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Contemporary Issues

International
Relations
Contemporary Analysis

www.iasscore.in

www.iasscore.in

1

EUROPE

Euro Crisis – Present Status
1)

Quantitative Easing Program (ECB’s government Bond Buying Program)

1.

In Jan 2015, ECB (European central bank) announced that it would buy government bonds of from march
2015 – Sept 2016 (a quantitative easing program)

2.

Done due to present status of Euro

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a. This will pump trillions of new money to into a sagging Eurozone economy
b. It will rescue the Eurozone from a deflationary spiral — inflation was minus 0.2 % in December, 2014
and the unemployment rate is 11.5%
3.

Implications for india

a. this could be a boon for the Narendra Modi government.

b. While the UPA had to contend with high inflation and external vulnerability due to the imminent
tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s QE programme, the NDA has been lucky with global oil and
commodity prices and their effect on moderating inflation.
c. And now, with the ECB’s QE programme effectively neutralising the Fed’s bond-buying wind-down,
it holds out the assurance of continuing comfortable global liquidity and money streaming into Indian
capital markets.
Actions by some countries

GS

4.

a. Swiss central bank has abandoned its cap on franc.
2) Greece Elections – Jan 2015

(Syriza (anti-austerity party) comes to power)
A) Facts – elections of 2015
1.

Elections to Greek parliament were held in Jan 26, 2015.

2.

Results –
a. Syrzia –
i.

Syrzia won 149 seats out of 300

ii. It is an anti-austerity party formed in 2012
b. It formed an alliance with Anel party

Notes

c. PM –Alexis Tsipras

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B) Timeline
1.

Greece has seen its debt billow since 2010 when the consortium nicknamed the “Troika” (eurozone
countries, represented by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International
Monetary Fund, or IMF) gave Greece a €110 billion loan to rescue it from sovereign default brought on
by the recession. The loan came with conditions, one of them being the implementation of tough austerity
measures on an economy already hit by the recession l (i.e. cuts in public spending). The bailouts received
by Greece amounted to over €250 billion from 2010. And yet, only a very small part of it—10 per cent
according to conservative estimates —found its way into public spending. The rest went in interest and
debt repayments to the very same creditors who advanced the loans + siphoned off due to corruption.

2.

Effects of austerity –
a. Greece austerity led to a “public health disaster”, as economists and financial managers sought to get
health spending down to 6 per cent of the Gross Domestic product (GDP).

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b. This resulted in a 200 per cent increase in HIV incidence in Greece, a youth unemployment rate of
50 per cent, and a 25 per cent increase in homelessness. Greece used to have the lowest suicide rate
in Europe. During this period, it saw a rise of 60 per cent.
3.

The devastating impact of recession and austerity created the political conditions for the growth of Syriza,
a coalition of left parties that came together in 2012. It won 71 seats in 2012.

4.

In recent elections held in Jan 2015, won 149 seats out of 300 and came to power.

5.

Now it has 2 broad challenges (a) Internal, (b) External

6.

Internal Challenges

a. What are the challenges – Corruption, + all above consquences of austerity
b. What has he suggested + steps taken – Will pursue an anti-austerity program i.e. restoring pensions,
raising the tax-exemption threshold, introducing subsidised meals etc
External Challenges

GS

7.

a. It wants the troika to write-off debt (if not fully then atleast partially and a fair repayment schedule).
As of mid feb 2015, negotiations are going on.
b. Is it possible?
i.

Case of Greece is strong. Its not possible for her to replay.

ii. Also politically speaking if it pulls out of Eurozone, then it will signal its collapse.
==================================================.==================================
Podemos –
It is a political party in Spain.

2.

Like Syrzia it is an anti-austerity party.

3.

It means We Can

4.

It was formed in 2014

Notes

1.

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5.

In 2014 elections for European parliament, it won 5 seats which shocked many.

6.

Podemos aims to do a Syrzia in Spain’s general election due in November, 2015.

B) INDO – EUROPE RELATIONS
1) Italian marines’ case
1.

Incident –
a. Two Italian marines are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February
2012.
b. It is said that the 2 marines, as members of the Italian armed forces, allegedly mistook the fishermen
for pirates.

2.

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c. Italy argues that the 2 should not be tried in Indian courts and the jurisdiction will fall to the Italian
authorities and/or international arbitration.
Present status of the 2 marines as of Jan 17, 2015 –

a. So far, no charge sheet has been filed by the prosecution in the case.
b. On January 14, the Supreme Court had granted three months extension to one of the marines,
Massimiliano Latorre, who is currently in Italy after a heart surgery.
c. The other marine, Salvatore Girone, is presently living in the Italian Embassy in New Delhi under
special arrangements granted by the court.
3.

European parliaments resolution – Jan 2015

a. In jan 2015, European Parliament passed a resolution accusing India of “a serious breach of human
rights” in its treatment of two Italian marines
b. They called on India to repatriate the marines to Italy.

GS

c. The EU Foreign Affairs High Representative also indicated that the lack of a resolution between India
and Italy was impacting India-EU ties as well.
d. India took a strong exception to it.
4.

The incident was also cited as a reason for the delay in the European Union suggesting dates for an EUIndia summit during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Europe in April 2015. 

2) EUs ban on Indian Mangoes
(ban revoked in Jan 2015)
1) Overview –
1.

Introduction
a. In April 2014, EU imposed a ban on the import of Alphonso mangoes and four varieties of vegetables.
b. The ban imposed was w.e.f. 1st may 2014 to 31st Dec 2015.

2.

Reason for ban –

Notes

a. Fruit flies found

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i.

It said that it found non – European fruit flies in some 200 consignments.

ii. The EU had notified India in March of its concerns.
iii. And its not the first instance as scores of consignments of mangoes and vegetables shipped in 2013
had been found to be contaminated.
b. Under SPS it is allowed –
i.

And ban imposed by it is justified under SPS measures of WTO

ii. SPS à sanitary and phyto–sanitary measures (see detail from below)
3.

India’s Argument
a. India opposed the ban arguing that
India said that the EU’s action is “unilateral… without any meaningful official consultation (although
EU had notified India in March of its concerns)

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i.

ii. It is just a trade restrictive tactic.

b. And it also said that if the ban is not revoked then it will take the EU to WTO.
4.

EU lifts ban on Indian mangoes – Jan 2015

a. The seven-month ban on Indian mangoes, imposed last year by the European Union, has been lifted
well in advance of the deadline set for the ban, which was originally till December 2015.
b. This came after an audit by the EU last September showed “significant improvements in the
phytosanitary export certification system
c. However, the ban has been lifted only on mangoes. Ban on taro, bitter gourd, snake gourd and eggplant
remains in force.

5.

GS

d. Role of Indian Diaspora – Following the ban last year, British-Indian members of Parliament campaigned
hard to get it lifted.
Implications On our exports –

a. The EU accounts for more than 50 per cent of total exports of fruits and vegetables from India. The
imposition of ban on mangoes did affect India’s exports of fresh fruits which declined from $ 307.38
million in April-November 2013 to $ 291.43 million in April-November 2014. Mango exports to EU
suffered a major dent and went down from $ 8.9 million in 2013-14 to $ 1.07 million in 2014-15 [AprilSeptember period].
b. It did led to negative publicity which can impact our trade with other countries.
6.

Way forward – Improve our standards
a. What India should do is to strengthen its bargaining position by raising export standards and leave no
quarter to be found remiss. The entire ecosystem for exports, involving farmers, packers and exporters
of agri-commodities, should be geared to meet the quality and safety requirements of countries across
the world. i.e. It should meet health and phyto-sanitary standards.

Notes

b. Our commerce secretary in early 2014 has said that standards have become more imptortant then tariff/duties.
And lack of standards, less focus on quality will be a major challenge to India.

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2) SPS


The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures is also known as the SPS
Agreement, is an international treaty of the WTO.



Under the SPS agreement, the WTO sets constraints on member-states’ policies relating to
o

food safety (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection and labelling) as well as

o

Animal and plant health (phyto-sanitation) with respect to imported pests and diseases.

3) India, France to jointly develop naval missile (Maitri) – March 2015


In March 2015, The Defense Acquisition Council approved the ‘Maitri’ project for the co-development
of a Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SR-SAM) by the DRDO with MBDA of France.

4)(a) Modi’s visit to France – April 2015

1.

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1) Introduction

PM visited France in mid April, 2015. It was his 1st stop in the 3 nation tour (2nd being germany and 3rd
being Canada)

2) Highlights (Agreements)
1.

Rafale –

a. India asked France to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets in ‘fly-away’ condition.
b. Detail from below
2.

Energy –

a. Jaitapur nuclear plant – the 2 sides decided to move ahead with the log-stalled Jaitapur nuclear project
by signing 2 separate agreements for it
One was for reducing cost of power production,

GS

i.

ii. Other was wrt Transfer of technology.
b. Renewable energy –
i.
3.

An MoU in the field of renewable energy was signed by respective ministries of the two countries.

Megha Tropiques

a. An MoU between ISRO and French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) on the Indo-French
Megha Tropiques satellite which was launched on board the Indian launchvehicle PSLV on October 12,
2011.
4.

Economic –
a. PM Modi held wide-ranging consultations with French PM Francois Hollande and conducted roundtable discussions with French CEOs.
b. PM talk themes were giving a boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign and to re-energize
key infrastructure deals with these countries.

Notes

c. France pledged €2 billion investment for sustainable development in India 

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5.

Transport
a. A railway protocol to develop semi high speed corridor in India was taken up by both countries.
b. Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, promised to increase outsourcing in India from the present 400
million euros to 2 billion euros.

6.

Education –
a. Each country’s students can stay in the other country for 24 months.

7.

Sports –
a. An MoU to renew exchange and cooperation in the field of sports medicine, support of participation
of women and disabled in sports was also undertaken.

1.

Background to deal

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3) Rafale –

a. The Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition, also known as the MRCA tender,
was a competition to supply 126 multi-role combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF). 
b. In 2012, Rafale was chosen as the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air
Force (IAF) after a stringent technical evaluation and global tender process which has lasted a decade.
c. That tender proposed the following
i.

purchase of 18 Rafale aircraft in “fly-away” condition, and

ii. rest 108 to be manufactured in India under transfer of technology by state-owned Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

GS

d. Subsequent technicalities of the tender currently being negotiated by the Ministry of Defence with
Dassault, Rafale’s manufacturer.
e. Subsequently, the deal has been mired in controversies. It has been alleged that Dassault Aviation has
i.

Refused to transfer technology,

ii. Increased the price in violation of the original tender, and
iii. Refused to take charge of timely deliveries for the aircraft produced in India.
2.

Deal clinched at Modi’s visit to France (April 2015) –
a. About the deal –
i.

Under a separate/new deal, India asked France to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets instead of 18 in “flyaway” condition
1.

Meaning on fly away–

Notes

ii. This is under a government-to-government deal, unlike the tender currently being negotiated by the
Ministry of Defence with Dassault, Rafale’s manufacturer.

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iii. When will be delivered – not clearly mentioned, just mentioned that “as quickly as possible” so as
to meet IAF’s requirement. Being a G2G deal they will be delieved on time.
iv. The announcement, however, doesn’t talk about making Rafale in Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
(HAL), a core proposition of the original tender.
b. Summary Comparison – then & how

How many

Then

Now

Buying 18 aircraft from Dassault in fly-away
condition while the rest 108 were to be
manufactured in India under transfer of
technology by state-owned Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Number of aircraft to be purchased in fly
-away condition has increased to 36.

It is a G-to-G deal.

Cost

It is lower then the earlier one.

3.

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Btwn whom Govt (ministry of defence) was negotiating
with with Dassault,

Critical comment –
a. Positives –
i.

IAF, which has been in desperate need of fighter jets. From stipulated strength of 42, the IAF is
now down to 34 operational squadrons (as of april 2015)

ii. This is way of rapidly alleviating the IAF’s most immediate concerns, while leaving room for future
negotiations. i.e. a middle path
iii. As it is a government-to-government deal, India should be able to get these aircraft cheaper. The
negotiations over price are still on but experts estimate at least a 10% lower price for these 36
aircraft.

i.

Make in india –

GS

b. Negative – against make in india

1. The announcement, however, doesn’t talk about making Rafale in Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
(HAL), a core proposition of the original tender. This multi-billion dollar procurement thus runs
contrary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India plan for the defence sector.
2. Window for make in India – In this current 36 aircraft deal, there is still an opportunity to
promote defence manufacturing, particularly in the private sector. Under the provisions of the
Defence Procurement Procedure (2013 revised), the maintenance transfer of technology contract
for these 36 Rafale fighters must be given to a private-sector vendor instead of the public-sector
HAL.
3. Window for make in India future deal – Also the deal has only decided about the 26 out of 126.
So there is still room open for negotiations the other 90 MMRCA. For that it should make make
in india a precondition.
ii. Procurement –

Notes

1. It sets a precedent for future defence procurements.

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2. The government should be careful to not go down that road. It should, instead, identify the
reasons for India’s long-winded defence procurement process, where foreign suppliers either end
up getting blacklisted or get entangled in protracted negotiations. Defence Minister Manohar
Parrikar has already promised a streamlining of the defence procurement process in line with
the Make in India programme. The earlier he does it, the better.
4.

What about the original tender – has ended
a. Couple of days later, defense minister said that all future deals for Rafale fighters would also be
through government to government route, indicating that the USD 20 billion MMRCA tender has
virtually been scrapped.
b. Noting that MMRCA negotiation had entered into a “loop” or a “vortex” with no solution in sight,
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said direct negotiations with France will now decide how much
more Rafale has to be bought and if it will be under ‘Make in India’ programme.

4)

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c. The minister refrained from giving a direct reply to questions whether requirement of Air Force for
more MMRCA will be through Rafale or if any other player can come into action.
Overall comment on his French visit –

1. The two nations elevate their strategic ties to a new level as they agreed on a deal for 36 Rafale fighter
jets and decided to move ahead with the log-stalled Jaitapur nuclear project.
4)(a) Modi’s visit to germany – April 2015
1) Intro –
2.

PM visited Germany in mid April, 2015. It was his 2nd stop in the 3 nation tour (1st being France and
3rd being Canada)

2) Highlights, agreements –
1.

Economic

GS

a. PM Modi inaugurated the Hannover fair (the world’s largest industrial fair), of which India was a
partner country with a theme of ‘Make in India’.
b. Both leaders spoke in favour of a FTA between EU and India. PM Modi said that this was important
for the expansion of India as a manufacturing hub.
c. PM Modi promised to set up a mechanism to help German companies invest and do business in India —
something that he has done only for Japan and the US.
2.

Urban
a. The joint statement by both countries recognized the establishment of a working group on urban
development.

3.

Education
a. The two countries said stronger educational exchanges will be encouraged along with collaborations
between universities.

3) about Indo-German relations –
Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe and total bilateral trade between the two countries
was valued at 17 billion dollars in 2013.

Notes



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There are currently more than 1,600 Indo-German business collaborations and 600 Indo-German joint
ventures in operation.



Both should be a permanent member of UNSC.

4) “India’s priorities fit well with Germany’s expertise” –
This was said by PM modi when he visited Germany in April 2015.
a. Generating jobs for India’s youthful population is a key to harnessing India’s demographic advantage.
b. This can be achieved only when we significantly and quickly ramp up our manufacturing capabilities.
To meet this objective, my government has unveiled the “Make in India” initiative which will not
generate employment but will also create a market for more trade and investment.
c. Our strategy for “Make in India” requires the urgent creation of new infrastructure.

2.

German Expertise

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d. The substantial enhancement in financing in the federal budget for highways, railways and energy is a
step in this direction.

a. International support and collaboration is equally critical to achieving our objectives.
Important Excerpts from PM Speech

b. Germany enjoys a special place in this context. Our priorities fit well with Germany’s expertise. India’s
development needs can become business opportunities for German industry.
c. We take satisfaction from the presence of more than 1,600 Indo-German collaborations. Nonetheless,
a great deal of potential remains unrealised.
d. Higher levels of investments are possible, and indeed desirable.

e. Germany is globally renowned for its engineering, innovation and skills. The capacities of your
Mittelstand and family-owned businesses are well known. I invite them to come to India.
We see Germany as our preferred partner in developing the skills of young Indians.

GS

f.

g. We also want to learn from Germany’s path-breaking experiences in renewable energy. We wish to
replicate your success in solar rooftop projects and off-grid solar and wind power solutions, as well as
your expertise in grid integration and management. Our smart city project can utilise your technologies
to achieve water, waste and urban development objectives. We admire Germany’s achievements in the
application of technology solutions to meet environmental challenges. You are also our natural ally in
my government’s “Clean India” initiative. We also want to benefit from Germany’s experience in
cleaning the River Ganga.
h. We invite your transport companies, including your railways, to assist us in the modernization of our
transport networks. Your logistics and infrastructure companies can contribute to the ongoing development
of industrial corridors in India.
5) Comment on his visit –
Even with Germany, a pioneer in the innovative use of renewable energy, we seem to have missed the
opportunity and diverted our emphasis to all other areas of cooperation.



My visit to Germany and India’s participation at the Hannover Messe as a partner country is aimed
at realizing the immense possibilities that exist beteen us.

Notes



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2

CANADA

1) Modi's Canadian Visit
1) Introduction
1.

PM visited Canada in mid April, 2015. It was his 3rd stop in the 3 nation tour (the 1st 2 being France
and Germany)

2.

First PM – Modi became the first PM to arrive in Canada in a stand-alone bilateral visit in 42 years.

1.

Energy

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2) Highlights

a. Both countries signed an agreement for long-term supply of Uranium to India which will power atomic
reactors of india.
b. Both countries agreed to increase collaboration in the fields of energy efficiency, oil and gas development
and renewable energy. It is of significance as Canada has the 3rd largest proven reserves of hydrocarbons
in the world.
2.

Space –

a. Space cooperation MOU signed between Canadian space agency and ISRO
The 2 countries have also agreed to cooperate in rail, social security and health sectors

4.

Health –
a.

GS

3.

b. India and Canada looked forward to an investment of CAD $2.5 million in five health innovations
in India by Grand Challenges Canada and its Indian partner – the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry
of Science and Technology.
5.

Education/skill development –

a. MOUs were signed between national skill development council and Canadian institutes.
6.

Travel –
a. Air Canada has said that it plans to have direct flights from Toronto to New Delhi — an outcome that
is believed to have resulted from PM’s bilateral visit.
b. Transport Canada and Ministry of Civil Aviation have decided to partner in airport development.
c. Visa on Arrival facility granted to Canadian nationals.

7.

Terrorism –

Notes

a. Both leaders vowed to deepen cooperation in fighting against terrorism and violent extremism.

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8.

Skill development –
a. 13 MoUs were signed between the National Skill Development Council of India and
13 Canadian colleges, institutes, and Sector Skills Councils in the fields such as agriculture,
automotive, aviation, construction, healthcare, hydrocarbons and IT. 

9.

Indian Diaspora –
a. His visit was largely welcomed by Canada, a country home to a million + Indian Diaspora (many of
whom hold influential Political portfolio; some are even MPs ). He addressed a 8,000-strong audience
of Indo-Canadians at Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum. It was an event similar to the PM’s Madison Square
Garden event in the US.

3)

Detail of nuclear deal – (including timeline)
Canada played a key role in India’s nuclear evolution, having supplied the first
Indian reactor CIRUS in 1954.

1974; cooperation
ended

The exports of uranium and nuclear hardware to India were, however, stopped
after New Delhi used Canadian technology to carry out a peaceful nuclear test
in 1974.

2013

In 2013, the 2 countries signed a civil nuclear deal.

2015 (Modi-Harper
uranium supply deal

a) supply Deal
1. It is worth $ 350 million.

