Tag Archives: Afghanistan

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 01-15 November 2022

DEFENCE

  • Shri Giridhar Aramane is the new Defence Secretary of India.
  • DRDO conducts flight-test of Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence.
  • Naval Commanders’ Conference.
  • Joint Military Training-2022 with Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).
  • Visit of Admiral R Hari Kumar, CNS to Japan.
  • Visit of External Affairs Minister to the Russian Federation (November 07-08, 2022).
  • Army Commanders’ Conference.
  • Maritime Partnership Exercise.
  • ‘Exercise Garuda-VII’ concludes.
  • Testing & evaluation facility for Sonar Systems launched by DRDO.
  • Gap between internal & external security narrowing: Raksha Mantri talk at the National Defence College.
  • Chief of Army Staff Proceeds on a visit to France.
  • Indo – US joint training exercise.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Somalia
  • 17 al-Shabaab terrorists killed in a US-led strike near Mogadishu.
Afghanistan
  • Taliban imposed Sharia law in Afghanistan.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • Police arrested three JeM terrorists from Pulwama.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against TRF operatives in ‘activities of The Resistance Front’ case.
  • J&K Police arrested four LeT terrorists from Pulwama.
  • Security forces eliminated four terrorists of HM and LeT in two separate CT operations.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • 650 Maoist OGWs surrendered in Odisha.
Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
  • NIA filed chargesheet in ‘seizure of arms & ammunication recovery from Tamil Nadu’ case.
  • NIA filed chargesheet against 05 terrorists, including 02 wanted in ‘D-Company’ case.
  • NIA searched multiple locations in Tamil Nadu in ‘Coimbatore bomb blast’ case.

DEFENCE

Shri Giridhar Aramane is the new Defence Secretary of India.

Shri Giridhar Aramane, a 1988-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, assumed the office of Defence Secretary on November 01, 2022. In his 32 years of experience in IAS, Shri Aramane has held various important portfolios in the Central Government as well as Andhra Pradesh government. Prior to his current assignment, Shri Aramane was Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
Shri Aramane did B Tech in Civil Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad and M Tech from IIT, Madras. He is MA (Economics) from Kakatiya University, Warangal.
For more information: Click here to read…

DRDO conducts flight-test of Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence.

Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful maiden flight-test of Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) interceptor AD-1 missile with large kill altitude bracket on November 02, 2022. The flight-test was carried out with participation of all BMD weapon system elements located at different geographical locations. The AD-1 is a long-range interceptor missile designed for both low exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interception of long-range ballistic missiles as well as aircraft. It is propelled by a two-stage solid motor and equipped with indigenously-developed advanced control system, navigation and guidance algorithm to precisely guide the vehicle to the target.
For more information: Click here to read…

Naval Commanders’ Conference.

The bi-annual Naval Commanders’ Conference concluded on 03 Nov 22. The Raksha Mantri interacted with the Senior leadership of the Indian Navy during the Naval Commanders’ Conference on 02 Nov 22. He witnessed a Tech Demonstration along the sidelines of the Conference. He appreciated the Navy for the efforts invested towards indigenisation and innovation in the recent years, while urging the Naval Commanders to maintain focus on futuristic capability development for effectively overcoming emerging challenges in the Maritime Domain.
For more information: Click here to read…

Joint Military Training-2022 with Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

On 03 November 2022, the 11th edition of the annual Joint Military Training (JMT) between the Indian Air Force (lAF) and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) commenced at Air Force Station, Kalaikunda. The two Air Forces have resumed this training after a gap of two years. The training could not be carried out in the intervening two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This edition of JMT would be conducted over a period of six weeks. The bilateral phase of the exercise will be conducted from 09 to 18 November 2022 and will see the two Air Forces engage in advanced air combat simulations. The RSAF is participating in JMT-2022 with F-16 aircraft, while the IAF would field the Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, MiG-29 and LCA Tejas aircraft. The exercise underscores the strong and longstanding relationship between India and Singapore in the domain of defence cooperation.
For more information: Click here to read…

Visit of Admiral R Hari Kumar, CNS to Japan.

Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) is on an official visit to Japan from 05 to 09 Nov 22, where he will witness the International Fleet Review (IFR) conducted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) at Yokosuka on 06 Nov 22 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of its formation. During the visit, as one of the Observer Navies in the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), the CNS will attend the 18th WPNS on 07-08 November 22 at Yokohama, being hosted by Japan, as the current Chair of WPNS.

In addition to representing India and the Indian Navy during the IFR and WPNS, he will also be in attendance for the inauguration of the 2022 edition of Exercise MALABAR, being held at Yokosuka with the participation of Australia, Japan and the USA. Initiated in 1992, this year marks the 30th anniversary year of Exercise MALABAR.
For more information: Click here to read…

Visit of External Affairs Minister to the Russian Federation (November 07-08, 2022).

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will pay an official visit to the Russian Federation from November 7-8, 2022. During the visit, EAM will meet his counterpart, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. Discussions are expected to cover the entire range of bilateral issues as well as exchange of views on various regional and international developments. EAM will also meet Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Minister of Trade and Industry, H.E. Mr. Denis Manturov, his counterpart for the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC). Issues pertaining to bilateral economic cooperation in various domains will be discussed.The visit will be in continuation of the regular high-level dialogue between the two sides. EAM had last visited Russia in July 2021 followed by visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to New Delhi in April 2022.
For more information: Click here to read…

Army Commanders’ Conference.

Army Commanders’ Conference (ACC) is an apex-level biannual event which is an institutional platform for conceptual level deliberations, culminating in making important policy decisions for the Indian Army. The second ACC for the year 2022 is scheduled from 07 to 11 November 2022 at New Delhi. Among other activities planned during the conference talks by eminent subject experts on “Contemporary India – China relations” as well as “Technological Challenges for National Security” is included.
For more information: Click here to read…

Maritime Partnership Exercise.

A Maritime Partnership Exercise involving Royal Australian Navy(RAN) ships HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Anzac and Indian Navy Ships Jalashwa and Kavaratti along with their embarked helicopters was held in the Bay of Bengal from 02 to 03 Nov 2022. The exercises included tactical manoeuvres, helicopter landings and amphibious operations, which signified the high degree of interoperability between IN and RAN.
For more information: Click here to read…

Testing & evaluation facility for Sonar Systems launched by DRDO.

DRDO launched Hull Module of Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterization & Evaluation (SPACE) facility at Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) Kochi recently. It is a state-of-the-art testing and evaluation facility for sonar systems developed for use by the Indian navy onboard various platforms, including ships, submarines and helicopters. The SPACE facility is based on the concept design and requirements projected by NPOL and has been constructed by M/s L&T Shipbuilding, Chennai. This will be mainly utilized for evaluating Sonar systems, allowing for quick deployment and easy recovery of scientific packages such as sensors and transducers.

The SPACE is one-of-a-kind facility in the world. The uniqueness of this facility lies in the specially designed submersible platform, which can be lowered up to depths of 100 meters using a series of synchronously operated winches. The design and construction of the platform meet all the statutory needs of Indian Register of Shipping and the vessel classifying authority and strictly adhere to the inspection and registration criteria as per Kerala Inland Vessel Rules.
Reference: Click here to read…

Gap between internal & external security narrowing: Raksha Mantri talk at the National Defence College.

Raksha Mantri has called for concerted efforts of the international community to counter “grave” emerging security threats such as cyber-attacks and information warfare. He was addressing the officers of the Indian Armed Forces, Civil Services as well as from friendly foreign countries during the 60th National Defence College (NDC) course convocation ceremony in New Delhi on November 10, 2022

Shri Rajnath Singh threw light on the narrowing gap between internal and external security and said that new dimensions of threats are being added with changing times, that are difficult to classify. He asserted that terrorism, which generally falls into internal security, is now classified in the category of external security, as training, funding and arms support of such organisations is being carried out from outside the country.

Describing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to cyber-attacks as a big concern, the Raksha Mantri said, sectors such as energy, transport, public sector services, telecommunications, critical manufacturing industries and interconnected financial systems are prone to such threats. He was of the view that information war has the potential to threaten the political stability of a country. He pointed out that the organised use of social media and other online content generation platforms is engineering the opinion and perspective of the masses.

“The deployment of information war was most evident in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Throughout the conflict, social media has served as a battleground for both sides to spread competing narratives about the war and portray the conflict on their own terms. The propaganda campaigns as a means of strategy to shape narratives are by no means new during warfare, but its reach has increased by leaps and bounds due to the shift toward social media as the primary distribution channel,” said Shri Rajnath Singh.
For more information: Click here to read…

‘Exercise Garuda-VII’ concludes.

The seventh edition of the bilateral air exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the French Air and Space Force (FASF), ‘Exercise Garuda-VII’ concluded at Air Force Station, Jodhpur on 12 November 2022. The FASF participated in the exercise with Rafale fighter aircraft and A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, while the IAF contingent comprised Su-30 MKI, Rafale, LCA ‘Tejas’ and Jaguar fighter aircraft. This fighter element was complemented by the IAF’s Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C, as well as Mi-17 helicopters and the newly inducted LCH ‘Prachanda’.

Exercise Garuda-VII provided the two Air Forces with the opportunity for professional interaction and sharing of operational knowledge and experience.
For more information: Click here to read…

Chief of Army Staff Proceeds on a visit to France.

General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff has proceeded on a visit to France from 14 to 17 November 2022. During the four day visit, he will be meeting his counterparts and senior military leadership of France with an aim to enhance defence cooperation between both the nations. He is scheduled to call on the Chief of the Defence Staff, Chief of the Army Staff, and Commander Commandement des Forces Terrestres (CFT) / Command of the Land Combat Forces, where he will discuss avenues for enhancing India-France defence relations.
For more information: Click here to read…

Indo – US joint training exercise.

The 18th edition of Indo – US joint training exercise “YUDH ABHYAS 22” is scheduled to be conducted in Uttarakhand this month. Exercise Yudh Abhyas is conducted annually between India and USA with the aim of exchanging best practices, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures between the Armies of the two nations. The previous edition of the exercise was conducted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (USA) in October 2021.

US Army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division and Indian Army soldiers from the ASSAM Regiment will be participating in the exercise. The training schedule focuses on employment of an integrated battle group under Chapter VII of the UN Mandate. The schedule will include all operations related to peace keeping & peace enforcement. The troops from both nations will work together to achieve common objectives. The joint exercise will also focus on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. Troops from both nations will practice launching of swift & coordinated relief efforts in the wake of any natural calamity. The exercise will involve exchanges and practices on a wide spectrum of combat skills including combat engineering, employment of UAS/Counter UAS techniques and information operations
For more information: Click here to read…

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

Africa
Somalia

17 al-Shabaab terrorists killed in the US-Somalia joint strike near Mogadishu.

On 11 November 2022, Somali National Army forces, in assistance from the US military, carried out strike approximately 285 kms northeast of Mogadishu and eliminated 17 al-Shabaab terrorists. “Al-Shabaab is the largest terror affiliate of al-Qa’ida and has proven its will and capabilities to attack Somali, East African, and American civilians,” read a statement released by the US Africa Command. The US has been providing support to the Somali government since May 2022 when US President Joe Biden approved a Pentagon request to re-deploy US troops in the area to counter al-Shabaab terror group.
For more information: Click here to read…

Afghanistan
Taliban imposed Sharia law in Afghanistan.

On 15 November 2022, Taliban ordered judges in Afghanistan to fully impose Sharia Law, including potential public executions, amputations, and flogging. “Afghanistan’s Supreme Leader Alaiqadar Amirul Momineen made the obligatory command after meeting with judges to investigate the cases of thieves, kidnappers, and seditionists. The cases that have met all the Sharia conditions of limitation and retribution, judges are obliged to issue the limitation and retribution, because this is the order of the Sharia….and it is obligatory to act,” tweeted Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
For more information: Click here to read…

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
Police arrested three JeM terrorists from Jammu.

On 09 November 2022, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police arrested three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists— i) Mohammad Yaseen, ii) Farhan Farooq, and iii) Farooq Ahmed, from Narwal area in Jammu. During the interrogation, Yaseen informed that the trio had come to Jammu to pick weapons at the behest of Shahbaaz, a Pakistan-based JeM handler. Police recovered three AK-56 rifles, a pistol, nine magazines, 191 rounds of ammunition and six grenades from their possessions.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against TRF operatives in ‘activities of The Resistance Front’ case.

On 09 November 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary chargesheet against Muzamil Mushtaq Bhat, a ‘The Resistance Front’ (TRG) terrorist in the ‘activities of The Resistance Front’ case. The chargesheet was filed u/s 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 25 (1AA) of the Arms Act, Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act (ESA), and Sections 17, 18, 18B, 20, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UA(P)A].

