21.10.2019

Indian dailies have commented on FATF’s stern warning to Pakistan that it could get to the black list if there was no progress in the next plenary in February 2020. Print media has commented that NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir have made history by completing the first ever ‘all-female’ spacewalk. Newspaper have opined that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal is in peril.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in an editorial THE SCREWS TIGHTEN writes Pakistan’s escape, at least for the moment, from the so-called black list of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that acts against terror financing in the world has surely disappointed many. Pakistan was first put on the grey list in 2012 but got off it in 2015. That was when the FATF and its procedures caught New Delhi’s serious political interest. Once the Indian Foreign Office put it at the top of its diplomatic priorities, the FATF became part of the public discourse on Pakistan. The intense Indian efforts resulted in Pakistan being put on the grey list again in 2018. The FATF has certainly issued a stern warning to Pakistan that it could get to the black list if there was no progress by February 2020.The move has generated unprecedented international pressure on Pakistan Army’s support to cross-border terrorism. Sustaining the international mobilisation also turns harsh light on Islamabad’s allies — especially China — that talk the talk on opposing terrorism and improving ties with India but refuse to walk the walk.

THE STATESMAN in an editorial SISTERS IN SPACE says it is a starry-eyed achievement almost literally. Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, the two NASA astronauts have crafted space history by embarking on what they call the first all-female space-walk. Tasked with replacing a failed power control unit, their performance has been decidedly spectacular as they floacted feet first out of the international Space Station’s (ISS) Quest airlock last Friday. The spacewalk known as an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) in the jargon of astronauts took place seven months after the originally scheduled date for an “all female” outing which had to be dropped because the ISS had only one medium-sized space suit on board. The agency sent up a second medium spacesuit in October. From space to ground zero the happiest thought at the moment must be that both the achievement and empowerment of women are now manifest in the rarified atmosphere of space. Video footage from the astronauts’ helmet cameras as they dangled 260 miles above Earth was live streamed. It displayed the painstaking operation they carried-out in installing the new hardware and then returned the faulty battery to the airlock for a post-mortem back on Earth into why it failed.

THE ASIAN AGE in an editorial SMOOTH BREXIT IS IN PERIL opines, in thwarting a Brexit vote, British MPs were seeking additional insurance against an abrupt October 31 exit from the European Union that would hurt Britain. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson retaliated in a truculent way as he usually does by sending an unsigned letter to the EU on the need to postpone Britain’s exit. “I am Boris, trust me,” he may say, and have the last laugh as Parliament may vote positively later this week on the new divorce deal he brought back from Brussels. The deal may not be the best, and even signals a betrayal of what Mr. Johnson had promised over the backstop and Northern Ireland. Brexit may be too complicated now for anyone in Britain to be satisfied, including those who voted for it in the referendum. But is Boris the only one knows how to get it done?