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Early years

2. Under this supply deal, Canada’s largest uranium producer, Cameco Corp,
will supply 3,220 metric tonnes of uranium concentrate for Indian nuclear power
reactors over five years, beginning this year.
3. The 2013 pact on uranium procurement receives a boost.
b) Comment

GS

1. Canada has huge uranium reserves
2. Cameco Corp, based in Saskatchewan in the Canadian prairie, produces,
according to the company’s web site, about 16 % of the world’s uranium.
3. The nuclear component of India’s energy production is currently under 3 per
cent at 6,000 MW. By 2032, India expects to have 45,000 MW of nuclear
capacity, provided it has assured uranium fuel supplies.
4. It will not only meet India’s energy demands but also as said by PM that it
is an effort to save the world from climate change”.

4) Parrot lady –
Canada PM handed over to his counterpart, India’s ‘Parrot Lady’



It is a 3-foot high Indian sandstone sculpture from khujrao temple. The sculpture dates back to the 12th
century.



The Parrot Lady is what is known as a naayika, or heroine.



She is voluptuous, scantily clad and is holding a parrot.

Notes



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She is just one of many erotic stone ladies that were created to adorn the Khajuraho temples.



‘Parrot Lady’ turned up in Canada in 2011 in the possession of an individual who did not have proper
documentation; it was seized under the Cultural Property Export and Import which controls antiquities
and other cultural objects being imported from foreign states. It was returned in accordance with the 1970
UNESCO Convention.

Notes

GS

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3

AUSTRALIA

1) PM of Australia visited India in Sept 2014
1) Highlights -

3.

4.

a.

In Sept 2014, the 2 sides signed a civil nuclear agreement with Australia.

b.

Importance - Australia has about Third of world's recoverable uranium resources and exports nearly
7,000 tonnes of it in a year.

Trade
a.

Australia is also looking to expand trade with India.

b.

Australia wants to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with New Delhi by
2016.

Healthcare
a.

PM of Australia announces AUD 20 million for Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) for
the next 4 years.

b.

They also decided to cooperate in various healthcare areas like malaria vaccine, diabetes etc

New Colombo Plan
a.

5.

Asutrialia announced it to enhance student exchange and collaboration between the universities of
the two countries

Regarding China
a.

6.

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2.

Nuclear deal

GS

1.

Mr. Abbott has made no secret of his view that India's partnership is essential to sustaining the U.Sled push to maintain the strategic balance in East Asia vis-à-vis China.

Natraj Idols
a.

Australian PM handed over 2 ancient idols of Hindu deities which were allegedly stolen from
temples in Tamil Nadu before being bought by art galleries in Australia.

2) Modi's visit to Australia
1) Highlights PM modi is the first Indian Prime Minister in 28 years (since Rajiv Gandhi in 1986) to visit Australia
on an official trip. (to attend the G-20 summit in Brisbane in mid Nov, 2014). Thus it was a long
overdue visit.

2.

He addressed the Diaspora which are among the often ignored, but influential community

Notes

1.

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The newly announced India-Australia strategic framework, that structures annual meetings between
the leaders, defence ministers and regular exchanges between the armed forces and non-defence
forces on counter-terrorism, piracy and cybersecurity, is a positive step that focusses on the shared
strengths of India and Australia.

4.

Australia had formally requested for a "quadrilateral dialogue" with the intent of joining the "IndiaU.S.-Japan" trilateral talks as part of the "Asia dialogue". The issue may raise "tripwires over the
China factor," according to some officials.

Notes

GS

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3.

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4

RUSSIA

1)(a) Eastern Ukraine Crisis (Russia-Ukraine relations)
1) Evolution
November
a.
2.

Friction between Ukraine and Russia increased dramatically in Nov 2013, when Pro-Moscow President
'Viktor' abandoned a EU deal in favor of strong ties with Russia.

February

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1.

a.

Former Ukraine president 'Viktor' fled to Russia after pro-EU demonstrations and subsequently a proEU president (Mr. Petro) came to power.

b.

Crimea formally became part of Russia after it annexed it and subsequently a referendum in Crimea
in which 97% of its people voted in favor of joining it.
Reasons for Capturing
i.

It was under Russian control since Crimean war of 1852-54. In 1954, Russia transferred it to
Ukraine for admin reasons.

ii.

Majority of Crimea's population is ethnic Russian; speaks Russian.

iii. Russia has a historic naval base at Sevastapool (Crimean coastal city). It was on lease to Russia
by Ukraine. This was a source of tension.

v.

Immediate trigger ' In Feb 2014, Former Ukraine president 'Viktor' fled to Russia after pro-EU
demonstrations and subsequently a pro-EU president came to power.

Aftermath
a.

As a domino effect, other regions of eastern Ukraine started demanding autonomy.

b.

Strained tensions between west and Russia (worst clash since end of cold war).

c.

Russia's eastern pivot ' moving closer to China and India.

Donbass war' Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine
a.

Subsequently protests started in other eastern Ukraine areas for merging with Russia. (as many of
these areas have Russian speaking as Mahority)

b.

Following 2 regions conducted referendum and declared that they are Novorhus (new Russia)
i.

Donetsk

ii.

Lugansk

Notes

3.

Its political and eco significance to Russia

GS

2.

iv.

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6.

d.

Although allegedly Russia supported these areas militarily but it opposed their merging with it.

e.

Finally in Sept 2014, a ceasefire was brokered down between pros-Russian rebels and Ukraine.

Minsk protocol (Misnks is a place in Belarus)
a.

A deal to establish a ceasefire, called the Minsk Protocol, was signed on 5 September 2014.

b.

Violations of the ceasefire on both sides was common.

Battle of Debaltseve a.

From mid-January 2015 during the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, the separatist forces of the
Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) sought to recapture the city of Debaltseve in Donetsk Oblast,
which had been under Ukrainian control since a counter-offensive by government forces in July 2014.

b.

Separatists began a concerted effort to force Ukrainian troops out of the city on 16-17 January,
sparking the Battle of Debaltseve.

c.

A ceasefire deal was signed on February 12 (Minsk-2).

d.

Despite the signing of Minsk II, fighting continued around Debaltseve. DPR forces said that ceasefire
did not apply to Debaltseve, and continued their offensive.

e.

Heavy fighting went on until 18 February 2015, when Ukrainian forces were forced to withdraw.

f.

Later violence abated. DPR and LPR forces began to withdraw artillery from the front lines as
specified by Minsk II on 24 February, and Ukraine did so on 26 February.

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5.

They declared independence, Ukraine opposed; fighting resumed between the 2 sides;

Minks 2 - ceasefire deal - Feb, 2015
a.

Minsk is the capital of Belarus

b.

As said above that the ceasefire completely collapsed in January 2015, with renewed heavy fighting
across the conflict zone, including at Donetsk International Airport and Debaltseve. A new ceasefire,
called Minsk II, was agreed to on 12 February 2015.

c.

The plan, similar in content to the failed Minsk Protocol, called for an unconditional ceasefire, to
begin on 15 February, amongst many other measures.

d.

Key points

GS

4.

c.

i.

Ceasefire - Immediate and full ceasefire in particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
of Ukraine.

ii.

Weapon withdrawal from conflict line.

iii. Elections - In a major win for Ukraine, the separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk will hold
their elections under a Ukranian law.

Notes

iv.

16

In a major win for Russia, restoration of Ukranian control over the border with Russia in a
separatist-controlled areas is conditional on Ukraine amending its constitution to grant wide
powers to the eastern regions, including the right to form their own police force and trade freely
with Russia.

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2) Impact
1.

List a.

Ukraine has become closer to western block. Signed association agreement with Europe. About
Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement i.

It establishes a political and economic association between the two parties.

ii.

The agreement commits Ukraine to economic, judicial and financial reforms to converge its
policies and legislation to those of the European Union.

iii. EU agreed to provide Ukraine with political and financial support, access to research and
knowledge, and preferential access to EU markets.

b.

The parties committed to regular summit meetings, and meetings among ministers, other officials,
and experts.

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iv.

Strained tensions between west and Russia (worst clash since end of cold war).
i.

Economic sanctions on Russia; freezing of assets.

ii.

Suspension from G-8.

iii. Russia's threat of not supplying gas to Europe.

Russia's eastern pivot ' moving closer to China and India.

d.

EU is becoming closer due to a common external threat.

New Cold War a.

In the background of Ukraine crisis (i.e., annexation of Crimea, Ukraine's closeness to NATO/EU,
sanctions on Russia, its suspension from G-8 and Russia's eastern pivot) commentators commented
that it is the beginning of a new cold war.

b.

In this cold war there will be a new axis of Russia and China against the US.

c.

Now although its true that it's the worst confrontation between west and Russia but it wont lead to
cold war.

GS

2.

c.

i.

Lack of any ideology; even Russia and China are becoming capitalist economy.

ii.

Russia is not that strong.

iii. Both EU and Russia are interdependent for economic reasons, i.e., trade and gas.
iv.
d.

China and US are economically interdependent.

It has just made the chaotic world more chaotic.

3) India's response
During Putin's Visit to India in December, 2014, following was the Indian response India rejected western sanctions on Russia over Ukraines issue. India said that it will not side with the
West on the Ukraine issue and its policy of imposing unilateral sanctions on countries. India supported
Russia's "legitimate" claim to the Crimean peninsula.

Notes

1.

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2.

Modi recalled the "steadfast support of the Russian people" during the "difficult moments" of the country's
history. He reiterated India's commitment to stand by Russia "through its own challenges".

4) Conclusion with respect to Ukraine
1.

Its wrong to see Ukraine as a local conflict. The war has claimed 5,000 people's life.

2.

And inspite of ceasefire agreement in September 2014, the war is raging more fiercly then ever.

3.

Ideally, Ukraine should be free to make its geopolitical choice and Russia is wrong. But the world is far
from perfect.

4.

And even Ukraine knows that its relationship with Russia is far more substantive then west. Ukraine needs
Russia in short.

5.

Ukraine cant win We all know that Russia is huge and has no trouble projecting its force deep inside Ukraine.

b.

Ukraine is small and weak. Also no western country is contemplating or has even contemplated
sending lethal military aid, let alone troops to bolster Kiev's army.

c.

If this goes on, Ukraine will simply be crushed.

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6.

a.

Economic sanctions failed - West as imposed various sanctions, but

7.

a.

It hasn't harmed Russia much. It has taken an eastern pivot.

b.

Also it has infact hurt the west only. They are dependent on Russia for it.

Way forward a.

Negotiation is the only way out.

1)(b) Eastern Pivot

1.

China -

GS

In view of the open hostility exhibited by the West, Moscow has pivoted its attention to the East. In 2014,
Russia has signed huge energy deals with countries such as China and Turkey. Once completed, these projects
would reduce Russias dependence on Europe which has currently imposed sanctions on it in aftermath of
Crimea crisis.

The energy deals worth around $800 billion with China will see 30 billion cubic metres of Russian gas
being sold annually to that country.

2.

a.

In May 2014 the both the sides concluded an "eastern route" deal, worth $ 400 billion. It would
receives 38 bcm gas under it.

b.

In Nov 2014 the both the sides concluded an " western route" deal. It would receives 38 bcm gas
under it.

Turkey -

Notes

a.

18

During a visit to Turkey in the first week of December, Putin announced the cancellation of the
"South Stream" gas pipeline project that would have supplied Russian gas to southern Europe. Instead,
Russia has signed a groundbreaking deal with Turkey under which Russian gas will now be routed
through Turkey to the European and Asian markets, side-stepping the European Union (E.U.). Southern
Europe, on the other hand, will have to pay 30 per cent more to source its gas from other sources.

www.iasscore.in

Turkey which was looking west for EUs membership has now started looking East for political and
economic succour.
3.

India - Dec 2014 - Gas line unviable
a.

Responding to other questions submitted by Indian journalists on the energy partnership, Mr. Putin
said Russia was looking to "diversify" its natural gas markets from Western countries to Asia. However,
he said a pipeline to India, at the moment, was "commercially unviable", but added that LNG
transportation would continue.

2) Putin's Visit to India in Dec, 2014

3.

4.

a.

India rejected western sanctions on Russia over Ukraines issue. India said that it will not side with the
West on the Ukraine issue and its policy of imposing unilateral sanctions on countries. India supported
Russia's "legitimate" claim to the Crimean peninsula.

b.

Modi recalled the "steadfast support of the Russian people" during the "difficult moments" of the
country's history. He reiterated India's commitment to stand by Russia "through its own challenges".

Defense -

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2.

Ukraine -

a.

To further gladden Russian hearts, Modi pledged that Russia would continue to remain the country's
most important defence partner even if "India's options have increased". Russia was not too happy
with the huge defence orders India had placed in recent years with the U.S., France and Israel. Russian
officials feel that they were not given a level playing field. America is fast closing the gap with Russia
in the supply of military hardware to India. Israel and France also bagged big defence deals during
the 10-year rule of the United Progressive Alliance.

b.

Speaking to the media just ahead of Putin's visit, the Russian Ambassador said that Russia was the
first country to implement a "Make in India" policy in the field of defence production. He said that
today even the SU-30s, the backbone of the Indian Air Force, were "Made in India". The Russian side
has agreed to produce Mi-17 medium lift and Ka-226 light utility helicopters in India in partnership
with an Indian firm.

c.

Russia has indicated that it would like to locate other aerospace projects too in India. Russia has
offered to produce civilian passenger planes. The two sides have agreed to move ahead on the longdelayed projects to jointly develop a fifth-generation fighter jet and a multi-role transport aircraft.

Nuclear -

GS

1.

a.

The most important takeaway for india was the announcement that Russia would be constructing an
additional 12 new nuclear reactors in the country by 2035. Russia will start by building two more
nuclear reactors in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu, by 2016. This is in addition to the two reactors that
are expected to go on stream very soon.

b.

Unlike US & France, Russia has not made much of a fuss about India's "nuclear liability law" though
the Russians too would like the law to be either scrapped or diluted.

Diamond Another key agreement inked during Putin's visit was the $2.1 billion deal to directly source raw
diamonds from Russia. India is the biggest manufacturer of cut and polished diamonds. India currently
sources most of the diamonds from Dubai and the West.

Notes

a.

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7.

Energy There were no hydrocarbon deals on the scale which Russia has signed with China and Turkey during
Putin's visit. Geographical distance is, of course, a factor, though the Russians are looking at the
feasibility of extending one of their gas pipelines in China to India. Before his India visit, Putin had
observed that shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia would be cheaper than constructing
a pipeline to carry gas to India.

b.

A more modest agreement between India's Essar and Russia's Rosneft was signed for the long-term
supply of 10 million tonnes of crude oil at a concessional rate. Negotiations are on for oil and gas
exploration projects by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the Arctic region and East
Siberia. More than 60 per cent of India's oil imports are sourced from West Asia. The quantity
imported from Russia is less than 1 per cent. There is a need for India to diversify its sources as the
demand for energy rises domestically.

Trade & investment a.

Both sides agreed on the urgency to boost bilateral trade, which languishes at a paltry $10 billion
annually. To boost trade and investment, the Russian side has liberalised visa rules for Indian
businessmen and professionals. To facilitate investment growth, the two countries are working out
modalities for Rupee-Rouble trade. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)
countries have agreed in principle to bypass the U.S. dollar and trade mainly in their own currencies.

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8.

a.

3) Pakistan - Russia (Visit by Russian Defense Minister in Dec 2014)

2.

Introduction a.

Russian Defence Minister visited Pakistan in Islamabad in November 2014. This was the first-ever
visit by a Russian Defence Minister in 45 years to the country.

b.

The 2 countries signed a military cooperation agreement to deepen their defense ties.

c.

However no firm deal has been struck with Pakistan for the sale of military helicopters.

d.

Indian side had signalled its displeasure on the Russian government's willingness to sell military
hardware to Pakistan.

e.

Russian president assured India that his country would never do anything "detrimental" to the
security interests of India.

GS

1.

Why Russia is getting close to Pakistan a.

India moving close to west and Israel especially in defense deals i.

b.

Afghan factor -

Notes

i.

20

Until recently, Russia, in deference to the wishes of its close strategic ally India, had abstained
from selling arms to Pakistan. But with India sidelining Russia and going in for multi-billion
dollar deals with the West and Israel, there evidently has been a rethink in Moscow.

Russia evidently feels that Pakistan will be playing a key role in Afghanistan in the coming
years. Russia has a stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue to play role in Afghanistan
especially when U.S.-NATO forces are drawing down from Afghanistan.

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5

WEST ASIA

1) Lausanne deal (Iran)
a) Intro
1.

In April 2015 at Lausanne (Switzerland), Iran and P5+1 countries (5 permanennt members of UNSC and
Germany) reached a preliminary framework agreement on curbing irans ncuelar program for atleast a
decade

Notes

GS

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b)(i) Background to understand the deal -

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Western countries argue that this enriched uranium and plutonium will be used for making bombs; iran says
that it is doing it only for peaceful energy generation.
b)(ii) Details of Lausanne deal The deal will be for 15 yrs
1.

What Iran Conceded
a. Regarding Curbing the uranium path - Iran has agreed to
i.

To curb the enrichment levels to 3.7% fr next 15 yrs (For power reactors, 5% is optimum level,
for atom bombs 90% enrichment is done; iran at present is processing ore to 20% enrichment)

ii. To cut its stockpile this kind of low-enriched uranium (3.7%) from 10,000 Kgs to 300 Kgs for
15 yrs.

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iii. To reduce the no. of centrifuges installed by 2/3rd (i.e. from 19,000 centrifuges installed today
to 6,000 under future accord)
iv. it will not build any new enrichment facilities for next 15 years
v. To convert its giant enrichment site at fordo into a center for nuclear Physics and technology
research.
b. Regarding curbing the Plutonium path i.

(Iran is constructing a nuclear reactor at Arak that would use natural uranium to produce Pu-239,
the kind of plutonium that can be used to make bombs.) Under the deal, Iran has agreed to
redesign and rebuild the arak reactor based on a design that will not produce weapons-grade
plutonium. The original core of the reactor will be either destroyed or removed.

ii. Iran will not build any additional heavy water reactors for 15 years.

i.

GS

c. Regarding Inspection -

IAEA can inspect the entire supply chain through which the crucial materials (for the nuclear
programme) are obtained, and thus to Iran's uranium mines and processing facilities over a period
of 25 years.

ii. It can investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert facilities anywhere in the country.
d. Extending the breakout time - not clear; can delete it
i.

The agreement increases the breakout time from 2/3 months to atleast one year.

ii. Breakout time means the time needed to detect and respond to an attempt by Iran to subvert the
deal by producing enough bomb-grade material for a singular nuclear weapon.
2.

What Iran gained
a. Sanctions - The punitive oil & economic, oil & nuclear sanctions imposed by the US and the EU on
Iran will be "suspended" (not lifted) after the IAEA verifies that all the above steps have been taken.
We say "not lifted" because such sanctions can "snap back into place" if the "judges" of the IAEA
declare that Iran has not complied with any of what it has committed to fulfill.

Notes

b. And, as a sop, the agreement "encourages" international cooperation to aid Iran's civil nuclear R&D.

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c) Subsequent Steps 1.

It should be remembered that this is only an interim agreement, not final agreement.

2.

This accord will serve as the basis of a final deal by June 30.

3.

US has also said that it is keeping all the options opeb if any aspect of the deal is ignored.

d) Analysis / implications The deal was hailed in Iran and western countries. Its implications For nuclear disarmament

a.

It will stop Iran from possessing nuclear arms

b.

Acc. to obama, it was the best way of limiting Iran's nuclear ambitions. Military action woukdnt yile dthe
result

2.

For Iran a. Economy i.

Sanctions have crippled all sectors of its economy. Its oil exports have drastically reduced. It will
also bring more investment.

b. End isolation i.

