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India-Pakistan foreign secretary level talks rescheduled

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Islamabad: The foreign secretaries of Indiaand Pakistan are expected to meet next month, a senior official has said.

There was an understanding between the two sides for a meeting in February, but its dates have not been finalised, the official said on Saturday.

The January 15 meeting, which had to decide the timetable and modalities of the resumed peace dialogue, was postponed after a terrorist attack on India’s air base at Pathankot in north Punjab.

The January 2 attack on Pathankot airbase left seven security personnel killed. A total of six terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were also killed.

India blamed Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for the attack and linked the resumption of the foreign secretaries’ meeting to an action by Pakistan against the group.

Senior officials from both the sides have been in touch for rescheduling the meeting, Dawn online reported.

Pakistan formed a team to investigate the evidence provided by India about JeM’s involvement.

The crackdown that came a day before the foreign secretaries were scheduled to meet was welcomed by New Delhi as “important and positive first step”, but it could not prevent the meeting getting postponed.

A statement on the deferment of the meeting, jointly issued by Islamabad and New Delhi, said: “Pakistan and India have agreed to reschedule Foreign Secretary-level talks in the very near future.”

The official said the foreign secretaries’ meeting next month would prove that the terrorist act had failed to quash the momentum for normalisation of ties generated by leaderships of both the countries.

Meanwhile, the planned visit of a team of Pakistani investigators to Pathankot has not been scheduled as yet.

“The team would first present its findings to the government, which would then decide about the visit,” a source in the interior ministry said.

Although an announcement has been made, the government is yet to approach India with a proposal for the trip, which would also give details of the terms of reference and objectives of the investigation team’s visit.

Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said “We continue to closely follow on the progress in the investigation in Pakistan on the Pathankot terrorist attack… We continue to expect robust action by Pakistan against all the perpetrators.”(IANS)

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India successfully test fires n-capable Agni-V ballistic missile

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

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Nirbhay
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the Nirbhay missile test was "successful".(Representative image) VOA
  • India successfully tests the Agni-V ballistic missile on Thursday
  • This was the fifth test that missile underwent
  • With this success India is now in ranks with US, UK, China and Russia

India on Thursday successfully test fired its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V — the most potent and with the longest range in the Agni series – that can reach targets as far as Beijing.

The test took place at the Abdul Kalam Island facility off the Odisha coast. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted about its success, congratulating its makers DRDO, the armed forces and the defence industry.

You may also like : Ballistic missile Agni-IV test fired as part of user trial

India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons
India has many high tech and powerful missiles to its name. Wikimedia Commons

She said the successful test of the 5,000-km-range missile that can carry a one-tonne warhead, was “a major boost to the defence capabilities of our country”.

“The Made in India canistered missile, having three stages of propulsion, was successfully test fired,” she tweeted.

Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni-V is the most advanced version of the Agni series, part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in the 1960s.

The missile was earlier tested successfully in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

This was the fifth test of the missile and likely to be its first user trial, though there was no official word on it.

India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.
India is developing new technologies everyday to strengthen its defence.

Thursday’s test brings the missile closer to its induction in the tri-service Strategic Forces Command.

The missile has a much longer shelf life, with its container being made of special steel that absorbs the blast of the takeoff.

In the canisterised launch, a gas generator inside ejects the missile up to a height of about 30 metres. A motor is then ignited to fire the missile.

Also Read : Nikki Haley says North Korea Could Face Stronger Sanctions due to its 7th Missile test in 2017 .

With this missile, India joins the super-exclusive club of ICBM (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500 km) capable countries of the US, Russia, the UK, France and China. IANS