Revision Schedule for Prelims 2017

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Target 120+ in IAS Prelims 2017

FAQ on Civilsdaily TS for IAS 2017 – Click2Read

[op-ed snap] The IS challenge

Context:

  1. The arrest of two suspected Islamic State associates on Sunday from Gujarat
  2. It raises the question whether the terrorist group is finding support in India
  3. Coincidentally, the arrests happened the same day that Hafeezudin T.K., one of the 21 persons who went missing from Kerala last year and were believed to have joined the IS, was reported to have been killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan

IS tactics:

  1. Ever since the organisation declared a ‘Caliphate’ in 2014, it has attracted tens of thousands of fighters from around the world
  2. It used two tactics:
  • Urging sympathisers either to travel to Iraq or Syria, its strongholds, and join the war;
  • Carry out terror attacks in their own countries after declaring allegiance to the ‘Caliph’, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Is IS gaining influence in India?

  1. If these allegations and reports are correct, it would show that the IS is gaining some influence at least among a handful of youth in India
  2. In recent months, anti-terror officials have arrested young people from different parts of the country — in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan
  3. The IS thrives on support from foreign jihadists, largely the young
  4. The number of Indians to have joined the ranks of the IS is very small
  5. According to a December 2015 report by the intelligence company Soufan Group, the number of Indians who have joined the IS was 23, compared to 760 from the U.K. and 150 from the U.S.

Why didn’t IS gain influence in India?

  1. The IS’s puritanical, one-size-fits-all brand of Islam hasn’t found much resonance in India
  2. Given the syncretic nature of Indian Islam, it is extremely difficult for groups such as the IS to become popular among Muslims, as it did in parts of Iraq and Syria
  3. But lone- wolf attacks, inspired by the IS world view and tactics, could pose security risks

Modus operandi:

  1. The IS is not recruiting people through local communities as in the case of other terror organisations or, as in Pakistan and Afghanistan, through madrasas
  2. The IS’s medium is the Internet. It reaches out through online propaganda
  3. This is all the more significant at a time when the IS is under attack in its core territories and is desperate to expand its reach beyond West Asia

Worry for India:

  1. Of late it has carried out major terrorist attacks in India’s neighbourhood — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, including the deadly bombing at the Sehwan Sufi shrine in Sindh
  2. This outreach to South Asia should worry India
  3. To prevent the group from gaining a foothold on its territory, India needs high-level intelligence and counter-terror operations to continue
  4. Equally important is better coordination between the state and Muslim religious leaders in countering radicalisation and having in place specific de-radicalisation programmes, as western governments do
  5. It is important to not let these isolated arrests be blown out of proportion to target the larger Muslim population, which right-wing elements often try to do

Bigotry cannot be checked with bigotry. It is important that the Muslims should be confident of their existence in India. It is time they are accepted as Indians and not as intruders. A sense of belongingness, along with proper employment would lessen the chances of IS influence on Indian Muslims.

Note4Students:

Important for mains.

Q. The terms ‘Hot Pursuit’ and ‘Surgical Strikes’ are often used in connection with armed action against terrorist attacks. Discuss the strategic impact of such actions. [GS-3, Mains 2016]

Q. “Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the statement. [GS-3, Mains 2016]

Centre not for terming Pakistan a ‘terror state’

  1. Bill: An independent MP has moved The Declaration of Countries as Sponsor of Countries as Sponsor of Terrorism Bill, 2016
  2. Purpose: To impose legal, economic and travel sanctions on citizens of countries which promote terror
  3. Govt: Will oppose a Private Member’s Bill moved in the Rajya Sabha recently seeking to declare countries like Pakistan terror states
  4. Why not declare? The Bill jeopardises international relations under the Geneva Convention
  5. We have diplomatic relations with the neighbouring country which includes High Commissions as well as trade relations
  6. It will be not prudent to declare any country as a terror state as India is bound by international norms

Note4students:

Keep track of the issue as it develops. It might be asked in mains as to ‘should we declare Pak etc as terror states.’

‘Business model’ of IS nearing collapse

  1. Source: An analysis by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence and the accounting firm EY
  2. Draining revenue: The Islamic State (IS) group is haemorrhaging money with every piece of territory it loses and the group’s “business model” is on the path to failure
  3. The self-proclaimed caliphate’s financial resources have been drained substantially since the days beginning in mid-2014 when it captured banks, oil wells and entire warehouses of weapons as it amassed land
  4. The IS’s revenue has declined from up to $1.9 billion in 2014 to at most $870 million in 2016
  5. Self-financed attacks: Most of the recent attacks in Europe and the U.S. were self—financed by the people that carried them out, with little input or money from the IS leadership in the war zone of Syria and Iraq
  6. Among the top sources of revenue for the Islamic State group were taxes and fees, oil, ransoms, and looting or other extortion

Note4students:

We may question the relevance of this detail for exam, but see the following question.

