In this week’s news from the world outside, in a surprise move, India and Pakistan released a joint statement recommitting themselves to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 the US welcomed it and suggested that it nudged the two sides to it. Meanwhile, the Westminister Magistrate’s Court in UK ordered the extradition of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi. In another development, there have been reports that the outage in Mumbai last year was due to the Chinese hacking into the power grid system. On the podcast this week, listen to former cybersecurity chief in the Prime Minister’s office, Gulshan Rai on the Cyberthreat from China and how to deal with it.
India Pakistan joint statement on ceasefire
– In a surprise move India and Pakistan released a joint statement recommitting themselves to the ceasefire understanding of 2003.
– The joint press statement said – “the two DGsMO agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence. Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24/25 Feb 2021.
– The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said India desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan. However, spokesperson Anurag Srivastav said that India’s position on key issues with Pakistan have not changed.
– Pakistan PM Imran Khan welcomed the ceasefire but said the onus was on India to create an enabling environment for further progress on bilateral ties. He also brought up the Kashmir issue and said it should be resolved as per UN agreements.
– US welcomed the joint statement and also suggested that it nudged the two sides to it. Ned Price, Spokesperson, US state department said, “I can say and what you’ve heard me say from this podium and others from this administration say is that we had called on the parties to reduce tensions along the Line of Control by returning to that 2003 ceasefire agreement.”
Chinese hacking into India’s power grid?
– There have been reports that the outage in Mumbai last year was due to the Chinese hacking into the power grid system.
– The power ministry denied the reports saying, “There is no impact on any of the functionalities carried out by POSOCO due to the referred threat. No data breach/data loss has been detected due to these incidents.”
– The Chinese foreign ministry also denied these allegations. Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “Speculation and fabrication have no role to play on the issue of cyber attacks, as it is very difficult to trace the origin of the cyber attack. It is highly irresponsible to accuse a particular party…”
– On the podcast this week, we speak to the former cybersecurity chief in the Prime Minister’s office, Gulshan Rai on the Cyberthreat from China and how to deal with it.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced
– A Paris court has found Nicolas Sarkozy guilty of corruption and influence peddling
– He was sentenced to three years in prison
– He will face another trial on charges of illegal financing of his 2012 presidential campaign.
– Sarkozy denied all charges during the trial.
– Sarkozy was President from 2007-2012
– His predecessor Jacques Chirac was also sentenced for misuse of public money in 2011
Nirav Modi to be extradited to India
– The Westminister Magistrate’s Court in UK ordered the extradition of fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi.
– He is the prime accused in the 13,700 crore PNB scam case.
– While it is a big win for the Indian agencies, it is unlikely Nirav will be brought back to India anytime soon.
– He has 14 days time from the time of the court ruling to appeal against his extradition in the UK High Court once the order is signed by the Home Secretary.
– Thereafter, the High Court will take a call on whether to record oral or written submissions before passing its order, which could take up to several months.
– Nirav also has an option to approach European Court of Human Rights if his case falls flat in UK.
External Affairs Minister Jaishankar in Dhaka
– EAM Jaishankar is likely to visit Dhaka to do ground work for the PM’s visit later this month.
– This will be PM Modi’s first visit to a country abroad since the pandemic.
– The two countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties
– A military contingent from Bangladesh had participated in India’s R Day parade on 26th January this year.
– The two countries may start discussion on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)