Brutal killings of more than 132 children of Army Public School by Taliban in Peshawar on 16th December, 2014 has sent shock wave across the globe. It also indicates that Talibanization of Pakistan is taking place rapidly. Now question arises that what could be potential likely outcome of Talibanization of Pakistan and its way out? The recent Wagah Border Bombing at Pakistan side of Indo-Pak border in November, 2014 and recent Peshawar killings indicate that such incidents will take place very frequently and more intensely till either Pakistan comes fully under control of Talibans or Talibani terrorists are totally eliminated by Pak military establishment. Pakistani establishment and powerful countries friendly with Pakistan should first ensure that taliban could not lay hand on nuclear arsenals, otherwise anytime nuclear disaster may happen in South Asia. Killings of few Talibani terrorists which is their own creation of Pakistani military, religious and political establishment will not solve the purpose. The great damage has been done by Pakistani political, religious and military establishments in distorting, framing, instilling and nurturing ideologies based on religion to promote terrorism for more than three decades and its repercussions have to be faced greatly by Pakistan, Afghanistan and to some extent by neighboring countries like India, Iran ,China (Xinxiang) etc. Unless and until these ideologies creating Islamic terrorism is killed or controlled by checking the spread of Wahabi Islam and promoting Sufi Islam which is full of love and compassion and hallmark of South Asian Islam, it will not resolve the issues, and such conflict will go in perpetuity more frequently and intensely and on larger geographical area. All the global leaders should come forward to eliminate this ideologies and sever the resources to these talibanis to kill this issue for ever.
UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is holding 20th COP (Conference of Parties) from 1st to 10th December, 2014 at Lima in Peru. Political pundits of environment and environmentalists across the globe are keenly watching the outcome of this COP20. When Kyoto Protocol was adopted at COP3 of UNFCCC at Kyoto in 1997, there was lot of optimism among those who were concerned about climate change. However, this optimism could not be converted into reality even after more than one and half decade as some countries that are responsible for heavy historical as well as current emission of GHG (green house gas) were not agreed to abide by at least in action the emission reduction targets fixed based on common but differentiated principle. Even after raising the global concerns by environmentalists across the globe about climate change, those countries that are mainly responsible for climate change due heavy emission of GHG after industrial revolution were not interested much in mitigation activities, sometimes even denying the science of global warming and climate change and man made contribution to same. However, after witnessing a number of climate change led disasters across the globe in last one decade, now every country has accepted the threat of climate change. But still, most of the countries individually or in groups are busy in consolidating their own positions against the climate negotiations to serve their own economic and other interests at the cost of climate change rather than cooperating at global level to fight against it. Developed countries are of the opinion that they have developed climate change related technologies for mitigation as well as adaptation after putting a lot of investment and hard work, then why should not they reap the benefits of the same by charging high premium on these technologies when they are in great demand due to compulsion aroused out of climate change. On the other hand developing and least developing nations are of opinion that this problem has been created by developed countries due to their excessive GHG emission due to their past and present industrial activities and they should take the responsibility of corrective action. Accordingly countries individually or in groups are trying to influence the doctrine of climate negotiations to their advantage. However, concerted efforts of all the countries in varied degree would be required to address this issue.
There are three pronged ways to tackle climate change, one is mitigation, and other is adaptation and third is mitigation and adaptation combined. If capability and venerability is put together, then countries can be grouped in three categories as developed, developing, least developing and island countries based on their capabilities, required responses and actions. All the countries should allocate their resources towards mitigation and adaptation based on their technical and financial capabilities, and threat perception of climate change. Developed countries that are technically and financially sound should first focus on mitigation activities, and their second priority should be on those activities which are mitigative as well as adaptive in nature. Allocating the resources for only adaptation by developed countries should be their last priority as most of the developing countries have adequate adaptive infrastructure already in place, and moreover, furthermore creation of adaptive infrastructure could further aggravate climate change and put more burden on least developing countries and island nations, and developing countries. Similarly, developing country with moderate technical and financial resources should first focus on combined mitigation and adaptation activities, then on adaptation and finally mitigation activities. The least developed countries who have least technical and financial resources and island nations who are most vulnerable should first focus on adaptation, then on combined mitigation and adaptation activities, and finally on mitigation activities as they are most vulnerable to scourge of climate change.