Q. ‘Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement. [Mains-2016]

Pakistan military supports terror groups against India: report

  1. Source: The report ‘A New US Approach to Pakistan: Enforcing Aid Conditions without Cutting Ties’ by a group of eminent South Asian experts from 10 major American think tanks
  2. Findings: Pakistan’s military continues to support terrorist groups that attack India to keep it “off balance” and draws international mediation into dispute over Kashmir
  3. Pakistan’s military has often disrupted nascent peace efforts pursued by Indian and Pakistani civilian rulers, most notably in 1999 during the Kargil war
  4. Pakistani military leaders continue to support terrorist groups that attack India in an effort to keep it off balance and to draw international mediation into the dispute with India over Kashmir
  5. Pakistan’s use of terrorist groups as part of its security and foreign policy is a function of its obsession with India, which it perceives as an existential threat
  6. From an outside perspective, Pakistan’s paranoia regarding India is unfounded
  7. While India may be unwilling to renegotiate Kashmir’s territorial status, numerous Indian leaders have tried to reach a modus vivendi with Pakistan
  8. Pakistan never changed its policy of supporting certain militant groups that fight Afghan and coalition forces, making it impossible for the US to achieve its objective of keeping Afghanistan from reverting to a safe haven for international terrorism
  9. Pakistan’s seemingly unconstrained expansion of its nuclear arsenal, particularly the development of tactical nuclear weapons and extended-range missile systems, also remains a cause for concern, especially with regard to India
  10. The US clearly recognises that Pakistan’s support for the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network and other terrorist groups is not the sole reason for Afghanistan’s security challenges
  11. However, the other problems become insurmountable when the principal insurgent groups enjoy safe havens in Pakistan
  12. Pakistan’s tolerance for terror groups also undermines the country itself, corroding its stability and civilian governance and damaging its investment climate, as well as inflicting death and injury on thousands of its own innocent citizens

Note4students:

What report says is already recognised by all. This has been put on paper in some report officially now.

UN seeks India’s nominee for anti-terror panel

  1. News: India has been asked to send the name of its nominee for inclusion in a global team to assist a United Nations committee which decides on banning terror outfits and their leaders
  2. The nominations have been sought from qualified individuals to serve on the ‘Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’ in support of the important ‘1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee
  3. The position requires a high level of personal commitment to the monitoring team’s mandate and to the United Nations

Note4students:

Important for prelims and mains both, needless to mention.

Back2basics:

Sanctions Committee:

  1. The fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are on the Sanctions Committee
  2. India is currently not a member of the UNSC and hence also not on the Sanctions Committee.
  3. The 10—member ‘Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’ comprising independent experts assists the Sanctions Committee
  4. Depending on the vacancies available, India and all other member states can forward nominations of their nationals to serve on the monitoring team
  5. The final selection of the team is made by the UN secretariat based on assessment of the individual qualifications of the candidate.
  6. The monitoring team works in tandem with the UN Secretariat to standardise the format of all United Nations sanctions lists and also assists the Committee in regularly reviewing names on it

Importance of the move:

  1. India’s effort to get JeM chief listed in the UN’s sanctions list of organisations and individuals linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS has been repeatedly blocked by China
  2. The presence of the country’s nominee on the panel may facilitate the government’s efforts to get Maulana Masood Azhar, head of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and mastermind of last year’s Pathankot air base attack, banned
    Azhar’s JeM, which is said to have links with Taliban and Al-Qaeda, has been blacklisted by the UNSC
  3. Ironically, its chief Azhar, who has been behind several major terror strikes in India, has not been banned by the UN

Modi says Pak. ‘must walk away from terror’ for talks to continue

  1. Who@where? Prime Minister Narendra Modi @ the Raisina Dialogue
  2. On Pak: India alone cannot walk the path of peace and Pakistan ‘must walk away from terror’ if it wants bilateral dialogue to resume
  3. On China: It is not unnatural for two large neighbouring powers to have some differences but both sides should show sensitivity and respect for each other’s core concerns and interests
  4. The rise of India and China is an unprecedented economic opportunity for the two countries, and for the whole world

Note4students:

For International Relations answers & essays, we must be aware of what our stand is, on various diplomatic issues, as some given above. Know what is Raisina Dialouge &its theme for prelims.

