News Wrap


Asummer uprising occured in Jammu and Kashmir in 2010. Since then as many as 467 local youth from 354 villages across Kashmir and the Chenab Valley have become militants. There is one militant or more in every J and K village. Among them 335 have come from 247 villages in South Kashmir alone. Even though militancy was quelled in 2010, but it surged after the killing of Hizbul Mujahiddin commander Burhan Wani on 08 July 2016. While the epicentre of the new militancy lies in South Kashmir, local youths have been recruited in almost every district in Kashmir Valley besides Doda Kishtwar, Reasi and Ramban in the Chenab Valley of Jammu province. In a report by security agencies, Kashmir is divided into 29 clusters. Shopian district in South Kashmir tops the list, with 95 local youths from 70 villages, having joined militancy since 2010. According to the security report, 88 youths from 68 villages of North Kashmir districts of Budgam and Srinagar, 22 youths from 20 villages and neighbourhoods have taken up arms, since 2010. Meanwhile, the Union Government of India is raising two India Reserve Police Batallions from people living in J and K, within 0 to 10 km from the front line, and another three, where there would be reservation of 607 from local folk.

Institutional Money
Since April 2018, there is a sharp rise in outflow of funds by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) in India, due to rise in yields of the United States treasury, and growing concern over rising crude oil prices. Their impact on the currency and current accout deficit have resulted in the biggest outflow of foreign institutional money in any calender year, in the last ten years. The net outflow of FPI in April 2018 stood at Rs 15,561 crore ($2.35 billion) and Rs 29,775 crore ($4.4 billion) in May 2018. The aggregate for the first five months of 2018 amounted to a net outflow of Rs 32,078 crore ($4.4 billion). This marks the highest outflow in any calender year since 2008, when FPIs pulled out a net of Rs 41,216 crore ($9.3 billion) from Indian markets amid a global financial crisis. In 2016, the FPIs pulled out a net of Rs 23,079 crore ($3.19 billion). In 2018, only 5% of the total outflows (Rs 1599 crore) has been from equity markets, and the remaining from the debt market. The net investment in mutual funds, between January 2018 and April 2018, stood at Rs 41,765 crore, while in 2008 it was Rs 25,412 crore. Indian equity unlike Indian debt is part of the global benchmark index, and there is a diversified flow of funds into Indian equities. FPI money in Indian equities is more stable, as they have attracted funds for the long term. The growing need of dollar funding amidst rising crude oil prices, in an environment of reduced global liquidity, is resulting in investors growing cautious.

Gilgit-Baltistan in Pok
Pakistan has bifurcated occupied Kashmir into two administrative parts—Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Till now the four provinces of Pakistan, include Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh. Henceforth, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan will have the same rights as enjoyed by the citizens of the other four privinces, after the devolution of powers under a reform package. The move is part of Islamabad's efforts toward incorporating the disputed region as its fifth province. The Gilgit-Baltistan Council will be retained as advisery body towards the functions of the Pakistan Federal Government. China's controversial US $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through the disputed region. China's concerns about the unsettled status of Gilgit-Balitstan prompted Pakistan to change its status. India maintains that any possible attempt by Pakistan to declare the Gilgit-Baltistan region, bordering the disputed Pakistan occupied Kashmir, as the fifth province is "entirely unacceptable".

Demolishing Nuke Sites
Setting off a series of explosions in Punggye-Ri, North Korea carried out the demolition of its nuclear test site, on 24 May 2018, in the presence of foreign journalists. Deep in the mountains of North Korea's sparsely populated North-East, the explosions at the nuclear test site were centred on three tunnels at the underground site, and a number of buildings in the surrounding area. North Korea did not invite international nuclear weapons inspectors to the demolition ceremony. The western powers aim access to natural resources within North Korean territory. The US-led global capitalism has an irresistable desire to find new markets in North Korea. On 12 June 2018, at the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, President Kim pledged to work towards "complete denuclearisation", in return for security guarantees from the USA. The outcomes could ease tensions and reshape the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region. Kim reaffirmed the commitment to denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and also agreed to destroy a missile engine site. The summit was the first between a sitting US President and North Korea's top leader.

President Trump announced that he would halt military exercises in South Korea, something widely seen as a concession, as Pyongyang has long claimed they were invasion rehearsals. However, the US President said the sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear tests will remain for now. According to a joint statement signed by Trump and Kim, President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete dedunclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. The statement said the two sides committed to recovering prisoners of war and missing in action remains, including an immediate repatriation of those already identified. The June 12 Sentosa Agreement will be recorded as a historic event that helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on Earth. USA was stopping the annual US-South Korean military drills, and would also remove the 28,500 US troops stationed in the South, as a deterrent against North Korean attack. Kim offered no solid promises to abandon his hard-won nuclear arsenal any time soon.

Vol. 51, No.10, Sep 9 - 15, 2018