Ajit Doval talks to China’s Wang Yi; troops pulled back along LoAC

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval had had a telephonic conversation with Chinese State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi yesterday. Amid the heightened tension due to the border buildup along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sounded reconciliatory too. It said that Doval and Wang had had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on the recent developments in the western sector of the India-China border areas.

India and China reached an agreement during the conversation to expeditiously complete the disengagement of their border troops along the LoAC. India and China initiated talks focussing on expeditious de-escalation last week. This happened days after India demanded that Chinese troops pull back from friction points along the LoAC.

Sources said that the proposal from Ajit Doval that the points along the nearly 4,000 km India-China frontier where the exact boundary is disputed by either side should not turn into spots of military conflict was readily accepted by Wang Yi. However, this is not the first time such a proposal was made by India and accepted by China. Every military conflict between the two countries resulted from China’s violation of this long-held agreement between the two countries.

Also read: Vietnam slams China for drills in disputed waters, says ‘could impact ASEAN ties’

India had sought the restoration of status quo ante in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and the strategic Depsang plains. This, apart from emphasising the need for thinning the military buildup in the region.

“The two special representatives agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of our bilateral relations and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes,” a statement issued by the MEA said.

Also read: Modi: The enemy has seen your fire and fury as well

“Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LoAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity. In this regard, they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LoAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas. They re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquillity in border areas,” the statement further said.

“The two special representatives agreed that the diplomatic and military officials of the two sides should continue their discussions, including under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), and implement the understandings reached in a timely manner to achieve the above outcomes. It was also agreed that the two Special Representatives will continue their conversations to ensure full and enduring restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols.”

Chinese Army moves back tents: Ajit Doval-Wang Yi talks succeeding?

In a major breakthrough that could signal towards a possible de-escalation of tensions along the LoAC between New Delhi and Beijing, the Chinese Army has moved back tents, vehicles and troops by one-two km from locations where disengagement was agreed upon at Corps Commander level talks. 

According to agency reports citing sources, Chinese heavy armoured vehicles continue to remain present in in-depth areas in Galwan river area. Indian army is monitoring the situation with caution.

The disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan, Ladakh, has begun. “This is a result of intense diplomatic, military engagement and contacts in the past 48 hours,” sources said. These meetings followed PM Modi’s recent visit to Leh where a decisive and firm message was sent out to the northern neighbour.

“India’s responsible stance and message at LoAC has been globally recognised. Those invested in the India-China relationship in Beijing are also of the opinion that the present stand-off should be resolved. India has sent out a decisive message that national security is paramount,” an official said.


Doval takes stock of riot-ravaged north-east Delhi

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval today reached the DCP office in Seelampur area of n​orth-east Delhi and then the riot-hit areas as the embers of riots that erupted in the name of registering a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) appeared to be thankfully extinguishing. Many people have lost their lives in this violence while many more are injured.

Doval, after visiting the DCP office in Seelampur area today, went to Maujpur, Jafrabad, Ghonda, Seelampur among several areas of north-east Delhi. He said that the police were working with promptness. “The situation is completely under control. People are satisfied. I trust law enforcement agencies. The police are doing their job,” the NSA said.

Doval met and interacted with the local people during this tour. Talking to an old woman, Doval said, “Love the people. We have this country alone. We all have to live together. The country has to move forward together.”

The NSA will give details of the situation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet today. Doval has made it clear that anarchy will not be tolerated in the national capital.

By now, adequate police forces and paramilitary forces have been deployed in riot-ravaged places of Delhi. The authority has given the police a free hand to bring the situation under control. The worst affected areas will have Section 144 applied for a month while places where people died are under curfew.

Doval had visited Seelampur in the night too. He had obtained information from the police about the prevailing situation in the area. Several senior officers including the commissioner of police, joint commissioner and deputy commissioner of the north-east district accompanied the NSA.

Curfew was imposed on some of the areas in north-east Delhi last night after Section 144 failed to keep the rioters on a leash. Further, Delhi Police issued a shoot-at-sight order for the riot-affected areas.

So far, two policemen have been killed in the riots. The total death toll has risen to 21. The rioters injured 186 people including several IPS officers and many other cops.


