English Vocab

New Dynamic in the North West
Two developments last week pointed to the new directions in which the north-western Subcontinent could evolve. One is the fresh international agreement to put Pakistan on notice with regard to financing terror groups. The other is the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the trans-border natural gas pipeline in Afghanistan. The decisions of the United Nations Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are about using the threat of economic punishment to move Pakistan away from funding terrorists operating against Afghanistan and India. The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline is premised on the hope that economic self-interest could eventually bring the region together. Success is certainly not assured on either front.


But they are significant for one simple reason — defying (openly resist or refuse to obey) the conventional wisdom. Consider, for example, the range of traditional assumptions on the international community’s will and capability to coerce Pakistan. For one, it has been widely held that the US can never really nudge (to give (someone) a gentle reminder or encouragement) Pakistan away from using terror to dominate Afghanistan and destabilise India. When US President Donald Trump announced his intention to do exactly that last summer, it was greeted with skepticism (doubt as to the truth of something) in Delhi, disbelief in Washington and disdain (lack of respect with a feeling of dislike) in Rawalpindi. In Delhi, the expert community insisted that America does not have the stamina to stay the course on compelling (force or oblige (someone) to do something) Pakistan.
In Washington, the foreign policy establishment saw this as one more silly idea from the White House. For the traditionalists in the beltway, the Pakistan army was too nuclear to displease and too important a regional partner for America to alienate (to make an individual feel unwanted or removed from a group or relationship) . That none of Trump’s recent predecessors were willing or able to push Rawalpindi beyond a point on terror was incontrovertible proof that Trump was being utterly unrealistic.
That nothing will change in the US-Pak equation was also the conviction in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistan army is headquartered. Rawalpindi judged that the new lot in the White House would figure out that the game in Afghanistan is already lost for the US and that Trump, like Obama, will have to head for the exits in Afghanistan.
If Trump surprised the world by announcing a major cut in military assistance to Pakistan in January this year, Pakistan seemed to brush off the threat. Rawalpindi’s confident response was marked by ramping (to speed up, expand, or increase especially quickly or at a constant rate) up terror attacks against the government in Afghanistan.
Instead of backing off, Trump has gone a step further — to mobilise the international community to squeeze Pakistan’s terror strategy by choking its finances. Here again, the general consensus (general agreement about something) was that Pakistan had immunity thanks to its all-weather partnership with China. If Pakistan was confident that China will not let India and the West hang it out to dry on the question of terror finance, it was surprised by the FATF decisions in Paris last week. To be sure, it is entirely possible that China’s support for the decision to put Pakistan on a grey list is only an exception rather than a basic change in Beijing’s policy. But reports that China’s move followed a deal with India and the US that would let Beijing gain a larger role at the FATF in the future are interesting. Delhi has every reason to cheer any prospect of change in Beijing’s position and continue to press for China’s cooperation in countering the sources of terror in the region.
China’s support is not only critical for weaning Pakistan away from its addiction to terror, but also in putting together the right incentives for Rawalpindi to accept its responsibility to facilitate regional economic cooperation. That is where the TAPI pipeline comes in. It is also a project that has gone against the grain of regional politics.
On its part, Pakistan had generally resisted all economic cooperation with India, either bilaterally or regionally, and held it hostage to the resolution of the Kashmir question. It has been even more neuralgic (intense, typically intermittent pain) about engaging India on anything to do with Afghanistan. But through the last decade and more, Pakistan has sat down with its two neighbours and Turkmenistan to advance the project. To see the Indian minister of state for external affairs, M J Akbar, share the podium with the presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan and the prime minister of Pakistan in Herat last week is interesting but not entirely surprising.
