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No Restoration Of 4G Internet Service In J&K For Now: Supreme Court of India

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The Indian Supreme Court has denied passing of an order for the immediate restoration of high speed (4G) mobile internet connections in Jammu and Kashmir.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice NV Ramana and constituting Justices Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai have ordered the central government to constitute a high-powered “special committee” to probe the state of affairs in the valley regarding the 4G internet services.

It is reported that the committee will be headed by the home secretary of the Union government. The position is currently held by IAS Ajay Kumar Bhalla of batch 1984.

Justice NV Ramana has said that “This court has to ensure that national security and human rights are balanced. We do recognize that UT has plunged into crisis. At the same time court is cognizant to the concerns related to ongoing pandemic and hardships.”

The order was originally reserved on May 4, 2020, after the apex court had heard all the arguments of the parties involved.

As reported by EurAsian Times previously, the Supreme Court of India, on March 26 had issued a notice to the Central government and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration, on the plea of ‘Foundation for Media Professionals’ filed through advocate Shadan Farasat, which aimed to seek the restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.

It was alleged that the government’s action (of blocking 4G internet services in Kashmir Valley) was violating the right to equality (Articles 14), freedom of speech (Article 19), right to life (Article 21) of the Indian Constitution.

“It has become challenging to communicate with my family members back home; earlier we could text or video call on so many platforms. It has become trouble now” 23-year-old Inayat Khan, pursuing her studies from Delhi tells the EurAsian Times.

Internet connections have largely been suspended in the valley since August 5 last year, post the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Indian constitution and the bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories – J&K and Ladakh.

Mir Umar, a resident of Baramulla district of Kashmir Valley had told the EurAsian Times earlier in April that “it’s simply a denial of a fundamental right to the people of Kashmir. When the world is facing and fighting COVID-19, people in Kashmir are additionally fighting for the restoration of 4G internet.

On the flip side, an affidavit filed by the Jammu and Kashmir administration said that the right to internet access is not a fundamental right and it can curtail the freedom of speech and right to trade through the internet.

The affidavit mentioned that the misuse of data services for mobilising crowds by anti-national elements has the potential to cause large-scale violence, disturb public order and indeed threaten the security of the country.

The petitioners seeking restoration of 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir had said that the 2G service is not adequate for education, health and business functions in the midst of coronavirus lockdown. Senior lawyer Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for one of the petitioners, had last week claimed in the court that doctors were unable to obtain information about COVID-19 cure due to poor internet connectivity.

Penned By Vipasha Kaushal
Edited By Preeti Raina
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Srebrenica genocide: Pakistan draws similarity between 1995 Srebrenica massacre with Kashmir

Drawing a parallel between Srebrenica genocide, and the current situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, Khan said he feared a massacre similar to that in Srebrenica could happen in the disputed Himalayan valley.

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Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan on Saturday urged the world community to “learn a lesson” from 1995 Srebrenica genocide, and “not let such massacre happen again.”

“Today, we are observing the 25th memorial anniversary of the genocide that took place in Srebrenica. I still remember the day very well along with most people who have humanity in their hearts. I remember when it happened. we were shocked. We were appalled how in a what was a safe haven of United Nations peacekeeping forces, this massive massacre was allowed to happen.

“I still feel the shock how such a thing could have been allowed by the world community, Khan said in a video message aired by state-run Pakistan Television. “I think, It is important that we learn lessons from that, the world community must never let such things to happen again,” he went on to say.

Drawing a parallel between Srebrenica genocide, and the current situation in Indian-administered Kashmir, Khan said he feared a massacre similar to that in Srebrenica could happen in the disputed Himalayan valley.

“Today, 800,000 Indian troops have besieged 8 million people of Kashmir. And we all fear a similar sort of massacre might follow there,” he said, adding: “So the world community must take notice, and never allow such acts to take place there.”

Kashmir and Palestine

In a Twitter post, in connection with the 25th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said: “July 2020 marks 25 years since the Srebrenica Massacre, the murder of over 8000 Bosnian Muslims & ethnic cleansing of over 20’000 people. The world has a collective responsibility to ensure history is not repeated.”

“What is happening in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine is chillingly similar,” he added, referring to Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and New Delhi’s scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s longstanding special status in August 2019.