Efficient use of energy and its conservation, modest use of energy in lifestyle, use of clean energy, forestation, climate resilient crops and seeds, energy efficient and climate resilient housing etc are some of the viable options that can address the issue of climate change mitigation and adaptation. However, for least developing countries and developing countries, major barriers for addressing these issues are availability of technology and finance which is abundantly available with developed countries. So, if this global menace of climate change is to be fought collectively, then developed countries should come forward and generously assist developing and least developing countries by providing technical assistance for capcity building, adequate technologies and attractive finances rather than charging exorbitantly high premium on technology. And developed countries should more focus on use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation and modest use of energy in lifestyle. If mitigation activities are not implemented timely, GHG and specially CO2 will be charged in atmosphere and ocean for longer duration and will remain for a longer period in atmosphere to increse global temperature on sustained basis. Time is running very fast and countries need to build up consensus on the priciples of common and differentiated action without taking climate negotiation further in quagmire of international political game from where there is no solution. Though it is late, but not too late to act upon mitigation action so that this beautiful planet could be saved from scourge of climate change. Let's hope that something concrete comes out from Lima.
On 2 November, 2014 a heavy suicide bomb explosion by terrorist took place at Pakistan side of Indo-Pak border named Wagah border where more than 50 people died and more than 200 injured. Pakistani Taliban and other Pakistan based terror groups have claimed their responsibilty for this act. Slowly Pakistan is coming under severe threat of its own created terror groups. Religion based terrorism was conceived, created and nurtured by Pakistan to be used against erstwhile USSR in Afghanistan in late 1970s with material resources provided by some rich and some powerful countries. Ideological resources were framed and provided by Pakistan to militants and terror activities in name of religion and it was effectively utilized against USSR in Afghanistan. After Russians left Afghanistan, Pakistan utilized these terrorist infrastructure against India in Kashmir and subsequently other parts of India for terror activities.Terrorists are not robots that once one create them and utilize to meet his end, and then they can again be reprogrammed by erasing and replacing their memory with good program to become a good person. It takes a lot of time in instilling terrorist ideologies in their brain. Once a person has been created as terrorist based on certain reason or ideologies, he wants to live for that ideology. And once one task is over, he will look for other opportunity structure where he can act in similar way in order to live to his ideologies. If even his creator comes his way in fulfilling his ideologies, then he will deal with iron hands, because he feels cheated in changing ideologies. Similar situation exists in Pakistan. In this process some of the terrorist groups have slipped out from control of ISI and Pak army, and they are having conflicts with military and political establishments in Pakistan.
Now the question arise why this bombing took place at Pak side of Wagah Indo-Pak border. Perhaps terrorist might have intended to bomb Indian side of Wagah border, but could not be possible to do it Indian side due to some unknown reason, so they did it Pakistan side itself as second option. It clearly shows that Pakistan created some terror groups are also some extent anti to Pakistani military and political establishment. However, Pakistan can not shirk its responsibility taking plea that non state actors in Pakistan are waging terrorist activities against India. If any terror attack from state or non state actor is emanating from Pakistani soil, it should be construed as an act by Pakistan and Pakistan should be made responsible for that. Pakistan should learn a lesson from some of the recent terror activities in Pakistan and should wind up it terror infrastructure for its own benefits.
