World

Even US is afraid of third nuclear test of North Korea

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America comes forward to support S Korea against N Korea

The North Korea has done its fifth nuclear test and the whole World has united against it which is a good move and recently United States and China have also agreed to deploy an additional THAAD battery in South Korea after the threat from North Korea.

The United States President Barack Obama has taken this threat seriously and House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest said that he is committed to protect Americans. He further told that the Security Council told him over the weekend that indicated that they were going to consider additional economic sanctions which could be imposed against North Korea for their continued and flagrant violations of a variety of Security Council resolutions.

This statement of Josh has cleared that America is very serious about this matter and whole International Community has come forward  to stand against North Korea because this is an alarming situation and if Countries will not take it seriously then North Korea can do anything to exploit its nuclear power.

America is also working on further steps which will isolate North Korea and Josh also told that there is some important work to be done at the UN and the US will be supportive in that process. There is THAAD battery that has been deployed to Guam.

Recently America and South Korea has done an agreement in which it was decided that an additional THAAD battery in South Korea will be deployed and all of this has been oriented against the threat from North Korea.

Barack Obama also told that he is pleased with Chinese because they have contributed in constructing a pressure on North Koreans and he believes that there is more that they could do in this situation.

Obama also had various conversations with Chinese President Xi (Jinping), about the need to deal with this situation a priority.

Education

Doyen of environmental protection globally famous, Padma Vibhushan Bahuguna turns 92 today

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world famous Chipko leader Sunder Lal Bahuguna

Today is the 92nd Birthday of eminent environmentalist of world fame Sunderlal Bahuguna. While wishing the living legend all the very best n good luck for his long life , I m re publishing here the interview taken by me at his Dehradun residence about three years ago. It was indeed a great privilege to have got an opportunity to interview him. Hope you will go through n assess the interaction for yourself:

Interview of Sunder lal Bahuguna,
by SUNIL NEGI

Having completed 88 years of his struggleful life, a living legend and an institution in himself, Sunderlal Bahuguna is widely known as a Chipko leader of international fame. Recipient of many coveted honours for environment, ecological conservation n for preserving the forests of Uttarakhand Himalayas viz. Padmavibhushan, Padmashree, Jamunalal bajaj and prestigious international Right Livelyhood Awards, Sunderlal Bahuguna undertook 74 days of incessant hunger strike against Tehri dam during the eighties. Sunil Negi, a freelance journalist visited him at Dehradun and interviewed him in detail. Here are some excerpts of the interview.

Question: Sir, you‘ve just completed the protracted 88 challenging years of your life last month. You’ve almost given more than 7 decades of your pivotal life to environment conservation, against rampant deforestation and social service as a Gandhi an. How does u feel now?

As you know, having been on the 89th year of my life I am not keeping a good health. I am bed ridden most of the time. I am really grateful and rather thankful to my better half Vimlaji for looking after me entirely and taking care of my health very minutely. This is how I am able to push my immortality further ahead. However my son in law is also a senior doctor under whose able and experienced medical supervision and monitoring I am alive. I have been given to understand by the cardiologists that two of my heart’s arteries are blocked but due to being too old, surgery can’t be conducted. I am therefore moving ahead quite cautiously. Never mind, one has to leave this materialistic world one day. But till one is alive one should always try hard to live for the society, environment, ecology and peoples’ welfare. Even today I am deeply bothered and concerned about the environmental health of the Himalayas, Uttarakhand and its people. I regret to say that even after Uttarakhand gaining its separate existence 15 years’ ago , has not lived up truly, to the peoples’ expectations. The very concept for which Uttrakhand has been formed has been badly defeated despite 46 movement activists sacrificing their precious lives. The successive governments, I think eight in numbers, during the last 15 years , have proved to be completely futile as during this period more than 30 lakh people have migrated to cities, towns and metropolis of the country for want of better job and health avenues. What a tragedy? Had the governments of the state been genuinely concerned about people’s problems related to the social, economical, industrial, cultural, health and educational aspects, the exodus of the youth and the local populace would not have been so tremendous. Isn’t is shocking that in merely one and a half decade just more than a double digit figure( of people ) have migrated outside Uttarakhand as compared to the total influx during the last 5 decades prior to granting of separate Uttrakhand status.

Question: But the government of Uttarakhand had always been boasting of extraordinary growth rate and sufficient per capita income as compared to other states. What’s your take on this?

