World

The Nations Divided

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Tennyson in ‘Locksley Hall’ presented his vision of the world where “war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle flags were furled.” Mudaliar, the Dewan of Mysore speaking on behalf of undivided India had once said, the great reality, which all religions teach is the dignity of the common man.

However, all those words rang hollow, when the Indian and Pakistani delegations faced each other in the U.N. Reality was rare, as even the photograph brandished by Pakistan’s Maleeha Lodhi as being from Jammu and Kashmir was actually from Gaza. In any case, the India-Pakistan war of words was outdone by the U.S. and North Korea.

However UN’s 72nd General Assembly was made one of its most disappointing sessions because of its ineffectiveness on each of the issues pointed out by Secretary General António Guterres in his speech on September 19.

According to him seven biggest threats that face the world today are:

  • Nuclear peril.
  • Terrorism.
  • Unresolved conflicts and violations of international humanitarian law.
  • Growing inequality.
  • Climate change.
  • Cyber warfare and misuse of artificial intelligence.
  • Refugees.

UN’s actions in the case of North Korea just amounted to some more sanctions against it. The truth about sanctions is that they do not work on rogue states but they only isolate their populations from the world, which works in favour of regime’s stranglehold on its people.

On the basis of satellite pictures and the accounts of eyewitnesses, the UN Human Rights chief called military action in post-democracy Myanmar,  a “textbook case of ethnic cleansing”, as close to half a million Rohingya fled from Rakhine villages that were then burnt down and landmines were laid along the border with Bangladesh to prevent their return.

Given that Hafiz Saeed and his associates now plan to stand for public office in Pakistan and while Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi received bail despite financial sanctions, more action is expected from U.N.

Mr. Guterres pointed out on the issue of inequalities that, “eight men represent as much of the world’s wealth as half of all humanity”

UN’s first Secretary General, Trygve Lie, ran an equally divided forum and faced the same challenges before finally resigning from his post in 1952. His last words were, “The United Nations will not work effectively if it is used merely as forum for destructive propaganda. Neither will it work if it is used only as a convenience when national interests are directly involved, and regarded with indifference, or bypassed or opposed, when the general world interest is paramount.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lt Genl Hooda who led the 2016 surgical attack asks India to approach US administration to enable pressure on Pakistan

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fmr Chief of Northern Command Lt Genl D. S. Hooda

Lt general Deepender Singh Hooda, chief Northern Command, who masterminded and led the 2016 surgical strike over terrorists launch Pads in the Pakistan territory while speaking to AAJ TAK has said unambiguously that this is the right time for the Indian military and the security forces to show their might if not on a full scale war but partially not being bothered as to what mighty nations like China think of us. Since this is a matter of extreme urgency pertaining to our nation’s security India should be least concerned about the concerns of the foreign nations. We are duty bound to counter terrorism n safeguarding our borders. Genl Hooda said the time has come when India should go to USA n other countries especially China to accquaint them in person about the repeated misadventures of Pakistan and take unified action against terrorism globally, especially in the context of Pak sponsored unproviking attacks on India n Indian forces against India. He catagorically said that USA should be asked n requested to apply pressure on Pakistan to give up terrorism as the situation has now crossed the saturation point. Genl Hooda said India should relook at its policies n try to review it particularly in the context of Pakistan. We should’nt close our eyes towards these tragic incidents of martydom but should stand up with extreme alertness n feel duty bound to take appropriate military action to counter terrorist camps at all costs. If not now then when? Though full scale war is not a solution to this problem but the military n paramilitary forces should show its might in such critical situations.

It may be recalled that Lieutenant General Deependra Singh Hooda, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC is the former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian army’s Northern Command. The General Officer was the Northern Army Commander during the ‘surgical strike’ in September 2016.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has today summoned the Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi to South Block and registered its strongest protest against the Pak government for its arbitrary action in Avantipora Kashmir by aiding n abetting the Jaishe Mohammed terrorists n its chief Azhar Mehmood roaming freely in Pak.

