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‘Indian military aid to Afghanistan may lead to more Pathankot like attacks’

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French South Asian security expert Christophe Jaffrelot (second from right) at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Photo: IANS

Jaipur: The Pakistani security establishment is unlikely to be happy with the Indian military aid to Afghanistan, and in the short run this could lead to more Pathankot-like attacks, says South Asia politics and security expert Christophe Jaffrelot.

“If India helps Afghanistan militarily, it could result in more Pathankots,” Jaffrelot, a professor at the Centre for Studies in International Relations at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and author of several books on India and Pakistan, told IANS in an interview at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Thursday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kabul and agreed to provide helicopters to the Afghan forces, and the attacks on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab and the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan followed, he said.

“The Pakistan Army has not taken the Indian offer of helicopters in a very good way. They already have a constant temptation to use jihadi groups against India,” said Jaffrelot.

“In the 10 years of (Congress rule), India gave Afghanistan aid but no military aid. You had talks, skirmishes, talks, skirmishes… India could live with that. It cannot live with a Pathankot every month,” he said.

On Pakistan, Jaffrelot, whose most recent book “The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience” (2015), dealt with the country’s curious paradoxes, said the world has to change its approach towards Islamabad.

“One solution will be to stop bailing it out… force it to reform its fiscal structure. The rich don’t pay taxes there. The state has no resources for development,” he said.

“The way must be trade, not aid,” he said, noting increased trade with Pakistan will also create more employment in the populous country. “This has to be among the first steps.”

Earlier, at a session titled “The Pakistan Paradox”, Jaffrelot maintained that a crackdown by the Pakistani security establishment on certain military groups makes “no real difference” for India.

“Recently, the head of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was killed in an ‘encounter’… The Pakistani forces only crack down on any group when it gets out of hand – and set up new ones. They still distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Islamists.”

Jaffrelot, who has also studied Indian politics, especially the Hindu right and has authored “The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics” (1996), “India’s Silent Revolution – The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India” (2003), “Saffron Modernity in India: Narendra Modi and his Experiment with Gujarat” (2015), also cautioned against the rise of majoritarianism in India.

“There is a risk of India becoming a mirror image of Pakistan… it would not be a very wholesome prospect,” Jaffrelot told IANS.

Noting it was a global trend with the success so far of Donald Trump in the race for the US presidential candidacy and right and far-right wing political parties in Europe, he said India had so far resisted this with its diversity and secularism.

“Majoritarianism, which would imply the majority community or Hindus are first-class citizens and minorities are not, can happen in practice, it dosn’t need a constitutional change. Israel is an example. They have not changed the law, but still,” he said, adding any such change would have implications.

“Things like ‘ghar wapsi’, beef ban, ‘love jihad’ and the like would lead to more estrangement, and ‘ghettoisation’ of the minority communities,” he said,

Apart from the security aspects of such an outcome, India would lose its “moral high ground” and its “soft power” would diminish,” he warned. (Vikas Datta, IANS)

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India Gets Assistance of Rs 3,420 Crore From Japan

The project for the construction of Chennai road aims to meet increasing traffic demands in the metropolitan area and installing Intelligent Transport Systems,

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Japan will be giving a loan of Rs 3,420 crore to India to assist in constructing the Chennai Peripheral Ring Road and for joint efforts towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The loan agreements were signed here today (Friday) between the Government of India and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), New Delhi under Japanese Official Development Assistance Loan Program,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

The Japanese ODA loan is for construction of phase one of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road for about Rs 2,470 crore and for Japan-India cooperative actions towards SDGs in India for about Rs 950 crore.

FDI
The Japanese ODA loan is for construction of phase one of Chennai Peripheral Ring Road for about Rs 2,470 crore and for Japan-India cooperative actions towards SDGs in India for about Rs 950 crore. www.trafficchallan.co.in

The agreements were signed by Finance Ministry Additional Secretary C.S. Mohapatra and JICA New Delhi Chief Representative Katsuo Matsumoto, the Ministry said.

Also Read: Now India is One of The Most Open Countries for FDI: Narendra Modi

The project for the construction of Chennai road aims to meet increasing traffic demands in the metropolitan area and installing Intelligent Transport Systems, thereby contributing to mitigation of traffic congestion and promoting Regional Economic Development.

The other program aims to promote SDGs in India, mainly in social development, by supporting the efforts by the Indian government to strengthen the policy framework and implementation mechanism, thereby supporting India in achieving SDGs by 2030, it added.(IANS)