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USA asks Pakistan if it used F-16 aircraft in violation of end-user agreement

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USA asks Pakistan if it used F-16 aircraft in violation of end-user agreement

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F-16 jets were meant to be used to “enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations”.

The USA has sought information from Pakistan whether it used F-16 aircraft against India.

This comes after India showed parts of an AMRAAM missile that can be fired only from F-16s among the fleet of aircraft in Pakistan air force.

India also pointed out that the reason for Pakistan’s denials of using F-16 was that it amounted to a violation of end-user agreement that lays down that Pakistan can use it only in self-defence or against terrorists.

The US today (Saturday, March 2) sought more information on the matter. “We are aware of these reports and are seeking more information on the potential misuse of American-made F-16 fighter jets by Pakistan against India in violation of the end-user agreement,” PTI quoted US State Department as saying.

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“Due to non-disclosure agreements in Foreign Military Sales contracts, we cannot discuss the specifics of end user-agreements contained within,” Lt Col Kone Faulkner, a Defense Department spokesperson told PTI.

On Thursday, the Indian Air Force (IAF) displayed parts of an AMRAAM beyond visual range air-to-air missile as evidence that Pakistan deployed US-manufactured F-16 fighter jets during an aerial raid targeting Indian military installations in Kashmir after India’s anti-terror operation in Balakot.

Pakistan on Wednesday categorically said that no F-16 fighter jets were used and denied that one of its planes had been downed by the IAF.

The United States, which is the largest seller of high-tech defence equipment globally, and has a strong end-user monitoring agreement, as a matter of practice takes all allegations of misuse of defense articles very seriously.

Also Read: Anupam Kher, Anushka Sharma, Mohanlal among others lauds IAF pilot Abhinandan’s return

According to Pentagon’s Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA) F-16 jets were meant to be used to “enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations”.

Publicly available documents reveal that US has imposed nearly a dozen restriction on Pakistan related to its use of F-16, said a report on news portal The Print.

During a Congressional hearing on July 20, 2006, John Miller the then Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, had told lawmakers that the United States has “very carefully considered” the potential risks of the diversion of US technology and equipment.”

While the exact details of the restrictions were discussed in a closed-door session, and thus remains classified, Miller then broadly outlined some of the restrictions, which he said were over a “dozen new and unprecedented elements” of the security plan for Pakistan.

Miller then told lawmakers that the security provisions also include semi-annual inventories of all F-16 aircraft equipment and munitions, including related technical data, and more frequent inventories for other systems.

Also Read: US Offers $1 Million reward for giving information about Osama bin Laden’s son

“There is a two-man rule, so to speak, for access to this equipment and restricted areas, and F-16 flights outside of Pakistan or participation in exercises and operations with third nations must be approved in advance by the United States government,” the then top State Department official said, according to the transcripts of the hearing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Indiana Ophthalmics: Gujarat based company supplies poor quality eye drops in Sri Lanka

On Thursday, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Phermexcil), India’s Centre agency looking after the promotion of pharmaceutical exports from India has sent a notice to the Gujarat company asking an explanation and an internal investigation report on the quality of the Methylprednisolone eye drops.

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Indianna Opthalmics - Gujarat based company supplies poor quality eye drops in Sri Lanka

A Gujarat based top pharmaceutical manufacturing firm Indiana Ophthalmics has been accused of supplying poor quality eye drops to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government has complained to the Indian government stating that the eye drops supplied by the company has has caused eye infection to 30 people.

On Thursday, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Phermexcil), India’s Centre agency looking after the promotion of pharmaceutical exports from India has sent a notice to the Gujarat company asking an explanation and an internal investigation report on the quality of the Methylprednisolone eye drops.

Phermexcil Director General Udaya Bhaskar in a letter to Indiana Ophthalmics has stated that the alleged supply of the contaminated eye-drops by the company has dented the reputation of the Indian pharma industry and will have to face trust issues by the international agencies on the export of pharmaceuticals from the country.

A probe has also been started by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on Thursday, to investigate into the questions of quality concerns being raised on the eye drops being manufactured by Indiana Ophthalmics. The drops were recalled by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health in April this year saying the patients had reported complications after using them.

The Sri Lankan government claimed to have found bacteria Burkholderia cepacia in the eye drop. The Lankan government has asked the Indian government to compensate the affected patients and has demanded to investigate into the matter. Reports claimed, the firm has been told to stop production of eye drops immediately.

As per reports, the state drug officials had tested the drops and are waiting for results. Reports also said, these drugs require sterility testing hence, the test results will take another 15 days. Once the test results are out, they will be sent to the Sri Lankan government immediately.

A similar case was reported in February 2023, when questions were raised against Tamil Nadu based Global Pharma Healthcare, a firm whose product was allegedly linked with contamination causing blindness and one death in the US.

