Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #309 - Modi Speech, COVID Lab-Leak and Pakistan's Terror Game

Opposition's intransigence and scandalous ways have led Modi to take charge yet again. The world is abuzz with lab-leak evidence of COVID from China. And Pakistan faces heat on terror sponsorship.

Photo by Kunal Shinde on Unsplash

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” ― Plato


Give people enough rope so they can go and hang themselves. The games of the enemies are long-drawn and for the long term. Stakes are large and deep. Our losses seem unbearable today, but in the long-term analysis, they may be very small.

If all the Indians had fought the British and not allowed them to survive in the 1800s while losing many lives, maybe our generations would have been spared of all the losses, poverty, and strife that Indian society went through.

Sometimes we cannot see the larger picture. Someone at the helm can. It is up to him or her to make the right decision and do the correct action. We cannot dictate those actions or decisions. All we can do is choose someone with a good conscience and a strong will and hope he will do the best he can given the information on hand.

When, and if, we believe things are not going right even then, we need to do our own private effort. Something that a husband-wife team from Pune did on COVID origin story that has set the world on fire.


1. Ghoda-Chatur Opposition and the Modi-sense

In early April, Rahul Gandhi pushed the Indian PM Narendra Modi to decentralize vaccine procurement. (Source: TheHindu BusinessLine) But in the very next month, he wanted the Center to centralize the purchase but decentralize the distribution. (Source: News18)

When the States were given the ability to buy their own vaccine, the Modi government obliged them to go ahead and show that they are responsible enough to do that. (Source: GOI)

As is the wont of the Congress government, they used even that for profiteering by selling doses meant to be sold for free to the citizens to the hospitals at exorbitant prices. (Source: IndiaToday)

But they had to buckle down under pressure from the opposition and take back the stock from the private hospitals. (Source: DeccanHerald)

When PM Modi came out to give his speech, this is what he was discussing and finding a solution for. Watch this speech.

The game for the control is now ON.

2. COVID-19 and its Lab Leak from China investigation

Dr Monali Rahalkar and Dr Rahul Bahulikar in Pune started looking into the Coronavirus spread and investigated if that could have been created in the lab.

During this private investigation, they came across documents about an abandoned copper mine in Mojiang, South China. In 2012, 6 miners had gone into that mine to clean the mineshaft. It had bat droppings. They were dried and crumbly and as they walked, they burst and the dust spread around making the air around allergic. All these miners got sick and showed symptoms like symptoms such as fever, cough, and blood clots along with fatigue, followed by pneumonia in the lungs. Similar to COVID-19. (Source: IndiaToday)

The couple had published in 2020 - their findings of how “next cousin of Sars” was collected from the Mojiang mine and were contacted by a Twitter user ‘TheSeeker’ who discussed the symptoms of the miners.

As an aside - it is commonly known that Dr. Fauci had co-authored a Washington Post op-ed - “A Flu Virus Risk Worth Taking.”  In that article, he had shared that “important information and insights can come from generating a potentially dangerous virus in the laboratory.”

Here are a few interesting stories - which add to the claim of how the Chinese may have engineered the COVID-19 virus attack globally.

Tests on Mice with Humanized Lungs: Chinese Army (PLA) researchers had created mice with “humanized lungs” in 2019 and tested viruses on them. One of the viruses which were tested was SARS-CoV-2 which caused COVID-19.

Medical researchers with the Chinese army engineered mice with humanized lungs in 2019 to test viruses on them, it has been reported.  The mice, developed using CRISPR gene-editing technology, were mentioned in an April 2020 study which researched their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness, Vanity Fair revealed in its bombshell investigation. (Source: DailyMail)

COVID Vaccine Patent before the outbreak: A scientist who works for People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had 'filed a patent for a COVID vaccine BEFORE the virus was declared a global pandemic'.

A Chinese military scientist with ties to the United States reportedly filed a patent for a COVID-19 vaccine well before the disease was declared a global pandemic.  Yusen Zhou, who worked for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), lodged the paperwork on behalf of the Chinese political party on February 24 2020, according to The Australian newspaper.  That date was just five weeks after China first confirmed human transmission of the coronavirus.  Zhou is also said to have 'worked closely' with scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), including Shi Zhengli - the deputy director of the lab who is famous for her research on coronavirus in bats. (Source: DailyMail)

COVID-19 Genome Sequencing Lab created: Two researchers from University of California, Berkeley have now suggested that genome sequencing of COVID suggests that it could not have been from a natural source.

Dr. Stephen Quay and Richard Muller, a physics professor at the University of California Berkeley, made the claim in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, amid growing speculation that the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).  'The most compelling reason to favor the lab leak hypothesis is firmly based in science,' the experts wrote, stating that 'COVID-19 has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus.' (Source: DailyMail)

Meanwhile, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has come out to say that dismissing the laboratory leak story so quickly was a mistake. She shared it in "Face the Nation".

"There was too much of a tendency early on to dismiss this possibility of a laboratory leak, and I think there was a lot, and I think the press bears some responsibility for this," Rice said in an interview with "Face the Nation" that aired Sunday. "'Well, it had to be animal-to-human transmission.' These were conspiracy theories about a laboratory leak. And in fact, some of the evidence was right in front of our faces." (Source: CBS)

President Biden has also asked the intelligence agencies to “redouble” investigations into the origins of COVID. Although, when it comes to China, one cannot fully trust actions by Biden really.