In media there are some voices that PM Modi is taking hard line stand against Pakistan. Right since his inauguration as PM in May, 2014, PM Modi took initiative to improve and maintain better relations with its neighbouring countries, especially with all the members of SAARC countries including Pakistan. He called head of state/government of all members of SAARC countries at his inauguration and he always talked about development of entire SAARC region. He offered to launch satellites for benefits of members of SAARC countries for better communication and education among SAARC member countries. He also emphasized the need for enhanced trade among member countries for mutual benefits. Most of the SAARC member countries responded positively to initiatives of PM Modi except Pakistan. PM Modi has shown enough good gesture by proposing to help people in Pak occupied Kashmir during recent flood. Pakistan does not want to respond to good gesture and progressive diplomacy. PM Modi invited Pakistan for bilateral talks at Secretary level, but Pakistan spoiled the same by meeting separatist leaders in Kashmir before talk despite India’s advice not to do so. After cancellation of talk, Pakistan started unprovoked firing across the border for which India had no other option except to respond in similar manner. And India responded in very clear and unambiguous terms and India dealt the matter with iron hands. India and Pakistan fought four wars since 1948 to 1999, and all with heavy cost to Pakistan. Failing miserably in conventional warfare against India, Pakistan pursued the path of cross border terrorism. Though all the previous governments in India have acted tough during conventional warfare, but they did not respond adequately against Pakistan sponsored cross border terrorism. So, Modi has rightly taken a tough stand against Pakistan on cross border terrorist infiltration. PM Modi and the then Defence Minister Jaitely were right in their approach that Pakistan should bear the adequate cost of its misadventure in order to create a credible deterrence to its recurring misadventure. The meaningful talk can take place only if effective deterrence is created. Though sometimes tough action against Pakistan by India goes in favour of Pakistan by uniting various factions in Pakistan, but this should not be a prohibitive condition for pre-emptive action. However, unnecessary display of jingoism and machismo in electronic media is not warranted and sometimes it goes in favour of adversary.
Pakistan and some sympathiser of Pakistan argue that non state actors in Pakistan are waging war against India. This arguments were given in 1948 and 1999 war also from Pakistan side. There is nothing like non state actors in Pakistan that wage proxy war against India. They are fostered by military, political and religious establishment in Pakistan to be used mainly against India. Basically Pakistan is born out of anti India sentiments and nurtured on the same sentiments since its coming into existence. Moreover, Pakistan even after having same/similar ethnicity, language , history and culture it became puppet and religious laboratory in hands of some of the rich Islamic countries of West Asia. It is ridiculous that they don't introspect the reason for loosing Bangladesh and not serious about consolidating Balochistan, rather continuously they waste their energy on continuously harping on Kashmir issue. So, Indo-Pak relation must be seen in that perspective.
There is also some opinion in media that India can not attain its goal of attaining the status of regional/global power without having good relations with Pakistan. As far as India becoming a regional power or super power is concerned, Pakistan can not come in the way, as this path goes through economic development. Once economic power is achieved , it can achieve both hard and soft power to be in comity of powerful nations. And Modi is pursuing the same vigorously. So Modi's approach was absolutely appropriate in dealing with Pakistan.
Right from day one after being inaugurated as Prime Minister of India, PM Modi has accorded high importance to cleanliness and sanitation. However, formal Swachchh Bharat Abhiyaan (Clean India Mission) was launched on 2nd October, 2014 that is birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who himself was a a champion of campaign for cleaning of personal as well as public places and maintaining personal hygene during independence movement that continued even after independence. Gandhi has realized long back social and economic implications of hygene and sanitation for society in general and for poor strata of society in particular. In independent India Modi is first PM who has accorded such a high importace to cleanliness and sanitation, unlike pevious governments who just paid lip service to this cause. The major victims of poor cleanliness are normally poor people, who has poor access to nutrion, sanitation infrastructure and quality health services. When poor falls sick, his economic activities gets disrupted and source of livelihood comes to grinding halt, and if he is sole bread winner in family, then he and his family has to suffer a lot. In many cases poor gets trapped into quagmire of debt at exhorbitantly high interest rate from a local moneylender from where it becomes difficult to come out. And thus he gets permanently into debt and poverty trap.
