VIF Information Alerts - 31st May 2018
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INDOPACOM, it is: US Pacific Command gets renamed
Published: Military Times

31 May 2018

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced Wednesday that U.S. Pacific Command would now be called U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in the latest move to counter Chinese economic and military pressure in the region. Mattis said he directed the name change in recognition that “all nations large and small are essential to the region, in order to sustain stability in ocean areas critical to global peace.” Mattis made the remarks at the change of command ceremony in Pearl Harbor for incoming INDOPACOM commander Adm. Phil Davidson. Click here to read...

In 70 Years of UN Peacekeeping, India Recorded Most Deaths
Published: The Quint

31 May 2018

India has lost the highest number of its peacekeepers in various UN peacekeeping operations in the last 70 years, with 163 military, police and civilian personnel from the country laying down their lives in the line of duty. India is currently the third largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping, with 6,693 now deployed in Abyei, Cyprus, Congo, Haiti, Lebanon, the Middle East, South Sudan and Western Sahara. Click here to read...

Pakistan must not be admitted to Nuclear Suppliers Group: US nuclear watchdog
Published: The New Indian Express

30 May 2018

A US-based international nuclear proliferation watchdog today said Pakistan's application to the NSG should not be granted, mainly because of its ongoing illicit nuclear procurements abroad and its refusal to even minimally split its military and civil atomic programmes. This was stated by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) in a report authored by David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Frank Pabian. Click here to read...

Link to the ISIS' Report "Pakistan’s Growing Uranium Enrichment Program"Click here to read...

IMF Bailout Looms For Pakistan as Debt Surge Raises Alarm
Published: Bloomberg

31 May 2018

For many in Pakistan it’s a question of when -- rather than if -- the nation will go to the International Monetary Fund for financial support to pay its soaring foreign debt as reserves dwindle. External debt and liabilities has increased 76 percent to 10.6 trillion rupees ($92 billion) since June 2013, taking the ratio up to 31 percent of gross domestic product, the highest in almost six years. Pakistan’s debt will continue to grow as it has the highest financing need as a percentage of GDP in emerging markets over the next two years, according to IMF projections. Click here to read...

US general says some Taliban interested in peace
Published: The Times of India

30 may 2018

Some elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan are showing interest in peace talks, the top US commander in Kabul said Wednesday, citing "off stage" contacts involving what he described as mid- and high-level leaders of the insurgency. "A number of channels of dialogue have opened up between the various stakeholders in the peace process," Nicholson told reporters at the Pentagon. Speaking from his office in Kabul, Nicholson said he could not name names because the contacts are being pursued confidentially to improve the chances of advancing toward actual peace talks. Click here to read...

India's envoy to Russia Pankaj Saran appointed Dy NSA
Published: The Economic Times

29 May 2018

Senior diplomat Pankaj Saran has been appointed as Deputy National Security Advisor, the government said today. Saran is currently India's Ambassador to Russia. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Saran's appointment as the deputy NSA for a period of two years, on deputation basis initially till the date of his superannuation, i.e., November 30, 2018, then on re-employment on contract basis, an order issued by Personnel Ministry said. Click here to read...

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