Briefing November 14-20, 2021

DELHI

National Security Council heads of seven nations, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 10, 2021, after an Afghanistan related meeting hosted by Ajit Doval.

Dramatic developments are taking place in the region. Though the denial of the air space for GoFirst’s Srinagar Sharjah flight has not impacted the load of the flight, the ban continues even without offering any reason by Islamabad.

But that is just part of the story. The latest information suggests that Beijing, Pakistan’s ‘iron brother’ has supplied its largest and most advanced warship to beef up its navy in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Designed and built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC), the frigate – now named PNS Tughril, was delivered to the Pakistan Navy in a commissioning ceremony in Shanghai. The vessel is said to be a technologically advanced and highly capable platform with enormous surface-to-surface, surface-to-air and underwater firepower, besides extensive surveillance potentials. This is said to be the largest and most advanced warship that China has ever exported.

The development came in the backdrop of a report that a group of Chinese soldiers was seen surveying Pakistan administration areas of Kel, Jura and Leepa recently. Though the objectives are not known but reports suggest this could be an exercise aimed at building “model villages” along the Line of Control.

Meanwhile, Delhi hosted a conference of Regional National Security Advisers (NSAs) that called for collective cooperation against radicalisation, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region. With a focus on Afghanistan and presided over by NSA, Ajit Doval, the conference was attended by National Security Advisers or Secretaries of the Security Council of five Central Asian countries – Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan besides Russia and Iran. The conference was not attended by Pakistan and China.

Coinciding with the conclusion of the Delhi conference, Pakistan hosted the interim Afghan foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi and special envoys from the United States (Tom West), Russia and China as part of Islamabad’s diplomatic efforts aimed at preparing the ground for the international community’s recognition of the Taliban government. This is said to be the follow up to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s Kabul visit in October. Pakistan has been working with, what is now called ‘extended troika’, comprising Pakistan, China, US, and Russia on Afghanistan. While Pakistan is urging the world community to recognise the new Kabul, it is not willing to become the first country to recognise it. This is despite the fact that it permitted the Taliban to take over the Afghanistan embassy in Pakistan and is regularly flying to Kabul. Recognition apart, Pakistan, Russia and China have been urging the US to unfreeze the Afghan central bank’s US$9.5 billion assets to help the new regime to manage its economy better. Tom West is expected to brief NSA Doval about the deliberations when he flies to Delhi this week.

As new security providing agencies bagged various contracts, the security guards in the banking sector said their wages were reduced from Rs 8000 plus to mere Rs 7000.

SRINAGAR

Roshan Mawa talking to reporters after his shop at Zaina Kadal was thrown open formally on May 1, 2019. Mawa survived an attack in October 1990 following which he migrated. His father convinced him to return home

Businessman Sandeep Mawa who also runs Jammu and Kashmir Reconciliation Front has revealed that the attack in which his salesman of 14 years, Ibrahim Khan of Bandipora, was killed was actually aimed at him. Mawa told media that he had been alerted about an attack by police, following which he went home and left his car near his shop in Bohri Kadal, Khan, who went to take his car home in the evening was killed.

Insisting that he feels guilty, Mawa termed slain Khan as his elder brother and mentor. He is paying Rs 10 lakh to his family and is working for compensation and job to Khan’s son and daughter. Mawa, a relative of slain businessman, Makhan Lal Bindroo, Mawa’s family migrated in 1990 after his father survived a militant attack. However, Mawa returned home, reopened his shop and remained in news for the reconciliation. It is known if Mawa had shared with Khan the inputs he had from the police.

With 60 battalions of the CRPF already deployed in Kashmir, MHA has ordered the deployment of 5500 paramilitary men including 30 companies from CRPF and 25 from BSF. Almost 25 companies have already landed in Srinagar.

JAMMU

In this February 8, 2017photograph, Dr Nirmal Singh is seen with the Prime Minister. Mamta Singh is also part of the portrait.

Jammu Development Authority (JDA) has asked BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister, Prof Nirmal Singh to demolish his mansion that he had illegally built in Ban (Nagrota) village. The notice that has already gone to Singh and his wife Mamta says the bungalow lacks mandatory permissions. He has been given five days. The house located near an Army’s ammunition depot saw the housewarming on July 23, 2020. Its existence was already disputed and the High Court had also passed a direction that the 2005 order seeking a ban on civilian construction within 1000 yards of defence works must be implemented. However, the powerful BJP politician as Deputy Chief Minister of the BJPDP regime managed all pressures from the army, defence ministry and the court and built his home in 2017, barely 580 yards from the depot. The army had written to Jammu and Kashmir government thrice and even a commander of Jammu based 16-corpse had personally written to Singh directly highlighting the security risks, his house poses.

