Photo Credit: Mukesh Gupta/Reuters
1. Earthquake of 6.7 magnitude hits east and north-east India.
2. Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with Iran as sectarian tensions escalate.
3. Malda in West Bengal tense as anti-Tiwari rally turns violent.
4. India win SAFF Cup after extra-time goal against Afghanistan.
The Big Story: Pakistani pincer
For the second day on Sunday, the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot saw intense firing between Indian forces and at least two terrorists holed up inside. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had declared a successful end to operations on Saturday, only for at least two more terrorists to reveal themselves on Sunday and attack Indian forces.
As this operation was underway, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to discuss the operation, which has turned out to be the most impactful terror assault by terrorists emerging from Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Indian security forces are using attack helicopters to try and flush out the terrorists, reports the Indian Express. Even the adjoining civilian areas like Akalgarh village are being searched and contingents of the army, Border Security Force and Punjab police were deployed around the village and IAF station.
Meanwhile the Indian consulate in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif was also attacked.
As India attempts to decode the meaning of these attacks, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI and its army were responsible for the attack on the Air Force base in Pathankot in which seven security personnel were killed. Defence analyst Praveen Swami also lays the blame at the door of the Pakistan army.
Since assuming office in 2014, Narendra Modi has already swung widely between peace and war talk with Pakistan. However, his latest peace overture, a lunchtime stopover in Lahore on Christmas day, is under siege given the latest assault. Will he be able to navigate this way through?
The Big Scroll
In spite of a terror attack of this magnitude, how is Modi not being overwhelmed with hardline opinion on Pakistan? The answer lies in the phrase, “only Nixon could go to China”. Here’s how Pakistani newspapers covered the Pathankot attack. Not only is Pathankot turning out to be militarily difficult, it seems with it, India has also lost the perception war.
Politicking and policying
1. Only Constitution can’t bring us equality, change in mindset can: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
2. India seeks to lead developing nations at WTO.
3. Bangladesh border fence in Assam to be completed this year says Home Minister Rajnath Singh
1. Laws of defamation and contempt must be seen as lingering anachronisms arguesRajeev Dhawan in the Indian Express.
2. Mukul Kesavan writes in the Telegraph about the opening up of digital libraries.
3. The biggest headaches for prime ministers with majorities always come from within their own parties writes T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan in the Business Standard.