Bhargav Reddy – APAC Assistance Operations Assistant
Major Issues In SOUTH ASIA
THURSDAY, 28 March 2019
Pakistan seeks de-escalation. Pakistan has reportedly requested China to withdraw the technical hold on the United Nations listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist on the condition that India carries out a military de-escalation on the border and resumes bilateral dialogue with Islamabad. The time for China to give specific reasons for its technical hold runs out this week. A ban on Massod Achar was proposed in the United Nations Security Council after JeM claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide attack at Pulwama which killed 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers.
India successfully test fires anti-satellite missile. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India has become the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to acquire the capability of space warfare. Indian scientists successfully conducted Mission Shakti shooting down a live satellite target in the low earth orbit (LEO). Low earth orbit refers to an altitude up to 2,000 km. A satellite in the LEO can monitor activities on the ground and water surfaces. Such a satellite can be used for espionage and pose a serious threat to the country’s security in the instances of war. The announcement comes a month after India and Pakistan were at the brink of a full-scale war after India conducted airstrikes at Balakot in Pakistan targeting Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group which claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on Indian paramilitary soldiers at Pulwama on February 14. The announcement is also being made weeks before the general elections in April, the Bharatiya Janata party-led government can possibly seek to garner wider support using such defense initiatives.