Ajit Doval on Terrorism

Cross-Border, ISIS-Inspired Terrorism Continue To Pose Threat: NSA Doval

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday highlighted that cross-border terrorism and ISIS-inspired terrorism continues to pose a threat to humanity.

Addressing a conference in the national capital on the role of Ulema in fostering a culture of Interfaith Peace and Social harmony in India and Indonesia, Doval said “As you all are aware, both our countries have been victims of terrorism and separatism. While we have overcome the challenges to a considerable extent, the phenomenon of cross-border and ISIS-inspired terrorism continues to pose a threat. Cooperation of the civil society is essential in countering the threat from ISIS-inspired individual terror cells and returnees from theatres like Syria and Afghanistan.”
The national security advisor said that the aim of today’s discussion is to bring together Indian and Indonesian Ulema and scholars who can take forward the cooperation in promoting tolerance, harmony and peaceful co-existence.

“This will bolster the fight against violent extremism, terrorism and radicalisation,” Doval said.

“None of the ends for which extremism, radicalisation and the misuse of religion are employed are justifiable on any ground. This is a distortion of religion against which all of us need to raise our voices. Extremism and terrorism is against the very meaning of Islam because Islam means peace and well-being (Salamati/Asalaam). Opposition to such forces should not be painted as a confrontation with any religion. That is a ruse”, he said.

“Instead, we should focus on the real message of our religions, which stands for the values of humanism, peace and understanding. Indeed, as the Holy Quran itself teaches, killing one person is like killing all humanity and saving one is akin to saving humanity. Islam ordains that the most excellent form of Jihad is ‘Jihad Afzal’ – that is, Jihad against one’s senses or ego- and not against innocent civilians,” Doval further said.

Top Indonesian minister Mohammed Mahfud MD is in Delhi on the invitation of National Security Advisor Doval.

Mahfud, the Coordinating Minister for the Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia is accompanied by a high-level delegation of Ulema.

Visiting Ulema from Indonesia will also be interacting with their Indian counterparts. The discussion will be on the ‘Role of Ulema in fostering a culture of interfaith peace and social harmony in India and Indonesia’.

“Ulema play a very important role in Islamic society and the objective of such discussion is to bring together Indian and Indonesian Ulema and scholars who can take forward the cooperation to promote tolerance, harmony and peaceful co-existence and counter violent extremism and radicalization,” a source told ANI.

There will be three sessions, first on Islam: Continuity and Change, second on Harmonizing inter-faith society: Practice and Experience and last session will be on Countering Radicalization and Extremism in India and Indonesia.

During the visit, Ulema from Indonesia will also be interacting with leaders from other faiths. Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population.

NSA Doval had visited Indonesia for the second Indo- Indonesia security dialogue in March this year. NSA then invited minister Mehfud to India. (ANI)

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Doval’s Invitation: Top Min, Ulema From Indonesia To Attend Meet On Interfaith Harmony

On the invitation of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, top Indonesian minister Dr. Mohammed Mahfud MD will be in Delhi next week.

Dr. Mohammed Mahfud is the Coordinating Minister for the Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation of Ulema.
On November 28, visiting Ulema from Indonesia will also be interacting with their Indian counterparts. The discussion will be on the ‘Role of Ulema in fostering a culture of interfaith peace and social harmony in India and Indonesia’.

“Ulema play a very important role In Islamic society and the objective of such discussion is to bring together Indian and Indonesian Ulema and scholars who can take forward the cooperation to promote tolerance, harmony and peaceful co-existence and counter violent extremism and radicalization,” a source told ANI

There will be three sessions, first on Islam: Continuity and Change, second on Harmonizing inter-faith society: Practice and Experience, and the last session will be on Countering Radicalization and Extremism in India and Indonesia.

During the visit, Ulema from Indonesia will also be interacting with leaders from other faiths.

It is learned that NSA Doval will be making opening and closing remarks and a joint statement will also be issued at the end of the visit.

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and India is home to the second-largest number of Muslims in the world.

NSA Doval had visited Indonesia for the second Indo- Indonesia security dialogue in March this year. NSA then invited minister Mehfud to India. (ANI)

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Indonesia Earthquake deaths

Death Toll In Indonesia Earthquake Jumps To 268

The death toll from an earthquake on Indonesia’s main island of Java jumped to 268 on Tuesday.