It is not just Pakistan. Even the Taliban has apparently promised not to attack the TAPI pipeline that it described as a “national project”. Ironically, the idea of building the TAPI at a cost of nearly $10 billion has received little international support. No banker appears willing to risk large amounts of capital in a sub-region marked unending terror and its negative impact on the political relations involving Kabul, Rawalpindi and Delhi.
This is where Beijing could chip in. Could it take the TAPI pipeline under the wings of China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative? Might India, which objected to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor running through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir citing sovereignty concerns, be less hostile to Beijing’s support for the TAPI? After all, the TAPI does not go through Kashmir.
The new dynamic in the region offers two important guidelines for Indian policy. First, the past is not necessarily a guide to the future. After all structural changes over time are inevitable (a situation that is unavoidable) . Second, India has the resources and agency to alter the strategic condition of its north west. Delhi must continue to bet on them.
Courtesy-Indian Express (International)
1. Defy (verb) : (Openly resist or refuse to obey.) (उपेक्षा करना, उल्लंघन करना)
Synonyms: Resist, Challenge, Oppose, Disobey
Antonyms: Obey, Acquiesce, Comply
Example: Her father warned her against behaving in such a manner that would defyher religion.
Verb forms: Defy, Defied, Defied
Related words: Defiable (adjective) Defyingly (adverb)
2. Nudge (noun) : (To give (someone) a gentle reminder or encouragement) (पीछे हटाना, दबाना)
Synonyms: Shove, Thrust, Jostle, Impel, Goad
Antonyms: Discourage, Pull, Repress, Dissuade
Example: We have to nudge the politicians in the right direction
Verb forms: Nudge, Nudged, Nudged
Related words: Nudger (noun)
3. Skepticism (noun) : (Doubt as to the truth of something.) (संदेहवाद, संशयवाद, अविश्‍वास)
Synonyms: Mistrust, Suspicion, Agnosticism, Uncertainty
Antonyms: Trust, Reliance, Certitude
Example: I am always a skeptic when it comes to buying too good to be true products on television.
Related words: Sceptic (noun) Skeptic (adjective)
4. Disdain (verb) : (Lack of respect with a feeling of dislike) (तुच्छ समझना, तिरस्कार करना, उपेक्षा करना)
Synonyms: Despise, Disregard, Spurn, Hate
Antonyms: Respect, Praise, Admiration, Regard
Example: The mother was in complete disdain after finding out her son failed the seventh grade again.
Verb forms: Disdain, Disdained, Disdained
Related words: Disdain (noun)
5. Compel (verb) : (Force or oblige (someone) to do something.) (विवश करना, दबाव डालना, बाध्य करना)
Synonyms: Oblige, Constrain, Impel
Antonyms: Free, Exempt, Liberate
Example: How can we compel young people to stay in school when we are not teaching them information that will change their lives?
Verb forms: Compel, Compelled, Compelled
Related words: Compellingly (adverb) Compellable (adjective)
6. Alienate (verb) : (To make an individual feel unwanted or removed from a group or relationship) (पृथक करना, हटाना)
Synonyms: Estrange, Disunite, Separate, Eliminate
Antonyms: Reconcile, Conciliate, Mollify, Pacify
Example: The restaurant owner hesitates to change his menu because he does not want to alienate his regular customers.
Verb forms: Alienate, Alienated, Alienated
Related words: Alienator (noun)
7. Ramp (verb) : (To speed up, expand, or increase especially quickly or at a constant rate) (तेजी से विस्तार)
Synonyms: Fast Pace, Darting, Hasty, Rapidly Advancing, Rathe
Antonyms: Dilatory, Retardative, Sluggish, Laggard
Example: The company has moved into new quarters in order to ramp up production.
Verb forms: Ramp, Ramped, Ramped
Related words: phrase:- ‘Ramp down’ (To decrease in volume, amount, or rate)
Ramp (noun)
8. Consensus (noun) : (General agreement about something) (आम सहमति, आम राय)
Synonyms: Accord, Agreement, Concurrence, Unanimity, Unison
Antonyms: Conflict, Disagreement, Discord
Example: The teacher asked the group to reach a consensus on who would present their data to the class.
9. Neuralgic (noun) : (Intense, typically intermittent pain) (रह रहकर उठनेवाला दर्द)
Synonyms: Aching, Gripe, Discomfort, Grievance
Antonyms: Soothe, Assuage, Alleviate, Mitigate
Example: Neuralgia is a form of chronic nerve pain that is hard for doctors to understand and diagnose.
Related words: Neuralgic (adjective)
10. Inevitable (noun) : (A situation that is unavoidable.) (अपरिहार्य, अनिवार्य)
Synonyms: Unavoidable, Certain, Ineluctable, Inexorable
Antonyms: Preventable, Avoidable, Uncertain, Avertable
Example: Since Mary never wears shoes, it was inevitable that she would get a piece of glass in her foot.
Related words: Inevitability (noun) Inevitableness (noun)

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