Back2basics:

About Raisina Dialogue:

  1. It is an annual conference held in New Delhi, envisioned to be India’s flagship conference of geopolitics and geo-economics
  2. The conference, organized like the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, is held jointly by Ministry of External Affairs, India and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), an independent think tank based in India
  3. First such conference was held in 2016
  4. The conference name comes from Raisina Hill, the elevation in New Delhi, which is the location of both the Government of India as well as the presidential palace of India, Rashtrapati Bhavan, which inspired the design of the conference symbol
  5. The theme of the first dialogue was “Connecting Asia” which tries to capture the various facets of these ambition
  6. Theme of 2017 dialogue is ‘The New Normal: Multilateralism with Multipolarity
  7. Participants: This conference is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectorial conclave, involving policy and decision makers, including cabinet ministers from various Governments, high-level Government officials and policy practitioners, leading personalities from business and industry, and members of the strategic community, media and academia

China stops India’s bid to blacklist Masood Azhar

  1. What: India’s international counter-terror campaign suffered a setback with China blocking a UN attempt to blacklist major Pakistan-based terror mastermind Masood Azhar
  2. China’s block stopped the counter terror committee of the UN Security Council from blacklisting Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) group
  3. India issued a strong note of protest and called China’s block as “surprising”
  4. Background: India began the campaign to blacklist Masood Azhar after terrorists that India said were part of JeM, attacked the airbase in Pathankot on January 2
  5. Subsequently India highlighted the contradiction that the UNSC 1267 committee had banned JeM in 2001 while leaving out Azhar and therefore had to proscribe him as well
  6. However, China had blocked India’s attempts to list Masood Azhar in the agenda of the 1267 committee earlier this year neutralising India’s campaign
  7. China’s blockade also cast a shadow on India’s plans to bring an international convention against terrorism under the aegis of the UN
  8. Sources said that the attempt to blacklist Masood Azhar will now go into cold storage as UNSC’s rules automatically allow a repeat block to turn into a permanent objection from a member

Back2basics:

1. Following attack on the US embassies in Nairobe and Darussalam by Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in 1999, the UNSC passed a resolutions known as “Resolution 1267” or “1267 Regime” under Article 41 of the UN. It established a sanctions regime to cover individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban wherever located. The 1267 Resolution reads as follows: “The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.”


2. The UNSCR 1267 (1999) and its successor resolutions require countries to immediately freeze funds, financial assets or economic resources of individuals and entities who are designated by the UNSC based on such person’s / entity’s connections with terrorism and terrorist financing. Further, countries should ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available to or for the benefit of such designated persons or entities or their beneficiaries.

3. Under the SCR 1267, there is no scope for judicial review of the Security Council decision. No full reasons for designating individuals or organisations as terrorists need be given to the individuals or the entities concerned.

59 killed as gunmen attack Quetta police training centre

  1. Event: Fifty-nine people were killed on Monday night as gunmen stormed a police training centre near Quetta  and detonated explosive vests
  2. Where: In Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province
  3. At least 106 people were injured
  4. Who: The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack

IS recruits were educated, employed

  1. Source: A new World Bank study ‘Economic and Social Inclusion to Prevent Violent Extremism’
  2. Aim: To identify socio-economic traits that might explain why some are drawn to the IS
  3. Educated terrorists: Recruits into the Islamic State (IS) group are better educated than their average countryman, contrary to popular belief
  4. Out of 331 recruits described in a leaked IS database, only 17% did not finish high school, while a quarter had university-level educations
  5. Moreover, those offering to become suicide bombers ranked on average in the more educated group,
  6. Poverty not a driver: Poverty and deprivation were not at the root of support for the group
  7. Unemployment not an issue: Most of the 331 recruits also reported having a job before travelling to join the IS

India calls Security Council unresponsive, ineffective

  1. India: ‘The 15-nation Security Council, the principal organ tasked with the maintenance of peace and security, has in a variety of ways become unresponsive to the needs of our time and ineffective to meeting the challenges it is confronted with’
  2. Why? For being indecisive on sanctioning leaders of organisations that it had designated as terrorist entities
  3. The issue cropped up after China extended its ‘technical hold’ on India’s bid for a U.N. ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar

One jawan killed in attack on Army camp near J&K’s Baramulla

  1. Militants mounted a suicide attack on an Army camp outside Baramulla town late on Sunday night
  2. This comes in less than a week after the Indian Special Forces smashed seven terror launch pads during a surgical strike across the Line of Control (LoC)

Surgical strikes on terror hubs necessary

  1. Afghanistan: Supported India’s strikes in self-defence to neutralise terrorists inside Pakistan
  2. Terrorism will threaten us all if we do not combat it
  3. Therefore we feel that the time has come for tough action against terrorists
  4. There will be risk and cost involved in such measures but we have to undertake them because the time has come for us to combat this force
  5. If terror groups continue violence, then the actions taken [by India] will continue

Who is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar?