Police in Kashmir to turn a lean-and-mean force by next year

Stone-pelters and armed terrorists in Kashmir will now think twice before facing Jammu and Kashmir Police. To maintain law and order in the Union Territory and battle terrorism, the Jammu and Kashmir Police fleet will soon be equipped with 50 armoured vehicles equipped with GPS and state-of-the-art armaments. The police are getting high-quality bulletproof shields, better helmets to face stone-pelters and bomb-proof vehicles capable of detecting IEDs and deal with landmines.

The Union Home Ministry has approved a plan of about Rs 1,000 crore for the state-of-the-art equipment and capacity development of Jammu and Kashmir Police. The decision to equip the police with avant-garde equipment was taken in a security review meeting held in the presence of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval last month.

Jammu and Kashmir Police is the only civilian force in the country that, along with fighting crime, is also fiercely fighting the proxy war waged by Pakistan. In view of the new methods and techniques being adopted by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists to execute their nefarious designs, the Union Home Ministry has ordered an immediate modernisation of Jammu and Kashmir Police. Necessary funds have been provisioned for this and the money is being released in phases.

Fifty armoured vehicles equipped with GPS that Jammu and Kashmir Police is getting have the necessary equipment to handle any anti-terrorist operation. There will be necessary medical equipment for immediate treatment of injuries of the police personnel. The vehicles have bulletproof shields to protect the force from firing during demonstrations by mischievous elements that terrorists take advantage of.

Special bulletproof helmets will be made available for police personnel involved in counter-insurgency operations during the first three months of next year. In addition, there will be special vehicles with equipment capable of detecting IEDs and landmines, which the government is procuring from abroad.

Initially, about a dozen such vehicles will be purchased, and more will be bought later as per requirement. These vehicles will be able to withstand landmine blasts and jam remote-operated IED devices within a range of 30 m to 50 m in the area from which they pass.

The jawans will be sent to other parts of the country for commando training. Sources said that necessary changes are being made in the training of officers and jawans of Jammu and Kashmir Police. The personnel will be sent to different training centres across the country to learn the changing techniques of locating and deactivating landmines.

The centres of Army and central paramilitary forces will train commandos and give different batches of officers of Jammu and Kashmir Police exposure to counter-insurgency operations.


Madi Sharma did nothing unusual inviting EU MPs to J-K

By floating the name of a ‘mystery woman’, who is supposed to have arranged for the European parliamentarians’ Kashmir visit, a section of the media might have tried to project the tour as a choreographed event, but it has turned out that Madi Sharma is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee, an advisory body of the European Union for which it is not unusual to organise events for the EU MPs.

Madi Sharma, the head of the Madi Group, did not make such an arrangement for the first time in her career. She had assisted in sending one such European MP delegation to the Maldives last year when it was a difficult period for the then Abdulla Yameen government.

Madi sent invites to MPs on 7 October

In the invitation the advisory body sent to the European MPs, a special meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Madi was promised along with a tour of Kashmir. The Madi Group is said to be a network of several international private sector firms and NGOs.

The copy of the email correspondence, which reached Indian media this morning, shows that on 7 October, Madi Sharma emailed the European MPs and promised them a VIP meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 October. The invitation included the promise of taking the MPs to Kashmir on 29 October. The press conference that followed was planned via email, too. Now people are asking who this Madi Sharma is.

Madi Sharma runs a think tank

Madi Sharma also runs an NGO Women’s Economic and Social Think Tank (WESTT). According to information available on Sharma’s Twitter handle, she describes herself as a “Social Capitalist: International Business Broker, Educational Entrepreneur and Speaker”. She is believed to have invited European MPs to visit India.

The members of the EU team have met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, national security adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi. They met the commander of the 15th Corps in Srinagar on Tuesday. They met some people from Kashmir during a lunch organised by Doval in New Delhi. Then they met some local people in Srinagar.

Writer of article on Article 370

She wrote an article on Article 370, which was published in EP Today. The article was titled, “Why is Article 370 abolished and a challenge for Kashmiri women.” But even EP Today is a monthly magazine associated with the European Parliament. That is the association of Madi Sharma with the event is not on account of her heading an NGO that has nothing to do with the EU.

According to Madi’s website, WESTT is a major women’s think-tank with a global reach. It focuses on economic, environmental and social development of women. It reads, “At the political level, it also acts as a lobby for awareness on many issues but never for commercial gain.”

Of course, until now, Madi Sharma was not related to the affairs of Kashmir, but she was not associated with the Maldives before arranging for a trip of EU MPs to that country either. Now let’s look at the role of the EU advisory body she is a part of.