The preliminary investigation of the case— RC-32/2021/NIA/DLI, highlighted that Muzamil Bhat was associated with the handlers/operatives of TRF based in Pakistan and had radicalised vulnerable youth to join TRG in Kashmir. He, along with another Pakistan-based handler/operative of TRF, actively participated in support of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and received funds from LeT.
For more information: Click here to read…

J&K Police arrested four LeT terrorists from Pulwama.

On 11 November 2022, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police arrested four Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists— i) Karamat ul-lah Reshi, ii) Suhail Bashir Ganai, iii) Adil Ghani Lon, and iv) Irshad Ahmed Kumar, from Pulwama. These terrorists were conspiring to plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to attack security forces.

The preliminary investigations revealed that these terrorists were in contact with LeT commander— Babar aka Samama, and conspired to plant IEDs in Tral area.
For more information: Click here to read…

Security forces eliminated four terrorists of HM and LeT in two separate CT operations.

On 01 November 2022, security forces killed four terrorists of Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in two separate counter-terrorism (CT) operations in Awantipora, in Pulwama and Bijbehara in Anantnag districts.

In first operation, the joint team of Indian Army and police cordoned off the area for search operation in Semthan area in Bijbehara. In a gun-fight, Shakir Ahmad, a HM terrorist was killed. In second operation, security forces eliminated 03 terrorists, including a foreign terrorist in Khandipora area of Awantipora in Pulwama.
For more information: Click here to read…

Left-Wing Extremism
650 Maoist OGWs surrendered in Odisha.

On 05 November 2022, at least 650 Maoist Over-Ground Workers (OGWs)/supporters— residents of villages along the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border— surrendered before the police. According to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIGP) of South-Western range— Rajesh Pandit, Maoist supporters [OGWs] who have surrendered come from remote villages in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. They used to help the CPI (Maoists)’s cadres carry out attacks on security forces and civilians, among other violent activities. These sympathisers/OGWs set fire to Maoist literature, effigies, and cadre uniforms while shouting slogans like “Maobadi Murdabad, Ama Sarkar Jindabad.”
For more information: Click here to read…

Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
NIA filed chargesheet in ‘seizure of arms & ammunication recovery from Tamil Nadu’ case.

On 11 November 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against three accused— i) Naveen, ii) Sanjay Prakash J, and iii) A Kabilar, in the arms, ammunition and explosive recovery case. The case— RC-33/22/NIA/DLI pertains to the recovery of two country-made pistols, ammunition, gun powder, etcetera, from 02 accused during vehicle checking, followed by their arrest. The duo confessed to be inspired by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) and created a group— “World Tamil Justice Court (WTJC)”— similar to LTTE with the aim to wage an armed struggle against the government.

The accused conspired to attack people who engaged in quarries, crushers, and TASMAC ouruor shops by using illegal firearms, lethal weapons, and explosive substances.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA filed chargesheet against 05 terrorists, including 02 wanted in ‘D-Company’ case.

On 05 November 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed chargesheet against 03 arrested— i) Arif abu Bakar Shaikh, ii) Shabbir abu Bakar Shaikh, and iii) Mohammad Salim Qureshi and 02 wanted terrorists— i) Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, and ii) Shakeel Shaikh, who are running a ‘global terror network’ and a trans-national Organised Crime Syndicate (OSC)— D-Company.

Investigations have revealed that the D-Company operatives conspired to further the network’s criminal activities by engaging in a variety of illegal activities. In furtherance of the aforementioned conspiracy, these operatives raised, collected, and extorted large sums of money by threatening and putting people in fear of death or serious harm, for the benefit of the D-Company / an individual terrorist in the instant case, and with the intent to threaten India’s security and instil fear in the minds of the general public.
For more information: Click here to read…

NIA searched multiple locations in Tamil Nadu in ‘Coimbatore bomb blast’ case.

On 10 November 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched 43 locations in 08 districts, including Chennai, Coimbatore, Thiruvallur, Thiruppur, Nilgiris, Chengalpatu, Kanchipuram, and Nagapattinam of Tamil Nadu, and 01 location in Palakkad district in Kerala. The search operation was in connection with the Coimbatore bomb blast case— RC-01/2022/NIA/CHE.

The case pertains to an explosion in a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in front of Kottai Eswaran Temple of Coimbatore district on 23 October 2022. According to the preliminary investigations, an Islamic State (IS) operative— Jamesha Mubeen, after taking bayath/oath to IS, was conspiring to carryout suicide attacks against specific section of the community. So far, six accused have been arrested in the same case.
For more information: Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest – November 18, 2022

Afghanistan
Participants at Moscow Format Release Joint Statement: Tolo News

The participants of the Moscow Format discussed the current situation in Afghanistan with an emphasis on regional security, military-political stability, socio-economic and humanitarian issues, a joint statement of the meeting participants saidClick here to read…

Taliban Reaffirm Afghanistan Not a Threat to Other Nation: OIC Meeting: The Khaama Press

In a meeting with representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi reaffirmed Afghanistan soil will not be a threat against other countries. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Towards stronger ties with Singapore – Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh’s next step in its economic journey is shedding its LDC tag and becoming a full-fledged middle-income economy this year. As has been reiterated time and time again, this transition shall not be easy, and it will require significant planning. Bangladesh is hoping that Singaporean entrepreneurs pay heed to the prime minister’s words and explore the investment opportunities Bangladesh offers. Simultaneously, we must continue to not only establish ties with other nations, but continue to work on our overall business climate, that remains far from ideal, so that we truly become a desirable destination for foreign investment. Click here to read…

BGB, BSF reaffirm vow to bring down border killings to zero – Dhaka Tribune

A five-day regional commander level border conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) ended in Kolkata on Wednesday renewing the consensus in bringing down the border killings to zero level…The two sides also agreed to conduct joint patrolling at risky bordering areas, strengthen awareness-raising program and take up various socio-economic development programClick here to read…

Home minister in New Delhi to join international conference on terror financing – Dhaka Tribune

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan arrived in India’s New Delhi on Thursday to attend an international ministerial conference on how to deal with terror financing, including legitimate and illegitimate funding routes. The third ministerial “No Money for Terror” conference, organized by the Indian government in New Delhi on Friday and Saturday, will be attended by representatives of 76 countries to discuss terrorist financing and related issues. Home ministers of about 20 countries including Russia, France, Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore are expected to participate in the event. Click here to read…

Bhutan
CMD, WAPCOS visited Punatasangchhu Hydroelectric Projects in Bhutan – PSU Connect

Shri R. K. Agrawal, CMD, WAPCOS & NPCC visited Punatasangchhu-I (P-I), 1200 MW and Punatsangchhu-II (P-II), 1020 MW Hydroelectric Projects in Bhutan on 16th November 2022. Shri S. K. Yadav, Managing Director (PHPA-I) and Shri R. K. Chandel, Managing Director (PHPA-II) along with their respective teams were present. WAPCOS is the Engineering Consultant for both the Projects. Click here to read…

Maldives
Maldives: Achieving debt sustainability might prove difficult – ORF Online

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer told Parliament that at 108 percent of the GDP, ‘debt sustainability is the biggest target’ of his budget in the new fiscal, beginning in January. In reality, balancing the debt is challenging, especially because the presidential election is due in the last quarter of 2023. Apart from unanticipated expenses that could not be put off as always, in popular democracy, demands from various sections, both within Parliament and outside, will entail additional allocations. Click here to read…

Myanmar
A Must-Read Guide to Myanmar Junta’s Deadly Air Strikes – The Irrawaddy

Since shortly after the coup, the Myanmar military regime has been consistently launching air strikes across the country in an attempt to crush local resistance forces it designates as “terrorist” groups. As the junta is losing the ground battle, the aerial bombing campaign has sharply escalated in recent months with near daily attacks in the resistance strongholds of Sagaing and Magwe regions and Kayah, Karen and Chin states. Using helicopters, jet fighters and surveillance drones, the junta has also deliberately and indiscriminately attacked civilian targets in those areas, inflicting heavy casualties on local residents including children. Click here to read…

Myanmar Will Not Hold an ‘Election’ in August 2023 – The Irrawaddy

An election is understood to mean “a formal and organized choice by vote of a person for a political office or other position.” Myanmar’s junta has claimed it will organize an ‘election’ for August 2023. Don’t call it what it isn’t. The junta’s event, whatever it is and looks like, will in no way be an election. If analysts, media, and diplomats use the term ‘election’, the onus is on them to justify and prove why and how exactly it wasn’t legitimate when in fact it wasn’t even what happened. Click here to read…

Some Political Prisoners Among Almost 6,000 Freed in Myanmar Junta Amnesty – The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military regime released some political prisoners including a minister from the country’s ousted National League for Democracy (NLD), the party’s spokesperson, a former student leader and an anti-regime activist Buddhist monk among almost 6,000 prisoners granted amnesty on Thursday. Click here to read…

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Nepal
Ruling alliance appeals for votes for its candidates – The Kathmandu Post

In a joint appeal issued a few hours before the commencement of the silence period, the four-party alliance solicits votes promising political stability and prosperity. The coalition said that the threat of regression has not yet subsided, and said that if the alliance does not get a majority, the same trend may return. The leaders have claimed that the goal of the alliance is to prevent any kind of attack on the constitution and raise the country to the level of a developing country by completing development projects on time. Click here to read…

Interview: ‘Monarchy in Nepal Will Mean More Respectful Ties With India, China’: RPP Leader – The Wire

Asserting that a return to monarchy would help Nepal to build a strong bulwark against foreign interference, a senior official of Nepal’s pro-royal party also noted that the border controversy – or the new political map depicting disputed territories under India’s control – is not an issue that will find resonance with the electorate in the current general elections. With Nepali citizens disenchanted with traditional politics, RPP hopes to capture some of the frustration this time with more votes. Click here to read…

Forex reserves increase by $130m in one month – The Himalayan Times

Significant improvement in remittance inflow coupled with import restrictions on certain non-essential goods seem to have propped up the country’s foreign exchange reserves, which rose by $130 million in the one-month period between mid-September and mid-October, as per the latest macroeconomic update unveiled by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) today. Click here to read…

Pakistan
‘Unrealistic’ flood cost baffles IMF: The Express Tribune

Pakistan on Thursday had to concede to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) demand to exhibit the flood reconstruction cost in this year’s budget after the global lender found the projected relief operation estimates of Rs251 billion or $1.1 billion “unrealistic”. Click here to read…

Imran believes threat to his life still very much there: The Express Tribune

PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan has said that there still remained a threat to his life even after an assassination attempt in Wazirabad earlier this month. Imran was wounded on November 3 in the shooting at a rally, part of a rolling march that he has led to press for a general election, since he was ousted in a parliament vote in April. Click here to read…

‘Neither president nor PTI will object to new COAS appointment’: The News

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and his party will neither want a confrontation with the new military establishment nor President Dr Arif Alvi will show any resistance or create any hurdle in the appointment of the army chief by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a senior PTI leader has claimed. Click here to read…

PM Shehbaz Sharif consults PDM on army chief appointment: The News

Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif has made consultations with the senior leadership of allied parties of the government prior to the appointment of the new army chief. The allied parties have reportedly fully mandated the premier for making the appointment as per set procedure and traditions. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka – South Africa ties based on economic cooperation and investment – Daily News

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who was in Sri Lanka for a short visit on Wednesday (16) after attending the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Katunayake Air Force base for bilateral discussions. The discussions were focused on further strengthening the bilateral relationship aiming at economic cooperation and investment, expanding tourism in Sri Lanka, and receiving South African assistance, guidance and counseling in setting up a credible truth-seeking mechanism to achieve a lasting reconciliation amongst communities.The two state leaders exchanged mementoesClick here to read…

Reforms and Investor Confidence – Daily News

Realising this imperative need, President Wickremesinghe presented a reforms-filled Budget 2023, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance earlier this week. The budget is aimed at making the Government less of a burden on the Treasury and the Government would make reforms to change the economy. At the same time he dismissed the critics who alleged that the reforms were done due to the conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The economic reforms we are bringing are not limited to the reforms agreed upon with the IMF. The economic reforms proposed by the IMF are limited to economic stabilisation only,” he said. He did not refrain from telling the people about the truthful situation in the country. “There is no future for the country by continuing on this popular path. There is no prosperity for the country by giving concessions while being in debt to others. So, let’s get out of this situation now. Let’s change our thinking patterns.” Click here to read…

President to inaugurate Sri Lanka Economic Summit on Dec. 5 – Daily News

The upcoming Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2022, (SLES 2022) one of the most anticipated annual economic event in Sri Lanka, will be inaugurated by the Chief Guest, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, under the theme Resetting from Turmoil to Opportunity on December 5, at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo. SLES 2022 is scheduled to be held on December 5 and 6 as a hybrid summit. This year the Summit will focus on key levers that will lead to macroeconomic stability, charting a course toward sustainable revival as the country embarks on the monumental task of economic recovery. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest- October 12, 2022

