‘Neighbours are key to india’s future security’
Among the factors that will determine India’s future security and prosperity will be the future of India’s neighbourhood and our relationships in the region, said Satinder Kumar Lambah, prime minister’s special envoy on Afghanistan.
The senior diplomat was delivering fifth R N Kao memorial lecture. Kao is founder of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), country’s external intelligence agency. “India’s own position on the global stage and its capacity to influence the direction of the world at large will depend both on our own evolution and how we manage the neighbourhood,” Lambah said.
He said neither confrontation nor the collusion between major powers, whether between the US and China is in India’s interest. Lambah argued for closer integration in the region, India taking more proactive approach towards neighbours. “We must make offers to our neighbours, which they cannot refuse,” he said. He said several prime ministers have tried to push India’s neighbourhood policy beyond the beaten path. “Many vital decisions have been taken by prime ministers overriding recommendations and suggestions made to them.”
Lambah said the prime minister had stated a vision to make the boundary between India and Pakistan irrelevant, but it’s now Pakistan’s turn to act. “The sense of cynicism about dialogue with Pakistan is understandable especially when those responsible for Mumbai ballast roam freely. But not engaging a neighbour with 180 million people, strong antagonism towards India, a growing nuclear weapons arsenal and worsening instability is not a wise choice.”
On Nepal, Lambah said India’s focus should be to intensify economic support through greater access for Nepal to the Indian market along with enhanced investments and development assistance. He also suggested more emphasise on tourism, Bollywood and soft power.
Chandigarh Chandigarh administrator Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for a synthetic running track at Sukhna Lake. UT adviser Dharam Pal, said, “The Chandigarh Heritage Conservation Committee had earlier given its go-ahead for the proposal. Next, the detailed plan and cost estimates will be prepared; and then, tenders will be floated for the project.” A UT official said the proposed track is part of the administration's efforts to give Sukhna Lake a major facelift.
The National Highway Authority of India has approved two over-bridges, which are likely to reduce travel time between Kalka and Zirakpur and alleviate traffic jams on the stretch by next year. NHAI has already floated tenders for the 60-m wide over-bridges, which will be constructed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has invited bids for the “construction and site improvement of the four-lane national highway (NH-22) on the Zirakpur-Parwanoo junction.”
Fifteen students had a narrow escape after their school bus skidded into a waterlogged open drain in Daulat Singhwala village in Phabat area of Zirakpur. The bus, which was ferrying students of Blue Bird High School, Sector 16, Panchkula, was making way for another school bus when it skidded into the overflowing drain. The bus tilted in the drain, but passersby and parents were able to rescue the children through the driver's window.
Tricity residents woke up to heavy rainfall for the second time this month on Wednesday. Three people went missing after a taxi, shuttling two commuters, was swept away in a flashflood in the Patiala-Ki-Rao rivulet as the driver attempted to cross the causeway in Tanda Village near Nayagaon. The owner of the vehicle, Rakesh Kumar told the police that Gaurav had called him saying two people, travelling to Baddi, had booked his cab.
Chandigarh received 97mm rainfall between 6am and 8.30am, the heaviest rain in July since 2017, as per the India Meteorological Department. It received another 0.9mm of rainfall during the day. The maximum precipitation till 8.30am was recorded at the Sector 39 observatory (97mm), 49.2mm rain was recorded at the airport observatory, 77.5mm rain in Panchkula and 74.5 mm rain in Mohali.