Don’t Forget About the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Don’t forget about earthquakes, feds tell city

Although New York’s modern skyscrapers are less likely to be damaged in an earthquake than shorter structures, a new study suggests the East Coast is more vulnerable than previously thought. The new findings will help alter building codes.By Mark FaheyJuly 18, 2014 10:03 a.m.The U.S. Geological Survey had good and bad news for New Yorkers on Thursday. In releasing its latest set of seismic maps the agency said earthquakes are a slightly lower hazard for New York City’s skyscrapers than previously thought, but on the other hand noted that the East Coast may be able to produce larger, more dangerous earthquakes than previous assessments have indicated.The 2014 maps were created with input from hundreds of experts from across the country and are based on much stronger data than the 2008 maps, said Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. The bottom line for the nation’s largest city is that the area is at a slightly lower risk for the types of slow-shaking earthquakes that are especially damaging to tall spires of which New York has more than most places, but the city is still at high risk due to its population density and aging structures, said Mr. Petersen.“Many of the overall patterns are the same in this map as in previous maps,” said Mr. Petersen. “There are large uncertainties in seismic hazards in the eastern United States. [New York City] has a lot of exposure and some vulnerability, but people forget about earthquakes because you don’t see damage from ground shaking happening very often.”Just because they’re infrequent doesn’t mean that large and potentially disastrous earthquakes can’t occur in the area. The new maps put the largest expected magnitude at 8, significantly higher than the 2008 peak of 7.7 on a logarithmic scale.The scientific understanding of East Coast earthquakes has expanded in recent years thanks to a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia in 2011 that was felt by tens of millions of people across the eastern U.S. New data compiled by the nuclear power industry has also helped experts understand quakes.“The update shows New York at an intermediate level,” said Arthur Lerner-Lam, deputy director of Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “You have to combine that with the exposure of buildings and people and the fragility of buildings and people. In terms of safety and economics, New York has a substantial risk.”Oddly enough, it’s not the modern tall towers that are most at risk. Those buildings become like inverted pendulums in the high frequency shakes that are more common on the East Coast than in the West. But the city’s old eight- and 10-story masonry structures could suffer in a large quake, said Mr. Lerner-Lam. Engineers use maps like those released on Thursday to evaluate the minimum structural requirements at building sites, he said. The risk of an earthquake has to be determined over the building’s life span, not year-to-year.“If a structure is going to exist for 100 years, frankly, it’s more than likely it’s going to see an earthquake over that time,” said Mr. Lerner-Lam. “You have to design for that event.”The new USGS maps will feed into the city’s building-code review process, said a spokesman for the New York City Department of Buildings. Design provisions based on the maps are incorporated into a standard by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which is then adopted by the International Building Code and local jurisdictions like New York City. New York’s current provisions are based on the 2010 standards, but a new edition based on the just-released 2014 maps is due around 2016, he said.“The standards for seismic safety in building codes are directly based upon USGS assessments of potential ground shaking from earthquakes, and have been for years,” said Jim Harris, a member and former chair of the Provisions Update Committee of the Building Seismic Safety Council, in a statement.The seismic hazard model also feeds into risk assessment and insurance policies, according to Nilesh Shome, senior director of Risk Management Solutions, the largest insurance modeler in the industry. The new maps will help the insurance industry as a whole price earthquake insurance and manage catastrophic risk, said Mr. Shome. The industry collects more than $2.5 billion in premiums for earthquake insurance each year and underwrites more than $10 trillion in building risk, he said.“People forget about history, that earthquakes have occurred in these regions in the past, and that they will occur in the future,” said Mr. Petersen. “They don’t occur very often, but the consequences and the costs can be high.”

Iran Obviously is Seeking Nuclear Weapons: Revelation 8

Iran Seeking Swedish Technology for Nuclear Weapons

London, Tehran – Asharq Al-Awsat
Sunday, 2 May, 2021 – 08:00

An IRGC boat intercepts a US ship in Gulf waters late last month. (AFP)

Sweden’s Security Service disclosed in its 2020 intelligence report that Iran is seeking Swedish technology for its nuclear weapons program, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The report stated that Iran also is conducting industrial espionage, which is mainly targeted against the Swedish hi-tech industry and Swedish products that can be used in nuclear weapons programs.

