India-Pakistan Current Affairs - 2020

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Lahore-Wagah shuttle train service resumes operation after 22 years

The shuttle train service between Lahore and Wagah railway station resumed operation on 15 December 2019 after a gap of 22 years. The train would complete three round trips daily as well as will provide the travelling facility to over 1,000 passengers in three trips. The train service was operational between Wagah to Lahore since the partition of India in 1947 till 1997 but was closed due to certain operational and security reasons.

Key Highllights

The shuttle train service would provide hassle-free commute to hundreds of visitors intending to visit Jallo Park, a Wildlife park in Lahore or witness flag hoisting and lowering ceremony at Wagah. The fare has been fixed at Pakistani Rupee (PKR) 30.

The step is Pakistan’s governments effort to revive the connection of Lahore metropolitan city with its suburbs through rail routes. Lahore-Wagah is a first step that would be followed by another train from Lahore to Raiwind in coming days.

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China Pakistan: Secure CPEC sea route

In order to secure the CPEC sea route, China and Pakistan have signed a deal to build drones with maximum payload of 480 kg, with top speed of 370 km per hour and can fly up to 20 hours. The drones are called Loong II. These drones are similar to the MQ-9 Reaper drones developed by the US.

Highlights

Pakistan and China have agreed to build 48 drones in the Pakistan soil. The deal is to be implemented by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and Aviation Industry Corp of China. This deal is considered to be the biggest drone sale of China to any country. Pakistan is already operating Loong I drone. China has sold Loong I drones to other countries as well. It includes Kazakhstan, Indonesia and United Arav Emirates

Global Concerns

China is building its counter drone systems and laser weapons largely as it tries to catch US on UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Technology. These technologies focus on spoofing techniques that prevent sending false information to UAVs. Together China and Russia are in arms race with the United States. There are concerns raised by number of countries about the trade war, repeated sanctions, imposition of taxes, space race and arms race between the countries.

India Concerns

CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), a major part of China’s BRI project passes through the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir region. India is concerned about the countries strengthening security in the region. With series of attacks and tensions between the India and Pakistan namely Pulwama, Balkot strikes, Abrogation of Article 370, etc, India sees the current move as a tension addend.

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