India plans major step against terrorism

India plans major step against terrorism, to seal international boundaries with Pakistan, Bangladesh soon

india

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said India is pondering over sealing the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh soon. These borders would be sealed by 2018, he added.

Addressing the passing out parade of the Border Security Force Assistant Commandants at the BSF Academy in Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh, Singh said: “India is planning to seal the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh as soon as possible. This could be India’s major step against terrorism and the problem of refugees.”

The minister added that the border with Pakistan would be sealed by 2018.

The decision has been taken in the wake of an increase in infiltration attempts, said Singh.

“The project will be periodically monitored by the Home Secretary at the Central level, the BSF from the security forces’ perspective and the Chief Secretaries at the state-level,” Singh said, adding that the government would apply technological solutions for sealing the border in difficult terrains.

Lauding the BSF personnel, the Home Minister stated that the force has changed the rules of engagement at international borders which have made it a known entity in the neighbouring countries.

“The BSF has changed rules of engagement at international borders. Now, the BSF is a known entity even in neighbouring countries,” Singh said.

Singh also spoke about the planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces which will be implemented soon.

“We are planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces. The forces are coming forward with such mechanism,” said Singh.

After the passing out parade, the Home Minister signed the visitors’ book at the BSF academy.

He also visited the national training centre for dogs at the BSF Academy.

-March 25, 2017, New Delhi

 

Bill to declare Pakistan as state sponsor of terror :US

Bill to declare Pakistan as state sponsor of terror introduced in US Congress

Bill

Bill titled “Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Act of 2015” was tabled by Congressman Ted Poe, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, on Thursday.

A “strongly worded” bill to declare Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism has been introduced in the US Congress, a media report said on Friday.

“Not only is Pakistan an untrustworthy ally, Islamabad has also aided and abetted enemies of the United States for years,”the Times of India quoted the Congressman as saying.

“From harbouring Osama bin Laden to its cozy relationship with the Haqqani network, there is more than enough evidence to determine whose side Pakistan is on in the War on Terror.

“And it’s not America’s. It is time we stop paying Pakistan for its betrayal and designate it for what it is: a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” Poe said.

The bill specifies the US President to issue a report whether Pakistan has provided support for international terrorism within three months.

After that, the Secretary of State is required to submit a follow-up report stating that Pakistan is a state sponsor of terrorism, and if not, he needs to provide a detailed justification as to why it does not meet the legal criteria for such a designation, according to the report.

Earlier, Congressman Poe and James Clad, a former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia, had reportedly wrote in an article that it’s time for a “radical reset” with Pakistan.

Citing the article, the TOI said that they were of the view that the US is in “a toxic relationship” with Pakistan and needs to “to finally set limits on its indulgence” towards Islamabad.

“Pakistan has become a quasi-adversary, receiving hundreds of billions through the years in direct and indirect US support, a strange hostage-like arrangement in which we pay Islamabad to do what it should be doing anyway to protect its own domestic security and buttress Afghan stability,” TOI quoted Poe and Clad as saying in the article published on Nationalinterest.org dated March 8.

-March 10, 2017, New Delhi

Pathankot: NIA files charge sheet, names Azhar and his brother

Pathankot: NIA files charge sheet, names Azhar and his brother

NIA filed a charge sheet in the Pathankot airbase terror attack, naming Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and three others of his organisation as accused.
In a comprehensive charge sheet filed at Panchkula Special Court about a year after attack, NIA has highlighted the role of terror group Jaish in spreading mayhem in India and referred to the nefarious plans of the outfit, sources said.
Pathankot
The charge sheet which also named Azhar’s brother Rauf Asghar as accused, alleged that immediately after the Pathankot incident, he had hosted a video message claiming responsibility for the terror strike and glorified the role of Azhar, who was released in exchange for passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999.
The charge sheet is likely to be used by India at various international fora to highlight the role of Masood Azhar in Pathankot terror strike carried out on January 2 this year.
Launching of a diplomatic offensive against the Jaish and its chief Masood Azhar has become imperative after China continued to stonewall efforts of India to get UN sanctions against the terrorist and his group.
The Home Ministry had given sanction to NIA to file the charge sheet against Azhar, his brother and the two handlers — Qashif Jan and Shaid Latif – of the four terrorists, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The four terrorists, after entering India from Bamiyal area of Gurdaspur, had carried out the strike at Pathankot IAF base killing eight people including seven personnel of IAF and NSG. The charge sheet named four terrorists involved in the attack.
According to NIA, the terrorists, who were killed after two days of gunfight, were identified as Nasir Hussain, Hafiz Abu Bakar, Umar Farooq and Abdul Qayum and they were residents of Vehari (Punjab), Gujranwala (Punjab), Sanghar (Sindh) and Sukkur (Sindh) of Pakistan respectively.
The charge sheet includes evidence of linking the footprints of one of the terrorists obtained from Bamiyal besides matching of DNA sample found from a soft drink can in the hijacked car of Punjab Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh, the sources said.
The Pathankot terror strike had seen a joint investigation team from Pakistan also arriving in India for carrying out a probe.
However, the Pakistani team, upon their return, claimed that India neither shared much of evidence nor allowed it to interrogate the security personnel involved in dealing with the attack.
-19 December, 2016 | PTI | New Delhi

Russia’s clear stand on terrorism: PM Narendra Modi

Russia’s clear stand on need to combat terrorism mirrors our own: PM Narendra Modi

Russia’s clear stand on need to combat terrorism mirrors our own: PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President held bilateral talks on Saturday on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Goa.

