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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
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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 a Mobile App for Road Development

The mobile app will not only enhance functional efficiency but also bring transparency in overall system thereby boosting the morale of the troops.

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Now, mobile app for India's border roads developers
Now, mobile app for India's border roads developers flickr

A mobile phone application has been launched that will benefit thousands of personnel serving in remote areas to help develop and maintain the countrys robust border road infrastructure.

The application “Gref Abhilekh” was launched by Lieutenant General Harpal Singh, Director General Border Roads.

“It would “immensely benefit the 36,000 General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel serving in remote border areas of our country”, an Indian Army spokesperson said.

The app, compatible with all Android /Window/ioS based mobile phones, will provide real time personnel and career management information to all serving GREF personnel.

The personnel can access information related to personal details, family details, service details, probation or confirmation details and honours, awards and medals they have won.

The Application contains details related to promotions and seniority lists.Wikimedia Commons
The Application contains details related to promotions and seniority lists.Wikimedia Commons

Besides it also contains details related to promotions and seniority lists. They can also download pay slips and submit grievances through the app.

The Director General Border Roads who launched the app at GREF Centre and Records in Pune expressed his satisfaction on how the centre had drawn the IT road map for the organisation.

Also Read: Smartphone Screens Filthier Than a Washroom: Study

“The mobile app will not only enhance functional efficiency but also bring transparency in overall system thereby boosting the morale of the troops,” the officer said.

He reaffirmed his faith that the Border Roads Organisation continued to be “the nation’s most reputed, multifaceted and modern construction organisation will prosper further by adopting newer technologies and procedures”. (IANS)