The South Asia Channel
India Pakistan Comprehensive Dialogue Suspended; Afghan Casualties Disputed After U.S. Air Strike; China Signs $2 Billion Deals with Pakistan
India India Pakistan comprehensive dialogue “suspended” Pakistani High Commission to New Delhi, Abdul Basit said on Thursday that at this point the India Pakistan comprehensive bilateral dialogue can be considered “suspended” (Post, BBC). Talking to the media he said, “As of now there is no date for the foreign secretary talks. I think you can ...
India Pakistan comprehensive dialogue “suspended”
Pakistani High Commission to New Delhi, Abdul Basit said on Thursday that at this point the India Pakistan comprehensive bilateral dialogue can be considered “suspended” (Post, BBC). Talking to the media he said, “As of now there is no date for the foreign secretary talks. I think you can say for now that the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue is suspended. Let’s see if we can commence the process.” However Ministry of External Affairs for India has said the countries are in communication to work out the dates for the foreign secretaries’ meeting.
Diplomatic talks between India and Pakistan were suspended in January after an attack on a military airbase in India, near the Pakistani border at Pathankot. A team of Pakistani experts visited India recently to help investigate this attack. In March, Pakistan claimed to have arrested an Indian “spy” in its Balochistan province. India denied the claim, however it accepted that the man arrested was an Indian citizen and retired naval officer.
India first-ever diamond mine auction soon
Secretary Ministry of Mines, Balvinder Kumar announced on Friday that the union government plans to hold its first ever auction for a diamond mine in approximately one month’s time (Reuters). He said that the state of Madhya Pradesh will soon be seeking tenders for the auction of the Hatupur block. The block, spread over an area of 136 hectares, has 604,336 tonnes of mineral resources. This auction is a part of India’s efforts to boost local output of minerals and cut expensive imports. A company called Vedanta Ltd won India’s first ever auction of a gold mine in February this year as the country opened up the sector to private companies.
India has the highest number of diabetic men
According to a study released on Friday by the United Nations World Health Organization, India has the highest number of deaths due to diabetes among men (WSJ). The report says that in 2014, globally an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes and nearly 50 percent of the patients are in one of five countries, China, India, Indonesia, Brazil or the United States. Figures released by the United Nations indicates that approximately 122,700 men aged 30 and above die from diabetes in India every year. Diabetes accounts for 2% of all deaths of all ages in India.
Afghan casualties disputed after U.S. air strike
The United States conducted two air strikes in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan on Wednesday, but local and American officials are disputing the number of casualties (NYT, Reuters). “I am from the area where the incident happened and I can say there were all civilians,” said Nimatullah Baburi, a deputy provincial council chief. Locals in the province of Paktika in southeastern Afghanistan agree that the strikes killed at least 17 civilians. However, U.S. military spokesman Commander Fernando Estrella said on Thursday that there was no evidence that civilians were killed and Afghan security officials also denied the report.
NATO assessment finds militants operating in 20 Afghan provinces
A NATO assessment in Afghanistan finds that militants are operating in at least 20 provinces across the country (TOLO News). The findings reveal that 15 provinces are currently under Taliban threat, while foreign militant groups such as the Pakistani Taliban, al Qaeda, and a cohort of the Islamic State are gaining traction in five other provinces in the country. It is believed that Uzbekistan-based militant group Harakat-e-Islami Uzbekistan has tried to infiltrate some northern provinces in Afghanistan as well. According to NATO officials, the assessment was aimed at highlighting certain regions of the country which are under threat ahead of the alliance’s Warsaw Summit in July.
China signs $2 billion deals with Pakistan
Companies from China’s western Xinjiang region signed deals with Pakistan worth approximately $2 billion on Friday during a visit to Pakistan by Xinjiang’s Communist Party chief Zhang Chunxian (NYT). The agreements cover infrastructure, solar power, logistics, and other projects. “China and Pakistan have a deep friendship, are good neighbors, friends, brothers and partners,” the official Xinjiang Daily newspaper cited Zhang as saying.
–Alyssa Sims and Shuja Malik
Edited by Peter Bergen