The house has a flipside too. It is said to be a 2000-square-yard plot that Singh’s wife, Mamta, had purchased under the company Himgiri Infrastructure Development Limited. The company had BJP’s other former Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta and BJP MP Jugal Kishore as stakeholders. The company had allegedly lifted a term loan of Rs 18.50 crore along with a cash credit facility of Rs 56.83 lakh from Jammu and Kashmir Bank in 2012 to set up a Power project in Himachal’s Chamba district. The account was declared a Non-Performing Asset (NPA) in December 2017.

Dr Singh is now going to the court of law. A Tribunal has given him some comfort by staying the order till early Decemebr.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) fast bowler Umran Malik

Gujjar Nagar’s Umran Malik has been named in India’s 14 member A-Squad cricket team for the South Africa tour. The 21-year-old a right-arm pacer (152.95 kph), has played just one List-A and eight T20 matches so far.

ARNIA

Murders arrested in Arnia shooting case on November 10, 2021. the November 5, shooting led to the killing of three persons as one survived injured.

Jammu and Kashmir Police have finally arrested two cops and their harbourers in a remote Kathua village within three days after they killed three persons in a shootout in border Arnia belt. Police are yet to confirm but the public knowledge suggests that it was a gang war between two factions trading in drugs. On November 5, morning, three persons who had come with sharp-edged weapons and hockey sticks were killed by Bhupinder Singh and his colleague, Sadeeq Choudhary – both cops but one of them dismissed in 2019. They fled and were eventually arrested on November 10. The arrest followed after Sadeeq’s wife spilt the beans and surrendered Singh’s weapon. Police say the investigations are groining on. Once the case is completed, sensational revelations will be out. The slain include two brothers and their colleague Pawan.

BANGALURU

Bangaluru trekker Namratha Nandish at Kolsar Lake In Kashmir in September 2021

Fighting arthritis, Namratha Nandish, 33, from Bengaluru’s Bellandur belt, has trekked to 50 high-altitude lakes in Kashmir located 10,000 above sea level. She started with Tullian Lake over Pir Panchal heights and concluded with Shilsar Lake. All these lakes she reached within a few months and in a single season. This is for the first time that a young lady has reached to so many Kashmir lakes in one season. The only record lies with Mehmood A Shah, currently, Director Handicrafts and Industries, who has personally visited more than 125 lakes so far and profiled them for posterity.

Lal Ded hospital, the main gynaecological and obstetrics hospital in Kashmir. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

At Lal Ded Hospital, where more than one-fourth of Kashmir takes birth, has reduced its Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) from 18.84 in 2017-18 to 6.69 in 2020-21. The national average is 18.

MUMBAI

The script is already on the prime time debates and it just waited for a clever director to pick the story. Now Sigham series director is making Singham-3 in Kashmir and around Kashmir in the backdrop of Article 370. Reports suggest that after Ajay Devgn’s Singham and Singham Returns, filmmaker Rohit Shetty is ready for a third film. In this, Rohit will show Devgan “fighting the anti-national elements to bring in peace” in Kashmir. Reports appearing in media suggest the script will have “true events” and will showcase “how the government’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status shook the terror outfits”. Nobody knows if the Singham-3 will be released before the next Lok Sabha polls as was the Uri case.

SHOPIAN

Residents of Kaprin: (L to R) Naji Munawar, Amin Kamil and Shafiq Shouq

Children Kashmir poet and fiction writer, Naji Munawar died in peace at his Kaprin home in Shopian. He was 86. Ghulam Nabi Lone has been writing his entire life and has done pioneering work in the field of children’s literature. He was a poet and historian and wrote in Urdu and Kashmiri. A contemporary of Amin Kamil, Naji was the elder brother of Kashmiri professor, Shafi Shouq.

DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with former Deputy CM, Muzzafar Baig after the latter got the Padma Bhushan on November 8, 2021, from the President of India, Ramnath Kovind.

Five people got Padma awards announced in 2020 and 2021. These included Muzaffar Hussain Baig (Padma Bushan), Shiv Datt Nirmohi (Udhampur educationist), Javid Ahmad Tak (social worker from Bejbehara), Ghulam Rasool Khan, a master artist who knows the art of handicrafts and educationist Chaman Lal Sapru. They all got Padma Shree. Unlike all others who took it personally, Sapru got it posthumously.

Jammu and Kashmir will investigate the reports that 165 ventilators that PM Cares Fund (PMCF) gave to Government Medical College, Srinagar’s Associated Hospitals were all defective and were never used.

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