At least 268 people have died as of about 5:30 p.m. local time, according to the head of Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency who was speaking at a press conference, reported ABC News.
Officials said that more than 1,000 people were injured. The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said that 151 people are still missing. It also said that 22,000 houses had been damaged in the region.

US Geological Survey data said the 5.6 magnitude quake struck Cianjur town in west Java, at a shallow depth of 10 km. The area where the quake struck is densely-populated and prone to landslides. Rescuers have been working to try to save others, who might still be trapped under collapsed buildings.

As bodybags emerged from crumpled buildings in Indonesia’s most populous province, rescue efforts turned to any survivors still under debris in areas made hard to reach by the mass of obstacles thrown onto the roads by the quake.

So far, a total of 1,083 people have been injured with 151 people still missing or unaccounted for, the official said in Tuesday’s press conference. More than 58,000 people have been displaced and numbers could still potentially rise, reported ABC News.

Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, went to the site of the quake and expressed his condolences.

“On behalf of myself, on behalf of the government, I would like to express my deep condolences for the earthquake in Cianjur Regency, West Java Province,” Widodo said in his remarks.

“And most importantly, I am happy that the road access that was buried yesterday until this morning has been able to be opened, thank God, and this will be continued with the speed in handling — especially (the) rescue (and) evacuation for those who are still buried,” he added.

Head of the National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB) Lieutenant General Suharyanto said that officials “can’t say yet how many of the 268 (deaths) are children.”

“The earthquake coincided with many children who were reciting the Quran,” he said. “So indeed some of those who have been identified are children. Whether the percentage of 268 (deaths) is a lot of children, tomorrow (Wednesday) at 5 pm (local time) we will answer.”

The country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In February 2022, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. (ANI)

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Indonesia Earthquake deaths

Indonesia: Earthquake Kills 162, 100 Injured

The death toll in a powerful earthquake that rattled Indonesia’s main island of Java on Monday has increased to 162 people while injuring hundreds of others.

The rescuers are searching for survivors trapped under the rubble amid a series of aftershocks, reported Al Jazeera.
The epicenter of the 5.6 magnitude earthquake was near the town of Cianjur in mountainous West Java, about 75km (45 miles) southeast of the capital, Jakarta. The region is home to over 2.5 million people.

The tremors destroyed many buildings and were felt in Cianjur in West Java at a depth of 10 km. Hundreds of buildings were damaged, including an Islamic boarding school, a hospital, and other public facilities.

The toll is expected to rise further, but no estimates were immediately available. The residents of Cianjur live mostly in towns of single and two-storey buildings and in smaller homes in the surrounding countryside, reported Al Jazeera.

Many of the dead were public school students who had finished their classes for the day and were taking extra lessons at several Islamic schools when they collapsed, West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said as he announced the new death toll in the remote area.

Kamil said that more than 13,000 people whose homes were heavily damaged were taken to evacuation centres. He said on his Instagram page that 326 others have been injured, reported Al Jazeera.

“So many buildings crumbled and shattered,” Kamil told reporters. “There are residents trapped in isolated places … so we are under the assumption that the number of injured and deaths will rise with time.”

Indonesia’s national disaster mitigation agency, BNPB, still lists the toll at 62 and rescuers were searching for 25 believed to be trapped under the rubble. Its spokesperson said the search would continue through the night, reported Al Jazeera.

Due to miscounting, officials offered wildly fluctuating death tolls after an Indonesian stadium disaster last month.

Meanwhile, footage from Metro TV showed structures in Cianjur reduced almost entirely to rubble as worried residents huddled outside.

Dwikorita Karnawati, head of the weather and geophysics agency BMKG, advised people to stay outdoors in case of aftershocks.

In the two hours after the quake, 25 aftershocks were recorded, BMKG reported, adding there was a danger of landslides, especially in the event of heavy rain.

“We call on people to stay outside the buildings for now as there might be potential aftershocks,” Karnawati told reporters.

The country of more than 270 million people is frequently struck by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis because of its location on the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

In February 2022, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake killed at least 25 people and injured more than 460 in West Sumatra province. (ANI)

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4th Industrial Revolution Modi

India’s G-20 Will Be Inclusive, Ambitious: Modi Promises At Closing Ceremony

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India’s G20 presidency will be ” inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented.”