Every year on July 11, newly identified victims of the genocide are buried in a memorial cemetery in Potocari, eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thousands of visitors from various countries attend the funeral services and burials.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will participate in this year’s memorial program via video link. During a two-day visit to Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo last year for a similar event, Erdogan attended a procession to commemorate thousands of innocents who fell victim to the genocide.

More than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed when Bosnian Serb forces attacked the UN “safe area” of Srebrenica in July 1995, despite the presence of Dutch troops tasked with acting as international peacekeepers.

Srebrenica was besieged by Serb forces who were trying to wrest territory from Bosnian Muslims and Croats to form their own state.

The UN Security Council had declared Srebrenica a “safe area” in the spring of 1993. However, Serb troops led by General Ratko Mladic — later found guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide — overran the UN zone.

The Dutch troops failed to act as Serb forces occupied the area, killing about 2,000 men and boys on July 11 alone. Some 15,000 Srebrenica residents fled into the surrounding mountains, but Serb troops hunted down and killed 6,000 of them in the forests.

UK ‘stands with’ all feeling Srebrenica genocide pain

British administration on Saturday “reiterated the UK’s commitment to supporting reconciliation across the Western Balkans,” on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Today (11 July) marks twenty-five years since the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of the Second World War,” a Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) statement said.

“Today I stand with all who continue to feel unimaginable pain from the genocide 25 years ago at Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Twitter.

“The United Kingdom has worked to support justice for the victims, find the missing & promote reconciliation,” he added.

Underlining that more than 8,000, mostly Muslim men and boys, were murdered and over 20,000 women and children were forcibly expelled from their homes, the UK urged “all parties to reject hate speech and the glorification of the perpetrators of genocide and war crimes.”

The statement also said the “verdicts from international and domestic courts must be respected.” Raab said: “On the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, we remember the victims and the anguish of their families.

“During my time in the Hague between 2003 and 2006, pursuing those responsible for this dark chapter in European history, I was reminded daily of the heinous cruelty perpetrated against the innocent.

“The UK is determined to end impunity and help rebuild those countries affected – as our commitment to the ICC, and UK investment and support for Bosnia demonstrates.”

Turkey pays homage

he Turkish president on Saturday remembered the Srebrenica martyrs on the 25th anniversary of the genocide. “We will always stand by our Bosnian brothers in their search for justice. The Srebrenica Genocide will never be forgotten,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a video message.

As part of the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide, Erdogan spoke via video link at the memorial ceremony held at the former accumulator factory used by the United Nations troops as a base in the war in Bosnia.

Erdogan stressed that despite all tragedy and tears, European politicians have learned no lessons from Srebrenica Genocide, adding that free use of words that “fuel enmity towards Islam and support xenophobia is a source of concern for our future.”

“Even though it has been a quarter of a century since the genocide, our pain is still fresh. Our hearts wrenched with every mass grave unearthed,” he said. Erdogan wished God’s mercy on Srebrenica martyrs and patience to their families, their loved ones and to all who feel pain in their hearts.

 

By Aamir Latif, Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

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Kashmir will get more affected than Tibet in India, China clash – British Author

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Dragon Fire, a novel by British author Humphrey Hawksley, written 20 years ago depicted a war erupting between China, India and Pakistan, drawing many other countries and then escalating into a nuclear catastrophe.

In the wake of the recent India-China border standoff that resulted in the killing of 20 Indian soldiers, Hawksley, a former BBC correspondent, said India has missed the bus to be a role model for its neighbours despite its democratic credentials. But he said that with the US alongside, India would be a formidable front to balance China’s rise.

“If China is to prevail in Asia, it needs India onside and it would not achieve that by clubbing Indian soldiers to death on a disputed border,” said the author.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency from London, Hawksley said the two countries China and India have differing capabilities. He said while China might be authoritarian, violating human rights and international law, it has shown decisive political leadership, unlike India.

“China is generations ahead beginning with basic health statistics. A newborn baby in India is three times more likely to die in its first year than it is in China. “India has failed to address its challenges of poverty, corruption, forced labour, and the rest, using its democracy as a fig leaf of an excuse,” he said.

Dragon Fire plays out a doomsday scenario with an Indian special unit invading a prison in the Tibetan capital Lhasa to free Tibetan religious leaders. As China declares war, Pakistan also launches an attack on the strategic outpost of Kargil. The war leads to the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Twenty years down the line, Hawksley said that Kashmir will get more affected than Tibet in the fight between the elephant and the dragon. While the elephant symbolizes India, the dragon is often used to describe Chinese prowess.