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1.

It would end Iran's isolation from the world. Or in words of President Hassan Rouhani it is the
1st step towards building a new relationship with the world.

ii. President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate was elected 2 years ago on promise to reduce
Iran's isolation.

d. Regional power
i.

GS

c. Western Europe is looking for alternative gas supplies to lessen its dependence on Russia.

Iran, already a key player in the region is likely to emerge stronger.

ii. Iran already has enhanced influence in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and, most recently, Yemen.
e. US-Iran relations
i.

It is the biggest opportunity for approachment between Washington and Tehran, since became
enemies after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

ii. Stability in Iraq and Afghanistan (the 2 neighbors of iran) is of vital importance to US as well
Iran. The rise of the Islamic State (IS) has brought about a significant change in the geopolitical
situation in West Asia.
iii. With emergence of iran as a stable and influencing political player in conflict-torn west asia, west
needs iran more then ever. They are already fighting against the IS.

Notes

iv. However, this doesn't means that this willresolve all the disputes as we areseeing recently in
yemen and Syria where iran and Saudi along with US are on the opposite sides.

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3.

Iran's rival a. Saudi i.

Before the final deal was reached Saudis gave a hint of developing a nuclear deterrent of their
own if the deal is reached.

ii. Can intensify the sectarian rivalry between Saudi (and its Sunni allies), and Iran and its allies
b. Israel i.

Israel openly said that its security is compromised. Infact in March 2015 its represetative even
gave a speech in US congress where he slammed the US-Iran nuclear deal o n the ground that
it would legitimize Iran' nuclear program

ii. And it is believed that now it will be working overtime with his friends in both the parties esp.
republicans to stop the final deal.

4.

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iii. Infact it even said that it can take military action by launching airstrikes. However, chances of
Israel going alone militarily are less as US wont support.
India -Where does India stand on the deal?

a. As was evident from the prompt official statement welcoming the deal, this is something that India
has been wanting for a long time. Many of India's regional aspirations were often found stuck, because
of the sanctions on Iran.
b. Afghanistan - With Pakistan unrelenting in its opposition on regional issues, especially Afghanistan,
India found it difficult to deliver and execute its goodwill in Afghanistan. The only alternative has
been Iran. And if Iran were to become part of the mainstream, things become easier for India.
c. Central Asia - Also, India's 'Connect Central Asia' initiative launched in 2012 could get the desired
connectivity options and fillip to boost trade and cooperation with CAR through Iran.

GS

d. Energy imports - Energy imports (crude oil and natural gas) are a huge burden on the Indian economy.
Sanctions on Iran curtailed imports of energy from that country. This is likely to be reversed when
sanctions are lifted.
e. Chahbar port - India has signed a contract to develop the Chahbahar port in Iran. The lifting of
sanctions on Iran will help in expediting work on this project as well as help in developing the railroad link from Chahbahar to Afghanistan, a key requirement to ship out iron ore from the Hajigak
mines in Afghanistan. Also, the Chahbahar port could add value to India's strategic needs in the
Persian Gulf region.
f.

Alternative to TAPI - The TAPI pipeline, which promises to deliver Turkmen gas to India, is potentially
stuck across two obstacles, Afghanistan and Pakistan. While Afghanistan can neither fund nor guarantee
safe transit due to its fragile internal situation, Pakistan is still unwilling to facilitate this pipeline to
India citing technical and security issues. In such a situation, natural gas from Turkmenistan could
come directly to Chahbahar port and thereafter taken either through an under-sea pipeline or by
containers to India.

Notes

g. The further decline in oil prices that is likely to follow the agreement will be a huge financial boon
for India, which imports most of its hydrocarbons. Some are speculating that oil could hit as low as
$20 a barrel once the West eases sanctions on Iran's petroleum sector and Tehran ramps up production
in the coming months and years.

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h. India must now prepare to deal with a rebalanced middle east, a region that has not received adequate
attention in recent past. A prime ministerial visit to the region, long overdue, will help. Delhi needs
to take a fresh strategic look at the region.
d) (ii) Why USA clinched a deal with Iran 1.

Due to obvious reason of nuclear disaramament, which if continues can led to nuclear arms race in west
asia with Saudi Arabia joning it.

2.

Regional dynamics - The Iran nuclear deal should not, however, be seen in isolation. There has been a clear
realisation in the West, especially in the US, that Iran needs to be brought out of international isolation
and into the mainstream. This has much to do with the regional dynamics surrounding Iran.
a. Among these the first is probably Afghanistan. When the drawdown plan was announced in 2012,
three things were clear.
Firstly, Pakistan would continue to play spoilsport despite all pressures.

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i.

ii. Secondly, Afghanistan could in no way be expected to stand on its own, at least for the next
decade.
iii. And thirdly, among the other countries in the region, Iran, with its political and cultural linkages
as well as a long common border, was one of the most influential stakeholders which could not
only provide alternate access to Afghanistan but also positively affect Afghanistan's transition.
b. Iraq is the next important factor. After the US withdrawal in 2011, Iraq was considered well and truly
under the Iranian umbrella. When the sudden onslaught of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
broke out in June 2014, the US and the international community were at a loss on how to tackle this
menace. Again, it was Iran which not only sent its militia and Basij forces into Iraq to assist the regime
safeguard the country's precious oilfields but also shared critical inputs on the strength and capabilities
of the ISIS. There were talks of the US-led coalition supporting Iran in its fight against the ISIS (now
called IS) but the sanctions against Iran prevented any arrangement.

GS

c. Syria, being torn apart by a civil war since 2011 and is now bearing the brunt of the IS onslaught, is
another factor. Iran has staunchly supported the Assad regime while the entire region led by Saudi
Arabia was busy supporting, financing and arming the anti-Assad rebels.
d. There have also been suggestions that if Iran were to be on-board, the Central Asian Republics (CAR),
some of which share religious and strong cultural linkages with Iran, could be suitably weaned away
from Russian influence. With Russia's attempts in Ukraine threatening regional peace and order in East
Europe, this could be a significant step towards thwarting Russian designs in the region.
e) Concluding remark it is a handsome rewards of diplomacy, in contrast to military options.

2.

It is too early to celebrate as republicans are opposed to this deal and can try to derail it. Obama has to
deal with them at home.

3.

One is left wondering if, in such circumstances, Iran could ever have negotiated to make West Asia a
nuclear-weapon-free zone by demanding the dispossession of Israel of its stockpile of nuclear weapons.
The so-called "international community," which is beholden to the world's foremost imperialist power, has
never called for any of the kinds of punitive sanctions that Iran is being subjected to apply to Israel. Of
course, the world's foremost imperialist power has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and is the only

Notes

1.

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national power to have used nuclear bombs. Yet, the "international community" concedes to it the right
to keep all other nations under its control on nuclear matters. The duplicity and the self-serving logic of
imperialism are starkly evident, except that the conservative and liberal strategic-affairs experts refuse to
even acknowledge its existence.
2) IS [Islamic state (Daesh)]

1) Overview 1.

Intro a. Names
i.

Previously known as ISIL (Islamic state in Iraq and Levant)

ii. Daesh ' an Arabic acronym for it.

b. About IS
i.

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iii. Dawlat al-Islamiyah f'al-Iraq w Belaad al-Sham

It's an al-Qaeda breakaway group.

ii. Group is led by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi
iii. They are Sunni.

iv. They have 70,000 fighters
c. Aim
i.

to establish an "Islamic caliphate" in parts of Iraq and Syria. It controls vast stretches of north
Syria and NW Iraq.

ii. It seeks to impose its harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

i.

GS

d. Oil
Oil field controlled by them are generating income, which is financing their operations.

ii. It supplements smuggling, robberies and ransom payments.
2.

Reasons for its Emergence

a. Long Sectarian struggle going on between 3 main ethnic groups (Shias, Sunnis and Kurds)
i.

Demography of Iraq 1.

95% muslim

2.

65% muslims are shia; 35% are Sunni i.e. shia majority.

3.

(then why fighting with iran…bcoz saddam was a sunni)

ii. US action against Saddam Hussein ended Sunni dominance of Iraq. Also under his despotic rule,
sectarian clashes were less. current dream of Nation building is very difficult is absence of strong
leader.

Notes

iii. Subsequent withdrawl of US in 2009; Iraqi army is weak.

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iv. Nour-al-Maliki he is a shia. His rule aggravated tensions as he followed a sectarian agenda and
thus alienated the countrys sunni population.
v. Vaccum in Iraq - Their failure to reach any agreement regarding a national unity govt.
vi. Syrian civil war and persecution of sunnis there
b. Disappointment with al-Qaeda '
i.

Death of charismatic leader osama and present leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri is not considered
charismatic.

ii. Failure to launch any major attack on west.
iii. US war on terror reduced al-qaedas strength with constant attacks.

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iv. Unlike al-qaeda which doesn't want to establish a state, IS has established a separate caliphate in
area they control.
c. Role of Saudi Arabia - Until 2013, the Saudis and their allies in the region armed and trained radical
Islamist groups and the allegedly "moderate" Free Syrian Army to fight in Syria. Many of the fighters,
along with their weaponry, defected either to the Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate, or the I.S.
3.

Consequence / impact a. To West Asia
i.

Threatened the political geography of region

ii. If it advances more then can lead to a Jewish-Muslim conflict.
iii. Can lead to sunni-shia conflict with IS against Iran.

iv. If it succeeds in Iraq then spillover to GCC is inevitable.

i.

Women

GS

b. Human Right Violation

1. IS has setup Al-khanssaa brigade (an all - female militia by IS)
2. Al - Khanssaa published a document wrt women in jan 2015
a. Age of marriage i.

It is legitimate for a girl to be married at age of 9;

ii.

Ideally they should be married at age of 16/17

b. They should stay at home; should go out only in exceptional circumstances like
i. Waging jihad (when men are less in no.)
ii. Or to study religion
ii. Beheading of journalists 2 american, 1 british, 1syrian; burning alive of Jordanian pilot
c.

Global terrorism
Abu bakr in a audio message urged muslims around the world to unite and to avenge the crimes
committed against their religion.

Notes

i.

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ii. Especially with foreign fighters
1. Foreign fighters from 50 countries, including from india are fighting for IS. Return of these
radicalized juihadists will renew violence
iii. Posses challenge to global leadership of Al-Qaeda.
d.

Kursdistan (a new nation?)
i.

Iraqi Kurdistan is functioning largely outside Baghdad's control.

ii. In June 2014, the Kurdish President announced plans to hold an official independence referendum
"within several months".
4.

Global Response
a. THE ALLIANCE

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i. The US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE have
carried out air strikes against the IS. (+ training of armies of iraq)
(The US and its allies do not want to get drawn into another long, expensive ground war. So
they are only resorting to air strikes and training Iraqi army and regional forces like the Kurdish
Peshmerga)
ii. Iran is waging a parallel war against the IS, and supplying the Iraqi armed forces. In all, 62
countries have contributed some form of military or financial aid to the effort.
iii. Plus there are the 271,000-strong Iraqi Armed Forces, the 150,000-strong Syrian army, and the
150,000-strong Kurdish Peshmerga militia.
b.

Some gains made recently but…. i.

In january end, Kurdish fighters expelled IS from kobane (a syrian town) after 4 months of fighting;
they claimed to kill 1,000 IS fighters

GS

ii. Also in early feb, some data revealed that as of now some 6000 IS fighters have been killed including
half of group top commanders.
iii. In april 2015 iraqi govt declared that it has expelled IS from Tikrit. It has been claimed as the biggest
victory against IS till now.
c.

Why its still difficult for some time to defeat IS
i.

US isn't actually committed to defeating the IS. The US and its allies do not want to get drawn into
another long, expensive ground war.

ii. The air raids led by the U.S. have played a key role in the recapture of small towns like Kobane. But
the town itself was completely flattened. Bigger cities like Mosul, with more than a million residents,
will have to be completely destroyed if the I.S. is to be driven out.
iii. Iraq’s army is weak. Although west is training them, but building armies, takes time - and until then,
IS is likely to thrive.

Notes

iv. The priority for the Gulf monarchies even today is to pin down the Muslim Brotherhood and the
Shias. The Brotherhood and Hizbollah have been branded as terrorist organisations in many of the
Gulf monarchies.

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5.

Its gaining strength in other places also
a. The I.S. has not confined itself to beheading and killing of hostages in the areas it controls in Syria
and Iraq.
b. In the Sinai Peninsula, an Egyptian group affiliated to the I.S., the Ansar Beit al Maqdis, staged an
attack on Egyptian army and police posts in the last week of January. At least 32 security personnel
were killed in that attack, and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi cut short his visit to Addis
Ababa for the African Union (A.U.) summit.
c. In the Libyan capital, Tripoli, a group affiliated to the I.S. attacked the Corinthia Hotel, a five-star
facility frequented by foreigners and high dignitaries. Among those killed were Americans working in
the oil sector. Earlier in the year, the I.S. staged an attack on a Saudi border post, killing a senior army
officer. After the new King was sworn in, the I.S. has announced that overthrowing the monarchy in
Saudi Arabia will be high on its priority list.

1)(b) Brutal killings 1.

Notable Cases:

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d. In August 2014, the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau declared his allegiance to the Islamic State.

a. Most recent being the beheading of Japanese hostages and burning of Jordanian pilot. In return they
demanded release of their soldier and 200 million USD.
b. In feb, 2015 IS beheaded 21 egyptian Christian hostages in Libya

c. More can follow - Acc, to feb 6, 2015 article, 20 foreign hostages are still known to be in IS custody.
The fate of at least 100 others - including 39 Indians - is unknown. Thousands of Iraqi and Syrian
nationals too are hostage, among them, Yazidi women kidnapped to be sold as slaves, and ordinary
people held for ransom by criminal groups operating under the IS umbrella.
2.

Why are they doing it -

GS

a. Gain attention/publicity
b. Just paying back; even US did torture in guatanamo bay and recently revealed by CIA
c. Manifestation of madness
d. Part of a plan

i. In 2004, an islamist strategist wrote a book "Management of Savagery" in which provide a
strategy for jihadists groups to create a new Islamic caliphate. In this he said that a conditionprecedent for the creation of an Islamic state was to force its varied adversaries into an alliance
- and that, he had argued, could only be brought about by calibrated violence. i.e. by terrorizing
their opposition they will provoke enemies into disproportionate retaliation that might rally
around populations under IS rule. And it has been a success as its brutal killings of Shi'as have
led to retaliatory killings by Shi'a militias in southern Iraq, polarising the population, and
winning the jihadists new recruits. And western involvement in the war is drawing in ever-more
European recruits.
Other incidences in other parts

4.

Does the brutality shown by IS have anything to do with religion?

Notes

3.

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a. In the eyes of the IS itself, yes. Their leaders claim legitimacy for their actions from the Quran's verse
47:4, which states that the heads of unbelievers must be struck off until they have been "crushed
completely".
b. And yet, the IS's ultra-violence isn't something that has never been seen before. The Taliban, and their
jihadist adversaries, have committed brutal war crimes, Pol Pot slaughtered 1.7 million and ran a
school for torture, body parts have been hacked in ethnic-religious conflicts in Africa, and Mexican
narco-cartels have castrated a captive alive and peeled skin from his face before beheading and hacking
the body in pieces.
5.

Acc. to me if they continue doing so then it will push the country to act against it; they are crossing the
limit.

2) Indian scenario 1.

Terrorism -

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a. Although almost all Indian Muslims - including activists, intellectuals and religious leaders - have
denounced the IS but still some youth have joined it.
b. Return of radicalized Jihadists to India
c. By neighbours
i. Pakistan


it is a sunni nation. IS may utilize the destability there to get a foothold in the region.



TTP and some other groups have shown allegiance to IS.



They would want a nuclear-armed Islamised Pakistan becoming a province of his caliphate.

ii. In other neighbours ' persecution of rohingyas in myanmar, mulsms by Buddhist radicals.
d. Al-Qaeda has opened a south Asian branch
Status of indian hostages -

GS

2.

a. 39 Indian hostages held by the I.S. since the fall of Mosul last year.
b. The Indian government has been insisting that they are alive. Iraqi diplomats have also concurred with
this despite some reports suggesting that they were killed seven months ago.The Indian government
has deployed a diplomat along with two intelligence officers to secure the release of the 39 Indian
workers. A media report, quoting two Bangladeshi workers released by the I.S., said that the I.S. had
executed the Indians after segregating them from other prisoners. External Affairs Minister Sushma
Swaraj stated in Parliament that she believed that the 39 Indians were still alive and the government
was hoping to bring them home safely.
3.

India joining US led alliance a. The Obama administration is keen on countries like India joining the military alliance it hastily
cobbled up against the I.S. six months ago. Any overt or covert involvement of India in the U.S.-led
enterprise could have an adverse impact on the fate of 39 Indian hostages held by the I.S. since the
fall of Mosul last year.

Notes

b. One reason India has stayed away from the fight is that it doesn't want to provoke terrorist attacks
at home.

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4.

Challenges in India a. RAW is short of language & technology skills;
b. Domestic communalism, rise of Hindutva is an opportunity for IS.

3) Leviant ' eastern medditerranean
See from below

2.

Previously IS was known as ISIL (Islamic state in Iraq and leviant)

Notes

GS

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1.

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3) SYRIAN CIVIL WAR

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1) Geography of Syria -

2) Religious Demography of Syria - 2011

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1. Muslims - 90 %

a. Sunni Muslims - 74%

b. Other Muslims - 16%

i. I,e, including Alawites, Shia and Ismaili
ii. Alawite is an offshoot of shia islam comprising 10-12% of total population of syria
2. Christians etc. - 10%
3) Rulers 1.

Assad family is ruling Syria since 1970
a. The Assad family comes from the minority Alawite religious group, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
Alawites comprises 12 % of the total Syrian population
Present president - basher al-assad

3.

Their party's name - Ba'ath party

Notes

2.

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3) Syrian civil war 1.

Intro a. It is going on since 2011; it was part of the larger Arab Spring.
b. The peaceful antigovt protests turned into a civil war, when basher al-assad launched a violent crackdown
on the protesters.
c. To counter it various rebel groups were formed including members of, yrian aremed forces which
defected from it.
d. Prominent rebel groups are
i. Islamic front (syria)

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ii. Free Syrian army
iii. Al-Nusrat (an Al-Qaeda affiliate group)
2.

Reasons -

a. Pro-democracy protest; in general resentment to authoritarian regime i.e. either you are against the
president or opposed to it
b. This conflict acquired a Sectarian conflict as the assad family belongs to minority Alwaites (an offshoot
of shia islam) whereas 75% of Syrians are sunni.
c. This is complicated by Coming in of

i. other ethnic conflicts like kurds, Christians etc

GS

ii. foreign intervention i.e. iran and hezzbollah group being shia are supporting the Syrian govt,
whereas Saudi and other sunni groups supporting the rebels
iii. Emergence of IS (a sunni group) it originated in Iraq but taking advantage of chaos and entered
Syria.
3.

Present status

a. The civil war is still going on

b. Humanitarian loss - as of march 2015
i. How many killed - 2 lakh
ii. How many displaced - 9 million
iii. Use of chemical weapons was confirmed by UN.
c. Present map of Syria - which part is under control of whom

Notes

i. Source - wiki page of Syrian civil war.

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4) ISRAEL

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a)(i) Intro -

Notes

GS

b)(ii) timeline of Israeli occupation of Palestine -

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b) 2015 (Recent Events)
1) Operation Protective Edge
1.

Introduction
a. On 8 July 2014, Israel launched a military operation which it designated Operation Protective Edge
in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
b. Reason
i. According to Israel there was kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers by two Hamas
members.
ii. Then an Israeli crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank was launched.
iii. Hamas started firing rocket from Gaza into Israel

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iv. And to counter it Israel launched operation protective edge.
c. On 26 August, an open-ended ceasefire was announced.

d. It killed more than 2,200 people, the vast majority of them Gazans.
2.