Brief of European Economic and Social Committee

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is a consultative body of the European Union (EU) established in 1958. It is an advisory assembly comprising “social partners” like employers, employees via trade unions and representatives of various other interests. Its seat, which it shares with the Committee of the Regions, is the Jacques Delors building on Belliardstraat/Rue Belliard 99 in Brussels.

In schools of India, children studying the United Nations are familiar with the term EcoSoc, which was the former acronym for what is now referred to as the EESC. The name was changed to avoid a mix-up with the United Nations ECOSOC.

The Treaty of Rome of 1957 mandated the EESC. The idea was to unite different economic interest groups to establish a single market. The creation of this committee gave them an institution to allow their voices to be heard by the European Commission, the Council and the European Parliament. The EESC declares itself to be “a bridge between Europe and organised civil society” according to the Secretary-General: European Economic and Social Committee.

It is mandatory for the committee to be consulted on those issues stipulated in the Treaties and in all cases where the institutions deem it appropriate. The Treaty of Maastricht considerably enlarged the committee’s domain. Its influence now extends to matters such as social policy, social and economic cohesion, environment, education, health, customers protection, industry, Trans-European Networks, indirect taxation and structural funds. On certain issues, the EESC works in partnership with the Committee of the Regions.

In latest years, the committee has taken up the challenge of civil society, opening up its forum to representatives of all sectors, developing two complementary missions:

  • Involving civil society organisations more in the European venture, at both national and European level,
  • Boosting the role of civil society organisations in non-member countries or country groupings where the Committee is furthering structured dialogue with civil society organisations, and promoting the creation of consultative structures based on its experiences, not least in the countries applying for EU membership, the Mediterranean partner countries, African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, India, China, Latin America (Mercosur) and Brazil.


Saudi Arabia supports scrapping of Article 370 by India

Saudi Arabia has supported India’s decision to turn Article 370 earlier applicable to Jammu and Kashmir defunct and restructure the state. This comes as a shock to Pakistan that has been playing the Islamic card to rally support in its favour in both Muslim countries and the rest of the world.

Gaining the support of the kingdom, considered the most dominant Islamic force worldwide, is a major diplomatic victory for India. According to sources, Saudi Arabia expressed its opinion following a two-hour meeting in Riyadh between India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday.

Sources said that during this meeting many important bilateral issues were discussed between the two countries. “The issue of Jammu and Kashmir arose in this conversation. On this, the Saudi Crown Prince said that they appreciated the steps taken by India in Jammu and Kashmir,” a source said.

On August 5, India had effectively scrapped Article 370 and passed a resolution in Parliament to divide the province into two separate parts, making Jammu and Kashmir a union territory temporarily and Ladakh another UT albeit permanently. The special status of Jammu and Kashmir has, since then, seized to exist.

Imran’s Saudi visit proves useless

Recently, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia. It is clear now that the visit was futile from the Pakistani point of view. In the last 5 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NSA Ajit Doval have made every effort to improve India’s relations with the kingdom. Due to this, Saudi Arabia has emerged as a partner of India in matters like security and intelligence.

India’s big economic partner soon

Sources said that this outcome of the meeting between Doval and Mohammed bin Salman was going to further improve the relations between the two countries. At a time when Saudi Arabia plans to reduce its dependence on oil by 2030, India is expected to emerge as an important partner for the epicentre of Islam in the world.


Eid makes authority relax restrictions in Kashmir

Srinagar: Restrictions were eased to allow people in Jammu and Kashmir to offer Friday prayers in local mosques, leading up to Eid, officials said on Friday as security forces were put on high alert across the Valley in an apparent move to prevent possible protests. The decision to ease the restrictions was taken after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval directed authorities to ensure that no Kashmiris were harassed, they said.

Eid al-Adha or Eid uz-Zoha will be celebrated in various parts of the world, including in India, by Muslims either on 11 August or on 12 August, depending on the sighting of the moon at a given geographical location. “The authority has been sensitive in letting the believers amid all restrictions practise their faith, especially in view of Eid,” said a source.

Security forces have been put on high alert across the Kashmir Valley preempting possible protests against the scraping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir and dividing it into two union territories, another set of officials said. The decision, keeping in view the upcoming Eid, was taken as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, a day after restrictions in some parts of the civil lines areas of the city and Dal Lake was relaxed to allow free movement of people, they said.

