Afghanistan Current Affairs - 2019
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The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by the US has defeated the Daesh [ISIS] by capturing the final shred of the territory of Baghouz in Syria. The forces have declared the end of the self-declared “caliphate” that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria.
Even though the U.S.-backed forces have retaken nearly all the small pockets in Syria that were still under ISIS control, it doesn’t mean the end of ISIS. Reports suggest that many ISIS fighters have blended in with the local population and moreover the ISIS’ ideology remains potent and continues to inspire attacks in Europe and Afghanistan. Even though it is unlikely that there is a command structure directing terrorist attacks around the globe there are local groups which identify themselves as ISIS.
Timeline of ISIS
- The chaos which followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, an al Qaeda offshoot established there and changed its name in 2006 to Islamic State in Iraq.
- As the Syrian Crisis began to unfold the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent operatives to Syria for setting up a Syrian subsidiary. Baghdadi follows in 2013 and renamed the group as “The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.
- The group captured important cities like Fallujah, Tikrit and Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi renamed the group as Islamic State (IS) and declares a caliphate at Mosul in 2014.
- In 2014 United States started building a coalition against ISIS and started air strikes to stop its momentum. It also started to extend support to the Kurdish militia to fight against the ISIS.
- By 2016 the forces started recovering the territory captured by ISIS and the ISIS started facing catastrophic defeats.
The capture of Baghouz and declaration of elimination of caliphate has come as a final nail in the coffin of ISIS.
The first shipment under the United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention arrived in India from Afghanistan through Chabahar Port of Iran.
What is Transports Internationaux Routiers’ Convention?
The Transports Internationaux Routiers is an international Convention aimed at harmonising the administrative formalities of international road transport.
The goods being moved through the TIR convention requires the goods to be outlined in a TIR carnet and sealed in load compartments. The customs officials only verify the carnet and check the seal without requiring physical checking of the contents. This enables shipments to pass through countries without being opened at borders.
Reciprocal recognition of customs controls is at the heart of the TIR Convention. The convention enables a facilitative and non-intrusive environment for multi-modal transport of goods through several countries. India had joined the TIR Convention in 2017.
Benefits of the Convention
- The convention acts as a strong catalyst for moving goods using the multi-modal transportation route like Chabahar and International North-South Transport (INSTC) Corridor.
- The convention offers a great opportunity for the landlocked countries by providing seamless border crossing facilitation and intermodal capabilities.
- The convention further aids in the implementation of the Trade facilitation agreement of the World Trade Organisation.
In India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has been appointed as the National Issuing & Guaranteeing Association.