Monday, July 31, 2017

Operation Thunderbolt : Entebbe Airport..Uganda


              Operation Thunderbolt 
            : Entebbe Airport..Uganda

  [  ]   

Published on Sep 8, 2014

Greatest Hostage Rescue operation in the History: Operation Thunderbolt : Entebbe Airport..Uganda
Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked, by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells, and flown to Entebbe, the main airport of Uganda. The local government supported the hijackers and dictator Idi Amin personally welcomed them. Kenyan sources supported Israel and in the aftermath of the operation Idi Amin issued orders to retaliate and slaughter several hundreds of Kenyans present in Uganda. The hijackers separated the Israelis and Jews from the larger group and forced them into another room. That afternoon, 47 non-Israeli hostages were released. The next day, 101 more non-Israeli hostages were allowed to leave on board an Air France aircraft. More than 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers, along with the non-Jewish pilot Captain Bacos, remained as hostages and were threatened with death.

The IDF acted on intelligence provided by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. The hijackers threatened to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met. This threat led to the planning of the rescue operation.[11] These plans included preparation for armed resistance from Ugandan military troops.

The operation took place at night. Israeli transport planes carried 100 commandos over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes. 102 hostages were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and one, the unit commander, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and thirty Soviet-built MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda's air force were destroyed.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

JAI SRI RAM :The Next Step For An HIV Cure is From a Cow


                       JAI  SRI  RAM  !!

The Next Step For An HIV Cure is From a Cow

A veritable Animal Farm has been useful to humans in medical science, from guinea pigs to cows to camels. Thankfully, science and politics don’t mix elsewhere but only in India.

Jul 25, 2017 

The combined efforts of the human imagination have endowed inter-galactic aliens with two eyes, two ears, one nose, four limbs, and one brain. Yes. We think evolution peaked with us. An alien worthy of being our adversary has to look and think like us. Of course, it does. After all, we are the masters of this universe. We sit atop the tree of life and all what we survey from that vantage is beneath us, crawling and writhing and inept and unintelligent and wanting to be us.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We, the people, are but a collection of living and breathing cells. We don’t sit atop the tree of life – far from it. We barely manage to hang on to one of its hundred-odd branches. We are a cog in this giant throbbing machine called Evolution. Only a cog. A cog that knows no humility or modesty; a cog that would rather believe in Social Darwinism than Darwinism.
The first of many mortal blows to our delusions of grandeur was provided by TH Huxley, a contemporary of Darwin, who proposed that man evolved from apes.

To understand how controversial this proposal was, one need only see the trolling Darwin received eight years later when he fructified Huxley’s idea into what is perhaps one of the most earth-shattering books ever written – The Descent of Man. The title itself was unacceptable to many. How could man – this embodiment of perfection, created with love and at leisure by God – how could he have evolved from an ape? After all, he was perched atop the tree of life, from where, weather and benevolence permitting, he could look out for the lesser creatures.

Well, Huxley was right. 142 years after his claim, scientists sequenced the Chimpanzee genome and found it to be 98.77 per cent genetically identical to the Human genome. And in these 142 years, loved or loathed because of it, the tree of life has rearranged its branches and its occupants constantly, so much so that it now looks like this:

That is correct. We don’t sit atop it anymore. We are barely visible; clinging on to a branch, trying to not fall off and merge once more into the mud from where we first emerged.
The modern Tree of Life is humbling to stare at, a little like that mortifying Milky-way poster with the tiny earth-pointing red arrow above the caption “You are here”. It tells us that we are just one of the animals in an Animal Farm. Such an idea was blasphemous barely a century ago. Imagine telling all those continent-conquering SOBs that their bodies had more bacteria than human cells, that bugs complete us, that humans survive only because of an exquisite friendship we have struck with the rest of the living beings; that no one is Napoleon in this Animal Farm.
Last week, one of the animals in the animal farm handed over to us a lifeline: A potential cure for AIDS.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, a disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, HIV, although not curable, is containable; and for this reason it no longer creates the sense of urgency or public fear as it used to during the 1980s, the years of its exponential rise when it was written and spoken of with dread. To be sure, the epidemic is far from over – close to 37 million humans are living with AIDS. With no functional cure or an available vaccine, all that the current cocktail of anti-HIV drugs aim to do is to improve the patient’s quality of life. This, mind, is in itself a great achievement, and one that scientists can be proud of. But to hold the chalice so close to your parched lips and yet not sip from it is, ultimately, to not have found the Holy Grail. That distance between the cup and the lip, is the difference between containing and curing.
HIV science matters – is the motto of the International AIDS Society, 2017 Conference (, the world's largest open scientific conference on HIV and AIDS, happening this week in Paris. It appears the gathered scientists would have something to cheer about, courtesy the Animal Farm.
Last week, the premier scientific journal Nature reported a finding, by Burton, Smider, and colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute, California, that has the potential to overcome the seemingly insurmountable challenge to have plagued the development of anti-HIV vaccine – our body’s inability to efficiently produce antibodies against the HIV virus so as to neutralise the infection. Less than 20 per cent of HIV patients naturally develop broadly neutralising antibodies (bNAbs) to the virus, and usually not before the infection has ravaged the body for two years runningMacaques and rabbits, too, have failed as a surrogate biological means of producing antibodies against HIV. A vaccine against HIV has remained a distant dream. Until now.
Vaccination is a method by which the human body is primed to mount an immune response against an invading foreign body or a disease-causing microbe. This immune response, call it a military manoeuvre, is carried out by two battalions acting in tandem – killer cells and antibodies. Antibodies are the ones that lay the trap. They attach themselves to the infected cells, acting at once as identifying tags and navigators for the killer cells to oust or destroy the invaders. Antibodies attach to extremely specific portions of the attacker, also called antigens. This so-called antigen-antibody interaction is the deciding factor in combating any disease.
One reason why a cure for HIV has proven to be beyond one's grasp is that the cunning virus carries with it a defective replicating machine, and the defect is what helps it survive everything our body throws at it. This machine, called the reverse transcriptase, converts the HIV RNA into HIV DNA that is then read by the host cell machinery to make HIV proteins. The HIV reverse transcriptase lacks a proof-reading function, resulting in mistakes, or mutations, being incorporated in the transcribed DNA. Because this DNA then codes for HIV proteins, every new RNA to DNA transcription results in an altered HIV protein. In effect, the virus changes it shape constantly, and our antibodies, that were made to measure keeping in mind an earlier version of the HIV protein, are now no longer able to recognise it. Clever doesn’t quite cover it. Here is a humble microscopic inhabitant of the animal farm that has beaten us fair and square.
Not quite. Enter the cow.
Out on a limb, Burton, Smider, and colleagues attempted to test cows as biological systems in order to produce broadly neutralising antibodies against HIV. Remarkably, test immunisation with the HIV antigen resulted in a rapid and potent antibody production within two months. There it was, an alternate avenue for the production of a future vaccine and therapy candidates against the HIV; an unprecedented eureka moment if ever there was one. Upon isolation of the antibody cocktail from the cow’s blood, one, named NC-Cow 1 turned out to be especially powerful against HIV.
This ground-breaking result comes as a follow-up to Dr Smider’s earlier work on bovine antibodies, published in June of 2013 in the journal Cell.

Bovine antibodies were found to be superior to those of humans, macaques, and rabbits, both in potency and range, due to a unique structural endowment as revealed by deep sequencing. Both arms of the Y-shaped bovine antibody, called HCDR3, have ultra-long cysteine-rich regions, conferring an unusual architecture that resembles a knob on a stalk. Cysteine, a major component of human hair, and one that gives it the kink, is an amino acid that couples with another of its own through what is called a disulfide bridge. The more cysteines there are in an antibody, the more chances there are of these cysteines locking with one another, and the more they lock with one another, the more complex folds the antibody settles into. These combinations, then, are what result in a staggering array of diverse mini domains. Simply put, the knobs on the stalk can occur in various shapes, providing diverse structures for antigen binding.

