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NEW DELHI, October 5, 2016: The latest dispute between archrivals India and Pakistan centres on whether the Indian army took out several suspected terror camps just across the volatile border in Kashmir. While India claims its special forces carried out preemptive “surgical strikes” last week, Islamabad is adamant that they did not cross the line of control into Pakistan.
The truth may be hard to ascertain in the remote, Himalayan region where the two armies have long faced off and where bouts of heavy cross-border firing is not unusual.
What is certain is that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has signaled a more assertive posture in dealing with Pakistan following an attack on an Indian army post in Kashmir that killed 20 soldiers on September 18. New Delhi blamed the attack on Pakistan-based militants.
Officials say in the coming days and weeks, India will explore more diplomatic and economic measures to put pressure on its neighbour and rival, who it has long accused of supporting cross-border attacks by Islamic militant groups.
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Analysts warn the tougher line carries the risk of an escalation of hostilities as it takes the South Asian rivals into “uncharted waters.”
The head of the strategic studies program at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, Harsh Pant, said the fundamental shift in India’s approach follows the failure of past policies after multiple terror attacks.
“This time there was a real focus on making sure that Pakistan pays, not simply in terms of rhetoric, but real costs,” he said. “This is one of the few times when a more comprehensive strategy was adopted.”
Analysts say the army’s “surgical strikes” were a signal that India can retaliate. That is a reversal from its restraint in the past when fear of hostilities turning nuclear held India back. “The issue was India was losing its credibility in its conventional deterrent,” according to Pant.
Pakistan denies the Indian allegations of supporting militant groups mounting attacks in India and says the real problem is alleged human rights violations by Indian security forces in Indian Kashmir that have triggered unrest in the region.
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But blaming Pakistan-based groups for fomenting unrest, India has said it will isolate Pakistan diplomatically.
The first casualty has been a South Asian summit that was canceled by Islamabad after five out of eight nations in the group, led by India, pulled out citing concerns about cross-border terror.
There have been several calls for India, South Asia’s largest country, to explore the possibility of forging a regional forum that could exclude Pakistan.
However, security analyst Bharat Karnad at New Delhi’s Center for Policy Research underlines the risk of such a strategy.
“You are in essence undermining the idea of reconciliation in the long term,” he cautioned. Pointing out that distancing Pakistan from South Asia is “physically, culturally” not possible, he said, “So you are going to create a real problem in trying to attempt something that is not practical.”
Economic measures considered
India is also looking at economic measures aimed at Pakistan. The prime minister is due to review the Most Favored Nation status that New Delhi granted Pakistan in 1996. That is unlikely to hurt Islamabad as direct trade between the two countries is small and most of the trade is in India’s favor.
The bigger pressure point is a 1960 Indus Water treaty that awarded most of the waters from three Himalayan rivers to Pakistan. India says it will explore all options including building hydroelectric dams along these rivers so that it can utilize its share, something that could potentially reduce the flow into Pakistan.
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That may not happen anytime soon as it would take years to build dams. But it has raised alarm in Islamabad, which says scrapping the treaty would be an act of war.
While India says it has no intention of ending the treaty, which has survived two wars and decades of bitter relations, analysts say the message New Delhi wants to send out is that it might now be willing to use tools never contemplated in the past.
The closer strategic ties that Prime Minister Modi has cultivated with the United States since taking office two years ago have also given India the confidence to contemplate tougher measures, according to analysts.
“He [Modi] recognized the fact that having good relations with America allows India greater strategic space to pursue certain policies vis-a-vis Pakistan,” says Pant.
Tensions have spiraled along the Kashmir border in recent days. Indian officials reported another attack on an Indian army camp Sunday night by six militants in north Kashmir. One border guard died and another was wounded. India has evacuated hundreds of border villages on its side and cross-border firing continues.
But in a signal that both sides want to reduce tensions, the National Security Advisers of the two countries spoke to each other Monday for the first time since tensions spiked in the last two weeks. (VOA)
By- Digital Hub
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The prestigious British-based, Booker Prize, is one of the most prestigious and acclaimed awards given annually to the best work of fiction. This award is given to a work of fiction which is primarily written in English language and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland by the writers of any nationality.
This year, six authors were nominated for their work of fiction, and the winner will be announced on the 3rd of November.
The books which were shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize 2021 are:
1. The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed
British-Somali writer, Nadifa Mohamed's novel, 'The Fortune Men', is a chilling reimagining of Mahmood Mattan's story. Mattan, who is the main character in the book, was a Somali seaman who was wrongfully imprisoned and executed for a murder in Wales.
2. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
Pulitzer-winner, Richard Powers' book is a story of a young astrobiologist, who is in search of finding life on other planets, and his troubled son, Robin. The book is a mixture of sci-fi and family romance. Interestingly, this is Powers' first book after winning the Pulitzer Prize in the year 2019.
3. Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead
This book is about the lives of pilot Marian Graves and Hadley Baxter, who was a troubled Hollywood actress. In the 1950s, Marian embarked on a journey to travel the world but then disappeared without a trace. Fifty years later, Hadley is drawn to play Marian's character, which indirectly leads her to probe the mysteries of the latter's life.
4. No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockdwood
This is the first book by the American poet and memoirist. " 'No One Is Talking About This' is like a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature," reads the book's blurb. This book was also one of the finalists for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction.
5. A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam
The Sri Lankan author's book tells the story of a young man who travels to Sri Lanka's war-torn North. The story deals with the themes of loss, longing, the legacy of war, and how it affects everyone. The author had earlier won the DSC Prize for his debut book "The Story of a Brief Marriage".
6. The Promise by Damon Galgut
Damon Galgut is a South African author. In this book, the author pens down the story about a white South African family living around in Pretoria, and the crisis they face during the last few years because of apartheid.
Today, 17 September,marks the 133rd birth anniversary of Michiyo Tsujimura, who was a Japanese scientist, and worked extensively on decoding the nutritional value of green tea.
Tsujimura spent her early career as a science teacher. And, in 1920, she chased her dream of becoming a scientific researcher at the Hokkaido Imperial University, where she began to analyse the nutritional properties of Japanese silkworms, in which she was very much interested.
After a few years, Tsujimura transferred to the Tokyo Imperial University, and began researching the biochemistry of green tea alongside Dr. Umetaro Suzuki, who is well known for his discovery of vitamin B1.
In their joint research in this area, it was revealed that green tea contained significant amount of vitamin C, which is the first of many, yet unknown molecular compounds in green tea.
Later on, in 1929, Tsujimura isolated catechin, which is bitter ingredient of tea. Then, the next year, she isolated tannin, which is an even more bitter compound. All these findings formed the foundation for her doctoral thesis– "On the Chemical Components of Green Tea", and through all this hard work, she graduated as Japan's first woman doctor of agriculture in the year 1932.
Moreover, Tsujimura also made history as an educator when she became the first ever Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics at the Tokyo Women's Higher Normal School in the year 1950.
Even today, a stone memorial in honor of Dr. Michiyo Tsujimura’s achievements can be found in her birthplace of Okegawa City.