New Delhi, November 04, 2016: Indiaon Thursday said Pakistan’s support to cross-border terrorism was the root cause of the problem between the two countries, and has led to diplomatic isolation of Pakistan.
Asked what he meant by diplomatic isolation, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup referred to a number of letters written by different countries condemning cross-border terror.
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“Root cause of problem between India and Pakistan is Pakistan’s support to cross border terrorism and its promotion as an element of state policy. It is important for Pakistan to desist from those policies, which are failed policies, which have led to its diplomatic isolation,” Swarup said.
“Unless that happens, relationship between the two countries will continue to remain like this.”
Asked what he meant by diplomatic isolation as no sanctions have been imposed on Pakistan, Swarup referred to the letters by different South Asian countries condemning cross border terror.
“You are not aware of letters that were written by members of Saarc?” he questioned.
“As far as we are concerned the international community has spoken unequivocally on the issue of cross-border terrorism and there are various statements, many are available on the website, many are available on my Twitter feed, countries have unequivocally condemned cross-border terrorism,” Swarup said.
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“Bhutan Prime Minister in fact said the worst from of terrorism is cross-border terrorism… If this is not a signal to the country that we are discussing then what is?” he added.
The 19th Saarc Summit which was to be held in Islamabad in November this year was postponed after member nations pulled out, citing concerns over rising regional terrorism.
Following the September 18 terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri of Jammu and Kashmir, that led to the deaths of 19 soldiers, India decided not to participate in the summit. India has blamed the terror attack on Pakistan-based terror group, Jaish-e-Mohamed.
India’s pulling out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit was followed by that of Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka expressed its reservations about participation.
Asked about the fate of the summit, Swarup said the question should be put to Pakistan.
“They are the ones who were supposed to hold the summit in Islamabad, and they are the ones who have now postponed it. We also know the reason why the summit was postponed. The letters that were written by virtually every Saarc country to the chair, and the statement that was issued by Saarc chair Nepal itself. It clearly said in the current atmosphere in which one country is undermining peace and security by resorting to cross border terrorism, it is not conducive for country heads to assemble in Islamabad for the Saarc summit,” Swarup said.
New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : India on Friday issued a medical visa to another Pakistani national following a promise made by the Ministry of External Affairs on Independence Day.
“Amna – We have approved medical visa for your father Mr Shamim Ahmed,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted in response to a request from one Amna Shamim through the Twitter handle of Karachi’s Muhammad Talha.
Shamim also posted a reference letter dated October 9 from a doctor in Sri Ganga Ram Hospital who stated that the patient was being considered for a liver transplant.
On Independence Day, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had announced that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.
As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.
The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.
However, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for liver tumour, was given a visa on July 18.
Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.
Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas. (IANS)
We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America
The new policy by Trump will allow the military to observe the conditions on the ground before they take a decision on if they want to attack or withdraw
We have been paying Pakistan billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting
Virginia, USA, August 23, 2017: US President Donald Trump in his speech at Arlington, Virginia on August 21, 2017, divulged details on his new policy for Afghanistan and South Asia. He made it clear in his speech that American troops will continue to fight the war between US and Afghanistan, the longest war in US history which has been continuing for 17 years.
Trump made it a point to announce that he’s not just rearranging the Afghanistan policy. He also spoke against Pakistan and criticized them for harboring the terrorists and said that the US would want India’s help and contribution to restore the stability of Afghanistan.
Trump said, “In Afghanistan and Pakistan, America’s interests are clear. We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America, and we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists and being used against us, or anywhere in the world for that matter.”
Trump listed out the factors that would lead to a change in Afghanistan and South Asia policy in the coming years:
Donald Trump criticized Barack Obama
Trump, many times during his presidential campaign has criticized former US President Barack Obama “for announcing a date by which American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan.” He said that it allowed Taliban and others like them to reassemble and lay waiting for them to do so.
The new policy by Trump will allow the military to observe the conditions on the ground before they take a decision on if they want to attack or withdraw. Though it seems like a wise decision, it also means that the US troops are likely to be in Afghanistan for few more years, by taking into consideration how long this war has continued. The US President stressed upon, “A shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions.”