What could be the evolutionary reason for cows to have developed this unusual mechanism of producing robust immune responses, is not fully understood. One theory suggests it is all to do with combating the grave risk that cows face, in picking up severe gastrointestinal infections because of their multi-chambered gut and the trillions of dangerous soil-dwelling bugs it has to ward off. Hence the evolutionary fallout in the form of increased protection.
These new results form one of the most prominent applications of bovine antibodies. Further exploration would entail mimicking or modifying them to develop anti-HIV therapy and finally, humanised vaccine products. Early days yet, but a glimpse of the future has been seen. And it involves a day of fun and frolic in the Animal Farm.
N.B. Science and politics are like conscience and realpolitik – they never mix. Except in our country. The Cow-HIV breakthrough has been received mutedly by the Indian Left wing but with unbridled enthusiasm by the Indian Right wing, that shared the report with aplomb even though it didn’t contain a single mention of the word 'Modi' – in appreciation or derision, the only two metrics that seem to determine clickbaits and eyeballs in the modern world. While this is a good thing – making science news go viral is always a good thing – it also reflects, in some sense, human proclivity and a manner of thinking that subconsciously searches for "usefulness" in living beings. Guinea pigs, rats, mould, Escherichia coli, even fruit flies, have over decades, shown to be far more "useful" to humans than the cow so far as medical and scientific breakthroughs are concerned. Also, and in keeping with the secular ethos of our great nation, it is perhaps pertinent to mention that antibodies from the one-humped Arabian camel are equally, if not more, "useful" to humans. One word: Camelids. There's great future in Camelids. And now in Cowlids, too.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017



          Pakistan China's New Colony? 

Leaked papers reveal Beijing's stake in economy, key projects 

  [  ]

When Mao Zedong's People's Liberation Army marched into the restive Muslim-majority region on China's western frontier in 1949, the Chairman decided to christen the People's Republic's newest province Xinjiang, literally meaning 'new frontier'- a historical name used intermittently for China's borderlands.

Today, for many in Beijing, Pakistan is China's new new frontier. 

If the 20-year blueprint envisioned by China's leaders and Pakistan's current government comes to fruition, Beijing will soon have a say in how almost every aspect of the Pakistani economy is run.

In the three years since the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was launched, this transformation has already begun to unfold. A draft CPEC masterplan, conceived of by China's National Development and Reform Commission and Pakistan's ministry of planning and published by Pakistan's Dawn newspaper, and the most sweeping Chinese assessment till date about the project- an internal review undertaken by Beijing's Renmin University and shared with India Today- both underline the enormous scale of the planned economic takeover, from roads and power plants to even agricultural projects.


Today, Chinese companies are building and managing the country's key transport networks, from national highways to Lahore's metro rail. China has bought a  [ 49% stake ]  in Pakistan's stock exchange. It is building Pakistan's power sector, coal plant by coal plant, and will eventually, many experts believe, have a say in how much Pakistani citizens pay their government for electricity.

Ties between China and Pakistan go back to the early 1960s, a relationship forged in their mutual animosity towards India in the wake of their respective wars. Since then, both governments, and particularly militaries, have developed close relations. China has supported Pakistan as a counterweight to India in South Asia, most notably through its continuing support of the country's nuclear programme. China, however, fell out of prominence in the wake of America's 'war on terror' after the September 11, 2001 attacks. This also coincided with Beijing more carefully balancing its growing relations with India after the 1988 normalisation of ties. In the years following 9/11, the US began leaning heavily on Pakistan for its war in Afghanistan, emerging as the biggest financial donor.

That is now no longer the case. China has now replaced the US as Pakistan's biggest benefactor. The launch of CPEC has only further reinforced this position: China's trade with Pakistan has already risen threefold in the past few years, to $13.7 billion in 2015-16, up from just $4 billion in 2007. Today, China accounts for 40 per cent of Pakistan's foreign direct investment, which is only around $2 billion. According to the Pakistani government, it was China's $600 million that contributed to a 38 per cent rise in FDI in 2015-'16.


CPEC will usher in an even more sweeping takeover of the Pakistani economy. A draft masterplan says thousands of acres of Pakistani land will be transferred to Chinese companies to grow crops, build meat processing plants and develop free trade zones. Chinese garment factories will, en masse, be transferred to Pakistan, while China will manage and run tourism projects and special economic zones along the southern coast, with rather ambitious plans for even yacht clubs and hot spring hotels to develop an unlikely tourism hub in the restive Balochistan province, of all places.

"There are fears that Pakistan will become just another province of China, or will be reduced to being a 'vassal state'," S. Akbar Zaidi, a leading Pakistani political economist and professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, has argued in a paper.

