[NFA] President Donald Trump will sharply reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday, stopping short of a full withdrawal from America's longest war. Colette Luke has the latest.
Trump and Secretary Mark Esper had clashed in recent months, most notably over Trump's threat to use active duty troops to suppress street protests over racial injustice in the United States during the summer. This report produced by Jonah Green.
After the conclusion of 2+2 dialogue between India and US in New Delhi, the Spokesperson for US State Department, Morgan Ortagus, said the India-US relations go beyond political parties and that the bilateral cooperation between New Delhi and Washington DC will remain important irrespective of the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections. "It's incredibly important for Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Esper to go to India, and have this 2+2 (dialogue). Our relationship between the United States and India has been around for very long time and will be around for decades and much longer in the future. The relationship goes beyond political parties...We believe that the values that bind us together will be important for whoever wins this presidential election," Ortagus told ANI on October 28.
One of the highlights of the latest edition of the India-US 2+2 dialogue was the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement. The pact, signed during the visit of US Secretaries of State and Defence - Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper - to meet their Indian counterparts - Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh - in Delhi, will provide Indian forces sensitive data from American military satellites. This is being pegged as a major boost for India amid the stand-off with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja (retd) and former Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal help decode the significance of this agreement in a conversation with Hindustan Times' Aditi Prasad. Watch the full video for more.
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[NFA] The following are some of the policy issues that President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy team face as they seek to turn the page on President Donald Trump's sometimes chaotic foreign policy. Jonah Green reports.
The ministry of external affairs said that India and China have agreed to maintain dialogue to resolve the Ladakh standoff. "The talks between India and China were candid, in-depth and constructive. Both sides exchanged views on disengagement at all friction points along LAC. They have agreed to maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels," MEA Spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava said. The ministry, however, declined to comment on reports that two sides are discussing proposals for disengagement. "When we have something to share, we will share," Srivastava said. MEA further said that the two sides will soon hold another round of talks on border standoff. "They have also agreed to have another round of meeting soon," Srivastava added. India and China border standoff has entered its seventh month. Thousands of troops from both sides have dug in for the winter along LAC in Ladakh sector. They are reportedly discussing proposals to withdraw tanks and artillery from the area.
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Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh remained tense and that India's posturing has been "unambiguous". "The situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh remains tense and the People's Liberation Army is facing unanticipated consequences for its misadventure in Ladakh because of firm and strong responses by Indian forces," Gen Rawat said. Talking about the overall security calculus, Gen Rawat said border confrontations, transgressions and unprovoked tactical military actions spiralling into a larger conflict cannot be discounted. The Chief of Defence Staff also touched on the issue of cross border terrorism from Pakistan and the way it has been dealt with by the Indian armed forces. Watch the video for more details.
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AIMIM Leader Asaduddin Owaisi has lashed out at the BJP over am party leader’s remark on conducting ‘surgical strikes’ in Old Hyderabad to weed out Rohingyas and nationals from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Owaisi challenged the BJP and said that they have 24 hours to name Pakistanis residing in the area. ‘The BJP leader said they will conduct surgical strikes and flush out Pakistanis and Rohingyas. I want to ask BJP on whom you would conduct surgical strikes? These people living in the old city are Indian citizens. I give you 24 hours to tell how many Pakistanis live here?’ Owaisi said. The AIMIM leader also mocked PM Modi and questioned why no ‘surgical strike’ was conducted on the Chinese forces who have taken over Indian territory in Ladakh. Owaisi said that PM Modi does not even name China even though the People’s Liberation Army has transgressed into Indian territory. The war of words comes ahead of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal polls. Earlier, BJP leader Tejasvi Surya had said that Owaisi speaks the language of rabid Islam and likened him to Jinnah. Watch the full video for all the details.
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Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, spoke on the Covid-19 pandemic and Central government's role in the battle. He was speaking at the 18th edition of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. Baghel said that the state managed to prevent a migrant worker exodus and a blow to industry, but the Union government didn't have much of a role to play. Reacting to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's praise of the Modi administration, Baghel said that the Aam Aadmi Party government in the capital was also responsible for the spread of the pandemic across the country, and so the AAP and BJP were scratching each other's backs. Watch the full video for more.
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke on 26/11 anniversary and paid tributes to martyrs and victims of the terror attack on the 12th anniversary. Singh was speaking on Day 3 of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020. The defence minister also spoke on ‘atmanirbharta’, Pakistan terrorism and other issues. Watch the defence minister’s full session at HTLS for more details.
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes to martyrs and victims of the 26/11 terror attack on the incident's 12th anniversary. He was speaking on Day 3 of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020. Singh said that the possibility of another 26/11-like attack is virtually impossible, given the changes in national security ushered in by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government. He said that India has proof of Pakistan's role in not just 26/11, but also the Pulwama and Uri terror attacks. Watch the full video for more.
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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called for an immediate ceasefire to stop violence in Afghanistan. While speaking at the Afghanistan 2020 Conference, Jaishankar said that peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned & Afghan-controlled. He said, “India has invested heavily in peace and development of Afghanistan. We strongly believe that the gains of the last two decades must be preserved and the interests of the minorities, women and vulnerable sections must be ensured. The increasing level of violence in Afghanistan naturally remains a matter of grave concern.” He added, “While we support all efforts to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, India calls for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.” Watch the full video for more details.
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While attending Afghanistan 2020 Conference via video conferencing, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on November 24 said, "India has invested heavily in Afghanistan. No part of Afghanistan is untouched by our 400 plus projects spread across all 34 provinces." "India called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire to stop violence in the country and reiterated that the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled," he added.
From a study on whether currency notes can be potent carriers of the virus, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with chief ministers to discuss a vaccine distribution plan - here are the top news..
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