  1. A controversial figure from the insurgency against the Soviets in the 1980s and the civil wars of the 1990s
  2. Designated a global terrorist by the United States, which has been leading an international military mission in Afghanistan for the past 15 years
  3. He served as prime minister in the 1990s, before the rise to power of the Taliban
  4. Has long been known as close to Pakistan
  5. His faction of Hezb-i-Islami has played a relatively small role in the current conflict, in which the Taliban have a leading role in battling the Western-backed government in Kabul

Ghani formalises peace deal with ‘Butcher of Kabul’

  1. What? Afghan President formalized a controversial accord with one of Afghanistan’s most notorious warlords
  2. Why? Govt hopes it will lead to more peace agreements
  3. Impact: The pact opens the door to the militant faction of Hezb-i-Islami, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, playing an active role in politics
  4. Criticism: Human rights groups as well as many Afghans expressed dismay that Hekmatyar is unlikely to face any punishment for his alleged role in past abuses
  5. These include firing rockets into civilian areas during a civil war in an attack that killed and injured thousands of residents
  6. Future? Peace talks with the Taliban, the largest insurgent group, have yet to get off the ground, but both sides have said they are open to the idea

What do we mean by military surgical strike?

  1. A surgical strike is defined as a military attack intended to inflict damage on a specific target, with little or no collateral damage to surrounding areas
  2. Neutralisation of targets with surgical strikes also prevents escalation to a full blown war
  3. Surgical strikes are part of India’s Cold Start doctrine and have proved effective in foiled a new infiltration bid by terrorists groups across the LoC
  4. How is it carried out? These attacks can be carried out via air raids, airdropping special ops teams or a ground operation

India carries out surgical strikes against terror ‘launch pads’

  1. News: India has carried out surgical strikes targeting “launch pads” for terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC)
  2. Information that terrorists planning to attack some towns and important places prompted Army to act
  3. Context: The attack comes in the wake of the September 18 terror strike in Uri that claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers
  4. India tried to solve the situation from the Uri attack at the diplomatic level but did not receive an adequate response

Discuss: Remember that we did a similar strike on the Myanmar border a few months ago? Always try to relate events together and recall similar instances. 

Uri accused were trained at PoK camp

  1. Source: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into Uri attack
  2. The two Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) residents facilitated the entry of four Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists to the Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir
  3. The two accused, both residents of Muzaffarabad, had received training from Jaish cadres at a camp in Pir Chanasai in PoK
  4. They disclosed that they were tasked by JeM commanders to facilitate infiltration by a group of four JeM cadres, who carried out the Uri attack
  5. On being shown the photos of the four slain terrorists, the accused Faisal Hussain Awan identified one of them as Hafeez Ahmed
  6. They also confessed to have facilitated the movement of other terrorists in the area

Terror-sponsor Pakistan backs LeT, JeM: U.S. Bill

  1. Context: The terrorist attack on an Army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir
  2. Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act of 2016: It calls on the U.S. administration to provide a report on whether or not Pakistan qualifies as such under various U.S. laws
  3. Underlines multiple facts that the members think make Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism
  4. Lists Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) involvement in supporting terrorism in Afghanistan
  5. Department of State’s 2016 Country Reports on Terrorism: ‘Pakistan has not taken sufficient action against groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which continued to cooperate, train, organise, and fundraise in Pakistan

Fifteen years of the war on terror- III

  1. The 9/11 attack, the jihadi ideology behind it and the wars that ensued also altered the political climate in many countries, leading to revolutions and coups
  2. It also put millions adrift, creating a refugee population that the world has probably never seen before

Fifteen years of the war on terror- II

  1. The war on terror initially focused on the al-Qaeda, and the Taliban that had sheltered bin laden in Afghanistan
  2. It has evolved into a long-drawn-out conflict with multiple battlefields, many allies and myriad enemies
  3. Fifteen years later, its initial enemies are but shadows of themselves
  4. However, new enemies such as the Islamic State (IS) were spawned
  5. The 15 years also saw the rise of the home-grown terrorist, the biggest worry for security establishments
  6. It has been exacerbated by technology, which has helped terror organisations break down physical barriers such as borders by taking their ideology online

