The South Asia Channel

Pakistan to Buy Subs From China; Pentagon: Al Qaeda’s Chief of Bombing Killed in US Strike; Modi Supports Tharoor’s Call For Reparations

Pakistan Pakistan to buy eight submarines from China Pakistan and China on Thursday agreed to a multi-billion dollar deal where Beijing would provide eight submarines to the Pakistan Navy, an agreement analysts are calling the largest-ever defense deal for China (ET). “Pakistan and China have reached an understanding on matters of defense cooperation relating to ...

TSINGTAO - APRIL 23:  A Chinese Navy submarine attends an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy on April 23, 2009 off Qingdao in Shandong Province.  Fifty-six Chinese subs, destroyers, frigates, missile boats and planes were displayed off the eastern port city of Qingdao just weeks after tensions flared following a naval stand-off with the United States in the South China Sea. POOL  (Photo by Guang Niu/AFP/Getty Images)
TSINGTAO - APRIL 23: A Chinese Navy submarine attends an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy on April 23, 2009 off Qingdao in Shandong Province. Fifty-six Chinese subs, destroyers, frigates, missile boats and planes were displayed off the eastern port city of Qingdao just weeks after tensions flared following a naval stand-off with the United States in the South China Sea. POOL (Photo by Guang Niu/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan

Pakistan to buy eight submarines from China

Pakistan and China on Thursday agreed to a multi-billion dollar deal where Beijing would provide eight submarines to the Pakistan Navy, an agreement analysts are calling the largest-ever defense deal for China (ET). “Pakistan and China have reached an understanding on matters of defense cooperation relating to Pakistan Navy,” announced the finance ministry after a meeting with Chinese authorities. “Financial arrangements to this effect were also concluded.” Last month, both countries signed an agreement for the construction of six patrol vessels for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency from the China Ship Trading Company.

PM visits flood relief camp

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited a flood relief camp in Chachran in Rahim Yar Khan district on Friday where he was briefed on the effects of flooding in the area (Dawn). District Coordination Officer Capt. (ret.) Muhammad Zafar Iqbal told Sharif that the flooding affected 41,396 acres of crops and 53,809 cattle were vaccinated against the spread of waterborne diseases. He also said that 34,715 people in the surrounding area have been rescued and taken to safe areas. Sharif addressed a public gathering and expressed his satisfaction over the measures taken by the local administration for rescue and relief work. But he also directed them to take precautionary measures in case of more rain in the district. Flash floods have been plaguing the region since Wednesday.

Afghanistan

Pentagon: Al Qaeda’s chief of bombing killed in US strike

Abu Khalil al Sudani, the al Qaeda operative in charge of suicide bombings and operations involving explosives, was killed in an American airstrike in Afghanistan earlier this month, the Pentagon said on Friday (NYT). Sudani had been directly involved in plots against the United States, as well as against U.S., Afghan, and Pakistani forces, Defense Department officials said. He was a close associate of Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda. According to the Pentagon, he was killed in an airstrike on July 11 in the Bermal district of Paktika province of Afghanistan.

Second round of Afghan peace talks likely next week

The second round of Afghan peace talks with the Taliban is likely to take place in China next week, an Afghan official said on Friday (Reuters). “The second round of talks is most probably going to be held in Urumqi in China on July 30,” said Ismail Qasimyar, a senior member of Afghan High Peace Council. Qasimyar said delegations from China and the United States would observe the talks, as they did during the first official meeting this month.

India

Modi supports Tharoor’s statement regarding repatriations to India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised an opposition politician Shashi Tharoor, who called for Britain to make reparations to India for the damage done during colonial rule in a speech at Oxford University recently (Guardian). A video of Tharoor, an author and well-known parliamentarian from the center-left Congress party, making an impassioned argument in favor of Britain providing India financial compensation for centuries of economic destruction and extraction became a hit on social media after the Oxford Union debating society posted it online last week. Speaking in the parliament on Thursday, Modi said: “Tharoor’s speech reflected the feelings of patriotic Indians on the issue and showed what impression one can leave with effective arguments by saying the right things at the right place.”

Government proposes to remove RBI chief’s veto powers over monetary policy

The Finance Ministry of India on Thursday proposed to remove the veto vote powers on India’s monetary policy from the Reserve Bank of India’s Governor’s Office (Hindu, FT). The government also proposed to grant itself the power to appoint four of the six members of the Monetary Policy Committee, whose authority will include decisions on setting interest rates to maintain inflation at the targeted level. Under the present system, the RBI governor’s position, currently held by Raghuram Rajan, a former International Monetary Fund chief economist, is appointed by the government and is ultimately answerable to the finance minister of the day. In practice, however, the RBI Governor controls monetary policy and has veto power over the existing advisory committee of RBI members that sets rates.

Militants target cell phone services in Srinagar

A cell phone tower belonging to the state run telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was attacked in Srinagar, capital of the northwestern state of Kashmir, when militants threw a grenade at the tower on Friday afternoon, hours after two similar attacks on cellular companies’ stores in the city (Hindu, HT, NDTV). One person is reported to have been injured in the attacks. Militants have repeatedly targeted telecom operators in Kashmir over the past few months, in their attempt to disrupt cell phone services. At least six people, including a BSNL employee, have been killed in such attacks since May this year. Eyewitnesses told Hindustan Times that on Friday afternoon armed men entered the stores of private companies Vodafone and Aircel in Srinagar’s commercial hub of Kara Nagar. In both incidents, the employees were asked to vacate the showrooms.

 

–Emily Schneider and Shuja Malik

Edited by Peter Bergen

Guang Niu/AFP/Getty Images

Emily Schneider is a program associate in the International Security Program at New America. She is also an assistant editor of the South Asia channel. @emilydsch

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