09272016Tue
Last update: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08pm

South Asia

World - South Asia

China air force holds drills in Western Pacific for second time this month BEIJING: China's air force said on Sunday it had flown more than 40 bombers and other fighter planes through a strait between Japanese islands on their way to drills in the Western Pacific. Regular long range drills in the Western Pacific and patrols over the East China Sea air defence identification zone were for the Air Force to protect China's sovereignty and national security, China's air force spokesman Shen Jinke said, according to a statement posted on the Ministry of Defence website. China drew condemnation from Japan and the United States in 2013 when it imposed an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities. The patrols were to "carefully monitor and judge the foreign military aircraft that enter the anti-aircraft defence zone, to take measures to respond to different threats in the sky and to protect ...

World - South Asia

India signs deal to buy 36 French Rafale fighter jets NEW DELHI: India signed a formal agreement Friday to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault for a reported 7.9 billion euros ($8.8 billion), one of its biggest defence deals in decades.India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian signed the agreement at a ceremony in New Delhi after years of tortuous negotiations between the two countries.Defence experts say it will bring a much needed boost to India's air force ...

World - South Asia

Afghanistan inks peace deal with warlord KABUL: Afghanistan Thursday signed a peace agreement with notorious warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, paving the way for him to make a political comeback despite a history of war crimes and after years in hiding.Hekmatyar, who heads the now largely dormant Hezb-i-Islami, is the latest in a series of controversial figures that Kabul has sought to reintegrate in the post-Taliban era.The deal with Afghanistan's second-biggest militant group marks a symbolic victory for President Ashraf Ghani, who has ...

World - South Asia

Iran must stand strong against US on region conflicts: Khamenei TEHRAN: Iran's supreme leader said the Islamic republic must stand strong against Washington on the region's conflicts, in an address Sunday to commanders of the elite Republican Guards force."The Americans insist we negotiate with them on regional issues, especially on Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in the speech published on his official website."What is their main goal for requesting these talks? They have no aim but to prevent the presence in ...

World - South Asia

At least 15 dead in Bangladesh factory fire DHAKA: At least fifteen people have been killed and 70 injured, many critically, in a huge fire triggered by a boiler explosion at a Bangladeshi packaging factory, officials said Saturday."The death toll has risen to 15 and at least 70 people have been injured," Parvez Mia, a doctor at the Tongi state-run hospital, told AFP."Most of them had burn injuries. We sent the critically injured victims to the hospitals in Dhaka," he said."Several of them ...

World - South Asia

China is key in NKorea nuclear crisis, says Pentagon chief OSLO: US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on Friday called for further pressure on North Korea after the renegade state carried out a new nuclear test, but said China bore "responsibility" for tackling the problem."We need to... redouble the pressure on North Korea," Carter told reporters on a visit to Oslo.He pointed to moves to strengthen defences in the region, including the deployment of advanced anti-missile systems. "One of the things I'd like to single out ...

World - South Asia

India not ready to privatise public sector banks: Jaitley NEW DELHI: India has not reached the point where it can consider selling majority stakes in the public sector banks that control seven tenths of assets in the financial system, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday."I don't think that public or political opinion has converged to the point where we can think of privatisation in the banking sector," Jaitley told the Economist India Summit in New Delhi.The government is consolidating some of the public ...