“In view of the expected gathering of people at mosques for Friday prayers, there is an apprehension of mass protests and accordingly necessary steps were taken to ensure peace,” a security official said earlier in the day. He said the restrictions under prohibitory orders, which are in place, are being implemented strictly especially in sensitive localities and trouble-prone areas.

The clampdown in Kashmir was imposed on Monday, hours before the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and split it into two union territories — Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces have been deployed in massive numbers across the Valley, particularly in Srinagar city and major towns, and barricades have been erected every 100 m and only people allowed to pass are those with medical emergencies.

All telephone and internet connections have been snapped in the Valley and only three news channels, including State-run Doordarshan, can be accessed through cable TV networks.

While the officials are maintaining that the situation in Kashmir is “comfortable”, sporadic incidents of small groups of youth throwing stones at security forces have taken place in many parts of the city including Bagh-e-Mehtab, Natipora, Rambagh, Barzulla, Noorbagh and Bemina. One person has reportedly died due to drowning in Noorbagh area of the city after he was chased by forces during protests there.

Local residents had stocked up essentials like food grains, fuel and medicines in the run-up to the Monday’s announcement by the Home Minister Amit Shah in the Rajya Sabha. During easing of restrictions in some parts of the city especially in civil line areas on Thursday, the movement of the people remained thin, while a few shops mostly selling vegetables and medicines opened. Some stone-pelting incidents were also reported at a few places but the mobs were chased away by police and paramilitary personnel, the officials said.

Life is near normal in Ladakh where Kargil is a Muslim-majority district while Leh is Buddhist-majority. Preparations for Eid are in full swing.


Modi-Shah-Doval Turn Tables On Forces Of History

Has Paradise been regained on the snowy slopes of Jammu and Kashmir? And in its markets and valleys? Is everything bright once more this Monday 5th day of August in the year 2019? Will tourists and pilgrims flock into the union territories henceforth without the shadow of a gun? Will the economy of the region grow unfettered at last? Has Modi 2.0 delivered on one of the longest standing promises of the BJP within its traditionally Teflon first 100 days?

The triumvirate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval solving the problems associated with the vexed quango status of Jammu and Kashmir is a momentous event on par with the coming down of the Berlin Wall within the annals of contemporary Indian history.

The Indian economy may be bad at present, but the solving of the building of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya after similar decades now seems within reach too. There is enormous credibility restored to the Modi government at one fell swoop, after acute criticism on the handling of the economy in recent times. But with this, there will be no doubting Modi’s leadership for the rest of this second term. The economy, one feels sure, will also be properly and effectively addressed by the Modi government.

‘Heaven on Earth’ is how Mughal Emperor Jehangir described the territory in itself for its sheer beauty, when he visited it in the 17th century. But Kashmir has been long lost in the mire for 72 unfortunate years. This situation probably began via the petulance of the last Maharaja, Hari Singh, of the erstwhile undivided kingdom. The haughty and status quo-ist attitude of Singh and his Hindu Dogra predecessors was indulged by the British Raj.

They probably wanted access to a quiet paradise that many holidayed at, recuperated in, or retired into. The touch-me-not ism of the kingdom, indirectly ruled by the British through a Resident, was encouraged. It was an India, after all, that stretched from the borders of Afghanistan to distant Burma, and included Sri Lanka and the Gulf States within its remit. And there was just one paramount power. And it flew the Union Jack.

In 1947 however, to teach a reluctant Hari Singh a lesson for his stubborn hubris, Lord Mountbatten, decided to intervene. Singh was jolted for choosing independence in a vastly changed world by the last Viceroy, and by then, the first Governor-General of India. Mountbatten allegedly encouraged his Pakistani counterpart, MA Jinnah, to quickly overrun part of Hari Singh’s territory before he had time to react with his largely decorative princely army. What Jinnah’s “irregulars” took, is what is today’s PoK, and the high reaches of Gilgit-Baltistan. This forced Singh into the hands of a waiting Nehru, like a comfortable cricket catch.

