Since conducting its second nuclear tests in 1998, India had adhered to a self-imposed commitment to “No First Use” of nuclear weapons on another country. However, on August 16th, 2019, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had hinted that in future India’s “no first use” policy “depends on circumstances”. Following this episode, the Defence Minister had effectively reduced the already bleak chances of India becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. However, in the current situation, it matters very little for India as it already has the necessary benefits it needs to expand and operate its nuclear programme.
General Bipin Rawat has become the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India on New Year’s Day. This came as the result of the centre’s approval for the creation of the new posting of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Department of Military Affairs under the Ministry of Defence. This position has been recommended by many for decades and the government was not able to implement this until now due to criticism from the political class on the possibility of a military takeover and the service staffs’ unwillingness to part their powers and confine themselves to only staff functions.
The NIA (amendment) bill, 2019 has been passed in both the houses of the parliament and is waiting for the …
On July 24, 2019, the Lok Sabha has passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. This bill, if made into a law, will replace the already existing Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Ever since its presentation in the lower house, this bill has been a subject of controversy. This bill is considered by some to be draconian in nature.
According to Amnesty International, the act once amended can designate any individual a terrorist, thus violating international human rights laws and opening the floodgate of harassment of the Human Rights defenders and activists.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog that combats money laundering and terrorist financing, had grey listed Pakistan in June 2018 for not cutting down the finances of terrorist groups within its soil. Greylisting puts Pakistan under international scrutiny to prove its compliance with FATF norms. Notably, the greylisting move was initiated by the US.
Even with greylisting measures, Pulwama terror attack happened in February 2019 = FATF (with India’s lobbying) threatens Pakistan that it will be moved to the blacklist due to its failure to comply with the action plan which was due May 2019. Blacklisting could virtually cut all financial flows to Pakistan.
This big-picture article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision.
- What is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)?
- How FATF works?
- What is the grey list and blacklist?
- What is the issue with Pakistan?
- Why the US initiated the move?
- What are the implications of placing Pakistan on FATF watchlist?
- Has Pakistan changed with external Pressures?
- Why has Pakistan failed to comply with or curtail terror funding?
- What is the way forward?