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EAM Sushma Swaraj meets Afghan Defence Minister
On April 13, 2018, Union External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj met the Afghan Defence Minister Lieutenant-General Tariq Shah Bahramee in New Delhi and agreed to make efforts in combating terrorism in the South Asian region.
Details about Meeting:
i. During the meeting, Ms. Sushma Swaraj and Lieutenant-General Tariq Shah Bahramee pushed for efforts to combat the menace of opium cultivation and drugs trafficking which is the main source of funding terrorism against the people of Afghanistan.
ii. Ms. Swaraj assured India’s support to Afghan government and the people of Afghanistan for building a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous nation.
iii. Lieutenant-General Tariq Shah Bahramee was in India to attend 10th edition of Defence Expo 2018 in Tamil Nadu. During the course of this visit, he also met Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Quick Facts about Afghanistan:
♦ Capital – Kabul
♦ Currency – Afghani
♦ Current President – Ashraf Ghani
♦ Important Rivers – Helmand River, Kunduz River
Pakistan bars former PM Sharif from holding office for life
On 13th April 2018, Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life.
Pakistan bars former PM Sharif from holding office for life:
i. Nawaz Sharif is 67 years old. He resigned in July 2017 after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office on an issue over undeclared source of income.
ii. But he is still associated with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party.
iii. The Supreme Court verdict has stated that, under Pakistan’s Constitution, no person once disqualified from office by the Supreme court can hold public office again.
About Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party:
♦ President – Shehbaz Sharif
♦ Headquarters – Lahore, Pakistan
India, Russia sign seven MoU at Defence expo
On 13th April 2018, Indian companies and Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) signed 7 MoUs at the DefExpo 2018 held in Thiruvidanthai, Chennai.
India, Russia sign 7 MoU at Defence expo:
i. Earlier, at the third India-Russia Military Industrial Conference, discussions were made on improvement of after-sales support of Russian origin defence platforms used by Indian defence forces.
ii. The 7 MoUs that were signed are:
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Tau Devi Lal Stadium – Gurgaon, Haryana
♦ Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium – Rohtak, Haryana
♦ Mahabir Stadium – Hisar, Haryana
Kazakhstan, India agree to enhance energy cooperation
The state of cooperation between Kazakhstan and India in the energy sector was discussed and analysed at the 16th International Energy Forum held in New Delhi from 10th to 12thApril 2018.
Kazakhstan, India agree to enhance energy cooperation:
i. A delegation from Kazakhstan, led by the Vice-Minister of Energy, M. Mirzagaliyev, held talks with the Indian delegation led by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
ii. The talks were focused on “The future of global energy security – transition, technology, trade and investment”, and how Kazakhstan and India can improve cooperation in the energy sector within the framework of the IEF and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
About Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF):
♦ Secretary General – Yury Sentyurin
♦ Headquarters – Doha, Qatar
US, Britain and France launch military operation against Syria
On 13th April 2018, US President Donald Trump launched air strikes on Syria in a combined operation with France and Britain.
US, Britain and France launch military operation against Syria:
i. US, Britain and France have targeted Damascus (capital of Syria) and surrounding areas in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attack that killed over 60 people last week.
ii. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will call an emergency session of UN Security Council regarding the airstrike on Syria.
♦ Prime Minister – Imad Khamis
♦ Official language – Arabic
♦ Currency – Syrian pound