India-Pakistan Current Affairs

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ICJ Stays Kulbhusan Jadhav’s Hanging

India has received a stay order preventing Pakistan from executing the death sentence awarded to the former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav from the International Court of Justice at The Hague. India’s team of lawyers led by senior advocate Harish Salve accused Pakistan of gross violations of international laws. They also pointed out the violations of the Geneva convention that deals with Consular relations. Pakistan had denied consular access to India despite 15 attempts. It also refused to give  any details of Jadhav’s arrest and trial until the death sentence was passed.

India has rarely approached the ICJ especially when it comes to Pakistan. India is always hesitatant to “internationalise” its bilateral relations. But given the nature of Jadhav’s case in which Pakistan refused to follow any established principle India was forced to take the extreme measure of taking the case to the ICJ.

ICJ

International Court of Justice was established in 1945 via the UN Charter and its jurisdiction is worldwide. It is located in “The Hague” in Netherlands. It is a  part of the United Nations. The International Court of Justice acts as a world court.  The judgement passed by the ICJ have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned. The major functions of the International Court of Justice are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by states and to provide advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.

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Pakistan Leases Gwadar port to a State-run Chinese firm for 40 years

Pakistan has leased the operations of its strategic Gwadar port to a State-run Chinese firm, the China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC) for a period of 40 years. COPHC is slated to carry out all the developmental work on the port situated in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. COPHC took over the operations of the port in 2013. Previously, the control of the Gwadar port was with Singapore’s PSA (Port of Singapore Authority) International.

As per the contract, 91% share of revenue collection from gross revenue of terminal and marine operations as well as 85% share from gross revenue of free zone operation will go to the COPHC. The provinces will not be given any share in the revenue collection.

Gwadar Port is a warm-water, deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea at Gwadar in Balochistan province of Pakistan. It is located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf just outside the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. It features as the southern Pakistan hub of the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan. It is considered as a vital link between the Chinese One Belt, One Road initiative and the Maritime Silk Road project.

Advantages for China

Gwadar offers China a shortest route to oil-rich West Asia and Africa. China can use the port to transport fuel into north-western China, by transporting oil and gas from the port through pipelines to China’s Xinjiang province. Having Gwadar under its command would change the security dynamics for China. As China’s oil imports increase, it would prefer to insulate its energy transports from the troubled waters of the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea.

Implications for India

Gwadar port offers serious strategic implications for India. Gwadar provides China a key listening post to observe the Indian naval activities around the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden. The Gwadar port, if fully operationalised, will wean Pakistan away from near-total dependence on Karachi, which is much closer to India and hence within the Indian military’s strike range. Lease of Gwadar port also helps China to encircle India (String of Pearls) and gain strategic advantage in the region. India has apprehensions that these ports could be used for military purpose as well.

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5 Facts: Operation Meghdoot

Operation Meghdoot was an Indian armed forces operation launched 33 years ago on 13 April 1984. Here are the Five Facts about this operation:

1. Operation Meghdoot was an operation launched by Indian Armed Forces to capture the Siachen Glacier in Kashmir.

2. The operation was entrusted to one of the Kumaon Battalions, supported by Ladakh Scouts. Initial assault was led by Maj (later Col ) RS Sandhu, VrC. This military operation was unique because it was the first assault launched in world’s highest battlefield.

3. During the operation, Indian troops landed on Bilafond La on Saltoro ridge, west of Siachen glacier, on Friday, April 13, 1984. It was a Baishakhi day.

4. The operation resulted in Indian troops gaining control of the entire Siachen glacier, giving India strategic advantage and also maintaining status quo.

5. Siachen not only gives India opportunity to test the mettle of its own troops but also useful for R&D in various military disciplines. With occupying Siachen, India prides of sustaining its dominance on world’s highest battlefield, however has paid heavy price for it in the form of human costs.

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