Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
– by Saeed Naqvi
October 29, 2016: Hard to believe, but Mosul, currently in the news, would have been ours today had Atal Bihari Vajpayee not played spoilsport.
After their invasion of Iraq in April 2003, Americans realised fairly early that a full- fledged occupation for an unspecified period was not possible without allies taking responsibility to administer large swathes of the ancient land.
NewsGram brings to you latest new stories in India.
Ships were readied, battalions shortlisted, Generals chosen for India’s first imperialist adventure since the Cholas. We were going to rule a part of that country which alone of all the 52 Muslim nations had stood by us at the UN, Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) and elsewhere on the Kashmir issue.
I suppose it must have been self-interest which caused us to turn turtle on Iraq as soon as the Americans were in occupation of the country.
Our ambassador to Baghdad, B.B. Tyagi, even risked his life. Iraqi resistance had identified him as a diplomat who was supportive of the occupation. No wonder I was once ushered into his presence while he sat in bed, his legs outstretched, eyes wide open as in a daze, his hands on automatic weapons by both his sides. It was a frame for a possible Woody Allen war film.
Just as the first US representative, Paul Bremer, was convinced that the occupation would be a cakewalk, so was South Block and, indeed, Tyagi.
Bremer, a devout Roman Catholic, had turned up with a batch of priests who smacked their lips at the prospect of saving souls in a post Saddam Iraq. It turned out that antique smugglers did rather better, cleaning out the Baghdad museum on America’s watch.
[bctt tweet=”South Block, like Bremer, had assumed that once Saddam’s yoke was lifted from their necks, Iraqis would turn up in droves to hug the Americans.” username=””]
Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues.
In anticipation of Iraq’s immediate future in American hands, South Block parked Tyagi in a three-star hotel in Amman where he spent mornings, afternoons, evenings watching CNN and BBC for the American progress in Iraq. The irony was that Lyse Ducet of the BBC was herself in occupation of the terrace of Amman’s Intercontinental Hotel watching her Arab staff count their worry beads, waiting for the American flag to be fluttering over all of Iraq.
Were this to happen, Tyagi would helicopter into Baghdad’s Green Zone and offer his credentials to Bremer or his Iraqi nominee.
Just imagine, New Delhi was all but ready to open its embassy with the American occupiers of a country which had given unstinted support to India always, particularly against Pakistani machinations at the UN.
This being the state of affairs, who could blame the US for being so confident of India’s enthusiastic willingness to partner them and take charge of Kurdish Iraq. It had very nearly happened, had Vajpayee not decided to show spine – just in the nick of time.
He kept his head while those around him were losing theirs. On April 9, American marines brought down Saddam Hussain’s statue and exactly the media which is lined up behind Hillary Clinton attributed the statue’s fall to popular rage.
Vajpayee kept his counsel. On April 18, he turned up in Srinagar. Remember, the armies of India and Pakistan were in an eye-ball to eye-ball confrontation after the December 13, 2001 terror attack on Indian Parliament.
The fall of Saddam’s statue had registered differently with Vajpayee – this scale of Western triumphalism was a source of anxiety for him. An “awesome” power has arisen. In the new situation, regional quarrels had to be composed, he said. Dramatically, he extended his hand of peace to Pakistan.
This was the beginning of the process which led to India and Pakistan signing an agreement in Islamabad on January 4, 2004 that forbids the use of a country’s territory for cross-border terrorism. The word was not kept by Pakistan, but that is another story.
The “Shining India” campaign mounted by the BJP recoiled on it during the May 2004 elections. But for India-Pakistan relations, it was an unfortunate turn. When Vajpayee became the External Affairs Minister in the 1977 Janata government, he had made up his mind on Pakistan: “We cannot change our neighbours.”
Among his first foreign visits was to Pakistan in February 1978. The bus journey to Lahore in February 1999, and the January 2004 visit which resulted in the agreement against cross-border terrorism, were audacious. But there were reverses.
Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.