India's stand

a. In the past few years, India has taken a more nuanced position on the Israel - conflict, away from its
pro-Palestine stand.
b. Although India voted against Israel at the UN human rights council this year during the recent conflict
in Gaza but the govt. refused to condemn Israel's action in its statement.

2) Palestine's recognition by world -

In 2014, the parliaments of several European nations (including Britain) voted to ask their governments
to recognise the state of Palestine.

4.

In late 2014, Many EU states i.e. govts recognized Palestine -

GS

3.

a. 7 EU members of Eastern Europe have recognized Palestine - Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech, Hungary,
Malta, Poland and Romania.
b. In Oct 2014, Sweden officially recognized Palestine, thus becoming the 1st western European member.
5.

In December 2014, the European parliament too adopted a resolution favouring recognition.

6.

In Jan 2015, International Criminal Court accepted Palestine as a member beginning 1 April, opening up
the possibility of Palestine moving the court on the matter of the settlements in violation of international
law.

3) UNSC rejects Palestinian resolution 1.

About the Palestinian - drafted resolution a. What the resolution said i. It set a 12-month deadline for Israel to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians

Notes

ii. Called for a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.

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b. If passed then it would have paved the way for an independent Palestinian State with east Jerusalem
as its capital.
2.

On 31st Dec UNSC rejected it
a. Only 8 voted in favor (china, France, russia) (reqd min 9)
b. Australia and the United States voted against, and five other countries abstained, including Britain.

4) Palestine joins ICC 1.

Timeline a. In late Dec, 2014, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas signed a request to join the ICC;
b. In Jan 2015, Palestine joined the court's founding Rome Statute and
c. in April 2015 it formally joined the ICC.
This will open the door to the possible prosecution of Israelis for alleged war crimes committed "in the
occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014".

3.

In Jan 2015 Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, decided to open a preliminary examination of alleged
war crimes committed during Israel's military offensive on Gaza in June 2014

4.

Debate

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2.

Criticism

Counter - argument

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Juridical nature of the ICC tends to hinder
the peace process rather than build it

First, the role of the ICC must be clearly understood. The ICC
is not meant to be a political body mediating a peace process;
it is envisaged as a judicial body meant to end impunity and
hold accountable those who have committed the gravest of
crimes.

Peace process in the case of Israel-Palestine is anyway in deadlock,
the politics of peace cannot prevail over justice, accountability
for heinous crimes, and the upholding of dignity, women's rights
and other human rights.

Grim record the Court has been ineffective
and slow in investigating crimes.

Second, even if the ICC is a slow and ineffective mechanism,
holding those responsible for human rights violations in war
crimes is necessary.

Israel claims to be fighting the war against
Hamas, that it considers a terrorist
organisation; so the move of the ICC,
argues, amounts to absurdity.

Third, the investigation is against any person who may have
committed war crimes during the conflict. So, both Hamas and
Israel would be under the ICC's investigation.

5) Israeli Legislative Election, 2015 - Netanhayu Wins 3rd Term
1.

About the elections a. Elections for the 20th Knesset (Israel's parliament) were held on 17th march, 2015

Notes

b. In this incumbent PM Benjamin Netanhayu-led right-wing coalition Won again

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i. His Likud party won the largest no. of seats (30 out of 120)
ii. He is also known as Bibi
iii. He gets a 3rd term as the PM.
c. One of the major reason for his victory was the overwhelming support from Jewish settler groups on
the west bank and east Jerusalem. During his tenure he played an important role in the construction
of illegal settlements on Palestinian territories.
2.

Analysis, reactions to it a. Netanhayu's attitude towards Palestine i. He is hostile to the aspirations of Palestine. In his run-up to the elections he clearly said that
he would ensure that there is no Palestine state.

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ii. Barbaric attacks on Palestinians (like the one in late 2014) and construction of illegal settlements
will continue.
b. Reaction of Palestine - they are happy. Why

i. Firstly they know that no Israeli leader is serious about the 2 state solution as envisaged in 1993
Oslo accord. All the major parties in Israel, despite their formal commitment to 2-state solution
are infact united on the long-term game plan to annex most of the west bank and Jerusalem.
ii. And Infact with Netanhayu remaining at helm, his apartheid policies will continue which will
be in international spotlight and that will led to Israel's isolation and will make the case of
Palestine more stronger.
c. Reaction of Iran - like Palestine they are also happy. Why

i. Bcoz that will deflect global attention from Iran's behavior to Netanhayu

GS

d. Reaction of USA i. Since beginning there is hostility btwn Obama and Netanhayu due to Bibi's barbaric attacks and
has escalated more due to his recent opposition to US-Iran nuclear deal. Obama and many
western countries wanted him to loose.
ii. Even many American jews wanted him to lose as they feel that he is more committed to
building settlements then building peace with Palestinians.
iii. So this election result can worsen the the already poisonous relationship between Obama and
Netanhayu.
e. Reaction of India i. Indian PM congratulated him.
f.

One of its positive outcome is the emergence of a United Arab Bloc in the Knesset.

Notes

i. The silver lining in the elections was the emergence of the Joint List - a group of leftist and Arab
parties - as the third largest grouping with 12 seats in the Knesset. Israeli Arabs have a larger
and more inclusive voice in the Knesset than before.

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c) 2 State Solution 1) What is a 2 State Solution The two-state solution calls for "two states for two peoples"
alongside the State of Israel.

i.e. an independent State of Palestine



The framework of the solution is set out in UN resolutions on the "Peaceful settlement of the question
of Palestine", going back to 1974.



The Palestinians have "shown serious interest" in a two-state solution since the mid-1970s.



Over the years, polls have consistently shown "respectable Israeli and Palestinian majorities in favor of
a negotiated two-state settlement."



There have been many diplomatic efforts to realize a two state solution, starting from the 1991 Madrid
Conference. There followed the 1993 Oslo accords and the failed 2000 Camp David summit followed by
the Taba negotiations in early 2001. In 2002, the Arab League proposed the Arab Peace Initiative. The
latest initiative, which also failed, was the 2013-14 peace talks.

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2) Arguments in favor of 2 state solution 1.

Continuation of construction of Israeli settlements in west bank.

2.

Illegal occupation and construction of homes.

3.

Socio-economic conditions

4.

Likud government's continuance of a cruel 2007 blockade of Gaza

5.

Its frequent use of disproportionate force in the territory.

6.

In short they are living like refugees in their home.

3) Israel's view -

They are opposed to 2 state solution -

GS

1.

a. Right wing Netanhayu openly opposes it (as recently seen in his election campaigning)
b. All other major parties in Israel, despite their formal commitment to 2-state solution are also
against it in reality
2.

What do they want -

a. All of them are united on the long-term game plan to annex most of the west bank and Jerusalem.
3.

Why opposed to it a. An independent Palestine will give a base the radical Islam to attack Israel.

4) Is it feasible? 1.

Signs in favor of it -

Notes

a. Western countries view - The fact though is that Palestinian statehood is no longer in Israel's hands.
The world has been very critical of Israel's continuing aggressions against Palestine, and has steadily
moved towards the reality of a Palestinian state.

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i. In 2012, the United Nations gave Palestine "non-member status" with 138 against 9 votes with
41 abstentions, giving approval to Palestinian statehood much legitimacy.
ii. In 2014, the parliaments of several European nations voted to ask their governments to recognise
the state of Palestine.
iii. In December 2014, the European parliament too adopted a resolution favouring recognition.
iv. In jan 2015, International Criminal Court accepted Palestine as a member beginning 1 April,
opening up the possibility of Palestine moving the court on the matter of the settlements in
violation of international law.
b. USA, Obama
i. Since beginning, Obama is not on good terms with Netanhayu.

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ii. Further the relation between the 2 has worsened with Netahayus recent policies of atrocities
against Palestine and his address to the Republican-dominated Congress in which he slammed
the US-Iran nuclear talks.
iii. Creation of Palestine is a central element of US foreign policy in west Asia.
iv. Now Obama is free from nuclear deal with Iran + it's his last-term, thus free from the burden
of running for other term and acting independently.
c. Re-election of Netanhayu -

i. Palestinians and iran are infact happy over his re-election as they believe that his apartheid
policies will continue which will be in international spotlight and that will led to Israel's isolation
and will make the case of Palestine more stronger.
2.

Challenges -

GS

a. USA -

i. The U.S. could support a UN resolution explicitly defining a Palestinian state with pre-1967
borders as a response to Mr. Netanyahu's change of views, but it is perhaps unlikely to happen
because
1. US would not want to upset its special relationship with Israel (as it acts as a check against Islamic
west Asia.
2. Also Mr. Netanyahu's allies go far beyond the White House (i.e. Obama ) and the U.S. State
Department, with the powerful pro-Israel lobby spread across bipartisan lines in the U.S., especially
in the resurgent Republican party.
ii. And we can see this from
1. No action till now against Israel even for its recent operation protective edge
2. In Dec 2014, UNSC rejected a Palestine drafted resolution which set a 12-month deadline for
Israel to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians and called for withdrawal of Israeli troops
in this china, France, Russia voted in favor, USA voted against and Britain abstained.

Notes

3. US continues to provide Isarel $ 3 billion a year in military aid.

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b. And as said above that Israel will use all possible measures to ensue that it is not created as that will
threaten their security.
c. The main issues currently obstructing an agreement are,
i. Borders (i.e. what will the boundary)
1.

Palestine wants pre-1967 border

2.

Israel wants 1967 border

ii. security,
iii. water rights,
iv. the status of Jerusalem,
v. freedom of access to religious sites,

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vi. ongoing Israeli settlement expansion and

vii.legalities concerning Palestinian refugees including the right of return.
(Hamas says that they will agree for the peace process or 2 state solution provided that Palestinian
refugees hold the right to return to Israel)
3.

What should be done - sanctions

a. During netanhayu's year in office, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel took root
in many European countries. Europeans have realized that only sanctions will make the Israeli govt.
implement the 2 state solution.
b. Apartheid in South Africa started serious negotiations with the African national congress only after
sanctions started to bite.
5) India's stand on Palestine Earlier -

2.

Now - of NDA govt.

GS

1.

a. What is the stand - In the past few years, India has taken a more nuanced position on the Israel conflict, away from its pro-Palestine stand.
b. Symptoms

i. Regarding operation protective edge - Although India voted against Israel at the UN human
rights council this year during the recent conflict in Gaza but the govt. refused to condemn
Israel's action in its statement.
c. Why
i. Both govts are perceived to be as Anti-Muslim
ii. Kashmir issue - if India votes for independence of Palestine then world will ask the Indian govt.
to do the same for Kashmir; it will make case for Kashmir strong.

Notes

iii. Other areas of cooperation like defense, water management.

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3.

Concluding remark -

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a. India recently floated the prospect of a possible change in its historical support to Palestine.
b. If New Delhi has managed to balance its strategic relationship with Israel along with its moral and
diplomatic support for the Palestinian cause, it is because Israel needs India's support more than the
other way around (bcoz isarel @ present is loosing support in west).

5) SAUDI ARABIA - King Abdullah's demise
a) What happened 1.

Saudi king Abdullah died at age of 90 passed away on January 23

Notes

a. Full name - King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud

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b. He served for 2 two decades at the Kingdom's helm (1995 to 2005 as regent and 2005-2015 as the
King)
2.

He was replaced by his brother salman
a. Full name - salman bin abdul aziz

b) Critical evaluation 1.

Achievements a. Ensured Political stability - King Abdullah steered Saudi Arabia through all the political crisis

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i. Since the beginning of 21st century, al-Qaeda led by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden waged a noholds terror campaign aimed at overthrowing the establishment in Saudi Arabia (host of Islam's
two holiest shrines)
ii. It was followed by arab spring where he crushed all the internal unrests with ruthlessness.
(Monarchies in Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Tunisia fell down but Saudi
Arabia is still standing)
iii. And at present IS has aim of overthrowing the house of saud, but he defended it.
b. Countered the influence of rival Sjoaote Iran, wherever it tried to make advances.
c. Moderated Islam

i. He became in some ways, a force of moderation.

ii. He contested al-qaeda's militant interpretations of quran as justified terrorist acts.

GS

iii. He ordered that text books be purged of their most extreme language and sent 900 imams to
re-education sessions.
iv. He also battled al-qaeda militants and was now fighting IS.
v. He became the first Saudi monarch to visit the Vatican and sponsor an international inter-faith
dialogue.
d. Women

i. Allowed women to work as supermarket cashiers;
ii. Appointed women as a deputy minister.
iii. Built a research university on his name in which women studied besides men.
e. Economic
i. World's largest oil exporter; protected its market share

Notes

ii. Took some steps towards reducing its reliance on oil exports through diversifying measures such
as incremental indigenisation through skilling of the labour force, establishing new industrial
cities, deepening the share market, promulgating investment laws and joining the WTO.

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f.

Regarding India i. His state visit to India as chief guest on Republic Day in 2006 followed by former PMs
Manmohan Singh visit to Saudi Arabia paved the way for improved bilateral relations elevated
our relations from correct to strategic.
ii. The bilateral trade for the year ending on November 30, 2014 was over 46 billion dollars,
making Saudi Arabia one of India's top five trading partners and the largest source of its oil
imports. Indian expatriates in Saudi Arabia number three million, the largest foreign community
in that country.

2.

Criticism - It is a country with
a. Poor civil and political rights record -

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i. Public flogging, beheading, and a general climate of intolerance are hallmarks of its criminal
justice system.
ii. Women still do not have even the fundamental rights of speech, movement (including right to
drive) and assembly.
b. Religion

i. Ultraconservative Wahhabi clerics hold near total sway over society who in return, give the Al
Saud family's rule religious legitimacy.
ii. There is not even a single non-muslim place of worship

iii. A young man was entenced to reported floggings because he put forwarded moderate arguments
on freedom of thought.
c. Corruption, nepotism remains a serious problems.

GS

d. Although he prevented al-qaeda from gainings a stronghold in saudia Arabia, but supported Islamic
terrorist groups based in af-pak regions
3) Challenges ahead; after his death 1.

Regional challenges a. Emergence of IS,
b. Rivalry with Iran,

c. Emergence of Shiite Houthi yemen,
2.

Falling prices if oil

6) SECTARIAN divide
(Sunni - Shia conflict)
a) Meaning of Sunni & Shia 1.

Sunni

Notes

a. Largest group in Islam.

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b. They accept the correctness of order of succession after prophet’s death
2.

Shia
a. Second largest group in Islam.
b. They were followers of ALI (son-in law of prophet)
c. They believe that ALI should have been the next prophet

b) Division along shia-sunni •

The Shia - Sunni sectarian divide would remain another area of potential conflict in the region.



Shia axis '
o Iran espouses the politics of the Shia unity with the support of Iraq, Syria (majority is Sunni,
but rulers are shia), Hezbollah (of Lebanon).



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o Also there is significant Shia population in Bahrain and Yemen.
Bahrain is a Shia-majority country but is ruled by the Sunni royal family
o So Iran tries to influence these 2 countries also. Infact during Arab spring, in Bahrain and Yemen
Iran supported the protesters to overthrow the existing regime.


Sunni dominated countries '

o Except Bahrain the 5 GCC countries are Sunni dominated.
o So unity among the Shia countries is against the interests of Saudi Arabia which champions the
case of the Sunni dominance in the region.
c) in news -

2.

It is also visible in Yemen crisis where Iran is supporting the houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia is supporting
the government.

3.

Also with finalization of Iran (P5 + 1) nuclear deal this sectarian divide will become more sharp.

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It is visible in Syria conflict where Iran is backing Assad regime and Saudi Arabia backing the rebels

Notes

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6

YEMEN

1) About
Location –

2.

Capital –

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1.

a. Yemen’s constitutionally stated capital is the city of Sana’a,
b. However, the city has been under rebel control since February 2015.
c. Because of this, Yemen’s capital has been temporarily relocated to the port city of Aden, on the
southern coast.
3.

Religious composition –
a. 99% Yemenis are Muslims
b. Out of these
i. 55% are Sunni (sunnis are primarily Shafi’i)

Notes

ii. 45% are Shia (shias are primarily ‘Zaidi’; i.e. of zaidi school of thought)

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2) Arab Spring
1. Since 1980’s Yemen was under the rule of president Ali Abdullah saleh for 30 years
2. Arab spring, 2011
a. Mass Protests started in early 2011 following other Arab Springs.
b. The uprising were against poverty, unemployment, corruption and President Abdullah Saleh’s
proposal to amend constitution so that his son could inherit the presidency.
3. Resignation of Ali Abdullah saleh
a. After months of protest president Ali Abdullah saleh resigned ending his 33 year old rule.
b. He transferred powers to his deputy, Vice President Mansur Hadi.

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4. 2 year transitional government

a. Hadi took office for a two-year term upon winning the uncontested presidential elections in
February 2012, in which he was the only candidate standing.
b. Now under the GCC sponsored agreement, the 2 year transitional government, under a new
President Al-Hadi was to oversee the
i.

drafting of a new constitution,

ii. followed by parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014 and
iii. government, judicial and electoral reforms.
However, the revolt halted the process.
5. Concluding remark

3) Houthis
1.

GS

a. Term of hadi was extended by 2 yrs to make constitution, but in 2014-15 he was ousted and
constitution making process was distorted due to coup by Houthis.

About them/brief intro –

a. Religion – Houthi is a shiite group; belonging to zaidi school of though (or simply they are a zaidi
group)
2.

Background – origin & growth
a. The group takes its name from Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who launched an insurgency in Syria in
2004 in the background of US invasion of Iraq
b. He was killed in sept 2004; but the insurgency continued. Finally a ceasefire was reached in 2010.
c. But after 2011 Arab Spring (that led to the resignation of President Abdullah saleh), they started
regrouping and increased their influence.

Notes

d. At present it is being led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

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3.

Aim/motives –
a. Houthis argue that they are not against the president or the republican system but were only defending
themselves against government attacks on their community.
b. Houthis are fighting “for things that all Shias demand:
i. Preservation of their religion; ending their persecution (present govt was sunni); greater autonomy
for zaids.
ii. Ending western influence
iii. government accountability, the end to corruption, regular utilities, fair fuel prices, job opportunities
for ordinary Yemenis

4.

Present crisis –

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a. Triggering event –

i. In feb 2014, president hadi declared that yemen would be a federation of 6 regions.
ii. In July, Houthis claimed sweeping victories against Sunni militias. Charged by this they rejected
the federation proposal. They also demanded the removal and sacking of the corrupt Govt.
b. Coup by them –

i. In Sept 2014 they took control over the capital city Saan’a

ii. In Jan 2015, they stormed into presidents palace, due to which president Hadi resigned.
iii. In Feb 2015, it declared itself to be in control of capital and parliament.
iv. President Hadi has been forced to relocate to Aden which has been declared as provincial capital.
v. (As of April 2015, retains control of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, and the parliament)

GS

c. Foreign interventions –

i. Western countries condemned it and didn’t recognized the present govt.
ii. In march 2015, Saudi Arabia and its regional allies launched a military operations against the
Houthi rebels.
iii. This military action — without UN sanction — has also involved logistical help from the United
States.
iv. Iran is supporting the houthi rebels (as both are shia)
5.

Implications –
a. As it was said earlier that Yemen at present is facing various (i) economic and (ii) political (political
tranition, sectarian clashes, iran-saudi proxy wars, south yemen secession & al-qaeda issue) challenges
now if this continues then it can lead to a civil war and ultimately the country will be torn-up. Will
provide an opportunity for al-qaeda to spread its wing.

