Daily Briefing: Killing of al-Qaeda’s Zawahiri significant for India; Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan


The Big Story

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s killing is important for the global war on terror, as also for India. Here’s why:

🔴 Indian intelligence agencies were concerned by the recent resurfacing of the al-Qaeda leader. In a video, Zawahiri spoke on the hijab controversy in India and asked Muslims in the subcontinent to fight the perceived assault on Islam “intellectually, using the media and with weapons on the battlefield”.

🔴 This video was seen by the Indian strategic establishment as al-Qaeda’s effort to recruit in India.

🔴 Moreover, as India looks to establish ties with Kabul, Zawahiri’s presence in the capital shows that the terror infrastructure is still active in Afghanistan, and the Taliban are providing a safe haven.

🔴 Meanwhile, know more about the US military’s ‘secret weapon’ — the Hellfire R9X missile – used to kill al-Zawahiri in this explainer.

Only in the Express

In the latest edition of Express Adda, actor Alia Bhatt said that after the pandemic, both producers and stars are engaged in a “reassessment” on the subject of salaries of A-listers and whether they should be balanced against the film’s budget. She also spoke about the performance of Hindi and South Indian films at the box office, facing criticism, her stint as a producer and more.

From the Front Page

At a meeting of the five-judge Supreme Court collegium, headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, some names for appointments to the SC were discussed. But there was also a view among some judges that it would be more prudent to wait until the next CJI takes over, The Indian Express has learnt. CJI Ramana is set to retire on Augsust 26. The collegium is likely to meet again on Wednesday.

Must Read

In July 2021, Congress MLA from Bermo, Kumar Jaimangal, lodged a complaint about attempts to “destabilise the coalition government in Jharkhand”. Almost exactly a year later, he alleged another bid to topple the government, following the arrest of three Congress MLAs in West Bengal with Rs 50 lakh in cash. He claimed that the MLAs had lured him to meet Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma. But he found himself in a spot when a spokesperson for the Assam government shared a photograph of him with Sarma and Union Minister Pralhad Joshi.

In our opinion section today, Upendra Baxi writes on why the Supreme Court’s verdict on PMLA is problematic: “The Court could have resorted to strict constitutional scrutiny, but instead prefers to name the PMLA as constituting a “complete” and comprehensive “Code”, “special and self-contained law”, “stand-alone” or even “sui generis” legislation. The petitioners, in effect, questioned whether PMLA may constitute itself as a parallel legal and constitutional system. The Court justifiably refers to the “mandate” of international law to combat ML. .”

As US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday night despite China’s reservations, India was keenly watching the developments, although it has not yet commented on it. We explain India’s relationship with Taiwan and its stance on the One-China policy.

🔴 India and the One-China policy: India does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan yet, as it follows the One-China policy. But while following the policy, India has an office in Taipei for diplomatic functions — India-Taipei Association (ITA) is headed by a senior diplomat.

🔴 India-Taiwan ties: Their ties focus on commerce, culture and education. Now in their third decade, these have been deliberately kept low-profile, owing to China’s sensitivities.

And Finally…

The Dalai Lama once said that there are 34,000 distinguishable emotions. Even he would be hard pressed to show a single emotion if he were at the Chess Olympiad in Chennai as a spectator. Because it’s not allowed. They can’t say a hello if a player veers closer to their enclosure, they can’t cheer for their favourite player or flash banners to garner their attention. Even the players don’t high-five or fist-punch. Nothing moves, everything is static. Watching chess from the galleries seems an exercise in self-control. The silence suffocates.

🤫 Delhi Confidential: On Monday, the court of Chief Justice of India N V Ramana was faced with a unique problem when a lawyer insisted that his petition should be the lead one in a bunch that challenged the extension to Enforcement Directorate Director S K Mishra, since he was the first to move court on the issue. Advocate M L Sharma, who is in the habit of filing PILs, complained that another plea had been listed as the lead petition. On Tuesday however, Sharma was the first to argue in the matter. At the end of the hearing, the counsel sought to raise the issue again when the CJI responded with a smile “anyhow you argued first today”.

🎧 In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we take a look at the 5G spectrum auction and how four companies bid for it, the revelations upon the death of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the reasons and impacts of BJP’s mega meeting in Bihar.

Until tomorrow,
Rahel Philipose and Sonal Gupta

Business As Usual by EP Unny





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