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Xi expects meeting with Modi to open new chapter in China-India ties


Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Central China Friday, saying he expected their two-day informal meeting will open a new chapter in bilateral ties.

Welcoming Modi’s visit to Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei province, Xi said in the past three years, he and Modi have established a good working relationship through mutual visits and meetings at multilateral events.The two leaders have reached many important consensuses via these meetings, which have sent the world a positive signal on China-India friendship and reflected the strong will of the two emerging economies to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation and achieve common development, according to Xi. “The great cooperation between our two great countries can influence the world,” Xi said.

Pakistan: National Security Committee condemns India

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The 20th Meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) was held in Islamabad on Wednesday with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the chair. Pakistan’s top civilian and military leaders strongly condemned India’s “recent reign of terror” in occupied Kashmir which has martyred 20 innocent civilians and left hundreds wounded. According to a press release, the committee condemned the current situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir, observing that the inhumane and incessant use of pellet guns against innocent protestors and on funeral processions has blinded scores of Kashmiris and inflicted injuries. “The National Security Committee praised the extraordinary courage and resilience of Kashmiri people in the face of Indian brutalities, gross and systematic violations of all their human rights. The Committee observed that the purely indigenous character of this uprising has once again belied the false propaganda by the Indian government,” said the press release. The NSC reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to political, diplomatic and moral support for the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in their just and legitimate struggle for their right to self-determination, also promised to them by the unanimous resolutions of the UN Security Council. The National Security Committee decided to raise the issue of unprecedented Indian brutalities at both bilateral and multilateral fora. The committee reviewed the broader regional situation and expressed satisfaction over the role that Pakistan continues to play for peace and stability. 

India is world’s second largest producer of steel, overtakes Japan


In a major achievement, India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest producer of crude steel in February, according to the Steel Users Federation of India (Sufi). At present, China is the largest producer of crude steel in the world, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the production. India’s crude steel production was up 4.4 per cent and stood at 93.11 million tonnes (mt) for the period April 2017 to February 2018, compared with April 2016 to February 2017, which has helped India to overtake Japan and becomes the second largest producer of crude steel in the world, the federation said in a statement here.

India overtook the US in 2015 to become the third largest producer of crude steel. Attributed the growth in steel production to the right policies undertaken by the Modi government, Nikunj Turakhia, president, Sufi said, “The government has taken host of steps to curb imports, push local demand with initiatives like ‘Make in India’, implementation of the GST and infrastructure projects, to encourage the domestic market.” According to the World Steel Association, India produced 8.4 mt of crude steel in February 2018, up 3.4 per cent over February 2017.

Pakistan PM Abbasi accuses India of launching ‘brutal crackdown’ in Kashmir


Condemning the killing of 13 terrorists by security forces in Kashmir, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday accused India of launching a “brutal crackdown” in Kashmir. “The brutal crackdown, including the despicable use of pellet guns on civilians who were protesting against the killing is deplorable,” Abbasi said. Security forces on Sunday gunned down 13 terrorists, including those responsible for the brutal killing of Lieutenant Umar Fayaz, in three counter-insurgency operations that also claimed the lives of three Army jawans and four civilians in Anantnag and Shopian districts.

The operations, which dealt a severe blow to terror groups in Kashmir Valley, were launched in the two districts Saturday night and continued till late Sunday. Reacting to the counter-insurgency operations by Indian forces, Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in a brief statement said that Indian security forces cannot suppress the “indigenous” struggle of Kashmiris for self-determination. The operations by the Indian security forces have rendered a severe blow to terror groups such as the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashker-e-Taiba.

Indian’s minister confirms his cooperation in Afghanistan


India’s minister for external affairs said in Tashkent his country’s development assistance stands at $3 billion USD, adding that his country will continue to help rebuild Afghanistan and turn it into a stable economy. According to the minister, last year India embarked upon the New Development Partnership, which will support
116 ‘High Impact Community Development Projects’ in Afghanistan according to the priorities of the Afghan government. They include large scale projects such as drinking water for Kabul city and low-cost housing for returning Afghan refugees.