“Iran is investing heavy resources in this area and some of the resources are used in Sweden.”

The Swedish report was released after a German intelligence document declared last week that Iran’s regime had not ceased its drive to obtain weapons of mass destruction in 2020.

The German and Swedish intelligence findings establish that the regime still seeks a nuclear weapons program.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is only a temporary restriction on Iran’s drive to become a nation with atomic weapons, argue critics of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Iranian regime is using its intelligence apparatus to engage in espionage activities, targeting dissident elements in Sweden, and in Swedish industries.

“Several countries engage in various forms of espionage and security-threatening activities against Sweden. Russia, China, and Iran make up the biggest threat,” wrote the Swedish Security Service.

The Post reported in 2012 that the Swedish government sought to block EU sanctions on Tehran in order to protect a business deal between Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson and Tehran.

Meanwhile, a senior Iranian commander announced that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the army are officially monitoring all “enemy” movements and ships that enter the Gulf waters.

Navy commander, Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri told Iranian Press TV that every ship that enters the Gulf, according to the law on bandit control in the Strait of Hormuz, is monitored and has to introduce itself.

Iran plays a prominent role in the geopolitical and strategic region of the Gulf and Makran coast, he said.

The presence of Iran in this region is not only in the military field but “also a strategic presence in various economic, political and even cultural sectors in the national and international arenas.”

The Gulf is the “engine of economic development and growth of Asian and European countries and the important and strategic axis of the sea, air, and commercial transportation between different countries,” the commander noted.

Tangsiri noted that the strategic and geopolitical significance of the Gulf has attracted the illegitimate deployment of Western powers and foreign forces in the region.

The Saudi Arabian Nuclear Horn is next in line

Is Saudi Arabia next in line?

Considering Riyadh’s criticism of the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, stronger Israeli-Saudi relations could be a major asset in ensuring that the interests of Israel and the Gulf states are taken into account in Washington.

In a recent statement, former Communications Minister Ayoob Kara said more countries will soon be signing peace agreements with Israel. This makes one ponder if Saudi Arabia is next.

If the kingdom is indeed next in line to normalize ties with the Jewish state, then a major stumbling block to the process has just been removed recently, with the recent US decision to move forward with the 23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates that was concluded under the Trump administration.

Although Kara stressed that the peace deal with the UAE had nothing to do with these weapons sales, the US halting them does nothing to encourage other Arab countries to make peace with Israel.

Considering Saudi Arabia’s critique of the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, stronger Israeli-Saudi relations could be a major asset in the struggle to ensure that both Israel and the Gulf states’ interests are taken under consideration in Washington.

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi Ambassador to the US, stressed considering recent developments in the Iran nuclear talks, “The countries of the region are examining other options, with the aim of preserving their stability and preparing for the day when the Iranian leadership has nuclear weapons. This is in light of the fact that several of the powers are ready to submit to the Iranian leadership’s extortion.”

Several weeks ago, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said that a peace agreement with Israel would bring “tremendous benefit to Saudi Arabia,” yet such a deal would depend on the progress in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For this reason, Saudi Arabia was not the first Arab country to normalize relations with the Jewish state.

As the kingdom faces increased roadblocks in dealing with the Biden administration and Iran, could this change?

“The leader of Saudi Arabia is a young man. He wants Saudi Arabia to join the modern world,” former Israel Consul General Dr. Yitzchak Ben Gad said. “He got Saudis to study technology and hi-tech, for they cannot rely on the oil forever.”

Nevertheless, Ben Gad noted: “He wants to make Saudi Arabia a modern state, yet has many obstacles for the regime is Wahhabi [associated with a strict interpretation of Islam]. He has to find a way to get rid of this image fanaticism for all of the imams and religious leaders are against him. But he is a strong leader and he is doing his best to transform Saudi Arabia into a modern state.”