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US envoy calls on North Korea to disclose all its nuclear, missile programs

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As a second bilateral summit between Washington and Pyongyang appeared only a few weeks away, the United States special representative on North Korea policy, Stephen Biegun on Thursday called on the communist nation to disclose all of its nuclear and missile programs.

Biegun stated that the full declaration will be needed to acknowledge complete denuclearisation of the south Asian nation, reported Yonhap.

During a speech at Stanford University, referring to weapons of mass destruction, the Special Representative said, “Before the process of denuclearization can be final, we must have a complete understanding of the full extent of theNorth Korean WMD and missile programs through a comprehensive declaration.”

Without divulging anything consequential, Biegun stated that Washington has “contingencies” prepared in case negotiations fail.

Pyongyang has been unwilling to disclose any such information, claiming that this will give the US a list of targets to destroy. Biegun, however, clarified that Washington is adamant about verifying denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Assuring North Korea that the US has no interest in regime change, Biegun asserted, “We’re not going to invade North Korea.”

“We must reach agreement on expert access and monitoring mechanisms of key sites to international standards, and ultimately ensure the removal or destruction of stockpiles of fissile material, weapons, missiles, launchers and other weapons of mass destruction,” the envoy said.

He further acknowledged that there is a difference in the interpretation of “denuclearisation” for the two nations.

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Mudslide hits wedding party in Peru; leaves 15 dead, 34 injure

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15 people have died after a mudslide hit a wedding party in Peru, South America, on Sunday.

Furthermore, over 30 people have sustained injuries in the tragic incident.

The event occurred at the Alhambra hotel when a mass of mud and other earthy material crashed into people dancing at the wedding celebrations below.

Evaristo Ramos, Abancay’s mayor, told local media that around 100 guests were invited to the party, out of which “15 are dead and 34 injured,” reports Al Jazeera.

Rescue efforts have continued all through Sunday night as firefighters, residents and police work to pull people out from the debris.

According to authorities, the hotel was built close to a hillside. The collapse of the retaining wall led to the mudslide destroying the roof, which fell on the party-goers below.

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Tulsi Gabbard says she is proud to be first Hindu-American to run for President

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Democratic presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard has alleged that she had become a victim of “religious bigotry” and some media outlets were targeting her and accusing her supporters, who have Hindu names, of being Hindu nationalists.
Gabbard, the first Hindu elected to the US Congress, wrote an op-ed for the Religious News Services on Sunday, describing the campaign against her, supporters and donors as “profiling and targeting of Hindu Americans and ascribing to them motives without any basis”.
The 37-year-old had on January 11 announced that she would be running for the White House in 2020.
In the hard-hitting piece, Gabbard pointed out to the accusation against her of being a Hindu nationalist. “Tomorrow will it be Muslim or Jewish Americans? Japanese, Hispanic or African Americans?” she asked.
“My meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India’s democratically elected leader, have been highlighted as ‘proof’ of this and portrayed as somehow being out of the ordinary or somehow suspect, even though President (Barack) Obama, Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, President (Donald) Trump and many of my colleagues in Congress have met with and worked with him,” Gabbard said.
“I am proud to be the first Hindu-American to have been elected to Congress, and now, the first Hindu-American to run for president,” the four-term Democratic lawmaker from Hawaii said.
“And, while the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first, maybe even informed Americans at large about the world’s third-largest religion, some have instead fomented suspicion, fear and religious bigotry about not only me but also my supporters,” Gabbard said.
Gabbard said India was one of America’s closest allies in Asia and is a country of growing importance in a critical region of the world.
“The strategic partnership between our two countries has been a priority for several decades now. To question my commitment to my country, while not questioning non-Hindu leaders, creates a double standard that can only be rooted in one thing: ‘religious bigotry’. I am Hindu and they are not,” Gabbard said.
She referred to the attack against her in the past by political opponents. “Religious bigotry and attempt to foment fear of Hindus and other minority religions persist. During my 2012 and 2014 elections, my Republican opponent stated publicly that a Hindu should not be allowed to serve in the US Congress and that Hinduism is incompatible with the US Constitution,” she said.
In the 2016 race for Congress, her Republican opponent said repeatedly that a vote for her was a vote for the devil because of her religion, Gabbard wrote.
“Republicans like Ben Carson said in 2016 that a Muslim-American would be unqualified to serve as president. Democratic Senators have recently grilled and opposed Republican judicial nominees because of their connection to Catholicism,” she alleged.
These actions and attitudes not only undermine the Constitution, but also incite fear and force people into the shadows because of their religion, Gabbard said.
Gabbard said after her 2012 election, she made a personal decision to take “my congressional oath of office on the supreme yoga/Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna’s teachings have provided wisdom and spiritual solace to me throughout my life, including when I was serving our country in the Middle East during the Iraq war.”
“Those who are trying to foment anti-Hindu sentiment expose the dark underbelly of religious bigotry in politics and must be called out. To advocate voting for or against someone based on religion, race, or gender is simply un-American,” she said.
Gabbard had last September refused to be the chairperson of the World Hindu Congress in Chicago, citing her differences with its organisers who were seen close to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