He was able to cushion the reverses because of his cross-party stature nationally and his standing with the RSS. But he persisted because he had grasped the triangle in which the country had trapped itself since 1947 – Srinagar-New Delhi, India-Pakistan, Hindu-Muslim are one complex of issues. Unless a holistic view is taken of this triangle to outline suitable policy, eternal social strife would remain the nation’s lot.
Vajpayee had the vision to pull India back from the brink on Iraq. Just imagine, what would have been our fate had ships carrying Indian troops actually set sail.
The troop build-up against Pakistan after the Parliament attack was also a calculated move. The sole superpower was in place to pull the protagonists back from the brink. It is just as well that neither Russia and China (nor the US) paid much credence to the “surgical strikes”. In the absence of an overarching superpower, real “surgical strikes” may cause the situation to spiral out of control. (IANS)
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.
"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.
Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself | Flickr
This announcement could be part of the fast-tracked, "future-focused culinary and packaging innovations" that Steve Cornell, president of Kraft Heinz's US grocery business unit, hinted at earlier this year amid a shortage of ketchup. A surge in takeout and delivery food orders during the pandemic led to a scarcity of ketchup packets, the report said.
In April, Heinz pledged to increase production of ketchup by 25 per cent to 12 billion packets annually. "Gone are the days of fumbling with ketchup packets, pants ruined by mustard disasters, and minutes taken off your life trying to get to the bottom of that mayo packet. With the patent-pending Heinz Packet Roller, what was once taxing becomes simple -- just snip and roll to squeeze out every drop of your sauce of choice," the website says
Keywords: Heinz, Packet roller, sauce, company, ketchup
Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.
Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.
"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons
"I've got to first walk again properly, run properly and then do the sidesteps and all the agility work and then eventually I've got to be back on the tennis court. But it's going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year. "I've got to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything at this point. This is also for my life. I want to make sure I can do everything I want to do later on. There's no rush with anything, so I'm actually in a really good place. I think the worst is behind me. I took the time and, I don't know, I'm just really in a good place. I'm really happy."
Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. The former world No. 1 has played in the first three editions of the Laver Cup. "I think Boston is a great city. The stadium is wonderful, the crowds have been incredible. Both teams are stacked with absolute quality and top players," Federer said. "That's what the idea was behind it: that everybody could come together, have the most incredible weekend, learn from one another and then hopefully that's going to inspire them, motivate them and get them going for the rest of this year, next year." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Roger Federer, tennish, player, sports, knee, surgery
By Hitesh Rathi
Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.
Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr
Antioxidant and Nutrient-Rich
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. It contains vitamin E, amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E, Omega 3, and 6. These properties together make it a rich ingredient when it comes to skin treatment. Moreover, vitamin D is another important ingredient for human skin, and the primary source to get it is through UV exposure. At the same time, too much of that leaves an adverse effect on the skin. Here is when donkey milk acts as a great substitute as it naturally contains vitamin D. All in all, if this milk is applied frequently, it brings a glowing effect while making the skin look brighter.
Known as a "natural elixir of youth", donkey milk is packed with antioxidants and nutrients.| Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash
Moisturizer and Softener
By now it's a well-known fact that this milk works as a powerful moisturizer for the skin. Besides, if donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft.
If donkey milk is used consistently, it acts as a great cleanser as well as helps in keeping the skin healthy, hydrated, and soft. | Photo by febri sym on Unsplash
Therefore, donkey milk with its healing, nutritional and rejuvenating properties for the skin is rapidly emerging as a key ingredient for skincare. These are also driving several leading players to roll out personal care products such as soap, cream, etc. manufactured using donkey milk. Moreover, the global donkey milk market is expanding rapidly with the market value projected to reach $68,139.0 thousand by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.4 per cent from 2021 to 2027. And the growing use of donkey milk as an ingredient in cosmetic and personal care products will significantly contribute toward the growth of this market in the years to come. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Skin, donkey milk, skincare, anti-ageing, soft skin, hydrate, antioxidant, healing