President Biden said Wednesday he has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to "redouble" its efforts to investigate the origins of COVID-19 after a new report fueled questions about whether the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. Mr. Biden said in a statement he is giving the intelligence community 90 days to "collect and analyze information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion" about where COVID-19 started and report back to him. (Source: CBS)

All this talk and work into the origins of COVID being from China has angered the Chinese establishment. It has, as usual, started its saber-rattling.

“​Washington is too arrogant to realize that its vicious accusations against China have become a political gamble for itself. It has staked too many bargaining chips on credit from international morality. It actually has no way to back down from this dangerous status​,” the Global Times wrote in an op-ed on Sunday. “The US could meet its Waterloo in this battle: It might lose its credibility by abusing its soft power​,” it concluded. (Source: New York Post)

The anger and the threats betray a sense of truth in what is being alleged by new evidence that has come out.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has now reiterated a fair ask - if the lab-leak story is correct - that there needs to be a punishment for the Chinese regime.

A great diplomatic challenge lies before the Biden administration. Chinese Communist Party malfeasance sped the coronavirus into an unsuspecting world, killing 3.7 million people so far and inflicting global economic havoc. President Biden has an opportunity and responsibility to lead a fair, effective international response. Whether he does so will have enormous implications for the future. (Source: Hudson Institute)

This sentiment can no longer be brushed under the carpet as it once was.

3. Tweet of the Day: ‘We train the best terrorists’

For a long time, the world has known Pakistan to be the center for all terrorist activities and training ground for Islamist Jihadis. Now, the former Pakistani ambassador shared how the Hamas terrorists were also being trained in Pakistan. In fact, they still are.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of Pakistan’s fascination with terror, its elite group of writers (who are proxies for their Army) keeps trying to defend their terror infrastructure with lies and falsehoods. For example, Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s former ambassador to UK, UN, and the US writes:

Against this backdrop, the downturn in relations between Islamabad and Kabul has come at a delicate time. Despite Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen ties with President Ashraf Ghani’s government, as reflected most recently in army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa’s May visit to Kabul, two developments have set back relations between the two countries. Gha­ni’s gratuitously provocative remarks against Pak­i­s­­tan in an interview with Der Spiegel and his nat­io­nal security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib’s inc­end­iary comments — just days after Gen Bajwa’s visit. (Source: Dawn)

So what did the Afghan President tell Der Spiegel that the peace-loving ‘Aunty’ from Pakistan found so “gratuitously provocative”?

Every bit of what Mr. Ghani said is well known in every circle. But the chutzpah of the Pakistani elite is that they keep mouthing lies and falsehoods and hope that it can stick.

The Afghan National Security Chief called Pakistan a brothel in one of his speeches. Remember, he represents a nation that has been ravaged by the power-hungry war criminal Pakistani Army. This apparently did not go down well with Pakistan’s ego.

Early this month, in a public speech in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan National Security Chief, Hamdullah Mohib called Pakistan a "brothel house", reported The Khaama Press News Agency. A senior Pakistani official privy to the matter told VOA on condition of anonymity his government would not hold bilateral engagements with the Afghan national security adviser over his recent remarks against Islamabad, reported The Khaama Press News Agency. (Source: HindustanTimes)

Pakistan’s role in using the Jihadis, like the Taliban to unleash terror in Afghanistan and elsewhere is being discussed openly. As it always has been.

One needs to see how things go on as the US is reportedly taking bases in Pakistan near Balochistan. Check this interesting analysis by Major Gaurav Arya.

We may look at the US vs China battle in Pakistan in the coming days.

4. Green Airport: #WorldEnvironmentDay

Today, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) announced that the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore had achieved the Net Energy Neutral status in the fiscal year 2020-21.

The result: saved nearly 22 lakh units of energy

How much saving: enough to power nearly 9,000 houses for a month

Kudos!

market corner: 10 quick bytes

  1. Entrepreneurship-cum-Skill Development Programme (ESDP) Modi govt’s entrepreneurship development scheme sees over 5.5x jump in trainees in nearly 18 months - more

  2. GMB to set up India's first international maritime services cluster at GIFT City in Ahmedabad - more

  3. World Bank approves $500 mn program to help boost India's MSME sector - more

  4. 'Noorjahan' mangoes in Madhya Pradesh fetching rate up to Rs 1,000 apiece - more

  5. ICICI Pru Life Insurance announces highest-ever annual bonus of Rs 867 crore for policyholders - more

  6. SBI invests in digital payments firm Cashfree - more

  7. New Income Tax e-filing website Live: Check ITR e-filing 2.0 portal link, user-friendly features, benefits - more

  8. Govt kicks off FY22 procurement from MSEs with purchases over 25% of its annual target - more

  9. Nuclear weapons spending swelled $1.4 billion amid pandemic: Report - more

  10. Biden reinvigorates tariff war against India with retaliation against digital tax - more

video corner: Impact of Income inequality

When the income inequality grows, as it has been growing rapidly in the last few decades and worsened by the Pandemic, anger in the society also grows.

Here is an interesting analysis by Jack Chapple comparing the times around the French revolution and today. Are we really looking at a revolution?

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