Timeline : April 1 – 15, 2016

Events and Happenings related to National Security and Strategy.

Date

Happenings

1-Apr-16 Nuclear Security Summit 2016 USA: PM Narendra Modi said that State actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest danger. Prime Minister said that Brussels attack shows us how real and immediate is the threat to nuclear security from terrorism. PM Modi emphasised on three contemporary features of terrorism: First, today’s terrorism uses extreme violence as theatre. Second, we are no longer looking for a man in a cave, but we are hunting for a terrorist in a city with a computer or a smartphone. Third, state actors working with nuclear traffickers and terrorists present the greatest risk. Noting that terror has evolved and terrorists are using 21st century technology, the Prime Minister observed that our responses are rooted in the past. He said terrorism is globally networked, but we still act only nationally to counter this threat. He added that the reach and supply chains of terrorism are global, but genuine cooperation between nation states is not. The Prime Minister said that without prevention and prosecution of acts of terrorism, there is no deterrence against nuclear terrorism. He urged everyone to drop the notion that terrorism is someone else’s problem and that “his” terrorist is not “my” terrorist.
The Prime Minister said nuclear security must remain an abiding national priority, and all States must completely abide by their international obligations. (Source: PIB)
1-Apr-16 China blocked India’ bid at the UN to ban Terrorist Masood Azhar (Jaish-e-Mohammed), the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack.
1-Apr-16 Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) detained 59 Indian fishermen for allegedly fishing in Pakistani waters and violating the country’s maritime borders. According to an MSA statement, the fishermen were caught fishing in Sir Creek, a disputed territory on the maritime border of Sindh and Gujarat.
2-Apr-16 PM Narendra Modi visited Saudi Arabia on 2nd and 3rd April. PM held talks with King Salman.
4-Apr-16 Google removed a Taliban-developed app from its Play Store. App named Alemarah provided official statements and videos from the Taliban in the Pashto. Source: RT
5-Apr-16 The Ministry of Home Affairs has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Madhukar Gupta. Home Secretary, in order to strengthen border protection and address the issue of gaps and vulnerability in border fencing along Indo-Pakistan border. The Committee will study all types of gaps in fencing and all other vulnerabilities in the International Border on Indo-Pakistan Border and to suggest a comprehensive approach to fix these gaps in fencing and other vulnerabilities on interim and permanent basis. The Committee will submit its report in 3 months. Source PIB
5-Apr-16 RBI is planning to improve cyber security in the banking sector. RBI has constituted a panel to identify cyber security loopholes and provide guidance on improving cyber security. Recently, the hackers robbed $101 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh.
6-Apr-16 The United States Department of Defense has proposed $35 billion in cyber security investments over the next five years.
6-Apr-16 The alleged Afghan intelligence agent was arrested by Frontier Corps in Pakistan near Chaman border.
6-Apr-16 Panama Papers revealed eight members of China’s Communist party whose family members used offshore companies. China have blocked access to the Panama Papers issue. There are now reports of censors deleting hundreds of posts on the social networks Sina Weibo and WeChat, and some media organizations, including CNN say parts of their websites have been blocked. Source: The Guardian
7-Apr-16 Veit Nam demands cancellation of Chinese drilling activities in disputed East Sea. Viet Nam’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Hai Binh stated: “According to relevant Vietnamese authorities, in the evening of 3 April 2016, China’s HYSY 981 oil rig moved to a location at 17º3’12’’ N/110º04’18’’E for drilling operation. The location is in the area outside the mouth of the Gulf of Tonkin, of which Viet Nam and China are negotiating delimitation.  Viet Nam resolutely opposes the activity and demands China to cancel its drilling plan, immediately withdraw the HYSY 981 oil rig from the area, take no more unilateral action that complicates the situation, and make practical contribution to peace and stability in the East Sea. Viet Nam reserves all of its legal rights and interests applicable in the area, as well as the right to use all peaceful means in accordance with international law to protect these legitimate rights and interests.”
8-Apr-16 The US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Richard Olson, met NSA Ajit Doval, ahead of the Four Nation (USA, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan) meeting scheduled for next week. Source: Indian Express
8-Apr-16 The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police arrested six people for possessing fake Indian currency notes worth Rs.10 million.  Among six arrested, one is a Pakistani and five are Nepali citizens. Source: Hindustan Times