Notes

b. It has widened the Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict as it has became another battlefield for proxy war
between Saudis (sunni) and iran (shia) ed groups. Saudi is backing the president hadi and iran is
backing the houthis.

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c. A larger conflict could also threaten oil supplies, given that the Bab al-Mandab strait between Yemen
and Djibouti and the Strait of Hormuz separating Iran from the Arabian peninsula are two choke
points for global oil supplies.
6.

Are houthis wrong – no
a. The Houthi rebels have only overthrown President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s dysfunctional regime
i. Hadi failed, moreover, to win any of the three wars Yemen has been fighting — against al-Qaeda,
Somali pirates and tribal insurgents. b. Houthis pose no credible military threat to Saudi Arabia or to Islam’s holy cities.
c. Houthis argue that they are not against the president or the republican system, they only want to work
within framework.
Concluding remark –

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7.

a. Yemen increasingly appears to be heading towards Syria’s fate — a nation torn asunder into enclaves
controlled by sectarian and fundamentalist groups and constantly at war among one another.
b. What started as yet another promising chapter of the Arab Spring has now taken a turn that follows
events elsewhere in the region — regression into a harsh Arab Winter.
4) Operation Rahat

1. Definition – Operation Raahat was an operation of the Indian Armed Forces to evacuate Indian citizens
and other foreign nationals from Yemen during the 2015 military intervention by Saudi Arabia and its
allies in that country during the Yemeni Crisis.
2. Details of operation
a. Issued advisories

b. By air

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) had issued the first of a series of advisories in
January as the security situation in the West Asian country deteriorated. But the evacuation
started only after Saudi Arabia and its allies started aerial strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen
in late march 2015.

GS

i.

i. The air evacuation started by Indian Air Force and Air India on 3 April 2015 from Sanaa and
ended on 9 April 2015.
ii. A no-fly zone enforced in Yemeni airspace by the Saudi-led coalition made it difficult to evacuate
Indians by air.
iii. But India successfully requested Saudi Arabia to allow civilian aerial sorties to Sanaa and Aden
on a daily basis.
iv. India then created a base in Djibouti, the tiny African state across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait

Notes

v. Air india flew passengers from aden and sanaa to Djibouti and from there Air Force C-17
transporters flew evacuees back home.

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c. By ship
i. The evacuation by sea started on 1 April 2015 from Aden port and ended on 11 April 2015.
ii. Following Indian Naval Ships were deployed – Mumbai, Tarkash and Sumitra.
3. How many evacuated –
a. More than 4700 Indian citizens in Yemen were evacuated.
b. Foreign nations
i.

As the Indian embassy was among the handful of foreign missions operational in Sana’a after
the airstrikes began, india received formal requests from various countries for evacuating their
nationals.

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ii. Efforts were so professional that the US Embassy advised Americans to seek Indian assistance
to leave Sanaa.
iii. In all India evacuated 1,947 foreign nationals of 48 countries including dozen Americans and
3 Pakistanis (as said by MEA in lok sabha on April 20, 2015)
4. Not the biggest ever –

a. India evacuated 2,280 persons, including 1,764 Indians, from the conflict zone during the 2006
Lebanon War.
b. Over 15,000 were pulled out of Libya in 2011.

c. And the biggest airlift in history remains the Indian effort in Iraq and Kuwait in 1990, during which
approximately 1,76,000 were evacuated between August 13, 1990 to October 11, 1990. Nearly
500 flights were involved in the Iraq-Kuwait operation.
5. In this VK Singh (minister of state,
external affairs) led from the front.

Notes

GS

6. NAWAZ SHARIF sent 11 Indians
rescued by Pak warship PNS Aslat
to India in a special PAF aircraft. PM
Modi thanked Pak PM for
‘humanitarian gesture’.

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7

AFRICA

1) BOKO HARAM
1.

Definition
a. Book Haram (literally meaning western education is a sin) is an Islamist terrorist group active in
northern Nigeria. It was formed in 2002 and started insurgency in 2009.

2.

It originated in the background of

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a. Rising north south divide with north lagging behind south economically inspite of nigeria’s 7% economic
gowth.
b. Rising corruption in public institutions under the present govt led by Christian President Goodluck
Jonathan.
3.

Its aim -

a. It wanted to overthrow present govt and establish an Islamic caliphate along the lines of the Islamic
State (IS).
b. In this it will be “Haram” for Muslims to partake in political or social activity associated with Western
society.
c. It is against western education.

4.

Activities

GS

d. It is against women’s education; according to them they should stay at home raising children and
looking after their husbands.

a. It has repeatedly targeted places of leaning.
b. In last 5 years, some 3,000 people have been killed by it.
c. Girls kidnapping
i.

It shot into prominentnce when it kidnapped around 300 girls mostly Christian, in a raid in the
village of Chibok in north-east Nigeria.

ii. In November they revealed that more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls had been converted to
Islam and married off.
5.

Consequences
a. Nigeria is Africa’s leading energy producer, thus its stability is important
b. It is moving beyond Nigeria to instigate Muslims in neighbouring countries. Also having link to global
organizations.

Notes

c. In context of women, its activities are similar to Taliban in Afghanistan.

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d. Fear of communalism among the people; can lead to secession.
Nigerian general election of 2015
The Nigerian general election of 2015 was the 5th quadrennial election to be held since the end of military
rule in 1999.

2.

Voters elected the President and members to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

3.

The elections were first scheduled to be held on 14 Februar y 2015. However, the electoral
commission postponed it by six weeks to 28 March, mainly due to the poor distribution of Permanent
Voter Cards, and also to curb ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in certain north-eastern states in the country.

4.

Opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential election by more than 2.5 million votes. 
Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat on 31 March, barely after the results had been
announced.

5.

Nigeria is the continent’s most populous country, has its largest economy and is its leading oil producer.

Notes

GS

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1.

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8

USA - CUBA REAPPROACHMENT

1) Background to Hostility
Relations between the U.S. and Cuba were snapped after Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 by disposing
off US-Backed dictator Flugencio Batsistand established a communist state, nationalizing all assets.

2.

Subsequently in 1960 US breaks off diplomatic relations and imposes trade imbargo.

3.

The U.S.'s attempt to depose Fidel Castro, famously called the "Bay of Pigs invasion", failed in 1961.

4.

In 1962, Cuban missle crisis takes USA, USSR to the brink of nuclear war.

5.

Since then, the two countries have wasted no opportunity to hurt each other's interests, unevenly matched
as they were.

6.

Since 2008, after Fidel Castro handed over charge to Raúl Castro, the country embarked on a series of
economic reforms, and amongst other important changes opened a channel of negotiations with President
Obama.

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1.

2) Signs towards Reapproachment - (thaw in ties)
1.

In 2014, Obama announced moves to normalize ties with Cuba. Obama rightly said that with the U.S.
having established diplomatic relations with other communist countries such as China and Vietnam, it
made no sense to continue with the policy on Cuba, another communist country.

2.

Dec, 2014 - U.S. President Barack Obama announced a series of steps that aimed to normalize relations
with Cuba

4.

5.

Easing restrictions on travel, banking and business will be eased,



Repatriation of prisoners held in both countries



Putting an end to the trade embargo with Cuba

Jan 2015


The United States and Cuba opened two days of historic talks in Havana on Wednesday to end
decades of Cold War-era animosity and re-establish diplomatic relations.



The 2 sides talked about re-opening embassies, but no timeline has been given.

Meeting between Obama and Raul Castro - April 2015


In April 2015, Obama held a historic hour-long meeting with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro on
the sidelines of Summit of the Americas in Panama.



It was the first face-to-face talks between the Presidents of the two nations in half a century.

Cuba taken off from US list of state sponsors list - April 2015

Notes



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3.



In April 2015, Obama dropped Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terror. (But Congress can
oppose the move in 45 days)

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6.



If it is struck from the list, Cuba will again have access to the U.S. banking system, and other
restrictions such as a ban on U.S. assistance as well as arms exports and sales will be lifted.



Cubans overwhelmingly welcomed the decision.



But officials cautioned other sanctions imposed under an US economic embargo will remain in place.
Cuba has called for an end to the embargo's stranglehold.



Others still on the US List of state sponsors of terror - Iran, Sudan, Syria.

Re-establishing US embassy in Havana (capital of Cuba),


7.

It is hoped that this will be done this year.

For putting an end to trade embargo he will be needing permission of the Congress.

1. Cuba side reasons -

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3) Why Re-approachment
Cuba has obviously suffered economically for its isolation, even as its economy took a severe
downturn after the collapse of its ally, the Soviet Union, in 1991 and the withdrawal of subsidies by
Russia subsequently.

b.

The U.S. blockade did not achieve its stated goal of overthrowing Castro's rule but it did cause a lot
of suffering to the Cuban people and had an impact on the country's economy. Cuba estimates that
its economy has lost more than $1 trillion as a result of the blockade.

c.

Meanwhile Cuba itself is undertaking gradual steps that have eased state control of the economy and
is allowing domestic and even foreign capital greater play in a range of sectors. Some of these steps
have been part of the policy changes which were introduced in the aftermath of the collapse of the
Soviet Union. However, some of the landmark achievements of the Cuban Revolution - free healthcare
of the highest quality, free education and social welfare, and a preference for cooperative activities
over competitive ones - have been maintained despite all the political and economic pressure applied
by the US blockade. The slow but gradual economic liberalisation, without concomitant changes in
the political structure, has led to the possibility of Cuba taking the Sino-Vietnamese route and the
present thaw could possibly push it further in this direction.

2. US side reasons -

GS

a.

The change in the US policy towards Cuba is not unrelated to changes in domestic political
constituencies in the US. The Cuban-American community, composed predominantly of those who
ran away from Cuba's socialist system, had been a formidable lobby that garnered bipartisan support
for US's isolationist policy, largely because of its electoral influence in the "swing state" of Florida.

b.

Sections of the US capitalist class, big farming in particular, have also called for ending the blockade
in order to access the "Cuban market".

c.

Sections of the US diplomatic community too realise that far from weakening Cuba's socialist
system, the US blockade and hostility has only strengthened Cuba's position as the anti-imperialist
lode-star of the western hemisphere. Cuba has infact become a beacon for progressive governments
in Latin America.

d.

US also knows that its foreign policy of imposing an embargo on Cuba has failed. The U.S. was
unable to get other countries to back its sanctions against Cuba.

Notes

a.

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The U.S. economic blockade of Cuba was deeply unpopular all over the latin American region. Also
every year U.N. General Assembly passes a non-binding resolution condemn the U.S. economic
blockade of Cuba which is supported by almost all the countries (except US and its close allies).

f.

In fact, many U.S. commentators say that it is the powerful commercial lobby in the U.S. that has
prompted Obama to speedily loosen the restrictions on trade with Cuba. The Obama administration
was alarmed by the diplomatic and economic inroads made by China and Russia in a region that
the U.S. once considered its backyard. American economists estimated that the U.S. would be able
to sell $500 million worth of agricultural products to Cuba.

g.

Isolated from Latin America - The US shift in policy was also, in a sense, inevitable. It is the US,
rather than Cuba, that stands politically isolated in Latin America. The rise of radically progressive
governments across south and central America has brought about significant changes in geopolitical
relations between these countries and the empire. Closer political and economic integration without
the overarching hegemonic presence of the superpower is now much more a reality in the larger
region than it was when the cold war ended a quarter of a century ago. The formation of new
regional blocs such as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the
Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), besides the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of
Our America (ALBA) has drastically reduced the influence of the US and the forum it dominates,
the Organization of American States (OAS). All these alternative groupings have sought closer
collaboration between Cuba and the other member-countries and have broken many of the shackles
of the 20th century which tied the region in dependency to the US. This regeneration of Latin
America and the support from its newfound allies has also helped Cuba ward off US pressure.

h.

This tiny island nation has provided a consistent anti-imperialist voice despite its economic difficulties,
showcased a model welfare state, and demonstrated what selfless socialist solidarity with other
people of the world means.

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e.

Notes

1.

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GS

4) Still a long way to go

Other issues that need to be settled by USA a.

Economic blockade - As of April 2015, sanctions imposed under a US economic embargo remain
in place. Cuba has called for an end to the embargo's stranglehold.

b.

Migration - The U.S. has to scrap the "wet foot, dry foot" policy which encourages Cubans to
emigrate illegally. Cubans rescued in the sea (wet foot) are allowed to take up residence in third
countries while those successful in reaching U.S. shores (dry foot) are automatically given residency
permits. This privilege is given only to illegal immigrants from Cuba.

c.

Return of Guantanamo Bay - There is no dispute over the sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay. The
1903 treaty under which the U.S. signed a lease agreement with Cuba recognises this fact. Communist
Cuba, however, does not recognise this agreement, which was signed when the island was virtually
run like a colony by the U.S.

d.

Washington must also stop its openly subversive activities such as the daily propaganda broadcasts
from Radio Marti and Television Marti.

e.

Narcotics -

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2.

Republican a.

3.

The Republicans, who count the Cuban refugee community in the U.S. amongst its supporters, have
already announced they would oppose the move.

Cuban a.

But Raul Castro has emphasised that the detente with the U.S. will not make Cuba waver from
socialism. In his words "we are always to engage in a dialogue with US, provided it is done on equal
terms and which doesn't asks us renounce our principles.

5) Concluding Remark
Therefore, the renewal of diplomatic ties between the US and Cuba, with the latter retaining its national
self-determination despite years of US hostility and attempts to sabotage the Revolution, is a significant
milestone for the Cuban people.



Will Cuba use this opportunity to deepen democracy by extending it from socio-economic rights to
political rights as well? The answers may well be blowing in the wind coming from the Andes and the
Amazon.

Notes

GS

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9

EAST ASIA

1)(a) Indo-China
a) List
1.

Visits this year
a. Vice-president Hamid Ansari visited China in June 2014.
b. Chinese foreign minister visited India in June 2014.

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c. Xi jinping visited India in late 2014.
d. Besides the premier of 2 sides met at the sidelines of Brics summit in July 2014
2.

Border

a. In June 2014, China issued a new official map depicting its territorial claims on the State.
b. Chumar standoff in September 2014: there were allegations of incursions by Chinese soldiers and
civilians in J&K’s Chumar and Demchok sectors of Ladakh.
3.

Culture
a. Encyclopedia

i. During Vice-president Hamid Ansari’s visit in June 2014, the 2 sides rleased the 1st encyclopedia
on their age-old cultural contacts. It was jointly compiled by scholars of both the sides.

GS

b. Yoga

i. In July 2014, it was reported that India is planning to open up a first ever Yoga resource centre
in China.
4.

Defence

a. Maritime exercise

i. Indian navy participated at the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) 65th
celebrations.

anniversary

b. Indian army chief visited China in July 2014.
5.

Economic
a. 3rd Strategic economic dialogue was held early this year.
b. Infrastructure parks
i. In July 2014, the 2 sides signed an agreement for setting up China-dedicated infrastructure parks
in India.

Notes

ii. This will boost Chinese investment in India and will reduce the trade deficit.

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c.

IT
i.

In March 2014, India and China signed an MoU on IT cooperation at the 3rd strategic economic
dialogue.

ii. This is seen as a formal recognition from the Chinese govt. to promote Indian software companies
which have struggled to get contract from Chinese govt.
6.

China to let India monitor Brahmaputra in Tibet
a. In July 2014, China formally agreed to allow hydrological experts from India to China to monitor the
flows on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputa.

7.

Panchsheel
a. 2014 is the 60th anniversary of Panchsheel.

8.

Modi – a Nixon or Abe

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b. So a stand on its relevance can be asked.

a. An Abs according to western media
i.

Western media has compared the rise of Mr. Modi to that of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe or called
him as “Indian Abe”, who
1. Rose to power on a wave of popular support,
2. Is seen as a strongly nationalistic leader and

3. Since taking office, has also taken on China by asserting strongly Japan’s claims to disputed
East China Sea islands.

b.

GS

ii. Its also because Modi acted indeed aggressively on the Sino-Indian border issue during his election
campaign.
A Nixon – according to China

i. But a Chinese strategic scholar pointed out that Narendra Modi as PM could emerge ‘more like
Nixon than Shinzo Abe’ by writing a new chapter in ties with China as the former U.S. President
once (referring to Nixon’s path-breaking visit four decades ago that unexpectedly opened the door
to re-establishing U.S.-China relations).
ii. According to him raising border tension would be of no benefit to India’s economy at all.
iii. He also suggested that Mr. Modi may be able to make headway on the deadlocked boundary
dispute as he would “have no historical burden” over the issue which “was generated under the
leadership of then Congress leader Jawaharlal Nehru.”
b) BDCA Border Defense Cooperation Agreement
(Sino-India BDCA Pact)
1.

Introduction

Notes

a. This was signed in October 2013 during Manmohan Singh visit to China

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b. It was in news during April 2014 because Army officers of both sides met each other as per the
provisions of this pact.
2.

Features
a. Follow maximum self-restrain.
b. Will not use military capabilities against each other.
c. Will avoid patrolling along such border areas, where there is no common understanding of LAC (Line
of Actual Control).
d. Will cooperate during natural disaster, anti-smuggling, anti-narcotics, anti-poaching operations.
e. Assist in locating men and animals that mistakenly cross the border.
f.

Information sharing about military exercises.

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g. Both can initiate joint-military training exercise; In Nov.2014, there was “Hand-in-Hand” counterterrorism exercise at Barrackpore (West Bengal).
h. Regular meetings between high officials  & Defense ministers + Invite each other for celebration of
any national/ military day/ festival /sports event on LAC; hold India-China Annual Defense Dialogue.
3.

Significance

a. Regular Meetings between defense ministers and officials, will clear misunderstanding on many issues,
that otherwise result in random confrontation between patrolling soldiers.
b. This agreement can smooth path towards peaceful settlement of border disputes.
4.

Critical aspect

a. Even in past we have also signed various agreements but we have been betrayed.

GS

b. So, India should remain cautious that is it a genuine effort on part of China or or as yet another
deception and denial tactic to stretch India along the LAC.
c. In September 2014, Chinese soldiers intruded in Indian territory; in July 2014 produced new maps
claiming AP.
c) Xi Jinping visit to India 1.

Positives a huge success

a. Hours of one-on-one exchanges with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both in Ahmedabad and Delhi,
b. Economy
i. Five-year plan inked by the two sides envisages $20 billion of Chinese investment (he had earlier
talked of $100 billion, thus lowering of figure was criticized. It also looks unflattering compared
to the Japanese commitment of $35 billion earlier this month.
ii. Two Chinese-style industrial cities to be built.
iii. Chinese have also agreed to improve market access for Indian firms.

Notes

iv. Promise of multiplying Chinese investment in India 40-fold.

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c. A new route will be opened to Kailash Mansarovar after Prime Minister Modi’s request, to benefit
aged and infirm pilgrims.
d. Border way out
i. The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday declared that President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister
Narendra Modi have found common ground to resolve the border row as part of a road map that
will steer Beijing-New Delhi ties in future.
2.

Negative
a. The visit was overshadowed by the border stand-off in Sept 2014 when Chinese soldiers again
intruded.

1)(b) PANCHSHEEL
(Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence)

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a) Introduction


Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are known in India as the Panchsheel Treaty (from Sanskrit,
panch:five, sheel:virtues)



These are a set of principles to govern relations between states.

b)(i) When agreed 1954
·

Their first formal codification in treaty form was in an agreement between China and India in 1954. They
were enunciated in the preamble to the “Agreement (with exchange of notes) on trade and intercourse between Tibet
Region of China and India”, which was signed at Peking on 29 April 1954.

b)(ii) Till when 1962

The 29 April 1954 agreement mentioned above was set to last for eight years.

·

It ended formally with the 1962 war.

c) List of 5 principles

GS

·

This agreement stated the five principles as
Keyword

Literal wordings

1.

