The South Asia Channel
India and U.K. Sign $13.7 Billion in Deals; ICC Cites Evidence of Abuse of Afghan Detainees; KP Earthquake Victims Yet to Be Compensated
India Bonus Read: “Defeated in Bihar: Where does the BJP go from here?” by Michael Kugelman (FP) India and U.K. sign $13.7 billion in deals and finalize nuclear agreement India and the United Kingdom agreed on over $13.7 billion in commercial deals and finalized a civil nuclear agreement on Thursday, the first day of Indian Prime ...
Bonus Read: “Defeated in Bihar: Where does the BJP go from here?” by Michael Kugelman (FP)
India and U.K. sign $13.7 billion in deals and finalize nuclear agreement
India and the United Kingdom agreed on over $13.7 billion in commercial deals and finalized a civil nuclear agreement on Thursday, the first day of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day trip to the United Kingdom (TOI, IBT, NDTV). The civil nuclear deal provides a framework for future cooperation on nuclear issues and encourages “joint training and experience sharing” on nuclear energy development between the two countries. The commercial deals are a series of over 20 separate agreements, including a $3 billion investment by a British solar energy company in India over the next five years and a $2 billion investment in India by British telecommunications company Vodafone, which is currently the second-largest mobile carrier in India. Modi spent the night at Chequers, a 16th-century mansion that serves as the British prime minister’s official country retreat, where he had a private dinner with Prime Minister David Cameron. On Friday, Modi met a group of British CEOs, and later he will meet Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace and address members of the Indian diaspora at Wembley Stadium.
Tata Consultancy Services to train 1,000 U.K. graduates
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software services firm, announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement with the British Council to train 1,000 British university graduates at its innovation labs and software development centers in India (NDTV). Under the agreement, the British graduates will have an opportunity to spend a year training and working in Indian facilities between 2016 and 2020. Employment opportunities in information technology in the United Kingdom are expected to grow at almost twice the average employment rate between now and 2020, according to the Tech Partnership. The TCS-British Council partnership aims to help address the expected shortfall in qualified IT labor supply in the United Kingdom.
Growing dissent in BJP over Bihar defeat
There has been growing dissent within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the party was soundly defeated in legislative assembly elections for the eastern state of Bihar on Sunday (ET, The Hindu). Many prominent BJP members of parliament expressed dissatisfaction with the way the party’s top leaders directed the Bihar campaign. “We clearly failed to convince people of Bihar on our party’s agenda. Undoubtedly, the strategy of [the opposition has] been proved better than ours. We could have campaigned in a more strategical way to reach out larger masses,” said Manoj Tewari, a member of parliament representing northeast Delhi and one of the BJP’s leading campaigners in Bihar.
Bonus Read: “Afghanistan Is a Better Place—and the Taliban Hate It,” by Saad Mohseni (WSJ)
Bonus Read: “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities,” by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
ICC cites evidence of abuse of Afghan detainees
United Nations prosecutors announced on Thursday that they have evidence suggesting international forces in Afghanistan subjected detainees to physical and psychological abuse (NYT). The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been investigating alleged crimes committed since 2003 by all parties to the Afghan conflict, but this announcement marks a significant escalation of the court’s investigation. On the United States — which is not a member of the court — prosecutors wrote, “The infliction of ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques’ … would have caused serious physical and psychological injury.” The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor said U.S. investigations of alleged crimes by its soldiers had not yielded convictions or risen high up the chain of command. The court is still trying to determine the gravity and scale of any violations committed by international and U.S. forces, prosecutors said.
Splinter Taliban deputy reportedly killed
On Thursday, Zabul province Deputy Police Chief Gulam Jelani Farahi announced the death of a senior figure of the splinter Taliban group in Afghanistan (NYT, Post). According to Farahi, Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, who acted as deputy to the group’s leader Mullah Mohammad Rasool, was lured into a trap and killed by members of the main Taliban group. A Taliban commander in Zabul said that Dadullah was killed by one of his bodyguards “who was working as a spy” for Mansoor. He continued, “When the other bodyguards were not paying attention, this Mansoor man opened fire on Dadullah and killed him.” Due to the inaccessibility of Taliban infighting areas, Dadullah’s death could not be independently confirmed by reporters.
KP earthquake victims yet to be compensated
Briefing the media on the post-earthquake relief on Thursday, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Mushtaq Ghani said that the federal government has yet to release funds for the Oct. 27 earthquake victims in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) (Dawn). Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a comprehensive relief plan on Oct. 28, committing half of the compensation money to KP which received the worst of the damage in Pakistan. “I hope the federal government will release funds in the next couple of days,” Ghani said. He attributed some of the delay to several fraud cases that have been detected as people make false claims of property damages. Ghani said 1,683 applications of damaged properties were rejected in Haripur district after verification. He denied partiality or discrimination in release of funds to districts.
–Alyssa Sims and Udit Banerjea
Edited by Peter Bergen
Niklas Halle’n – WPA Pool/Getty Images