While giving his address in the closing ceremony of G20 Summit, PM Modi said, “India’s G20 presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented. In the next year, it will be our endeavour that G20 works as a global prime mover to give impetus to collective action.”
“The sense of ownership over natural resources is giving rise to conflict today and has become the main cause of the plight of the environment. For the safe future of the planet, the sense of trusteeship is the solution. LiFE i.e. ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ campaign can make a big contribution to this. Its purpose is to make sustainable lifestyles a mass movement,” he added.

This G20 became special as India officially received the presidency of the G20 Summit and will assume office from 1st December 2022 for a one-year period.

Talking further about India’s presidency of the G20 summit, PM Modi said that the country is taking charge of the G-20 at a time when the world is simultaneously grappling with geopolitical tensions, economic slowdown, rising food and energy prices, and the long-term ill effects of the pandemic. And at that time “world is looking at the G-20 with hope,” he added.

In the closing ceremony, Prime Minister said that the member countries have to extend the benefits of development to all human beings with compassion and solidarity. He also said that without women, global development is not possible.

“We have to maintain priority on women-led development even in our G-20 agenda. Without peace and security, our future generations will not be able to take advantage of economic growth or technological innovation,” PM Modi said.

“The G-20 has to convey a strong message in favour of peace and harmony. All these priorities are fully embodied in the theme of India’s G-20 Chairmanship – “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” he added.

PM Modi started his speech with a congratulatory message for the Indonesian President Joko Widodo. While lauding Indonesia’s President, PM Modi said that he has given efficient leadership to the G-20 even in these difficult times.

He also said that India will strive to take forward Indonesia’s commendable initiatives during its G-20 Presidency.

“It is a proud occasion for every Indian to assume the G-20 Presidency. We will organize G-20 meetings in different cities and states of our country. Our guests will get full experience of India’s amazing diversity, inclusive traditions, and cultural richness. We wish that all of you will participate in this unique celebration in India, the Mother of Democracy. Together, we will make the G-20, a catalyst for global change,” Pm Modi said.

At the closing ceremony, Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially handed over the G20 Presidency to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (ANI)

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Indonesia G20 Presidency to India

Indonesia Hands Over G20 Presidency To India

Indonesia on Wednesday handed over the G20 Presidency to India, which will officially assume office on December 1, 2022.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially handed over the G20 Presidency to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the closing ceremony.
During the closing ceremony, PM Modi said, “It’s a matter of pride for every Indian as India takes over the presidency of the G20. We will organize G20 meetings in different states and cities in India. Together we will make G20 a catalyst for global change.”

“India’s G20 presidency will be inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented. In the next one year, it will be our endeavour that G20 works as a global prime mover to give impetus to collective action,” he added.

Earlier, PM Modi addressed the G20’s last working session, Digital Transformation where he said that India is making “digital access public.” He also noted that there is still a “huge digital divide” at the international level.

PM Modi said that only 50 countries have digital payment systems. In his statement at the third session of the G20 Summit, he called on world leaders for making a pledge to bring digital transformation into every person’s life in order to keep no one deprived of the benefits of digital technology.

“In India, we are making digital access public, but at the international level, there is still a huge digital divide. Citizens of most developing countries of the world do not have any kind of digital identity. Only 50 countries have digital payment systems.

“Can we take a pledge together that in the next ten years we will bring digital transformation in the life of every human being so that no person in the world will be deprived of the benefits of digital technology,” PM Modi said at the G20 summit,” he added.

As India assumes the G20 presidency on December 1, PM Modi stated that his nation will work jointly with G20 partners for achieving the objective. He announced that the principle of “Data for development” will remain an integral part of the overall theme of India’s presidency ‘One Earth, One Family, One Family.’ Calling digital transformation the “most remarkable change of the era,” PM Modi said that its proper use can be a “force multiplier” in the global fight against poverty.

“During its G-20 Presidency next year, India will work jointly with G-20 partners towards this objective. The principle of “Data for development” will be an integral part of the overall theme of our Presidency “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” PM Narendra Modi said. (ANI)

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Modi meet Xi Jinping

First handshake Since Galwan: Modi, Xi Meet At G20

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 dinner hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bali, Indonesia.