This is absurd and ridiculous. I have always been saying for years together and it has finally been substantiated by this mass scale exodus of youths to plains from UK and i.e. the youth and the water of Uttarakhand Himalayas has never been of any use for Uttarakhand.(Pahadon ki jawani aur paani kabhi bhi pahadon ke kaam nahi aaya).The way the water of the Ganges and its tributaries emanating(starting) from Uttarkhand Himalayas has been exploited by the outsiders either for power and irrigation through large scale dams or for other purposes, similarly the youths of Uttarakhand after migrating to cities and metropolis are of no use to the hills. This is something very unfortunate. You will be astonished and shocked to learn that during the 1960s when Dr. Longanathan had conducted the interstate and inter district economic survey in India, Tehri Garhwal was accounted for as the one of the most poorest districts’ with its per capita income the lowest in whole of India whereas the district of Kumaon division, Almora was the second most poorest in the country. And unfortunately even today, despite of the government’s tall claims of revolutionary change in terms of development and per capita income and growth, in my personal opinion the hills of Uttarakhand are still backward and poor as far as the question of unemployment, poor health services and industrialisation is concerned. It’s only because of the lack of total absence of decentralised socio-economic and industrial development and the anti people policies of the current and the successive state governments that Uttarakhand is still a number one state in India in terms of massive exodus of youths to the cities with villages becoming empty day by day and the agricultural fields not prone to KHETI or crop cultivation. During the ancient days the main source of income of the hill people was through spiritual tourism. Now, since roads have been constructed this very source of income of the local hill populace has also been finished. It sounds extremely surprising that in Uttarakhand the land use per human is comparatively much more but poverty is still prevalent in the interior villages, as usual. Our economic sources have been killed. The state’s economic status is in doldrums despite the government’s tall claims of economic prosperity. The hill of Uttarakhand had been merely dependent on the money order economy since ages and the same trend is still continuing as majority of the youths of the state have migrated to cities for jobs. This a very disturbing trend. If the government of the day would not reform itself and work on decentralised economic development right up to the village level I am afraid in the near future the villages will be totally bereft of people and the very purpose for which the Uttrakhand state came into very existence would be actually defeated.

Question: Being a seasoned environmentalist and a Gandhian what is the actual remedy to this very problem?

I personally think that the spate of huge exodus (migration) to the plains is extremely dangerous form the social, economic, cultural and security points of view of Uttarakhand. And I keep the security aspect on the top. It’s a universal fact that expansionist China considers India as its enemy number one, though number of mutual visits by the respective heads of the states of both the countries is being undertaken for normalisation of the relations. Everybody know how China backstabbed us in 1962 after giving the slogan of Hindi Cheeni Bhai Bhai. Today China is actively constructing its Army bases in neighbouring Nepal. It has even laid down its hi tech railway lines and roads in close proximity to our borders with Nepal playing a major role in helping them. Even the Nepalese population is widespread in various blocks, districts and cities of Uttarakhand. China is absolutely readying itself to capture, militarily our border areas and villages by bringing the local Nepalese people into confidence. Moreover, in view of our border villages being emptied day by day by the local populace in view of dearth of employment and other opportunities our already fragile borders are in grave danger. It’s only because of this major lacunae I had always been appealing to the central government to formulate a concrete Hiamalayan policy for all the Himalayan states of the country so as to enable not only the solid conservation of the environment of the Himalayas but also to safeguard the borders of the Himalayan states from the possible Chinese armed intrusion inside our already porous borders. Apart from this, we will also have to change the land use of the hills including the phased wise clearance of the pine trees from the higher altitudes of the hilly terrains which are direct threat to our agricultural and mountainous lands(slopes) making them totally barren and not prone to cultivation any further. The pine trees make the soil fully acetic and therefore impotent in terms of crops cultivation. All these measures would have to be inculcated in the Himalayan Policy structure of the government if we actually y want our hills, Himalayan states and Himalayas to be protected from future onslaughts of the nature and our neighbouring China. In addition to this the government is hell bent upon constructing bigger dams in the Himalayan states which are completely anti environment, anti rivers, anti people and anti development. In nutshell I would say that formulation of a concrete Himalayan policy with the above cited points and change of land use of Uttarakhand hills compounded with small and run of the river hydropower projects n repatriation of people from cities to hills is the only effective alternative that can save Uttarakhand from further destruction and deaths.

