The South Asia Channel

India Warns China Over Incursions; Names Added in Musharraf Case; Afghan AG to Investigate Election Fraud

Editor’s Note: New America is looking for a Project Manager – UAVs and Development to join our team in Washington, D.C. to support our efforts to create a primer and a corresponding database on the development potential of unmanned aerial vehicles. For more information about this one-year contract position, as well as the application requirements, ...

Kyodo News-Pool/Getty Images
Kyodo News-Pool/Getty Images

Editor’s Note: New America is looking for a Project Manager – UAVs and Development to join our team in Washington, D.C. to support our efforts to create a primer and a corresponding database on the development potential of unmanned aerial vehicles. For more information about this one-year contract position, as well as the application requirements, please check out the employment listing here.

Event Notice: “The Good War: Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan,” Nov. 21, 12:15 PM (New America).

Indian Home Minister warns China over incursions

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh accused China of illegally occupying the Aksai Chin region in Ladakh, located in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and said that repeated incursions by Chinese troops "do not augur well" for maintaining cordial bilateral relations, at a public rally on Thursday (Economic Times, Indian Express, Daily Mail). Singh said that India wants good relations with its neighbors, however, the gesture needs to be reciprocated. The home minister further said that the Congress party made "China India’s neighbour" in the northern state of J&K. Indian did not share its boundary in J&K with China at the time of its independence. Singh — @BJPRajnathSingh — tweeted: "India lost precious territory to China and Pakistan due to wrong policies of the Congress." (NDTV). In September, India and China had their biggest military standoff this year, with both countries mobilizing troops along the border. Tensions between India and China flare up occasionally as both nations disagree over the demarcation of their shared border.

Congress accuses State Bank of India of crony capitalism

The Congress party alleged on Thursday that the State Bank of India (SBI) —  state-owned bank — in a case of crony capitalism, extended a $1 billion credit line to Adani Mining, the Australian subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, an Indian business conglomerate (Livemint, Indian Express). Gautam Adani, the founder and chairman of Adani Enterprises, is a close friend of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The loan will finance the company’s $7 billion coal mine, port, and rail project in Queensland, Australia.

Ajay Maken, general secretary of the All India Congress Committee, the central decision-making assembly of the Congress party, said: "What was the propriety of the SBI giving the loan to Adani, who was sitting next to PM [Modi] during the visit (to Australia), at a time when five foreign banks have denied credit to the group for the project?" (Times of India). The Aam Aadmi Party also criticized SBI’s decision, and said: "The SBI has been pressurized to bail out the Adani group in a difficult venture, the returns of which are uncertain" (NDTV).

Morning greetings to fight open defecation

A village in Karnataka, located in southern India, eradicated the practice of open defecation by greeting locals "good morning," according to news reports on Friday (Times of India). The villagers formed a team to greet locals on their way to defecate in the morning. The team socially interacted with the locals and educated them about the benefits of personal toilets. The embarrassed villagers gradually started installing their own toilets. A former president of the panchayat (village council) said: "After being motivated, people stopped defecating outside and in each house, there is a toilet. Our mission was successful" (NDTV). Open defecation is extremely common in India, with approximately 70 percent of Indians living in villages defecating in the open (BBC).

— Neeli Shah


Names added in former president Musharraf case

On Friday the special court trying former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason has ordered the government to amend the complaint to include charges against additional individuals who served under Musharraf at the time, including: former prime minister, Shaukat Aziz;  former law minister, Zahid Hamid; and former chief justice, Abdul Hameed Dogar (Dawn). The charges against the additional officials were initiated at the request of Musharraf who wanted to his alleged co-conspirators included (ET). The charges against all of the officials relate to Musharraf imposing a state of emergency on Nov. 3, 2007, after allegedly consulting with the three additional officials, thereby circumventing the constitution. The court has adjourned until Dec. 9. Hamid, who is currently the science and technology minister, has already tendered his resignation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has yet to approve it (Dawn, ET).

U.S. eavesdropping on Pakistani sparked espionage investigation

U.S. government eavesdropping on a Pakistani official has led to former U.S. diplomat Robin Raphel, an assistant secretary of state for South Asia under the Clinton administration, being investigated for storing classified information in her home, according to senior American officials speaking to the New York Times (NYT, Dawn, ET). Officials told the New York Times: "American investigators intercepted a conversation this year in which a Pakistani official suggested that his government was receiving American secrets from a prominent former State Department diplomat." Raphel, who was one of the leading U.S. experts on Pakistan, has not been charged with any crime yet, but she has lost her security clearance and access to the State Department.

Drone strike hits Pakistan

Security officials in Pakistan said on Friday that a U.S. drone strike hit Mada Khel in North Waziristan, killing six suspected militants and injuring three more (Reuters). One security official told Reuters that the strikes were the result of intercepted Taliban conversations, and that both local and foreign militants were among the casualties.


Attorney General to investigate election fraud

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered the Attorney General’s Office to investigate allegations of election fraud relating to the provincial council elections in April of this year (TOLO News, Pajhwok). The elections were held on April 5 but results were not released until October. The committee assigned the investigation, led by the military deputy of the Attorney General’s Office, has summoned electoral officials to his office. Officials from the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) said that the summonses were not legal, but ECC spokesman Nader Mohseni added: "If there are specific cases of crimes committed by the employees of the ECC, then they will be accountable by law."

Drone strike killed Taliban leader

According to the Kunar provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Habib Syedkhel, a U.S. drone strike on Friday hit Korangal, in eastern Kunar province, killing five Taliban members (Pajhwok). Syedkhel told Pajhwok that Maulvi Nasrullah, the Taliban-designated chief for Manogi district, where the strike occurred, was among the dead. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the attack killed Nasrullah, along with his nephew, who was also a militant commander.

–Courtney Schuster

Edited by Peter Bergen

Neeli Shah is a Washington D.C.-based economics, law, and policy professional. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Twitter: @neelishah
Courtney Schuster is a research associate with the International Security Program at New America and an assistant editor with the South Asia Channel.

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