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Pakistan fears over US projecting India’s supremacy in the region

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Jammu and Kashmir

The terror attack on the Sunjuwan camp in Jammu is the handiwork of Jaish-e-Mohmmad terror organisation based in Pakistan as Jammu and Kashmir DGP S.P. Vaid said the attack coincides with the death anniversary of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

The increase in ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the targeting of military institutions by terror groups operating across the border shows the nervousness of Pakistan who is afraid of US creating Indian hegemony over South Asia to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

But there is a  fierce competition among leaders of China, Russia and US for supremacy over South Asia. China under Xi Jinping intends to replace the US as the sole power of Asia. China is aggressively pursuing geo-political strategy and diplomacy to change the economic, security and political structure of Asia.

The Indian leadership has to be aggressive in moves and diplomacy with countries of South Asia as China has shifted power alignments by  Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port and development of a China–Pakistan Economic Corridor and further declaring that Hambantota port is a part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Chinese influence in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Pakistan will have serious implications for India.

SEnsing the grave situation, India entered into a  bilateral logistics Exchange Memorandum Agreement with United States in August 2016 that gives the two countries reciprocal access to their respective military bases for supplies and fuel. Their Strategic partnership aimed at checking growing  extremism and emerging power of China and strategic defence partnership under which, the US would sell high-tech weapons only to India in the world.

Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai has accused United States for establishing permanent bases in the war-torn country to maintain power in the region while Pakistan is pursuing its own interests in the Afghan war.

After the recent successes in Iraq and Syria, US main aim is to cripple the Taliban’s revenue-generation enterprise and for that Afghanistan has been converted into U.S. Central Command as Pentagon has shifted major air support capabilities by adding an A-10 squadron in Kandahar Air Force Base, 50 percent more MQ-9 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

U.S. forces conducted air operations to strike Taliban and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, training facilities in Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province. “The destruction of these training facilities prevents terrorists from planning any acts near the border with China and Tajikistan,” Air Force Maj. Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of NATO Air Command Afghanistan said. ETIM is a terrorist organization that operates in China and the border regions of Afghanistan, Hecker noted. “ETIM enjoys support from the Taliban in the mountains of Badakhshan.

Karzai has accused the United States of colluding with Daesh in Afghanistan and allowed the group to flourish in the country as ” under the full presence, surveillance, military, political, intelligence, Daesh has emerged.”

Meanwhile, Ashraf Ghani government is under immense criticism due to the spate in terror attacks orchestrated by Taliban and Islamic State or Daesh in Afghanistan. The ousted governor of Balkh Atta Mohammad Noor has blamed the government for failing to provide security to the people and accused Ashraf Ghani government of mismanaging the foreign aid to Afghanistan and that government “has no plan to improve the economy”.

To re-establish dominance in Asia, President Donald Trump administration’s first National Defense Strategy declared that “great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security.” Defence Secretary James Mattis has called for more lethal forces, stronger security partnerships, robust and innovative Defense Department to confront America’s adversaries like China and Russia while ensuring defense for its allies and guaranteeing freedom of navigation and commerce in the region.

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By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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Hotel industry’s recovery to pre-Covid levels profits 3 yrs away: ICRA

“This will keep revenues moderated, resulting in operating losses and stretched debt metrics during FY2021 and FY2022.”

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Park Hotel Delhi

New Delhi, Oct 24 : The Indian hotel industry’s recovery to pre-Covid levels profits is at least three years away, ratings agency ICRA has said.

The ratings agency said that road ahead for the industry is rough as revenues and margins are expected to post record decline in FY21 with losses mounting over the next two years.

The hotel industry has witnessed one of the worst revenue declines, in Q1FY21, with revenues for the industry sample declining by 85 per cent.

“Given the high operating and financial leverage in the industry, the revenue decline led to huge operating and net losses in Q1 FY2021 despite the extensive cost-cutting measures adopted by most entities in the industry,” ICRA said in a statement.

“Despite sharp weakening in interest coverage, recourse to the RBI provided moratorium on debt servicing as part of its Covid relief package announced in March 2020 supported the industry.”

As per the statement, about 66 per cent of ICRA’s hospitality portfolio applied for moratorium under this scheme and several of these will apply for restructuring under the K.V. Kamath committee too.

“Although hotels have been gradually allowed to reopen, occupancies have remained subdued in H1FY2021,” the statement said.

“This will keep revenues moderated, resulting in operating losses and stretched debt metrics during FY2021 and FY2022.”

The industry has reported a 2.7 per cent de-growth in topline with flat operating margins at 22 per cent in FY2020.

“With an 85 per cent YoY decline witnessed in revenues in Q1 FY2021 and subdued occupancies witnessed in Q2 FY2021 as well, industry wide revenues are expected to witness sharp de-growth of 60-65 per cent for FY2021,” ICRA said.

“Despite several measures taken by the companies to variabilise the fixed costs, the industry is likely to report massive operating and net losses in FY2021.”

–IANS

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31% adolescents battled extreme anxiety in past few months due to COVID-19, says survey

About 31% surveyed adolescents battled extreme anxiety in the past few months worrying about the impact of coronavirus pandemic on their family’s financial status, according to a survey

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About 31 percent surveyed adolescents battled extreme anxiety in the past few months worrying about the impact of coronavirus pandemic on their family’s financial status, according to a survey of over 7,300 adolescents from four states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Odisha.

The survey on ‘What do the Adolescents have to say? COVID-19 and its Impact’ by NGO Centre for Catalysing Change was conducted in two rounds in the months of April, July and August.

Out of the 7,324 adolescents surveyed, 31 percent admitted to battling extreme anxiety worrying about the pandemic’s impact on their family’s financial status.

The survey also found that adolescent girls faced significant gender discrimination in these months due to the pandemic.

“Only 12 percent of surveyed adolescent girls had access to their own mobile phones to be able to attend online classes, while 35 percent boys had access to their own mobile phones,” the survey found.

“Further, 51 percent of the adolescent girls surveyed lacked access to essential textbooks in comparison to boys, highlighting how the pandemic had jeopardized girls’ access to education,” it said.

About 39 percent of the girls were found to be contributing to housework as opposed to the number of boys at 35 percent, it said.

Under the survey, the adolescent girls also stated how their mobility has been curbed, with only 39 percent girls saying they were allowed to go out alone in comparison to 62 percent boys of the same age who were allowed to go out alone.

“At the same time, only 36 percent adolescents knew the correct helpline numbers, while awareness about the use of the helplines was even lower. Only 18 percent was aware that the helplines could be used in reporting domestic violence and only 22-23 percent knew that it could be used in reporting child labour and child trafficking cases,” it added.

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Sahir Ludhianvi death anniversary: Top Bollywood songs penned by the legendary poet

On Sahir Ludhianvi’s death anniversary, here’s looking at top Bollywood songs written by the legendary poet!

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Sahir Ludhianvi

Born in Ludhiana, Punjab, in 1921, Sahir began writing since childhood. Born as Abdul Hayee, he found the word ‘Sahir’ while reading Iqbal’s poetry and decided to use it as his pen name.

Sahir’s poetry was remarkably concerned with socio-economic and political problems of the country. He often voiced problems of the downtrodden with his words.

Sahir’s debut as film lyricist was with Azadi Ki Rah Par and Baazi. In recognition of his contributions, he was honoured with Padma Bhushan. Sahir died in Mumbai on October 25, 1980.

On Sahir Ludhianvi’s death anniversary, here’s looking at top Bollywood songs written by the legendary poet.

Dekha hai zindagi ko kuch itna kareeb se

Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar hu

Kabhi Kabhi Mere DIl Mein

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