NewsIndiaTimes - page 14

– that”s all you need to know
News India Times
April 17, 2015
By Syed Raza Hassan
Pakistani court freed
on bail on April 10
Lakhvi, accused of plot-
ting a 2008 militant
assault on India”s financial capi-
tal that killed 166 people and
seriously strained ties between
the nuclear-armed neighbors, his
lawyer said.
Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi had condemned
the prospect of bail for Lakhvi,
which comes months after India
and Pakistan were engaged in
their worst cross-border violence
in more than a decade in the dis-
puted Kashmir region.
"Lakhvi has been released and
he is out of the jail now," his
lawyer, Malik Nasir Abbas, told
Reuters on April 10. "I don”t
know where he will go now."
A security official also con-
firmed his release.
India”s Ministry for External
Affairs said before the release
that its concern about Lakhvi
had been made clear to Pakistan.
"The fact is that known terror-
ists not being effectively prose-
cuted constitutes a real security
threat for India and the world,"
an Indian ministry spokesman
"This also erodes the value of
assurances repeatedly conveyed
to us with regard to cross-border
India blamed the Pakistan-
based militant group Lashkar-e-
Taiba for the Mumbai attack. Ten
gunmen infiltrated the city by
boat and spent three days spray-
ing bullets and throwing
grenades around city landmarks.
Indian investigators said
Lakhvi was the Lashkar-e-Taiba
military chief.
He was arrested in Pakistan in
2009 in connection with the
attack. Relations between India
and Pakistan, which have fought
three wars since independence
in 1947, nosedived after the
assault and have not fully recov-
ered. A dispute over the Kashmir
region periodically flares into
Lakhvi was granted bail by an
Anti Terrorism Court in
Islamabad on Dec. 18, two days
after a militant attack on a high
school in the city of Peshawar
killed 132 children.
The fact that he was granted
bail just two days after the attack,
for which many are still in
mourning, forced the govern-
ment to detain Lakhvi under
"Maintenance of Public Order"
His lawyer told Reuters his
client has been granted bail
because of insufficient evidence.
His release prompted some
outrage on social media.
"Dear Pakistani courts," read
one tweet. "Would it take Lakhvi
to mow down children in a
Peshawar school for you to see
him for the terrorist he is?"
– Reuters
PakistanCourt Frees onBail 26/11 AccusedMastermindLakhvi
India”s YemenEvacuationOver,Wins Praise
ndia has won many friends by
evacuating nearly 1,000
nationals of 41 countries from
warring Yemen, with the opera-
tion led by an irascible former
general coming as a welcome
moment of pride for a nation
that aspires to emerge as a global
Foreign office minister V.K.
Singh returned to a hero”s wel-
come on April 10, having joined
several Air India flights into the
Yemeni capital Sanaa to evacuate
people from the conflict there to
Djibouti. “The bombings are still
on,” the former army chief of
staff told reporters at Delhi air-
port. “There was trouble in evac-
uating them, yet we did our
Along with some 4,600
Indians, Singh”s mission rescued
citizens of Britain, France and
the United States, a symbolic
step in a country sensitive about
its reliance on foreign aid in the
decades following independence
in 1947. Indian media and gov-
ernment officials this week glee-
fully circulated a screenshot of
CNN anchorWolf Blitzer talking
about India”s rescue of U.S. citi-
The evacuation fromYemen
also provided a rare chance for
arch-rivals India and Pakistan to
look beyond hostilities, as 11
Indians were evacuated by the
Pakistani navy and flown home,
winning a vote of thanks from
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Three Pakistanis also made it
out on Indian transport. The
Ministry of External Affairs said
India had now ended the rescue
effort. It will close its embassy in
Sanaa, where Saudi Arabia has
launched air strikes against
Iranian-allied Houthi rebels.
– Reuters
India toBuy 36French-
madeRafale Jets
ndian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi said on
April 10 he had ordered 36
"ready-to-fly" French-made
Rafale fighter jets to modern-
ize his country”s aging war-
plane fleet as neighboring
states upgraded their military
Indian military officials
have warned that their air
force risks a major capability
gap opening up with China
and Pakistan without new
western warplanes or if local
defense contractors cannot
produce what the military
needs in a timely manner.
"I have asked President
(Francois Hollande) to supply
36 ready-to-fly Rafale jets to
India," Modi said at a news
conference on the first day of
a state visit to France.
"Our civil servants will dis-
cuss (terms and conditions) in
more detail and continue the
negotiations," he said, speak-
ing in Hindi through an inter-
preter. The deal, another
boost for French manufactur-
er Dassault Aviation
(AVMD.PA) after it sealed its
long-awaited first export deal
to Egypt in February, could be
worth about 4 billion euros.
President Hollande said
Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le
Drian would travel to India
soon to finalize the deal.
India and France have
already been in exclusive
negotiations for three years.
The value of a larger 126-
plane deal being negotiated is
estimated to have grown to
about $20 billion from an ini-
tial $12 billion, primarily
because of an Indian require-
ment that 108 of the jets be
built in the country.
A French defense ministry
source said the deal
announced on April 10 was
separate from the original
negotiations and came about
after new Indian Defense
Minister Manohar Parrikar
indicated the country”s
urgent requirements.
"We informed themwe
were ready to respond to their
operational needs separate
from the tender under discus-
sion for three years," the
source said.
India”s military has said it
needs to start replacing its
aging jet fleet from 2017.
"There was a real opera-
tional need because India
needs combat jets because a
certain number of countries
have been equipping them-
selves, so there was a desire to
speed up the process,"
Dassault Chief Executive Eric
Trappier told Europe 1 radio.
The country already has
previous ties with Dassault,
having bought Mirage 2000
fighter jets. In March, Dassault
delivered two modernized
Mirage jets to India.
Analysts say Dassault”s
deal with Egypt may have
helped break the logjam in
negotiations with other cus-
tomers, since they are now on
notice that if they want to
have Rafales they may have to
wait for them.
– Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and French
President Francois Hollande, right, leave the Elysee palace
towards the hotel Marigny in Paris, April 10.
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