Citizens' Issues
Modi may use military option if terror attack traced to Pakistan, says Blackwill
According to Robert Blackwill, former US Ambassador to India, PM Modi will be much more likely to use military force if there is a major terrorist attack whose breadcrumbs lead to Pakistan and the Pakistani military and ISI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to use the military option if the next terrorist attack in India is traced back to Pakistan, says Robert Blackwill, former US Ambassador to India. He, however, expressed hope that the Pakistanis would understand that their past behaviour is unlikely to be tolerated now.
“Every Indian Prime Minister since the attack on the Parliament in Delhi now heading on 15 years ago has looked seriously at a military response when these incidents occur and has stepped back. But I believe that sentiment inside India has changed substantially and I think this Prime Minister is unlikely to step back,” Blackwill said.
“If there is a major terrorist attack whose breadcrumbs lead to Pakistan and the Pakistan military and ISI, I think that this Prime Minister is likely to use military force against Pakistan territory. It’s not a certainty,” Blackwill told reporters during a conference call organised by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a top American think-tank.
Blackwill, who is a close watcher of India and South Asia, said Modi’s predecessors have been briefed by the Indian military on options and have never found them attractive.
“But I think Modi, both as a personality and reflecting Indian public opinion and political sentiment across the society will be much more likely to use military force than his predecessors,” he said.
“Now how that might be applied is another matter. To try to diminish the likelihood of escalation between two nuclear weapon states, but hopefully the Pakistanis understand that their behaviour in the past is unlikely to be tolerable to this Indian Prime Minister,” Blackwill said in response to a question.
Stephen Cohen, senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institute, agreed that Prime Minister Modi’s response to a terrorist attack emanating from Pakistan would be a different one than that of his predecessor.
“I think based on what he (Modi) said and I think based on the Indian public sentiment, if there was another Mumbai attack, which I don’t think it’s going to be that likely, it (India’s response) may be something quite different. There will be a vigorous Indian response. Perhaps even direct attacks on Pakistani territory, hitting camps,” Cohen said.




2 years ago

the recent attack by both sides should be sufficient evidence for every one to know any terror attack from Pakistan will be disastrous for both sides. Indian patience because of Pakistan continuous attempt to bleed Indian security forces is thin and evaporating. It will be difficult to imagine what will happen in such circumstances.

Centre promises all support to develop Mumbai as a Global Financial Hub

According to Venkaiah Naidu, providing basic infrastructure is the main challenge and the government's focus should be on drinking water, sanitation, solid waste management, affordable housing, slum redevelopment and a good public transport


Promising the wholehearted support of the Indian government to develop Mumbai as a Global Financial Hub, Venkaiah Naidu, the union Urban Development Minister, Friday asked the Devendra Fadnavis Government to focus on 'Basics First'.  
Speaking at the valedictory function of the Mumbai Next Summit, Naidu said, "Urbanisation is a reality. We have the main challenge of providing basic infrastructure for the people in urban areas. The focus should be on drinking water, sanitation, solid waste management, affordable housing, slum redevelopment and a good public transport."  
He said the Ministry of Urban Development will extend all support to the Government of Maharashtra in all the areas listed above. 
The Minister said public transport needs to be strengthened on priority. "More cars on the streets may be a symbol of prosperity, but it creates great congestion."  
He said Mumbai had many firsts to its credit including the first bus service and the first suburban train service, but observed that today its local train service was under great strain.  "The city has only 11kms of Metro corridor, as compared to 120kms in Delhi, where another 150kms are being added," said Naidu.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis gave details of reform measures initiated by his government and stressed on making Maharashtra an easier destination to do business.  He said the coastal road project and the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link would be completed over the next two-three years.  
The Urban Development Minister stressed on simplification of approvals and said there should be no 'man-to-man contact' as it tends to breed corruption. "All the processes should be made online and third party inspection should be mandatory," he said.  
However, the Minister added that overnight miracles cannot be expected as India was a democracy and everyone had to be taken along "It is a step by step process" he said. 
Naidu asserted that the investment climate in the country had improved for the businessmen and inflation had come down bringing cheer to the common man. Defending his government's resolve of creating a pro-business environment in the country, Naidu said "some people call us 'pro-business'. What is wrong in being pro-business?  It is the businessmen who create wealth in the country, and if no wealth is created, what will you distribute under welfare programmes?" 
The Minister called for greater participation of private sector in infrastructure development programme of the country. He said public-private partnership - PPP is the only sustainable model to go ahead.
Earlier, Union Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha said financial services, being high value sector can be a leader in wealth creation.  He said, since Mumbai accounted for 50-60% of market capitalization it was best suited to become the Global Financial Hub. "There are certain regulatory and taxation issues which need to be addressed and there is no reason to doubt why BKC cannot become the next Canary Wharf," he added.


FM Jaitley hints at reform-packed Budget, cutting of expenditure

Jaitley said the Budget will focus on reforms in power, energy, railways and ports and also hinted at more public investment into these sectors


Ahead of the Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Friday hinted at more reforms for faster economic growth and rationalisation of expenditure, saying the government does not believe in living on borrowed money.
"We're trying to rationalise expenditure as far as the government is concerned because we do not want the government to live on borrowed money indefinitely. The whole concept of spending beyond your means and leaving the next generation in debt to repay what we are overspending today is never prudent fiscal policy," he said.
The statement comes on the heels of the government already touching 99% of market borrowing plan estimated in the Budget, as of end November -- four months ahead of the end of the financial year on 31st March.
Addressing a gathering of top industrialists and planners through video conferencing at an event -- 'Mumbai First: Turning the city into an international finance hub' -- Jaitley hinted that the 4.1% deficit target will be met as also at more cuts in the planned expenditure.
After taking over the charge eight months ago, Jaitley already had reduced planned spending by 10% and since the tax mop up has not been pacing as planned, it has been reported that more cuts are on the way.
The minister also hinted at stable tax regime to be unveiled in the Budget, saying no unfair effort will be made the state and the Centre to mop up revenues.
"Our taxation policy was not exactly investor friendly. In the last few months, we have made a huge effort to smoothen tax disputes and those issues, which were bringing the Indian revenue structure a bad name.
"I've always believed that where taxes are to be paid, taxes will be collected, but no unfair effort will be made by the state so that investors are unnecessarily harassed in that area," he said.
The government recently decided not to appeal against the Bombay High Court verdict in favour of British telecom major Vodafone in a Rs3,000 crore transfer pricing case.
The Finance Minister said the Budget will focus on reforms in power, energy, railways and ports and also hinted at more public investment into these sectors.
Besides, not even 50% of the target from the divestment proceeds has been met so far.


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