MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 13 JANUARY
PICTURE OF THE DAY
A boatman steers his boat at the partially frozen Dal Lake after a snowfall in Srinagar on Jan 9, 2021.
Why Afghanistan-Taliban peace talks have not reached breakthrough
It has been almost a week since negotiators arrived back in Doha to resume a second round of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, with a United States team talking separately to both sides.
But top Afghan government officials and Taliban leaders have been conspicuous by their absence from this round of meetings.
On the Taliban side, chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Hakim and the head of the Taliban office in Qatar, Mullah Baradar, have not yet returned from their trip to Pakistan.
India’s Supreme Court stays contentious farm laws, but settlement may be a far cry
The Indian farmer’s agitation at New Delhi, which has been on since November 26, was in a logjam on Tuesday with the farmers refusing to accept a committee proposed by the Supreme Court to go into the issues involved.
Earlier in the day, the court headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde put on hold the three contentious farm laws and said a committee would be formed to take over negotiations to end the crisis.
But in the evening the farmers said that they will not interact with the committee as the members are pro-government and had supported it on the issue earlier.
Daesh/ISIS flourishing in Afghanistan: Pakistani army
The Pakistan army on Monday alleged that the terrorist organization Daesh/ISIS is using the Afghan territories to operate against Pakistan with India's backing.
The terror group Daesh/ISIS is flourishing in neighboring Afghanistan with "Indian backing" due to the loose control of the Kabul government, Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar, the Pakistani army's spokesman said, addressing a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Ahead of Gywali’s visit, Nepal & India differ on conducting ‘border talks’
The Kalapani territorial dispute is expected to be “raised” by Nepal during the Joint Commission meeting to be held here during the visit of Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gywali this week, but there will be no “border talks”, officials here confirmed.
In Nepal, however, officials said the resolution of the dispute remains important for improving overall bilateral ties that plunged to new lows last year.
India asks Sri Lankan government to ensure power devolution
Sri Lankan Tamil grievances are fast reemerging as an important issue in India-Sri Lanka relations. During his recent visit to Colombo, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar called on the Sri Lankan government to implement the 13th amendment (or 13A as it is called) to the Sri Lankan Constitution.
It is in Sri Lanka’s “own interest” that the Tamil people’s expectations for “equality, justice, peace and dignity” within a united country are met, Jaishankar said in the presence of his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena at a press conference in the Sri Lankan capital.
Trump Can’t Be Allowed to Escape Justice Yet Again
Donald Trump and his dwindling band of loyalists are planning “a defiant final week” in office. Citing sources familiar with Trump’s thinking, Bloomberg News reported on Sunday that between now and January 20th, when Joe Biden takes office, Trump plans to visit the Mexican border, issue more Presidential pardons, and try, once more, to introduce some restrictions on Big Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook, which have kicked him off their platforms in recent days. “Trump is confident Vice President Mike Pence and members of his cabinet will not attempt to remove him under the 25th Amendment,” the Bloomberg story went on to say, and the President and his allies “believe Democrats are overreaching by trying to once again impeach him over Wednesday’s siege at the Capitol, and think Senate conviction would be unlikely.”