Cooperation

Equality and cooperation for mutual benefit.

2.

Peaceful coexistence

3.

Non–aggression

Mutual non-aggression.

4.

Non–interference

Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

5.

Territorial integrity & sovereignty

Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Peaceful co-existence

d) It’s relevance in today’s time –
1) Introduction
Panchsheel was adopted in 1954. But it died within 8 years with the 1962 war



However since the 1970s, for some, the Five Principles again came to be seen as important in Sino-Indian
relations and thus debate started about its relevance.

Notes



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2) It’s relevant
1. In 2004 the sides celebrated its50th anniversary. Seminars were organized about its relevance.
2. In 2013 the 2 sides decided to mark the 60th anniversary of the Panchsheel agreement in 2014 and
designate year as the “Year of Friendly Exchanges”.
3. We often hear the 2 sides sating that panchsheel is of timeless relevance because of its guiding
principles that enshrine a certain code of behaviour, whose essence is non-use of power and tolerance.
4. Panchsheel was envisaged as a ‘framework’ not just for India- China relations but for their relations
with all other countries.
2)(a) Its not followed
i) Introduction
The violation of the principles of Panchsheel has been a common phenomenon.



In the words of prominent strategic analyst, K. Subrahmanyam, “Panchsheel has been practised more in
breach than in observance and that China never took the doctrine of peaceful coexistence seriously was,
however, never in doubt”.

ii) India has followed

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We have followed it.



E.g. we accepted that Tibet has been an integral part of China and has also followed the policy of non
– aggression by not attacking it.

iii)(a) China hasn’t
1.

Territorial integrity and sovereignty

GS

a. More than half-a-century old border dispute still remain unresolved. E.g., China has consistently raised
its demand for AP. And on top of it it has opened the resolved dispute again by starting claiming the
finger area of Sikkim.
b. And of late it has started developing infrastructure in POK despite protests by India.
c. And it also threatens India’s Sovereignty in various ways like allege funding of Maoists and north east
insurgents. It is alleged that it supported Naga rebels in 1960s.
d. In such a situation, the very credibility of the first principle, mutual respect for each other’s territorial
integrity and sovereignty, is put to test.
2.

Non – aggression
a. Second principle mutual non-aggression was also violated in 1962 with the Indo – China war.
b. And even now incidence of intrusion into each other territories are on rise.
c. In fact, proposal for signing a formal non-aggression pact between India and China had been put forth
but it is yet to be formulated.

Notes

d. Nevertheless, in October 2013 on PMs Visit to China, Border Defense Cooperation Agreement (BDCA)
was signed to avoid military face-offs along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Now signing of the

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BDCA can be perceived as a way of strengthening Panchsheel. But Chinese incursions in Depsang
Valley in April-May 2013 and December 2013 incident of Chumar Valley, when five Indian citizens
were detained by Chinese troops and taken to the Chinese side of LAC, raised severe doubts on the
viability of peaceful coexistence of India and China.
2)(b) Concluding remark
1.

Rhetorics by China are just to refute the claim
a. One may argue that commemorating 60th anniversary of Panchsheel seems to be nothing more than
an attempt by Chinese to refute theories associated with so-called ‘China threat’ and convince India
and other countries of China’s ‘peaceful development’.
b. (Don’t forget the hindi chini bhai bhai era when on one side they were intruding in Indian territory and
on the other side were raising this slogan)

2.

Indian might face loss if followed

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c. IMPT: The agreement was signed mainly by China to get India vacate its presence in Tibet and also
to recognize Tibet as part of China.

a. India might face heavy loss if it followed the principles of Panchsheel when dealing with China.
Indians should not harbour any misconception about Panchshel, otherwise the country may have to
pay a heavy price.
3.

Change according to changing time

a. And thus it is important to note that Panchsheel, to some extent, has lost its essence.
b. Conceivably, the time has come to explore the new vistas of cooperation by reviewing the principles
of Panchsheel. (Evaluation of Sino-India relations should be done in the context of changing times and
circumstances).
3) AIIB

1.

Facts

GS

(Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank)

a. It is an international financial institution proposed by China.
b. HQ Beijing
c. Timeline
i. Idea 1st mooted in 2013.
ii. On October 24, 2014, a signing ceremony held in Beijing, formally recognized the establishment
of the bank. 21 countries signed the bill including India.
iii. The next step is to negotiate the bank’s ­articles of agreement, which is expected to be completed
by the end of 2015.
d. Initial subscribed capital of $50 billion.
2.

Aim

Notes

a. To provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia Pacific region.

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3.

Why formed
a. It has been identified that the region requires $8 trillion to be invested by 2020 in infrastructure for
the region to continue economic development.
b. It will also allow China to play a greater role in the region and increase its economic and political clout.
(as mainly China will fund the bank as it has enormous surplus).
i. It is a part of China’s soft power policy.
c. Current international finanical institutions like IMF, WB and ADB are dominated by developed
countries like the United States and Japan. There has been a slow pace of reform in their governance.

4.

Reaction to it
a. World bank and ADB welcomed it.

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b. However, US considers it as a challenger to the U.S.-backed Bretton Woods institutions.
c. U.S. has expressed concerns over the bank’s “ambiguous nature” and lack of “transparency.”
d. Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia were not in attendance thanks to US pressure.
JAPAN

PM’s visit to Japan in August 2014
1.

Why Kyoto choosen

a. PM is interested in rejuvenating Indian cities on the lines of Kyoto. Some features of Kyoto ould be
adopted in Varanasi.
2.

A partner city affiliation agreement between Varanasi (Kashi) and Kyoto, which will see cooperation in
the fields of
a. heritage conservation,

c. culture
3.

Economic

GS

b. city modernization and

a. below – potential

i. PM said that Indo – Japan relation is below potential especially in trade.
ii. So, the both the sides should strive to achieve in 5 year what had been missed in last 5 decades.
iii. (Bilateral trade at $16.29 billion in 2013-14 accounted for just 2.13 per cent of India’s total trade
and barely 1 per cent of Japan’s).
b. FDI
i. Japan has said it would invest 3.5 trillion yen ($33.5 billion) in India in the next five years in the
sectors of infrastructure, manufacturing, transport and clean energy, and on smart cities, all thrust
areas for development for the Modi government.

Notes

c. Red carpet instead of red tape

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i. Japanese investors are frustrated by complicated procedures and cumbersome processes. It is in
this context that Mr. Modi’s promised of “red carpet, not red tape”, and a “special management
team” to be set up in PMO to ensure ease of business and speedy clearances.
d. 3D’s
i. Mr. Modi harped on all the right themes including the three Ds that India can boast of, namely
democracy, demography and demand, while making his pitch to Japanese business.
e. New projects such as those for super-fast trains and smart cities are ideal destinations for Japanese
investments.
f.
4.

Modi’s visit to Japan, which seems to have breathed new life into economic relations.

Nuclear

NORTH KOREA

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a. The visit failed to see the big takeaway — the signing of the nuclear agreement between the two
countries

SONY HACKING CASE/THE INTERVIEW CONTROVERSY
(North Korea – US relations)
1) Background –
a) The interview –
1.

It’s a movie

2.

Produced by Sony (a Japanese-owned company headquartered in US)

3.

Story –

GS

a. Two journalists instructed to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (current head of the state)
after booking an interview with him.
b. In the end Kim Jong-un is killed in the movie.
4.

Release –

a. On December 16, 2014, the Guardians of Peace threatened terrorist attacks against cinemas that
played The Interview.
b. On December 17, after a number of major North American cinema chains cancelled screenings in the
interest of safety, Sony cancelled the theatrical release of ‘The Interview’, drawing criticism from the
media, Hollywood figures and the White House. Despite initially stating that it had no plans to release
the film, Sony made ‘The Interview’ available for online rental and purchase on December 24, and it
had a limited release at selected cinemas on December 25. 
b) Sony –


A Japanese – owned company with head-quarters in US

2) The interview controversy / Sony hacking case

Notes

A) Timeline –

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1.

Opposition
a. Ever since Sony announced its plans to make the movie, the North Korean government has been
protesting loudly. No Hollywood movie has so far depicted the killing of a sitting head of state. It
is provocative. But Sony Pictures Studios went ahead.
b. When Sony announced the release date of the picture in the end of November, the North Korean
government reacted angrily.

2.

Sony hacking –
a. At the end of November, after the release date of the film was announced, Sony Entertainment’s
computer systems were comprehensively hacked by a group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace”.
b. Personal communication between top Sony executives were leaked out for public viewing. These
included

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i. Innuendoes about President Barack Obama’s bad taste in movies,
ii. Scripts of big-budget movies being planned by Sony were made public.
c. The cyber attacks resulted in Sony Studios backtracking and announcing that The Interview would not
be released in movie theatres as scheduled.
d. In response to the decision, the “Guardians of Peace” quickly announced that it would suspend its
hacking activities. However, the group warned that more hacking would follow if Sony changed its
mind and released the film for commercial viewing.
3.

Blame game

GS

a. Sony’s initial decision to halt the release of the film invited protests from leading U.S. politicians and
entertainment personalities. Obama himself weighed in on the debate. He criticised Sony for holding
the film from general release and then went a step ahead and blamed North Korea for the hacking.
They said that North Korea aims at harming on an American business and suppress the right of
American citizens to express themselves”.
i. The U.S. offered no proof to back up its claim that North Korea was behind the hacking despite
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) formally announcing the guilty verdict. The FBI claimed
that the malware used in the hacking was used in previous attacks linked to North Korea.
b. North Korea vehemently denied any involvement in the hacking and called for a joint investigation
with the U.S. into the hacking episode.
4.

Actions taken –
a. Obama then pledged to carry out a “proportionate response” against Pyongyang’s “cyber-vandalism”
at “a time and place of our own choosing”.
b. At diplomatic level –
i. On the diplomatic front, the U.S. has spearheaded the move to take the North Korean leadership
to the International Criminal Court (ICC). A United Nations committee had recommended that
North Korean officials be referred to the ICC.

Notes

ii. North Korea has protested and threatened to go in for a fourth nuclear test in retaliation for the
U.N. committee’s recommendations.

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iii. Present status – As of mid-Jan 2015, the matter is now with the U.N. Security Council. Russia
and China will most likely veto the U.S. move to take the North Korean leadership to the ICC.
c. Military
i. Obama did not rule out the use of force against North Korea for the hacking incident.
ii. He recently signed the 2015 National Defence Authorisation Act, which will provide for the
setting up of a joint missile defence system, comprising the U.S., South Korea and Japan, in
North-East Asia.
d. Cyberattack on North Korea –

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i. Just days after Sony’s cancellation of the offending film, there was a massive cyberattack which
led to complete blackout of North Korean internet services for several hours on December 22.
(Unlike the attack on Sony Pictures, no anonymous group or individual has tried to claim credit for the
hacking of North Korea’s network.)
ii. North Korea has limited Internet usage and all of it is routed through China’s state-owned
telecommunications company, Unicom. China is said to be unhappy at the U.S.’ action as it has
infringed on Chinese sovereignty.
e. Obama is now threatening to put the country back on the U.S.’ list of “rogue states”. President George
W. Bush had removed North Korea from the list in 2008 after talks started for the denuclearisation
of the Korean peninsula.
B) Critical Comment –
1.

Criticism of west –

a. No proof of hacking by North Korea.

b. It is seen as a time-tested Western tactic of demonising a country’s leadership while conspiring for
regime change.

GS

i. They did it with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for
decades.
ii. The West has been unsuccessful in using similar tactics with other leaders and governments it has
tried to destabilise, such as Cuba, Iran, Zimbabwe and Syria.
c. They talk of freedom and censorship but they themselves are the biggest culprit
i. Obama said the U.S. would not tolerate “some dictator some place” imposing censorship in the
U.S. He seems to have forgotten that he is presiding over a government where the FBI has
accumulated criminal record files of over 80 million Americans, one-third of the country’s
population. The Obama administration has allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) to
monitor the emails of all Americans. It has also been invoking “national security” to stop media
outlets from airing news stories or vet them before they are released to the public.
d. Even if it was by North-Korean then U.S. was the first country to start the dangerous round of
cyberwars when it launched a cyberattack code-named “Olympic Games” against Iran. The 2010
attack, done in collaboration with Israel, damaged centrifuges and other machines used to enrich
uranium in Iranian nuclear reactors.

Notes

e. It is wrong to depict the killing of sitting head of a state.

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f.
2.

It is provocative of west. The movie’s co-director, Seth Rogan, had in interviews confirmed that he
had consulted U.S. intelligence officials while finalising the script for the movie.

Has stopped the warming of relations –
a. Signs of warming of relations
i. The economically beleaguered North had in recent months shown more flexibility in its dealings
with the U.S. and South Korea.
ii. The Obama administration sent the Director of National Defence, James Clapper, to Pyongyang
in the first week of November. The senior U.S. official held talks with senior North Korean
officials and succeeded in getting two Americans, sentenced to long prison terms, released. Obama
described the release of the two prisoners as “a positive gesture” by the North Korean government.

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iii. North Korean government was expecting the resumption of serious direct talks with the U.S for
a long time now as the six-party talks, which include countries such as China and South Korea,
have been spluttering along inconclusively for years.
iv. The North wants an end to the draconian sanctions that have been imposed on it for the past 50
years.
b. After the release of The Interview at the prompting of Obama, the North may not be in a mood for
talks, at least for the time being.
2) USA – North-Korea relations

The U.S. has been engaged in a conflict with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) since
the end of the Second World War. Technically, the two countries are still at war after they signed an
armistice in 1953 ending the Korean War. That war brought the world close to a nuclear precipice. The
U.S. general in charge of the war, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, was keen to use the nuclear option to defeat
Communist Korea led by Kim Il-sung. The Communists backed by the Chinese army battled the U.S.backed South Koreans. The U.S. did most of the fighting on behalf of South Korea.

2.

Since the civil war, a full-scale propaganda war has been going on between the two Koreas, interrupted
occasionally by violence and terrorist acts. The U.S. has military bases and has permanently stationed
more than 30,000 troops in South Korea. North Korea, though economically much diminished in
comparison to the South, continues to be militarily strong. It now possesses nuclear weapons and a wide
array of short- and medium-range missiles. The Korean peninsula continues to remain a flashpoint. Recent
events have only underlined its tinderbox nature.

GS

1.

First ever visit of North Korean Foreign Minister April 14, 2015
In a significant diplomatic engagement, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her North Korean
counterpart Ri Su Yong.



Mr. Ri is in India on a three-day visit beginning Sunday at the invitation of Ms. Swaraj.



This is the first ever visit to India at the Foreign Minister level from Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea (DPRK).



Officials said the visiting Minister updated the Indian side on his country’s nuclear programme, which has
resulted in deep apprehensions in the international community.



India has on several occasions in the past extended humanitarian assistance to DPRK, which is under
severe sanctions by the U.N. and the global community. In 2011, India extended food assistance worth

Notes



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$1 million through the World Food Programme. DPRK has also been battered by natural calamities,
resulting in severe food shortages.


The timing of Mr. Ri’s visit is significant as it comes just weeks ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
scheduled visit to China and South Korea.

Look East policy is now Act East policy
The NDA government changes the name of Look East policy to Act East policy.

2.

The Act East policy is India’s effort aimed at bolstering extensive strategic and economic ties with
Southeast Asian countries that would possibly act as a counterweight to the influence of China in the
region.

3.

Regarding the policy, PM Modi is keen on expediting the economic agenda with Southeast Asian countries
tapping them for greater investment — especially in the infrastructure sector — also driven by connecting
trade points in the region, said officials.

4.

India’s business with ASEAN countries is only 30% of total ASEAN trade, and government is keen on
increasing it.

Notes

GS

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1.

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SAARC
AFGHANISTAN

10
1) Background to Understand

GS

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a) Geography –

b) Polity –
1.

Govt
a. Type - Democracy
b. Present President – Ashraf Ghani

2.

Terrorist Goups
a. Major terrorist group is Taliban. It is mainly composed of Pashtun tribes,
b. Controls most of the Southern Afghanistan

Notes

c)

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Demography – (Ethnic composition)

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2) Overview
a) Problem – then & now

The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan. 

2.

The Taliban movement traces its origin to the Pakistani and American -trained mujahideen in
northern Pakistan, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

3.

After the fall of Soviet-backed regime in 1992, Taliban spread throughout Afghanistan and formed a
government, ruling as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from September 1996 until December 2001
when it was toppled by USA in its war on terrorism.

4.

But the fighting still continued to this date. Although some success was achieved with killing of its many
top leaders but overall ‘FAILED’ in achieving its objective of eliminating it. At present it is regarded
as a failed state with a non-existent govt. which has not much control outside Kabul and as virtually no
presence in southern Afghanistan.

5.

And the situation will worsen in coming days due to
a. USA withdrawal –

GS

1.

i. In December, 2014, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) flag had come down
marking the end of the 13-year-long ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’, transferring primary
responsibility for security to the Afghan Army and police forces. 
ii. Although their presence didn’t eliminated them but still halted their advance; now Afghan military
forces (which are less in number, ill-trained) will counter Taliban.
b. Rise of IS –
i. IS (Daesh) is competing with other terroris groups in having more followers & recruits. In April,
2015 IS claimed responsibility for the jalalabad bombing (eastern Afghanistan) in which some 30
people were killed. It was its 1st attack in Afghan.

Notes

c. One Country, Two Executives

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i. In the unity govt. formed under the 2014 election, there exists a new political arrangement of
2 political executives (i) President (Ashraf Ghani) and a CEO (Abdullah Abdullah) who belong
to diverse ethnic groups.
ii. The deadlock over senior Cabinet positions has underlined the challenges of running a “unity
government”.
b) Importance of Afghanistan – (why problem needs to be solved)
1. Security – it is a major source of terrorism and thus threatens not only the neighbors but the whole
world.
2. Economic – Afghanistan is abundant in natural resources such as oil, natural gas, copper, iron ore, and
other rare earths.
3. Geographical location –

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a. It is strategically located at the strategic crossroads between South Asia and Central Asia and
South Asia and the Middle East.
b. It will also help us in accessing the Central Asia

4. Human rights violation especially those with respect to women’s are rampant.
c) Solution –

In March, 2015 Ashraf Ghani asked US to prolong the presence of these 12,000 soldiers beyond 2016.
a) Law & order/stability
1.

Form a govt which

a. Is broad-based (i.e., representing all the sections especially Pashtuns)

2.

GS

b. Genuinely independent in formulating its foreign and national security policies, as well as in governing
the country in consonance with Afghan customs and traditions. The imposition of the Western
model of democracy will not be appropriate as it will not work in Afghanistan’s socio-political milieu.
Elimination of terrorism from Afghanistan and the destruction of all sanctuaries of the Taliban and the
Al Qaeda. For this
a. Assist Afghanistan to replace narcotics-based agriculture with regular agriculture;
b. Neighbours especially Pakistan should ensure that their territory is not used as safe haven by the
Taliban.
c. Pakistan –
i. Pakistans military and especially ISI is always is looking to gain ‘strategic depth’. It is in favor
of having a Taliban regime there.
ii. Pakistan should be made to realize that it should stop providing a base to so-called good terrorists
(those who are not a threat to Pakistan, i.e., Taliban and Haqqani), otherwise it will suffer in long
term.
d. Make efforts to de-radicalize Islamic societies like Afghanistan & Pakistan.

Notes

e. Forces.

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i.

Afghan local forces – increase their number, train them.

ii. The security deficit can be filled only if Afghanistan’s neighbours agree to accept the responsibility
for providing security, including contributing troops to a UN-mandated peacekeeping force.
3.

Role of neighbors
a. They should prevent its spread.
b. They can form a combine force under a UN Flag.

b) Subsequent steps –
1. No foreign intervention especially those by west as they simply hate America and other western
countries.