India and Russia signed key Memorandum of Understandings in many areas like railways, smart cities, Kudankulam Nuclear plant, ship building and many more.

In total 16 agreements were signed between the two countries.

Issuing a joint press conference along with Putin, PM Modi hailed decades long Indo-Russia friendship.

Addressing the media, the PM said, “An old friend is better than two new friends.”

Heaping words of praise on the Russian President, PM Modi said: “I am aware of your deep affection for India. Your personal attention has been a source of strength in our relationship.”

“In a complex and changing global context, your leadership has provided stability and substance to our strategic partnership,” the PM asserted.

Lauding Moscow’s efforts on denouncing terrorism, PM Modi said, “We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross-border terrorism that threatens our entire region.”

Praising Indo-Russia relations, PM Modi said: “Our close collaboration at United Nations, BRICS, East Asia Summit, G20 and SCO makes our partnership truly global, both in its scope and coverage.”

“We are celebrating and building on our past achievements. Close friendship has been source of strength, driver of peace and factor of stability,” Modi stated.

“We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross-border terrorism, that threatens our regions, adding, “We both affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters.”

Earlier PM Modi welcomed Putin with a warm message on his Twitter account. He said: “India welcomes you, President Putin! Wishing you a fruitful India visit. @KremlinRussia_E,” the Prime Minister tweeted as he also posted a message in Russian.

Putin, who arrived today to attend the BRICS summit in Goa, was accorded a grand welcome at the Dabolim airport, where he was received by Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and VK Singh.

-October 15, 2016, Panaji

 

SAARC Summit in Islamabad likely to be cancelled

Big blow to Pakistan as SAARC Summit in Islamabad likely to be cancelled after India, 3 other countries boycott

Big blow to Pakistan as SAARC Summit in Islamabad likely to be cancelled after India, 3 other countries boycott

In a big diplomatic snub to Pakistan, the 19th SAARC Summit, due to be held in Islamabad on November 9-10, stands cancelled. The official confirmation, however, is still awaited.

Notably, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan – four of the eight members of the South Asian grouping – have pulled out of the summit, citing incitement of terrorism in the region.

Nepal, the current Chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, has not made an official announcement of cancellation as yet. However, sources at SAARC Secretariat have told that the summit has been cancelled and it will now take place next year. Current SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa, who is currently in New York and will return in two days, will make the announcement soon.

Earlier, Pakistan tried to put a brave face and said it would go ahead and host the event in November. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria was quoted as saying that it was learnt from the Indian External Affairs Ministry’s tweet that India is not going to participate in the SAARC Summit, a decision he called “unfortunate”. The spokesperson also said Pakistan is committed to regional peace and will continue working for the broader interest of the people of the region, according to the report.

Separately, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said India is making a propaganda to foil the conference, according to Pakistan Today newspaper.

With the SAARC process based on consensus, even if one member does not attend, the summit is automatically postponed or cancelled. In this case, half of the eight-nation regional bloc has decided to skip the event, forcing the event to be called off.

Sri Lanka has already said that the SAARC Summit would not be possible without India’s participation.

India on Tuesday announced that it was pulling out of the Islamabad summit in the wake of the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army base in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir, which New Delhi has blamed on terrorists based in Pakistan.

The Uri attack came amid the dragging unrest and violence in Kashmir Valley that has left around 90 people dead since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8.

In a statement on Tuesday, India said increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of SAARC member-states “by one country” have created an environment that was not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th SAARC summit.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that India has conveyed to Nepal its decision not to attend the summit, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to go.

In its message to Nepal on Tuesday, Afghanistan said that because of “increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with his responsibilities as the Commander in Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the summit”.

In a similar message to Nepal, Bangladesh said: “The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.”

“Bangladesh, as the initiator of the SAARC process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere,” the message said.

“In view of the above, Bangladesh is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad.”

Bhutan, in its message, cited “the recent escalation of terrorism in the region” as the reason for its non-participation.

-September 28, 2016, New Delhi

India stands with Bangladesh against terrorism: PM Modi

India stands with Bangladesh in its fight against terrorism: PM Narendra Modi to Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday condemned the recent terror attacks in Bangladesh and said that India stands with its immediate neighbour in its fight against terrorism.While interacting with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina through video conference, PM Modi condemned the terror attack on Eid congregation in Kishoreganj, which left four people dead.

 

India stands with Bangladesh in its fight against terrorism: PM Narendra Modi to Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday condemned the recent terror attacks in Bangladesh and said that India stands with its immediate neighbour in its fight against terrorism.

