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South Asia Security Monitor - No. 389

Edited by Jeff M. Smith and Georgina O'Shea
April 12, 2016


SAUDI ARABIA, INDIA TEAM UP AGAINST TERROR
India and Saudi Arabia have agreed to increase cooperation on security and intelligence matters, including counter-terrorism, as part of a new Memorandum of Understanding. The announcement came at the end of a landmark visit to Saudi Arabia by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There, Modi praised Riyadh's counter-terror efforts and reaffirmed India's commitment to combat global Islamist terrorism. (April 3, 2016,Times of India)

U.S. CONCERNED ABOUT PAK NUCLEAR SECURITY
The U.S. has been placing greater emphasis on nuclear security in its relations with Islamabad in recent months, voicing concerns about Pakistan's reported development of tactical nuclear weapons. During a recent high-profile Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC, President Obama singled out the threat of terror organizations gaining access to nuclear weapons. Many analysts believe Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, the fastest-growing in the world, remains among the most vulnerable to militant infiltration. (April 4, 2016, Times of India)

SRI LANKA AND INDIA DEEPEN TIES
Sri Lankan Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshall Kolitha Aravinda Gunatilleke, recently made a four-day voyage to India. The Air Chief is due to meet with India’s Defense Minister during the visit, amid speculation that Sri Lanka is considering purchasing fighter jets from Pakistan and China. Additionally, there are rumors building that Delhi may sell Colombo light, small-scale nuclear reactors as part of a nuclear energy agreement signed last year. (April 4, 2016, 
News 1st)

CHINA BLOCKS BAN OF JEM CHIEF
Following accusations that the Pakistani-based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohhamad (JeM) was responsible for an attack on India's Pathankot airbase earlier this year, India has proposed JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar be placed on the UN’s al-Qaeda/Islamic State blacklist. China, however, has placed a hold on the request, angering Indian officials concerned it will turn into a permanent block. As an organization, JEM has been blacklisted by the UN since 2001. China has not offered any reasons why it placed a hold on the request to ban Azhar, though it has frequently done so in the past at the request of Islamabad. (April 1, 2016, 
Reuters)

CORRUPTION IN AFGHANISTAN REAL THREAT
John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, has argued corruption in Afghanistan poses an “existential threat,” not only to US involvement in the region, but to Afghanistan itself. Sopko warns that the problem has been endemic for some time, but little by way of progress has been made by the U.S. or Afghanistan. Sopko argues it is reaching such an egregious level it could lead to the collapse of the Afghan government. (March 30, 2016, 
Foreign Policy)


Related Categories: China; Southeast Asia; South Asia; Afghanistan; South Asia Program

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