Fifteen years of the war on terror- I

  1. On September 11, 2001, the U.S. saw the biggest attack on its homeland ever
  2. The al-Qaeda of Osama bin Laden launched coordinated attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington
  3. 2,753 people lost their lives that day, including those on a commercial aircraft that was forced to crash in rural Pennsylvania
  4. The attacks gave birth to the U.S.’ war on terror

India plans anti-terror drive at NAM- II

  1. Background: The run-up to the UNGA session has been tense after the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressed deep concern over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after Pakistan reached out to the OIC over the issue
  2. UN focus on terror: Given the number of terror attacks globally, terrorism has moved up UN’s agenda and many states are restless and desire UN to take a more active role
  3. Kashmir not involved: India’s strategy for the CCIT is independent of its strategy to counter Pakistan on Kashmir as it is a bilateral issue

India plans anti-terror drive at NAM- I

  1. News: India is planning a major diplomatic outreach ahead of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in order to push through the ‘Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism’ (CCIT)
  2. CCIT: Addresses, among other things, the issue of Pakistan’s alleged support for cross-border terrorism in south Asia
  3. Will be launched during the September 13-18 Non Aligned Movement summit in Venezuela
  4. UNGA focus: Global mood on the CCIT will be tested in NAM summit in Venezuela, which is just prior to United Nations General Assembly [UNGA]
  5. And, following India’s interactions at the NAM, the tactics for the CCIT will be fine tuned for UNGA

U.S.’ security assistance to Pakistan falls by 73% since 2011

  1. Reason: Deterioration in ties following the killing of Osama bin Laden in a Navy SEALs raid on his Abbottabad hideout and a U.S. airstrike on a Pakistani border post in Salala that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers
  2. Context: The report prepared for the U.S. Congress by the Congressional Research Service (CRS)
  3. There is also a 53% decrease in economic assistance since 2011
  4. Earlier this month, the Pentagon decided not to pay $300 million in military reimbursements to Islamabad
  5. Reason: Pak’s alleged reluctance to act against the Haqqani network

IS may have set up sleeper cells in India

  1. News: The Islamic State may have set up sleeper cells in India, according to the new Iraqi Ambassador to India
  2. Reason: Influence of foreign-funded Islamic seminaries and preachers who teach an exclusivist version of Islam
  3. The Ambassador told that India should watch the Islamic seminaries and preachers more closely to understand the kind of Islam being preached
  4. Islamic seminaries and televangelists are powerful tools in the war that the IS is waging and therefore countries should exercise more control on these sections
  5. Sleeper cells: Underground groups of trained terrorists who wait to stage attacks and are ready to act at their leaders’ command

CCIT- opposition

  1. Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) draft was opposed by the US, the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and Latin American countries
  2. US: Concerns over definitions of terrorism, including acts by US soldiers in international interventions without a UN mandate (Afghanistan and Iraq)
  3. OIC: Concerns that convention would be used to target Pakistan and restrict rights of self-determination groups in Palestine, Kashmir etc.
  4. Latin America: Concerns over international humanitarian laws and human rights being ignored

CCIT- key objectives

  1. Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) is a draft proposed by India in 1996, that has yet to be adopted by the UN
  2. Universal definition of terrorism that all members of the UN will adopt into their own criminal law- no good or bad terrorist
  3. To ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps regardless of their stated objectives
  4. To cut off terror groups’ access to fund and safe havens
  5. To prosecute all terrorists under special laws
  6. To make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide by amending domestic laws

India to push for global terror convention

  1. News: India has revised its proposal for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) to be passed during the upcoming UN General Assembly
  2. Context: The range of global terror attacks recently – in Paris, Brussels, Orlando and Dhaka – warrant terror to be at the top of the UN’s agenda
  3. Background: The original draft was proposed by India 20 years ago but was opposed by the US, the Organisation of Islamic Countries and Latin America
  4. India has been able to complete a draft which effectively counters the opposition from the 3 main blocs that have raised objections

US will not abandon Afghanistan

  1. Context: Statement by US’ Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at Atlantic Council
  2. The assassination of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in a drone strike last month did not indicate a change in the U.S strategy of supporting negotiations with the outfit
  3. US would be cautious about troops reductions in Afghanistan, even as the Obama administration is rethinking its earlier plan for troop reduction from 9800 to 5500 by the end of the year
  4. US would be committing three billion dollars annually until 2020 for the security and reconstruction of Afghanistan
  5. This support could not be indefinite, an abrupt and immediate disengagement was not an option.
  6. The NATO summit next month in Warsaw will demonstrate the commitment of the US and allies to secure Afghanistan