Question: Recently, the government of Uttarakhand had in principle agreed to your proposal that the pine trees situated at high altitudes of the mountains will be abruptly cut in a phased manner, under a special policy to rid the hills of this dangerous species, which is entirely harmful . Does it not amount to fulfilling of one of your major long pending demands? Are u satisfied now?

Had it been so easy and convenient, I think the previous governments would have conveniently made the Uttarakhand hills bereft of these pine trees. Making hills bereft of pine trees is one thing but planning multiple species of productive and environmentally friendly tree in large numbers alternatively to substantiate for the losses of pine is another important aspect of the problem. You see, you can’t make the forests bald at a single go without arranging for planting of huge number of good species on the high altitude terrains. If the mountainous terrains are made completely bereft of pine trees in a single go or even in phased manner the hills will become completely bald and there will be imminent danger of earthquakes, floods, landslides, natural catastrophes and other sort of calamities. The roots of the trees not only keep the soil together but also stop the floods and avoids huge landslides are the order of the day in the Uttarakhand Hills. Not only this but the ­ incessant and massive cutting of pine trees will apart from creating environmental and ecological havoc also create a new breed of timber mafia who under the guise of making huge profits will also cut other useful species of productive and environment friendly trees. Uttarakhand is unfortunately already in the grip of such mafias who are amassing huge wealth in collaboration with politicians by way of illegal mining in various parts of the state as a result of which the already fragile environment of Uttarakhand is at stake and giving birth to natural calamities of gigantic proportions.

Question: You had always been concerned for the environmental conservation and deforestation of the Hills and had been on 74 days hunger strike against Tehri dam. How do u look at the catastrophic disaster of Kedar Valley that happened in June 2013. Can we avert such calamities in the near future?

Nobody can ever control the catastrophic disasters nor can we predict it on definite basis as to when exactly the calamity arrives. Yes we do can counter it to a great extent. Today unfortunately, under the guise of revolutionary scientific developments and the blind uncontrolled race of technological advancements, the whole world is under the grip of global warming created by huge green house emissions. A vast population of India and other countries of the world are suffering from various respiratory disorders and diseases like asthma, of heart and lungs including contagious abnormalities. This dangerous trend of global warming has not only increased the mortality rate world over but has also resulting in speedy melting of the Himalayan glaciers which are highly dangerous to the global civilization’s existence. The gigantic Himalayan catastrophe of 2013 which I consider purely a manmade one is merely an indication of future disasters in the offing measuring as just a tip of an iceberg. Whenever the humanity has played with the nature under the guise of anti environmental scientific developments or advancements, the nature has slapped humanity and governments with massive ecological disasters like that of Kedar valley one that happened in June 2013.Uttarakhand Himalaya is considered to be an abode of Gods where spiritual and cultural tourism would have been majorly encouraged but unfortunately the unholy nexus of the capitalists, builders, contractor, politicians and corrupt bureaucracy has by way of building huge dams, buildings, luxury hotels, buildings for commercial gains and huge structures alongside the rivers have literally played havoc with our already fragile environment, hills, rivers and the local populace thus inviting such huge calamities taking the toll of thousands and leading to colossal loss to public exchequer. We shouldn’t forget that huge dams not only control the smooth flow of rivers, but also lead to massive landslides and therefore in return to flash floods. The explosions at dam sites lead to landslides and make our hills hollow and vibratory from inside. Lots of deforestation takes place. Mountains become bereft of plants, trees and green vegetation. And when earthquake occur the hollow and weak hills in the form of huge landslides including building come down like the pack of cards. The tons of silt coming out of the tunnels of dams fall straightaway in the rivers making them narrow and hugely prone to flash floods. There are umpteen other reasons that make our hills and its environment prone to such disasters and fatal consequences.

Question: lst query. How do u rate the internationally famous CHIPKO MOVEMENT of which you were a very significant part. Do u think that it was a successful movement or a failure, not able to come to peoples’ expectation?

In my personal opinion and also in the opinion of environmentalists’ world over Chipko Movement was a trendsetter which mobilised a vast population of the globe towards environment conservation and against deforestation. It make people mobilised and worked as a major and most effective tool that not only made people environmentally friendly, conscious but also led to many struggles felling of trees and construction of big dams world over. I can say it did have a very strong international presence but not that much effective in India. I salute Gaura Devi who was the chief architect of this movement for her perseverance, grit , determination and dedication to this noble cause. Any movement which has with it the continuity is considered as success but in the context of this movement it definitely lacked the sequel. Had the governments strictly followed the tips of Chipko movement on toto I am sure the hills of Uttarakhand Himalayas , its environment, ecology and the conditions of its people would have improved manifold by now. My two main slogans to preserve the ecology of the hills and improve the lot of the people were” Dhaar Einch Paani meaning bring the water through the hydraulic system or other means on the hill tops” ar Dhaal par taal meaning plant productive trees and fruit plants on the slopes of these hills in huge numbers leading to all round prosperity, progress and economic viability of the hills, its environment and the people. That’s it.

