Digest of international news for week Feb 6- Feb 12, 2016
Washington: The Obama Administration says it has decided to sell eight nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets worth nearly USD 700 million to Pakistan, a proposal that is likely the face stiff resistance in the Republican-controlled Congress.
Washington: Notwithstanding India’s strong protest, the Obama Administration justifies its move to sell eight F-16 fighters to Pakistan claiming that these jets were “critical” to the country’s counter-terrorism operations.
Munich: The world has plunged into a “new Cold War”, the Russian premier says as Moscow came under attack at a global security gathering over its targeting of moderate rebels in Syria.
Houston: Staunchly conservative US Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia is found dead while on a hunting trip in Texas, triggering a fierce political fight in the run-up to the presidential election over his successor that would decide the leaning in the highest judicial body.
Lahore: Pakistan’s Senate will discuss a controversial clause in the landmark Hindu Marriage Bill that calls for annulment of a marriage if any of the spouses converts to another religion, after unanimously passing the law recently.
Kathmandu: Energy-starved Nepal signs an agreement with India to import additional 80MW of electricity to ease its energy crisis, days ahead of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s maiden visit to India.
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Sindh Assembly passes the Hindu Marriage Bill making the province the first in the country to allow the minority community to register their marriages, amid calls from a leading Hindu group to remove a controversial clause in the landmark bill.
United Nations: Former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who led the world body from the hopeful times that emerged at the end of the Cold War to the massacres in Rwanda and Bosnia, dies at the age of 93.
Kathmandu: Promising to end Nepal’s internal problems soon, Prime Minister K P Oli says the proposed political committee to address the demands of the Madhesis will be formed before his fence-mending India visit this week.
Peshawar: A 31-year-old Indian engineer is sentenced to three years in prison for espionage by a Pakistani military court over three years after he went missing when he illegally entered the country from Afghanistan reportedly to meet a girl he had befriended online.
United Nations: India has hit out at the UN Security Council over its current structure and methods of work, saying the 15-membered powerful world body is “divorced from reality” and represents a bygone era warranting reform, says India’s Ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin.
Beijing: China deploys long-range anti- aircraft missiles on a disputed South China Sea island, a media report says even as the Communist giant downplayed it as Western media’s attempt to create “stories”.
London: Amnesty International calls on Delhi Police to release JNU students union leader Kanhaiya Kumar and ex-Delhi University lecturer SAR Geelani and drop sedition charges against them, saying the government and police are displaying an “appalling intolerance for dissent.”
Washington: The US’ decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan should not be a cause of concern for India as the regional security situation was taken into account at the time of sale, the Pentagon says as it rejects India’s disappointment over the move.
Singapore: US fighter jet maker Lockheed Martin says it is ready to manufacture F-16 aircraft in India and supports the ongoing talks between the two countries to set up the first manufacturing facility, one of the largest projects under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Islamabad: The Pakistani anti-terrorism court holding the Mumbai attack trial orders the Federal Investigation Agency to present all 24 Indian witnesses before it so that their statements can be recorded, an order which could further delay proceedings in the high-profile case.
Washington: A top American human rights body asks Indian authorities to stop charging peaceful activists, including JNU students’ union leader Kanhaiya Kumar, with sedition.
Kathmandu: Nepal forms a political panel for resolving the thorny issue of delineation of provinces under the new Constitution to achieve reconciliation with the Madhesis who dismissed the “unilateral” move as a bid to make Prime Minister K P Oli’s India trip successful.
Lahore/Islamabad: Pakistani authorities lodge an FIR in connection with the Pathankot terror attack without naming JeM chief Masood Azhar who India has accused of having masterminded the strike.