Southern Punjab region & the jihadist links

  1. Key Region: Southern Punjab must be central to any sustainable effort to counter jihadist violence within and beyond Pakistan’s borders, given the presence of militant groups with transnational links
  2. The region hosts two of Pakistan’s most radical Deobandi groups- Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and the sectarian Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ)
  3. JeM: Held responsible by India for the January 2, 2016 attack on Pathankot airbase
  4. LeJ: Partly responsible for the March 27 Easter Sunday attack that killed more than 70 in Lahore

Pakistan still promotes ‘good’ jihadis: NGO- II

  1. The background and aftermath of the Pathankot airbase attack in India symbolise the impunity accorded to good jihadists
  2. Initiatives: By both India and Pakistan- the unscheduled visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lahore in 2015 were meant to enhance peace process
  3. However, derailing the nascent process was likely the motive for a major attack on the Pathankot base the very next month
  4. Pak: After the Peshawar terror attack on an Army Public School in December 2014, military and civilian Pakistani establishment announced a 20-point National Action Plan for countering terrorism
  5. It included measures to prevent banned groups from operating and/or regrouping under new names, preventing terror funding, and dismantling terrorist communication networks among others

Pakistan still promotes ‘good’ jihadis: NGO- I

  1. Context: The report ‘Pakistan’s Jihadist Heartland: Southern Punjab’ by the International Crisis Group, an NGO engaged in advocacy to prevent and resolve conflict
  2. Good v/s Bad: The case of southern Punjab (which borders India) best illustrates Islamabad’s abject failure to end the distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ jihadists
  3. Continued state sponsorship remains a source of empowerment for good jihadists, such as the Jaish, which has networks across the province

U.S. Congress seeks to block $450 mn Pak. aid

  1. What? The U.S. Congress has initiated a move to block $450 million in aid to Pakistan
  2. Why? For failing to demonstrate its commitment and taking action against the Haqqani terror network
  3. This is one of the provisions of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA)
  4. It doesn’t allow the U.S. government to waive the above mentioned condition in ‘national interest

US wants Pakistan to act against all militant groups

  1. Context: A series of U.S. cables released by the National Security Archive
  2. Link: Cables suggest strong links between the Pakistan’s ISI and the Haqqani network
  3. The ISI paid $200,000 to the Haqqani network for a suicide attack on a CIA camp in Afghanistan in 2009
  4. US has asked Pakistan to target all militant groups, including Haqqani Network, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e Taiba

Hidden vetoes must go, India tells UN

  1. Context: India has sought transparency in the U.N. procedures to designate a group or an individual terrorist
  2. Existing rules: Security Council members to oppose any move in the sanctions committees in a clandestine manner and without offering any explanation
  3. The sanctions committees can take decisions only unanimously, and this means any of the 15 members can veto a move
  4. Hidden veto: This amounts to allowing a ‘hidden veto’ for every member of the council
  5. Background: The demand comes days after China blocked its bid to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a terrorist

EU approves passenger data-sharing

  1. Context: The European Parliament voted to force airlines to share passenger information with EU countries
  2. Aim: To help detect jihadists
  3. System: Passenger Name Record (PNR)
  4. It was a five years of debate that intensified after the Paris and Brussels attacks
  5. It was passed after the privacy concerns were resolved
  6. European Commission had first proposed the law in 2011

PM to address World Sufi Forum

  1. News: Prime Minister Modi addresses the World Sufi Forum in New Delhi
  2. Context: Forum has been convened by the All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board
  3. Objective: To discuss the role of Sufism in countering rising global terror
  4. Forum will debate long-term alternatives to counter rising issues of radicalization and use of terror in the name of religion
  5. Significance: It is expected to emphasize and reassert India’s position as one of the global centres for moderate ideology in Islam
  6. World Focus: The 4-day event is likely to be attended by over 200 delegates, including foreign delegates from 20 countries
  7. Spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and theologists from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, UK, USA, Canada and Pakistan, among other countries, are expected to be present
PIB

India moving U.N. to blacklist Masood

  1. Context: Terrorist attack on Pathankot air base
  2. News: India to approach UN to include the Pakistan-based terror mastermind Maulana Masood Azhar on the list of globally designated terrorists
  3. Nodal Agency: 1267 Sanctions Committee under UN, includes the name of terrorist and terror-organisation on the sanctions list
  4. The attempt to isolate Masood Azhar has a greater possibility to succeed at the 1267 Sanctions Committee
  5. Challenge: In Jun 2015, India moved the committee against Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi release from jail, but China did not support due to its strategic interest in Pakistan

IS threat: Maharashtra rolls out deradicalisation plan

The plan aims to create an environment of solidarity and trust among the minority, and envisages different departments undertaking various schemes to reach out to the minority.