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India

India rejected offers for talks, war would be suicidal,claims Imran Khan

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Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has accused India of not responding to his peace overtures and said that any war between two nuclear-armed nations would be suicidal for them.

In an interview with Turkish news agency TRT World, according to his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, Khan again expressed his desire for talks with India.He said that even a Cold War was not in the interests of the two countries.”Two nuclear armed countries should not even think of a war; not even a Cold War because it could worsen any time. The only way is bilateral talks. Two nuclear armed countries at war is like a suicide,” the party quoted him as saying.

He said India did not respond to his peace overtures.India has been maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together.”India was offered to take one step towards and we shall take two. But India rejected Pakistan’s offer for talks several times,” Khan said.Khan also said said that India would never be able to suppress the rights of the Kashmiri people.

The Indo-Pak ties strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based terrorists in 2016 and India’s surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The ties further nose-dived in 2017 with no bilateral talks talking place between them

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Asia

Sarfaraz annoyed with father’s co stars, says Bollywood is hypocrite and selfish

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Late Kader Khan with his sons in Canada

It is indeed a tragedy of Indian film Industry that an iconic personality of Bollywood who’d acted in about 700 films and impressed his billions of fans worldwide by his humorous histrionics n also scripted dialogues n stories for about three hundred movies with several of them being super duper hits, had to breath his last thousands of miles away from India, his actual Karmsthali, though born in Afghanistan on 31st December, 2018.

 

A heart throb of billions of his die hard fans acting  legend Kader Khan who’d acted in myriad number of movies with Super star Amitabh Bachchan, ever green hero Govinda , Shakti Kapoor, Johnny lever including late Super star Rajesh Khanna etc none of them, who called him a fatherly figure, remembered him during his critical days in complete isolation n loneliness when the veteran actor n dialogue writer was seriously ill counting his last days in pain.

 

Kader Khan had taken the Canadian citizenship as all his three sons, the eldest being Sarfaraz were already settled in Canada. Had Kader Khan acknowledged the  adequate n due attention in Mumbai, by his five decades old film fraternity, while ill n in bad health things would have been different and the former would have preferred leaving for his eternal home in India itself.

 

But after his severe knee surgery having gone away n his health condition gone heywire, the lonely Kader Khan who was expecting moral, psychological and physical support from his earlier co actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Shakti Kapoor, Johnny lever, Asrani, Govinda and his other co stars whom he remembered a lot during his last time while in crisis he was literaly morally dead while alive in total isolation n bewilderness.

 

According to his son Sarfaraz Khan who looked after his father very minutely n with due care had a deep grudge against his father’s co stars like Amitabh, Govinda n Shakti Kapoor who though always talked very high of Kader Khan n termed him as their fatherly figure n even God father, never ever called him either on phone or personally to know about his welfare n welbeing nor bothered to visit him either in Mumbai n later in Canada.

 

Sarfaraz said Kader Khan was morally extremely heart broken n felt lonely  while being ill during his last days of life in hospital in Canada who dedicated his five decades to Indian film industry.

 

He said, however Kader Khan was lucky to have three responsible sons who’d looked after him in his critical days and baded him good bye at the age of 81 cheerfully, who were near him in the hospital even while he breathed his last.

 

On the contrary, veteran film actors like Parveen Babi, Sadhna, Mohan Choti, Lalita Panwar and several others met a very sad end is extreme financial and emotional jeopardy in complete isolation as well.

 

Sarfaraz who was badly annoyed by the non cooperation of the film fraternity  in the context of not remembering his late father Kader Khan even once during his critical days says that this is how the Bollywood has become these days  as everybody honours n respects a star while he or she are on the rise or in news but the moment they are on the descendence or downslide all the co stars forget them which is indeed quite a distressing trend.

