Morning Brief: Army Chief Warns Of More Surgical Strikes; Call To Destroy Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets; US Declared War, Claims North Korea

by Swarajya Staff - Sep 26, 2017 06:25 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: Army Chief Warns Of More Surgical Strikes; Call To Destroy Pakistan’s
Nuclear Assets; US Declared War, Claims North KoreaIndian Army Chief Bipin Rawat.

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

Surgical Strikes Can Be Repeated If Necessary, Says Indian Army Chief: If necessary, the surgical strike conducted by the Indian Army across the Line of Control last year could be repeated, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Monday. "The surgical strikes were a message we wanted to communicate. I think they have understood. If the adversary does not behave, and it is required, we can conduct such operations again. We can repeat them, if not in the same form and shape," said Gen Rawat. The Army chief’s reactions came in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan even after nearly a year since the Army’s Special Forces carried out “surgical strikes” on terror launch pads inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He was speaking at the launch of a book India’s Most Fearless. Rawat said, “terrorists will keep coming because the (terror) camps are operational there (across the LoC). Even we are ready. We will keep receiving them (infiltrators) to dispatch them two-and-a-half feet below the ground.”

No Compromise In Fight Against Corruption, Says Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his party workers that his “battle against corruption” was “uncompromising” and whoever is caught will not be spared. As BJP sets out to design the contours of a ‘New India by 2022’, as envisioned by Prime Minister Modi, the party has set itself the ambitious task of ridding the country of poverty, terrorism, casteism, communalism and corruption. On Monday, a political resolution, passed at the party’s national executive meeting, underscored the need for eradicating the five ills, particularly terrorism and corruption, to help India emerge as a new nation by the time it completes 75 years of Independence. The course for this transformation will be anchored in the Sankalp se Sidhi programme, which is based on the premise that if 125 crore Indians adopt the pledge of ‘new India’, “nobody can stop it from becoming a reality”, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

SBI Revises Minimum Balance, Exempts Pensioners And Minors: State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday lowered the minimum average monthly balance (MAB) requirement in a savings account to Rs 3,000 from Rs 5,000 and also revised downwards penalties for non-adherence. They will become applicable from October. The country’s largest lender also decided to exempt pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits from government and minors from the requirement of minimum balance in savings account. In metropolitan areas the minimum balance requirement was Rs 5,000. For urban and semi-urban branches, it was fixed at Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000, respectively, and for rural branches it was Rs 1,000. The lender also revised downwards the penalty for non-maintenance of MAB. Now, the charges at semi-urban and rural centres range from Rs 20 to Rs 40 and at urban and metro centres from Rs 30 to Rs 50, the bank said.

Call To Destroy Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets: Former American senator Larry Pressler has suggested that both India and the US conduct pre-emptive strikes inside Pakistan to destroy its nuclear sites (where weapons have either already been stored or are being made). He added that Donald Trump may turn out to be the best American president yet for India as he had recently put Pakistan on notice for harbouring terrorists. But for this to happen, Trump would have to get around the Pentagon, which always encouraged Pakistan, he said. Such encouragement emboldened Pakistan to attack India as "the mother of terrorism" and "predator" at the UN general assembly session on Sunday, he added. "US must declare Pakistan a terrorist state, cut off all aid and must not treat India and Pakistan as equals. India is a democracy, Pakistan isn't. And Pakistan especially the ISI have lied to us for decades," he said.

60 New Train Services For Mumbai Local Network: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will flag off 60 new trains in one day, either at the end of this week or on 1 October, in one of the biggest augmentation exercises for the local train network in Mumbai – the lifeline of the metropolis. Western Railway suburban service will get 32 new trains whereas Central Railway will get 28 – 14 for the trans-harbour and 14 for the main line, as per plans drawn up by the respective zonal railways. The final numbers are still being worked out. In his latest trip to Mumbai, Goyal had promised that the Railway Ministry was working on a strategy to augment the suburban services with new trains. There are also talks of introducing some faster services.

Jayalalithaa Death Probe Ordered: The Tamil Nadu government on Monday set up an investigation panel headed by retired Madras High Court judge A Arumughaswamy to probe the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa. “To conduct inquiry and submit a report on the death of former chief minister Jayalalithaa, an inquiry commission headed by retired high court judge, justice Arumugasamy, has been constituted,” the directorate of information and public relations said. On 17 August, just before the merger of the two rival factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the Edappadi K Palaniswami-led government said that it would set up such an inquiry panel. An inquiry into Jayalalithaa’s December 2016 death in hospital was one of the main conditions for merger laid down by the leader of the other AIADMK faction, O Panneerselvam. Meanwhile, the rebel AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran on Monday claimed he has a video of Jayalalithaa watching TV during treatment at the Apollo Hospital and he would produce it as 'evidence' to any inquiry commission or agency probing her death.

Rakhine Mass Graves: 17 More Bodies Recovered: Seventeen more bodies were recovered in mass graves in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, the government said, a day after the bodies of 28 Hindu villagers were exhumed in what the army says is evidence of a massacre by Muslim Rohingya militants. Ni Maul, a Hindu leader who joined the search alongside soldiers and police, said the new corpses were of Hindu men aged between 30 and 50 and buried in two pits near the other grave sites. “We are still searching together with soldiers and police as we believe more than 100 people were killed at that time,” he said. Displaced Hindus from that area, known as Kha Maung Seik, said that Rohingya fighters stormed into their communities on 25 August, killing many and taking others into the forest. Frightened and dispossessed ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Hindus, who have largely fled south, say they see no future alongside their former Muslim neighbours.

US Declared War, Claims North Korea: The US President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea, and Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures, North Korea's Foreign Minister said on Monday. "The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country," Ri Yong Ho said in New York, where he was attending the annual UN General Assembly. "Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country. The question of who won't be around much longer will be answered then," Ri said. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Monday denied the United States had declared war, calling the suggestion "absurd".

MUST READ OPINIONS AND COLUMNS

The Six Big Economic Mistakes: Economic policymaking has been reduced to one of and only of (tax) morality. Here’s an assessment of the mistakes that the government committed and then reflect on whether fiscal stimulus would rectify them.

Can Bharat Get Cheaper Credit By Digitising Gold? At a massive 20,000 tonnes, India’s households hoard more gold than any other country on the planet. If we are somehow able to digitise India’s household gold holdings and link it to our respective credit profiles, it would lower interest rates – thus enabling affordable credit for hundreds of millions.

Time For A Reserve Bank of India ‘Dot Plot’: The RBI has been consistent in its inflation-targeting narrative. Since a dot plot gives a sense of future rate movements, it would be valued by markets, firms and households.

How Financial Services Incumbents Can Keep Up: Challenges for India’s banking sector incumbents are further exacerbated by their high-cost structures. They should assess how they can find the right ecosystems in order to acquire customers and deliver relevant and convenient financial solutions seamlessly

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

Rohingya Issue: Why Deny It Is About Religion When Indian Muslims Have Made It So? The last thing we need is to import trouble by treating all religious refugees as equal. India does not owe this to the world or itself.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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