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Milestone in The Diplomatic War on Terror, As Beijing Agrees To Declare JeM Chief Masood Azhar Terrorist
China’s retreat from providing international protection for Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar and its patron Islamabad, marks a milestone in the political and diplomatic war on terror with potential reverberations beyond the subcontinent.
For a decade Azhar was cast as the touchstone of Pakistan-China friendship and flag-bearer in a proxy war on India. That finally ended on Wednesday when Beijing wilted under growing international pressure and revulsion towards terrorism and agreed to the Security Council sanctions committee branding him the terrorist he is.
Totally isolating them, none of the other 191 other members of the UN – including some who advocate “your-terrorist-is-my-freedom-fighter” policy in other cases – had joined Pakistan and China in backing Azhar.
India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said that India’s persistent “subterranean” diplomacy helped achieve this.
Now the next milestone in the political and diplomatic war on terror – it is still only that, and not an all out war – will be a global one if that consensus against terrorism can be extended to the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that was proposed by India in 1996.
Work on it has been stuck on the most basic issue – defining terrorism, with some making a false distinction between “freedom-fighters” and terrorists.
It escapes them that the mark of terrorism is the method — wanton killing of civilians including children — and not the ideology.
Arriving on a consensus on the convention is the challenge before Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative Rohan Perera who heads the UN’s working group on eliminating international terrorism.
China’s turnabout, despite its words of sympathy for Islamabad, may force Pakistan to take a long-overdue inward look at its policy of classifying terrorists as bad and good – those creating mayhem within the country and those in India.
That schizophrenic policy has taken a toll on Pakistan, whose diplomats like to point out that their country has suffered the most from Islamist terror. Yet Islamabad – or specifically its military overlord – was willing to pay the price to keep its army of proxies.
For the world, that was too high a price.
Pakistan’s strategic doctrine that its nuclear weapons provided immunity against Indian retaliation against its war by terror was tested in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack in February that killed more than 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.
While that attack itself stung the world, the Indian air retaliation against terror camps and Pakistan’s counter attack in which an Indian plane was downed showed the international community how fragile the situation is.
China had reluctantly gone along with a Security Council press statement condemning the Pulwama attack, which was short of a formal resolution, and it was expected that it might relent on Azhar. But it vetoed in March for the fourth time his listing as a terrorist by the sanctions committee that deals with al Qaeda, the Islamic State and their affiliates.
That re-energised the US, Britain and France to pursue the option of having the Security Council itself declare him a terrorist under sanctions of financial freeze and travel ban. They circulated a US draft resolution and lobbied hard, with Washington declaring it will utilise all available resources.
If that resolution were to come up, China would have had to publicly veto it and defend Azhar, which probably gave it pause.
China had claimed that it was not convinced by the evidence that Azhar was connected to terrorism, but suddenly it said the evidence it rejected was now convincing.
Besides its ties with India, the Afghanistan developments were another incentive for Washington. With negotiations taking place with the Taliban for a settlement, the US would want a complete wind down of terrorism in the region to protect Afghanistan, and also to ensure that Pakistan does not turn its other proxies fighting Afghanistan towards India.
As for China, it was time to recognise its own risks. It has an Islamist terror problem in the Uighar region and beyond, and its support to JeM and Azhar was not buying it goodwill with them. As its One Road, One Belt initiative advances, Beijing will have to ensure the safety of its multi-billion-dollar investments along it, while ensuring that pan-Islamist terror does not ply the road.
Already, China has faced terror attacks in Pakistan, where its workers and resources have been targeted and even its consulate in Karachi attacked last year.
Under these circumstances, it had to come out openly against all forms of terrorism if it were to credibly protect its investments elsewhere and even itself. This was the moment for it.
Even afar in Sri Lanka, where it has billions invested and loaned, China saw Islamist terrorism’s potential to disrupt the island’s stability with consequences for it.
And no doubt, the Sri Lanka suicide bomb massacres about a fortnight ago added to international community’s pressure on China.
Sanctions committee chair Dian Triansyah Djani, a soft-spoken Indonesian diplomat with a self-deprecating sense of humour, was able to deftly coalesce these developments into a consensus against Azhar.
On the subcontinent, Pakistan now faces the stark choice of complying with the sanctions against Azhar – and those imposed earlier on JeM and Laskhar-e-Tayyiba – or continuing to defy international opinion, perhaps by even spawning new proxies.
Perhaps if China has had a true change of heart, it could move Islamabad away from the proxy war. Then in a post-election India there may be an opportunity for a fresh start having met New Delhi’s prime condition of abandoning terrorism. (IANS)
When it comes to our day-to-day life, there are several things which help us enhance our day with every step. One such thing is music. It enhances, motivates and boosts certain aspects of our personality in ways that may not come into notice. There have been several researches on how music affects human brain. Studies show it helps us in recovery and healing, and also, encouraging us to be better if exposed to the right kind and fit.
From kids to elderly, music as a commodity, can be consumed by all. It is the universal language that is spoken by each and every being, from animals to humans to plants, each respond to it in their own ways. Suffice to say, we are united by music and the effect it has over us. Plants, for example, grow better when exposed to good music. Many songs are being composed specifically to enhance and boost their growth. Same is the case for humans. For humans, the right kind of music can boost good health, physically as well as mentally. You might have noticed how in gyms, upbeat music is played. That is to channel energy into everyone present. It adds to the workout. Several researches around the world have shown better physical output when exposed to appropriate music. Fast paced songs with upbeat nature channeled speed and the slower ones slowed downs the listeners, without them noticing. The sub-conscious effects of music are continuously being studied.
