Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Oct 2018 12:33:52











EVEN as administrators in Maldives, Sri Lanka and Malaysia grow increasingly wary of the multi-billion dollar deals struck with China under various infrastructure projects, including the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the new government in Pakistan has realised the follies of getting sucked into the Chinese debt trap. Though the realisation has come a day too late, the Imran Khan-led Government has balked at the cost and financial terms of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and slashed Chinese investment in railways by USD 2 billion. A section in Pakistan, wise enough to sense the dangers of the huge Chinese loans through CPEC, had been red-flagging the deals but the previous government and Pakistan’s all-powerful Army were swayed away by China’s lofty promises. Pakistan’s economy is in doldrums and even as it seeks a bail-out from IMF and World Bank, Islamabad cannot afford to further get snared by loans from Beijing. Reality has finally dawned but it would be interesting to see how Mr. Khan convinces the Army and China about his concerns.



A CANADIAN study reveals that India stands fifth in the world in pictorial warning on cigarette packets with 85 pc of the packets covered with warning against dangers of smoking. The World Health Organisation (WHO) convention on tobacco control says there is a tremendous international momentum for plain packaging of tobacco. While Governments are doing their bit to control consumption of tobacco products, there is also need for people to understand the consequences of these dangerous substances on their and those of their dependents’ lives. What is surprising is that despite these warning pictures on the packets of cigarettes people continue to ignore them even though the dangers of tobacco consumption have no longer remained secret. There is, therefore, need for taking the addicts away from the fatal tendencies. Governments also should not remain satisfied with printing of larger pictorial warnings. They should take steps to control manufacture of these products.