Archive for ‘terrorism’

09/06/2019

India’s Modi calls for global conference on terrorism

MALE, Maldives (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a global conference to tackle the threat of terrorism in the region and around the world.

During a speech on his first foreign visit since winning re-election, he told the Maldivian parliament in Male that “terrorism is not just a threat for a country, but to the entire civilisation”.

“The international community has actively arranged for global convention and many conferences on the threat of climate change. Why not on the issue of terrorism?” Modi said.

He called for a global conference “so that there can be meaningful and result-oriented discussions for plugging the loopholes that terrorists and their supporters exploit”.

India is pursuing what it calls a “neighbourhood first” foreign policy centred on its allies in South Asia, although there is little sign of a warming in relations with arch rival Pakistan.

His trip to the Maldives is being viewed as a statement of intent to counter the rise of China, which has been making strategic inroads in the Indian Ocean in recent years and seeking closer military ties, to the alarm of New Delhi.

“In the neighbourhood, Maldives is priority,” Modi said in his speech.

During the visit, Modi has signed a slew of agreements with the island nation encompassing ferry services, port terminals and a new national cricket stadium.

His next stop is Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, where security is likely to be high on the agenda.

A wave of bombings on Easter Sunday killed more than 250 people across Sri Lanka despite repeated warnings from Indian intelligence services about a militant plot.

Source: Reuters

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22/05/2019

Chinese, Kyrgyz officials vow to enhance bilateral cooperation

 KYRGYZSTAN-BISHKEK-CHYNGYZ AIDARBEKOV-CHINA-WANG YI-MEETING

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Chyngyz Aidarbekov attend a signing ceremony of the Cooperation Program from 2020 to 2021 between Chinese Foreign Ministry and Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 21, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Yong)

BISHKEK, May 21 (Xinhua) — Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday held talks with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Chyngyz Aidarbekov in Bishkek, vowing to enhance cooperation in various fields between the two countries.

Wang noted that China and Kyrgyzstan are friendly neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners linked by mountains and rivers. The two heads of states reached a wide range of consensuses on further developing bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership on the sidelines of the second Belt and Road Forum of International Cooperation in Beijing in April.

Taking the opportunity of jointly building the Belt and Road, China is ready to pursue coordination of the development strategies between China and Kyrgyzstan and effectively implement the key projects for the benefit of the two peoples, the Chinese state councilor said during the meeting.

To this end, the two sides should work to build closer people-to-people ties, promote local-level cooperation, further strengthen security cooperation ties and expand cooperation in fighting the “three forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism, transnational crime and drug trafficking, said Wang, adding that China fully supports Kyrgyzstan in hosting the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in June to promote further cooperation among the member states.

Wang stressed that the sustained, steady and sound development of bilateral relations serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. China appreciates Kyrgyzstan’s firm support on some major issues concerning Taiwan and Xinjiang, and will resolutely support Kyrgyzstan’s independent choice of development path as well as its internal and external policies to maintain national independence, sovereignty and security.

For his part, Aidarbekov extended warm congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and expressed sincere admiration for China’s great achievements during the 40 years of reform and opening up.

He noted that Kyrgyzstan attaches great importance to the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, fully supports the Belt and Road Initiative, and is ready to further promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, energy, transportation, agriculture and disaster relief.

The Kyrgyz foreign minister stressed that his country firmly upholds the one-China policy, fully supports China’s stance on its internal affairs including Taiwan and Xinjiang issues and hopes the mutual political trust between the two countries can be further strengthened.

Following their talks, the two officials signed the Cooperation Program from 2020 to 2021 between Chinese Foreign Ministry and Kyrgyz Foreign Ministry and jointly met with the press.

Source: Xinhua

20/02/2019

Ready to share intelligence, cooperate with India to destroy terrorism: Saudi Crown Prince

MoUs on tourism, cooperation in the field of housing, International Solar Alliance among others were exchanged between the two countries.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

MoUs on tourism, cooperation in the field of housing, International Solar Alliance among others were exchanged between the two countries.

On his first state visit to the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the Saudi Crown Prince saying that Saudi Arabia was India’s “close friend”.

India and Saudi Arabia have a longstanding relationship, PM Modi said adding that in the 21st century, Saudi Arabia was among India’s most important strategic partners.

