Time not right for PM to visit Pakistan, feels govt
Two invitations in less than six months for Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan, but senior leaders in the Congress and government are of the view that the time is just not ripe for a prime ministerial visit.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani extended an invitation at Mohali in March, and the second one on his behalf was made by foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday.
But the Congress feels there has to be a substantial outcome - a breakthrough in one the contentious issues - and progress on the terrorism front to mould public opinion in favour of a prime ministerial visit. And chances of both are slim for the time being.
The possibility of a summit-level meeting also came up during the meeting of the cabinet committee on security that dwelt at length on the India-Pakistan agenda last Tuesday.
A resolution on Sir Sreek or Siachen or a forward-looking approach to solving the Kashmir issue is what a PM's visit must entail, and the ground is not yet ready for this, said one leader.
"The party, however, understands the PM is passionate about resolving issues with Pakistan and supports his efforts" a top Congress leader told HT.
Singh feels India and Pakistan amicably resolving their differences is vital to his vision of a prosperous, integrated South Asia.
His predecessor AB Vajpayee visited Pakistan twice in six years. It was also pointed out that Indira Gandhi and Narasimha Rao never visited Pakistan.
"Mao Zedong made only one trip outside China (to Russia)", said a cabinet minister.
There are other issues at stake. Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf being thrown out of power and the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack have blighted chances of having a substantial agenda for a prime ministerial visit.
"The best chance for that was in 2005-06. The Mumbai attack brought us many years back," said a senior official.
For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.
According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.
“Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.
Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.
Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.