Akbar said that India’s other key priority is helping Afghanistan in building “robust, reliable and year-round connectivity, improving trade and investment relations of Afghanistan with prominent markets in the region and beyond”. He also said that the Indian grant aid of 170,000 tons of wheat supplies to Afghanistan is currently transiting through Chabahar (Port in Iran). Furthermore, the India-Afghanistan air freight corridor helps the connection between the countries. In fact, over 110 flights have carried over 2,000 tons of exports from Afghanistan to India worth over tens of millions of dollars.


Chinese military helicopter violates Indian airspace

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The Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have told the Union government of at least five aerial intrusions by the Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) helicopters this year in the sensitive Depsang sector of East Ladakh and the Barahoti plains inPeoples’ Liberation Army , according to officials familiar with the matter. Two PLA helicopters entered Indian airspace for between two and 10 minutes in the two sectors and were spotted about six kilometers across the perceived Line of Actual Control (LAC), said a government official who asked not to be named. There were three intrusions in the Depsang bulge, the site of a 21-day face-off between the Indian army and the PLA in April 2013, and two in the Barahoti Plains, he added.

Maps of western sector have not been exchanged between India and China, but the intrusions in the Barahoti plains are being seen by the Indian security establishment as a cause for concern because maps of the middle sector have been xchanged. “Aerial intrusions have been seen, with the Chinese PLA trying to emphasise its territorial claim. This could also be an ans- wer to Indian posturing since the Army and the ITBP are patrolling the LAC to its defined limits,” said a senior Army commander on condition of anonymity. Indian ambassador to China, Gautam Bambawale, told a Hong Kong newspaper last week that India would contest any unilateral changes to the 3,488- km LAC. Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a 73-day standoff in Doklam last year

India and China must be frank with each other to prevent another Doklam, ambassador warns

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New Delhi’s ambassador to Beijing, Gautam Bambawale, during a visit to Hong Kong said China and India have to be “frank and candid” to reduce their ongoing tensions and to prevent another Doklam, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to China in June. Bambawale said also political communication between the two nations had resumed after the Doklam crisis last year, when troops from both nations faced off for more than two months over the dispute. However, he said that the dispute had started because China had “altered the status quo” in the region, adding that both sides should refrain from doing so in future to maintain peace and stability. While the troops on the ground can talk to each other, the two nations’ military headquarters are still not communicating with each other, “We would like it to resume as soon as possible. We already have frank and candid discussions, but I mean we need to be more frank and candid with each other” Bambawale said.

Egypt’s FM Shoukry discusses bilateral cooperation with Indian counterpart


Shoukry and his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, discussed ways to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries. They signed two general framework agreements for political and economic cooperation. They also discussed developments in the ongoing war on terrorism.

India, Afghanistan agreement of development project


Indian and Afghan signed agreements for the implementation of 108 community development projects in Afghanistan and the projects valued at $31.33 million will be executed in 31 provinces. Manpreet Vohra, Indian Ambassador to Kabul said that these projects will improve the life of those people who are living in the remote areas of the country. Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah added that he praised India’s economic and political support for Afghanistan and called on those countries involved in destabilizing Afghanistan to support the war-torn country, referring to Pakistan.

Rajnath Singh slammed Pakistan for continuously violating the ceasefire agreement


Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday slammed Pakistan for continuously violating the ceasefire agreement with India despite giving assurance not to do so, saying Islamabad should not misinterpret “powerful” India’s “decency”. Pakistani shelling along the border in Jammu and Kashmir has increased over the past two weeks. Fourteen people, including eight civilians, have been killed in the shelling since January 18, according to the state police. Today, Pakistani troops opened fire and lobbed mortars on forward and civilian areas along the LoC in Rajouri district. No casualties have been reported. “Not saying much, I just want to say our politeness and decency has a limit. We want to maintain good relations with all and also with our neighbours. But our decency should not be wrongly interpreted”, he said. Rajnath said Pakistan, being a neighbour, should have a friendly attitude towards India. He said that the fencing of the India-Pak border was underway at a rapid pace.

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