For Beijing, the stakes are high. The internal assessment by Renmin University's Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, which sent scholars to visit Pakistan and study CPEC projects late last year, warned of numerous risks, from political infighting in Pakistan to terrorism. The report, however, came to the final conclusion that the only way for China to guarantee success is to assume even more sweeping control.

'Neither China nor Pakistan can afford the consequences of the failure of constructing the corridor,' the Chinese report concluded. 'If the current uncertainty was to continue, it would not only delay the opening of the flagship project but CPEC would end up becoming a burden on China and have a great negative impact,' it said, of President Xi Jinping's pet One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.

The most surprising aspect of the draft masterplan is its revelation of the wide ambit of conceived projects. Previously, CPEC was thought to be limited to power and infrastructure projects in Pakistan. The $46 billion cited estimate of the total initiative envisages $11 billion investment in highways and transport networks, and $35 billion in coal and hydropower plants aimed at tackling Pakistan's energy deficit.

The draft plan, however, reveals that CPEC will eventually be far more sweeping than power plants and roads: it envisages a complete takeover of almost every aspect of the Pakistani economy. Agriculture, surprisingly, is the focus. Around 6,500 acres will be leased to China for agricultural demonstration projects, the masterplan draft says. It lists 17 projects, including a fertiliser plant with an annual 800,000 tonne output. Vegetable and grain processing plants with a 1 million tonne capacity have also been planned.

Power projects that will cut Pakistan's soaring energy deficit are also central to the plan. China has announced 17 projects with a total investment of $35 billion. The first of these, a coal-powered plant at Sahiwal in the Punjab, went online in May. Pakistan suffers an energy deficit of around 7 GW, with a capacity of 22 GW that, however, only produces around 12 GW a year. The total energy from China's projects, once they go online in the next few years, is an estimated 12.1 GW, which China says will end up bridging Pakistan's energy gap and ultimately contribute between 40 and 50 per cent of the country's energy needs. In addition to this, the Chinese are planning to overhaul Pakistan's road and rail infrastructure. Apart from upgrading the Karakoram highway that will serve as a key arterial link connecting Xinjiang and Gwadar, it is already being used to ship goods transported from Xinjiang by road, by sea to West Asia-China is also revamping the country's crumbling national highway and railway network, starting with upgrading sections of the Karachi-Peshawar road and rail line.


Essentially, the 'Xinjiang model' will be adopted in Pakistan. In the 1950s, Mao set up the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a state within a state tasked with carrying out agriculture and development projects in what was then China's wild west. The CPEC plan even conceives of a role for the XPCC. 'We will impart advanced planting and breeding techniques to peasant households or farmers by means of land acquisition by the government, renting to China-invested enterprises and building planting and breeding bases,' it says.

'China-invested enterprises will establish factories to produce fertilisers, pesticides, vaccines and feedstuffs' while 'China-invested enterprises will, in the form of joint ventures, shareholding or acquisition, cooperate with local enterprises of Pakistan to build a three-level warehousing system (purchase and storage warehouse, transit warehouse and port warehouse)'. China will even construct a national storage network of warehouses for Pakistan, starting in Islamabad and Gwadar and then in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

The draft also outlines a move to transport China's waning textile industry, currently grappling with rising wages, to Pakistan. As a start, a cotton processing plant with a 100,000 tonne output has been planned. The longer-term plan, Renmin University's assessment suggests, is 'shifting China's garment industries directly to Pakistan'. Beyond the lower wages and availability of land, China sees the favourable export tariffs Pakistan enjoys as a motivation.

'With Pakistan in 2015 acquiring duty-free access to the EU even as China's tariffs increased from 9 to 12 per cent, this is worth considering,' the study advises. China is also planning to develop Pakistan's mineral resources, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, eyeing gold reserves as well as setting up marble and granite processing sites.


Gwadar, a dusty town of less than a hundred thousand people that sits on the Arabian Sea in Balochistan, is the CPEC hub. China has already built a port here that it is managing. Beyond the port, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean, it envisages a free trade zone and manufacturing hub that could serve as a launch pad for exports to West Asia and Africa. China has already secured a 23-year tax-free deal for its companies that will operate out of Gwadar.

