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Modi’s UAE visit a wake-up call for Pakistan: Daily

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Islamabad: A leading Pakistan daily said on Thursday that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE should be a wake-up call to Pakistan as “India is on the move in the region”.

Photo Credit: NDTV
Photo Credit: NDTV

An editorial published in the Dawn said that Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates, and the joint statement issued afterwards “should be nothing less than a wake-up call for Pakistan.”

“Both countries have agreed to enhance their economic cooperation and set specific targets, including bringing UAE investment into Indian infrastructure up to $75 billion and raising their bilateral trade by 60 percent in five years,” it said.

The message also to an extent “condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” expounding upon this responsibility with a precision that almost betrays a sense of relish with which the words were written.

“The language is being widely interpreted to be pointed towards Pakistan,” said the daily. The editorial said that by itself, the growing closeness between India and the UAE would be cause for more than just alarm.

“But given the diplomatic moves under way in the region it highlights how the conduct of foreign policy is changing in profound ways.” It further added: “…India is on the move in the region, keeping countries as diverse as the UAE, Iran, China and the United States on board as it spins a web of connectivity from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.”

According to the daily, this should be enough to wake Pakistan’s foreign policy community up to the fact that their game has changed fundamentally.

“Lingering territorial disputes are no longer the driving force behind foreign policy. Instead the foreign interests of states are now, more than ever before, viewed through an economic lens. States can be rivals in one sphere and partner in another,” the editorial said.

The daily pointed out, “The game is no longer about pushing a single-agenda item, but the meticulous placement of pieces on an increasingly complex and interconnected chessboard. For Pakistan, remaining wedded to an old foreign policy template developed in the early Cold War years–which saw friends and masters in its search for a big brother who would help solve problems in return for a geopolitical alliance–is no longer a viable option.”

The editorial called for maturity in Pakistan’s foreign policy saying that, “as a thaw with Iran opens up opportunities to the west, and the possibility of building an economic partnership with India to the east–however remote it might seem at the moment–remains a viable foreign policy goal. It’s time to emerge from the old world, and recognise the changes happening in our region before it’s too late.”

With inputs from IANS

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India Aborts Launch of Spacecraft Intended to Land on Far Side of Moon

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher

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India, Spacecraft, Moon
A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019. VOA

India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.

The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.

Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
FILE – Indian space scientist and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization Kailasavadivoo Sivan speaks during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters Antariksh Bhavan, in Bangalore, June 12, 2019. VOA

With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.

Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said at a news conference last week that the estimated $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s “most prestigious” to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface, an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”

After countdown commenced Sunday, Sivan visited two Hindu shrines to pray for the mission’s success.

Criticized program pays off

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Practically since its inception in 1962, India’s space program has been criticized as inappropriate for an overpopulated, developing nation.

But decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as ideal testing grounds for technologies required for deep space exploration, and, with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way.

“The moon is sort of our backyard for training to go to Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer responsible for its 2020 mission to Mars.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff. Pixabay

Seeking water on the moon

Because of repeated delays, India missed the chance to achieve the first soft landing near the lunar south pole. China’s Chang’e 4 mission landed a lander and rover there last January.

India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The Indian Space Research Organization wants its new mission’s rover to further probe the far side of the moon, where scientists believe a basin contains water-ice that could help humans do more than plant flags on future manned missions.

The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

Also Read- Around 53% People Interested in Travelling to Space: Survey

Modi has set a deadline of 2022 for India’s first manned spaceflight. (VOA)