DIA Says China Nuclear Horn Advancing Fast: Daniel 7

DIA Says China’s Weapon Technology Advancing Fast While Russia Falls Behind

April 30, 2021 | By John A. Tirpak

China and Russia are the key adversaries when it comes to developing high-tech weaponry over the next 20 years, but while China’s rate of progress is accelerating, Russia is stymied by multiple factors, the defense Intelligence Agency told Congress.

DIA Director Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier said China will have “basically modernized” its military in just six years, and aims to be introducing the most “disruptive” military technologies by 2030-2035, according to prepared testimony for the Senate Armed Services Committee provided April 29.

During the next two decades, any of the three main powers—China, Russia, or the U.S.—may steal the lead “in one or more fields and seek to develop military capabilities and concepts to capitalize on perceived advantages,” Berrier said. Any one of the three could come up with new weapons or concepts that “will change the character of warfare.”

But China’s whole-of-government approach—which Berrier called “military-civil-fusion”—intentionally blurs the lines between civilian and military technology efforts, and its greater investment in these presents “the greatest threat to U.S. technological superiority.” In fact, Berrier said China has “already achieved peer or near-peer levels in many research areas” and has targeted 57 specific technologies in which to outpace and out-field the U.S. military.

Soon, China will “almost certainly be able to hold U.S. and allied forces at risk at far greater distances from the Chinese mainland,” the DIA said, while it enhances its power projection forces. By 2027, China expects to be able to win a small number of brief but high-level military conflicts—“including the forcible unification of Taiwan”—while deterring, dissuading, or defeating any third-party military intervention. By 2050, China plans to be the dominant world military power.

To underscore China’s advance, the DIA noted that China deployed its new J-20 stealth fighters to the border region with India during recent tensions between the two countries.   

China did not slow its military modernization at all as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DIA said.

“China is highly advanced in quantum key distribution and is among the leaders” in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, quantum information sciences, biotechnology, and advanced robotics. Its lead in this area is both due to indigenous capability as well as “licit and illicit foreign technology acquisition.” This has put it “at the forefront of numerous scientific fields.”

Russia, on the other hand, despite having a “massive” military-industrial complex, has adopted a strategy of targeting military technologies to specifically “match, counter, or offset” perceived advantages in U.S. capability, and those of certain other adversaries, rather than pursue its own pioneering efforts.

Russia can produce “large numbers of weapons” and it is trying to increase its indigenous capabilities in cutting-edge technology, but it is “challenged both organizationally and technically” to develop and make the “high-tech subcomponents required for advanced weapons” because of “severe funding, resource, and infrastructure constraints” on that country’s science and technology sector, Berrier wrote.

Because of these different approaches, China “very likely will present the greatest threat to U.S. technology superiority,” he added. The intelligence community has for three years described China as the “pacing threat” to the U.S. military.  

To offset its weakness in broad conventional weapons and computing capabilities, Russia is ever-more-reliant on a profusion of new nuclear weapons for which there is no analogy in the West, such as an undersea weapon capable of creating tsunamis that could destroy broad swaths of coastline. This reliance will continue, DIA estimates.

Intelligence estimates of China’s nuclear capabilities have changed from just six months ago, when it was estimated that China would double its nuclear weapons delivery systems from 200 to 400. Rather, it is accelerating that rate of deployment, the DIA said.

China and Russia both have pressed forward with “advances in space and counterspace capabilities, and [are] using cyberspace to increase their operational reach into U.S. infrastructure,” the DIA said. They are also both taking advantage of the COVID-19 environment “to conduct information warfare to undermine Western governments, attack coalitions, and compel economic and political outcomes in their favor.”

Babylon the Great and Nuclear Arms Control

May 2021

By Shannon Bugos and Julia Masterson

Russia, China, and Iran are failing to fully comply with treaties related to nuclear and chemical weapons, the U.S. State Department said in a report released April 15.