PM Modi has rightly realized that without people's participation this national mission on cleanliness can not be made successful. Only government sponsered programmes alone can not bring the result. There are two pronged approach to address this issue. First and foremost is creating awareness about importatnce and need of sanitation, and other is creating infrastructure for sanitation. People need to be explained why cleanliness at personal as well as public places and maintaining personal hygene is important as it is directly related to our health and money spent on health care, and in turn it is economically advantageous. Then they need to be educated about good cleanliness practices that need to be followed by people on sustained basis. People need to be explained that shifting dirt and garbage from one place to other place without proper disposal does not serve any purpose. People need to be also educated how not to create filth and unhygenic conditions at first place itself, so that efforts required for cleanliness is reduced. And most important thing is that people should remove from their mindset that creating filth and non participation in cleaning either at personal or public places are respectful.
The other important approach is to create proper sanitation infrastructure. In absence of proper garbage collection, transportation and disposal infrastructure, it will only be shifting the garbage from one place to another place making other place unclean. There is need to provide proper toilettes, sewagw lines, sewage treatment plants and water supply system. Without providing these infrastructure by state cleanliness mission can not be achieved.
If the intended goal of National Cleanliness Mission is achieved in time frame of about five years, it will not only reduce the national expenditure on health care, improve the well being of the people, improve the productivity of people, but will also increase tourism by changing its landscape. So Swachchh baharat Abhiyan (National Cleanliness Mission) has great economic implications for India.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) of India has launched its first Mars orbiter Mangalyaan on 5th November, 2013 that successfully reached in orbit of planet Mars on 24th September, 2014. Though its success was questionable when it was launche, as out of 51 interplanetary missions to planet Mars as Flyby, Orbiter or Lander only 21 have succeeded. Now everyone in India is celebrating the success of Mangalyaan i.e. Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). However, when Mangalyaan was launched, there were mixed reactions from nations, media across globe as well as from various sections of society within India. Some of them reposed confidence in achievements made so far by ISRO, some of them criticised it for not being citizen centric or not having value for money spent on this project, while some of them criticised this mission as wastage of money for a country like India where millions of people are poor. In fact, it should have been highly appreciated equivocally when it was launched even if some apprehension of failure would have been there to perform minimal function such as reaching to Mars, orbiting around it and taking some photographs. Now as this mission has been successful in performing its intended function, it has demonstrated the capacity of ISRO scientist to entire world and enhanced their confidence as well as Indian scientists working in other fields which is must for progress and development in any field and specially in science and technology.
The main value for money of this project is capacity and confidence building of scientists and engineers of ISRO, and demonstrating enhanced prestige of Indian scientists globally. Moreover, in due course of time many technolical aspects of this project would find applications in solving problems in basic science, defence and space science projects. Space science is one of the frontier area in science and technology which has enormous potential of economic activities in future in field of telecommunication, remote sensing, inter planetary mining of precious metals and minerals, settlement of space colony, solar power generation, in space and security surviliance etc. During cold war period space race between US and USSR have been a mode of their power projection. On strategic front possession of high technological achievements like this creates a deterrent to adversaries. India and especially ISRO scientists must be applauded for their achievements made so far in successfully placing Mangalyaan in orbit at the price of shoe string and India should feel proud of its achievements.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to Japan which is his first foreign visit as Prime Minister outside SAARC country is an indication of great importance attached to Japan by PM Modi. After being inaugurated as PM, Modi's first foreign visit to Bhutan was an indication that he accords high priority to even smallest neighbouring countries in SAARC region. In this process he made his second visit to Nepal and was in process of more diplomatic initiative and engagements at various levels to other SAARC countries in order to take the lead in taking on board SAARC member countries in regional development process. Meanwhile Pakistan scuttled this process through its hostile attitude and act towards India. Now in SAARC region, bi-lateral ties with member countries is only viable option for india.
Beyond SAARC nations, PM Modi chose first to visit Japan in place of visiting countries having tag of super power or emerging super power. With emergence of China as a regional power and aspiring to become a global power coupled with its expansoinist policies many countries in Asia and Pacific region feel insecured. The historical baggage which Japan has with emerging China is worrisome for Japan. Japan along with U S may find India as a strategic partner to contain China through cooperation in defence. Similarly, deep strategic relation between China and Pakistan and hostile attitude especially of Pakistan provides a natural option for India to join U S-Japan axis. However, the main problem with India in its defence preparedness due to its dependability on other country for acquisition of sophisticated weapon and equipment, where Japan can come to its rescue as Japan has lot of advance technologies which can be used in defence production. Though Japan is constrained by Article 9 of its constitution. but PM Shinzo Abe has taken initiatives to reinterpret the same favorably. So cooperation in defence through technology transfer and FDI in defence production may be a win-win situation for both India and Japan, where later will beefit from investment and trade and technological capacity building in defence sector.
