Seeking good relation with India, Pakistan has assured to release 173 Indian prisoners on February 16. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin in a tweet, said that the government has received a written communication from Pakistan on the release of the prisoners.
According to official figures, 526 Indians are lodged in Pakistani jails. Last month, Pakistan’s Foreign Office had confirmed an exchange of prisoners list with India. Pakistan Foreign Office official spokesperson Tasnim Aslam had told the media that New Delhi and Islamabad had exchanged lists of prisoners under the consular access agreement between the two countries.
On the other hand, the Sri Lanka government has also decided to release the 87 Indian fishing vessels that were captured by its navy on charges of illegally crossing the international maritime boundary.
The decision to release as many as 87 trawlers comes just ahead of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's four-day visit to India next week. The previous Sri Lankan government has adopted a policy to release the fishermen after court appearances but detained the boats to deter their return for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
Meanwhile, according to the sources, India on its part, has agreed to release the 22 Lankan boats in its custody. A meeting of the fisheries officials is also proposed to take place in Chennai in March.
Indian-origin scientist wins $500,000
An Indian-origin scientist Gurpreet Singh, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University has received a $500,000 National Science Foundation Career award for his research on nanosheets.
Singh has received the award for his research on “Scalable liquid exfoliation processing of ultrathin two-dimensional metal dichalcogenides nanosheets for energy storage devices”.
Singh will use the award to develop ultrathin metal sheets that can help produce better rechargeable batteries, super capacitors and catalysts for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. Some of Singh’s other research has focused on using graphene oxide to improve sodium- and lithium-ion flexible batteries and creating carbon nanotubes for better laser detectors and rechargeable batteries.
The National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Programme is one of the foundation’s most prestigious awards for supporting early career faculty who effectively integrate research and education within the context of their institution's mission.
commander killed by NATO
Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim who had recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) was killed by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in a recent drone attack in southern Afghanistan.
According to the Afghan intelligence service (NDS), Abdul Rauf Khadim, released in 2007 from the US prison at Guantánamo had left the Taliban ranks to become one of the first rebel commanders rallied for IS in Afghanistan. Abdul was the main organiser of the unification of the dissident factions of the Taliban rallied to the IS in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He was particularly close to Shahidullah Shahid, a former spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) expelled from this movement after swearing allegiance to the Islamic State.
Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop warned last week about dangers of IS jihadists expanding operations to Afghanistan. The IS controls large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq and is reportedly making inroads into Afghanistan.
Enhancing Bilateral Trade
India has been on bilateral path with its neighbouring countries like never before, since the new NDA government took its charge. Recently India and Kenya convened a meeting to bring new investment and cooperative initiatives on card. The 7th round of India Kenya Joint Trade Committee meeting was held in New Delhi on February 12.