised the new "alliance" as a pivotal moment in bilateral relations. The visit saw exuberant celebrations at a welcome ceremony in Kim Il Sung Square, where mounted soldiers, military personnel, and children with balloons cheered against a backdrop of large portraits of the two leaders.

They exchanged greetings and stood together as the Russian national anthem played, later riding in an open-top limousine, smiling and waving to crowds, as reported by CNN.

During their meeting, Putin presented Kim with an Aurus car, repeating a gift from a previous encounter, and a tea set, while details of what Putin received were not disclosed but described as "also good gifts" by his aide Yuri Ushakov.

(With Inputs From Agencies)