Following the culture of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which means “the world is one family”, India who had stopped its exports of medicines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, partially eased the ban to export Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and other basic medicines in order to help 13 countries. Complete Coverage: Coronavirus
Crux of the Matter
After crossing 1 million mark on 2nd April, COVID-19 has reached 2 million mark only in a span of 13 days on 15th April with USA being the most affected followed by Spain and Italy.
India is the largest producer and exporter of medicines in the world had received requests from over 20 countries. The Ministry of External Affairs after ensuring enough stock they decided to help the countries which have sought help from India. The 13 countries are USA, Spain, Germany, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Mauritius, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Bahrain.
US President Donald Trump had personally called PM Narendra Modi to request for temporarily uplifting the bans. Similarly, leaders of Israel and Brazil too had spoken to the PM after which the government amidst the full lockdown braved to ease the export and help severely hit countries.
Due to the fast-growing cases, the use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has soared in the U.S. that quickly become the epicentre of the pandemic. Although doctors prescribing it have very little empirical evidence of whether it works. The Indian government also lifted restrictions on the export of 24 pharmaceutical ingredients and several antibiotics, like tinidazole, erythromycin, the hormone progesterone and Vitamin B12.
India is sending humanitarian aid in the form of pharmaceuticals and other items, HCQ & paracetamol to SAARC nations. India also on March 15 had announced US$10 million as its initial contribution to support the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund. It is reportedly expected to send such humanitarian aid to African and Latin American countries as well.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry recently clarified that India has enough stock of HCQ and other medicines and if needed the production can be scaled up easily to meet local and global needs. India manufactures 70% of the world’s supply of hydroxychloroquine and companies like Zydus Cadila Ltd. and Ipca Laboratories Ltd. are the major manufacturers.
India might win its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic at an earlier date. China will continue to fight the epidemic together with India and other countries, enhance cooperation in multilateral platforms such as G20 and BRICS, contribute our wisdom and strength to better address the global challenges and promote the health and well-being of all mankind.
Apart from the medical aid, the government is increasingly trying to bring back home stranded Indians in different countries. Iranian carrier Mahan Air will bring back Indian visitors from the holy city of Qom who have tested negative for COVID-19. Countries like Israel, Malaysia, Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, Belgium, Peru, and Afghanistan have approached India to evacuate their nationals from the country.
In the request letter to PM Modi by Brazillian President Jair Bolsonaro, an analogy from Ramayan was made. Recently this Sanskrit epic has gained more popularity on social media after Doordarshan started airing the show Ramayana again.
In the EU, it is required to use braille on medicinal packaging. As per estimates, putting braille scripts on packages costs up to 5-25% of printing costs. The same is not necessary for American and Indian Market.
Diplomats from 15 countries visited the Valley to monitor the current situation closely. The fact-finding mission is the first one since the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir. India wants the International community to be assured of the normalcy in the region.
Several politicians were detained as part of preventive measures and none other than Indian politicians were allowed to visit J&K.
In October, EU Parliament members visited the Valley but this is for the first time Delhi invited foreign diplomats to visit India controlled J&K to have a ground report of Kashmir’s situation.
Envoys consisted of members from US, Vietnam, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Maldives, Bangladesh, and Peru.
Aim of the visit is to interact with civil society leaders, have a briefing on security parameters, and talk with Army and Intelligence Services.
EU envoy visit is postponed but it will be important as it has put forth a demand to give them a free hand which may also include meeting detained political figures like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti.
The reviews of envoys at the International level will be of greater importance for India because of the constant portrayal of a tense situation in Kashmir at the international front.
The government has started postpaid telephone services and SMS services to bring back normalcy in the region.
Indian government has denied this visit to be a planned one.
Jammu and Kashmir (Union Territory) – J&K has been a subject of dispute between India and Pakistan. Moreover constant terrorist infiltration in India has caused great distress in this region. But after the abrogation of Article 370, there has been a reduction in the violent elements in the valley. More Info
According to official media reports in Islamabad, Pakistan will hold a ministerial meeting of the 57-member Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss Jammu and Kashmir in April 2020. Pakistan wants OIC led by Saudi Arabia to discuss the ‘human rights situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of an anti-Muslim law in India’.
Crux of the Matter
Experts suggest that this development may be linked to a broader Saudi-Pakistan deal.
Pakistan in its negotiations with Riyadh has been pushing hard for a meeting on Kashmir. In return, Pakistan obliged Saudi Arabia by not participating in a conference of Islamic nations hosted by Malaysia.
Recently-appointed Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud had visited Islamabad on December 26 and met Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Mr Qureshi said in a press conference, “I told the Saudi Foreign Minister that the OIC must make a strong statement on India’s Citizenship Amendment Act as well as on the situation in J&K.
The Arab countries have ignored the issue of Kashmir until Pakistan reached out to Turkey, Iran and Malaysia.
India’s former Ambassador to KSA, Oman and the UAE, Talmiz Ahmed said, “While OIC resolutions mean very little in real terms, Pakistan wants to use the forum against India.”
The meeting has not yet been officially announced by the OIC.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.8 billion as of 2015 with 53 countries being Muslim-majority countries. The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union. The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English, and French. The organisation states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony. More Info
Russian Deputy Ambassador Roman Babushkin has emphasised that the issue of Kashmir should be discussed bilaterally between India and Pakistan and said, “Russia is not interested in raising the matter in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).”
Crux of the Matter
Russian Deputy Ambassador Roman Babushkin also clarified that Russia’s position is clear and is not changing.
Russia stands on the position that any issue between India and Pakistan should be resolved on a bilateral basis, according to Simla agreement and Lahore declaration.
Recently China had put forward a proposal to hold a meeting on the issue of Kashmir in the UNSC. However, the US, France, UK and Russia rejected the proposal to convene the meeting.
After the removal of Article 370 in August 2019, China and Pakistan have been making numerous efforts to raise the issue internationally.
The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its charter. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions as well as the authorization of military actions through resolutions. The Security Council was created following World War II to maintain world peace. The Security Council consists of fifteen members. With five permanent members, the council has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years. More Info
China in its move to get the Kashmir issue on the agenda for consultations in the United Nations Security Council has been rejected by other members led by the US and France, UK and Russia, backed by Germany and Indonesia on December 17.
Crux of the Matter
It is the second time China has sought to discuss Kashmir at the closed-door session of the UNSC.
France argued that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan
The UK for the first time clearly backed India’s stand on Kashmir in the UNSC while Russia did not favour discussing the issue at the forum.
Some other members of the 15-member UNSC, including Indonesia, considered the discussion regarding troop movements along the LOC as an internal matter of India.
China had managed to hold informal closed-door consultations on Kashmir in the UNSC on August 16 after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article370 on August 5.
The December 21 special representative (SR) level talk is the first edition of the India-China dialogue as both the nations have decided to give impetus to SR level talks to enable the launch of clarification of Line of Actual Control, the de facto boundary between the neighbours.
Chinese proposal was to bring pressure and to call for a discussion in the aftermath of the release of a revised map of J&K by the Indian government after the bifurcation.
The United Nations Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its charter. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions as well as the authorization of military actions through resolutions. The Security Council was created following World War II to maintain world peace. The Security Council consists of fifteen members. The great powers that were the victors of World War II – the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, France, China and the United States – serve as the body’s five permanent members. In addition, the council has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years. More Info