The CPEC masterplan rather ambitiously even envisages a coastal tourism belt in restive Balochistan, planning 'international cruise clubs' in Gwadar that would 'provide marine tourists private rooms that would feel as though they were "living in the ocean''.' A coastal tourism zone will feature 'yacht wharfs, cruise homeports, nightlife, city parks, public squares, theatres, golf courses and spas, hot spring hotels and water sports', the Dawn report noted, running all the way to the Iran border.

China sees the Gwadar port as the heart of the plan. The Renmin University study forecasts an ambitious annual cargo throughput of 300-400 million tonnes, more than 10 times Pakistan's current biggest port, Karachi, and, the study pointedly adds, almost equivalent to India's total current throughput. The university's researchers found that Gwadar, still nowhere close to capacity, had been transformed under Chinese management. In February 2013, the China Overseas Port Holdings Limited acquired the rights to operate the port from the Singapore Port Authority, which left the port in a state of ruin, 'filled with rubbish and garbage', until the Chinese took over. Since then, a first shipping route was opened by the Chinese state-run Shipping Ocean Company (COSCO) in May 2015 exporting local seafood to Dubai. In November, the first CPEC export was flagged, as a convoy carrying 60 containers of a range of Chinese goods, from machinery to appliances, to be exported to West Asia and Africa, arrived in Gwadar after travelling 3,000 kilometres from Xinjiang along the Karakoram highway.


China is certainly more than aware that a lot can go wrong with this ambitious economic blueprint in one of the world's most volatile regions. A significant portion of the Renmin University assessment was devoted to assessing risks, the biggest of which, in the Chinese view, is Pakistan's unpredictable domestic political environment. For instance, it cited a project in Sindh that faced a lack of support from the local government. 'The project is ratified by the federal government but the Sindh government believes the centre does not have the authority,' it said. The report also noted the heated controversy between states over the CPEC's alignment, with widespread resentment that Punjab, where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz, the chief minister, are dominant figures, was acquiring prime projects.

The Chinese study warned of 'ethnic and provincial conflicts in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan', but was optimistic that most provinces and parties were supportive as 'except Balochistan no other ethnic group party opposes CPEC'. The report concluded that a government under Nawaz Sharif would ensure the project's progress, expressing concern about his weakening domestic position after the Panama Papers revelations. 'If there are no exceptions, the chances for PML-N (Sharif's party) to reassume power are high, and the continuation of the government can guarantee the continuation and support of the government to CPEC,' the report said.

Security is the other major concern, highlighted by the kidnapping and reported killing of two young Chinese from Quetta, Balochistan, in May. The Chinese study cited a number of other incidents that had targeted its citizens in 2016. In May, a Chinese engineer at the Kazmu project was targeted by a bomb attack claimed by an outfit called the Sindh Revolutionary Force. Two months later, a bomb attack in Quetta killed 74 people, while in November last year, a team from a Chinese oil and natural gas exploration company was targeted in an attack by a group called the Baloch Revolutionary Army in which two Pakistani security personnel killed.

The Pakistan army has deployed a special security division of 15,000 troops to protect Chinese personnel and assets, but the report argued that 'a troop size of 15,000 can hardly guarantee the safety of projects around the country.... And considering that Pakistan needs to deploy a large number of troops in its eastern borders adjoining India and now needs to deploy troops in Afghan border, allocating 15,000 is the largest capacity.' The wider concern was because of security, Chinese staff in Gwadar, for instance, will have to be 'cloistered within the Chinese zone as the situation around the city is not stable'. The Chinese report worried this will alienate the local population because 'Chinese personnel are carrying out work under the protection of armed forces and this inhibits improving relations with local people to the extent that it could lead to opposition and lack of people's support'.


Then there are the financial hazards. China's exposure, so far, is much less than the advertised $46 billion figure, with estimates that in the past three years, its total investments would be in the $5 billion range, spent largely on coal power projects that are being built, the widening of the Karakoram highway and sections of the Karachi-Peshawar expressway.
Chinese assessments suggest the $46 billion figure that Pakistani officials regularly cite may not materialise for a long time yet. The CPEC draft masterplan from China's planning agency noted, as the Dawn reported, that 'Pakistan's economy cannot absorb FDI much above $2 billion per year without giving rise to stresses in its economy....It is recommended that China's maximum annual direct investment in Pakistan should be around $1 billion'-a damning reality check to fanciful figures of $50 billion being invested in the country.