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US-Bangla plane crash in Nepal that killed 51 was caused by pilot smoking in cockpit

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The US-Bangla airline Bombardier UBG-211 crash that occurred in March last year took place as the pilot who was in charge of the flight had smoked inside the cockpit despite restrictions, authorities confirmed on Sunday.

“The company has a policy of ‘No Smoking’ in all the flights, domestic as well as international. The PIC (pilot in command) was a smoker as per information received by the commission. The commission concluded from CVR (cockpit voice recorder) record that PIC smoked in the cockpit during this flight. However, the operation department and other authorities may not have been sure about this safety violation by the PIC during flight,” the Accident Investigation Commission formed to probe the reasons behind the crash of the airline stated in a statement.

The report clarified that only tobacco was used during the flight duration and ruled out the use of any other sort of banned assorted items consumed during the flight time.

“The Accident Investigation Commission determines that the probable cause of the accident is due to disorientation and a complete loss of situational awareness in the part of the crew member,” the investigation committee said.

As many as 51 people lost their lives when the aircraft crashed immediately after landing on Nepal’s Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA). The reports were published later after the investigation commission submitted it to the Nepali Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

“The Accident Investigation Commission determines that the probable cause of the accident is due to disorientation and a complete loss of situational awareness in the part of the crew member. Contributing to this the aircraft was offset to the proper approach path that led to maneuvers in a very dangerous and unsafe attitude to align with the runway. The landing was completed in sheer desperation after sighting the runway, at very close proximity and very low altitude. There was no attempt made to carry out a go-around when a go-around seemed possible until the last instant before touchdown on the runway,” the statement read.

The post-mortem of the deceased, performed in the Department of Forensic Medicine in Kathmandu, found “blunt force injury head” to be the reason for the death of the passengers.

The report has pointed to the human discretion and the natural factor that contributed to the downing of the aircraft.

“The aircraft failed to approach the runway in proper touchdown attitude; given that the aircraft attempted touchdown in extreme attitudes, the flight crew followed a non-prescribed procedure and that the situation was further complicated by prevailing westerly crosswind conditions at Kathmandu (VNKT), the aircraft departed the runway surface towards the southeasterly direction,” the committee said.

Further adding, the report also blamed the control tower of the TIA and the crew for the mishap.

“The Cockpit Voice Recorder data revealed some confusion in communication within the terminal area between the crew and the air traffic controller (VNKT Tower) regarding intentions of the flight crew and clearances for runways 02 and 20. Some of the weakness on Air Traffic parts like poor monitoring the aircraft visually after giving landing clearance for RWY 02, confusion on issuing the instruction for a go-around through the ATC alerted the crew that the aircraft was proceeding towards runway 20 even the landing clearance was given for runway 02,” the reports found.