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PM Modi underlines deep Aus ties at Sydney show for NRIs, Indian Australians

Addressing a gathering of Australians of Indian origin and NRIs based in the country in Sydney, PM Modi recalled his first visit to Down Under and listed the many things that connected the two countries

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PM Modi underlines deep Aus ties at Sydney show for NRIs, Indian Australians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Australia and India have always shared common interests including keeping the Indo-Pacific a free, open and inclusive area.

Addressing a gathering of Australians of Indian origin and NRIs based in the country in Sydney, PM Modi recalled his first visit to Down Under and listed the many things that connected the two countries. He noted that India and Australia are keen cricketing nations and shared many more close links from MasterChef and yoga. PM Modi spoke about the sadness many cricket-loving Indians felt on the death of Australian spin wizard Shane Warne.

The PM noted that the Indo-Pacific region faces a number of challenges such as the security of sea lanes of communication, terrorism, climate change and piracy. He said these issues can be addressed through shared efforts.

He said that both he and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wanted to take their ties much closer. PM Modi said he was confident that he would Indo-Australian relations to the next level. There was large scope to identify new areas of complementing each other and increase cooperation between the two nations. This would also happen in closer defence and security ties to ensure open and free communication in Indo-Pacific.

He highlighted the fact that there was high degree of mutual trust between the two countries that had translated into increased co-operation on defence and security matters, which was already visible with the navies of the two countries participating in joint naval exercises.

He stated India’s position in the world as the force of global good. He said that India always had a helping hand whenever there was a disaster. He hailed India as the mother of democracy and as a bright spot for the world’s economy.

Prime Minister Modi and his Australian counterpart renamed the Sydney suburb ‘Little India’ during the mega community event at the Qudos Bank Arena  in Sydney Olympic Park. He also announced that a new consulate will be opened in Brisbane soon.

PM Modi was visiting Australia after nine years after 2014. The organisers of the Tuesday bash, the Indian Australian Diaspora Foundation (IADF), had anticipated a sizeable turnout and were not disappointed by the multitudes welcoming the PM. Special buses had been organized by Modi supporters from Brisbane and Canberra.

Indians comprise 2.8% of the Australian population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

He also added that the the Indo-Pacific region faces a number of challenges such as security of  sea lanes of communication , terrorism, climate change and piracy. He said that these issues can be addressed through shared efforts. He also added that he could not be satisfied easily.

He said that Prime minister Albanese was same in this regard. He said he was confident that he would Indo-Australian relations to the next level. There was large scope to identify new areas of complementariness and increase cooperation between the two nations. PM Modi said he wants to take India’s relationship with the Australia to the next level which include closer defence and security ties to ensure open and free communication in Indo-Pacific. He highlighted the fact that there was high degree of mutual trust between the two countries that had translated into increased co-operation on defence and security matters.

As a result of which the navies of the two countries are participating in joint naval exercises.

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PM Narendra Modi hosts lunch in Papua New Guinea

The lunch, attended by the leaders attending the third India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit in Papua New Guinea , aimed to foster stronger ties. Dragon fruit, which is native to Central America but is now widely cultivated in various parts of the world, including Papua New Guinea, was the focal point of the menu.

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Lunch hosted by PM Narendra Modi during his visit to Papua New Guinea

During his official visit to Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a special lunch where the star ingredient showcased the unique culinary heritage of the region. The lunch, held in Port Moresby, featured the exotic fruit, ‘pitaya’ or dragon fruit, as a prominent ingredient in the menu, highlighting the growing importance of international culinary exchanges and cultural diplomacy.

The lunch, was attended by the leaders attending the third India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit in Papua New Guinea . Dragon fruit, which is native to Central America but is now widely cultivated in various parts of the world, including Papua New Guinea, was the focal point of the menu.

The menu showcased a range of dishes that incorporated the vibrant and flavorful dragon fruit. From refreshing salads to innovative desserts, each dish was meticulously prepared to highlight the fruit’s unique texture and taste. The inclusion of dragon fruit in the menu not only added a visual appeal but also symbolized the diversity and richness of the culinary traditions in both India and Papua New Guinea.

Prime Minister Modi, known for his emphasis on cultural diplomacy, acknowledged the importance of food as a powerful medium for strengthening bonds between nations. He highlighted the significance of showcasing the diverse cuisines and culinary traditions as a means to deepen understanding and appreciation of different cultures.

The inclusion of dragon fruit in the lunch menu also reflected the growing popularity of this exotic fruit in various global cuisines. Dragon fruit has gained recognition for its nutritional value, vibrant colour, and distinct flavour, making it a favourite ingredient among chefs and food enthusiasts. The special lunch hosted by Prime Minister Modi in Papua New Guinea served as a platform to celebrate the fusion of Indian and Papua New Guinean culinary traditions. It provided an opportunity for the dignitaries and officials to engage in cultural exchange and foster a deeper understanding of each other’s heritage.

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