Nehru huffed his way to the United Nations, accusing Pakistan of aggression, asking for help for the restoration of PoK, but he didn’t really have his heart in it. He didn’t, it appears, particularly want PoK back as an act of tacit goodwill.  Nehru, quite naive for all his intelligence, hoped that Pakistan would content itself with what it had wrested out of Kashmir. This, alas, was not to be. This more so after his daughter Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister helped to lop off East Pakistan into Bangladesh in 1971. In an attitude of revenge since then, Pakistan has been fomenting trouble via its policy of “a thousand cuts”, not only in Jammu and Kashmir but wherever it could within India.

To a certain extent, the Pakistani GHQ’s raison d’être is based on its hostility to India, which it calls an existential threat. Its terrorist-based war machine, backed by its intelligence agency ISI and regular troops, is today in trouble. Kashmir is now a Union Territory integrated into India. Fighting it becomes warring with India directly, and not aid to a so-called homegrown separatist movement. It cannot be portrayed as such.

The recent military resolve of India, enabled by the Modi-led government’s pro-active as much as reactive policy, in response to Pakistani aggression is also something that has reduced the Islamic state’s room to manoeuvre. But even in the original sin of the initial surrender, Hari Singh’s ego held out for bizarre exceptionalism, eschewed by over 500 of the other Princes. Muslim majority Hyderabad and Junagadh did try to hold out with specious arguments, before caving in and signing their Treaties of Accession tamely, and on the dotted line.

Since then, the growing mess created by Article 370, Article 35A, in Jammu and Kashmir, as it came to be known, has haunted both India and Jammu and Kashmir. It has been a long seven decades of the politics of blackmail and entitlement practised by Sheikh Abdullah, his family of successors, and other Valley politicians, mostly his relatives, aided by the mainstream Congress Party. It has kept Jammu and Kashmir a perpetually disturbed State and consumed the lives of many people and enormous resources that India could ill afford.

The legal beagles will pore over the audacious action of the Modi government and cheesepare at the provisions of the Presidential proclamation for some time to come. They will examine the gazetting of its provisions, the Home Minister’s speech in the Rajya Sabha, the bills and acts pertaining to it, the debates and arguments presented in parliament and outside it. But is there any worthwhile political will to back a challenge? From the looks of the opposition camps, it looks very tepid.

Besides the stunning fait accompli is such that it stands little or no chance of being effectively challenged, let alone over-turned by legal means.

The integration of Jammu and Kashmir into separate Union Territories — at Ladakh without legislature and in Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature — has ended the constant political friction probably once and for all. It is, however, natural for those who benefited from exploiting the earlier arrangement, to protest the sudden set of steps taken over the last few days, culminating in the decisions taken on the 5th of August. Can they upset the apple cart though? This is no more likely than the effects of Maharaja Hari Singh’s displeasure.

Syama Prasad Mookerjee
Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s death in custody raised wide suspicion across the country and demands for an independent inquiry were raised, including earnest requests from his mother, Jogamaya Devi, to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who claimed that he had asked a number of persons who were privy to the facts and, according to him, there was no mystery behind Mookerjee’s death. Devi did not accept Nehru’s reply and requested an impartial inquiry. Nehru, however, ignored the letter and no inquiry commission was set up. Mookerjee’s death, therefore, remains a matter of some controversy.

Will the spirit of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, martyred in the cause of Kashmir’s integration, animate future development in an integrated Jammu and Kashmir plus Ladakh? Mookerjee is a towering figure and inspiration for the present dispensation.  He was also the founder of the Jan Sangh, the predecessor of the BJP, and the saviour of West Bengal from being swallowed up by Pakistan. This apart from being a leading light of the Hindu Mahasabha and a sometimes minister in the Nehru Cabinet.

Under the architects of the integration of the newly named Union Territories, mainly Modi, Amit Shah and Ajit Doval, Mookerjee’s vision of a Kashmir as a fully integrated part of India, will certainly go forward.

Can we expect bloodshed and revolt in the Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu, and its echoes in the rest of India including New Delhi? It is most unlikely. Instead, it will expose the lack of traction of those who have long claimed that any attempt to revoke Article 370 would result in mayhem.

Congress, long a supporter of the former arrangement in Jammu and Kashmir, is caught in a cleft stick. Though it may be emotionally and materially opposed to the new development, it is, on balance, wary of being seen as its most vehement opponent. Many within it, including legal luminary Abhishek Manu Singhvi, called the Modi government’s move “politically astute” irrespective of its legal underpinnings.

What effect will it have on Pakistan and the wider world beyond it? Pakistan will be worried about Indian claims on PoK and Gilgit Baltistan intensifying now.

