On April 15th around 50 PLA soldiers intruded about 10 Km inside Indian territory in eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post there. Efforts to get the area vacated through flag meetings, activation of the bilateral joint secretary level mechanism set up to address such situations, and intervention of our Foreign Secretary with the Chinese Ambassador have so far failed. As a result, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police has established a camp 300 meters from that set up by the PLA troops leading to an eyeball to eyeball confrontation.
April 2013 announces the centenary of the Ghadar Party – one of the most riveting symbols of Indian defiance against colonial oppression. What makes the Ghadar movement an enduring symbol in the imagination of youth is the fact that it was waged in the western world in support of an eastern movement for self-hood and self-determination. Unfortunately the predominant “non-violent” narrative of the Indian freedom movement has, over the past decades, successfully sidelined the contributions of these alternate movements.
In the context of the South China Sea rapidly emerging as a turbulent oceanic stretch with China questioning the claims of a number of Asian countries over this disputed water body, late last year Indian Navy Chief Admiral DK Joshi had driven home the point that the Indian Navy is prepared to deploy vessels to the South China sea to protect Indian interests there. As it is, not long back India had sparred diplomatically with China over its gas and oil exploration blocks off the coast of Vietnam.
A Background to the Regional Conflict
Mali is part of the broader African arid and desert region called the Sahel, which stretches from Mauritania on the West Coast of Africa to Somalia on the East Coast. The main ethnic divisions in the region are between the northern tribes who identify as Arabs and Muslims, such as the Tuareg and Hausa, and the southern black population that may or may not be Islamic. These divisions are worsened by the historical role played by the northern tribes in capturing and enslaving blacks.
In what is being called a first in Pakistan’s history, a former military strongman, Gen Pervez Musharraf, has been formally arrested on charges of terrorism and illegal confinement of judges. Musharraf’s detractors see his arrest as a sign of the fundamental changes that have come in the political power structure in Pakistan. According to them, the power of the Pakistan Army has been seriously eroded with the restoration of democracy and the reinstatement of the judiciary, and this is reflected in the failure of the army to stand behind its former chief in his hour of trial and tribulation.
China has come out with its latest white paper on defence as part of its regular exercise to covey to the world that it has been exhibiting higher levels of military transparency. However, the paper is an exercise in strategic communication both to its internal and external audience. It shows adequate transparency to deter its regional competitors while putting a lid on many details which the international community would like to know about its ever expanding defence budgets and the direction its growing military power might take.
Reports of Chinese soldiers intruding 10 kilometres into Ladakh challenge once again our assumptions about the stability of the situation on the unsettled India-China border. Our expanding relationship with China has encouraged thinking that the border issue is no longer central to the future of the relationship and can await resolution as and when possible. We have adjusted ourselves to China’s India strategy. We downplay such incursions.
Recent bomb blast in Bangalore (17 April 2013) and twin bomb blasts that took place in Hyderabad in February 2013 have reiterated that the phenomenon of urban terrorism has taken firm root in India. In less than a decade, the Indian urban areas like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkotta, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Varanasi, Pune, Kanpur, Coimbatore, Srinagar, Jammu and Ahmedabad have witnessed over 20 major attacks. There have been large-scale casualties, material damage and disruption of life and economic activity as a result.
The procedure for investigation of offences, taking a decision to prosecute, presenting a challan to a court, cognisance by a court and the subsequent process of trial are all given in the Code of Criminal Procedure. So far as evidence is concerned, it would be governed by the Indian Evidence Act. From the point of view of the Police as the agency for investigating and subsequently prosecuting offences, Chapter XII Cr.P.C. is of utmost importance. The Police acquires the right to investigate an offence only after it records information about the alleged commission of a cognisable offence.
In the last 20 years or so there has been a remarkable growth in India-Israel relationship, which is all to the good. Criticism that India wants to work on this relationship more behind the scenes rather than giving it full visibility, is not unjustified. This should change. More openness would consolidate the image of independence of our foreign policy.