8-Apr-16 The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has termed China’s internet censorship a trade barrier, terming it damaging to the business of U.S. companies.
The USTR report stated that China’s Internet regulatory regime is restrictive and non-transparent, affecting a broad range of commercial activities conducted via the Internet. In particular, China’s treatment of foreign companies seeking to participate in the development of cloud computing, including remote data processing provided over the Internet, raises concerns. For example, China has imposed value-added telecommunications licensing requirements on this sector, even though the services at issue are not telecommunications services. Furthermore, although most value-added services are open to foreign investment subject to a 50 percent equity limitation, China has indicated that cloud computing, regulated under its Internet Data Centre license, remains off limits for foreign suppliers. The only evident exception is companies investing under the Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Agreement, through which only one foreign company has successfully entered the market. Over the past decade, China’s filtering of cross-border Internet traffic has posed a significant burden to foreign suppliers, hurting both Internet sites themselves, and users who often depend on them for their businesses. Outright blocking of websites appears to have worsened over the past year, with 8 of the top 25 most trafficked global sites now blocked in China. Much of the blocking appears arbitrary; for example, a major home improvement site in the United States, which would appear wholly innocuous, is typical of sites likely swept up by the Great Firewall.
8-Apr-16 China has called for fast-tracking negotiations with Sri Lanka for the second phase of the Hambantota port. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe, said both sides should speed up the negotiations on the second phase operation of the Hambantota Port. Li welcomed Sri Lanka’s decision to lift ban on the construction of the Chinese funded USD 1.5 billion Colombo Port City Project. Source: Economic Times
9-Apr-16 Saudi King Salman announced plans to build a bridge over the Red Sea to Egypt. He was on a five-day trip to Egypt. King Salman said “I agreed with my brother his excellency President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to build a bridge connecting the two countries.” On the occasion, Egypt’s cabinet announced transfer of sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir islands at the entrance of the Straits of Tiran, to Saudi Arabia. Straits of Tiran separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aqaba.
10-Apr-16 The President of Maldives President Abdulla Yameen visited India. On the occasion of his visit, India and Maldives signed agreements in the fields of taxation, tourism, space research, conservation & defence cooperation.  The defence cooperation agreement envisages an institutional mechanism at the level of the Defence Secretaries to further bilateral defence cooperation.
11-Apr-16 G7 foreign ministers condemned North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests earlier this year and shared concerns about maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas in their meeting in Japan.
12-Apr-16 The US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter visited India. He met RM Manohar Parrikar and PM Narendra Modi.
13-Apr-16 Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of the French Republic, visited India. He met PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
15-Apr-16 13th Islamic Summit of the Heads of State/Government of the OIC Member States held at Istanbul, Turkey on April 14-15.
Objecting to misinformation about Jammu & Kashmir in final communique, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup stated “We note with utmost regret that the Final Communiqué adopted at the conclusion of the 13th OIC Summit at Istanbul, Turkey includes factually incorrect and misleading references pertaining to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. We completely reject all such references regarding matters internal to India, on which the OIC has no locus standi. We further advise the OIC to refrain from making such references in future.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani refrained from attending the closing session after the OIC released a statement which included anti-Iran, reported Press TV of Iran.
President of Egypt skipped the summit. Middle East Monitor reported that Cairo has decided to send Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on the request of Saudi Arabia.  Egypt raised the level of diplomatic representation to the summit after originally planning to dispatch a minister’s aide to hand over the summit’s presidency to Turkey in light of the tense relations between the two countries.

 

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