Others, including ally China, America, Europe, Russia, the United Nations, the Gulf and North African Arabs, Saudi Arabia, or the OIC in general, are unlikely to back any Pakistani protest.

Turkey and the Palestinian authority might, but they are in no position to make a difference. It is, quite clearly an internal matter for India despite Pakistani efforts on behalf of Pakistani separatists.

In recent days, Pakistan had attempted to revive its proximity to America, using the Afghanistan Taliban as a bargaining chip. This may suit America that is eager to leave Afghanistan to its own devices after nearly two decades of futile effort to subdue its warring factions. But, the new Pakistani tilt towards America probably does not go down well with China, invested to the tune of many billions in the CPEC.

China may well be inclined to back any renewed Indian claim on PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan over the medium term, in exchange for a softening and limited engagement on the part of India with the One Belt One Road and CPEC initiatives.

A new world of improbable opportunity may have just opened up.


Kashmir: Omar, Mehbooba, other politicians under house arrest

Srinagar: Kashmir remained on edge as the authorities stepped up security at vital installations and in sensitive areas, suspended mobile internet services and either “arrested” or “detained” several leaders in fast-paced developments on Sunday night.

Officials said restrictions on movement of people would come into force in Kashmir Valley at the crack of dawn. The officials said former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti would not be allowed to move out of their respective houses in view of the restrictions, while Congress leader Usman Majid and CPI(M) MLA MY Tarigami claimed to have been arrested around midnight. However, no official confirmation of the arrests was immediately available.

“I believe I’m being placed under house arrest from midnight tonight & the process has already started for other mainstream leaders. No way of knowing if this is true but if it is then I’ll see all of you on the other side of whatever is in store,” National Conference leader Abdullah tweeted. “To the people of Kashmir, we don’t know what is in store for us but I am a firm believer that what ever Almighty Allah has planned it is always for the better, we may not see it now but we must never doubt his ways. Good luck to everyone, stay safe & above all PLEASE STAY CALM,” he said in another tweet.


Reacting to the development, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba said, “How ironic that elected representatives like us who fought for peace are under house arrest. The world watches as people & their voices are being muzzled in J&K. The same Kashmir that chose a secular democratic India is facing oppression of unimaginable magnitude. Wake up India.”

The sworn political rivals in Kashmir, Abdullah and Mufti even retweeted the tweets of one another.

Responding to Abdullah’s tweet, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, “You are not alone @OmarAbdullah. Every Indian democrat will stand with the decent mainstream leaders in Kashmir as you face up to whatever the government has in store for our country. Parliament is still in session & our voices will not be stilled.”

“What is going on in J&K? Why would leaders be arrested overnight while having done no wrong? If Kashmiris are our citizens &their leaders our partners, surely the mainstream ones must be kept on board while we act against terrorists & separatists? If we alienate them, who’s left?” Tharoor said in another tweet.

Mobile Internet services have been suspended in Kashmir Valley, the officials said, adding that satellite phones were being provided to police officials and district magistrates.

The government imposed restrictions under Section 144 CrPC in the Srinagar district with effect from midnight. As per the order, there will be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies in Kashmir during the period of operation of this order.

After the Jammu and Kashmir administration curtailed the Amarnath Yatra and asked pilgrims and tourists to leave the valley at the earliest on Friday, anxious residents continue to throng markets to stock on essentials and serpentine queues have been visible outside shops and fuel stations.

The Anantnag district administration, in view of “panic stocking”, ordered all fuel station dealers not to sell petrol or diesel without permission from the district magistrate or an authorised officer.

Various educational institutions in the Kashmir valley also directed their students to vacate hostels.

The authorities in Jammu and Udhampur district ordered closure of schools and colleges as precautionary measures, too.

The University of Jammu will remain closed on Monday and all scheduled examinations have been postponed.

The authorities have imposed night curfew in Kishtwar, Rajouri districts and Banihal area of Ramban district.

Additional paramilitary forces, which arrived in Kashmir in the past few days, have been deployed across the city and in other vulnerable areas of the valley, the officials said. The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments in the city, they said.

Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points to Srinagar, the summer capital of the State. Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where apprehension of law and order disturbances is more, the officials added.

In Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security officials on Sunday and is believed to have discussed the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. The hour-long meeting was attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other senior officials.