While interacting with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina through video conference, PM Modi condemned the terror attack on Eid congregation in Kishoreganj, which left four people dead.

The PM extended condolences to the Bangladesh Premier saying, “You are not alone in your fight against terror. India will always fully support you in all your efforts to fight this menace.”

India’s progress is linked to the progress of its neighbouring nations, PM Modi asserted.

PM Modi and Hasina interacted with each other during the inauguration of Petrapole-Benapole land port.

Earlier this month, Bangladesh was rocked by two terrorists attack. On July 1, 20 foreigners were brutally hacked to death by ISIS militants inside a restaurant popular with expatriates in the high-security diplomatic zone before commandos launched an assault killing six attackers and capturing one alive, ending Bangladesh’s worst terror attack.

Few days later on July 07 at least four persons were killed and 12 others injured when the assailants, numbering seven-to-eight men and armed with explosives, machetes and firearms, battled the police for more than an hour at Sholakia Eid prayer venue in Kishoreganj district near Dhaka.

-July 21, 2016, New Delhi

Maharashtra govt orders probe into Zakir Naik’s documents

Maharashtra govt orders probe into Zakir Naik’s public documents

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry into Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s public documents
  • Earlier, cops were deployed outside the Mumbai office of a foundation run by him
  • Naik’s ‘hate speech’ is reported to have inspired one of the five Bangladeshi militants

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday directed the Mumbai Police to initiate an inquiry into Islamic preacher Zakir Naik ‘s public documents. Earlier in the day, the Centre had called his speeches ‘highly objectionable’ and hinted at ‘appropriate action’ against him.
Zakir Naik
“The home ministry will study (his speeches). It will take appropriate action after studying them. His speeches, as being reported in the media, are highly objectionable,” Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters in Delhi.

Naidu’s remarks came a day after Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju hinted at action against the preacher after looking into whether Naik through his speeches glorifies terrorist acts by Muslims. Naik, on Wednesday, had asserted that his speech on Islam and terror has been taken out of context and claimed that he had only said Muslims should terrorise anti-social elements.

“I have asked the Mumbai Police Commissioner to conduct a probe (into Naik’s speeches) and submit a report,” chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday.”Everything, including Naik’s speeches, his social media accounts, sources of funding (of a foundation run by him in Mumbai) will be scrutinised, he added.

On Thursday, cops were deployed outside the Mumbai office of a foundation run by Naik as a precautionary measure in the wake of the recent developments.

Zakir Naik’s ‘hate speech’ is reported to have inspired one of the five Bangladeshi militants involved in the recent Dhaka carnage. Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ had reported that militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik. Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists”.
The controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation is banned in the UK and Canada for his ‘hate speech’ aimed at other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.

He is known in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said.
Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju had on Wednesday told reporters in Delhi that, “Zakir Naik’s speech is a matter of concern for us. Our agencies are working on this. But as a minister, I will not comment what action will be taken.”
 -TNN | Jul 7, 2016

Pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terror has to be kept up: US envoy

Pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terror has to be kept up: US envoy

HIGHLIGHTS

• Barack Obama appreciates PM Narendra Modi’s Lahore outreach.
• US is not negotiating India-like nuclear deal with Pakistan.
• Democracy needs to be strengthened in Pakistan.
he pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terrorism has to be kept up and the US remains strongly engaged with India to tackle the menace which is affecting regional peace, US ambassador Richard Verma said on Thursday.
Appreciating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lahore outreach, Verma said there was a need to work with the moderates in Pakistan and that the US was working with Islamabad on the issue of terror.
“We have to keep the pressure up, keep the leverage up work with moderate forces, work with Prime Minister Sharif and that’s exactly the US President has done, secretary (John) Kerry has done and we will continue to do it,” he told NDTV.
The envoy said India’s engagement with Pakistan was important and that US President Barack Obama was appreciative of Modi’s outreach in Lahore last month.
He said Obama has appreciated decisions by Modi and Sharif to stick to talks despite the Pathankot terror attack.
On reports about the US negotiating a civil nuclear deal with Pakistan similar to the one it had with India, Verma categorically said no such proposal was on the table.
Asked why US was not putting enough pressure on Pakistan to come down hard on terror infrastructure, the envoy said Washington has different relationship with both the countries and that its counter-terrorism cooperation with India was expanding rapidly.
He said there was a need to strengthen democracy in Pakistan while putting pressure on the country to tackle terrorism and bring to book perpetrators of terror attacks.
On Afghanistan, he said there was a need for political solution to the Afghan problem and that elements within Taliban have to be engaged for reconciliation.

Verma said year 2015 saw a significant progress in Indo-US ties in diverse areas including nuclear energy, defence and trade and commerce.
Asked whether there has been ease of doing business in India as claimed by the government, he said, “we were in a much better position then we were before.” At the same time, he said there was need to have reforms in tax and land acquisition among others.
He said the two-way trade story has been very positive in the last one year, adding US hoped to commence nuclear commerce soon with India.
The envoy said US will do its bit to ensure India’s membership to various export control regimes.

PTI | Jan 28, 2016