Isolated by India, Pakistan plays with ‘bigger SAARC’ idea

In the wake of the Uri terror strike, India announced its decision not to participate in the SAARC summit which was supposed to be held in Pakistan in November this year. All other SAARC nations followed suit, and decided to boycott the summit. Distressed by this marginalisation and mainly due to India’s increasing influence in the SAARC, Pakistan is now playing with the idea of a greater SAARC. According to a recent report in the Dawn newspaper, Pakistan is looking at the possibility of a “bigger SAARC” to check India’s increasing dominance in the eight-member forum.

According to the report, “Pakistan has pitched the idea of a greater South Asian economic alliance, one that includes China, Iran, and some neighboring Central Asian countries”. A parliamentary delegation from Pakistan during its five-day visit to Washington last week pitched this idea, the report said. “A greater South Asia is already emerging,” Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed was quoted as saying in one of his interactions with the media. “This greater South Asia includes China,Iran, and the neighboring Central Asian republics,” he said. He described the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the key economic route linking South Asia with Central Asia.

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Post-surgical strikes against Pakistani terrorists, Modi says India not hungry for land

Days after Indian troops carried out special strikes targeting Pakistani terrorists across LoC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined that India has never coveted any territory or attacked another country though it made sacrifices for the freedom of others.
“…It is neither hungry for land. But in the two World Wars (in which India had no direct stake), 1.5 lakh Indian soldiers had laid down their lives,” Modi said after inaugurating the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, a majestic complex dedicated to nearly 27 million Indians living abroad.
“In the last two years, you have seen how the government rescued people from conflict situations, not just Indians but foreigners too,” Mr Modi said while alluding to his government’s rescue missions in conflict zones, including Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Ukraine.
Mr Modi’s remarks were aimed at the international community which has expressed concerns over escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan following the Indian Army’s special operation to target seven terror launch pads across Line of Control, in response to the Uri terror strike perpetrated by Pakistani militants. Read more…

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Kashmir terror attack: Modi explores tough options amid rising calls for retaliation

A day after the brutal cold-blooded massacre of 17 Indian soldiers by Pakistani militants, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held a meeting with his senior ministers to explore befitting reply to what India sees as the handiwork of Pakistani militants, in collusion with its powerful military establishment.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag were among those who attended the meeting at the prime minister’s residence on September 19.
The meeting took place amid a rising crescendo of national outrage over the killing of Indian soldiers by Pakistani militants, the biggest terror attack on the Indian Army in over a decade, and a growing chorus of influential voices in the strategic establishment rooting for swift retaliation and surgical strikes on terror camps based in Pakistan.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ratcheted up the pressure, and called for declaring Pakistan a terrorist state,” indicating that the India-Pakistan relations have sunk to a new low. BJP leader and ideologue Ram Madhav has crystallised national anger in his hard-hitting statement, saying that the days of strategic restraint are over and called for “for one tooth, the complete jaw.”
Pakistan has predictably denied any role in the incident and rejected the “baseless and irresponsible accusations.” This casual response of formulaic denial is only going to compel India to take tough decisive actions that will make it costly for sponsors of terror in the neighbouring country to continue on this course of terror and destruction.

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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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