Political parties in J ammu and Kashmir had expressed apprehensions about such action after the Centre deployed additional troops and curtailed the Amarnath Yatra.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor SP Malik had earlier dismissed speculations that the Centre might be planning to do away with Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives exclusive rights to the State’s residents in government jobs and land.

The parties on Sunday unanimously resolved to fight any attempt to abrogate the constitutional provisions that guarantee it special status or any move to trifurcate the State or “unconstitutional delimitation”, NC leader Farooq Abdullah said. The meeting was attended also by Mehbooba, Omar Abdullah, Taj Mohiuddin (Congress), Muzaffar Beig (PDP), Sajad Lone and Imran Ansari (Peoples Conference), Shah Faesal (J&K Peoples Movement) and MY Tarigami [CPI(M)].


Kashmir thriller featuring Shah, Doval, top security brass, Army

Srinagar: Kashmir remained on edge on Sunday as authorities stepped up security deployment at vital installations and sensitive areas amid heightened terror threat and flare up of hostilities with Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC).

After the Jammu and Kashmir administration curtailed the Amarnath Yatra and asked pilgrims and tourists to leave the Valley at the earliest on Friday, anxious residents continue to throng markets to stock on essentials and serpentine queues have been visible outside shops and fuel stations.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, the mentor of Jammu and Kashmir cricket teams who was in Srinagar to oversee the trials for the U-16 (Vijay Merchant Trophy) and U-19 (Cooch Behar Trophy) squads, has left Srinagar, along with the young players. “We have for the time being postponed the second phase of junior team trials…since there has been a government advisory, I had a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association… Accordingly, it was decided that boys need to be sent back home,” Pathan said.

Various educational institutions directed their students to vacate hostels.

Additional paramilitary forces, which arrived here last week, have been deployed across the city and in other vulnerable areas of Kashmir Valley, the officials said. The strength of the security personnel has been increased around vital installations such as the civil secretariat, police headquarters, airport and various central government establishments in the city, they said.

Barricades have been erected on many arterial roads, including the entry and exit points to Srinagar, the summer capital of the State. Riot control vehicles have also been kept on standby in some areas where apprehension of law and order disturbances is more, the officials informed the Press.

In Delhi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with top security officials on Sunday and is believed to have discussed the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. The hour-long meeting was attended by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other senior officials.

The meeting came amidst fresh skirmishes between security forces of India and Pakistan along the border with the Army foiling an attack by Pakistani BAT (Border Action Team) on a forward post along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector, killing five to seven intruders.

Kashmir thriller featuring Amit Shah
Pakistani troops seen approaching the Indian side with a white flag to take away the bodies of their soldiers killed in Indian retaliatory firing

The Indian Army has asked its Pakistani counterparts to approach them by raising white flags and take possession of bodies, which are lying on the Indian side of the LoC.

The BAT generally comprises special forces personnel of the Pakistani Army and terrorists.

A civilian woman was killed in cross-LoC shelling in Gurez sector of Kashmir last week, while ceasefire violations by Pakistan were reported from several other areas of Kashmir close to the LoC.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor SP Malik has dismissed speculations that the Centre might be planning to do away with Article 370 or Article 35A of the Constitution, which gives exclusive rights to the state’s residents in government jobs and land. Political parties in the State had expressed apprehensions about such action after the Centre deployed additional troops and curtailed the Amarnath Yatra.

The National Conference (NC) held a meeting of its Political Affairs Committee (PAC) where they expressed concern over the “uncertain and uptight” situation in Jammu and Kashmir. A spokesman said the party would fight any infringement upon the special constitutional position of the state. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has called an all-party meeting at her residence on Sunday evening to discuss the situation.

Malik has urged political delegations led by National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba to tell their supporters to maintain calm and not to believe “exaggerated rumours” being circulated in the Valley.

Sirf News readers may recall that we have ruled out the possibility of trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir. Now only two plausible explanations to the heavy Army deployment remain. One, the soldiers are in the Valley to ensure peace, as the separatists are expected to erupt if Article 370 and Article 35A are lifted. Two, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan may lead to a large chunk of Taliban terrorists, no longer having to engage in duels with the American troops, moving to Kashmir.

In the meantime, anti-terror operations are in full swing in the Valley. Here’s footage from DD News.


