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When the Indian army launched 'surgical strikes' on terrorist 'launch-pads' in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), killing an indeterminate number of them, including some Pakistani soldiers, India crossed more than just the Line of Control (LoC). It crossed the self-imposed line of 'strategic restraint' imposed by the political leadership till recently. Looking back at the last two or more years of Modi's government, it is clear that his diplomatic outreach has begun to work in his favour finally. Today, no major country is likely to raise its voice against India's actions, indicating that Modi's diplomacy is seamlessly merging with his strategic choices.
The morning, after the Indian Army announced that it conducted surgical strikes last night on terror launch pads across the LoC, a burger joint and a recharge website thought that they should grab the opportunity and texted all their customers, offering a 20% discount on all orders. Not only did they think that India-Pakistan tension is what will bring more people to burger joints, but have come up with possibly the most absurd code for it too. To avail the discount, one needs to use this code: fpak20.
Following the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army across the LoC, villages near the border in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir were being evacuated in anticipation of a retaliation by Pakistan. All schools within 10 kms of India-Pak border were closed till further orders. Emergency ward of Civil Hospital in Pathankot was cleared in preparation for any eventuality.
Beyond Thursday's raid by Indian special forces into Pakistan's side of divided Kashmir, New Delhi is reportedly considering new economic and diplomatic measures to bring pressure to bear on the neighbouring country. Officials claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was debating whether to use New Delhi's rising economic and diplomatic weight to squeeze Pakistan, a country one-fifth its size and with an economy seven times smaller.
The death of an Indian labourer in Qatar who had complained about not being paid and later committed suicide on a building site has focused attention on migrant workers struggling amid an economic downturn in the Gulf state ahead of the 2022 World Cup. Scaffolder Ajaya Behara, 44, hanged himself in the basement of the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre on 7 September, weeks after asking his employer to pay outstanding wages and renew his expired visa.
Baloch nationalist leaders and activists across the world welcomed the cross-border surgical strikes by India across the LoC and urged continuation of such operations. They said that India's action had given them 'hope'.
Off The Front Page
An argument over some students' bus passes in Bengaluru turned ugly when a woman bus conductor allegedly bit a student in public on Thursday. Footage captured on a mobile phone showed the conductor biting one of the students, before the latter pushed her to the ground. The fracas took place in the presence of a constable.
The Supreme Court today will hear the Maggi noodles matter on the application of Nestle India Ltd, who had approached it seeking 550 tonnes of seized expired stock be handed over to them by the Food and Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) so that the stock can be destroyed. The FSSAI stated that adherence to this request might lead to destruction of evidence, to which the court replied that some samples may be retained for reference by the FSSAI.
A video showing a private coaching centre teacher from Haryana beating students mercilessly has gone viral. A student secretly filmed the tutor on his mobile while he slapped school students, grabbed girls by their hair and hit students with sticks. His reasons for assaulting students included unfinished homework, coming late to class and poor scores in tests.
Behavioural science needs to be applied to successfully change public behaviour, writes Anand Damani in Mint. "For example, to reduce honking, we conducted an experiment in which a red button called Bleep was fitted on to the dashboard of the car. When the driver pressed the horn, the red button would begin to beep and flash. In order to switch it off, the driver needed to press the button. The button made the driver conscious of the habit of honking by giving him immediate feedback in order to reduce indiscriminate honking. In a six-month experiment, Bleep reduced honking by 61% on average," he says.
Today, as the Marrakesh Treaty comes into force, India's multi-stakeholder approach to providing texts for the blind/print-disabled offers an excellent model for other countries to follow, writes Francis Gurry in The Hindu. "The Accessible India Campaign has provided a nationwide flagship campaign for universal access for people with disabilities. And India has begun implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty through a multi-stakeholder approach, which includes collaboration among key players such as government ministries, local champions like the DAISY Forum of India, and the private sector. This led to the launch in August of India's largest collection of online accessible books called 'Sugamya Pustakalaya', which counts 2,00,000 volumes," he says.
The India's announcement that the army had launched a series of strikes on the night of 28 September against seven different 'launch pads' in PoK that jihadi terrorists used for attacks across the LoC has come as a relief, writes Bharat Karnad in Quint. "Such retaliation is fully justified both in terms of raising the cost to the Pakistan Army and setting a precedent for proportional retaliation in the future. General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, had so far assumed that their choice of asymmetric warfare was cost free and hence carried on with them without compunction. India's response in kind is also condoned by international law under the rubric of 'self defence'. Article 51 of the UN Charter, for instance, states clearly that 'Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations'," he writes.
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