BRICS sees rekindling of India-Russia romance

Though India made it a point to focus on terrorism and managed to underscore “the need for close coordination on tracking sources of terrorist financing and target the hardware of terrorism, including weapons’ supplies, ammunition, equipment and training,” it could not convince China to change its stance on Masood Azhar, leader of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The group has been blamed for attacks on Indian soil in the past, including the 2001 parliament attack in Delhi that took the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war.

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Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India: What to expect

India’s relations with Bangladesh will get a major boost with the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Goa. Sheikh Hasina is visiting India to attend a summit of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) on the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit to be held in Goa on October 15-16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina are expected to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the dual summits in Goa on October 16.
Sheikh Hasina will be participating in the multilateral forum along with 11 other leaders from BIMSTEC and BRICS countries. Members of BIMSTEC include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

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India, Russia converge on terror, sign 16 pacts

Underscoring the special and unique nature of their relations, India and Russia have signed 16 pacts in diverse areas, including defence, energy, trade and investment and promoting connectivity that are set to provide added heft to this crucial strategic partnership.

Dispelling speculation about drift in bilateral ties, the leaders of the two countries underscored the special and privileged character of the India-Russia strategic partnership.

The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a luxury hotel in Benaulim on October 15 was marked by warmth, mutual trust and a meeting of minds on a wide gamut of issues, including terrorism.

Highlighting convergence between India and Russia on a range of issues, Mr Modi expressed appreciation of Russia’s “unequivocal condemnation” of the cross-border terror attack in Uri on September 18. “Russia’s clear stand on need to combat terrorism mirrors our own. We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross border terrorism that threatens our entire region. We both affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters,” Mr Modi said at a joint media appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin here.

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Modi warns Pakistan, calls for slaying ‘Ravana’ of terror

Riding high on the surgical strikes conducted by India’s Special Forces on terror pads in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, India’s Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s twenty-minute Dussehra speech in Lucknow focused on terrorism, with a clear warning to Pakistan to stop the export of terror. “Terror is the new target and India will not spare those who shelter and help terrorists,” he said in an obvious reference to the Uri terror strike perpetrated by Pakistan’s terrorists.

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Scripting a new chapter in India-Iran relations

Building on centuries of civilisational connect and shared interests amid a shifting regional geopolitical landscape, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Tehran (May 22-23) opened a new chapter in India’s relations with an emerging power in the West Asia region. Enhancing connectivity and commerce, combined with rejuvenating cultural connections, were the overarching themes that framed the first standalone bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Iran in over a decade and culminated in a road map for advancing India-Iran relations in the next decades of the 21st century.

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RSS chief talks tough on Pakistan, says entire Kashmir is part of India

In a strong message to Pakistan, the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has asserted that the whole of undivided Kashmir, including Mirpur, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan, belongs to India and warned Islamabad against encouraging separatist forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a speech at the annual Dussehra rally in Nagpur on October 11, the headquarters of RSS, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat backed the government’s surgical strikes against Pakistan and underlined that there is a limit to tolerance. Mr Bhagwat’s remarks reinforced the ruling establishment’s growing exasperation with Islamabad which is resorting to diversionary tactics, rather than addressing India’s concerns over cross-border terrorism.

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Terror attack in Uri: Global outrage over killing of Indian soldiers in Kashmir

The horrific terror attack at an Indian Army base in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 17 Indian soldiers has elicited strong global condemnation, with the US, UK and Canada, among others, coming out in solidarity with India.

Condemning the attack, the US underlined its ongoing cooperation with India to combat terrorism. “The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir…We extend our condolences to the victims and their families. The United States is committed to our strong partnership with the Indian government to combat terrorism,” said US state department spokesman John Kirby.
The pre-dawn raid on an Indian Army base at Uri in north Kashmir on September 18 by suspected Pakistani militants killed 17 Indian soldiers, triggering national outrage and calls for swift punitive action against perpetrators and their sponsors based in Pakistan. Indian security agencies blamed the attack on Jaish-e-Moahamed, also the prime suspect behind the attack on the Pathankot air base early this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to punish those behind the “cowardly” and “despicable” attack.

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Behind PM Modi’s Balochistan gamble: Shift in India’s foreign policy?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, has drawn wide attention for his comments on Pakistan although he made no direct reference to the country. He drew a contrast between India’s belief in human values, as illustrated in the widespread grief in India at the massacre of innocent schoolchildren in Peshawar, with the “other side which glorifies terrorists”. He invited India’s neighbours to jointly fight poverty and not “destroy ourselves” by fighting our own people.
As Pakistan is accusing India of fomenting trouble in Baluchistan and POK, it is quite conceivable that it would apply its full template for raising military tension on the border and intensify cross-border terrorism in J&K; we hardly need reminding ourselves that this template, backed by nuclear weapons capability, constitutes Pakistan’s grand strategy towards India. One can envisage greater Pakistan-inspired terrorism in other parts of the country. Pakistan may even aim to escalate the border tension, involving the two armed forces, with the objective of drawing in great power intercession as it had tried during the Kargil conflict. The new Indian strategy assumes a certain risk but aims to apply calibrated pressure on Pakistani policy-makers and making them realise the adverse strategic situation they are in.

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