Both the leaders exchanged pleasantries at the high-profile dinner.
Notably, this is the first handshake since China’s Peoples Liberation Army and the Indian Army’s standoff in eastern Ladakh in April 2020.

The relations between India and China soured following a standoff in April-May 2020 over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger Area, Galwan Valley, Hot Springs, and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June.

In June 2020, the two armies were engaged in a violent clash that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and at least three Chinese troops.

PM Modi and Xi exchanged greetings at the G20 dinner.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for improving connectivity at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand, he maintained a safe distance from Xi Jinping.

PM Modi and President Jinping shared the world stage for the first time after clashes in the Galwan Valley. The tension along the Indo-China border was evident from the distance that the two leaders maintained from each other at the summit.

Moreover, PM Modi also met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the G20 dinner. He will be holding bilateral meetings with leaders of Indonesia, Spain, France, Singapore, Germany, Italy, Australia and the UK.

He is expected to hold bilateral talks with at least 8-9 world leaders on Wednesday.

Earlier, PM Modi and US President Joe Biden expressed satisfaction about the close cooperation between India and US in new groupings such as the Quad, and I2U2 and reviewed the India-US strategic partnership on the margins of the G20 Summit in Bali on Tuesday.

Both sides discussed close cooperation in future-oriented sectors like critical and emerging technologies, advanced computing, and artificial intelligence, an official statement by Prime Minister’s office read.

Furthermore, PM Modi also welcomed support for India’s G20 Presidency and expressed views on focus areas of the G20.

PM Modi also met with his Netherlands counterpart Mark Rutte during the ongoing G20 Summit in Bali, calling it an excellent interaction.

“Excellent interaction with @MinPres Mark Rutte during the @g20org Summit,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.

He also met the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and exchanged views on boosting India-Senegal ties. Moreover, PM Modi also interacted with the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, and Indian-American economist Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s Deputy managing director.

“Insightful deliberations with President @Macky Sall on boosting India- Senegal ties and deepening cooperation with Africa. @PR Senegal” tweeted PM Modi.

PM Narendra Modi also met his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

“With my friend President @EmmanuelMacron during the @g20org Summit earlier today,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

WHO Chief and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also briefly interacted on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali.

Sharing a picture of his meeting with PM Modi on Twitter, WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Thank you #India Prime Minister @narendramodi for your collaboration with @WHO on hosting and building the global traditional health centre. Together for #HealthForAll!”

The 17th edition of the G20 Summit will focus on key global concern issues under the theme ‘Recover Together, Recover Stronger.’ (ANI)

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Modi on India and Indonesia

We Are 90 Nautical Miles Close: Modi On India-Indonesia Ties

Highlighting the close cultural ties between India and Indonesia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said, “We are not 90 nautical miles away, we are 90 nautical miles close.”

Addressing a community program in Bali, Indonesia on the accomplishments of the Indian diaspora, he said, “India and Indonesia have an enduring partnership. We are not 90 nautical miles away, we are 90 nautical miles close.”

“India and Indonesia both have many similarities in their cultures. On Sankranti, beautiful and colourful kites fill the skies of both nations,” added PM Modi.

PM Modi also referred to a unique kite exhibition that he attended with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta last year.

Lauding the Indian diaspora in Bali, he said, “The Indian diaspora living in Bali have contributed to the growth of Indonesia across various fields such as art, engineering, agriculture, and even the film industry.”

Speaking about India-Indonesia relations, he said, “People often say, ‘It is a small world.’ This is true for India and Indonesia. Relations between both nations have prospered over centuries.”

He also referred to Bali Yatra as happening in the Indian city of Cuttack in Odisha.

“As I speak to you in Bali and we sing songs of Indonesian traditions, 1500 km away from here in India’s Cuttack, Bali Yatra Mahotsav is going on – Bali Jatra. This Mahotsav celebrates thousands of years old India-Indonesia trade relations,” said PM Modi.

“When people of Indonesia see photos of this year’s Bali Jatra on the internet, they will be proud and happy. Due to the issues arising due to COVID, some hurdles had cropped up. After several years, Bali Jatra Mahotsav is being celebrated on a grand scale with mass participation in Odisha,” he added.

