Pakistan opposition to march in Islamabad tomorrow

Pakistan opposition to march in Islamabad tomorrow

Thousands of protesters are marching towards Pakistan's capital Islamabad calling for prime minister Imran Khan's resignation. The march is being led by a fierce critic of Imran Khan, Fazlur Rehman. He is the chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.

The march is making its way from city to city and has crossed Rawalpindi, Lahore and is now on its way to Islamabad where it will be witnessing a culmination of the final march that is to take place in Islamabad. The march is also supported by other prominent opposition parties like the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (N). reports suggest that Shehbaz Sharif has assured full cooperation to Fazlur Rahman who is leading that march.

There is over 21,000 security personnel Likely to be deployed around Islamabad for this Azadi March. This includes personnel from Punjab Police Islamabad police. The Azadi March caravan will be stationed in Rawalpindi tonight and will entre Islamabad tomorrow.

Clearly worried Imran Khan has said, the Government will not create any hurdles in the march as long as participants follow the law but have warned of strict action if the agreement signed with his negotiation team is violated.

The Pakistan government is still mulling over well whether or not it should call in the army to contain the protesters. The Imran Khan government has expressed concern that some participants of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam which is leading the protest are carrying prohibited arms and that's a claim that has been disputed by the protesters.

Meanwhile addressing the marchers in Lahore Rahman said that Pakistanis from Karachi to Islamabad were in agreement that Imran Khan should step down. But most of the Pakistani media has been forced to blackout the march and the coverage of the protest march have been limited.

The government claims that Fazul Rahman is promoting religious bigotry as the marchers have been chanting slogans against the Ahmadi community in Pakistan. While they are progressing towards Islamabad now the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam has also banned its women party members from participating in the march.

Meanwhile, there are reports that petroleum dealers are being pressurized to keep their businesses shut or refrain from supplying fuel to participants riding in cars, vans or trucks. Comparisons have also been drawn between this Azadi March led by Maulana Fezlur Rahman and Imran Khan's own massive rally in 2014 which was main contributing factor in the downfall of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

4 Key Takeaways From PM Modi's Saudi Visit

PM Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia

It is clear that India and Saudi Arabia are trying to turn the page on issues that divide them. And what better way to do this than to increase trade and investment? The meetings are done, dozens of pacts have been signed. Here's a look at the key takeaways from the Prime Minister's visit to Riyadh.

1. Oil Sector

Starting with the oil sector. Now, most of us might remember the attack on Saudi Aramco's crude oil facilities last month. they plunged the world's oil industry into uncertainty. The markets are still in turmoil.

Also to blame the sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. There's the talk of a collective response to this crisis and this is critical for India which imports more than 80 percent of its oil. So India must safeguard its interests. The question is how?

By deepening economic linkages with Saudi Arabia especially in the oil sector After all Saudi Arabia is India's second-biggest supplier. Iraq remains the top source. India imports around 18 percent of its crude oil from the Saudis. In the Prime Minister's own words. "India and Saudi Arabia are moving towards a closer strategic partnership from a mere buyer-seller relationship".

What does this mean? It means cross country investments in the oil sector. Aramco is already participating in a major refinery and petrochemical project on India's west coast. And this is a win-win. Aramco may still be the most profitable company in the world but it needs to find a stable outlet. As for India, this means secure oil supplies at affordable rates. Now, this strategic partnership does not restrict itself to the oil sector. Which brings us to the second big takeaway.

PM Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia

2. Investment

Prime Minister Modi has welcomed Saudi investments in India's infrastructure projects, especially in the Smart Cities program. The two nations have signed an agreement on a strategic partnership council. A council that will boost counter-terrorism operations trade security and defense cooperation.

Bilateral trade between the two countries currently stands at 28 billion dollars. India wants this figure to go up. But the strategic partnership is just one piece of the puzzle for India with its 200 million-strong Muslim population. There is no denying that friendship with Saudi Arabia brings certain legitimacy as well.

PM Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia

3. RuPay Card Launch

Keeping that in mind the prime minister will launch the RuPay card in the kingdom. The primary purpose is to aid Indian pilgrims visiting Mecca and Medina every year. The goodwill, of course, is being reciprocated with the kingdom increasing the Hajj quota for India from just over 17 lacs to 20 lacs.