Afghanistan
Afghanistan is Candidate for UN Human Rights Council: Faiq: Tolo News

The Chargé d’Affaires of the Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the UN, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, said that Afghanistan is a candidate for membership in the UN Human Rights Council. Faiq said that 14 countries including Afghanistan have been nominated to be selected for membership in the OHCHR. Click here to read…

Islamic Emirate Leader Meets with Provincial Intelligence Heads: Tolo News

Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter that the Islamic Emirate leader Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada met with officials of the general intelligence department and provincial intelligence heads. According to a statement issued by Mujahid, Akhundzada ordered the officials to protect the rights, culture, religion and property of the citizens. Click here to read…

Earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 Shakes Northern Afghanistan: The Khaama Press

The provincial capital of Balkh province in northern Afghanistan, Mazar-e-Sharif, was jolted by an earthquake that had a moderately strong Richter magnitude of 4.9, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). According to the USGS, the US scientific agency that provides information on natural hazards, the earthquake shook Mazar-e-Sharif at around noon on Tuesday, October 11. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Shahriar: Bangladesh elected UNHRC member because of experience with rights issues: Dhaka Tribune

In a video message, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has said the UN member states voted for Bangladesh with an expectation that it will be able to help with its experience in dealing with human rights issues. Click here to read…

LNG: European thirst for natural gas puts Bangladesh in dark: Dhaka Tribune

European countries have already bought more liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2022 than in any year previously. The surge in demand followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with various European governments rushing to end their dependence on Russian energy as quickly as possible. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Bhutan To Launch Its First-Ever International Snowman Race – News18

Bhutan is all set for its first-ever international Snowman Race which is touted to be one of the high-altitude ultra-marathons. The event is geared to being on October 13 and will conclude on 17 in the Land of Thunderbolt. The event will witness 25 athletes of which nine are hailing from Bhutan, who will compete across five days to cover a distance of 203 kilometres as they travel across an oxygen-sparse average of 14,800 ft. The race will start from Gasa Dzong and will finish at Chamkhar, Bumthang. Click here to read…

Maldives
Suspected drug lord arrested upon arrival in the Maldives – Avas

A suspect believed to be one of the most notorious drug lords of the Maldives, Arshad Khalid, 28, of Alora, S. Hoadedhdhoo, has been arrested. At the time, the state charged him due to links to nine kilograms of drugs and MVR 4.2 million that were seized by the police. Late last year, the police seized 119 kg of drugs in another drug operation, linked him to the drugs, and attempted to arrest him. However, he had already left the country by then. Click here to read…

Myanmar
More Than 40 Myanmar Junta Troops Killed in Two Days of Resistance Attacks – the Irrawaddy

Over 40 Myanmar junta forces were reportedly killed in the last two days as People’s Defense Force (PDF) groups continued to attack regime targets in Sagaing, Magwe, Mandalay and Tanintharyi regions and Chin State. Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Jails and Files Cases Against Journalists – the Irrawaddy

Myanmar junta’s media crackdown has continued with one journalist being sentenced to three years in jail for incitement while two charges were filed against an editor last week. Detained political columnist U Sithu Aung Myint was sentenced to three years in prison with labor by a special court inside Insein Prison in Yangon on October 5 for alleged incitement under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code. Click here to read…

Myanmar Junta Uses Japan-Donated Ships to Transport Troops in Rakhine: HRW – the Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s military regime used ships donated by Japan for civilian use to transport troops in war-torn northern Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday. The rights watchdog called on the Japanese government to suspend non-humanitarian aid to Myanmar and sanction junta officials linked with serious human rights violations. Click here to read…

Nepal

‘Govt committed to providing citizenship to NRNs’ – the Himalayan Times

Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand has said the incumbent government was committed to providing citizenship to Non-Resident Nepalis as per the constitutional provision.At a programme organised by the Non Resident Nepalis Association on the occasion of its establishment day here today, Home Minister Khand recalled that the bill on citizenship had not been authenticated by the president though the bill was passed twice by the federal Parliament. He added that the bill was passed with the purpose of granting citizenship to all Nepali citizens and also to give citizenship to the NRNs as per the constitution. Click here to read…

Government to utilise knowledge of elderly – The Himalayan Times

The Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizens has invited applications from eligible non-governmental organisations to receive grants for construction and operation of senior citizens’ meeting centre.According to the notice published on it website, the MoWCSC said the applications along with required documents should be submitted to the ministry before October-end. The MoWCSC said the NGOs would be selected on the basis of provisions mentioned in the Senior Citizens’ Meeting Centre Grant Procedure, 2022. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Stage set for major reshuffle in top military brass: Dawn

The promoted generals, according to ISPR, are Maj Gen Inam Haider Malik, Maj Gen Fayyaz Hussain Shah, Maj Gen Nauman Zakria, Maj Gen Mohammad Zafar Iqbal, Maj Gen Ayman Bilal Safdar, Maj Gen Ahsan Gulrez, Maj Gen Syed Aamer Raza, Maj Gen Shahid Imtiaz, Maj Gen Mohammad Munir Afsar, Maj General Babar Iftikhar, Maj Gen Yousaf Jamal, and Maj Gen Kashif Nazir. Click here to read…

Editorial: Much-needed probe: Dawn

Last evening, there were several tweets from the president’s official Twitter handle to ‘clarify’ that there was no change in his views on the matter, that he very much had suspicions about a conspiracy. In the TV interview, he said he had already requested the Supreme Court to launch an inquiry and while he did not expect any “smoking gun”, he believed it should take “circumstantial evidence” into account. He also asserted on air that he was impartial in his role as president and that his affiliation with the PTI — of which he is one of the founders — was in the past. Click here to read…

Civilian, democratically elected govt main interlocutor of Pak-US: Ned Price: The News

The US appreciates the longstanding cooperation with Pakistan, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday. He said Pakistan and the US governments share common interests in many areas.

“We value our longstanding cooperation with Pakistan. There are a number of areas where our interests are aligned,” he said, addressing a press briefing at the State Department in Washington. Click here to read…

Unemployment, inflation to rise: IMF: The News

Without incorporating the impact of recent floods, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has kept Pakistan’s GDP growth projection at 3.5 percent for the current fiscal year 2022-23 against 6 percent growth achieved in the last financial year. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
President’s office strikes at Bandula, says SL will remain ’middle income’: Daily Mirror

Contradicting Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardane, President’s Media Division (PMD) said Sri Lanka will remain a middle-income country.
The PMD said in a statment that the government is pursuing a “reverse graduation” policy for a limited period of time. Click here to read…

Import, Export Control Act to be submitted to parliament for approval: Daily Mirror

The regulations under the Import and Export Control Act will be submitted for parliament approval in due course after Cabinet nod for the same was given this week. Approval for the gazette issued in September will be sought to pave the way for migrant workers to import electrical vehicles. The allowance is made by the government as a means to encourage Sri Lankans working overseas to remit foreign earnings via legal and formal channels into the country. Click here to read…

VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16-31 October 2022

DEFENCE

  • Raksha Mantri holds bilateral meetings with his counterparts at the DefExpo-2022.
  • Defence Secretary conducts bilateral meetings ahead of DefExpo 2022.
  • DEFEXPO 22.
  • India-Africa Defence Dialogue held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022.
  • ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence: Announcement of fourth positive indigenisation list.
  • Seminar on Certification and Qualification of Airborne Stores.
  • Raksha Mantri hosts Indian Ocean Region plus Defence Ministers’ Conclave.
  • Seminar on the theme ‘New Frontiers in US-India Defence Cooperation: Next Generation Technology, Innovation & Make in India’.
  • Indian Air Force & HAL conclude contract for indigenous trainer aircraft.
  • Telephonic conversation between Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh & Defence Minister of Russia Mr Sergei Shoigu.
  • Indian Coast Guard Rescues Bangladeshi Fishermen.
  • Procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft.
  • 29th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).
  • Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force (FASF) bilateral exercise ‘Garuda VII’.
  • First edition of India-Mozambique-Tanzania Trilateral Exercise.

INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

West Asia
Israel
  • A Palestinian terrorist killed an Israeli and wounded three others in Kiryat Arba area.
Iran
  • At least 15 were killed in a terror attack in Iran; Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Africa
Somalia
  • Twin car bombings killed at least 100 people in Mogadishu.
  • Government urged the US to increase drone strikes against al-Shabaab.
Mali
  • “Hundreds of people massacared by Islamic State-affiliated groups in Mali in 2022”: Human Rights Watch.
Morocco
  • Morocco’s law-enforcement arrested five Islamic State sympathisers in separate operations.
Afghanistan
  • Islamic State attacked a vehicle and killed five medical personnel in Herat province.
  • Taliban killed six Islamic State terrorists in an operation in Kabul.

DOMESTIC TERRORISM

Jammu and Kashmir
  • NIA filed chargesheet against 12 suspects in ‘Sunjwan Terrorist Attack’ case.
  • China blocked the proposal by India and the US at UN to blacklist LeT chief’s son.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • Maoists killed a youth in Odisha.
  • Since 2020, Chhattisgarh police blocked eight key supply networks of Maoists in Bastar region.
  • Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
    • NIA arrested 13th accused in the ‘PFI’ case.
    • MHA involved the NIA to unearth AQIS’s module in different districts of Assam.
    • NIA searched multiple locations in Bihar in connection with ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ case.
    • NIA searched two locations in Uttar Pradesh & Delhi and arrested an IS terrorist from Uttar Pradesh.
    Narco-Trafficking
    • NIA searched two locations in Punjab in ‘Narcotics trade and terror funding’ case.

    DEFENCE

    Raksha Mantri (RM) holds bilateral meetings with his counterparts at the DefExpo-2022.

    The RM on October 17, 2022, held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from AFRICA who are attending the India-Africa Defence Dialogue and the DefExpo in Gujarat. In the course of the meetings, the Raksha Mantri met with Major General Hanana Ould Sidi, Defence Minister of Mauritania; Mr Rameaux-Claude Bireau, Defence Minister of Central African Republic; Mr Sering Modou Njie Defence Minister of Gambia; Mr Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul Defence Minister of Republic of Ghana; Dr. Abraham Belay Defence Minister of Republic of Ethiopia and Mrs Janine Tatiana Santos Lelis Defence Minister of Republic of Cabo Verde. The entire spectrum of defence cooperation was discussed during the meetings, with focus on identifying avenues to expand mutually beneficial collaboration.

    The RM on October 18, 2022, held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Rwanda, Armenia and the Maldives at the 12th DefExpo. In the course of the meetings, the RM met with Minister of Defence, Rwanda Major General Albert Murasira; Minister of Defence of Armenia Mr Suren Papikyan and Minister of Defence of the Maldives Ms Mariya Ahmed Didi.

    Along with the IOR+ Conclave, the RM, on October 19, 2022, held bilateral meetings with delegation leaders from Bangladesh, Angola, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Paraguay, who are attending the DefExpo. In the course of the meetings, Shri Rajnath Singh met with Major General Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Security Advisor to Prime Minister of Bangladesh; Mr Joao Ernesto Dos Santos, Minister of National Defence and Homeland Veterans of Republic of Angola; Ms Thandi Modise, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Republic of South Africa; Ms Gladys Arsenia Ruiz Pecci, Vice Minister of Defence, Paraguay and Mr Gilbert Kabanda Kurhenga, Minister of National Defence and War Veterans, Democratic Republic of Congo.
    For more information: Click here to read… and Click here to read… and Click here to read…

    Defence Secretary conducts bilateral meetings ahead of DefExpo 2022.

    Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar conducted a series of bilateral meetings with visiting dignitaries from friendly foreign countries prior to DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He held a bilateral meeting with Mr Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, State Minister for Defence, Sri Lanka. They discussed a host of ongoing and future defence cooperation issues.
    The Defence Secretary also met Mr Devendre Gopaul, Permanent Secretary, Mauritius. A number of key bilateral, defence and maritime security issues were deliberated during the meeting. Another bilateral meeting with the United Arab Emirates delegation led by Mr Matar Salem Ali Marran Aldhaheri, Defence Secretary, UAE was held. They reviewed the existing defence cooperation mechanisms and explored the possibilities of furthering defence industrial cooperation between India and UAE.

    Dr Ajay Kumar later met a Brazilian delegation led by Rear Admiral Vagner Belarmino De Oliveira, Director, Department of Defence Products. They discussed areas of potential defence industrial cooperation between the two countries.

    A bilateral meeting was conducted with Lt Gen Isman Mohamed Hassan Karar, Secretary General MoD, Sudan. Lt Gen Rashad Abdelhamid Ismail Abdalla, Sudan Army Chief was also present. The ongoing defence cooperation issues and potential areas for future cooperation were discussed.

