Time for an icebreaker
- India and Pakistan are not just foreign countries for each other, they are practically alien,
with little to engage on in various spheres.
- The “intellectual(बौद्धिक) and emotional partition” of the two countries is even more
stark today, exactly two years since PM Narendra Modi landed in Lahore to attend
his then counterpart, Nawaz Sharif‟s granddaughter‟s wedding.
- Indian and Pakistani societies have learnt to look away from each other culturally.
- The process of this partition, which began in the 1950s, when poets and historians began
to construct separate histories, is now complete, as Pakistani students learn a language more Arabic than Urdu, of a polity that begins in 1947, and about an ancient history that relates to foreign invaders from the country‟s west more than the shared history with its east
- Abida Parveen and Ghulam Ali no longer able to perform in India, Pakistani actors
barred from work in Indian •films, and a television network stopping the very popular
telecast of Pakistani soap operas.
- Sporting events are fewer, and there is little “healthy rivalry” when Indian and
Pakistani teams do meet- Winner vs Loser
- Visas are still granted for pilgrimages on both sides, but for all other travel they are tightly
controlled and granted as exceptions to the rule.
- Seldom have two countries which share language, idiom, music and religion been this closed to each other, including in times of war
- Bilateral trade, which had developed a low but steady normal, could be reduced even further now
- Indian development of Chabahar port in Iran circumvents Pakistan by sea, and an
air cargo corridor to Afghanistan replaces land cargo entirely
- Effectively, India is willing to double its trade costs and spend billions of dollars
extra in order block out Pakistan, and Pakistan is willing to risk its trade route to Afghanistan
and Central Asia, but won‟t allow Indian trade to Afghanistan come through Wagah
- Only increased „trade‟ is that of „trading re‟at the Line of Control (LoC)
- After the 2003 ceasefire had been implemented, villagers on either side of the LoC
had returned to their homes and rebuilt schools along the area.
- India has long opposed “third-party interventions”, but the lack of dialogue with Pakistan
is imposing just that, with every dispute between While both India and Pakistan
have recently appointed new High Commissioners to Islamabad and Delhi, respectively,
there is very little hope of any fresh initiative at this point
- Two countries now being taken up at global forums:
- United Nations, Financial Action Task Force, International Court of Justice, and World
Bank for the Indus Waters Treaty.
- With the U.S. drawing India into its Afghanistan policy,
- China‟s stakes in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,
- The subcontinent is becoming an area of contestation
- U.S., India, and Afghanistan ranged on one side; and Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan
and the Taliban on the other
- India‟s decision to stay out of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
meet in Pakistan has also complicated its standing as a regional leader
- While alternative such as The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical
and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN)
initiative and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) represent some parts of the
region, they cannot replace the whole, and
- The region becomes easier to fragment, as China has managed to do by making inroads
into Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
- Growing distance between the people of both countries will be much more difficult for their
governments to bridge in the future
- Even without bilateral talks, the two sides can explore simple engagements on
the environment, medical tourism, energy pipelines and electric grids in the interim.
- In a world where connectivity is the new currency, and multiple alignments are
replacing polar geopolitics, it is hard to justify the disconnected space that New Delhi
and Islamabad are hurtling into.
Technology alone isn’t the solution
- To tackle air pollution, we also need to reimagine and rethink our use of urban space
- Day 2 of •final Test match between India and Sri Lanka in Delhi, game complaining
of breathing difficulties.
- For the •first time in Test cricket, a match was disrupted because of air pollution
- Indian captain Virat Kohli later asked publicly what Indians are doing about it
- There has been a lot of •fingerpointing at the Delhi and Central governments for not being prepared for the dreadful air quality episodes during north India‟s winter season
- No government can eliminate air pollution within the span of a single term in office
- Alliance govt is alone culpable business, the media, and the middle and upper classes are
equally to blame.
- Explaining urban air pollution Urban air pollution refers largely to the mixture of gases and small particles in the lowest hundred or so metres, a result of human activity associated with vehicles, road dust, domestic cooking and heating, power plants and other industries nearby, diesel generator sets, and the open burning of waste.
- In Delhi, in recent weeks, concentrations of particulates below 2.5 thousandths of a millimetre in size, which settle deep in the lungs, were 22 times the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard.
- In November 2016, they were 16 times the standard.
- Polluting gases are mostly colourless and odourless and include carbon monoxide, oxides
of sulphur and nitrogen, ozone, and volatile organic compounds.
- Monitoring air pollution requires well-calibrated and spatially well-represented networks of
measurement equipment, which do not exist in most parts of India.
- Using the best available technologies for various sources is absolutely essential
- Many cities in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas have shown how this can be done
- It is not ethically appropriate to delay the resolution of deadly air pollution in cities for
an entire generation that would suffer greatly in the interim
Prelims Focus Facts-News Analysis
- Page-1,10– Withdraw triple talaq Bill: AIMPLB
- The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday
demanded the withdrawal of the triple talaq Bill, saying it went against
Constitution and violated the rights of women.
- It accused the Centre of snatching the right of divorce from men.
- The chairman of the board, Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadwi, will
request the Prime Minister to withdraw the Bill
- Page-6- Tirthahalli(Karnataka) under the grip of monkey fever again
- The disease is caused by a virus
- Kyasanur Forest disease
- The disease was first reported from Kyasanur Forest of Karnataka in India in March 1957.
- The disease first outbreak among monkeys killing several of them in the year 1957.
- Hence the disease is also locally known as Monkey Disease or Monkey Fever
- Page-12-„New sanctions are an act of war‟
- North Korea threatens to punish U.S., other
countries who voted in favour of further
- Latest UN sanctions against North Korea
are an act of war and tantamount to
complete economic blockade against it,
North Korea‟s Foreign Ministry said on
Sunday, threatening to punish those who s