Bilateral Current Affairs
Bilateral Current Affairs January 4th Week 2016
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) India, Pakistan agree to put off Foreign Secretary talks

  • After days of suspense, India and Pakistan agreed on 14th January to put off talks between the Foreign Secretaries that were due to be held on 15th January in Islamabad.
  • Officials called the postponement of talks to a later date a matter of “mutual convenience”, but the announcement at the last hour indicated that India had held out for more action from Pakistan against the perpetrators of the Pathankot attack before deciding to put off the talks that had been announced by Pakistan for January 15.
  • On 13th January, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s office had claimed a major crackdown on the Jaish-e-Mohammad, the group accused of carrying out the airbase attack in which 7 Indian soldiers were killed. According to the Pakistan PMO statement, JeM operatives had been “apprehended”, and offices sealed.
  • However, despite media reports quoting several police and intelligence officials on the “protective detention” and questioning of JeM founder Masood Azhar, there was no confirmation from the Pakistani government of this, the MEA said.
  • Meanwhile, the MEA said India had noted the Pakistan government’s discussion on sending a Special Investigation Team comprising a six-man investigation committee including ISI and Military intelligence officials. Officials wouldn’t comment on whether the SIT would arrive in India before the next date for the Foreign Secretary talks.

2) India-Bahrain agreement to combat terror

  • Current Affirs Union Cabinet on 6th January gives ex-post facto approval to agreement between India and Bahrain on cooperation in combating international terrorism; agreement includes transnational organised crime and trafficking in illicit drugs, narcotic. Cabinet also gave ex-post-facto approval to MoU with Bangladesh for Mode of Operation of Border Haats signed in 2010 on Indo-Bangla border.
  • India will establish new Border Haats after identification of locations in consultation with Bangladesh & concerned states. These Border Haats will promote traditional system of marketing local produce through local markets on currency/barter basis.

3) Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrated in Colombo

  • Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was celebrated in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 9th January with a call to all persons of Indian origin to contribute to the Constitutional and political reform process in the country.
  • Chief Guest at the function, Central Minister Mr Mano Ganeshan said that Indians have long tradition of enriching the culture and society of the countries they have made their homes. He pointed out that Sri Lanka is embarking upon an exercise to draft a new constitution that will give honorable position to all communities. He urged the people of Indian origin to contribute to this exercise and participate fully in the political processes in the country.

Other points:

  1. Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking community engagement and diaspora events to a new level, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the contact with the Non-Resident Indians (NRI) in various parts of the world had deepened ever since the BJP-led Government came to power.
  2. Swaraj also recalled the efforts undertaken by the government to rescue Indians stranded in the war-torn nations. She said that in the last 19 months, India has risen to the challenge of emergency relief on four different occasions - Ukraine, Libya, Iraq and Yemen.
  3. On June 3, crisis erupted in Ukraine, where 1, 000 Indian students had to be evacuated, five days later problem in Iraq erupted. Even as events were unfolding in Iraq, Libya happened, there India had to evacuate 3,500 people.

4) India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear facilities, prisoner

  • Current Affirs India and Pakistan on 1st January exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities . This is done on 1st of January every year under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations that bars them from attacking each other`s atomic facilities.
  • The agreement, which was signed on 31 December 1988 and entered into force on 27 January 1991, provides that the two countries inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities. This is the twenty fifth consecutive exchange of such list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on 1 January 1992.
  • The two countries also exchanged the lists of nationals including civil prisoners and fishermen of each country lodged in their jails. The list was exchanged through diplomatic channels at New Delhi and Islamabad. This has been done in consistent with the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access between the two countries.
  • The agreement, which was signed on 31st of May 2008, provides for exchange of comprehensive list of nationals of each country lodged in other country’s jails twice each year, on 1st of January and 1st of July.