The Prime Minister, in a joint press conference with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also welcomed Saudi investment in Indian infrastructure.

In a major development, Saudi Arabia also joined the International Solar Alliance, informed PM Modi adding that the two leaders also discussed how to further strengthen the defence cooperation between the two nations.

“We have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the areas of renewable energy. We welcome Saudi Arabia to the International Solar Alliance. The peaceful use of nuclear energy, especially water desalination and health, will be another dimension of our cooperation,” PM Modi said.

Speaking on the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 44 CRPF personnel, the Prime Minister said the two leaders agreed on the need to destroy the infrastructure of terror and clamp down on countries supporting terror.

“We have also vowed to increase pressure on any country that promotes terror activities,” the Prime Minister said.

This comes after Salman’s high-profile tour of Pakistan on January 17 where he said dialogue was the only way to resolve “outstanding issues” between India and Pakistan.

Addressing the joint press conference, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his country shares India’s concerns over terror.

“Terrorism is a common concern. We will cooperate with India in every way, like intelligence sharing. India has played a positive role,” he said.

He also thanked the people of India and the Government for the warm welcome.

“The relationship between India and Saudi Arabia is over thousands of years old. It is even older than history, and this relationship has grown stronger in the last 50 years. Our objectives are similar be it in energy, agriculture or technology,” he added.

Salman also called for common planning between the two nations to tackle various issues and said that “Saudi Arabia has invested $44 billion in India”.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi and Salman held delegation-level talks on key areas of mutual interest such as trade and investment, energy, defence and security, nuclear and space, civil aviation, renewables, counter-terrorism, community welfare and regional challenges.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also met Salman and discussed ways to add further momentum to the strategic ties between the two nations besides deepening engagement in areas of trade and investment.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Saudi Crown Prince was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan by President Ram Nath Kovind.

After meeting President Ram Nath Kovind, the Saudi Arabia Crown Prince said, “Today we want to be sure that this relation is maintained and improved for the sake of both countries. With the leadership of the President and the Prime Minister, I am sure we can create good things for Saudi Arabia and India”.

Earlier on Tuesday, in a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke the protocol to personally receive the Saudi prince and welcomed him with a warm hug at the Palam airport.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said that the first state visit of the Saudi Crown Prince marks a “new chapter in bilateral relations between the two countries”.

Salman’s visit comes in the backdrop of the escalating tension between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group in which at least 44 CRPF personnel were killed.

Saudi Arabia had on Friday said it stood with India’s fight against terrorism and extremism and denounced as “cowardly” the attack.

India’s bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia was USD 27.48 billion in 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia its fourth largest trading partner.

Saudi Arabia is also a key pillar of India’s energy security, being a source of 17 per cent or more of crude oil and 32 per cent of LPG requirements of India.

The Crown Prince is expected to travel to China from India.

Source: The Statesman
17/02/2019

‘Won’t let Assam turn into another Kashmir’, says Amit Shah on citizen register

Addressing a rally in Assam’s North Lakhimpur, Amit Shah said that the NRC had been brought in to identify infiltrators and that the BJP would identifiy and deport all such infiltrators.

INDIA Updated: Feb 17, 2019 15:49 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
assam,citizens' register,amit shah
Saying that the NRC had been brought in to identify infiltrators, Amit Shah said, the BJP will rid Assam of all such aliens by deporting them.(HT Photo)

BJP chief Amit Shah on Sunday said that Modi-led government at the Centre will not allow Assam to become another Kashmir and that is why it has brought about the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Saying that the NRC had been brought in to identify infiltrators, he said, the BJP will rid Assam of all such aliens by deporting them.

“We won’t let Assam become another Kashmir, this is our commitment. We’ll repeat the NRC exercise as many times as required to, but we’ll identify and deport each infiltrator from Assam,” Shah said while addressing a public rally at North Lakhimpur in Assam.

Shah criticised the Congress and its former ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), and said both the parties had done nothing to implement the Assam Accord despite ruling most of the period since the pact was signed in 1985.

Read | ‘If Opposition wins, expect six PMs a week, country on holiday on Sundays’: Amit Shah

Referring to the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which the Centre couldn’t present in Rajya Sabha, he said misinformation was being spread as if it was only for Assam and other parts of the Northeast.