 

There was a time in the 70s n 80s when decency, amity n ethics ruled the Mumbai Film Industry. I fondly remember to have read in one of the  news reports that when Kaka was on his peak of stardom and music legend Pancham Da was operated in England for a severe heart ailment, Pancham Da’s friend  Rajesh Khanna flew to London all of a sudden and surprised the ailing  music director, when the later visited the former in hospital to know about his health condition after the surgery.

 

Kaka then in the peak of his super stardom used to keep Pancham Da happy and used to crack jokes to keep him in good humour while convalescing after the surgery in London. The cardiac surgeon who happened to be an Indian born was extremely pleased, enthralled and thrilled to see Kaka the then super star in front of him and invited him to dinner at his house. Kaka used to be with Pancham Da in the hospital during the day n in clubs in the night. Such was the bond between the Bollywood fraternity those days which has changed upside down now with stars now being selfish n hypocrites.

 

Kader Khan Sahab’s sad end in isolation with not a single co star trying to know about his well being while he was in critical days of his life unambiguously speaks of the fact that Bollywood no longer believes in emotions n passions but pure business. That’s it.

It may be recalled that being the Canadian citizen and no love, affection, support or cooperation acknowleged from Bollywood despite Kader Khan’sfove decades service to the Mumbai Film Industry as a legendary star, author, comedian n a role model, this veteran Bollywood star was constrained to be cremeted in Canada thousands of miles away from India his KARMSTHALI N AFGHANISTAN his Birth place. He was 81. What’s your take friends?

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Politics

Pak’s national carrier sacks 50 employees for holding fake degrees

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Pakistan’s national carrier has terminated the contracts of over 50 employees, including three pilots, after they were found holding fake degrees, according to a media report.
The directives were issued in view of the proceedings of Pakistan’s Supreme Court against pilots and cabin crews with fake degrees and certificates, the Express Tribune reported.
“We have begun probe into (the cases of) all staffers who were hired (while) holding sham degrees,” Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson Mashood Tajwar was quoted as saying by the paper.
Director General of Civil Aviation Authority Hassan Baig has also issued directives to suspend the licenses of all those pilots and cabin crews who have not yet submitted their degrees and certificates.
“Their licenses will remain suspended till they submit their referred documents for verification,” an official statement said.

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Australia

New Australian Open heat policy to counter oven-like conditions

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A new extreme heat policy that dictates when it is safe to play will be introduced at next month’s Australian Open to better deal with frequent oven-like conditions on court.
The “Heat Stress Scale” will be used for the first time at a Grand Slam to help prevent players from fainting and suffering exhaustion, relying on more weather-measuring devices at Melbourne Park.
Organisers said it followed “cutting-edge research and testing into the specific effects of heat stress on tennis players”.
New rules will allow for a 10-minute break between the second and third sets in women’s singles matches when a four — on a scale of one to five — is recorded on the HSS prior to or during the first two sets of a match.
Men will get a 10-minute breather after the third set if a four is reached.
If the heat stress scale goes to five, play can be suspended.
Tennis Australia chief medical officer Carolyn Broderick said the scale took into account the effects of heat on the human body including the maximum stress an athlete can safely withstand, the sweat rate of that person and their core temperature.
“The scale also accounts for the physiological variances between adults, wheelchair and junior athletes while also taking into account the four climate factors — air temperature, radiant heat or the strength of the sun, humidity and wind speed.”
Previously, organisers could only activate the extreme heat policy and halt play or close roofs when the temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and the Bureau of Meteorology’s wet bulb globe temperature index — which is used to estimate heat stress in humans — hit 32.5 Celsius.
Suffocating weather at Melbourne Park has caused serious problems with players in the past.
Among those suffering at the 2018 tournament was Gael Monfils, with fears for his health in a mid-afternoon match against Novak Djokovic.
The Frenchman, known as one of the fittest players on tour, looked dazed and confused in his second set and eventually received medical assistance.
He said afterwards he was “dying” on court, while France’s Alize Cornet had her blood pressure and pulse monitored by a doctor during a medical timeout, saying later she was going to faint.
One of the worst years for heat at the Open was 2014, when many players were in trouble.
Among them was Blaz Kavcic who was placed on a drip, while Frank Dancevic said he was hallucinating about cartoon character Snoopy in his dazed state.

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India

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visits US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii

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Defence Minister in Hawaii along with Commander of INDOPACOM Adm. Phil Davidson

In a first, India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii. The visit comes months after Washington changed the name of Pacific Command, its largest command in the world, to Indo-Pacific Command.