  1. To face the challenges posed by various home-grown extremists and the global IS terrorists
  2. Maharashtra government has rolled out a deradicalisation programme for the minority community
  3. The plan, brought out by the State Home Department, is a 50-point socio-economic strategy with the aim of ‘bringing youth of the minority community into the mainstream’
  4. The State Education Department will launch a mid-day meal scheme in Urdu schools
  5. Also provide textbooks at subsidised rates, and teach Urdu as optional subject in 300 Marathi shalas (schools)

President of India inaugurates Counter-Terrorism Conference 2016

The President of India inaugurated the Counter-Terrorism Conference- 2016 at Jaipur.

  1. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that terrorism is undoubtedly the single gravest threat that humanity is facing today.
  2. It is imperative that the world acts in unison against terrorism, without political considerations.
  3. An important aspect of counter-terrorism strategy is capacity building to prevent attacks.
  4. Through intelligence collection and collation, development of technological capabilities, raising of Special Forces and enactment of special laws.
  5. The predominant focus has to be on the political management of terrorism.
PIB

India, Arab League vow to check terror, funding sources

Minister cited “India’s model of unity in diversity” as an example for the world to counter indoctrination and radicalisation.

  1. India and the Arab world must join hands to eliminate the menace, those who silently sponsor terror groups could end up being used by them.
  2. Those who believe that silent sponsorship of such terrorist groups can bring rewards must realise that they have their own agenda.
  3. They are adept at using the benefactor more effectively than the sponsor has used them.
  4. Speaking at the first First Ministerial Meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum which External Affairs Minister described as a “turning point” in India’s ties with the Arab world.

India, France can gain by sharing strategies against terrorism

  1. India and France are carrying out Shakti 2016 in Rajasthan which reflects the common interests of two countries.
  2. It is the joint exercise which focusses on counter-terror and counter-insurgency operations.
  3. Both sides will benefit by exchanging ideas and strategies for a larger goal due to different experiences in handling terror.
  4. Greater French support for India’s decades-old anti-terror struggle would help India attain both regional as well as global targets in the fight against terrorism.

Vulnerable targets

Pakistan must act strongly against all terrorists for the sake of its own younger generation.

  1. Terror attack at Bacha Khan University in Pakistan has grim echoes of the Peshawar Army Public School massacre in December 2014.
  2. Targeting schools and colleges reflect the jihadis’ opposition to education, which is a force of modernisation and empowerment.
  3. Pakistan needs to invoke Bacha Khan’s ( khan Abdul Gaffer khans’ ) legacy and reverse the Islamist course taken by its society and polity.
  4. Pakistan will have to muster the will to act against terrorists of all shades, and not choose between the “good” and the “bad” Taliban.

Ouagadougou lessons

New Delhi needs to initiate a national audit of police and intelligence preparedness, based on global best-practices.

  1. The killings this weekend at the Splendid Hotel in Burkina Faso’s Ouagadougou hold out important lessons to India about the threat of terror.
  2. One, the attacks show, the threat doesn’t come from any one organisation.
  3. Second,the use of conventional military force against terrorist groups doesn’t guarantee an end to terrorism.
  4. Third, the critical line of defence against terrorism is a well-trained and well-equipped domestic police force, capable of interdicting and responding to attacks, thus mitigating their impact.
  5. Most states and major cities now have élite special weapons and tactics units but their training and infrastructure are often ramshackle.
  6. Training of first responders — the constables is dismal.
  7. Deficiency in training of elite national forces, the National Security Guard was ruthlessly exposed in Pathankot,
  8. Finally, the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing remain understaffed and underfunded.

Bet on peace

After Pathankot, Pakistan has taken the right first steps. India has nothing to gain from not talking.

  1. New Delhi must beware the trap of linking future diplomatic engagement with the fate of the Pathankot investigation in Pakistan.
  2. This would, for one, give forces in Pakistan’s military establishment who are hostile to normalisation a perverse incentive to derail action against their jihadist clients.
  3. Secondly, military retaliation against terrorism will impose asymmetric impacts on India’s growing economy.
  4. Finally, disengagement shuts the door on long-term gains.
  5. Even if India realises no security gains from dialogue with Pakistan, there are none to be had from not talking, either.
  6. Dialogue, though, opens up possibilities for incremental gains on business, resource management and cultural contacts.
  7. It thus strengthens those sections of Pakistani society with interests in peace, like the business community and civil society.
  8. India’s interests are best served by cold-blooded defence of its strategic interests — not the seductive heat of righteous rage.