    A Zambia delegation led by Mr Norman Chipakupaku, Permanent Secretary, MoD Zambia met Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar. Issues relating to training and capacity building were discussed, in addition to the review of ongoing bilateral defence cooperation.

    Dr Ajay Kumar also met the Niger delegation led by Brigadier General Diddilli Amadou, Secretary General of the Defence Minister, Niger. Potential areas for defence cooperation between the two nations were deliberated.

    A Mali delegation led by Maj Gen Sidiki Samake, Secretary General of the Department met the Defence Secretary. They discussed potential defence cooperation including defence industrial cooperation issues.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    DEFEXPO 22.

    DefExpo-2022, the flagship event of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, one of the largest of its kind was held in the twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 18 to 22 October 2022. The 12th edition of the DefExpo aims to bring new technologies and solutions in the field of defence exclusively for Indian companies in line with Aatmanirbharta. The theme of DefExpo 2022 was ‘Path to Pride’. At DefExpo-2022, the participants got an opportunity to showcase their equipment and platforms and were able to explore the strengths and capabilities of the expanse of Indian Defence industry for forging business partnerships.

    Organised in the largest-ever total area with record registration of 1,340 companies, the event has been organised in a four-venue format. The first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies. Indian companies, Indian subsidiaries of Foreign OEMs, Division of company registered in India, Exhibitor having Joint Venture with an Indian company were considered as Indian participants. 451 partnerships in terms of MoUs, Transfer of Technology agreements and product launches were expected during the Bandhan ceremony on 20th October 2022.

    Seventy five (75) countries will be participating in DefExpo 2022. The Raksha Mantri will host the second India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) on October 18, while the Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave will take place on October 19. More than 53 African countries have been invited for IADD and 44 for IOR+ conclave. Several Defence Ministers from Africa and the IOR+ region have confirmed their participation.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD) held on the sidelines of DefExpo 2022.

    The dialogue successfully brought out various aspects of the IADD’s theme ‘Adopting Strategy for Synergizing and Strengthening Defence and Security Cooperation’. Delivering the keynote address, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh defined the theme of IADD as the underlying commitment of India and African countries to explore new areas of convergence for defence engagements, including capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter terrorism. He termed India & African countries as important stakeholders in ensuring a safe and secure maritime environment, especially in the Indian Ocean Region.

    The Gandhinagar Declaration was adopted as an outcome document of IADD 2022. It proposes to enhance cooperation in the field of training in all areas of mutual interest by increasing training slots and deputation of training teams, empowerment and capability building of the defence forces of Africa, participation in exercises and humanitarian assistance during natural disasters. India offered fellowship for experts from African countries through Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis. Fifty African countries, including 20 Defence Ministers, seven CDS/Service Chiefs and eight Permanent Secretaries participated in the Dialogue attesting to the high priority accorded to India-Africa engagement in defence and security. On the sidelines of the IADD, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt met with the visiting African Ministers where issues related to defence and bilateral relations were discussed.

    The IADD was institutionalised to be held biennially during successive DefExpos. It seeks to build on the existing defence partnerships between African countries & India and to explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagements including areas such as capacity building, training, cyber security, maritime security and counter-terrorism.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence: Announcement of fourth positive indigenisation list.

    The MoD had earlier promulgated ‘First, Second and Third Positive Indigenisation Lists’, comprising 310 items on August 21, 2020, May 31, 2021 and April 07, 2022 respectively. The ‘Fourth Positive Indigenisation List’ of 101 items was announced by the Prime Minister during DefExpo 2022. All the items included in the lists will be procured from indigenous sources as per provisions given in Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020. This list provides continuous impetus towards self-reliance in defence. The fourth list has been prepared by MoD after several rounds of consultations with three services and all stakeholders, including the industry. It lays special focus on equipment/systems, which are being developed and likely to translate into firm orders in the next five to ten years.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Seminar on Certification and Qualification of Airborne Stores.

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) organised a seminar in partnership with the Society of Indian Defence Manufactures (SIDM) on the topic of “Certification and Qualification of Airborne Stores: Supporting the Private Sector to promote Indigenous R&D and Manufacturing”. The topic of Certification and qualification of Airborne Stores, conforming to global standards, is therefore need of the hour. As part of the IAF’s focus on ‘Make in India’, the seminar was aimed to enable a better understanding of the process of certification and qualification requirements in respect of airborne stores. The discussions was focused on the role of the certification and qualification agencies in this process.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Raksha Mantri hosts Indian Ocean Region plus Defence Ministers’ Conclave.

    The conclave was attended by 40 countries, with 22 ministers addressing the conference, some of them in hybrid mode. The broad theme was ‘Challenges Opportunities and Collaborations in the Indian Ocean’. It facilitated dialogue towards fostering a stable and peaceful Indian Ocean, with strategic and commercial partnerships within the IOR. The RM listed out shared challenges in the IOR such as spread of terrorism through sea routes, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, piracy and regional and global food security. He asserted that terrorism, exported, supported or coordinated through maritime routes remains a major concern and India continues to guard against the spread of the menace. He appreciated the fact that piracy has been suppressed in the Western Indian Ocean with concerted international effort and sustained efforts must continue to deter the menace.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Seminar on the theme ‘New Frontiers in US-India Defence Cooperation: Next Generation Technology, Innovation & Make in India’.

    Raksha Mantri has invited US companies to set up manufacturing units in India and develop technology collaborations with Indian industries to create a global supply chain free from vulnerabilities and uncertainties. He was addressing a seminar jointly organised by US-India Business Council (UIBC) and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) as part of the 12th DefExpo on October 20, 2022. The seminar was organised on the theme ‘New Frontiers in US-India Defence Cooperation: Next Generation Technology, Innovation & Make in India’. The RM described the project agreement to co-develop Air-Launched UAVs, under the auspices of the India-US Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, as a welcome development. He stated that industries from both sides can explore additional DTTI projects, such as a counter unmanned aerial systems and an Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance platform.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Indian Air Force & HAL conclude contract for indigenous trainer aircraft.

    Prime Minister unveiled HTT-40, an indigenous trainer aircraft designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), at the India Pavilion during 12th DefExpo on October 19, 2022. The aircraft has state-of-the-art contemporary systems and has been designed with pilot-friendly features. With over 60 per cent in-house parts and collaboration of private industry. The HTT-40 would be used for basic flight training, aerobatics, instrument flying and close formation flights whereas its secondary roles would include navigation and night flying. It is designed to meet primary training requirements of the Indian defence services.
    Built around a meticulously-tested turbo-prop engine, the aircraft is equipped with the latest avionics, an air-conditioned cabin and ejection seats. It boasts of unique features like running change-over of pilots, hot-refuelling and short-turnaround time. All the tests required for certification were completed in record six years from the first flight. Indian Air Force and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited concluded a contract for 70 HTT-40 indigenous trainer aircraft worth Rs 6,800 crore.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Telephonic conversation between Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh & Defence Minister of Russia Mr Sergei Shoigu.

    The RM held a telephonic conversation with the Defence Minister of Russian Federation Mr Sergei Shoigu on October 26, 2022 at the latter’s request. During the telecon, both Ministers discussed bilateral defence cooperation as well as the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. Defence Minister Shoigu briefed the RM on the evolving situation in Ukraine, including his concerns about possible provocations through use of ‘dirty bomb’. The RM reiterated India’s position on the need to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy for an early resolution of the conflict. He pointed out that the nuclear option should not be resorted to by any side as the prospect of the usage of nuclear or radiological weapons goes against the basic tenets of humanity.
    For reference: Click here to read…

    Indian Coast Guard Rescues Bangladeshi Fishermen.

    Indian Coast Guard (ICG) rescued 20 Bangladeshi fishermen from the sea off Sagar Island near Indo-Bangladesh International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) on 25 Oct 22. In a swift coordinated Search and Rescue (SAR) operation, ICG saved their lives after the Coast Guard Dornier aircraft on surveillance sortie of the post landfall of cyclone “SITRANG” sighted their capsized boats and alerted the SAR team. They were rescued quickly and handed over to Bangladesh Coast Guard.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft.

    Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a transport aircraft manufacturing project for the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Vadodara, Gujarat on October 30, 2022. The Cabinet Committee on Security had, on September 08, 2021, approved the procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft from M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A., Spain. On September 24, 2021, Ministry of Defence signed a contract with M/s Airbus Defence and Space S.A. for acquisition of the aircraft with associated equipment. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on October 27, 2022, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar said, as part of the contract, 16 aircraft will be delivered in flyaway condition and 40 will be manufactured in India by the Indian Aircraft Contractor, TATA Consortium of Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) led by TASL. This is the first project of its kind in which a military aircraft will be manufactured in India by a private company. The total cost of the project is Rs 21,935 crore. The aircraft can be used for civilian purposes as well.

    The first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025. The first Made in India aircraft is expected from September 2026. C-295MW is a transport aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity with contemporary technology that will replace the ageing Avro aircraft of IAF. 96% of the total man hour work per aircraft that Airbus employs at its manufacturing facility at Spain will be undertaken in India by the TATA Consortium. Manufacturing of over 13,400 Detail Parts, 4,600 sub-assemblies and all the seven Major Component Assemblies will be undertaken in India, along with tools, jigs and testers. Various systems such as engines, landing gear, avionics, EW suite etc. will be provided by Airbus Defence & Space and integrated on the aircraft by the TATA Consortium.

    The aircraft will be tested as an integrated system by the TATA Consortium. The aircraft will be flight tested and delivered through a Delivery Centre at the TATA Consortium facility.
    All 56 aircraft will be fitted with indigenous Electronic Warfare suite of Indian DPSUs – Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Limited. After completion of delivery of 56 aircraft to IAF, M/s Airbus Defence & Space will be allowed to sell the aircraft manufactured in India to civil operators and export to countries which are cleared by the Government of India.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    29th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).

    The Indian Navy is hosting the 29th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) from 26 to 30 October, 2022 at Visakhapatnam.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force (FASF) bilateral exercise ‘Garuda VII’.

    Indian Air Force (IAF) and French Air and Space Force (FASF) are participating in a bilateral exercise, named ‘Garuda VIl’, from 26 October to 12 November 2022 at Air Force Station Jodhpur. In this exercise, FASF will participate with four Rafale fighter aircraft, one A-330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and a contingent of 220 personnel. The IAF is participating with Su-30 MKI, Rafale, LCA Tejas and Jaguar fighter aircraft, as well as the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) and Mi-17 helicopters. The IAF contingent will also include Combat Enabling Assets like Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C. This joint exercise will provide a platform for both the countries to enhance operational capability and interoperability, while also sharing best practices.
    This is the seventh edition of the bilateral exercise. The first, third and fifth editions were conducted in India in 2003, 2006 and 2014 at Air Force Stations Gwalior, Kalaikunda and Jodhpur, respectively. The second, fourth and sixth editions were conducted in France in 2005, 2010 and 2019.
    For reference: Click here to read…

    First edition of India-Mozambique-Tanzania Trilateral Exercise.

    The first edition of India-Mozambique-Tanzania Trilateral Exercise (IMT TRILAT), a joint maritime exercise among the Indian, Mozambique and Tanzanian navies commenced at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on 27 Oct 22. Indian Navy is represented by the guided missile frigate, INS Tarkash, a Chetak helicopter and MARCOS (Special Forces).
    For more information: Click here to read…

    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

    West Asia
    Israel
    A Palestinian terrorist killed an Israeli and wounded three others in Kiryat Arba area.

    On 29 October 2022, a Palestinian terrorist attacked and killed an Israeli— Ronen Hanania, outside a convenience store in Kiryat Arba area on the outskirts of Hebron in the southern West Bank. The Israel Defence Force (IDF)’s Chief of Staff Lt Gen Aviv Kohavi visited the site after Israeli troops mapped terrorist’s hideout ahead of its possible demolition.
    Muhammed Kamel al-Jaabari, a Hebron resident, was identified as the perpetrator and was killed by an off-duty IDF officer near the Ashmoret checkpoint. Several members of Jaabari’s family are said to be close to Hamas, including his brother, who was released as part of the Gilad Shalid prisoner exchange deal and exiled to Gaza. For more information: Click here to read…_

    Iran
    At least 15 were killed in a terror attack in Iran; Islamic State claimed responsibility.

    On 26 October 2022, Islamic State (IS) carried out a terrorist attack in which at least 15 people, including two children, were killed and 40 others were injured at the Shahcheragh Shrine in the city of Shiraz in Southern Iran. The IS released a statement through its media group— Amaq news agency, which reads that one of its terrorists had targted group of “sunni refusal infidels inside the shrine with his machine gun, causing the death of tens of them.” “The terrorist first targeted the servant and guard of the shrine, and intended to attack the congregational evening prayers, but one of the servants shut the door on him,” said the governor of Fars province. “After the initial burst of fire, the attacker went near the shrine and fired many rounds at those present at the scene,” recalled an eyewitness.