The author, whose recent book Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Indo-Pacific and the Challenge to American Power discusses the US-China tensions in the South China Sea, said India appears to have little concept of regional power projection.

“It [India] failed to go after the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. It was Chinese, not Indian intervention, that killed Prabhakaran [founder of Tamil Tigers] and ended the Tigers,” he told Anadolu Agency. The former Indian prime minister was killed in 1991.

Hawksley further said while India dwells obsessively on the 1962 Sino-Indian war, it has rarely put it in context of its good relationship with the US, the simultaneous Cuban missile crisis, and China’s fear of a US nuclear strike that made Beijing withdraw.

“India is losing influence in Nepal and Bhutan which should have been within its arc of influence. It has failed to create a working regional institution out of SAARC,” he said, referring to the South Asian regional bloc.

Anadolu Agency (AA): Your novel, Dragon Fire has depicted a scenario of war between China, India, and Pakistan — all nuclear countries. What led you to depict this doomsday scenario?

Humphrey Hawksley (HH): I spent much of the 1990s covering Asia for the BBC and, amid all the stories, this common strand of China and Pakistan against India kept coming up time and time again. More than 20 years later, the same issues that sparked the fictional scenario then are sadly alive today, as with the dreadful clashes in the Galwan Valley.

 AA: Your book was published a year after the India-Pakistan limited war at Kargil in 1999. The war did not escalate into a full-fledged war. China also remained neutral and even tried to de-escalate tensions. What has changed since then?

 HH: China is now a substantive global power with a reach throughout Asia and beyond.

In that respect, Pakistan is even more reliant and entwined with China than it was even then. Kargil was one of the early examples of China and the US working together to defuse a global crisis. The India-Pakistan relationship, Kashmir, and border issues are now embedded within China’s goal of becoming the predominant Indo-Pacific power. To achieve that it needs a neutral India and a compliant Pakistan and will play its cards accordingly.

 AA: You have been accurate about the dangers faced by Asia. What is the way out, so that scenarios you have woven in your books, remain in the realm of imagination only?

 HH: The quasi-Cold War camps of the US versus China may, ironically, make the region safer. The Indian intervention in Kashmir, the Galwan Valley clash, and a myriad of other issues now have a behind the scenes constant checks and balance by outside governments that could stop the worst scenarios becoming reality. Having said that, China can turn on and off the tap of anti-Indian antagonism which it will use to leverage power. The US, meanwhile, is building a loose alliance of ‘like-minded’ governments of which India is a pivotal player. India, however, prides itself on its non-aligned status, so we will have to see how that unfolds.

 AA: I remember, when your book was released, it received praise from then Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes. He was recommending it to every visitor. Why have both countries not been able to settle their boundary dispute using a give and take formula?

HH: Good question, and one that China uses to point the finger of blame at India, saying it has amicably settled many of its border disputes, so why not with India. The Sino-Indian border will remain a disputed tinderbox while China’s strategic expansion continues at such a pace. It is gaining influence in Nepal and Bhutan. It needs to keep its grip on Tibet and Xinjiang. Aksai Chin remains symbolic of the 1962 war and so on. It could only be settled now as part of an encompassing Indo-Pacific agreement and that is not likely anytime soon.

 AA: How do you view both countries China and India, in terms of the balance of power, their capabilities and capacities both military, economic, and in terms of decisive political leadership?

 HH: There is no real comparison. China is generations ahead beginning with basic health statistics. A newborn baby in India is three times more likely to die in its first year than it is in China.  India has failed to address its challenges of poverty, corruption, forced labor, and the rest, using its democracy as a fig leaf of an excuse.

India appears to have little concept of regional power projection. It failed to go after the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

 It was Chinese, not Indian intervention, that killed Prabhakaran [founder of Tamil Tigers] and ended the Tigers. India dwells obsessively on the 1962 war with China but rarely puts it in context of its good relationship with the US, the simultaneous Cuban missile crisis and China’s fear of a nuclear US strike unless it withdrew. As mentioned, it is losing influence in Nepal and Bhutan which should be completed within its arc of influence. It has failed to create a working regional institution out of SAARC.  China, on the other hand, has been addressing head on its poverty, separatism, and power projection. It might be authoritarian, violating human rights and international law, but it is showing decisive political leadership.

