Yoga is immensely popular in all cities of Pakistan; a yoga teacher named Shamshad Haider claims to run 50 yoga clubs in Punjab, and International Yoga Day has been celebrated in Pakistan for three years in a row. Yoga is practiced all the way from Chitral in the north to Karachi in the south. There’s a whole crop of younger teachers now equipped with training from India, Thailand and Bali, as well as from yoga schools in North America and Britain. Teachers at swank studios in Karachi attract students through Facebook pages and affiliations with the International Yoga Alliance.
Pakistan continues to be ahead of India when it comes to possessing nuclear warheads, with China having double the quantity, according to a report by a leading Swedish think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Pakistan is believed to have 140-150 nuclear warheads this year, 10 more than last year. In contrast, India is said to have 130-140 nuclear warheads, according to the annual nuclear forces data by SIPRI.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s decision to withdraw from its coalition with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir and scuttle the three-year old government has been taken with an eye on the Indian State and parliamentary elections to be held later this year and in 2019. The withdrawal is meant to impose President’s rule, which will follow immediately because no party wants to bolster the PDP; take over the State’s administration de facto; go after the militants and separatists ruthlessly; and sharpen the military conflict with Pakistan to consolidate Hindu support ahead of the forthcoming elections.
The Salman Khan-starrer Race 3 is this year’s Eid release from Bollywood. In the last decade, Khan has monopolised the festival of Eid with an offering each year. Funnily, if you look at the oeuvre of his Eid releases, barring a promotional song in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, there’s little that you can connect to the festival.This omission is not incidental. It’s a direct consequence of the demise of the ‘Muslim Social’ genre, writes Amit Upadhyaya in ThePrint.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission has sought an “establishment of a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir” and has asked the governments of India and Pakistan to “fully respect the right of self-determination of the people of Kashmir as protected under international law”.
India on Thursday rejected the United Nations report on “human rights situation in Kashmir” calling it ” fallacious, tendentious and motivated,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. Adding that the report is a “selective compilation of largely unverified statements,” the Ministry said that the report “violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” and “questioned the intent” behind it.
Things in the Pakistan National Assembly elections took an interesting turn when it emerged that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan will have a 97-year-old female candidate contesting against him in NA-35 Bannu constituency in Khyber-Pakhtunbwala.
Hazrat Bibi has submitted her nomination papers for both national and provincial assembly seats. The 97-year-old hails from the district’s Mumbati Barkazai area. Interestingly, this is not the first time Hazrat Bibi will be contesting from the area.She has contested five times earlier as well.
Srinath Raghavan’s latest book, The Most Dangerous Place, details the history of US involvement in South Asia, discussing its engagement with India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It looks at how the US has been a crucial player in regional affairs even as South Asia experienced tumultuous changes. Excerpts:
For the first time since its inception, the South Asian University will be handing out PhD Degrees to 6 of its scholars – one each from Afghanistan and Bangladesh and 4 from India, said Dr.Sasanka Perera from Sri Lanka, who is the Vice President of the university, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology.
Lahore’s Safari Park will have two elephants which are likely arrive from Sri Lanka next month. According to Director-General Punjab Wildlife Khalid Ayaz, the Sri Lankan ambassador to Pakistan has recommended to his government that it ‘gift’ the elephants to improve relations between the two countries.