    Africa
    Somalia
    Twin car bombings killed at least 100 people in Mogadishu.

    According to the statement by Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, on 31 October 2022, at least 100 people were killed and nearly 300 were wounded in two car bombings at a busy junction in Mogadishu. “We ask our international partners and Muslims around the world to send their medical assistance here since we cannot send all the victims outside the country for treatment,” said Somalian President.
    Al-Qa’ida affiliated group— al-Shabaab claimed the responsibility of the attack. The terror group stated that the “education ministry was an enemy base that receives support from non-Muslim countries and is committed to removing Somali children from the Islamic faith.” The group urged civilians to avoid government buildings and declared that it is committed to fighting until Islamic law is implemented nationwide.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Government urged the US to increase drone strikes against al-Shabaab.

    Several US officials claimed that Somalian government requested the Biden administration to step up the drone strikes against al-Shabaab terrorist group in the troubled horn of Africa. Amid the redeployment of 450 US troops to Somalia, the new Somalian administration has launched a counter-terrorism operation against al-Shabaab.
    The US was trying to promote stability in Somalia and counter al-Shabaab not just through military force but by bulding the Somali government’s capacity and addressing humanitarian needs. “As part of holistic approach, the US military works to train and support Somali partners who are catalysing offensive action against al-Shabaab, while judiciously applying high-end capacity only to disrupt the most serious threats,” said a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council— Adrienne Watson.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Mali
    “Hundreds of people massacared by Islamic State-affiliated groups in Mali in 2022”: Human Rights Watch.

    On 27 October 2022, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Islamic State (IS) and its affiliated groups have massacared hundreds of people in north-east Mali in 2022. In a report, the HRW stated that tens of thousands of people displaced from Menaka and Gao regions after losing their livestock and belongings in several attacks since March 2022. “Islamist armed groups in north-east Mali have carried out terrifying and seemingly coordinated attacks on villages, killing civilians, looting homes, and destroying properties,” said Jehanne Henry, HRW’s senior Africa adviser. The report suggests that the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) should continue to ramp up its patrolling, deterrence flights, and interactions with the affected communities.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Morocco
    Morocco’s law-enforcement arrested five Islamic State sympathisers in separate operations.

    On 25-26 October 2022, Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) carried out counter-terrorism operation and arrested five Islamic State (IS) sympathisers for their alleged involvement in planning attacks to undermine the public order. The operation was carried out in Douar Habata Benmansour in the province of Kenitra, Sidi Yahya Zaer, Dchira in Inzegane Ait Melloul, Bouaboud in Chichaoua and Casablanca. The BCIJ officials recovered a shotgun and ammunition from the one of the arrested sympathiser’s house in Kenitra.
    For more information: Click here to read…_

    Afghanistan
    Islamic State attacked a vehicle and killed five medical personnel in Herat province.

    On 27 October 2022, Islamic State (IS) attacked a vehicle and killed five medical personnel employed by the Taliban, in Herat province in Afghanistan. According to Taliban Ministry of Defence spokesperson— Enayatullah Khowrazmi, several medical employees were injured in the attack. “This morning unknown armed men attacked a vehicle carrying medical personnel of the 207th Al-Farooq Army Corps,” said Khowrazmi. The IS claimed responsibility for the attack via group’s Telegram channel.
    For more information: Click here to read…_

    Taliban killed six Islamic State terrorists in an operation in Kabul.

    On 22 October 2022, Taliban terrorists killed six Islamic State (IS) terrorists in an operation in Kabul. The IS terrorists were killed in a raid on their hideout and duo were involved in major attacks— Wazir Akbar Khan mosque and on Kaaj institute, in recent weeks.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM

    Jammu and Kashmir
    NIA filed chargesheet against 12 terrorists in ‘Sunjwan Terrorist Attack’ case.

    On 19 October 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet before NIA Special Court (Jammu) against 12 terrorists in ‘Sunjawan Terrorist Attack’ case. The case— RC/03/2022/NIA/JMU relates to the terror conspiracy hatched by Kashmir-based terrorists, Pakistan-based handlers, and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), in furtherance to which, two JeM terrorists infiltrated into India via an illicit tunnel. However, the infiltration was inturrepted by security forces and both terrorists were killed in a counter-terrorism (CT) operation in the area of Sunjwan in Jammu of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
    For more information: Click here to read…

    China blocked the proposal by India and the US at UN to blacklist LeT chief’s son.

    For the second time in less than 48 hours, China puts hold on the proposal submitted by India and the United States (US) to designate Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief— Hafiz Saeed’s son— Hafiz Talah Saeed, as a global terrorist. In April 2022, Talah was declared as a terrorist by the Government of India. Earlier, on 18 October 2022, China blocked the proposal by India and the US to blacklist LeT leader Shahid Mahmood as a global terrorists.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Left-Wing Extremism
    Maoists killed a youth in Odisha.

    On 24 October 2022, Maoists of KKBN (Kandhamal-Kalahandi-Boudh-Nayagarh) division killed a youth in Kandhamal district in Odisha, suspecting him to be a police informer. The KKBN, CPI (Maoist)’s division, claimed to have killed a youth—Nilakantha, resident of Tikarpaju village. “The Maoists have left posters at the killing spot claiming the responsibility,” said Kandhamal Superintendent of Police (SP)— Vineet Agarwal.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Since 2020, Chhattisgarh police blocked eight key supply networks of Maoists in Bastar region.

    As per the statement by a senior police official (on the basis of anonymity), since 2020, Chhattisgarh police have cracked eight key supply networks, such as aid of medicines, explosives, and logistics to a great extent, and arrested at least 38 Over-Ground Workers (OGWs) in Bastar region. The seven districts that make up the Bastar region are: Bastar, Kanker, Kondagaon, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Bijapur, and Sukma.

    According to Inspector General of Police (IGP) (Bastar Range) P. Sundarraj, “the police have significantly damaged the supply network of various formations of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) of the CPI (Maoists) over the past couple of years. At least 38 people, including businessmen, law-enforcement officers, and local politicians, are allegedly involved in delivering drugs, explosives, weapons, and basics to Maoists.”
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
    NIA arrested 13th accused in the ‘PFI’ case.

    On 28 October 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested an absconding suspect— C A Rauf, from Palakkad, Kerala, in connection with the Popular Front of India (PFI) case.
    The case related to the conspiracy hatched by the PFI, it’s office bearers, members, and other affiliated organisations in Kerala, indulge in unlawful activities. The group (PFI) was also involved in luring youth to join terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Islamic State (IS), and al-Qa’ida, to establish Islamic rule in India by committing violent acts of jihad. As per the statement released by the NIA, C A Rauf was PFI’s state secretary and was handling organisation’s Media and Public Relations wings in Kerala.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    MHA involved the NIA to unearth AQIS’s module in different districts of Assam.

    Based on various inputs about al-Qa’ida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) modules active in Assam, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) roped in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to unearth the terror module.
    The NIA’s First Information Report (FIR) states unequivocally that the AQIS module was active in different districts of Assam and had ties to the terrorist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), which is based in Bangladesh. According to reports, AQIS, is active in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Myanmar (Burma), and Bangladesh. The goal of AQIS is to promote terror on Indian soil, radicalise youth, and conduct recruitment to wage war against the Union of India, with a view to overthrow the democratically elected government by establishing the so-called “Rule of Khilafat”/Sharia Law and to implement Ghazwa-e-Hind, with the aid of recruits from India.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA searched multiple locations in Bihar in connection with ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ case.

    On 18 October 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out search operations at three locations in Patna district in Bihar, in connection with ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ case in which a terror operative— Margub Ahmad Danish aka Tahir was arrested. According to a report, Danish was involved in anti-national activities and radicalisation of youth over social media.
    As per the report, Danish was a self-radicalised and was in contact with several foreign entities on WhatsApp group “Ghazwa-e-Hind” created by him. The WhatsApp group meant for glorifying terrorist acts in Kashmir, in view to radicalise youth. Another WhatsApp group— “Ghazwat-e-Hind BD” was also administered by Danish.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    NIA searched two locations in Uttar Pradesh & Delhi and arrested an IS terrorist from Uttar Pradesh.

    On 19 October 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at two locations in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh (UP), and Delhi, and arrested an Islamic State (IS) terrorist— Basit Kalam Siddiqui (age 24 years), from Varanasi, UP. The case— RC-14/2021/NIA/DLI pertains to the conspiracy by IS’s Voice of Hind module to radicalise and recruit youth to wage jihad against India. Earlier, the NIA cracked the ‘Voice of Hind’ module and arrested six IS terrorists, including so-called Emir of Islamic State-Jammu and Kashmir (IS-JK)— Umar Nisar aka Qasim Khurasani.
    Basit Kalam was in contact with IS’s operational handlers and was actively involved in the content creation, publication and dissemination of IS propaganda through the magazine ‘Voice of Khurasan’. On the behest of IS handlers based in Afghanistan, Basit was trying to fabricate an explosive ‘Black Powder’ and gaining knowledge on use of other lethal chemical substances to be used for the fabrication of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Through various Telegram Channels that he operated, Basit was taking training on making of explosives, for further carrying out terrorist attacks at critical Installations and population. In his later agenda, Basit was preparing to travel to Khurasan province and join the Islamic State-Khurasan Province (IS-KP) terror group in Afghanistan.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    Narco-Trafficking
    NIA searched two locations in Punjab in ‘Narcotics trade and terror funding’ case.

    On 20 October 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches at the office and residence of a suspect— Amritpal Singh, in Punjab, in connection with the narcotics trade and terror funding case.
    The case pertains to the seizure of over 102 kilogram heroin that had arrived in India via Intergrated Check-Posts (ICPs), Attari on 24 April and 26 April 2022. The heroin was concealed in a consignment of licorice roots aka Mulethi by suppliers based in Afghanistan. During the search operation, the NIA officials seized unaccounted cash worth ₹ 1,27,91,900 (One Crore Twenty Seven Lakhs Ninety One Thousand and Nine Hundred Indian rupees), and incriminating digital devices and documents.
    For more information: Click here to read…

    VIF Neighbourhood News Digest – October 21, 2022

    Afghanistan
    Iran and Pakistan Officials Pledge to Act for Peace in Afghanistan: Tolo News

    Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan on a trip to Iran talked about the current situation in Afghanistan with Iranian officials. Iran’s Foreign Ministry tweeted that Islamabad and Tehran will use all their capacity to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan. Click here to read…

    Bangladesh
    Minister: Bangladesh-India relations will further deepen: Dhaka Tribune/

    India and Bangladesh share brotherly relations and it will only grow further, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said. He was addressing the opening ceremony of the BGB-BSF joint retreat parade at Banglabandha Zero Point in Tetulia upazila of Panchagarh on Thursday. Click here to read…

    Bhutan
    RCSC to conduct leadership assessment for P1 officers now: The Bhutanese

    Starting November 12, 2022, the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) will be conducting leadership assessment exercises for Officers in P1 Management (P1 M) position level as part of the process to identify potential candidates for Executive-level positions, according to a release, Click here to read…

    Maldives
    Decision to support OPEC Plus was not influenced in any way, says gov’t: Avas

    The Maldives’ decision to support OPEC Plus’s decision to cut oil production was not influenced by any party, Presidential Spokesperson Miuwan Mohamed has said. Click here to read…

    Myanmar
    Mandalay ultranationalist and militia leader survives assassination attempt : Myanmar Now

    A notorious ultranationalist and leader of the Myanmar army-backed Pyu Saw Htee militia survived an assassination attempt in Mandalay on Wednesday morning, Myanmar Now has learned. Click here to read…

    Nepal
    Nepal to talk up climate losses and seek more funding at COP27: The Kathmandu Post

    Experts say the government’s apathy towards climate change is glaring, especially given the increasing incidents each year of melting glaciers, flash floods and landslides. The incidents have claimed lives and destroyed property. The numbers continue to see an alarming rise every passing year. Click here to read…

    Pakistan
    Axe falls on uplift spending as creditors stay aloof: The Express Tribune

    The government has capped the development spending for the first half of the fiscal year at mere 20% of the annual budget because of severe economic crisis, as multilateral creditors remained reluctant to provide any major solace to Pakistan in the aftermath of the recent floods. Click here to read…

    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lankan security forces couldn’t pay training fees to India: Daily Mirror

    Emphasising on the need to attain self-reliance, Union Minister of State for Defence and Tourism Ajay Bhatt Thursday said Sri Lanka was in such a bad economic crisis that its security forces were unable to pay the nominal fees for training exercises in India. Click here to read…