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2. Afghanistan’s regional neighbours and the international community should further enhance their efforts
towards reconstruction and economic development.
3. Reduce corruption so that economic assistance is not siphoned off.
4. Continue preventing radicalization of youth.
3) Indian Aspect
a) Introduction -

India has historically had friendly ties with Afghanistan and wishes to see a stable government installed
in Kabul that is independent of any external interference.

2.

India signed an “Agreement on Strategic Partnership” with Afghanistan in October 2011. This agreement
envisages close political & security cooperation with a mechanism for regular consultations.

3.

 In surveys year after year, India has been described as “the most friendly country.”

b) Importance –


Same as above.

c) Challenges –

GS

1.

1.

Geography

Lack of geographical contiguity and limited access.

2.

Pakistan

i. Pakistan’s continuing interference in Afghan affairs through proxies such as the Haqqani
network
ii. Pakistan has misapprehensions about India’s role in Afghanistan, India has tried to
remove it but Pakistan refrains from discussing this issue. It is crucial for India and
Pakistan to discuss their suspicions at the official level so as to allay each other’s
apprehensions and work together for peace and stability.

China

On 28 October, Ashraf Ghani, the newly-elected President of Afghanistan, landed in
Beijing, making China the destination of his first international visit after assuming
office. Although as of 2014, Beijing has so far only contributed a measly US$ 250
million in aid to the country which is miniscule compared to India, but it can rise.It is
important for 3 reasons –(a) eco, (b) security in Xinjiang region which shares small
border with Afghan and (c) trade – Afghan is projected as a key component of China’s
new silk route.

Notes

3.

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4.

Prevailing
Security
scenario;
(security of
Indians)

Indian embassies & projects have been targeted; Many Indians working in Afghanistan
have lost their life under terrorist attacks (many of them alleged to have been conspired
by Pakistan).

c) Way forward –
i) What are we doing –
Military

1. India will have no troop presence in Afghanistan;
2. On training front, it won’t set any training facility in Afghanistan as it will evoke
protest form Pakistan. But yes it can train Afghan soldiers here by increasing seats.

Physical infra

It has funded some major Afghan reconstruction and development plans and has invested
US$2 billion so far. The funds have been spent on:
1.

Building the 218 km-long Zaranj-Delaram road linking the Iranian border with the
Garland Highway,

2.

Electric power lines including one from the Central Asia Regions (CARs) to Kabul,

3.

Hydroelectric power projects,

4.

The new building for the Afghan Parliament.

1. India is also involved in building Schools and primary health centers
2. India is also training Afghan administrators, teachers and officer cadets, but only within
India.
3. Polio.
4. Jaipur legs.

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Social infra

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3. On arms front, India was about to supply arms to Afghanistan but that request was
turned down by newly elected President Ashraf Ghani sighting Pakistan’s sensibilities

ii) What should India do –
1.

Political/strategic –

a. Establishing broad-based engagement with all political groups;
b. India should support all efforts towards improving the security situation and providing good governance.
c. Ensure the safety and protection of Indian assets and infrastructure in Afghanistan
d. India should remove Pakistan’s apprehension that its presence in Afghanistan is in no way a threat to
Pakistan.
2.

Economic
a. Acquiring access to Afghanistan and through it to the CARs;
b. Increase Indian business investment in Afghanistan;
c. Assist Afghanistan to develop its natural resources;

Notes

d. Enhance India’s energy security, for example, through the commissioning of the TAPI pipeline;

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3.

Cultural
a. Enhancing people-to-people contacts.

4) With respect to 2015
1)(a) USA leaving Afghanistan –
1.

On dec 28, 2014, NATO formally ended its war in Afghanistan after 13 years of conflict

2.

What next?
a. On January 1, 2015, the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission was
replaced by a NATO “training and support” mission.
b. About 12,500 foreign troops staying in Afghanistan will not be involved in direct fighting, but will
assist the Afghan army and police in the battle against the Taliban, who ruled from 1996 until 2001.
Critical analysis of US in Afghanistan –

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3.

a. NATO claims that it has lowered insurgency in Afghanistan and has made it stable.
b. Failed project?

i. But recent bloodshed has undermined claims that the insurgency is weakening and shows that
international intervention has failed.
ii. According to UN, civilian casualties hit a record high in 2014, jumping by 19% with 3,188
civilians killed by the end of November.
iii. Afghan’s police and army have also suffered a grim death toll, with fatalities soaring to more than
4,600 in the first 10 months of 2014 — far higher than all ISAF deaths since 2001.
1)(b)

BILATERAL SECURITY ARRANGEMENT (BSA) – MERGE WITH ABOVE

A bilateral security arrangement (BSA) was signed between Afghanistan and US in late 2014 with the aim
to allow some US troops to remain in country till 2015.

2.

Its highlights –
a. Troops –

GS

1.

i. 12,000 foreign military troops are staying after Dec 2014 when NATOs mission ended. Of these,
10,000 are US soldiers.
1. These troops are kept under NATO’s mission Resolute Support.
ii. The troops will continue training, advising and equipping Afghan soldiers and police to carry out
counter-terrorism operations.
iii. If Afghanistan comes under foreign attack then US forces wont intervene.
iv. They won’t enter holy sites or civilian homes.
b.

Bases –
i.

US has the right to keep bases in Afghanistan as long as the security pact is in force.

Notes

2) Farkhunda murder –

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1.

FARKHUNDA , a 27-year-old Afghan woman, was murdered in Kabul on March 19, 2015.

2.

She had been arguing with a mullah, who then made a false accusation that she had burned the Quran.
on hearing this accusation the crowd beat her to death and burned her on charge of blasphemy.

3.

Local opinion remains bitterly divided. Even some officials of the justice department and the Kabul police
have asserted that if Farkhunda was indeed guilty of setting pages from the Quran on fire then they
support the mob’s action.

4.

Protests by women activists –
a. Subsequently 100s of women protested the attack.
b. Farkhunda’s death has also become a rallying point for women’s rights activists in Afghanistan.

5.

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c. In a rare display of solidarity, the women of Kabul broke convention and insisted on carrying the body
of their slain sister to the cemetery. This was a marked diversion from tradition, which holds that such
funerals are typically only attended by men.
This again brought the issue of blasphemy, women rights and reform within Islam.

MALDIVES- RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

1) GMR wins arbitration case against Maldives – June 2014
a) Background


In 2010 GMR (to be specific GMIAL) bagged the $500 million contract to modernize and operate the
Male International Airport. (also known as Male’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA)
It was one of the single largest foreign investments in Maldives.

o

A 25 year concession agreement was signed between GMR and Maldieves govt in 2010.

o

(GMIAL à GMR Male international airport ltd; a subsidiary of GMR)

However in 2012 the new Maldieves govt,

GS



o

o

‘Unilaterally’ terminated the contract and

o

Also initiated arbitration proceedings seeking a declaration that the concession agreement was “void
ab initio” in November 2012.



GMR disputed the termination. It also sought a compensation of $1.4 billion.



And that’s how a legal battle began with GMR Group challenging Maldives’; order in a Singapore court.
The tribunal was also appointed in Singapore.



It also soured the relations between the 2 sides.

b) GMR won arbitration case against Maldives
In June 2014 the tribunal gave its award. In this it said the following
It said that the concession agreement (between GMR and Maldives) was “valid and binding.”

2.

It also asked the Government of Maldives and Maldives Airport Company Ltd (MACL) to pay $4 m
by way of costs within 42 days to GMR (for loss caused by wrongful repudiation of the agreement as per the
concession agreement).

Notes

1.

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2) Visit by Chinese President to Maldives – Sept 2014
1.

It was the first by a Chinese President.

2.

Invited Maldives to actively participate in the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) project.

3) India dispatches ater relief – Dec 2014
In Dec 2014, India dispatched “water aid” to the Maldivian capital, Male, after a major fire destroyed the
generator of the Male Water and Sewerage Company, the biggest water treatment plant.



The Indian Air Force dispatched five transport aircraft, including three C-17 Globemasters and two IL76s, carrying a large consignment of potable water.



While the Maldivian government put out similar calls to the U.S., China and Sri Lanka also, India was
the first and best placed to respond, Indian officials said.



Maldives expressed its deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks for India’s prompt response to alleviate
the problems of Maldivians in the true spirit of our close and time-tested ties,” a statement from the
Indian High Commission in Male said.



Maldives has no natural water source and consumes only treated sea water.

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4) Mohd. Nasheed jailed for 13 yrs – March 2015
1.

Mohd. Nasheed (former President of Maldives) was jailed for 13 yrs.

2.

He was convicted under country’s anti-terrorism act, 1990 for ordering the arrest of a Chief Justice when
he was President in January 2012. The government of President Abdulla Yameen insists that the arrest
was necessary to prevent Mr. Nasheed from absconding.

3.

Reaction –

a. His party criticized it saying that its biased.

GS

b. The current President was critized as it was seen as an attempt to prevent him from running 2008
elections.
c. They said that democracy was jailed for 13 yrs as he was 1st democratically elected President (before
him it was dictatorship).
4.

This is the 2nd prominent arrest in recent time. In February 2015, former defence minister was arrested
on charge of attempting to engineer a coup.

5.

Quick facts
a. Present President – Yameen Abdul Gayoom. He is the half brother of former President Maumoon
Abdul Gayoom.
b. Parties
i. Gayooms – PPM (Progressive Party of Maldives)
ii. Nasheed – MDP

6.

History –

Notes

a. Nasheed resigned in 2012 and later claimed that he was ousted in a coup.

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b. He was then arrested, denied the right to appeal and legal representation.
7.

With respect to India –
a. Nasheed has called on Modi to intervene to uphold democracy. In fairness, though, it isn’t entirely clear
what he can do.
b. It is improbable cutting economic ties would achieve much, for example, other than giving China new
opportunities.
c. The Maldives’s problems, moreover, aren’t the kind that can easily be fixed by even the sternest
diplomatic telling-off. Maumoon Gayoom’s quasi-despotic rule from 1978 to 2008 did not allow a
democratic political culture to flourish.

Sri Lanka
1) SL local issues

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d. In March 2015, PM Modi visited Indian ocean neighbours namely Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri
Lanka. He was also due to visit Maldives, however due to above reason he dropped Maldives from
the itinerary.

a) SL’s election – Maithripala Srisena as President
1.

Introduction –

a. In the Presidential elections held in November 2014, the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated
and his former health minister Maithripala Srisena assumed charge as the country’s 6th executive
President.
b. He was backed by various opposition parties which came together
c. Ranil Wickramasinghe was sworn in as the PM.
2.

Background –

GS

a. Elections were scheduled in January 2016.
b. But Mahinda Rajapaksa called a fresh presidential election two years ahead of the scheduled elections;
elections were thus held in November 2014.
c. Reason for doing it was because he was confident of being voted back for another six years. It was
because he had made the govts victory over LTTE in 2009 as his main theme; person who ended the
30 year old rule.
3.

Reason for defeat of Rajapaksa –
a. His one-family authoritarian rule had angered senior members of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party
b. Tamil voters in the North and East, alienated as they were by the Rajapaksa government’s abject
failure to face up to the challenges of post-war ethnic reconciliation, were always going to vote against
him. The foot-dragging on investigations into alleged war crimes, the militarisation of the Tamildominated North, the hardships that this posed for the people, and the huge political failure on
devolution of powers all ensured that the Tamil vote would go against him.

Notes

c. Another significant minority, the Muslims, also shifted their allegiance away from Mr. Rajapaksa as
a thuggish group of Sinhalese hardliners, the Bodu Bala Sena, went on the rampage against the

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community every now and then, with no apparent attempt by the government to crack down on
communal violence even after a bout of deadly rioting in 2013.
d. Promise by Maithripala Srisena of abolishing the executive presidency
4.

Challenges ahead of him
a. To abolish the powerful Executive Presidency, which will require a constitutional amendment supported
by two-thirds of Parliament, a difficult proposition.
b. The coalition itself is made up of disparate and mutually antagonistic parties that must learn to work
together.
c. Need to repair the much-eroded confidence in Sri Lanka as a country that respects the rule of law,
independence of the legislature and especially judiciary and media freedom.

e. Reviving debt-ridden economy.
5.

With respect to India –

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d. Ensuring justice to Tamils.

a. In its aftermath, NDA govt assusred him of support.

b. Tamil Nadu’s political parties must desist from fanning any extremist demands, for which there is no
place on either side of the Palk Strait.
c. For New Delhi, the change in Sri Lanka presents the opportunity to build a bilateral relationship that
is based on mutual trust and honesty rather than on mutual suspicion.
d. It is hoped that he will stop the China tilt as has been critical of the former President Mahinda
Rajapaksa for his “tilt towards China” in his election campaign. But its too early to say.
e. He visited India on his 1st state visit abroad.
Steps by him

GS

6.

a. In Mach, 2015, bill curbing Sri Lankan President’s powers was tabled in parliament.
i. The draft Bill envisages converting the current Presidential form of government to a presidentialparliamentary system.
ii. It prunes presidential powers and proposes a two-term limit for the President.
b) Tamils in SL –
7.

Steps by new govt for addressing Tamil concerns –
a. 13th amendment – Soon after assuming power, PM Ranil Wickramasinghe said that the Sri Lankan
government will implement the 13th Amendment to its Constitution within a unitary state.
b. A civilian governor has been appointed for the Northern Province instead of a military man.
c. Compulsory military training for teachers, students scrapped. It was done so as to reduce the role of
military in SL society.

Notes

d. In January 2015, Sri Lanka appoints Tamil as Chief Justice (it will be the 1st time in 2 decades that
a Tamil has held the post).

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e. In Feburary 2015, SL announced that Army-controlled land in the Tamil-majority North to be released.
f.
8.

In March 2015, SL appointed a Special Presidential Task Force under former President Chandrika
Kumaratunga to address the issues of minorities, particularly the Tamils.

Tamil provinces passes a genocide resolution – Feburary 2015
a. In Feburary 2015, Northern Provincial Council, the elected body of the predominantly Tamil region
in northern Sri Lanka, passed a resolution seeking a UN-led probe (by ICC) into the alleged genocide
against the community by the state.
b. Many of the claims made in the resolution could be true and the cry for justice is real. But its tone
and timing are worrying. The new government has given indications that it will not be unresponsive
to the concerns of the Tamils (as seen by the list of steps taken). The Tamil National Alliance
provincial government in Jaffna could have waited for the Maithripala Sirisena government to settle in
and prepare the ground for reconciliation.

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c. The resolution could vitiate the mellower mood and result in the renewal of anti-Tamil sentiment
among the Sinhalese, which would make it tough for Colombo to institute a war crimes probe or
attempt a devolution of powers.
d. Colombo must not allow itself to be riled by the resolution. It must announce a probe into war crimes
by a panel of mutually acceptable international jurists and investigators and the TNA should accept
that crimes committed by the LTTE, too, need to be probed. A public apology for past crimes could
also be in order. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address old wounds may help the Tamils
and Sinhalese reconcile their differences and tend to their hurt.
2) Indo-SL
a) List of Meetings –

The then SL President came to India on Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

2.

New SL President visited India in Feburary 2015 (his 1st state visit)

3.

PM Modi visisted SL in March 2015

b) No coalition –


GS

1.

SL’s media expressed happiness over the BJP winning a majority in Parliament. Sri Lanka, has for long,
believed that Tamil Nadu politicians were dictating India’s diplomacy with Sri Lanka.

c) Yal devi express –


It is a major intercity express train in Sri Lanka connecting Colombo with the northern cities of Jaffna
and Kankesanturai.



Since 1990, the service has had to terminate at intermediate stations, due to the Sri Lankan civil war.



After 24 years, it started its operation in Oct 2014. It was rebuilt with the line of credit given by India.
IRCON restored it.

d) Visit by Maithripala Srisena to India – Feburary 2015

Notes

1.

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena chose Delhi the destination for his first visit after assuming
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2.

Both sides signed four substantive agreements.

3.

Of these, the agreement on Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was the most significant
as it imparts a new strategic element to bilateral relations. It is Sri Lanka’s first nuclear partnership with
any country.
a. Since 2010, Sri Lanka has wanted to utilise nuclear energy in industrial applications as well as in fields
such as medicine and agriculture.
b. The agreement envisages “exchange of knowledge and expertise, sharing of resources, capacity building
and training of personnel in peaceful uses of nuclear energy”.
c. The agreement on nuclear cooperation was an initial one and would not lead to the construction of
nuclear energy reactors immediately. 
The two sides have also agreed to enhance their defence and security cooperation in the existing trilateral
format with the Maldives.

5.

The travails of fishermen on both sides of the Palk Bay received attention with Prime Minister Narendra
Modi and President Sirisena pledging to resolve them in a “constructive and humanitarian” way.

e) Visit by Modi to SL– March 2015

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4.

1.

Modi visited SL in mid–March 2015

2.

It was the 1st PM visit to SL in 28 years; the last being by Rajiv Gandhi.

3.

The pacts –

a. Visa on arrivals for Lankans visiting India starts April 14.

b. Air India to start direct flights between Delhi and Colombo.
c. India to help Trincomalee become regional petroleum hub.

GS

d. To keep Lanka rupee stable, RBI in currency swap pact.
e. Line of credit upto $318 million for railways in Lanka.
f.
4.

Ramayan trail in Lanka, Buddhist circuit in India.

Others –

a. Inaugurated railway line from Talaimannar to Madhu road.
5.

Achievements –
a. Pacts signed might not be a great but still work for promoting eco & cultural ties
b. Also its wrong to judge on this criteria as there are many symbolic achievements
i. First visit in 28 years
ii. Clearly said that we stand for unity of SL
iii. Reached all sections –
1. E.g., Tamils reached Jaffna and said need of more devolution & cooperative federalism.

Notes

2. Rajapaksa who accused RAW of playing a role in his ouster.

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6.

Comment
a. Should keep the momentum up
b. CEPA not signed
c. India inaugurated railway line which was done on time. But other projects like Sampur power plant,
housing projects are way behind schedule; if we are inefficient then China will take future projects.

f) List of apprehensions against each other –
1.

Sri Lanka’s list of complaints against India
a. Baiting by extremist Tamil groups in Tamil Nadu
b. Trespassing by Indian fishermen into its waters.

2.

India’s complaint
a. Addressing Tamil issues.

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c. Differences over the former President’s reluctance to address post-war political and human rights issues
relating to the Tamil minority led to India voting against Sri Lanka twice at the UN Human Rights
Council and abstaining once.

b. There was also concern when a Chinese submarine docked in Colombo twice in a span of two months
in 2014
g) Fisherman issue –
1.

As a goodwill measure, after Modi became PM, SL released fishermen.

2.

But then it took an ugly turn when in October 2014, death sentence was imposed on 5 Indian fishermen
by a Sri Lankan court for drug trafficking.

3.

SL’s PM comment in March 2015 With respect to fishing issue –

GS

a. He justified the shooting of Indian fisherman who cross the maritime boundary.
b. Its against the –

i. International policy of looking at such transgressions as civil offence.
ii. Bilateral policy of 2 nations of treating fishing conflicts as a humanitarian and livelihood issue to
be resolved peacefully.
h) Buddhist diplomacy – March 2015
An Indian government-supported NGO organised a rare dialogue on Vinaya between high-ranking monks
of the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka and the Nalanda tradition in New Delhi in March 2015 — a
dialogue at this level between the two traditions was last held in the 7th century AD.



This engagement comes weeks after Sri Lanka got a new President and days after Prime Minister Narendra
Modi’s visit to the country, where he had met the Mahanayakas and offered prayers at the sacred Mahabodhi
tree. By engaging the Mahanayakas, who wield political influence over the Buddhists in Sri Lanka, India
also hopes to prevent the possible return of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as PM, after the
parliamentary elections. In the recent presidential polls, Maithripala Sirisena and Rajapaksa had shared the
Buddhist vote almost equally but the former won due to his massive lead among minority voters.