PM Modi was greeted by people who chanted “Modi, Modi” at the Indian community event in Bali.

He also tried his hands at traditional Indonesian musical instruments.

He compared the cultural and geographical similarities between the two nations.

“If India has the Himalayas, Indonesia has Mount Agung; if India has Ganga, Indonesia has Tirta Gangga – we are united through cultures and traditions,” said PM Modi.

Speaking about Operation Samudra Maitri, he said, “Relations between India and Indonesia stand strong during both good and difficult times. In 2018, when Indonesia was affected by an earthquake, we immediately started operation Samudra Maitri.”

“When the cultures are similar when the vision for humanity is similar, then the paths to development also coincide,” he added. (ANI)

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Stolen Antiquities To India

US Returns 307 Stolen Antiquities To India

After the 15-years of investigation, the US authorities returned 307 antiquities that were stolen by multiple smaller trafficking networks to India, valued at nearly 4 million Dollars, according to a press statement released on Monday.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L Bragg Jr on Monday announced that they are returning 307 antiquities valued at nearly USD 4 million to the people of India and the majority of them were seized from disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
Subhas Kapoor is a looter, who had helped to traffic the items from Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other countries.

According to the statement, “Five of the antiquities were seized according to the Office’s investigation into Nancy Wiener, and one according to an investigation into Nayef Homsi.”

All the antiquities were returned during a repatriation ceremony at the Indian Consulate in New York attended by India’s Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, and US Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) Acting Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge, Tom Lau.

“We are proud to return hundreds of stunning pieces to the people of India,” the press statement quoted District Attorney Bragg as saying.

“These antiquities were stolen by multiple complex and sophisticated trafficking rings – the leaders of which showed no regard for the cultural or historical significance of these objects. Tracking down these antiquities would not be possible without the collaboration of our law enforcement partners at HSI and the outstanding work of our world-class investigators,” he added.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Alfonso said, “Today we are proud to join our partners from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to return an incredible 307 stolen works of art and antiquities to their rightful home in India. This repatriation is the result of a globe-spanning, fifteen-year investigation whereas the investigative team chased leads, followed the money, and ultimately seized these pieces, ensuring their return to the people of India,”

He further added that HSI will continue to investigate artifacts with little or no provenance, or of questionable origin, and work with domestic and international partners to return these priceless pieces of history to their rightful homes, the statement reads.

The District Attorney’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit, along with law enforcement partners at Homeland Security Investigations, have investigated Kapoor and his co-conspirators for the illegal looting, exportation, and sale of artifacts from numerous countries all over the world, for over a decade.

Among the pieces being returned is the Arch Parikara, crafted from marble and valued at approximately USD 85,000.

The Arch Parikara first surfaced in photographs depicting antiquity in a dirty, pre-restoration condition. These photographs, along with dozens of others depicting antiquities lying in the grass or on the ground, were sent to Kapoor by a supplier of illicit in India. The piece was smuggled out of India and into New York in May 2002, the statement reads.

Thereafter, Kapoor laundered the Arch Parikara to the Nathan Rubin – Ida Ladd Family Foundation, who donated the piece to the Yale University Art Gallery in 2007, the statement added.

In 2022 alone, the Office has returned 682 antiquities, valued at over USD 84 million to 13 countries. Since its founding, the Antiquities Trafficking Unit has returned nearly 2,200 antiquities, valued at over USD 160 million, to 22 countries. (ANI)

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127 Killed In Mass Riots During Football Match In Indonesia

At least 127 people died after riots broke out in a football match in Indonesia on Saturday night. Children and police officers are among the dead.

The soccer match took place inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, a landlocked city in the Indonesian province of East Java.
The defeat of Arema Football club by their arch-rivals Persebaya on their home ground prompted a large number of their supporters to storm the pitch following which mass riots broke out, killing more than 100 football fans and two police officers on the scene, the Daily Star reported.

Numerous footage that circulated on social media showed fans climbing over fences as they tried to escape from the smoke clouds after tear gas was released at the incident site in order to disperse the masses.

Notably, after the chaos ended on the soccer ground, the stampede continued on the streets, the Daily Star reported. (ANI)

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