On March 12 last year, the US Bangla Airlines while operating a scheduled passenger flight crashed about 442 meters southeast of the touchdown point of runway 20.

All four crew members of the airline, including two cockpit crew and two cabin crew, along with 45 passengers out of the total 67 aboard were killed during the accident. Two more passengers succumbed to injury later in the hospital during the course of treatment. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire

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Brazil dam collapse leaves at least 50 dead, hundreds missing

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As many as 50 people were on Saturday confirmed to have been killed by the collapse of a dam at an iron mine in the southwestern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

Avimar de Melo, mayor of the municipality of Brumadinho, said further details could not be ascertained due to the rapidly changing situation, Sputnik reported citing Brazilian newspaper Hoje em Dia.

According to another media report, firefighters managed to rescue 90 people in the disaster-hit area.

“According to the data, presented by the Vale company, 427 people were at the disaster-hit area (at the moment of collapse) and 279 have been found alive,” an official statement confirmed.

A number of helicopters have been deployed to carry out search and rescue operation with some areas of the Brumadinho municipality having been evacuated.

The firefighting service said that the collapse of the dam, owned by the Brazilian mining corporation Vale, resulted in the spillage of 3 million cubic meters (over 100 million cubic feet) of waste.

The dam collapsed on Friday, causing heavy floods that hit the Brumadinho municipality.

CNN quoted local authorities confirming that approximately 345 people reportedly went missing following the incident.

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India

Rupee weakens by 26 paise against US dollar in early trade

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The rupee weakened by 26 paise to 71.45 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday on increased demand for the American currency from importers amid rising crude prices and foreign fund outflows.

At the interbank forex exchange, the rupee opened lower at 71.38 and weakened further to quote 26 paise down at Rs 71.45 against the dollar.

Forex dealers said the dollar’s gains against some other currencies overseas too weighed on the rupee sentiment.

However, a positive opening of the domestic equity market capped the rupee’s losses, they said.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, was trading 0.46 per cent higher at USD 62.99 per dollar, its two-month high.

On Friday, the rupee had shed 16 paise to end at 71.19 against the dollar.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex rose 32.76 points, to 32,419.37 in opening session Monday.

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Bageshwar’s Gold Medalist Nitendra to participate in London Merathon

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The athletes n sportspersons of Uttarakhand are making the Himalayan state proud by their outstanding performances and Gold medal winning streak in various national n international competitions.

While the shooting prodigy and daughter of the internationally acclaimed shooter Jaspal Rana has made Uttarakhand n India proud in her outstanding pistol shooting achievements in the World pistol shooting championships n Khelo India games by winning several Golds n silver medals another athlete of Uttarakhand namely Nitendra Singh Rawat who’d recently won the prestigious Gold medal in Mumbai Merathon 2019 has surprisingly qualified for the World marathon championships to be held in Doha in the near future.

As a sequel to that Nitendra Singh Rawat got an opportunity to participate in the London Merathon where he would be participating for the first time representing India.

A high spirited enthusiastic racer Nitendra Singh primarily belonging to village Aana near Garud in Bageshwar district of Kumaon, Uttarakhand while talking to this reporter disclosed that he is the only n first athelete from Uttarakhand n India who would be participating in the significant London Olympics.

According to a report of Anshul Dangi of HT hindi, UK, popular as a merathon runner Nitendra Rawat has secured the Gold medal in the Mumbai Merathon after being out of races for the last one year due to severe injury. However he is back to the racing track with renewed vigour n vitality. Nitendra won the race in the catagory of Indian atheletes in two hours, fifteen minutes n fifty one seconds.The qualifying deadline for participation in the the World Merathon championship was 2 hours 16 minutes which Rawat qualified a minute before.

He is also credited with winning Gold in the South Asian Games but due to injury ( he) was constrained to be out of the games for over a year.

The future of Nitendra Rawat as a merathon runner is quite bright and as such the government of Uttarakhand should take notice of such budding atheletes by helping them financially to the core.

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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 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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