 AA: Since you wrote a book, another element of the Chinese strategic parameter has been added that is the Belt and Road Initiative. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a flagship of this project. Has it changed the strategic contours of the region?

 HH: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been a global game-changer, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is one of its flagship projects.  When Xi Jinping platformed it at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017 it caught imaginations around the world. There is now some pushback against it, but it has already bought a range of governments into its arc of influence. Apart from the infrastructure, it is also helping to give China political influence as seen in the recent United Nations Human Rights Council vote on the new Hong Kong security laws – 53 for China, 27 against.

AA: India has been building a lot of infrastructure projects now along borders. Are they any match for China’s infrastructure?

 HH: Not really. India’s building of border infrastructure was the catalyst that sparked the Galwan Valley clash. This is different from India matching the breadth of ambition of the Belt and Road Initiative. Vision is important here. BRI symbolizes China’s wealth and pragmatism. It is not selling democracy, ideology, or religion, but roads, hospitals, and airports. As a small example, India could long ago have secured the building of a new airport in Nepal or similar in Sri Lanka. The French are building in Kathmandu, and we all know what happened in Sri Lanka. There is barely any talk about the massive Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project but much talk about the rise of Hindu nationalism, repression of Muslims, and hostilities with China and Pakistan.

 AA: While looking around South Asia, ironically many countries feel comfortable with autocratic neighbour China than democratic India. What are the reasons behind such a phenomenon?

 HH: People only have to look at China’s success against poverty and in building infrastructure to ask whether the vote is more important than having a toilet and running water. This sentiment has been compounded by the failure of democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Arab uprisings of some 10 years ago. Add to that the controversy surrounding the election of Donald Trump and, among many Britons, leaving the European Union and a pattern emerges about the benefits of more autocratic systems of government.  Singapore is the intellectual heart of this argument. The wider Asia is a continent like none other where there is no prevailing language, the system of government, or religion. Dictatorships, military regimes, and new democracies have to live side by side. Therefore, Asia cannot afford many of the black and white political thinking of the West, summed up in the US mantra ‘you are either for us or against us.’ The Indo-Pacific is a rainbow of different shades of gray.

AA: By extending friendly hands to many countries in South Asia, China has created a diamond necklace in terms of economy and a string of pearls around India. What are the options before India?

HH: India’s best option is to contribute fully to the Quad concept comprising Australia, Japan, India, and the United States and continue reaching out to what is known as ‘like-minded’  governments, such as Vietnam, with which it is forging a close economic and strategic relationship. It would help to bear in mind the ’62 war situation.  Beijing timed the military incursion to coincide with the Cuban missile crisis because it thought President Kennedy’s concentration would be on the Caribbean. They misjudged. Kennedy offered India any help it wanted. The day before the Cuban blockade formally ended on Nov. 21, 1962, Beijing declared a cease-fire and withdrew. Beijing may have beaten India on the battlefield, but ultimately it lost because of India’s alliance with the United States.

A similar alliance now is the surest way to balance China’s expansion.

 AA: You portrayed Tibet and Kashmir as centers of upheaval. How will these regions get affected by the fight between the elephant and the dragon?

HH: They are both flashpoints, Kashmir more than Tibet because of Pakistan’s history of sponsoring insurgency there and its alliance with Beijing. The Indian-sponsored insurgency into Tibet ended in the 70s.

AA: Your book is also full of tactical details that the armies of both countries possessed in 2000. How far have these capabilities changed since then?

HH: The most relevant change would be in cyber capabilities of which China is further advanced as it is in missile capability, weapons manufacturing, and procurement. As of 2016, while writing my non-fiction Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Indo-Pacific and the Challenge to American Power, India had 14 submarines against China’s 68, 1,488 fighter aircraft against China’s 2,615 and so on. One advantage India may have is its experience in low-insurgency warfare.

 AA: You have mentioned countries like Australia, Japan, and many others getting involved in the conflict, but not Israel, which has been a helping hand for India during its wars with Pakistan be that 1971 war or 1999 Kargil war. Will it be possible for Israel to repeat the feat, in the case of India’s war with China?