“It was not for Northeast alone, but for all refugees across the country. The way demography is changing in Assam, without the Citizenship Bill, the people of the state will be in danger,” he added.

He also spoke about the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed in a suicide bombing on Thursday.

“This cowardly act was done by Pakistani terrorists. Their (jawans’) sacrifices will not go in vain, because there is no Congress government at the Centre. It is BJP government and the Narendra Modi government will not compromise on any security issue,” he added.

Also Read | ‘Tragic’, say political parties as they unite against harassment of Kashmiris

Saying that the government at the Centre was not that of the Congress, Shah said that the current government was that of the BJP and was led by Modi, who he said was determined to uproot terrorism from the country.

Source: Hindustan Times

16/02/2019

Political parties unite at all-party meet on Pulwama killings, slam Pak for supporting terror

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad stated that the Opposition parties have informed the home minister that they would stand with the government to end terror in the country.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

A resolution adopted by the all-party meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday condemned the cowardly terrorist attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama that left at least 44 jawans dead and over 45 seriously wounded.

The meeting was attended by leaders of the BJP government as well as opposition parties who unitedly expressed grief with the families of the bereaved.

The resolution also condemned terrorism in all forms as well as the support it was getting from across the border.

It further went on to say that “India has during the past three decades faced the menace of cross-border terrorism.”

In a direct attack at Pakistan, the resolution said, “terrorism in India has been actively encouraged by the forces across the border adding that India has displayed both firmness and resilience in dealing with these challenges”.

It said the entire nation speaks in one voice to express its determination to fight against terrorism.

“Today, we stand united in solidarity with our security forces in fighting terrorism and in defending the unity and integrity of India,” the resolution added.

The all-party meeting was held to brief top leaders of different parties on steps being taken by it to meet the challenge.

The meeting comes a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh went to Kashmir to take stock of the situation.

Read | Rajnath announces curbs on civilian movement when convoys of security pass any area

The meeting was attended by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress, Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Derek O’Brien of the TMC, Sanjay Raut of the Shiv Sena, Jithendra Reddy of the TRS, D Raja of the CPI, Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Ram Vilas Paswan of the LJP among others.

Naresh Gujral of the Akali Dal, Upendra Kushwaha of the RLSP and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav are among others who are attending the meeting.

Addressing the media after the meet, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad stated that the Opposition parties have informed the home minister that they would stand with the government to end terror in the country.

“We stand with the government for unity and security of the nation and security forces. Be it Kashmir or any other part of the nation, Congress party gives its full support to the government in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

The opposition parties also requested the Home Minister to request the PM to meet the presidents of all national and regional parties, Azad said.

This was supported by other parties too, he added.

“We have also decided that there are many disagreements with the government, but for the sake of our country, security of all, we will stand with the government to end terror. The government has our support,” Azad said.

The Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

Read | 44 CRPF jawans killed, nearly 45 injured in suicide attack in J-K’s Pulwama; JeM claims responsibility

A suicide bomber had rammed an SUV carrying 350 kg of explosives into a bus carrying the CRPF troopers in the deadliest attack in decades on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

India had earlier rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

Political parties have closed ranks following the attack and have offered their support to the NDA government on its response on the matter.

Expressing solidarity with the Government of India and the security forces, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday condemned the dastardly attack.

Addressing a press conference, Rahul Gandhi said the type of violence unleashed against the soldiers was “disgusting”.

Refusing to comment on any other issue, Rahul Gandhi said this was a time of mourning, sadness and respect adding that the Congress is fully supporting the Government and the security forces.

Source: The Staesman
30/01/2019

China firmly supports Philippines in fighting terrorism: ambassador

MANILA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) — Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said Tuesday that China will give its “firm support” to the Filipinos and the Philippine government in the fight against violent extremism after twin blasts hit a cathedral in the southern Philippines.

In a speech at the Chinese New Year reception, Zhao said the Chinese government expressed its deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of those who were killed and injured in Sunday’s blasts in Jolo city of Sulu province.

“Chinese government once again will give its firm support to the Philippine people and Philippine government for fighting against all barbaric violence including terrorism,” he said.