For some in Pakistan, the long-term fear is that this blueprint will, as economist Zaidi notes, render it a 'vassal state' deep in China's economic orbit. After one year of the project, bilateral trade was up 15 per cent to $13.77 billion in 2015-16, while Pakistan's trade deficit with China was a whopping $12 billion. There are already murmurs of discontent about the favourable terms for Chinese companies.

"Estimates range from Pakistan having to pay $3 to $3.5 billion annually back to China for the next 30 years for Chinese loans after 2020, to a probable severe balance of payments crisis," argues Zaidi, noting how in Sri Lanka and Tajikistan, "with rising costs and debts incurred by the host countries, large chunks of land were handed over to the Chinese in lieu of unpaid funds. Sovereign guarantees to Chinese power producers have been made, where the Pakistan government will, 'if the power purchaser defaults on payments, pick up the liability and pay 22 per cent of the bills of Chinese power producers upfront'". As he puts it, "CPEC is a Chinese project, for Chinese interests." And Pakistan, he says, just happens to be part of the geographical terrain.


What does it mean for India? On May 13 this year, India refused to participate in China's Belt and Road with a strongly-worded statement. "No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity," MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said. OBOR passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is the primary reason New Delhi boycotted the project. For long, India has held the Kashmir issue as a bilateral dispute with Pakistan, with no room for outside intervention. China has now willy-nilly become a party to it. "Since CPEC was announced, Pakistan has stepped up its activities inside Kashmir. Funding to separatist elements has increased," says Jayadeva Ranade, former additional secretary in the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). The presence of Chinese personnel within Pakistan is something India must take into account in the event of hostilities, he says.

For instance, China and Pakistan have begun joint patrols in PoK near the Xinjiang border, Chinese media reports have said. Even as China now lambasts India as a "third party" with a "hidden agenda" for "intervening" in its dispute on the Doklam plateau with Bhutan, Beijing has quietly deployed its frontier troops on the soil of PoK, which India considers its territory. In the event of an Indo-Pak conflict, Indian officials do not expect China to intervene directly, but the infrastructure it is laying down in PoK can be used to back Pakistan with massive logistics support.

The larger concern is that collusion between the two countries is now assuming sinister dimensions. Gwadar is likely to become China's second overseas naval base after Djibouti near the Gulf of Aden. The port also sits astride the sea routes from where more than 55 per cent of India's energy needs flow in. China's clandestine backing of Pakistan goes back decades starting from the alleged transfer of nuclear weapon blueprints in the early 1980s. The 2016 sale of eight Yuan class submarines to Pakistan not only attempts to checkmate the Indian navy in its backyard, but adds another nuclear dimension. Pakistan is now working to equip them with nuclear-tipped variants of the Chinese 'Babur' land attack cruise missiles.

Then there is the diplomatic protection China offers Pakistan, which some in Delhi believe is emboldening Islamabad to hurt Indian interests. In the past, Beijing had largely kept away from issues such as the Kashmir dispute. That caution is now giving way to what some see as an open backing of Pakistan. This was evident in Beijing issuing stapled visas to Indian residents of Jammu & Kashmir-which subsequently ended after India stopped defence exchanges-even while it opened the door to Pakistani residents from Gilgit-Baltistan to freely cross the border into Xinjiang to open up trading offices in Kashgar, where ironically India had a consulate and trading presence until 1950.

This renewed China-Pakistan nexus has once again begun to cast a shadow on India's relations with China. In two issues that have recently strained relations-China's blocking of India's attempts to sanction the Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the United Nations Security Council 1267 sanctions committee and India's failed entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group-the Pakistan factor has loomed large in China's calculus. Beijing in 2016 stymied the bid to sanction Azhar, and once again in January placed another 'technical hold' on a fresh application backed by the US, UK and France. On the NSG, Beijing's officials have openly said that "other non-NPT countries" (those that have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty) besides India also had legitimate aspirations to join the grouping, referring to Pakistan. Chinese nuclear negotiators pointedly visited Islamabad after talks in Delhi to underline how Beijing is linking India and Pakistan, despite the impeccable non-proliferation record of the former and the questionable track record of the latter. As Beijing further deepens its economic and strategic embrace with its 'iron brother', its relations with India are set to undergo a transformative shift. And for Delhi, confronting this renewed China-Pakistan nexus has become perhaps the most pressing diplomatic and military challenge.