Russia last conducted a full-scale nuclear test blast at its former test site on the island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Sea in 1990. In 1991, Moscow declared a nuclear test moratorium. The U.K.’s last nuclear test was conducted in 1991; United States halted nuclear testing in 1992; France and China suspended nuclear testing in 1996, the year the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty opened for signature. All five states have signed the CTBT. Of the five, only France has formally closed its test site. (Photo: NASA)

Russia last conducted a full-scale nuclear test blast at its former test site on the island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Sea in 1990. In 1991, Moscow declared a nuclear test moratorium. The U.K.’s last nuclear test was conducted in 1991; United States halted nuclear testing in 1992; France and China suspended nuclear testing in 1996, the year the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty opened for signature. All five states have signed the CTBT. Of the five, only France has formally closed its test site. (Photo: NASA) This marks the first publication of the annual compliance report under the Biden administration, although it covers activities during 2020, under the Trump administration.

In particular, the State Department said that Russia has continued to undertake activities that are inconsistent with the “zero yield” standard regarding nuclear testing, established through negotiations on the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which prohibits all nuclear test explosions regardless of yield.

“Russia has conducted nuclear weapons experiments that have created nuclear yield and are not consistent with the U.S. ‘zero-yield’ standard,” the report stated, reaffirming a finding reflected in previous reports. It added that “Russia’s development of new warhead designs and overall stockpile management efforts have been enhanced by its approach to nuclear weapons-related experiments.”

Critical further details about the Biden administration’s understanding of the Russian program were not revealed in the public report but presumably are spelled out in the classified annex.
The State Department added that its concerns were suspended for activities occurring in 2020 “because Russia’s activities may have been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The report once again called attention to possible nuclear testing activities by China, but the comments did not include the same information or allegations listed in reports from the Trump administration.

“China’s possible preparation to operate its Lop Nur test site year-round and lack of transparency on its nuclear testing activities” has informed those concerns, the State Department said.

In the 2020 compliance report, the State Department cited the “use of explosive containment chambers and extensive excavation activities” and interference with “the flow of data from the monitoring stations.” The latter assertion has been disputed by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. (See ACT, May 2020.)

In 2019, the Trump administration determined that China “probably carried out multiple nuclear weapon-related tests or experiments in 2018” but this year’s report did not repeat that allegation. (See ACT, October 2019.) China signed the CTBT in 1996, but has not ratified the treaty.

The United States and Russia also signed the CTBT in 1996. Moscow ratified the treaty in 2000, but Washington has never done so.

In addition, the report expressed concerns that Russia is in violation of the 1992 Open Skies Treaty because it has limited the distance for observation flights over the Kaliningrad region to no more than 500 kilometers and it has prohibited missions over Russia from flying within 10 kilometers of its border with the conflicted Georgian border regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The report acknowledged a February 2020 overflight by the United States, Estonia, and Lithuania that traveled 505 kilometers, but said “Russia made clear in 2020 that it had not yet changed its standing policy” regarding the restriction.

The report noted that the United States is no longer a state-party to the treaty after the Trump administration withdrew in November 2020. (See ACT, December 2020.) As such, the treaty will not be included in the report going forward unless Washington decides to rejoin.

As for the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which the United States and Russia extended in February until 2026, the State Department certified Russian compliance with that pact despite some unspecified “implementation-related questions.”

On April 21, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the report, saying that its “lack of any conclusive evidence, its dissemination of blatantly false accusations, and suppression of Washington’s own imperfect compliance with arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements relegate it to the category of information noise.”

The report asserted that the United States “continued to be in compliance with all of its obligations under arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament agreements,” highlighting only its concerns with the compliance of other countries.

In the area of nonproliferation, the State Department cited issues of noncompliance by North Korea with its obligations under Articles II and III of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and its comprehensive safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in 2003 and proceeded to develop a sophisticated nuclear and ballistic missile program. Even so, according to the report, “the denuclearization of North Korea remains the overriding U.S. objective, and the United States remains committed to diplomatic negotiations with North Korea toward that goal.”