Notes



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Besides Sri Lanka, Theravada Buddhism is the dominant religion in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, while
the Nalanda tradition has a Himalayan perspective, which includes Nepal and Bhutan. By reaffirming
India’s historical leadership of the Buddhist world and projecting its Buddhist links in the region, Delhi is
evidently trying to counter efforts by China to extend its sphere of influence.



As governor of Fujian province, President Xi Jinping had actively played the Buddhist card and Beijing
continues to further its agenda through the world fellowship of Buddhists. Of course, Chinese claims of
promoting Buddhism are ironic because Beijing represses the religion in the country, violently so in Tibet.



By engaging Buddhist influencers and opinion-makers globally, Delhi aims to exercise soft-power diplomacy
to secure the unity of Tibetan Buddhism under the Dalai Lama’s leadership, and arguably ensure for itself
a key role in the post-Dalai Lama scenario.

3) China – SL
a) Visit by Xi Jinping - Sept 2014
SL assured China of its cooperation to its Maritime Silk Road initiative

2.

Defense cooperation

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1.

a. The agreed to deepen strategic and defence cooperation.

b. The countries would step up high-level exchanges, including those of defence authorities,
Negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) were launched

4.

The leaders authorized the $1.4-billion port city development project, Beijing’s latest investment in Sri
Lanka.

5.

China also said that it opposes any move by any country to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs under
any excuse.

6.

He also said that Sri Lanka is a “pearl in the Indian ocean.”

7.

China has consistently backed the country at the U.N. Human Rights Council where it faces a U.S.-backed
resolution that calls for an international probe into its rights record.

GS

3.

b) China launches major water project in Sri Lanka – December 2014


China has started a major water supply project in Sri Lanka. Once completed, the project will yield clean
drinking water for 600,000 people in 42 villages not far from Colombo.



It is a step towards using “soft power” to deepen its relationship with Colombo.

c) Overview – Growing ties
1.

Economic ties –
a. During Mr. Rajapaksa’s tenure, China won a primary role as a donor and investor, also loaning
approximately $500 million for development projects.
b. China is engaged in the expansion of Hambantota Port in southern Sri Lanka.
c. Chinese companies are also involved in the construction of the $1.2-billion Lakvijaya coal fired power
plant in Sri Lanka.

Notes

d. Mr. Sirisena has promised to reverse this trend in his manifesto, calling foreign debt a “trap” for Sri
Lanka.

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e. China sees SL as an important player in MSR.
2.

Defense concerns –
a. In recent months, the growing military relationship between Colombo and Beijing was one of the big
concerns in New Delhi.
b. National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had reportedly complained twice in recent months about the
docking of Chinese submarines in the Colombo harbour.
c. As a sovereign country, Sri Lanka must be free to choose its friends and allies. But the least New Delhi
can expect is that its defence concerns will not be compromised by a friendly neighbour.

3.

It is hoped that he will stop the China tilt as has been critical of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa
for his “tilt towards China” in his election campaign. But its too early to say.

d) SL President visits China – March 2015
In March 2015, SL President Maithripala Sirisena’s visited China

2.

Outcomes

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1.

a. SL President announcd that his decision to suspend the Colombo port project is “temporary” and that
the contract is expected to be reinstated shortly.
b. At the Boao Forum, President Xi unveiling the road map for China’s Maritime Silk Route and Silk
Road initiatives , that envision massive infrastructure projects in India’s neighbourhood, which he
discussed with Mr. Sirisena.
c. Mr. Xi has also suggested a possible ‘triangular’ dialogue among India, China and Sri Lanka.
3.

Comment –

a. It was part of a delicate balancing act being executed by Colombo.
b. Under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka had drifted close to China.

GS

c. New President moved closer to India –
i. In January’s general elections, the opposition front led by Sirisena had promised a more “balanced”
foreign policy by correcting pro-China tilt
ii. Sirisena thus made India his first foreign destination as President last month and Prime Minister
Narendra Modi paid a quick return visit in March 2015.
iii. He suspended the $1.4-billion Colombo port project.
iv. His government has said it would re-examine Chinese projects signed by the previous Mahindra
Rajapaksa regime.
v. SL announced that Chinese nuclear submarines would no longer be welcome to dock in Sri
Lankan harbours.
vi. Sri Lanka also signed its first nuclear agreement with India, albeit one that envisages nuclear
safety operations and not energy generation at present.
d. Now time to rebalance the tilt –

Notes

i. Having assuaged India’s concerns, Mr. Sirisena seems to be shifting his focus to China, and

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smoothing feathers ruffled by his government’s actions there, i.e., while improving ties with India,
it would not like to alienate China.
e.

Concluding remark –
i. Delhi must recognise that China will not easily let go of the neighbourhood. South Asian Countries
will continue to play the Chinese card.
ii. While China will continue to loom large in Sri Lanka, India’s real challenge is to rapidly consolidate
its own strategic and economic partnership with Colombo and also address the Tamil issue with
sensitivity.

BHUTAN
Visits
1.

From Indian side

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a. Modi visited Bhutan as his 1st official foreign visit.
b. President visited Bhutan in November 2014.
2.

From Bhutans side

a. King of Bhutan visited in January 2014.

b. Then its PM attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Detail of Modi’s visit à
1.

Modi visited Bhutan in his 1st official visit after being elected as PM.

2.

Detail

a. Called it as B2B (Bharat to Bhutan) relations.

GS

b. Addressed the joint session of Parliament of Bhutan.

c. Inaugurated its SC (which has been built by Indian assistance).
d. Discussed ways to enhance their ties further in trade and hydro-electricity.
e. He also said that India is planning.
3.

Significance

a. It shows neighbor first policy. Neighbours are generally ignored which is their grievance and thus a
good thing.
b. He choose it because China has expanded its relations with Bhutan.
c. It shows that India acknowledges Bhutan’s contribution in internal security and hydro-electricity.
Agreement for Joint Hydro-power April 2014


In April 2014, the two sides signed an agreement for the development of joint hydropower projects.

NEPAL

Notes

1) Indo-Nepal joint commission meets after 23 years

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1.

Indio-Nepal Joint commission was formed in 1987 with the aim of meeting every 2 years. But it was
ignored.

2.

In July 2014, it met after 23 years.

2) Modi’s visit to Nepal in August 2014
1.

Introduction
a. He is 1st Indian PM to pay a bilateral visit to Nepal in 17 years.
b. For the 1st time a guest has been invited to address a joint session of their Parliament.

2.

4C’s PM focused on 4C’s
a. Cooperation

c. Culture
d. Constitution
3.

Economic

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b. Connectivity

a. Trade deficit will be reduced.

b. India offered $1 billion package for Nepal’s infra development.
c. Energy to improve Nepal’s energy security India agreed to establish a pipeline to carry petroleum
products from Raxaul (Bihar) to Kathmandu.
d. HIT: India will help it in
i. H - Highways

GS

ii. I - IT

iii. T - Transmission of electricity
4.

Culture

a. Pashupati temple
i. Visited it

ii. Granted 25 crore for its renovation
b. Offered assistance to connect Lumbini to Buddhist circuit.
5.

Controversial issues
a. It was also decided to update the 1950 Indo-Nepal peace & friendship treaty.
b. Border issue to be resolved soon by the working group.
c. Dams
i. Pancheshwar dam: Modi assured that work will begin on it in a year.

Notes

ii. Upper Karnali dam: it will be sorted within 45 days.

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6.

3 MOU’s were signed with respect to:
a. Tourism development in Nepal.
b. Goiter control program in Nepal (India will provide grant assistance worth NRs 70 million to supply
iodated salt to curb goiter.
c. Cooperation between state controlled TV channels – Doordarsan and Nepal TV.

7.

Concluding remark
a. This has reduced the trust deficit
b. But momentum should not be lost

3) Upper Karnali hydro power project (GMR to build dam in Nepal September 2014)
In Sept 2014, GMR group of India finalized an agreement for building the upper Karnali hydro power
project

2.

With 900 MW it would be the biggest project.

3.

With $ 1.15 billion, it is the biggest private FDI in Nepal

4.

It will take 5 years to complete.

5.

Advantages for Nepal
a. Attracting new investment
b. It will ease power shortage.

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1.

4) China overtakes India as largest source of FDI

In January 2014, it was reported that China has overtaken India to become the largest contributor of FDI
to Nepal over the first six months of the current fiscal year.

PAKISTAN
1)(a) Paksitan alone
a) Operation Zarb-e-Azb
1.

Background –

GS



a. On 8 June 2014, TTP militants attacked Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan. 36 people
were killed.
2.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb
a. It is a military offensive being conducted by Pakistani security forces against various militant groups
including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Haqqani network, IMU and many others.
b. The operation was launched by the Pakistan Armed Forces on 15 June 2014 in North Waziristan (part
of FATA) in the wake of the 8 June attack on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, for which the
TTP and the IMU claimed responsibility.

Notes

c. In the ongoing war in North-West Pakistan, up to 30,000 Pakistani soldiers are involved in Zarb-e-Azb,

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described as a “comprehensive operation” to flush out all foreign and local militants hiding in North
Waziristan.
d. As of early November 2014, over 1,100 militants were reported killed, while security forces’ casualties
were recorded as 86.
b) Pakistan internal unrest
1.

A movement similar to Indian IAC movement is also taking place in Pakistan which is led by
a. Tahir-ul-Qadri, leader of Paksitan Awam Tehrik, who launched Inqilab March.
b. Imran Khan, leader of Paksitan Tehrik-e-Insaaf, who launched, Azadi March.

2.

Demands: the two sides have joined hands demanding.
a. Resignation of current govt and re-election (as according to them 2013 elections were rigged)

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b. Removal of Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif

c. Electoral reforms including reconstruction of election commission
3.

Tactics of protest: Mainly civil disobedicnece tactics like
a. Not to pay tax and bills.

b. Attempts to storm PM’s palace and encircle Parliament.
4.

Army

a. Paksitan army has maintained a passive approach as

i. It didn’t wanted to capture power (because of previous misrule of last govt)
ii. But neither has supported Sharif as it is alleged that they are against him because he is pursuing
cases against Musharaff; his attempts to improve relations with India.

GS

b. So they are playing a wait and watch game.
c. The Pakistan Army denies it but there has been much speculation about its role in the protests from
the start.
d. Military gained an upper hand over the government.
5.

India

a. If army comes again then it will be a setback for India because under Sharif relations improved a bit.
6.

It wiped out the country’s small democratic gains of the last six years.

c) Peshawar massacre –
1.

About the massacre –
a. On December 16 by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) carried out a terror attack on Army Public
School in Peshawar in which they killed 162 people including 132 school-childrens and staff members
(as young as 3 were targeted).

Notes

b. Terrorists wore suicide vests and blew themselves after completing their task.

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c. It is the most horrific terrorist incident witnessed in Pakistan since independence. Earlier they mainly
attacked army installations or at max civilians but killing childrens was the biggest low.
d. They had earlier attacked Malala also. Like Boko-Haram they are against girls education and thus target
schools.
2.

Why attacked –
a. TTP said that the school and the children were targeted in retaliation for the continued military
operation (Zarb-E-Azb) against the TTP in the tribal areas of North Waziristan.
b. The Army claims to have killed more than 1,800 militants but has also killed and displaced civilians.
c. According to TTP many women and children had been killed in the Army operations, so they wanted
the army to feel the pain of losing their children (as many students were children of army persons).

3.

Blame on India –

4.

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a. Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat-ud-Dawa put the blame on India for it.
Steps against terrorism by Paksitan –

a. As usual candle-light vigils were held all over pakistan in memory of those killed.
b. Atleast for a moment all stakeholders have united to fight against terrorism. Imran Khan’s party has
stopped its protest against Nawaz Sharif.
c. Pak PM said that the country wont make any distinction between good and bad terrorism. However
it doesn’t seem possible as –
i. With respect to Afghanistan –

1. Relations between the two are strained.

2. Afghan Taliban including its leader are protected by IS (not a secret).

GS

3. Pakistan views the Afghan Taliban as a “strategic asset”. Pakistan does not want countries
such as India and Iran to have too much influence in Afghanistan after US withdrawal.
ii. With respect to India –

1. Obvious reasons.

d. Lifted moratorium on executions in the country.
i. Although good atleast their won’t be any fear of releasing them, but won’t deter terrorists as they
are suicide bombers
e. Military courts set up
i. Introduction – National Assembly and the Senate ushered in the 21st Amendment to the
Constitution under which military courts are to be set up for a period of two years to adjudicate
on terrorism-related cases.
ii. Advantages –

Notes

1. In the eyes of the public, the Army is bound to be seen as being more efficient than the
elected government — military trials do end quickly and military-appointed judges may be
more daring than those in Pakistan’s civilian anti-terrorist courts.

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iii. Issues –
1. A step towards military rule
2. The move has undermined the hard-fought 2007 struggle of the judiciary for the separation of
powers,
3. Instead of using the opportunity to strengthen investigations into terrorism offences, and put in
place mechanisms to protect witnesses and judges from intimidation by terrorist groups, the
government grasped all too easily the hand offered by the military, an admission of civilian
helplessness.
4. Speed does not always serve the interests of justices.
5. Opens up the danger of misuse of the process against innocent civilians, including those involved
in legitimate political activity.

5.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to work closely. Relations have improved after departure of
Hamid Karzai.

Comments –

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f.

a. In promise of heaven these terrorists are creating a hell on earth.
6.

Reason for terrorism in Pakistan –
a. Islamisation of Pakistan

i. There has been rapid Islamisation of Pakistan.

ii. Even the army has a large section of soldiers who are radical Islamists and have sympathy with
terrorists.
iii. Reasons.

Framing of Islamic constitution. No law can be enacted which is unislamic.

2.

Blasmphemy laws have been enacted. Governor of Punjab was killed by his bodyguard for speaking
against the blasphemy law.

3.

Education system –

GS

1.

a. Its education system that, like Saudi Arabia’s system, provides an ideological foundation for violence
and future jihadists.
b. “Militant Jehad” became part of the culture on college and university campuses. 
1)(b) Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009
(Also known as the Kerry-Lugar Act)
1) About the act –
1.

The Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act of 2009  (also known as the Kerry-Lugar-Bergman Act) was
an Act of USA which was passed into law on October 15, 2010.
a. It was proposed by Senators John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) and Richard Lugar (R-Indiana).

Notes

2.

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It authorizes the release of 1.5 billion USD per year to the Government of Pakistan as non-military aid
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3.

According to Section 203 of the Bill, to get the assistance, Pakistan govt. during the preceding fiscal year
must demonstrate a sustained commitment to
a. Cease support to terror groups,
b. Preventing terrorist groups (like Al-Qaeda, Taliban, LET, JeM from operating in Pakistan and carting
cross-border terror attacks.
c. Strengthening counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws.

4.

The act ended in September 2014. Under it only about half of the $7.5 billion was disbursed.

2) In news –
1.

What happened

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a. In January 2014, the U.S. Secretary of State has signed off on a certification that the Pakistan
government has “prevented Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated terror groups such as Lashkar-eTaiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad from operating in the territory of Pakistan” for the year.
b. This year’s grant is of $532 million to Pakistan.
2.

Civilian aid is in addition to Defense authorization

a. It is in addition to a separate U.S. defence authorisation of $1 billion under the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, which requires the U.S. Secretary of Defence to “certify” that
Pakistan has demonstrated a commitment to dismantle the Haqqani network and preventing North
Waziristan from becoming a terrorist safe haven.
b. The defence authorisation for Pakistan was signed by President Obama on December 18, and will deal
with military reimbursements for the Coalition Support Fund on the war in Afghanistan.
3.

Opposed by India as it is despite the fact that both the LeT and the JeM have resurfaced visibly in the
past year in Pakistan and the founders of both, Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, have held public rallies
in Pakistan in 2014

GS

a. In January 2014, the JeM (of Masood Azhar) held a public rally in Muzaffarabad,
b. In December 2014, Hafiz Saeed, held a massive two-day rally at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan that
reportedly attracted more than a lakh participants. He spoke of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” or war against
India, and a few days later appeared on Pakistani TV stations blaming India for the Peshawar school
massacre.
c. In December 2014, Pakistan granted bail to 26/11 planner and LeT operations chief Zaki-ur Rahman
Lakhvi in the Mumbai case.
2) Indo – Pakistan
a) Under NDA Government (overview)
1.

Good points
a. Started of good with Modi inviting Nawaz Sharif on his swearing in ceremony
b. Pakistan released 59 Indian prisoners as a goodwill gesture ahead of PM’s visit to New Delhi to attend
the swearing-in ceremony of PM-elect Narendra Modi.

Notes

c. Pipeline July 2014

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i. India has decided to pipe natural gas and petroleum products to Pakistan.
ii. Significance: It could revive 2 important projects – IPI and TAPI.
d. In September 2014, India offered help to Pakistan in Kashmir flood (POK).
e. Shawl and sari diplomacy: Mr. Modi had sent a shawl as a gift for Mr. Sharif ’s mother in Lahore.
f.
2.

Direct letter diplomacy: The exchange of letters seems to indicate Mr. Modi’s desire for more direct
diplomacy with Mr. Sharif.

But then declined
a. In May 2014, Indian consulate in Herat (Afghanistan) was attacked. It is alleged that these were
Pakistan based terrorist groups.

SC
OR
E

b. Ceasefire violations: Defense minister reported to parliament that there has been atleast 19 cases of
ceasefire violations from the Pakistani side since the NDA government came to power — between
May 26 and July 17.
c. In August 2014, talks between foreign secretaries of both sides was called off. It was Pakistan high
commissioner held strong consultations with separatist Hurriyat leaders to which India objected to.
d. Then there were cross-border killings.

e. Kashmir at UN, Sept 2014: Nawaz Sharif spoke at the United Nations about a plebiscite in Kashmir.
b) Lahore Agreement
3.

Nawaz Sharif on visit to India said that he intends to pick up the threads of the Lahore declaration from
where it was left in October 1999.

4.

At that time he was PM and BJP was in power and this is the present case too.

GS

a. The Lahore Declaration is a bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan.
The treaty was signed on February 21, 1999,at the conclusion of a historic summit in Lahore, and
ratified by the Parliaments of both countries the same year.
b. It was signed in the background of nuclear tests by the 2 sides.
c. Under the terms of the treaty, a mutual understanding was reached to avoid accidental and unauthorized
operational use of nuclear weapons.
d. The Lahore Declaration brought added responsibility to both nations’ leadership towards avoiding
nuclear race.
e. This event was significant in the history of Pakistan and it provided both countries an environment
of mutual confidence.
f.

The relations would soon lose became impetus with the outbreak of the highly condemned in Pakistan,
and controversial Kargil debacle in May 1999.

c) PIA – Pakistan International Airlines It is the sole carrier for flights between the two countries.

2.

On January 17, 2015 ED of GOI issued a notice to PIA to dispose of its properties in Delhi as their
purchases was unauthorized (as property were acquired in violation of FEMA and without RBIs permission)

Notes

1.

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3.

However PIA argues that they got all clearences and how will they function without marketing and sales
office.

4.

If those flights are unable to run, the only option for travellers would be to travel by foot on the WagahAttari border in Punjab, or pay for flights via a third city like Dubai, which would be considerably more
expensive. However India says that Wagah-Attari route is more popular.

d) Pakistans commitment to fight terrorism –
In Dec 2014, Pakistan granted bail to Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi (he is one the main accused in 26/11 attacks
of 2008 in which 166 were killed).

6.

India said that it will make a mockery of Pakistans commitment to fight terror groups.

Notes

GS

SC
OR
E

5.

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