Sunday January 21, 2018

Pakistani author to release book over Skype

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Dhanachuli (Uttarakhand): Pakistani author Kanza Javed, denied a visa to take part in the Kumaon literary festival, will release her book here over a Skype session on Sunday.

The author’s debut book is Ashes, Wine and Dust. Javed was denied an Indian visa she sought to take part in the five-day festival that was inaugurated on Friday.

Talking to IANS, festival director Sumant Batra said the book will be released through Skype.

“It’s not about scoring a point. From the festival point of view, we cannot deprive an author of taking part in the book’s release,” said Batra, adding that he did his best to secure the visa for the author.

“However, it’s the discretion of the government and the Indian high commission to grant the visa,” he said.

However, the author’s father and brother were given visas.

The 24-year-old Javed’s book is already shortlisted for prestigious Tabor Jones South Asian prize.

Aanchal Malhotra of Tara, publisher of the book, said the Kumaon festival would have been the perfect platform to launch the young author’s book which questions the norms of society.

“It’s sad that she couldn’t come for the launch. The book is all about how to grow up as a young woman in Pakistan. The book is dedicated to free thinking women in Pakistan,” said Malhotra.

Meanwhile, other participants from Pakistan — journalist Asif Noorani and Ameena Zaidi, founder of Karachi and Islamabad literary festivals — got visas.

Terming visa denial to Javed unfortunate, Noorani said he had never faced any hurdles in his 24 visits to India.

“I was always welcomed with great warmth in India. It’s the fringe elements who create trouble,” he said.

Noorani said artists in Pakistan were upset over the cancellation of ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concerts in Mumbai and Pune and the attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni ahead of a book release function of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

(Preetha Nair, IANS)

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.