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Our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to.Unsplash
Listening to upbeat or happy music also reduces stress and pressure from our minds. Many people become relaxed while listening to calming music. This is why calming sounds are used during a yoga session. Classical music seems to have the same calming and soothing effect. Furthermore, classical music has much more advantages over metal or techno music, it has proven to enhance learning and improve sleep in its listeners. A study was conducted in which participants were divided in groups where one group was exposed to classical music, another to metal and last one was supervised without any music. The group exposed to classical music showed healthier sleeping pattern than the rest.
Also Read: Undiscovered Music Trends For Indian Music
Several brands and outlets encash on different characteristics of music. Calm and soothing music is used in spas to help customer relax. It is a known fact that our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to. So, music with faster beats will have our heart beating faster and the slow one will have calmer effect. This is why slow music channels calm. And the same fact has led to faster and upbeat music being played in food outlets. A study conducted in a farm, where people were invited to have food, where one half was exposed to slower music and for other fast-paced music was played. Not only did the group exposed to fast-music ate faster but also ate more than the group who ate in slower one. Next time you are in a food outlet or a restaurant observe the kind of music they are playing and the eating pattern.
Music can even be a facilitator of communication. We can sometimes convey our thoughts through the medium of a song. Sometimes someone’s words justify our inner feelings better than us. Or sometimes a song brings back certain memory or a place, and takes us to that certain moment. To say music is a time-machine would not be wrong. It is a dynamic blessing that can be used throughout our lives.
Key Words: Music, Calm, Soothing, Effects of Music
As more and more people are acknowledging the importance of their mental well-being, the wave of awareness the acknowledgment has brought is unprecedented. It may not have paved a clear path towards complete healing but it certainly has shown the way. The awareness is the key to heal. Healing begins only after the problem is identified. Similar to physical illness, the identification of the problem area is the first step. Even in case of a minor wound, when we go to the hospital the nurse first locates the wound. They, then, ask how we got hurt and identify the nature of the wound. Only then, they clean, put ointment and wrap it up if it needs wrapping and protection from air and dust. Sometimes, that protection is not needed. The wound heals out in the open. Same goes when it comes to healing of a mental trauma or illness. Sometimes, we confine in professionals or our loved ones, in order to let it out and process it openly. Sometimes, the trauma reduces with time. In any way, being aware and vigilant is the way to go.
Being knowledgeable about life in general, opens many channels for you. Being knowledgeable about yourself, opens gates inside you that lead to spiritual and general awareness about the concept of self. And the inner awareness is not necessarily internal, it can be seen from the outside as well. When we have positive energy from within it radiates physically as well. Have you encountered someone who’s spiritually awakened and aware? Do they stand out in the crowd? There are prominent examples of people who have made their mark in history, there is Swami Vivekanada, his awakening has revolutionised generations, one live example we can witness is The Dalai Lama.
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Healing is part of the spiritual journey.Unsplash
Also Read: Follow These Tips For a Better Mental Health
Awareness is the first step towards the staircase of spirituality. Healing is part of that journey. In our world, we go by our lives without paying much attention to causes of our actions. Every little thing we do, we do it for a reason. We might be suffering without being aware of it. There might be certain actions which are screaming those are trauma-response and not really us. But we go by our days, without paying heed to the fact that it really is the small actions that carry weightage in our lives. When we become attentive and thoughtful with what we do, we introspect, and then act. Thoughtless actions do not bear much fruit anyway. Thoughtfulness not only benefits us personally, but makes world a better place to live in. It really is the need of the hour to introspect every little doing and if it does not fit with the idea of self, then, it is time to find the root cause of what has us where we are.
Being self-aware is crucial as a human quality as well. When we face our problems, we gain experience, that experience leads us to understand and empathise with others’ sufferings too. It is a wholesome development.
Key Words: Self-awareness, Spirituality, Thoughtfulness, Mental Health
Honestly, who hasn’t watched one of the epic series of HBO– Game of Thrones?
There’s no question that when the first episode of Game of Thrones was released on April 11, 2011, the youth population of the world became exuberant. The main reasons behind this reaction was, first, the theme of the show, and second, the hidden lessons which it put forward.
Some of the valuable lessons which the Game of Thrones taught us are:
1. The pack always survives. This aptly meant that whether your pack consists of your family or your friends, you are the strongest when you are surrounded by a support system. This is what Ned Stark taught his children, to be together when “the winter comes”.
2. Never forget who you truly are. One of the most important lessons was given by Tyrion Lannister. He taught us that we should never forget who we really are. This means that we must not forget our bad habits and where we lack. So, once we know who we are, no one could ever use our lagging points against us.
3. Reading is necessary. Tyrion Lannister said, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” There is absolutely no denying that reading is not a habit now-a-days, but a necessity. If you want to be sharp and smart, then you must devote sometime to books, for they would teach you a lot!
4. Always pay your debts. Well, one of the most philosophical and learned houses if Game of Thrones is House Lannister. And so, one of the sayings of their house is, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” From here we get another life lesson that we must always pay off what we owe from people.
5. Always believe, “You know nothing.” Ygritte said this to Jon Snow in a teasing manner. But, this is actually for all those who believe that they know each and everything. Well, never believe that you know everything. Always learn from new experiences and never hesitate to take advice from others.
So, these were five most significant lessons which the series Game of Thrones offered us. In reality, we all are aware of these lessons, but we never really work upon them. But now, let’s try to understand each lesson and become the heir someday!
Keywords: Entertainment, Game of Thrones, HBO, Series, Youth, Lessons.