    VIF Neighbourhood News Digest – October 20, 2022

    Afghanistan
    Iran and Pakistan Officials Pledge to Act for Peace in Afghanistan: Tolo News

    Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan on a trip to Iran talked about the current situation in Afghanistan with Iranian officials. Iran’s Foreign Ministry tweeted that Islamabad and Tehran will use all their capacity to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will work with all its capacities to establish peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and for the people of Afghanistan,” said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s Foreign Minister. Click here to read…

    Afghan GDP Estimated to Further Contract This Year: World Bank: Tolo News

    The World Bank released a development update on Afghanistan, in which it estimated that the real GDP is projected to contract further in 2022, with an accumulated contraction of close to 30-35 percent between 2021 and 2022. The report highlighted the economic and humanitarian challenges of Afghanistan. Click here to read…

    Bangladesh
    BNP: People want end to oppressive regime: Dhaka Tribune

    BNP Standing Committee Member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan has said that the people of the country have run out of patience and want an end to the current oppressive regime. Click here to read…

    Bhutan
    New department to enhance economic and tech cooperation: Kuensel Online

    As part of the civil service restructuring, a department for economic and technology diplomacy is created under the foreign affairs ministry to enhance, coordinate and lead all engagements related to economic diplomacy. The Department of Regional Cooperation is merged with the Department of Multilateral Affairs. Click here to read…

    Maldives
    Foreign Minister meets with Omani counterpart: Avas

    Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has met with the Foreign Minister of the Sultanate of Oman, Sayyid Badr Albusaidi as a Special Envoy of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Click here to read…

    Myanmar
    Bomb blasts, gunfire at Myanmar’s biggest prison kills eight, including guards : Myanmar Now

    At least eight people were killed and 15 injured after Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison was hit with two explosions and a shooting on Wednesday morning, according to sources at the site. At around 9:40am, two parcel bombs went off near the main entrance of the prison: one detonated in a building where staff receive care packages for prisoners and another one went off outside. Click here to read…

    Nepal
    Ex-Gurkha soldiers’ fight for justice to continue with tripartite talks: The Kathmandu Post

    The long-awaited tripartite talks for equal pension and benefits for retired Gurkha soldiers is scheduled to take place in London on November 3, according to leaders of the agitating Gurkha veterans. Click here to read…

    Pakistan
    Supreme Court puzzled by forces’ exclusion from NAB ambit: Dawn

    Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the Supreme Court on Wednesday wondered why Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan never objected to the exclusion of the armed forces from the ambit of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), when some of the country’s largest business entities were run by them. Click here to read…

    Editorial: The chosen one: Dawn

    The United States has again selected Pakistan and, after some years of abstinence, placed a white handkerchief on its shoulder. After assiduously ignoring prime minister Imran Khan for three years, the Biden administration has suddenly warmed to his successor Shehbaz Sharif. During the recent United Nations General Assembly, Biden and his wife granted a photo-op to our prime minister, flanking him in a composition not lost on avid diplomatic watchers. Click here to read…

    Sri Lanka
    Govt. ready for prudent economic management following successful debt restructuring: Prez: Daily Mirror

    The Government is ready to implement prudent economic management after successful debt restructuring, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said today. He said this delivering a special statement on tax policy today. President Wickremesinghe further noted that it was not possible to strengthen the economy without increasing the revenue of the country, which will compel him to reluctantly make tough decisions in order to rebuild the nation. Click here to read…

    VIF Neighbourhood News Digest – October 14, 2022

    Afghanistan
    Uzbekistan President Suggests Forming Intl Group to Coordinate with Kabul: Tolo News

    Speaking at the 6th CICA Summit Astana 2022, the president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, suggested the establishment of an international group to arrange and coordinate with the Afghan authorities. Click here to read…

    Ministry Says Media Law is Essential, Urges Its Approval Be Expedited: Tolo News

    The head of publications in the Ministry of Information and Culture said he considers the mass media law to be a necessity and that this law should be approved as soon as possible. The head of publications added that in a meeting of the Media Violations Commission there have been violations by eleven media outlets. Click here to read…

    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh defends latest UN resolution vote against Russia: Dhaka Tribune

    Bangladesh on Wednesday voted in favour of a UN resolution that condemned Russia’s “illegal” annexation of four Ukrainian regions last month, at the 11th emergency special session of the UNGA on the Russia-Ukraine war. Click here to read…

    Bhutan
    Local growers worried as Centre decides to import areca from Bhutan – The Hindu

    Areca growers of Malnad region are up in arms over the recent Central government decision to import green arecanuts from Bhutan. The unconditional consent to import 17,000 metric tons of arecanuts will bring down the price in the local market, they fear. Growers, who are already facing difficulties due to yellow-leaf disease and leaf spot disease, that brought down the yield significantly in many parts of the region, are planning protests against the move. Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has called for a protest march in Shivamogga on October 14 on this issue. Click here to read…

    Bhutan brings business back to Jaigaon – Telegraph India

    The reopening of Bhutan’s land borders with India after a gap of two-and-a-half years has made Jaigaon — that sits on the international border — a bustling town once again. After March 2020, when the Himalayan kingdom had closed its land borders for passenger movement because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy in Jaigaon took a hit as the town had flourished because of demand from Bhutan. Click here to read…

    Maldives
    Fitch Revises the Maldives’ Outlook to Negative; Affirms at ‘B-‘ – Fitch Ratings

    The Outlook revision reflects our assessment that tightening global financial conditions are intensifying the Maldives’ external liquidity strains, even though tourism has made a remarkable recovery to pre-pandemic levels. A sharp decline in foreign-exchange buffers, if sustained, could complicate the government’s external debt-servicing and maintenance of the currency peg to the US dollar. Click here to read…

    Maldives wins a seat at the UN Human Rights Council – Raajje

    Maldives won in the voting held at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. The election saw 17 countries competing for 14 vacant seats. The Maldives competed in the Group of Asia-Pacific States, for one of the 4 vacant seats. The Maldives won with 154 votes, out of a total of 189 votes cast. Along with the Maldives, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Kyrgyzstan also won seats in the Asia-Pacific Group. Click here to read…

    Myanmar
    The Dominance Of The Myanmar Military Is Under Challenge Now – Eurasia Review

    The Myanmar military seized power in a coup by toppling democratically elected government in February 1, 2021. In 2020 election, National League for Democracy had a landslide victory and was preparing to lead the democratic government for the second time in Myanmar’s recent history. People spontaneously came out to protest against military takeover. Myanmar is currently in a state of civil war and the army is desperate to control the conflict and has increased the level of torture and oppression on the people. Click here to read…

    Challenges Await New Contractor as India Rejigs Plan for Completion of Kaladan Project in Myanmar – The Irrawaddy

    The Indian government has fine-tuned plans to complete the delayed Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar, considered crucial for New Delhi’s ambitious Act East Policy. A corpus of 17.8 billion rupees (US$216.32 million) has been earmarked for completion of the stalled project in Myanmar’s troubled Chin State contiguous to the Indian border state of Mizoram. The estimated cost will be adjusted owing to fluctuations or change in the availability of essential commodities required for the project. Click here to read…

    Nepal
    Nepal votes in favour of UN resolution to condemn referendums in Ukraine – Kathmandu Post

    Nepal on Wednesday voted in favor of a resolution condemning Russia’s attempted annexation of four Ukrainian areas by conducting a referendum within Ukraine, at the United Nations General Assembly. According to the United Nations news, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that condemns Russia’s “illegal so-called referendums” in regions within Ukraine’s internationally-recognized borders, and demands it reverses its annexation declaration. Click here to read…

    Major changes unlikely in Nepal-China ties during Xi’s third term – Kathmandu Post

    The 20th plenum of the Chinese Communist Party scheduled to begin on October 16 in Beijing is expected to give a third presidential term to the incumbent, Xi Jinping. Over 2,292 party delegates will also select the CPC’s Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) as well as a new Cabinet for the next five years. Click here to read…

    Pakistan
    IMF team due in November for next review: Dawn

    The Inter¬national Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that it would send a team to Pakistan early next month to start the process for the next review of their current programme. Click here to read…

    US sees China, not Russia, as ‘biggest geopolitical challenge’: Dawn

    The 48-page document, released on Wednesday evening, does mention terrorism and other geo-strategic threats in the South and Central Asian region, but unlike the recent past, it does not name Pakistan as an ally needed to tackle those threats. Pakistan was also absent from the 2021 strategy paper. Click here to read…

    Sri Lanka
    SL to set up climate change Uni – President Wickremesinghe: Daily Mirror

    Sri Lanka is to set up a climate change university soon, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Speaking during an interview with Leader TV, the President said he will send former Maldivian President Mohamed Bashir as his convoy together with advisor on Climate Change Erik Solheim to a number of countries to get support from.various nations for the proposed university and to minimise effects of climate change. Click here to read…

    VIF Neighbourhood News Digest – October 13, 2022

    Afghanistan
    Imposing Sanctions Does Not Benefit Kabul, Washington: Islamic Emirate: Tolo News

    The Islamic Emirate reacted to the new sanctions imposed by the US on the members of the Islamic Emirate, saying that such sanctions do not benefit Kabul and Washington. The US Department of State announced on Tuesday new restrictions on the “issuance of visas for the current or former Taliban members, members of non-state security groups, and other individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, repressing women and girls in Afghanistan through restrictive policies and violence Click here to read…

    Bangladesh
    Indian President: Dhaka, Delhi connectivity improved with Maitri Setu on Feni River: Dhaka Tribune

    President of India Droupadi Murmu has said that connectivity between Bangladesh and India has increased with the construction of Maitri Setu over Feni River. At the same time, she said, it has become convenient for entrepreneurs of India’s Tripura state to use the ports of Chittagong and Ashuganj. Click here to read…

    Bhutan
    India looking forward to expanding cooperation: Sitharaman tells Bhutan FM: Business Standard

    Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her Bhutan counterpart Lyonpo Namgay Tshering in Washington on Wednesday and expressed India’s wish to expand bilateral cooperation between the two countries including hydropower, COVID-19 assistance, among other issues. Click here to read…

    Maldives
    The Maldives wins UN Human Rights Council seat: Avas

    The Maldives has won a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council at the elections held Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    Tuesday’s election saw 17 countries competing for 14 vacant seats. The Maldives competed in the Group of Asia-Pacific States, for one of the 4 vacant seats. Click here to read…

    Myanmar
    Former Myanmar army general Shwe Mann dissolves his political party: Myanmar Now

    Former general Thura Shwe Mann disbanded his political party on Wednesday morning, more than one-and-a-half years after Myanmar’s military coup and ahead of promises of a junta-controlled election allegedly taking place in August 2023. He announced in a statement that the central executive committee (CEC) members of the Union Betterment Party (UBP) had unanimously decided to dissolve the party, which he founded in April 2019 ahead of Myanmar’s general election in late 2020. Click here to read…

    Nepal
    Nepal votes in favour of UN resolution to condemn referendums in Ukraine: The Kathmandu Post

    Nepal on Wednesday voted in favor of a resolution condemning Russia’s attempted annexation of four Ukrainian areas by conducting a referendum within Ukraine, at the United Nations General Assembly. Click here to read…

    Pakistan
    UN sees major gap between pledges and flood relief aid: Dawn

    United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Julien Harneis said on Wednesday that aid pledges made by UN member states towards the 2022 flood response plan for Pakistan were not converting into commitment as quickly as they were a couple of weeks ago. Click here to read…

    Sri Lanka
    SL abstains from UN vote condemning Russia’s ’annexation’ of parts of Ukraine: Daily Mirror

    Sri Lanka on Thursday abstained as the UN General Assembly voted to adopt a resolution condemning Russia’s “attempted illegal annexations” of the four Ukrainian regions following a “referendum”. The resolution, which declared that “attempted illegal annexation” of the regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine have no validity under international law, was adopted by a 143-5 vote in the 193-member General Assembly. Thirty-five countries, including Sri Lanka, India, China and Pakistan abstained. Click here to read…

    VIF News Digest: National Security – Defence Studies & Terrorism, 16-30 September 2022

    DEFENCE
    • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh visit to Egypt.
    • MOD signs a deal for dual role Surface-to-Surface BrahMos missile with BAPL.
    • Mehar Baba Competition –II.
    • Preparations for Def-Expo 2022.
    • Participation in Combined Maritime Forces Exercise.
    • INS Tarkash at Port Gentil, Gabon.
    • 5thAnnual Session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).
    • Successful Flight Tests of Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) Missile by DRDO.
    • Multinational Maritime Exercise Kakadu 2022.
    • Government appoints Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
    • Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Indian Navy visited Australia.
    • Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Cruise Training Task Group arrived in Chennai on a three-day visit.
    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
    Africa
    Somalia
    • At least 27 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in a US airstrike in the Hiran region of Somalia.
    Burkina Faso
    • Islamist terrorists attacked an aid convoy in the northern province of Soum.
    Nigeria
    • Security forces killed 07 Boko Haram terrorists in a CT operation in Borno State.
    Afghanistan
    • The US raised terrorism concerns in Afghanistan and is ready to engage “pragmatically” with the Taliban.
    • Three people were killed and many injured in an explosion in Kabul.
    • At least 07 people were killed in a blast near Mosque in Kabul.
    DOMESTIC TERRORISM
    Jammu and Kashmir
    • Security forces eliminated three JeM terrorists in Kulgam.
    • SIA filed a chargesheet against three accused, including a former minister, in a terror-funding case.
    Left-Wing Extremism
    • Security forces arrested a ‘most-wanted’ Maoist from Maharashtra.
    • Around 700 Maoist supporters surrendered before Odisha police and BSF.
    Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
    • NIA searched several locations across India and arrested PFI leaders and members concerning the registered case.
    • “PFI members have connections with SIMI and Indian Mujahideen”, claimed NIA.
    Khalistan-inspired Extremism
    • NIA filed suppl. Chargesheet in a “conspiracy of targeted killing by KTF” case.
    • India raised concerns over the ‘Khalistan Referendum’ and pressed Canada for action against the same.
    Narcotics Trafficking
    • NIA arrested 26th accused in Heroin seizure case at Mundra Port.
    DEFENCE
    Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh visited Egypt from September 19-20, 2022

    Raksha Mantri (RM) was on an official visit to Egypt from September 19-20, 2022. RM called on President of Egypt Mr Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo. President El-Sisi expressed appreciation that military-to-military cooperation between both the countries has reached a new level and that signing of MoU on defence cooperation is a major achievement. Both leaders agreed to further develop military cooperation and focus on joint training, defence coproduction and maintenance of equipment.

