Topic Of The Day:-“Two years apart”

While the two countries had been physically partitioned, and borders and check-posts now controlled people from crossing over, the ‘intellectual partition’ of India and Pakistan had not taken place at the time. Decades later, it would be hard for a Pakistani envoy to make such a complaint. India and Pakistan are not just foreign countries for each other, they are practically alien, with little to engage on in various spheres. The “intellectual and emotional partition” of the two countries is even more stark today, exactly two years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Lahore to attend his then counterpart, Nawaz Sharif’s grand-daughter’s wedding. To begin with, Indian and Pakistani societies have learnt to look away from each other culturally. The process of this partition, which began in the 1950s, when poets and historians began to construct separate histories, is now complete, as Pakistani students learn a language more Arabic than Urdu, of a polity that begins in 1947, and about an ancient history that relates to foreign invaders from the country’s west more than the shared history with its east. On the Indian side, contemporary cultural linkages have been severed, with Abida Parveen and Ghulam Ali no longer able to perform in India, Pakistani actors barred from work in Indian films, and a television network stopping the very popular telecast of Pakistani soap operas. Sporting events are fewer, and there is little “healthy rivalry” when Indian and Pakistani teams do meet: instead a defeat becomes a national disgrace, while a victory is celebrated as a quasi-military conquest. Visas are still granted for pilgrimages on both sides, but for all other travel they are tightly controlled and granted as exceptions to the rule. Seldom have two countries which share language, idiom, music and religion been this closed to each other, including in times of war. Bilateral trade, which had developed a low but steady normal, could be reduced even further now: as Indian development of Chabahar port in Iran circumvents Pakistan by sea, and an air cargo corridor to Afghanistan replaces land cargo entirely. Effectively, India is willing to double its trade costs and spend billions of dollars extra in order block out Pakistan, and Pakistan is willing to risk its trade route to Afghanistan and Central Asia, but won’t allow Indian trade to Afghanistan come through Wagah. The only increased ‘trade’ is that of ‘trading fire’ at the Line of Control (LoC), where Pakistan attempts to push in infiltrators over the LoC into India under covering fire, and Indian troops fire back, taking also a high toll for civilians on both sides. After the 2003 ceasefire had been implemented, villagers on either side of the LoC had returned to their homes and rebuilt schools along the area. Most of that peace has been undone by the past few years of ceasefire violations, according to a study by the United States Institute of Peace called “A Line on Fire”. From 12 ceasefire violations (CFVs) on both sides combined and one civilian casualty in 2006, 2016 saw 51 dead in about 900 CFVs. The data for this year has surpassed those numbers, which includes four Indian Army soldiers killed this weekend. Yet, neither side gives credence to claims of the other. Even after the surgical strikes of September 2016, Pakistan’s government refused to accept India’s detailed account of the cross-LoC action. The discourse on terrorism is even more divided. After the Mumbai attacks of 2008, Pakistan admitted in public statements at least that the perpetrators of the attacks would be brought to justice. Yet in the past three years, the Mumbai trial in Rawalpindi has all but ground to a halt. The Lashkar-e-Taiba’s operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is out on bail, while 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed, out of custody last month, plans to stand for elections in 2018. On the Pakistani side, there’s growing belief that India funds groups such as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as well as insurgent groups in Balochistan. Mr. Modi’s public support for the Baloch insurgency during his Independence Day speech last year did not help. The fate of Kulbushan Jadhav, whose release from Pakistani custody in other times may have been decided by mutual negotiation and a possible exchange of personnel, is now in the hands of the International Court of Justice.


1) Intellectual

Meaning: Possessing a highly developed intellect.

Example: “You are an intellectual girl, like your mother”

Synonyms: Intelligent, Clever

Antonyms: Stupid, Illiterate

2) Envoy

Meaning: A messenger or representative, especially one on a diplomatic mission.

Example:”The UN special envoy to Yugoslavia”

Synonyms: Representative, Delegate

3) Stark

Meaning: Unpleasantly or sharply clear.

Example:”His position is in stark contrast to that of Curran”

Synonyms: Blunt, Bald

4) Invaders

Meaning: A person or group that invades a country, region, or other place.

Example:”It is a country that has repelled all invaders”

Synonyms: Attacker, Raider

5) Rivalry

Meaning: Competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.

Example:”There always has been intense rivalry between the clubs”

Synonyms: Competitiveness, Competition

6) Pilgrimages

Meaning: A pilgrim’s journey.

Example:”He wanted to go on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela”

Synonyms: Trip, Journey

7) Seldom

Meaning: Not often; rarely.

Example:”Islay is seldom visited by tourists”

Synonyms: Rarely, Infrequently

Antonyms: Often, Frequently

8) Cargo

Meaning: Goods carried on a ship, aircraft, or motor vehicle.

Example:”Transportation of bulk cargo”

Synonyms: Freight, Load

9) Infiltrators

Meaning: A person who secretly becomes part of a group in order to get information or to influence the way the group thinks or behaves.

Example: The infiltrator was identified and killed.

10) Troops

Meaning: Soldiers or armed forces.

Example:”UN peacekeeping troops”

Synonyms: Soldiers, Armed forces

11) Ceasefire

Meaning: A temporary suspension of fighting; a truce.

Example:”The latest ceasefire seems to be holding”

12) Casualty

Meaning: A person killed or injured in a war or accident.

Example: “The shelling caused thousands of civilian casualties”

Synonyms: Victim, Fatality

13) Surpassed

Meaning: Exceed; be greater than.

Example:”Pre-war levels of production were surpassed in 1929″

Synonyms: Excel, Exceed

14) credence

Meaning: Belief in or acceptance of something as true.

Example:”Psychoanalysis finds little credence among laymen”

Synonyms: Acceptance, Belief

15) Perpetrators

Meaning: A person who carries out a harmful, illegal, or immoral act.

Example:”The perpetrators of this horrific crime must be brought to justice”

16) Insurgent

Meaning: A person fighting against a government or invading force; a rebel or revolutionary.

Example: “An attack by armed insurgents”

Synonyms: Rebel, Revolutionary

Antonyms: Loyalist