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India an important region: Japanese Navy Chief

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By Anjali Ojha

India is an “important” country in the Indian Ocean region and will have to take responsibility for security in the area, said Japan Maritime Self Defence Force chief Admiral Tomohisa Takei who is here to take part in the International Fleet Review.

The Admiral also said that the IFR is an important event to enhance cooperation among the navies and will provide a platform for further dialogue.

“We want better cooperation in the India Ocean; India is a very important country in the region. We would like to enhance relations with India,” Admiral Takei told the agency.

“India, with its location, will have to take responsibility for peace and security in the Indian Ocean region, from East Africa to the South China Sea,” he said.

The Japanese Navy Chief highlighted the fact that the Indian Ocean region accounted for 50 percent of the world’s population and has huge volumes of trade passing through the waters.

“India is in the centre of the region”.

India and Japan are often called by experts as “natural allies” in the region. Defence relations between the two countries have been enhanced of late, with the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe giving it a further push.

Japan, with India and the US, is also a part of naval exercise Malabar, which has caused discomfort to China.

The exercise, which started as a bilateral one between India and the US now has Japan as a permanent partner. In 2007, when Japan and Australia were included in the exercise, China had issued a demarche to the countries.

Recently, on a tour to India, US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift said that China’s objection was “fine” as it was not a part of the exercise. He also said that the exercise should be “inclusive” without declaring whether the US wanted China’s participation.

Asked if involving China in the exercise can be considered, Admiral Takei said: “There is no difference in China or any other country.”

The Admiral described the IFR, which saw the participation of 50 navies, as “a platform which can enhance interoperability”.

“Exercise at peace time makes the foundation for the emergency.”

Takei also fondly remembered his participation as a “young captain” in the previous edition of the IFR in 2001.

“The world is taking India more seriously now, India has grown as a nation,” he said.

Japan as sent its anti-submarine destroyer JS Matsuyuki to participate in the IFR.

In October last year, Indian Navy had also sent its Shivalik class stealth multi-role frigate INS Sahyadri to participate in a fleet review organised by the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force.

The IFR held at Visakhapatnam saw participation from 50 navies, with 24 foreign ships, and 71 Indian Navy ships. This was the second time the IFR was organised in India — the largest military exercise the country has held so far.

China, the US and Australia were among the participating navies.

(IANS) (pic courtesy: idrw.org)

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.