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Showing posts from December 27, 2016

Behind Pakistan’s CPEC offer (The Hindu.)

Days after a senior Pakistani General suggested that India should shun its “enmity” with Pakistan and join the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, the Chinese foreign ministry has called the offer a “goodwill gesture”, exhorting India to take it up. At face value, the suggestion is odd. India has no dialogue with Pakistan at present, and has opposed the project, bilaterally with China “at the highest level” as well as at the UN. Relations with China have deteriorated considerably since President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan to announce the project in April 2015. Initially, New Delhi sought to play down its significance, as it was made just weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to China, and the government would have hoped to dissuade Beijing from pushing the more objectionable projects that run through disputed territory. However, not only has the corridor taken shape rapidly, China and Pakistan have been drawn into a closer embrace, with Pakistan in…

Passport to reform (The Hindu)

The progressive changes introduced by the Centre to the rules governing grant of passports were long overdue. They simplify, in great measure, the paperwork needed for an Indian citizen to get the document. In order to screen applications to prevent impersonation, some of the earlier rules may have made sense at some point of time, but over the years the bureaucratic impediments that the cumbersome requirements posed to genuine applicants were so severe that many had to knock on the doors of high courts for remedy. Some rules were targeted at women. The most specious form of harassment of women passport applicants related to those who were either separated or divorced. Even something as routine as renewing a passport without any change of name or detail or getting a passport in the name of a child was a laborious process, as passport officials insisted on either the father’s consent or demanded a divorce decree. Following the recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee comprisin…