 HH: Highly likely. Israel is very much part of the ‘like-minded’ government group and is becoming a key supplier of technology-driven avionics, missile systems, and radars. Half of Israel’s defense sales now go to the Indo-Pacific. Israel has also sold to China, but this is now being tempered by the US. Even back in 2002, Israel was about to sell an early warning radar system to Beijing until the US told it to stop.

Q: From Chandigarh to Lhasa, the flight Indian commands are taking looks a straight take away from Israel’s Operation Entebbe or Operation Thunderbolt, when its defense forces rescued hostages from Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976.

HH: Interesting observation. I don’t think [I] had Entebbe in mind at all when I wrote it. It was more a straight-forward special forces operation.

AA: You have concluded that China obtained power by force, which would have taken generations to obtain through peace. But as we know that China has already attained a primary role in world politics, with the US increasingly withdrawing. Which power do you think can rise simultaneously to ensure a multipolar world?

HH: 20 years on, with much, changed, one scenario would be for the European Union to forge a cohesive enough front to become a single voice global power. Given China and Russia’s interference in European political and economic institutions, there is a growing impetus to do this. Militarily it could act in partnership with NATO which is comprised mostly of European governments. Economically, the EU is the world’s second-largest economy after China, carrying serious muscle.

With the US alongside, this would be a formidable front to balance China’s rise. India would be a natural partner which could also help guide China away from its current hardline antagonism. If China is to prevail in Asia, it needs India onside and it won’t achieve that by clubbing Indian soldiers to death on a disputed border. In that respect, things are probably different from my analysis in 1999. As an Asian power, India could now mentor China toward its survival. The alternative is that China will follow the trajectory of Japan’s rise in the 20th century and end up destroying itself because it believes it is too strong to fail. That is a catastrophe that none of us wants.

By Iftikhar Gilani

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Kulbhushan Jadhav Will Not Be Hanged; Could Be Swapped With India: BBC Report

Kulbhushan Jadhav was ‘’arrested’’ in 2016 from Balochistan on charges of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence agency. India maintains that Jadhav is innocent and was kidnapped by Pakistani operatives from the Iranian port of Chabahar.

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There were reports yesterday that Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national on death-row for charges of espionage and terrorism in Pakistan has refused to file a review petition, a claim rejected by the Indian government. 

China Criticizes US’ Love for India; Double Standards Over Kashmir & Xinjiang

According to latest reports coming out of Pakistan, Mehdi Hasan, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, has said that there is a possibility that Kulbhushan Jadhav will not be hanged and can be swapped for a Pakistani national under the custody of India.

Mehdi Hasan while talking to the BBC said that many people in Pakistan do not want Kulbhushan Jadhav to be hanged.

Earlier, after Pakistan claimed that Jadhav had refused to file a review petition, India outrightly rejected the claims and called it “farce”.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokespersons said Pakistan’s claim reflected its attempt to “mask” its continuing “reticence to implement” the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case in “letter and spirit”.

Attack On Iran’s Natanz Nuclear Facility Not A Cyber Attack, But A Bomb Blast – Reports

He said Pakistan is only seeking to create an “illusion of remedy” in the case and emphasized that New Delhi will do its “utmost” to protect Jadhav and ensure his safe return to India.

Kulbhushan Jadhav was ‘’arrested’’ in 2016 from Balochistan on charges of terrorism and spying for India’s intelligence agency.  India maintains that Jadhav is innocent and was kidnapped by Pakistani operatives from the Iranian port of Chabahar.

The chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that many Pakistani lawyers have also given their opinion on India’s right to file an appeal on behalf of Kulbhushan Jadhav. The review petition can be filed by Kulbhushan Jadhav himself or any of his legal representatives or the High Commission of India based in Islamabad.

As EurAsian Times reported earlier, Kulbhushan Jadhav, as hinted by Mehdi Hassan, could be swapped with  Colonel – Zahir Habib who went missing in Nepal. Pakistan had blamed ‘hostile agencies’ for the disappearance of Col Habib Zahir who went missing from the city of Lumbini on April 2017.

Is Indian RAW Behind The Disappearance Of Pakistani Colonel – Zahir Habib Who Went Missing In Nepal?

According to Col Zahir’s family, he had posted his resume on LinkedIn and to a United Nations (UN) website for a job. In response, he got a call and email from one Mr Mark, stating that he had been shortlisted for the job of Vice President. He was asked to visit Kathmandu for which he was sent an air-ticket for an interview on April 6, 2017, and later went missing.

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