    RM also held bilateral talks with Egyptian Defence Minister General Mohamed Zaki in Cairo on September 19, 2022. During the meeting, both sides discussed steps to strengthen defence ties and reached a consensus to enhance conduct of joint exercises and exchange of personnel for training, especially in the field of counter-insurgency. Signing of MoU by the two Defence Ministers on cooperation in the field of defence was a milestone event during the visit, which will pave the way for enhancing defence cooperation across all sectors of mutual interest. The RM also invited his Egyptian counterpart to the India-Africa Defence Dialogue and IOR Defence Ministers’ Conclave, scheduled to be held as part of 12th DefExpo in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from October 18-22, 2022. Click here to read…

    MOD signs a deal for dual role Surface-to-Surface BrahMos missile with BAPL.

    Providing further impetus to Aatmanirbharta in defence production, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) signed a contract with M/s BrahMos Aerospace Pvt. Ltd. (BAPL) for acquisition of additional dual-role capable Surface to Surface BrahMos missiles at an overall approximate cost of ₹ 1700 Crore under “Buy-Indian” Category. Induction of these dual-role capable Missiles is going to significantly enhance the operational capability of Indian Navy (IN) fleet assets.

    BAPL is a Joint Venture (JV) between India and Russia making crucial contribution to augment the new generation Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSMs) with enhanced range and dual role capability for land as well as anti-ship attacks. Click here to read…

    Mehar Baba Competition –II

    To provide a boost to the growing indigenous drone industry, RM had launched the “MEHAR BABA COMPETITION-II”. The competition is aimed at developing technology for a “Swarm Drone Based System to Detect Foreign Objects on Aircraft Operating Surfaces”. The competition is named after the legendary Air Commodore Mehar Singh, MVC, DSO – affectionately also known as Mehar Baba. The first edition of the competition was launched in October 2018 and had culminated in October 2021.

    All aircraft operators face a challenge in keeping the aircraft operating surfaces clean and clear of Foreign Object Debris (FOD). Very often, this is a labour-intensive task that needs to be repeated over a day. This manpower could be more gainfully employed if personnel could focus solely on their core tasks. Furthermore, visual spotting of FOD in low light conditions becomes rather challenging. Hence, the IAF is seeking innovative solutions towards detection of FOD without physical employment of manpower on the aircraft operating surfaces. Click here to read…

    Preparations for Def-Expo 2022.

    The 12th edition of DefExpo is scheduled to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat between October 18-22, 2022 in a first ever four-venue format which promises to engage the public and inspire them to join the Aerospace and Defence manufacturing sector; for ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in Defence. The Def-Expo 2022 was earlier scheduled from March 10-14, 2022 and was postponed due to logistical challenges being faced by participants at that stage. The new dates (October 18-22, 2022) were announced on August 08, 2022. The forthcoming edition is the first-ever edition exclusively for Indian companies.

    The theme of DefExpo 2022 is ‘Path to Pride’. The expo will also mark the celebration of one year of the formation of the seven new defence companies, carved out of the erstwhile Ordnance Factories. All these companies will be participating for the first time at DefExpo.
    The exhibition will also host the 2nd edition of the India-Africa Defence Dialogue (IADD), with invites extended to 53 African countries. A separate Indian Ocean Region plus (IOR+) conclave with participation of approximately 40 countries is also on the anvil. Click here to read…

    Participation in Combined Maritime Forces Exercise.

    INS Sunayna entered Port Victoria Seychelles on 24 Sep 22 to participate in the annual training exercise Operation Southern Readiness of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). This marks the maiden participation of an Indian Navy ship in CMF exercise. The ship is scheduled to participate as associate partner in the capacity building exercises being conducted by CMF. The joint training exercise is being attended by representative delegations from USA, Italy, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and ship participation from UK, Spain & India. Click here to read…
    For more information: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1862198

    INS Tarkash at Port Gentil, Gabon.

    INS Tarkash made a port call at Port Gentil, Gabon as part of her ongoing deployment in the Gulf of Guinea for anti-piracy patrol. This marks the first visit by any Indian Naval Ship to Gabon. Click here to read…

    5thAnnual Session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).

    Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has called upon the Indian defence industry to identify and manufacture state-of-the-art cost-effective products/technologies to realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘New India’ that not only caters to its own needs, but also fulfils international requirements. He was addressing the 5thAnnual Session of Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) in New Delhi on September 27, 2022.The theme ‘India@75: Shaping for India@100’, with the aim to position India as one of the top countries in defence manufacturing. Click here to read…

    Successful Flight Tests of Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) Missile by DRDO.

    DRDO conducted two successful test flight of Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missile from a ground based portable launcher at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur. VSHORADS is a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPAD) designed and developed indigenously by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories and Indian Industry Partners.
    VSHORADS missile incorporates many novel technologies including miniaturized Reaction Control System (RCS) and integrated avionics, which have been successfully proven during the tests. The missile, meant for neutralizing low altitude aerial threats at short ranges is propelled by a dual thrust solid motor. The design of the missile including launcher has been highly optimized to ensure easy portability. Both the flight tests have completely met the mission objectives. Click here to read…

    Multinational Maritime Exercise Kakadu 2022

    A P8I Patrol Aircraft of the Indian Navy participated in the Multinational Maritime Exercise Kakadu 2022 hosted by Royal Australian Navy in Darwin from 12 to 25 Sep 22, along with INS Satpura. The exercise had the participation of 34 aircraft from over 20 nations. Click here to read…

    Government appoints Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

    General Anil Chauhan, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM assumed office as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on September 30, 2022. General Chauhan will also be the Principal Military Advisor to the Raksha Mantri on all Tri-Service matters as well as head Department of Military Affairs as Secretary. He will also be Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). Click here to read…

    Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Indian Navy visited Australia.

    Admiral R Hari Kumar, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Indian Navy visited Australia from 26 Sep – 28 Sep 22. This was his first official visit to Australia upon assuming the office of the CNS. During the visit, he held meetings with Chief of Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Vice Chief of Australian Defence Forces, Secretary of Defence, Chief of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Deputy Chief of Joint Operations. The CNS interacted with the prominent members of Australian Think Tanks to understand and develop new maritime cooperation opportunities. The discussions also highlighted the need for raising the level of synergy and focused efforts for overcoming the challenges of the maritime environment. Click here to read…

    Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Cruise Training Task Group arrived in Chennai on a three-day visit.

    Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Cruise Training Task Group consisting of two naval ships, arrived in Chennai on a three-day visit on 28 Sep 22.Commander of Cruise Training Task Group and other officials of the consulate of Korea had discussions with the Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area on matters of common interest. Click here to read…

    INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
    Africa
    Somalia
    At least 27 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in a US airstrike in the Hiran region of Somalia.

    On 21 September 2022, at least 27 al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in a US-led airstrike in Somalia’s central Hiran region. According to the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), the airstrike was the sixth recorded strike in 2022. “The defensive strikes allowed the Somali National Army (SNA) and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (AUTMIS) forces to regain the initiative and continue the operation to disrupt al-Shabab in the Hiran region of central Somalia,” said AFRICOM. Click here to read…

    Burkina Faso
    Islamist terrorists attacked an aid convoy in the northern province of Soum.

    On 27 September 2022, Islamist terrorists attacked an aid convoy of 150 vehicles, military-escorted and killed 11 security personnel; more than 50 civilians went missing. The attack will likely aggravate shortages of basic supplies, such as food and fuel in Djibo, which has been under a de-facto siege for months by Islamist terror groups. In Burkina Faso, around two million people are displaced due to conflict and climate change. Click here to read…

    Nigeria
    Security forces killed 07 Boko Haram terrorists in a CT operation in Borno State.

    On 21 September 2022, the Nigerian troops of “Operation Desert Sanity and Operation Hadin Kai” reportedly killed 07 Boko Haram terrorists in a counter-terrorism operation in Kayamla village near Maiduguri in Borno State. Boko Haram terrorists usually come to areas to terrorise farmers and kidnap them for ransom money. Click here to read…

    Afghanistan
    The US raised terrorism concerns in Afghanistan and is ready to engage “pragmatically” with the Taliban.

    On 28 September 2022, speaking at the Centre for International and Strategic Studies (CISS), Thomas West— the US special representative for Afghanistan, said that al-Qa’ida’s former leader— Ayman al-Zawahiri had the freedom to operate in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan before we eliminated him. However, we have concerns about al-Qa’ida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Ansarullah, and other terrorist groups that still have an active presence/connection in Afghanistan.

    Over the matter, “we have been in contact with the Taliban leadership since the strike which eliminated al-Zawahiri, even in the wake of this event, we [US] are prepared to engage pragmatically with the Taliban regarding terrorism concerns,” said West. Click here to read…

    Three people were killed and many injured in an explosion in Kabul.

    On 21 September 2022, at least three people were killed, and 13 others were wounded in an explosion in Kabul city. According to the Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the Kabul police chief— Khalid Zadran, the explosion occurred in a restaurant in Kabul’s western Dehmazang neighbourhood. At the time, police were uncertain if the blast was an accident or a terror attack. However, Islamic State (IS)’s affiliated branch— Islamic State Khurasan Province (IS-KP), has increased attacks on mosques and minorities across the country since the Taliban seized political power in August 2021. Click here to read…

    At least 07 people were killed in a blast near Mosque in Kabul.

    On 23 September 2022, at least 07 people were killed, and 41 were injured in an explosion outside a Mosque in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood after Friday afternoon prayers in Kabul. “The bomb was planted in a vehicle parked in front of the mosque, and an investigation was underway to bring the perpetrators to justice,” said the Taliban-appointed spokesperson of Kabul Police chief— Khalid Zadran.

    The bombing was the most recent in a string of deadly attacks that have targeted places of worship in Afghanistan and well-known clerics linked to the country’s ruling Islamist Taliban. The Islamic State’s affiliate group— Islamic State Khurasan Province (IS-KP), has claimed responsibility for several attacks. Click here to read…

    DOMESTIC TERRORISM
    Jammu and Kashmir
    Security forces eliminated three JeM terrorists in Kulgam

    On 26-27 September 2022, security forces killed three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists, including a Pakistani national, in two separate counter-terrorism (CT) operations in Kulgam district of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

    In the first incident, during the search operation in the Ahwatoo area, terrorists fired upon the security forces, which led to the exchange of fire. Two local JeM terrorists— Mohammad ShafiGanie and Mohammad Asif Wani, were eliminated. On 26 September 2022, a search operation in Batpora village of Kulgam district led to an exchange of fire and the elimination of a Pakistani JeM terrorist— Abu Hurarah. Security forces recovered incriminating materials, arms and ammunitions, including an AK-56, two AK-47s, a pistol, a grenade, four magazines, and a pistol magazine, from operation sites. Click here to read…

    SIA filed a chargesheet against three accused, including a former minister, in a terror-funding case.