(With Sandeep Unnithan)

Sunday, July 23, 2017




    1. WION Gravitas: China moves heavy war gears to Tibet. Should India be scared?

      • 3 days ago
      China has moved tens of thousands of tonnes of military vehicles and equipment into Tibet amid a continuing stand-off between ...
      • NEW
    2. Now, China Moves Tonnes Of Military Equipment To Tibet, Should India Be Scared

      • 4 days ago
      Now, China Moves Tonnes Of Military Equipment To TibetShould India Be ScaredChina has moved "tens of thousands of ...
      • NEW
    3. China moved troops, heavy war gear to Tibet after Sikkim standoff | India

      • 4 days ago
      China moved “tens of thousands of tonnes” of military equipment, including army vehicles, and troops to Tibet in late June, ...
      • NEW
    4. China Moves Troops, Lots Of Heavy W@r Equipment To Tibet PLA Daily

      • 3 days ago
      China Moves Troops, Lots Of Heavy W@r Equipment To Tibet PLA Daily. China moved “tens of thousands of tonnes” of military ...
      • NEW
    5. China's burqa and 'abnormal' beard ban (WION Gravitas)

      • 3 months ago
      China has banned burqas, veils and “abnormal” beards in a predominantly Muslim province in what it claims is a crackdown on ...
    6. [Military news] Now, China Moves Tonnes Of Military Equipment To Tibet, Should India Be Scared

      • 3 days ago
      • 1 view
      [Military news] Now, China Moves Tonnes Of Military Equipment To TibetShould India Be Scared Now, China Moves Tonnes Of ...
      • NEW
    7. WION Gravitas: Should India join SCO?

      • 1 month ago
      India and Pakistan will formally join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO, at a summit in Kazakhstan tomorrow.
    8. Now, China Moves Tonnes Of Military Equipment To Tibet, Should India Be Scared

      • 4 days ago
      China has moved "tens of thousands of tonnes" of military vehicles and equipment to Tibet, likely under the garb of two defence ...
      • NEW
    9. China's strategic foray in Nepal, Lanka (WION Gravitas)

      • 2 weeks ago
      All along India's periphery, the Chinese presence is ubiqutious. On this segment of WION Gravitas we take a look at the ...
    10. CHINA Fears of INDIA Raising the FREE TIBET Issue on Kashmir Issue

      • 1 week ago
      CHINA Fears of INDIA Raising the FREE TIBET issue on Kashmir Issue . Pak media on India . China raises Kashmir issue . India ...
      • CC
    11. China at a Crossroads in Gilgit-Baltistan (WION Gravitas)

      • 4 months ago
      As Pakistan is set to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province, eyebrows are being raised about Chinese involvement in it.
    12. Why China Needs TIBET?

      • 6 months ago
      China's Argument: Tibet was absorbed about 800 years ago during the Yuan Dynasty, becoming an inseparable part of China.
      • CC
    13. India to China: Dalai Lama can travel where he wants

      • 3 months ago
      The Dalai Lama is on a visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims is part of Tibet. World is One News, WION examines global ...
    14. China Will Use Drones to Hunt Tibetans | China Uncensored

      • 1 year ago
      China is using drones to hunt down Tibetans refugees crossing the Himalayan mountains on the way to India or Nepal. Chinese ...
      • CC
    15. WION Gravitas: Moody's downgrades China for first time since 1989

      • 1 month ago
      Moody's Investors Service downgraded China's credit ratings on Wednesday for the first time in nearly 30 years. Here's more to ...
    16. Tibet की Freedom पर Dalai Lama ने China को दिया करारा जवाब, कहा Autonomy दे चीन

      • 3 months ago
      The Dalai Lama rejected China's claim that India was using him diplomatically to challenge the Communist country, and ...
    17. Chinese Army carries out military exercise on Tibet plateau

      • 1 week ago
      The Chinese Army has recently carried out a military exercise on the Tibetplateau, deploying cannons and conducting live firing ...
      • NEW