India

Papers discuss India's role in global fight against Islamic State

Islamic State fighters parade through the Syrian city of Raqqa in an armoured vehicle (30 June 2014) Image copyright AP
Image caption The jihadist group has declared the creation of a caliphate in the areas under its control

Media are discussing India's possible role in the US President, Barack Obama's strategy to take on the jihadist group, Islamic State (IS).

IS, also referred to as Isil or Isis, has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months, declaring the land it controls a "caliphate".

The US president spelt out his strategy in on Wednesday on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Mr Obama said the US would "degrade and ultimately destroy" the IS with help from its "friends and allies".

As part of the strategy, the US will carry out a "systematic campaign of airstrikes" and increase support to forces fighting the group on the ground, papers say.

Leading dailies are discussing India's role in the "global coalition" which the US seeks to build against the IS.

"Mr Obama spoke of recruiting a global coalition to carry on the good fight, as it were… India will do well to remain cautious about the Obama scheme. It has its own stakes in West Asia's geopolitics, which it must approach according to its own lights, and not in the wake of a superpower's immediate interests," The Asian Age says in an editorial.

The Hindustan Times says India will observe the plan to take on IS with "interest".

"India will be watching the strategy unfold with interest as it seeks to maintain influence while Iraq implodes… India is well-placed to join the 'broad coalition of partners' that the US is looking for to counter IS," it says.

Meanwhile, papers also say that Mr Obama's "nuanced case" for "expanded" military operations in Iraq and Syria is "far from clear".

The Indian Express says the plan is likely to face "immense" obstacles, while the Deccan Herald warns of the negative consequences of the strategy on the region.

"What is of concern is that the Obama decision may mark a dangerous escalation in the violence in the region… While IS elimination is welcome, civilian casualties may deepen anger on the ground and could contribute to more support for the insurgents," the Deccan Herald says.

Hate speech

In domestic news, papers are reporting incidents of looting in the flood-hit parts of Indian-administered Kashmir even as rescue operations continue.

The Times of India says that "burglars are having a field day" in the Kashmir Valley, particularly in the capital, Srinagar.

Thieves have taken away cooking gas cylinders and household appliances from deserted homes, the paper reports quoting residents.

The Hindustan Times says some residents in Srinagar are "living in constant fear of threat" and refusing to evacuate their homes.

Over 200 people have died in the worst floods to have hit the state in decades. Hundreds of thousands of people are still stranded in the affected areas.

And finally, the Election Commission has reprimanded an MP of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for his alleged misconduct during the general elections in April, The Indian Express reports.

The commission has ordered the police to register a complaint against the MP, Yogi Adityanath, who is also a priest.

"The CD covering your speech manifestedly shows that you invoked religion and made appeal on this ground of religion to secure votes for your party and that the said speech had the effect of provoking feelings of enmity or hatred between different classes..." the commission said in reply to the MP.

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