    On 24 September 2022, the State Investigation Agency (SIA) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police filed a chargesheet against three accused, including a former minister— Jatinder Singh, in a terror-funding case. “SIA Kashmir continued its action against narcotics dealers by conducting searches at multiple locations across the valley. The SIA conducted extensive searches at different locations in the districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Kupwara,” said a J&K police spokesperson.

    In a statement released by the SIA, it was revealed that “Jatinder Singh was in touch with Hizbul-Mujahideen (HM) terrorists and separatists of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which is an unlawful and proscribed association. These inimical entities had sent this terror fund from Pakistan through their associates for Jatinder Singh’s political party. The vision of Jatinder’s political party was to make J&K, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan as one independent country by making a condominium of Pakistan and India, for having joint control over currency, external affairs and finance.” Click here to read…

    Left-Wing Extremism
    Security forces arrested a ‘most-wanted’ Maoist from Maharashtra.

    In a joint operation, on 23 September 2022, Bihar Police, Jharkhand Police and Central Security forces arrested a top Maoist leader— Vinay Yadav aka Guruji, carrying a reward of ₹ 18 lakh and wanted in more than 54 cases, including an ambush in Gaya in 2006 on a CRPF convoy. Security forces arrested Vinay from the house of another Maoist sympathiser— AmrendraPaswan, at Mayapur village under Daudnagar police station limits of Aurangabad district, Maharashtra. Upon arrest, the security forces recovered ₹ 20 lakh hidden by Vinay in a hideout in Chakarbandha forests in the same district. Click here to read…

    Around 700 Maoist supporters surrendered before Odisha police and BSF.

    On 17 September 2022, around 700 active Maoist supporters from various villages on the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border surrendered before police and BSF (Border Security Force) personnel in the Malkangiri district in Odisha. These Maoist supporters were involved in assisting violent activities and killing of security forces personnel and civilians and also used to provide logistics to the Maoists.

    According to the police, the surrendered militants and sympathisers from Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh demonstrated their opposition to Maoist ideology by burning Maoist effigies and clothing and shouting slogans— “Maobadi Murdabad Ama Sarkar Zindabad” in front of the media before surrendering. Click here to read…
    For more information:

    Islamic Extremism (excluding J&K)
    NIA searched several locations across India and arrested PFI leaders and members in connection with the registered case.

    On 22 September 2022, in a joint operation with the Economic Directorate (ED) and the State police forces, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) searched 93 locations in 15 States across India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar, and Manipur. The searches were conducted on premises and offices of PFI (Popular Front of India) leaders and members in connection with five cases registered by the NIA.

    The case— RC-03/2022/NIA/HYD pertains to the involvement of PFI leaders and other members in funding terrorist activities, organising training camps, providing arms training and radicalising people to join terrorist groups/organisations. The joint teams recovered incriminating materials, cash, sharp-edged weapons, and several digital devices during the search. The NIA made 45 arrests in the case, whereas 19 were arrested from Kerala, 11 from Tamil Nadu, 07 from Karnataka, 04 from Andhra Pradesh, 02 from Rajasthan, and 01 each from UP and Telangana. As of 22 September 2022, the NIA is investigating 19 cases related to PFI’s illicit activities.

    Earlier on 18 September 2022, the NIA searched 38 locations in Telangana and 02 locations in Andhra Pradesh in connection with the same case. During the search, the NIA seized incriminating materials, digital devices, documents, two daggers, and cash worth ₹ 8,31,500 (Eight lakh thirty one thousand and five hundred Indian rupees). Click here to read…
    For more information:

    “PFI members have connections with SIMI and Indian Mujahideen”, claimed NIA.

    According to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), several PFI (Popular Front of India) members are associated with proscribed organisations, such as the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Indian Mujahideen (IM). The PFI leader— Abdul Rehman, used to be the National Secretary of SIMI and Abdul Sattar— the State Secretary at the PFI, used to be associated with SIMI in the same capacity.

    According to news reports citing undisclosed sources, PFI member— Mohammed Sakib allegedly transferred money to the PFI through hawala channels from Pakistan and was in contact with Pakistan-based handlers who wanted to reach out to Pakistani prisoners lodged in different jails. Around 46 PFI members were arrested and convicted in different cases in 2010-2011. Around 355 PFI members have already been chargesheet by the NIA. Click here to read…

    Khalistan-inspired Extremism
    NIA filed suppl. chargesheet in a “conspiracy of targeted killing by KTF” case.

    On 23 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a supplementary chargesheet against a Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) operative— Gagandeep Singh, aka Gaggu, in a case related to the conspiracy to kill a Hindu priest— Kamaldeep Sharma at village Bharsinghpur, Phillaur, Jalandhar, Punjab. On 04 July 2022, four other accused were chargesheet in the same case.

    According to the investigations, another KTF operative Arshdeep Singh aka Arsh and Hardeep Singh Nijjar, both located in Canada, planned the entire conspiracy to sabotage peace and undermine religious harmony. The terrorist group’s members carried out the targeted attack using weapons that Gagandeep Singh had provided on directions of Arshdeep Singh. Click here to read…

    India raised concerns over the ‘Khalistan Referendum’ and pressed Canada for action against the same.

    On 22 September 2022, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) raised concerns about ‘Khalistan’-inspired activities in Canada and found it “deeply objectionable” as a politically-motivated exercise by extremist elements in a friendly nation. The MEA’s response resulted from “little action” taken by Ontario on three diplomatic messages from the Government of India to stop the so-called ‘Khalistan Referendum’ in Canada’s Brampton on 19 September 2022, asking whether Indian Punjab should not be an independent country. The Canadian authorities reportedly said that “its citizens had the right to assemble and express their views peacefully and lawfully.” “Nevertheless, the Government of India will continue to press the Government of Canada for action in this matter,” said MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi. Click here to read…

    Narcotics Trafficking
    NIA arrested 26th accused in Heroin seizure case at Mundra Port.

    On 27 September 2022, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested the 26th accused— Sushanta Sarkar, in a Heroin seizure case at Mundra Port, Gujarat. Sarkar was involved in illicit international trade and trafficking of heroin into India for supporting terrorist activities. Reportedly, Sarkar had ordered heroin concealed in semi-processed talc from Afghanistan to India via Iran in November 2021. He used his “Jesus Christ Impex” firm to do such illicit operations. He further transferred the consignment to another firm belonging to KabirTalwar in New Delhi.

    The case— RC-26/2021/NIA/DLI pertains to the international drug trafficking network run by two brothers— Hassan Daad and Hussain Daad (both Afghan nationals). Both brothers delivered multiple heroin-laced consignments to India in containers via the maritime route. In Afghanistan, heroin was purified and concealed in materials such as semi-processed talc and bituminous coal. These shipments were then trucked from the Indian ports of Gujarat and Kolkata to New Delhi. Click here to read…

    VIF Neighbourhood News Digest – October 7, 2022

    Afghanistan
    University Entrance Exams Held Around Country: Tolo News

    University entrance exams were begun on Thursday in 33 provinces of the country. The Ministry of Higher Education said that the university entrance exams will continue for three days. “University entrance exams were held in 33 provinces of the country and this exam will continue for three days,” said Ahmad Taqa, a spokesman for the MoHE. Click here to read…

    Requirement of dams on Kabul river for the better management of Afghanistan’s water: Opinion: The Khaama Press

    Afghanistan has abundant water resources. 80% of such resources come from surface water that flows from snowfields and glaciers in the Hindu Kush and Himalayan mountains. The country with a total of 75 billion cubic meters of water per annum, surface water capturing 55 billion cubic meters, and groundwater making 20 billion cubic meters, is able to consume 27% of its water and the remaining 73% flows to the neighboring countries. Click here to read…

    Bangladesh
    PM Hasina on way to her village home in Tungipara: Dhaka Tribune

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana have started for Tungipara by road from her official residence Ganabhaban. They left Ganabhaban at 7:15am on Friday, according to a message from PM’s press wing. Click here to read…

    Dhaka, Tokyo launch cooperation for improved sewerage services: Dhaka Tribune

    To promote improved sewerage services, the Asian Development Bank facilitated a high-level dialogue between Bangladesh and Japan, and launched a new partnership between Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and Bureau of Sewerage, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Click here to read…

    Bhutan
    Assam’s advantage in Bhutan-Bangladesh trade – Sentinel Assam

    Bangladesh opening six new ports of call for using its waterways and seaports by Bhutan is good news for Assam as it will make the Brahmaputra River route a growing hub of trade and commerce between India’s two neighbouring countries. The development of multimodal transport facilities along the Brahmaputra will attract more Bhutanese traders to make optimal use of the improved connectivity through Assam for the expansion of their export-import business. The amended Standard Operating Procedure signed by Bangladesh and Bhutan on September 15 in Dhaka on the use of inland waterways designates Aricha, Chilmari, Sirajganj, Mongla, Chittagong and Payra Port as the new ports of call for use by Bhutan. Click here to read…

    Bhutan fee funds happiness – TTR Weekly

    A daily USD200 sustainable development fee is being tagged onto the cost of visiting Bhutan following the reopening of the mountain kingdom’s borders last month. It’s all about funding Gross National Happiness. Click here to read…

    Maldives
    Maldives: the legacy of Islamic State – Lowly Institute

    From 2014 to 2018, more people departed the Maldives to join with Islamic State than from any other country. In total, this figure is estimated at 250 men and women from a country of only 500,000. Most who went died. The surviving women and children, around 50, are today detained in the Al Hol and Roj camps in northeast Syria. Click here to read…

    MoUs signed between Maldives, Bahrain, prove commitment to further solidify bilateral ties – Raajje

    He said this during a joint press conference held alongside Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain. He reaffirmed that the Maldivian government is committed to solidifying the relationship between both countries, to new heights. The foreign minister also thanked the respective dignitaries for bringing the two countries together. The key agreements signed between the government of Maldives and the Kingdom of Bahrain have proved the commitment of both countries to further solidify bilateral ties, says Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. Click here to read…

    Myanmar
    US Announces Sanctions on Myanmar Military-Linked Arms Broker – The Diplomat

    The United States has announced a further round of sanctions on Myanmar’s military government, targeting three individuals and one entity “for their roles related to the procurement of Russian-produced military arms from Belarus for the Burmese regime.” Click here to read…

    Indonesia told to prioritise Myanmar, Indo-Pacific: Analysts – Asia News Network

    Amid preparations for November’s ASEAN Summit less than 40 days away, when the baton of the chairmanship is set to pass from Cambodia to Indonesia, calls are mounting for Jakarta to take decisive steps to address the Myanmar political crisis while juggling an abundance of other challenges that will test the Southeast Asia bloc’s unity. Click here to read…

    Nepal
    Nepal faces constitutional crisis – Greater Kashmir

    Nepal has a history of the Rana regime (1901-1948), coup d’état led by King Mahendra who dismissed the elected government of B.P. KoiralaiIn 1960 and then imprisoned him which had been responsible for the launch of the democracy movement thereby finally restoring the parliament in 1991. Click here to read…

    16 killed, 35 injured as bus falls into river in Nepal’s Bara – India Today

    A bus skidded off the road and fell into a river in Nepal’s Bara district, killing 16 people, PTI reported, quoting media reports. As many as 35 people were also injured in the mishap in Nepal’s Madhesh province. The bus was heading towards Birgunj from Narayangadh when the incident happened. An initial probe conducted by the police revealed that the accident took place due to high speed. About 50 people were on board, police said. Click here to read…

    Pakistan
    Govt to use ‘full force of law’ to counter PTI march: Dawn

    A meeting of the party leaders was chaired by PM Sharif wherein the participants termed the PTI’s plan of the long march a “conspiracy” against the state and decided that the government would crush its designs through the power of law, said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s House. “It will not be a political long march of PTI but a march for a conspiracy,” the PML-N leaders agreed as they gave full authority to Prime Minister Sharif to take appropriate measures to tackle the situation. Click here to read…

    Govt unveils big power relief for exporters: The Express Tribune

    Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday struck a deal with exporters under which subsidised electricity at nearly Rs20 per unit would be provided to them in a move that will restore the trader community’s confidence in the government but would not stop misuse of the subsidy for domestic production. Click here to read…

    Sri Lanka
    New resolution on SL adopted at HR Council with 20 votes in favour: Daily Mirror

    The new resolution on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ A/HRC/51/5, that was presented at the 51st regular session of the Human Rights Council has been adopted with 20 voting in favour while 7 voted against the resolution and 20 abstained from voting. Click here to read…

    Debt Restructuring and Implementation of Deep Reforms Critical for Sri Lanka’s Economic Stabilization: Daily Mirror

    Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is deepening with unsustainable debt and a severe balance of payment crisis on top of lingering scars of the COVID-19 pandemic. Debt restructuring and the implementation of a deep reform program are critical for Sri Lanka’s economic stabilization, says the World Bank in its twice-a-year update, underscoring the need for Sri Lanka to build resilience. Click here to read…