Bombings hit a cathedral in Sulu province of the southern Philippines last Sunday, killing 21 people and wounding more than 100 others.

Source: Xinhua

15/11/2016

The Economist explains: Why India scrapped its two biggest bank notes | The Economist

In a surprise televised address on the evening of November 8th, Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, delivered a bombshell: most of the money in Indians’ wallets would cease to be accepted in shops at midnight. The two most valuable notes, of 500 and 1000 rupees ($7.50 and $15), were to be “demonetised”, economist slang for taken out of circulation. Indians have until the end of the year to visit banks to either exchange their cash against newly printed notes or deposit it in their accounts. After that, their notes will become mere pieces of printed paper with no value at all.

Citizens and businesses face weeks or months of disruption as the new currency stock is deployed. So why bother?

The government justified the move in part due to concerns over a proliferation of counterfeit notes (not unusually, it pointed the finger at neighbouring Pakistan), which it claims is fuelling the drug trade and funding terrorism. But its main impact will be on “black money”, cash from undeclared sources which sits outside the financial system. Perhaps 20% of India’s economy is informal. Some of that is poor farmers, who are largely exempt from tax anyway. But the rich are perceived to be sitting on a vast illicit loot. Though a large part of that sits in bank accounts in predictable foreign jurisdictions, a chunk of it is held in high-value Indian notes. Purchases of gold or high-end real estate have long been made at least in part with bundles (or suitcases) of illicit cash. The impact of the move is that everyone will have to disclose all their cash or face losing it. Those with mere bundles of 500 rupee notes clearly aren’t the target: the government has said tax authorities won’t be told about deposits of less than 250,000. But those who have stashed large piles of notes are in a bind. A recent amnesty programme for “black money” has just passed meaning the tax man is unlikely to look upon undeclared cash piles with sympathy.

The question is not whether the scheme will work but whether the cost of implementing it is worth it. The notes being nixed represent 86% of all cash in circulation: everyone is impacted. Queues have snaked around banks for days as Indians have tried to convert their notes into new money. And the “black money” hoarders have ways to liquidate their loot, for example hiring lots of people to deposit their notes into their own accounts and then send it back, all for a fee. The benefits are hard to gauge for now. The government is keen to be seen to be cracking down on tax-dodgers on behalf of the “common man”. But if the poor fellow then has to spend his days (like your correspondent) scouring the streets for an ATM that works, he may end up wondering if he is a beneficiary of the scheme or its victim.

Source: The Economist explains: Why India scrapped its two biggest bank notes | The Economist

30/07/2015

India hangs Yakub Memon for 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts | Reuters

India hanged Yakub Memon on Thursday for his role in the country’s deadliest bombings, which killed 257 people in Mumbai in 1993, after the Supreme Court threw out his final plea for a stay of execution.

Memon was convicted as the “driving spirit” behind the serial blasts in India’s financial capital Mumbai, then known as Bombay. He spent two decades in jail before going to the gallows on his 53rd birthday in a jail Nagpur.

The execution drew wide public support but has stirred controversy about whether the punishment adequately reflected the help Memon gave authorities in solving the crime.

Critics question whether Memon’s death serves India’s larger interests, saying it sends the wrong message to potential collaborators with justice agencies.

In the days before his execution, it emerged that Memon had helped Indian intelligence crack the case and establish a link to neighbour and arch-rival Pakistan over the bombings.

“It’s extremely sad that India has gone ahead, we had been hoping India will now call for a moratorium,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch.

“But it’s very welcome that now there seems to be a growing debate around this in India.”

In a dramatic sequence of events, a Supreme Court panel held an unprecedented hearing in the early hours of Thursday, before rejecting Memon’s last-ditch plea for a 14-day delay in execution. Several previous pleas had also been rejected.

Police consider Memon’s brother, “Tiger” Memon, and mafia don Dawood Ibrahim to be the masterminds behind the attacks, intended to avenge the destruction of an ancient mosque by Hindu zealots in 1992. Both men remain in hiding.

Memon’s body was released for burial in Mumbai, with police deployed in riot gear to guard against possible street protests and security tightened at the family home.

via India hangs Yakub Memon for 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts | Reuters.

