VIF Information Alerts - 30 April 2019
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IS chief Baghdadi appears for first time in five years in propaganda video
Published: Hindustan Times

29 Apr 2019

The elusive chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has purportedly appeared for the first time in five years in a propaganda video released Monday by the jihadist organisation. It is unclear when the footage was filmed, but the man said to be Baghdadi referred in the past tense to the months-long fight for Baghouz, IS’s final bastion in eastern Syria, which ended last month.Click here to read...

China shores up projects in Nepal, Myanmar under Belt and Road
Published: Hindustan Times

29 Apr 2019

China is shoring-up its connectivity projects with Nepal and Myanmar, including a trans-Himalayan network, a cross-border railway venture and an economic corridor under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-dimensional Connectivity Network, including the Nepal-China cross-border railway, have been named under the list of projects under the BRI.Click here to read...

Pak to mainstream madrassas, bring them under govt control: Army spokesperson
Published: The Tribune

29 Apr 2019

Pakistan will bring over 30,000 madrassas into the mainstream education system as part of a determined campaign to combat extremism, the military spokesperson said on Monday. Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan had witnessed a surge in religious seminaries from 247 madrassas in 1947 to 2,861 in 1980. “And now there are over 30,000 madrassas. Out of these, only 100 are involved in propagating terrorism,” he said, adding that several steps were afoot to control and bring the seminaries into the mainstream.Click here to read...

Pakistan admits presence of terrorists in its territory
Published: The New Indian Express

29 Apr 2019

Pakistan Army on Monday admitted the presence of terrorists and Jihadi elements in its country, saying that there is a need to "do a lot" to curb terrorism. "We have proscribed violent extremist organisations and Jihadist groups and we have been taking action against them," said Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor at a press conference here on Monday. Major General Ghafoor said that there is a need to "do a lot" to curb terrorism as Islamabad so far has "suffered losses. We have lost millions of dollar due to terrorism." "There is still a lot to do against terrorism," he added.Click here to read...

India, China among five biggest military spenders, says SIPRI report
Published: The Statesman

29 Apr 2019

The United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France were the five biggest spenders on defence equipment in the world in 2018, together accounting for 60 per cent of global military spending, a report published by the leading Swedish think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday. The report, titled “Trends in World Military Expenditure 2018”, said the total world military expenditure rose to $1822 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 2.6 per cent from 2017.Click here to read...

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