She was hosted by Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command Adm. Phil Davidson who said, “Our two democratic nations are committed to upholding a rules-based international order, which has brought decades of peace, stability, and prosperity. We are global partners on defence and security and this exemplifies our mutual cooperation to assure a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

India’s defence minister also visited the historic Pearl Harbour and boarded US Guided Missile Destroyer USS Michael Murphy.

The visit coincided with the 77th anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbour by Japanese forces, the attack which is considered a turning point in World War 2 and eventually led to the defeat of Japanese forces in the region. Nirmala Sitharaman is on an official visit to the US from 2-7 December 2018, at the invitation of US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

The visit by Defence Minister comes at a time when India and US have been engaged in talks to expand the Indo Pacific concept. At the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore, PM Modi said that Indo-Pacific is inclusive and “India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific Region is a positive one” with “ASEAN centrality and unity”.

The United States and India have been major defence partners since 2016. During the recently concluded inaugural US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi in September, the two countries signed COMCASA or Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement.

Air forces of India and the US are currently conducting a 12-day military exercise in Kalaikunda and Panagarh air bases in West Bengal, with an aim to enhance operational coordination, according to IAF officials. The ‘Ex Cope India-18’ will be the fourth edition in the series of bilateral drills between the Indian Air Force and the US Air Force.

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Asia

Imran Khan’s friendly initiatives have no meaning till he does not rid Pakistan of terror santuaries n terrorism

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The issue of Kartarpur corridor which seemed like opening the doors of a new chapter of friendship between India and Pakistan, particularly after the elevation of renowned cricketer Imran Khan as the new prime minister of Pakistan has taken a topsy tervy turn with India and Pakistan still engaged in mudslingling and accusations on each other giving an unambiguous impression that keeping the confrontation between the two nations’ alive suits both the ruling partys’ political dispensations to keep on their governments running smoothly and politics intact.

There is no doubt that the successive governments in Pakistan since they achieved separate nationhood always stood against India as its arch enemy , attacked India number of times, lost all wars but always kept the Kashmir issue alive by making Pakistan a fertile sanctuary of terrorists and infilterating them in Kashmir killing thousands of innocent civilians and Armymen including the paramilitary troopers.

While the Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan is making number of statements regarding extending two steps forward incase India initiates’ one step ahead, the Kartarpur corridor initiative between both the countries does not seem to serve any suitable purpose of renewed efforts of friendship dialogue despite the decision being historic as politics of Congress and BJP has cropped in to take credit of this historic intiative.

While the Punjab state minister of Congress party government Navjyot Singh Sidhu is claiming the credit for opening of the Kartarpur Pakistan and Nanak Dera India corridor being the old and trusted friend of Pak PM Imran Khan, the BJP led NDA government pats its own back and blames Sidhu as the die friend of India’s traditional enemy.

There have also been accusations and allegations of Pakistan aiding and abetting the Khalistani terrorists in its own soil particularly Gopal Singh Chawla who was shown most cordially and merrily talking to the Pakistani general Bajwa at the ground breaking ceremony in Pakistan by Indian TV channels and the print media.

The Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has already refused to initiate talks with Pakistan despite Imran’s initiative for dialogues, saying that inview of the increasing killings of Indians and Pakistan’s not giving up its stand on sponsoring and abetting terrorists including closing down of terror sanctuaries the friendship parleys can’t go hand in glove.

Similarly the prime minister’s visit to the SAARC conference to be held in Pakistan has also been cancelled for the second time, as India wants complete stoppage to terror funding and support to terrorists from the Pakistani soil.

The rigid stand of India despite the Kartarpur intiative seems to be a logically genuine decision as Pak PM Imran Khan has never committed to give up shielding and abetting terrorists n terrorism from the Pakistani soil and had not mentioned even for once while speaking on the ground breaking ceremony in Kartarpur, Pakistan his commitment to do so, though he did raised the Kashmir issue.

He did’nt even uttered a single word on 26/11 attack in Mumbai in which 160 innocents died. He did not say a single word on the dreaded terrorists like Hafiz Sayed etc who are roaming freely in Pakistan and spreading venom against India n killing hundreds of people in Kashmir.

Instead Imran Khan tries to skip these questions by putting the blame on previous governments and terming them as an inherited issue thus standing non committal on counteting terrorism in the Pakistan soil.