America will focus on their interests first, Donald Trump said, “The integration of all instruments of American power – diplomatic, economic, and military – toward a successful outcome.” Trump said that America has spent a lot of time, money and soldier’s lives to try and rebuild countries in its own image. He expressed that a future political solution in Afghanistan might even include the Taliban, but it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take that decision. “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists,” he said.
Trump said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat.” Trump made some strong remarks about Pakistan, a country that has apparently been an American ally for decades, but was also often accused of taking funds from USA and using them to “take part in an arms race with India”, instead of using that money to fight the terror organizations which were often nurtured by them. Trump said, “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.”
On wanting cooperation from India
Donald Trump then talked about India and said: “Another critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India – the world’s largest democracy and a key security and economic partner of the United States. We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development. We are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace and security in South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.”
Trump called for India’s helping hand- He wants India to play a much larger role in the rebuilding of Afghanistan, particularly in the areas like development and economic assistance. This came as positive news to New Delhi, and the Ministry of External Affairs was ready to welcome the statement with open arms. The spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs said “We welcome President Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists. India shares these concerns and objectives.”
But Donald Trump’s framing of the issue has a problem in it – this seems transactional (like a business deal) and the narrative put forward by the US President saying that Afghan reconstruction is mainly an American effort only. Trump said, “But India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States,” he said this as if he wants to say that this should be the reason due to which New Delhi should do what Washington asks from it. Though India’s trade relations with the US shouldn’t be the reason for which India would take a bigger role in Afghanistan reconstruction. Instead, it is because of India’s personal interests in wanting to see Afghanistan as a stable, peaceful and terror-free region which leads it to move in the direction of forming a partnership with Kabul. Journalist Bobby Ghosh said, “One of the strengths of India’s involvement in Afghanistan is that it is seen unambiguously as Indian involvement.”
The real hindrance to a much larger involvement of India in Afghanistan is the danger of Pakistan taking revenge and they have been more than willing to use their weapons of terror against India in the past. This is where Trump’s strict stand on Pakistan is welcome and much needed.hat we don’t know is how much of Trump’s words will turn into action in the coming years. In the past also, American leaders have vowed to be strict with Pakistan, but they caved into demands of the country’s military. Now, Trump has talked about a “dramatically changed” approach, and these have been the most direct remarks coming from a US president regarding Pakistan till now. Now, only time will tell how much change can this bring.
What we don’t know is how much of Trump’s words will turn into action in the coming years. In the past also, American leaders have vowed to be strict with Pakistan, but they caved into demands of the country’s military. Now, Trump has talked about a “dramatically changed” approach, and these have been the most direct remarks coming from a US president regarding Pakistan till now. Now, only time will tell how much change can this bring.
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The Indians were taken hostage in ISIS-held Mosul in 2014; however, no demand has been made so far for their release
The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said over 100,000 civilians were trapped there and the ISIS was using kids as human shields
New Delhi, June 16, 2017: Three years after they went missing, the government on Friday said that 39 Indian construction workers mostly from Punjab, who were taken hostage by ISIS terrorists in Iraq’s war-torn Mosul, were alive and “everything possible” was being done to ensure their safe return.
“The information we have so far is that they are alive because we have no other information to prove that they are not alive,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay told reporters.
He said the government was in touch with all the countries “which can help us and are helping us in this matter”.
“What steps have been taken in this regard are sensitive. I do not want to say anything more about it,” Mr Baglay said, adding that the government “is doing everything possible” in this matter.
The Indians were taken hostage in ISIS-held Mosul in 2014. However, no demand has been made so far for their release.
Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met the family members of the 39 Indian men in Delhi and told them that a source of the government in Iraq had information about a group of Indian men holed up in a “church” in Mosul that is yet to be liberated from ISIS terrorists.
Mosul is witnessing one of the fiercest fights between ISIS terrorists and joint Iraqi and US forces. The US-backed military offensive to recapture the Iraqi city entered its ninth month on Friday.
ISIS terrorists overran the city in 2014 and imposed brutal Islamist law there. The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said over 100,000 civilians were trapped there and the ISIS was using kids as human shields. (IANS)