Another sector of potential cooperation will be infrastructure development in rail, roads, ports, energy and environment which is badly needed in India which PM Modi attach high priority and Japan has technology and capital to invest in these sectors. This will further further provide opportunity to boost the stagnant economy of Japan. Other areas of cooperation may be in cultural field. Both India and Japan has a lot to offer each other in tourism. Cooperation in education and joint scientific reseach could other area of cooperation. So, forthcoming vist of PM Modi to Japan is likely to bring more closer through deep bilateral cooperation in defence, infrastructure and cultural sector.
Defence preparedness requires acquisition of means to match the capability of perceived adversaries apart from will power. The means includes fighting forces, their skills, weapons, equipment and other supplies required for operation in theater of war. Modern warfare is highly technology intensive, so major challenge before armed forces are acquisition of weapons and equipment with adequately high degree of technology matching that of the perceived adversaries. Now country has provided adequate budget allocations for acquisition of weapon, but the same is not utilized due to non availability of adequate indigenous sources of supplies on account of poor performance of DRDO and DPSUs, and importation of the same sink into quagmire of corruption in many cases and this delays acquisition. There is need to develop defence R & D as well as production facilities in private sector as US does. Indigenous private players in defence production has to be assured of load on sustainable basis and government need to support them in getting market abroad. For achieving this, there should be a rationality in choice of specification and quality requirements of weapon and long term perspective plan needs to be shared also with the local manufacturer of weapons and equipment in private sector , so that they could gear up themselves to meeting requirements of defence forces.
Formation of BRICS Development Bank will add a new chapter in global multilateral developmental agency having far reaching implications for other multilateral developmental banks such as World Bank , ADB etc which are working under hegemony of US, West and Japan. It will influence existing multilateral developmental banks to mend their ways in granting loans and aids to emerging economies and developing and least developing countries on more attractive terms and conditions without discrimination. The equal equity in BRICS Bank is a big achievement as no country can exercise hegemony. However, China is big gainer in getting its Head Quarter at Sanghai.
The concept proposed by Elvira Nabiulin, president of Russia's Central Bank; that all negotiations with the BRICS should bypass the US dollar will have far reaching implications for international developmental and financial institutions and many international currencies.
So far Kyoto Protocol has failed in achieving its target of emission reduction of green house gases(GHG). Under the existing scenario of GHG emissiom, global temperature is likely to increase about 5 degree celcius by end of 21st century as per recent studies. How hard this climate change is going to hit the life of human being and bio-diversty on this planet can be imagined from the simple fact that 1 degee celcius temperature rise reduces the 10 percent yield in paddy production. In addition to this sea level rise, drought, powerful cyclone, rapid desertification will displace many human settlements to new places that will be further leads to conflict for resources. Certainly nobody wants such a planet for our future generation to come. The main reason for failure in achieving emission reduction target is that no country wants to compromise its economic development by reducing the consumption of fossil fuel for the sake of climate change mitigation.
The other viable option to reduce the emission of GHG without compromising economic development is technological intervention i.e. use of energy efficient and renewable technologies. But again, these technologies lies in hands of few developed countries who charge exorbitantly high price for the same and its wide spread use is restricted. Therefore, a global climate technology fund with contribution of all the countries as per their capacity needs to be created that could be used to unshacle few potent climate mitigation technology from intelectual property right so that it becomes a global public good and it can be widely produced and used across globe without paying high premium for technology development cost. In addition, this fund can be used for setting up institutions to develop climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies that can be manufactured by anyone across globe who has got the capabilities to do so. These actions will bring down the cost of climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies drastically and its wide spread use may bring down GHG emission considerably and save this planet from scourge of climate change.