It’s not only India but the entire world which unambiguously knows – how Pakistan is sponsering and funding the hardened terrorists as a terrorist nation. Even in UN and the US list Hafeez Sayed n other terrorists are registered as International terrorits with heavy awards on their heads but the Pak government is not playing any vital role to penalise n hand them to the US and India.

The US president too has warned Pakistan number of times to clear its soil of terror sanctuaries n have even stopped the huge financial aid but instead of obliging US its traditional friend it preferred to wholly side with expansionist China given a clrar impression that the PAK military, political leadership n the ISI are not interested to counter or eliminate terrorism from its soil either willingly or for fear of polotical implications n repurcussions.

The crux is, unless Pakistan gives up the killing spree in Kashmir and clears its soil of terror sanctuaries and terror funding activities, any historic initiative between the two countries will have to be looked or assesed in isolation as rightly said by the Indian Army chief Genl. Vipin Rawat in the context of the Kartarpur, Corridor.

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Asia

Kartarpur India corridor, a potential hope for revival of friendly Indo Pak ties

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At a critical juncture, when the relations between Pakistan and India are at its low, worsening day after day, particularly in view of the increasing bludgeonings by the Pak sponsored, aided and abetted terrorists n rangers at the LOC and strife torn Jammu and Kashmir , the recent announcenent by the Pak and Indian government to operationalise the seamless visa free corridor of 4 kilometers between the historic Dera Baba Nanak in Indian Punjab and Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, a protracted demand of the Sikhs in India, has infact opened a new credible hope of revival of friendly relations between the two countries.

The issue of construction of corridor between the Dera Baba Nanak in India n Kartarpur in Pakistan is paramount because it will not only be a great boost for about 12.5 crore Sikhs believing in their God Guru Nanak Dev who passed his 18 long years of his last life span in this historic Gurudwara then in Kartarpur India and now in Pakistan but will also open doors of good frienship bonding between the two warring neighbours who’d been at leggerheads since 1947 after India and Pakistan attained freedom and separate entity as two nations.

There had been lot of controversy on this pivotal issue pertaining to the visit of the Punjab minister in the Congress government and former cricketer Navjyot Singh Sidhu who’d recently visited Pakistan during the swearing in ceremony of his old friend and Pak’s premier Imran Khan embracing the Pakistan Army chief Bajwa for his alleged assurance for opening n operationalising the corridor.

Sidhu had then been accused as anti Indian and a friend of Pakistan. Today, Novjyot Singh Sidhu is claiming the credit for this positive development saying that it is he, who had personally requested to Pakistan PM n his old friend Imran Khan for operationalising the corridor thus opening the new historical chapter in starting friendship with India, which as on date is at loggerheads.

Meanwhile, another controversy has now erupted regarding sticking of several posters in Gurudwara Nanka Sahib in Pakistan by Khalistan Cammando Force propagating the demand for separate Khalistan at the alleged behest of the Khalistani extremists having taken safe refuge in Pakistan.

There are apprehensions that if this corridor will start functioning after few years and the seamless visits of Indian Sikh community will take place uninterruptingly these anti Indian pro Khalistani forces may try to influence youngsters with their anti India n pro Khalistan stance.

Therefore the Pakistani government should first and foremostly take stringent action against these anti Indian Sikh extremists active in Pakistani soil before starting the corridor.

It may be recalled that during the recent grenade attack in the Nirankari Sant congregation (Samagam) in Amritsar which killed three people and grievously injured 20, hands of the Sikh militants who’d unfiltrated into India were found to have been allegedly involved in these bombings and the picture as well as the anti India n pro Khakistan speeches of some Sikh Khalistani leaders praising Pakistan and Hafiz Sayeed were also telecast on the Indian TV channels pledging to allegedly disintegrate India.

However, despite all this the final arrangements for the opening of this corridor has been made by both the governments and the Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and the Pakistan’s prime minister lmran Khan are inaugurating this friendship project on 26th and 28th November respectively.

This announcement is welcome particularly in view of the 550th Birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib in the month of November.

While the proposal to operationalise this Ino Pak corridor is a heartily welcome initiative but it remains to be seen as to when will it be credibly opened for the free and seamless flow of visiters from India n Pakistan.

In the meanwhile the government under Imran Khan, his Army and ISI should take all possible initiatives to give up killings of Indian soldiers and civilians going unabated since long at the strife torn J and K n LOC border. The incessant sponsering and abetting of terrorists by Pakistan Army and the ISI at the LOC has made things worse with about 1800 incidents of cross border violations since the last for years.

