Since a Congressman is critical of India's move to not join China-backed RCEP treaty, here's a reporters memory on an Indian commerce ministry led delegation to Pakistan via Attari-Wagah in Feb 2012.
It was supposed to be a historic, breakthrough visit in which Pakistan...(1/2)
..was to bestow Most Favored Nation status on India (we had already granted MFN to Pakistan & imposed no formal trade restrictions on them)
The 80+ Indian delegation was full of excitement. After all, it was the 1st visit by an Indian commerce minister in over 3 decades....
(2/3) our perennially hostile, pain-in-the-arse neighbour.
There were no major outcomes from the visit for India. Even as the Indian minister was speaking at an event in Karachi, the Pakistan Cabinet met in Islamabad and refused to reciprocate with MFN status for India!
But this embarassment did not dampen the spirits of some in the delegation...Exclusive gazal parties had been organized in honor of the dignitaries. The blue-label merry-making,, which had started on this side of the border, continued across as well.
Lasting into the wee hours, the free-flowing blue spirit led to red-faces all around as the visiting prima-don took to waking up late and being always delayed for meetings.
Members of the delegation recall that Lahore had lived up to its reputation for Punjabi hospitality.
At Lahore, visiting Indian journos and industrialists (including a now infamous aviation entrepreneur) went hungry till late while waiting for dignitaries to emerge from a 'spirited meeting' at the Governors mansion till almost midnight.
There were other sideshows including the ISI's attempts to bug rooms of the Indian visitors, including the highest civil servant in the entourage!
In itself, this was not a surprise, but remember the visit had arisen out of Track-II diplomacy that was in vogue till 2014.
Reports followed, including by Indian mission officials, which are said to have reached the ears of the good Dr in Delhi and 10, Janpath.
What had India achieved, except to be embarassed publicly by Pakistan when our Commerce Minister was on its soil?
So much for Track-II.

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More from @szarabi

29 Jun
Unfortunately, some of the crappiest comments on the impact of the #chineseapp ban are from some very experienced analysts & commentators in India.
Come on, folks!
Pause, think, reflect before you vomit all that ignorance out of your guts!
China BANS every app from overseas!
The Chinese economy has been BUILT on denying market access. Ask FB, ask Twitter, ask Google, ask so many others!
China's BAT economy (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) copied successful US & Western co biz models. What wasn't copied, was pilfered.
China blocks access to its mkt& users.
Have you heard about the Great Wall of China? No, I am not talking about that construction marvel. It is the Digital Great Wall. Google it.
India has been one of the MOST OPEN economies.
But, what do you do when data is stolen? What about privacy-is it only required for Aadhaar?
Read 6 tweets
20 Jun
Govt says attempts being made in some quarters to give a mischievous interpretation to remarks by the Prime Minister at the All-Party Meeting (APM) yesterday.
PM’s observations on no Chinese presence on our side of LAC pertained to situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces.
“Those who tried to transgress our land were taught a befitting lesson by our brave sons of soil”, summed up ethos & values of our armed forces.
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Read 7 tweets
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Thread on what I call 'Project Deep Eyes':
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•So, how do we preempt these incursions? (1/8)
Recall the latest standoff at 3 points in Galwan Valley & near Pangong Lake, East Ladakh.
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But, how could ITBP & Army have got early warning of China’s dirty designs on the LAC?
As is well known, in 2014, twin-engine patrol boats & long-range high-res camera were acquired for surveillance of & across the Pangong Tso.
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How did it go & what did it yield?
(3/8) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, GOC-in-C, Northern Army Command, on an interceptor boat in Sept 2019.
Read 8 tweets
8 Jun
Here's a sample of social media posts by several Kashmiri Muslims celebrating the cowardly murder of a 35-year old Hindu earlier today.
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This is the blood of the Hindus of Kashmir.
•It has spilt long.
•It has spilt too much.
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This is exactly what they said in the 90's.
To those who celebrate yet another murder of a member of the minority in Kashmir, I say:
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My homage to another martyr at the hands of brutal terrorists of Kashmir. South Kashmir resident, the late Simranjeet Singh. <br />
Murdered by Kashmiri terrorists in Jan 2019. Incidentally, his brother was a sarpanch.
Read 4 tweets
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Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code:BIG
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●Amendments via Ordinance to drop 7 compoundable offenses + 5 others.

Details of IBC and Cos Act.
Read 11 tweets
17 May
FM begins 5th and last tranche of economic package announcement by quoting PM Modi's recent remarks on self-reliant India on "land, labour, liquidity & laws."

7 measures today in 5th tranche

2. Health - rural & urban
3. Businesses
4. Decriminalization of Companies Act.
5. Ease of Doing biz
6. PSU
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●MNREGA allocation for FY21 increased by an additional Rs 40,000 Cr from earlier budget estimate of 60KCr
Read 5 tweets

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