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U.S.

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The United Nations will not work effectively if it is used merely as forum for destructive propaganda.

Tennyson in ‘Locksley Hall’ presented his vision of the world where “war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle flags were furled.” Mudaliar, the Dewan of Mysore speaking on behalf of undivided India had once said, the great reality, which all religions teach is the dignity of the common man.

However, all those words rang hollow, when the Indian and Pakistani delegations faced each other in the U.N. Reality was rare, as even the photograph brandished by Pakistan’s Maleeha Lodhi as being from Jammu and Kashmir was actually from Gaza. In any case, the India-Pakistan war of words was outdone by the U.S. and North Korea.

However UN’s 72nd General Assembly was made one of its most disappointing sessions because of its ineffectiveness on each of the issues pointed out by Secretary General António Guterres in his speech on September 19.

According to him seven biggest threats that face the world today are:

  • Nuclear peril.
  • Terrorism.
  • Unresolved conflicts and violations of international humanitarian law.
  • Growing inequality.
  • Climate change.
  • Cyber warfare and misuse of artificial intelligence.
  • Refugees.

UN’s actions in the case of North Korea just amounted to some more sanctions against it. The truth about sanctions is that they do not work on rogue states but they only isolate their populations from the world, which works in favour of regime’s stranglehold on its people.

On the basis of satellite pictures and the accounts of eyewitnesses, the UN Human Rights chief called military action in post-democracy Myanmar,  a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”, as close to half a million Rohingya fled from Rakhine villages that were then burnt down and landmines were laid along the border with Bangladesh to prevent their return.

Given that Hafiz Saeed and his associates now plan to stand for public office in Pakistan and while Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi received bail despite financial sanctions, more action is expected from U.N.

Mr. Guterres pointed out on the issue of inequalities that, “eight men represent as much of the world’s wealth as half of all humanity”

UN’s first Secretary General, Trygve Lie, ran an equally divided forum and faced the same challenges before finally resigning from his post in 1952. His last words were, “The United Nations will not work effectively if it is used merely as forum for destructive propaganda. Neither will it work if it is used only as a convenience when national interests are directly involved, and regarded with indifference, or bypassed or opposed, when the general world interest is paramount.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Surveys conducted by various Afghan and foreign agencies show that the Afghan people ranked Indian assistance as the most suitable because of the positive role India has played in the development programme of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan and defence ties with U.S. are expected to be the prime issues during James Mattis’s visit to India next week. Mr. Trump’s policy includes more pressure on Pakistan, no early U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, great military action on counter-terrorism and a greater role for India in sync with the U.S.

On January 4, 1950, India signed a Treaty of Friendship with Afghanistan which permitted opening of consulates in each other’s country. Surveys conducted by various Afghan and foreign agencies show that the Afghan people ranked Indian assistance as the most suitable because of the positive role India has played in the development programme of Afghanistan. The Afghans also appreciate the fact that India has never interfered in their internal affairs till date.

The energy basket of Asia needs to be exploited for the benefit of Afghanistan and the surrounding region. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline is one such example.

It is also necessary to redouble counter-narcotics efforts as Afghanistan remains the world’s largest producer of opium, accounting for 90% of the world’s supply.

A Stable Afghanistan requires involvement of the Central Asian Republics, Russia and Iran, which border Afghanistan. It is important for India to coordinate its efforts with those to ensure success.

 

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The 12th century mosque, the Grand al-Nuri in Mosul, from where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself the ‘Caliph’ of the world’s Muslims was destroyed by IS as they retreated from the Iraqi troops. Shortly after that, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally announced the liberation of Mosul.

The Iraqi army with help from Iran-trained militias, the Kurdish Peshmerga and the U.S. Air Force liberated small cities first, such as Ramadi and Fallujah, before moving towards Mosul in October 2016.

Recently IS has faced many setbacks like:

  • Losing more than half of the territories it once held.
  • Finding it harder to recruit new jihadists under strain of battlefield losses.
  • Its leader Baghdadi being either dead or on the run.

But these setbacks do not mean that the IS has been defeated, because of many reasons:

  • It still controls various strategic territories in Iraq. Hawijah, Tal Afar, Salahuddin province and pockets in Anbar and Diyala. In Syria, it still controls Raqqa, and Deir Ezzor.
  • There’s no guarantee that the IS won’t come back to the cities it lost.

In Syria, the battle against the IS, is more complicated than that in Iraq. In Iraq at least there is a consensus of America, the Kurds and Iran and Shia militias about what the legitimate force is against the IS i.e. the Iraqi government. But in Syria, Raqqa is being attacked by SDF and the government troops both. Russia is backing the regime, while the U.S. is supporting the SDF. Turkey, another country that’s involved by its proxies in the war, is wary of the SDF. So even if Raqqa is liberated someday, it will be difficult to reach on a peaceful decision on who will eventually run the city.

IS which started as an insurgency, has transformed itself into a proto-state. Now the proto-state is under attack, but it can retreat to insurgency (uprising/revolt) for its continued survival.

It has changed its strategy very recently. Instead of expanding its territories now, it has become defensive and released a wave of terror attacks in various parts of the world.

IS has established franchises in other countries. Boko Haram, Africa’s most dreaded terror outfit, has declared loyalty to the IS. In eastern Afghanistan, the Islamic State of Khorasa is a branch of the IS, which is controlling the group’s operations in South Asia. In Philippines, armed jihadist groups have declared their loyalty to the IS and are fighting the government forces also.

 

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Israel on Tuesday for a 48-hour visit. Modi’s visit to the Jewish country is the first by an Indian pioneer of politics. Him being a Hindu patriot, traditionalist and adherent to free markets, he has the benefit of extraordinary prominence at home, and according to many think tanks he is bound to be re-elected as the PM in 2019.

As per a rundown given by Minister of State to External Affairs V.K. Singh, in an answer to an inquiry, after first going to Bhutan in June 2014, Modi went to visit the U.S. four times, and Nepal, Russia , Japan, China and Afghanistan  twice each. He has actually made 56 International visits since accepting charge.

Such a forceful attitude by the PM towards visiting to various nations as a method of strategy is a sensational change as compared to all the strategies adopted by  the predecessors except the first Prime Minister of the nation, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Such visits are focused about building the brand India picture and to showcase our countries capabilities on international stages. To prove that Indian business visionaries with world-class ideas and visions possess the capacity to exhibit their ability and find genuine accomplices and resources to recreate their dreams.

The impact of such visits is a get together for mutually beneficial trade partners and political thinkers, for example, the Indo-Japan Trade Forum. The CEOs of various Silicon Valley based companies have also begun to show a lot more interest in our country as of late, most of which is directed towards Modi’s enthusiastic approach to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ ventures.

The benefits of his International visits are of course boasted by all his supporters, but there is a group largely comprising of the opposition in India that claims that such visits are a waste of tax payer’s hard earned money. According to them the PM should focus more on the internal problems of the country. Modi, who is too busy to pay heed to such talks, will soon be making a trip to Germany, to participate in the G20 Summit in Hamburg.