“Unsung Hero of India: Retired Naval Officer Honoured with ‘Pravasi Samman Award’ Despite Allegations of Spying for Israel & India”.

Amid reports of increased espionage activity in the region, Qatar has taken decisive action by expelling India’s Defense Attaché Captain Mohan Atla for his alleged involvement in Israeli espionage. The shockwaves from the incident have been felt in New Delhi, where eight Indian Navy personnel had been detained in Qatar on charges of espionage last year. The expelled official had been identified as Cdr Purnendu Tiwari, Capt Navtej Singh, Cdr Birendra Kumar Verma, Capt Saurabh Vashisht, Cdr Sugnakar Pakala, Cdr Amit Nagpal, Cdr Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh.

Qatar Expelling India’s Defense Attaché for Alleged Involvement in Israeli Espionage: Shockwaves Felt in New Delhi

The accused are believed to have been working under a private firm in Qatar and supposedly providing training and other services to the Qatari Emiri Navy. Qatar’s decision to expel Captain Atla comes as a reminder of increased government surveillance in a tight security region and signals their zero tolerance towards espionage, espionage, and international terrorism.

Former Navy officer Purnendu Tiwari 

Revealed: How Ex-Naval Officer Was Honoured With “Pravasi Samman Award” Despite Selling Sensitive Data to Qatar’s Adversaries

Commander (Rtd) Purnendu Tiwari (Naval Officer), who played a key role in transferring critical data of a leading Gulf Muslim country to Israel and India, was honoured with the ‘Pravasi Samman Award’ (the Highest Overseas Indian Award from Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in 2019. However, while working with Qatar Defense, Security and other Government agencies; the now-retired officer had access to classified information which he shared with Qatar’s adversaries. India, like in the case of Kalbushan Yadav, was in a state of denial and has yet to acknowledge the actions of these 8 officers who were arrested by Qatar on October 25, 2022, on charges of spying for Israel. Wife of one of those officers sought help from Indian authorities to secure their release, but India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has remained mum on the allegations against him.

Naval officers of India and Qatar introduce themselves to each other before a war exercise in 2018.

Russia-Belarus joint military drills spark fears of new offensive

DNIPRO: Russia and Belarus began joint military exercises on Monday, triggering fears in Kyiv and the West that Moscow could use its ally to launch a new ground offensive in Ukraine.

The two allies will conduct air force drills from Jan 16 to Feb 1 using all Belarus military airfields and began joint army exercises involving a “mechanised brigade subdivision” on Monday, the Belarusian defence ministry said. Minsk says the air drills are defensive and it will not enter the war.

Russia had used its neighbour Belarus as a springboard for its invasion of Ukraine last February.

In his address after the Dnipro strike, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Western allies to supply more weapons to end “Russian terror” and attacks on civilian targets. Britain followed France and Poland with promises of further weapons, saying it would send 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks as well as other advanced artillery support in coming weeks.

The first despatch of Western-made tanks to Ukraine is being viewed by Moscow as escalation of the conflict.

The Russian Embassy in London said the tanks would drag out the confrontation.

On the other hand, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday urged Germany to send Ukraine the weaponry it needed to take the fight to invade Russian soldiers, lacing a speech in Berlin with implicit criticisms of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government.

Speaking at a gala marking conservative former German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble’s half-century in parliament, Morawiecki said Europe’s collective conscience would be burdened if it did not help Ukraine more. “I call for decisive actions by the German government,” he said.

“The battle for freedom and our future is raging as we speak… Tanks must not be left in storehouses, but placed in their hands.”

Germany has come under pressure from allies to allow the use of German-built Leopards in Ukraine. Eastern and central European Nato allies mainly rely on German-built Leopards, seen as the Western tanks most suited to forming the core of a new Ukrainian armoured force.

German minister resigns

As Berlin was under intense pressure to provide battle tanks to Kyiv, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned. Her decision came just days ahead of a crucial meeting of defence ministers from Ukraine’s allies.

A spokeswoman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he would announce a replacement for Lambrecht “in the near future”.

Lambrecht, 57, said she had asked Scholz to relieve her of her duties. “The months-long media focus on my person hardly allows for objective reporting and discussion about servicemen and women… and security policy decisions in the interest of the citizens of Germany,” she said.

The politician from Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) had faced criticism for months over what some see as Germany’s wavering response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Berlin is under pressure to quickly nominate a new defence minister ahead of US defence secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to the US military base in Ramstein, Germany this week.

Finland’s response

Finland President Sauli Niinisto said the country could donate a small number of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine if a wider group of European nations also decided to do so. He said the topic would be discussed later this week, possibly first at a meeting in Tallinn in which Estonia has invited “like-minded countries”, and at the US military base in Germany.

Finland’s stance on giving Leopard tanks to Ukraine depends on Germany’s lead, Finnish defence minister Mikko Savola said, adding that exporting the German-made equipment would require a permit from Germany.

Tanks ‘will burn’ in Ukraine: Russia

On Monday, the Kremlin said tanks Britain plans to send to Ukraine “will burn”, warning the West that supplying a new round of more advanced weapons to Ukraine would not change the outcome of the war.

Britain earlier said it would send 14 of its Challenger 2 main battle tanks as well as other advanced artillery support in the coming weeks.

“They are using this country as a tool to achieve their anti-Russian goals,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked about the British tanks.

“These tanks are burning and will burn just like the rest,” Peskov said.

Peskov said the new supplies from countries like Britain and Poland would not change the situation on the ground, but were an attempt to draw out the conflict which he said would ultimately bring “more troubles” on Ukraine.

PM asks UAE to facilitate talks on India-held Kashmir

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold serious and sincere talks to resolve burning issues, including Kashmir, and said the United Arab Emirates leadership could play an important role in bringing India and Pakistan to table.

The prime minister, in an interview with Al Arabiya news channel, said, “My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir.

“In Kashmir, flagrant human rights violations are taking place day in and day out.”

The PM said India had usurped any semblance of autonomy, given to the Kashmiris according to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, as the autonomy was revoked in August 2019.

Minorities in India were being persecuted, he said, adding that India must stop this to give a message to the world that the country was ready for meaningful talks.

In interview, Shehbaz tells Modi ‘let us sit down on the table and have serious, sincere talks’

Mr Shehbaz reminded the world that India and Pakistan were neighbours and they had to live with each other. “It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other, and waste time and resources. We have three wars with India and it only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people. We have learnt our lesson and we want to live in peace provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems. We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, and provide education and health facilities and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition, that is the message I want to give to PM Modi,” he added.

He said, “We are nuclear powers, armed to the teeth and if God forbid a war breaks out who will live to tell what happened.”

He said Saudi Arabia was a friendly and brotherly country, and they had unique brotherly relations for centuries.

Before Pakistan came into being and carved out of India, millions of Muslims had brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia and they were visiting Makkah and Medina, he recalled.

The PM said the UAE was a second home for millions of Pakistanis and as prime minister, he had undertaken a successful visit to the country. He said Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed was an affectionate brother and great supporter of Pakis­tan and wanted the people of Pakistan to progress and become prosperous. Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan was also a great friend of Pakistan and Pakistan was in his soul.

“Leadership of Pakistan and Gulf countries have resolved to cooperate with each other in the realm of trade and culture and project Islam as a religion of peace and shun all forms of terrorism. We are working together as strategic partners,” he added.

The prime minister said Pakistan’s woes and difficulties would not have de­­creased without the tangible and substantial support of the brotherly Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia, who were reliable and trustworthy partners. He said the Pakistani nation was resilient and brave, and it would stand on its own feet by promoting trade and investment.