On Iran, the State Department addressed the ongoing IAEA investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities and the completeness of its safeguards declaration to the agency. Although that investigation pertains to Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear activities, the State Department said that “any intentional failure by Iran to declare nuclear material would constitute a clear violation of Iran’s NPT-mandated comprehensive safeguards agreement and would constitute a violation of Article III of the NPT itself.”

The State Department also referenced Iran’s breaches of compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and acknowledged that “Iran most likely pursued this phased approach [in violating the accord] in an effort to generate negotiating leverage with the United States and European participants in the JCPOA.” Iran began violating the agreement in 2019, one year after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord and reimposed a maximum-pressure sanctions campaign against Iran.

The report did not mention ongoing efforts between Iran and the United States to restore compliance and preserve the agreement.

Palestinian election delayed due to Israel: Revelation 11

Palestinian election delayed due to dispute on east Jerusalem voting

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said early Friday that the main factions have agreed to delay the first elections planned in 15 years, citing a dispute with Israel over voting in east Jerusalem.

The decision spares Abbas’ fractured Fatah party from what was widely expected to be another embarrassing defeat to the Islamic militant group Hamas, which slammed the move as a “coup.” It will be quietly welcomed by Israel and Western countries, which view Hamas as a terrorist group and are concerned about its growing strength.

But it leaves a political leadership in place that has failed to advance Palestinian hopes for statehood and is seen as increasingly corrupt and authoritarian.

Speaking at the start of the meeting, Abbas focused his remarks on east Jerusalem, where Israel has yet to say whether it would allow voting by mail as in past elections and has enforced a ban on Palestinian Authority activities, including campaign events.

“We will take the proper decision to preserve all our rights in east Jerusalem, our eternal capital, including the right to hold parliamentary elections there,” Abbas said in a lengthy speech before the closed-door part of the gathering.

He announced the decision shortly after midnight Thursday.Video appears to show Israeli missiles intercept rockets fired from Gaza Strip – Feb 23, 2020

Postponing the vote over Jerusalem could be seen as a pretext, as only a small number of voters in the city would actually require Israel’s permission and several candidates have suggested workarounds.

Abbas said the Palestinian Authority has repeatedly sought assurances from Israel and called on the European Union to exert pressure, to no avail. He said it received a letter from Israel on Thursday saying it could not take a position on the elections because it does not yet have a government of its own following last month’s elections.

The Islamic militant group Hamas, which stands to gain influence in the elections, condemned the decision, saying it “doesn’t agree with the national consensus and popular support and is a coup.”

Prior to the announcement, Hamas had issued a statement saying the Palestinians should explore ways of “forcing the elections in Jerusalem without the permission of or co-ordination with the occupation.”

The group also issued a veiled warning to Abbas without mentioning him by name, saying Hamas “will not be party to any postponement or cancellation and will not provide cover.”

The responsibility for any such decision “will rest with those who take it in response to the veto of the occupation,” it said.

Hamas was expected to perform well in the May 22 parliamentary elections because of widening divisions within Fatah, which has split into three rival lists.

Israel has not said whether it will allow voting in east Jerusalem but has expressed concern about Hamas’ growing strength. Israel and Western countries view Hamas as a terrorist group and would likely boycott any Palestinian government that includes it.President Abbas: U.S. plan offers Palestinians ‘Swiss cheese’ state – Feb 11, 2020

The day after U.S. President Joe Biden exhorted Americans to “prove that democracy still works” in an address to Congress, his State Department distanced itself from the Palestinian vote.

“The exercise of democratic elections is a matter for the Palestinian people and for the Palestinian leadership to determine,” spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington. “We believe in an inclusive political process.”

Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza, in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and views the entire city as its capital, barring the Palestinian Authority from operating there. The Palestinians consider east Jerusalem their capital.