A-SAT परीक्षण के बाद मोदी ने डोभाल से भारतीय स्पेस सिद्धांत तैयार करने को कहा

नई दिल्ली —भारत द्वारा एंटी-सैटेलाइट मिसाइल के सफल प्रौद्योगिकी प्रदर्शन के बाद प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार अजीत डोभाल को एक अंतरिक्ष सिद्धांत का मसौदा तैयार करने का काम सौंपा है, जो नई अधिग्रहित क्षमता के संचालन के लिए प्रोटोकॉल तय करे। डोभाल डीआरडीओ और इसरो प्रमुखों के साथ बैलिस्टिक मिसाइल रक्षा कार्यक्रम के लिए बने विभाग का नेतृत्व करते हैं।

मिसाइल कार्यक्रम के परिचालन के लिए डीआरडीओ और विदेश मंत्रालय के वरिष्ठ अधिकारियों से बात करने के बाद भारत को परमाणु कमान प्राधिकरण की तर्ज पर एक प्राधिकरण बनाना होगा ताकि खतरे की किन स्थितियों में भारत के ए-एसएटी की प्रतिक्रिया को सक्रिय करना है यह निश्चित कर दिया जाए।

भारतीय उपग्रहों को नष्ट होने या क्षीण होने की स्थिति से जुड़े एक वरिष्ठ अधिकारी ने कहा, ”दुश्मन द्वारा भारतीय उपग्रहों को नष्ट या निष्क्रिय कर दिए जाने की स्थिति में हमें रक्षात्मक व आक्रामक कदम उठाने होंगे। या फिर ऐसी स्थिति हो जहाँ दुश्मन ने इलेक्ट्रो-मैग्नेटिक रेडिएशन (विद्युत-चुम्बकत्व) द्वारा अपने उपग्रहों तक पहुँचने का हमारा रास्ता अवरुद्ध कर दिया हो, तब हमारी क्या प्रतिक्रिया हो, यह तय होना चाहिए।”

भारत को अब इस तकनीकी कौशल को रणनीतिक क्षमता में बदलने की आवश्यकता होगी और इसमें इस सवाल का जवाब ढूंढना शामिल है कि क्या देश अपने उस परमाणु सिद्धांत पर क़ायम रहेगा जिसके तहत किसी और देश पर आक्रमण की पहल हमारी तरफ़ से नहीं होगी ― जिसे ‘नो फर्स्ट यूज़’ कहा जाता है।

एक और मुद्दा जिस पर विशेषज्ञों को विचार करने की आवश्यकता है वह है ए-सैट मिसाइलों के प्रबंधन और संचालन के लिए अंतरिक्ष कमान की स्थापना। अब तक भारत के पास एक अलग रणनीतिक बल कमान और एकीकृत मुख्यालय के तहत एक साइबर कमान है।

बुधवार को ए-सैट परीक्षण आयोजित करने से पहले मोदी सरकार ने कोलोराडो में पहली अमेरिकी अंतरिक्ष कमान का अध्ययन किया था। यद्यपि इसे एक संयुक्त कमान बनाने के लिए रणनीतिक बल कमान के साथ विलय कर दिया गया है, भारत ने उन निर्देशों का अध्ययन किया जो अंतरिक्ष कमान के गठन का नेतृत्व करते हैं।

भारतीय A-SAT परीक्षण ने पहले लक्षित उपग्रह की खोज करने के लिए अपनी आक्रामक वाहन की क्षमता को सुनिश्चित किया, फिर उस उपग्रह का पता लगाया और अंत में उसे नष्ट करने से पहले लॉक कर दिया। ए-सैट क्षमता का अधिग्रहण भारत के लिए एक गेम चेंजर है क्योंकि देश के पास अब स्टैंड-ऑफ हथियारों का उपयोग करके प्रतिकूल उपग्रहों को अपंग करने की तकनीक है। भारत अब सीमा पार किए बिना भी प्रतिकूल अर्थव्यवस्था, नेविगेशन, स्टॉक मार्केट, सैन्य और मौसम एकत्र करने की क्षमताओं को लक्षित कर सकता है।

चीनी मामलों के एक विशेषज्ञ ने कहा कि चीन के साथ द्विपक्षीय संबंधों में ए-सैट हथियार का निरोधात्मक प्रभाव महसूस किया जाएगा क्योंकि दोनों देश अब सैन्यबल में बराबरी की स्थिति में आ गए हैं।