Breaking The Terror Cycle

Countries have the right to self defence under international law and India can not legate the problem of terrorism to that of political management alone.

  1. Nuclear weapons have become the licence to undertake terror through its proxies.
  2. Hope that full engagement with Pakistan can withstand major terrorist attacks is misplaced.
  3. Political pressures and the need to show action inevitably lead to disruptions.
  4. The time has come to seek to break this cycle
  5. Answer to Pak sponsored attacks cannot lie in engagement, for it has not worked, and nor has its opposite.

Pakistan was under global pressure

U.S. called for swift action; China issued two statements condemning the terror strike.

  1. The Indian government had made it clear that there would be “no talks without action” from Pakistan.
  2. On the basis of evidence and leads handed over by India about the Pathankot attackers who killed 7 Indian soldiers.
  3. Ministry of External Affairs kept up the pressure by refusing to confirm or cancel the Foreign Secretary-level talks which had been informally agreed to for January 15.
  4. Security experts also warned against reading too much into the action against Jaish-e-Mohammad.
  5. The group that was set up by Masood Azhar after he was released at Kandahar by the Indian government in 1999 in exchange for hostages on board IC-814.

U.S. for joint fight against terror

  1. The U.S. has condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot.
  2. It urged all countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle in terrorist networks.
  3. US said that it has always maintained that Pakistan requires to do more to rein in terrorists who target neighbouring countries.
  4. It considers better relations between India and Pakistan good for its South Asia strategy.
  5. So, it wants like India and Pakistan to continue their dialogue.

United Nations adopts plan to attack Islamic State’s funding

Security council unanimously backs resolution to target group’s income and block its use of global financial system.

  1. This aimed at disrupting revenues that Islamic State receives from oil and antiquities sales, ransom payments and other criminal activities.
  2. The resolution, sponsored by the US and Russia, elevates Isis to same level as al-Qaida, reflecting its growing threat and split from the terror network behind the 9/11 attacks.
  3. Isis controls a large swath of Syria and Iraq, including oil and gas fields, though bombing campaigns by the US-led coalition and ground forces have enabled Iraq to regain some territory.

Let’s know about Islamic Military Alliance?

  1. The joint operations centre of the coalition will be established in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
  2. The coalition includes nations with large and established armies such as Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt as well as war-torn countries such as Libya and Yemen.
  3. The establishment of coalition comes amid international pressure on the Gulf Arab states to do more in the fight against so-called Islamic State.
  4. The new alliance will coordinate efforts against extremists in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.

Saudi Arabia announces 34-state Islamic military alliance against terrorism

A new Saudi-led Islamic alliance to fight terrorism will share information and train, equip and provide forces if necessary for the fight against Islamic State militants.

  1. Saudi Arabia announces 34 nations Islamic coalition to fight terrorism
  2. It has been established in pursuance of the objectives and principles of the charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  3. It calls for all member states to cooperate to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

G20 for joint steps to fight terrorism

  1. Mr. Ban stressed that world leaders need to be robust in their response which is within the rule of law and with respect for human rights.
  2. There was a need for close cooperation within the international community to reject and fight terrorism in all its manifestation.
  3. There was a need to address the underline drivers of violent extremism.

India for better channels with Pak. Rangers

  1. The chiefs of BSF and Pakistani Rangers will meet after the high profile NSA level talks were cancelled.
  2. India will stress on adding more layers of channel of communication with Pakistan Rangers.
  3. India will ask for frequent joint patrolling and confidence-building measures.
  4. The talks are held biannually, started in 1989, but the timings have not been followed.

Cross-border terrorism: Jihadist-military project at work

  1. The recent back-to-back strikes indicate the presence of stray elements in Pakistan, who are against the Indo-Pak engagement.
  2. Though, it can be argued that Pakistan is not involved in these cases, but there is lack of systemic response from their govt.’s side.
  3. Often, Pakistan projects itself as a victim of terror in the hands of TTP and other sectarian group.
  4. But, it is also deeply involved in supporting Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, and anti-jihadist elements.
  5. There are instances of Pakistani military engaging with Jihadist elements for strategic gains.

It’s time to be more assertive: Ajit Doval


 

  1. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has said that deterrence was the credibility that a nation could show its strength when required.
  2. But the lack of a will to exercise power is as good as not having any power.

The people who will hold power tomorrow, will be those who can make you think what they want you to think.



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