05/11/2014

India Said to Pull Warships From Kolkata on Terror Threat – Businessweek

India pulled two naval warships out of the Kolkata port yesterday after receiving intelligence that they might be targeted by terrorists, a navy officer familiar with the matter said.

The INS Khukri and INS Sumitra had entered the port of the city previously known as Calcutta late Nov. 3 and had been scheduled to stay until tomorrow for public viewings, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the intelligence data isn’t public. The public visiting program has been canceled, the official said.

Kolkata remains on high alert, K.S. Dhatwalia, a spokesman for India’s Home Ministry, said by phone from New Delhi today. He declined to comment on precautions Indian police and intelligence agencies are taking to thwart an attack and said he wasn’t aware of who was behind the potential plot.

via India Said to Pull Warships From Kolkata on Terror Threat – Businessweek.

19/10/2014

Police firearms: Weaponised | The Economist

WHEN five assailants armed with long knives started murdering bystanders at a railway station in the south-western Chinese city of Kunming on March 1st, the first police to respond were ill-equipped to fight back. Most had no guns, which ordinary officers typically go without. One who did quickly ran out of bullets. Some officers used their batons while others resorted, bravely but ineffectually, to wielding fire extinguishers which they found at the scene. A specially trained unit of police with guns arrived as long as 20 minutes later and shot four of the attackers dead.

The government promptly decided it must make weapons more readily available to police. It has acted quickly to do so—some critics say too quickly and too rashly. The increased deployment of guns to rank-and-file officers raises the prospect of abuses in a system that lacks public accountability for police misconduct against citizens. It has also increased the risk of mistakes by poorly trained officers who are unfamiliar with weapons. In recent months Chinese media have reported on at least two deaths in police shootings where local witnesses suggested the use of deadly force may not have been justified. In May in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, police accidentally fired a handgun into the floor at a kindergarten lecture on personal safety. A child and four parents were injured.

China bans the possession of guns by civilians, and makes only rare exceptions. The government has similarly long resisted arming police with firearms. The process of getting permission to carry a gun was often so onerous that few police bothered to try. Since the army was called in to shoot civilians demonstrating in Beijing in 1989, China has beefed up its paramilitary police force, the People’s Armed Police (PAP), in order to handle unrest. But the PAP does not handle ordinary crimes and is run separately from other police forces.

Fan Xin, a Beijing-based American expert on police firearms who worked as a policeman in Los Angeles between 2000 and 2006, says the government’s reluctance to arm the police had been partly out of fear that the guns would be misused. But this led to a failure properly to train those who did carry them. Mr Fan describes an “antiquated” system in which police are rated for accuracy in shooting at a target from a stable position on one knee, rather than for speed and judgment in more realistic conditions. He also notes that many police are trained to use semi-automatic handguns but then go on to be issued with revolvers.

Some special police units in big cities are reportedly better trained than small-town officers. The recent expansion of such units has been rapid and striking. The city of Shanghai has deployed 125 mobile units of elite armed police around the city since May, each carrying at least two guns (following America, Chinese media often describe them as SWAT, or Special Weapons and Tactics, teams). Fifteen groups of ten officers each—all in blue Ford vans—patrol one tourist district near the Huangpu river. One of them is often parked on the Bund, Shanghai’s famous riverfront, close to revellers taking wedding photographs. Another is often stationed near People’s Square; during a recent rush hour the driver and a few of the squad in the back could be seen smoking cigarettes. If a terrorist strikes on their watch, they are allowed to shoot on sight.

Some citizens worry about reckless use of police firearms, but many see a need for greater, and more visible, protection. The attack in Kunming in March appeared to be the work of extremist Uighurs, who are a mostly Muslim ethnic minority from the western region of Xinjiang. It has been seared into the country’s consciousness. State media refer to it as China’s version of the September 11th attacks against America. Xi Jinping, the president, has echoed George W. Bush, America’s president at the time, saying that China is conducting a “people’s war on terror”.

Armed police have become a feature of this war. In a Xinjiang border town in July, police shot and killed at least 59 Uighurs in a conflict that state media said was initiated by a mob of locals who attacked government offices, killing 37. Uighur groups abroad allege that the real death toll was much higher.

via Police firearms: Weaponised | The Economist.

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