If Imran Khan and his government is really serious on establishing friendly bilateral talks and relations with India it will have to excercise serious restraint on cross border firings and shall have give up sponsering the cross border terrorism genuinely and with conviction . What’s your take friends?

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PM Modi participates in ASEAN-India Breakfast Summit, maritime cooperation among issues discussed

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday participated in the ASEAN-India Breakfast Summit in Singapore and underlined the need for maritime cooperation and centrality of trade for the prosperity of the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Modi began his two-day visit to Singapore Wednesday by delivering his keynote address at the prestigious Fintech Festival.He also held separate bilateral meetings with the premiers of Singapore, Australia and Thailand and discussed ways to further strengthen ties, including in areas of trade, defence and security.”PM Narendra Modi participated at ASEAN-India Breakfast Summit in Singapore. Reaffirmed cooperation in maritime domain and centrality of trade and investment towards prosperity of Indo-Pacific,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

“Had a great interaction with ASEAN leaders at the ASEAN-India Informal Breakfast Summit. We are happy that ties with ASEAN are strong and are contributing to a peaceful and prosperous planet,” Modi said in a tweet. The Indo-Pacific region also came up during the discussion on Wednesday between Prime Minister Modi and US Vice President Mike Pence.Modi referred to his June speech in Singapore at IISS Shangrila Dialogue in which he had outlined India’s vision on Indo-Pacific.

He conveyed to Pence that his vision of Indo-Pacific was gaining acceptability and that “we should utilise the forthcoming East Asia summit to further build on that”.Pence spoke of a free and open Indo-Pacific. He felt that India’s contribution in ensuring this would be important.He said the recent naval exercises held by the US, India and Japan, were an “evidence of our commitment to ensuring free and open access to the seas all across this region”.Before leaving for Singapore, Modi said in New Delhi that his participation in the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits symbolised India’s “continued commitment” to strengthen its engagement with ASEAN members and with the wider Indo-Pacific region.

Modi also said he was confident that his visit to Singapore would impart fresh momentum to New Delhi’s growing partnership with ASEAN and East Asia Summit nations.The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising 10 Southeast Asian countries, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and socio-cultural integration among its members and other Asian states.The ASEAN members are Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos.

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India, US to increase engagement in oil, energy sector

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India and the US Wednesday pledged to further strengthen economic cooperation and increase engagement in the oil and energy sector with a view to boost bilateral trade.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Vice President Mike Pence had “productive discussions on all aspects of global strategic partnership based on growing convergence of interests on regional and global issues” on the sidelines of East Asia Summit here, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Raveesh Kumar said.

Later briefing reporters, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said it was a “very good” meeting.

The two sides had brief discussion on trade-related matters.

In a statement, Pence’s office said he encouraged “free, fair, and reciprocal trade with India.” “We agreed that in a new relationship we are building with the US where trade is expanding, we need to find ways in which we can help that process to take place,” Gokhale said.

The prime minister said that in the last 2 years – since President Donald Trump has assumed office – American exports to India have grown 50 per cent and it is perhaps the only one of the top 10 countries with which the US has a trade deficit, and the deficit has actually reduced last year and is on course to further reduce this year, Gokhale said.

“There was a lot of discussions on energy. This is a new sector in Indo-US relations. We have begun importing oil and gas from the US worth about USD 4 billion this year. We expressed our readiness to import more oil and gas from the US as a way of expanding our trade,” he said.

The defence sector was another area of cooperation between the two sides.

“Both sides agreed that there had been a substantial enhancement in our defence relationship, in our imports of equipment from the US, but the prime minister in particular stressed that there was a great opportunity for the US in India in making defence equipment and setting up defence industry in India.

“Not only that India is a substantial market but because the way we are placed regionally we can become a hub for exports to the rest of the region,” Gokhale said.

Modi said when Indians come to the US, they not only bring their talent and capacity to innovate, capacity to excel but also they are imbued with democratic values. “And in that context the Prime Minister expressed hope that this would be the approach that US might take when it looks at the whole issue of the H-1B visa,” Gokhale said.

Pence acknowledged that India had made substantial progress economically as well as diplomatically in regional and international affairs, Gokhale said.

Pence felt that India is a positive factor in regional and international relations and said the US looks forward to working with India on various issues to ensure that “we have a fair rules-based international order”.

India-US bilateral trade was USD 74.5 billion in 2017-18, up from USD 64.5 billion in the previous year.

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