In the long run, The RuPay launch is going to have the Indian expats in Saudi Arabia close to 300 million of them in payments and remittances. The Saudi kingdom is now the fifth country to get the facility after Bahrain,  UAE, Bhutan, and Singapore. This is a significant marker of India's global ambitions.

Today it is going places joining the League of international players like MasterCard and Visa. Eleven hundred banks have issued more than 600 million rupiah cuts.

4. Pakistan

And finally the biggest takeaway of Prime Minister Modi's visit. The message to Pakistan. the Saudi kingdom's willingness to demonstrate geopolitical diversification. its relations with South Asian countries will not be guided by religion.

For years Pakistan remained the third wheel in the Saudi India relationship. Now it has been decisively detached. So while Saudi Arabia aids Pakistan while Saudi Arabia hires a former Pakistan army chief to lead its troops and while Saudi Arabia lends a plane to the Pakistani prime minister it treats India as a partner. A strategic and business partner.

By the way, the Pakistani government is missing from the summit. That investment options are limited you see some businessmen from Pakistan are participating retort.

First All Women Spacewalk

Another milestone has been achieved by NASA a few hours back when Christina Koch and Jessica Meir ventured outside the International Space Station making history and becoming First All Women Spacewalk members. The focus was to replace the controller that helps to distribute power to Space Station's batteries which was completed in nearly seven hours making it one of the longest spacewalks and first all-women spacewalk in history.

Spacewalk is Extra Vehicular Physical Activity engaged in by an astronaut in space outside a spacecraft in order to perform repairs on things like a solar panel. Spacewalks are dangerous, physically demanding and rare. according to NASA being in space is more challenging for women due to susceptibility of Orthostatic Intolerance.

The first person to go on a spacewalk was Alexei Leonov. On March 18, 1965, he executed this unprecedented task and left the world astounded and inspired many. he was from Russia (then USSR).

The first woman to go on a spacewalk was Svetlana Savitskaya. she accomplished this mission in 1984. Svetlana was also from Russia.

All these great personalities will keep inspiring the youth, future astronauts and give rise to a new generation of space explorers and simultaneously empowering women and shaping a better future.

India China| 4 important takeaways from 2nd informal summit

Second informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi has concluded. From Tourism to Defense various topics were discussed in the heritage town of Mamallapuram and later in Chennai. lets take a look at the four big takeaways from the second informal summit.

1. Tourism 

China and India being world's most populous countries have immense potential of tourism from which both the countries can be benefited. both the leaders have agreed to give special attention to
this sector.

To increase People-to-People connect it has been decided that next year to commemorate 70 years of India-China diplomatic relations 70 events will be celebrated 35 on both sides.

President Xi has assured greater facilitation to pilgrims going to Kailash Mansarovar yatra and connection between Indian state Tamil Nadu and Fujian province of China both of which had
ancient trade relations with each other.

2. Trade

China and India has trade worth $95 billion and India is at trade deficit. President Xi has assured
of taking sincere action to reduce trade deficit and showed readiness to discuss hoe trade deficit
can be reduced.

China has showed keen interest to invest in India in IT, Pharmaceutical sector.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized on Manufacturing sector and both leaders have decided to work      on the same due to which job opportunities are expected to increase.

RCEP is a long standing issue on which India is negotiating from very long time primarily due to
trade deficit with China. Prime Minister Modi said balance should be maintained as India is
already in trade deficit and facing economic slowdown on which President Xi agreed and said
China is ready to discuss this issue.

New High Level Mechanism on Trade, Investment, Service will be set up in which Finance
Minister of India and Vice Premier of China will be chairpersons.

3. Defense 

Emphasize was given on increasing engagement between both side's security forces.

Defense Minister of India is invited to China for further discussions.

4. Global Issues 

Both sides have agreed to work together in global issues like Climate Change, Terrorism,
supporting each other's view at international organizations and reforms in organizations like WTO.

Having agreed upon respecting each other's territorial integrity both the countries are looking
looking forward to improve relations with each other. India needs to balance out between USA
and China both the superpowers without leaning on one side more.