According to interim peace agreements reached in the 1990s, which were rejected by Hamas, some 6,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem submit their ballots through Israeli post offices. The other 150,000 can vote with or without Israel’s permission.

Fatah has said the elections cannot be held without Israel giving express permission for east Jerusalem residents to vote. Its opponents have called for creative solutions, such as setting up ballot boxes in schools or religious sites.

But Abbas appeared to rule that out on Thursday, joking that the Palestinians would not vote in “the Hungarian Embassy.”

The dispute has taken on greater import since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, as Muslim protesters have clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on gatherings.

The elections, and a presidential vote planned for July 31, offered a rare opportunity for the Palestinians to empower a new leadership and potentially chart a different course in their stalled, decades-long struggle for independence.Arab League rejects Trump’s peace plan – Feb 1, 2020

The 85-year-old Abbas and his inner circle of Fatah figures, now in their 60s and 70s, have dominated the Palestinian Authority for nearly two decades. They have failed to advance Palestinian hopes for statehood, heal a 13-year internal rift with Hamas, lift the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza or empower a new generation of leaders.

The last elections, held in 2006, saw Hamas win a landslide victory after campaigning as a scrappy underdog untainted by corruption. That sparked an internal crisis culminating in Hamas’ seizure of Gaza the following year, which confined Abbas’ authority to parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Hamas’ popularity has fallen in the years since, as conditions in Gaza have steadily deteriorated. But it has remained unified and disciplined even as Fatah has split into three rival parliamentary lists.

Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and has fought three wars with it since seizing control of Gaza. It has also carried out scores of attacks over the past three decades that have killed hundreds of Israeli civilians.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Tread Cautiously with the Pakistani Nuclear Horn: Revelation 8

Editorial: Tread cautiously with Pakistan

Informal talks held away from public glare cannot go beyond basic management of tensions

1st May 2021

The backchannel talks between India and Pakistan, though not acknowledged publicly, are a welcome development, but one should not expect any dramatic outcomes from such initiatives. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is reportedly playing a key role in facilitating the parleys aimed at a modest roadmap to normalise bilateral ties. The recent truce agreement between the two countries along the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors can be attributed to the backchannel diplomacy. However, there are limitations inherent to such informal talks held away from the public glare. It must be pointed out that Kashmir remains a flashpoint between the two countries. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s statement that his country was ready for talks if India “revisits” its “recent actions” in Kashmir shows the neighbouring country’s obsession with the region. Such an exercise cannot go beyond basic management of tensions, possibly to tide both countries over a difficult period. For the festering wounds to heal and for restoration of permanent peace, Islamabad must put an end to its long-held strategy of using terrorism as an instrument of State policy. Unfortunately, Islamabad has created an entire industry of terrorism to deal with the Kashmir issue. After its humiliating defeat in the 1971 war, the military-led hierarchy in Pakistan turned towards religious fundamentalism with an aim to “bleed India with thousand cuts’. The acquisition of nuclear weapons and promotion of terror as a weapon for waging a proxy war with focus on Kashmir remained the single point agenda of the military top brass.

The onus of restoring normalcy between the two countries lies with Pakistan. It must stop nurturing anti-India terror outfits operating from its soil with impunity. Already mired in a deep economic crisis with the threat of black listing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog on terror financing, looming large, Pakistan needs to realise that it can ill-afford heightened tensions on the Kashmir border for a prolonged period. It also has to stabilise the Afghan border on its west as the United States prepares to exit from the war-torn nation. Islamabad’s Kashmir obsession has led to reckless expenditure in misadventures of the army, pushing the country into a debt trap. It tried to use every forum to internationalise the Kashmir issue but found itself isolated globally. The continued grey listing by the FATF has further added to Pakistan’s economic stress, shortage of foreign exchange and borrowings beyond capacity leading to internal dissent and chaos. This has pushed the country deeper into the embrace of China. Given such complexities, the peace overtures from Islamabad must be taken with a pinch of salt. India needs to proceed in a measured and cautious manner, given past experiences.