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Connect the World

Taliban Seized Control of Kabul one year Ago; Former President: "I've Done my Time"; Iran Blames Salman Rushdie Himself for Attack on Author; William Ruto Wins Kenya's Presidential Election; India and Pakistan Mark 75 Years Since end of British Rule; London's River Thames Shrinks in Extreme Heat, Drought. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired August 15, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN, London. This is "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNNI HOST: Well, exactly one year after the Taliban takeover of Kabul. It's a national holiday in Afghanistan, the Taliban

marking the anniversary on the streets of the capital. But for far too many in that country, there is little to celebrate.

Afghans no longer live under the specter of ongoing warfare. But the United Nations says nearly 20 million people close to half of the country's

population, face acute hunger. Poverty is rampant, women and girls, again forced to live under Taliban restrictions after the Taliban broke promises

about jobs and education. Well, CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward was in Kabul a year ago when the Taliban seized control. This

is how it looked and sounded back then.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Things are changing very, very rapidly. All of this happening at a stunning pace

that I don't think anyone could have imagined.

WARD (voice over): An eerie quiet as the U.S. Embassy there is closed for business it has now been evacuated.

WARD (on camera): President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country he has left. He is no longer the President of Afghanistan. That obviously leaves a

pretty huge vacuum that one can only assume the Taliban is going to fill.

WARD (voice over): Now look at these new images we're getting in from Al Jazeera and this is the images of the Taliban in the Presidential Palace.

Scenes of complete chaos as people clamor to be evacuated, America's longest war has ended and humiliating collapse.


ANDERSON: Well, Clarissa Ward back in Kabul on this anniversary and back with us this hour. And we've just learned that the Biden Administration

does not plan to release frozen Afghan financial assets anytime soon Clarissa citing the presence of Al Qaeda's leader in Kabul, who the U.S.

killed in a drone strike late last month.

Now I know that you've spoken to the Taliban Spokesperson about Ayman al Zawahiri? What did he tell you and how will the withholding of that cash by

the U.S. impact the country going forward?

WARD: Well Becky, we spoke to the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, who essentially said that the U.S. is really the guilty party here that the

U.S. was acting in contravention of the Doha Agreements by using that drone strike against the leader of Al Qaeda.

And he would neither confirm nor deny whether indeed, al Zawahiri was here in Kabul in the Capital City of Afghanistan, despite the promises that the

Taliban made during the Doha Agreements that they would never again allow this country to be used as a sanctuary or a safe haven for terrorists take

a listen to what he had to say.


ABDUL QAHAR BALKHI, AFGHAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON: We've made it very clear that the government of Afghanistan was unaware of the arrival or

presence of Mr. Zawahiri in Kabul. So far, we have been unable to establish as a matter of fact, that Mr. Zawahiri was indeed, President in Kabul.

WARD (on camera): Isn't that almost more frightening, though? The idea that you're claiming, potentially the leader of Al Qaeda was here in the center

of the city, and you didn't even know about it?

BALKHI: Again, we contend that notion that he was even present here. But even if he was, these types of incidents happen everywhere in the world?

WARD (on camera): They really don't. I mean, how can the U.S. possibly trust the Taliban leadership, though, to stay true to its promise that it

will not allow sanctuary to be granted to terrorist groups?

BALKHI: If we look at the Doha Agreement, the articles that define the commitments of the Government of Afghanistan, all of them have been

fulfilled. And if we look at the commitments that the United States of America has made, sadly, they have not fulfilled a single article. But

we're hopeful and we continue to urge the United States to adhere to that agreement.


WARD: Now, it's that kind of a strident position, Becky, that has really complicated efforts to normalize relations between the U.S. and the

Taliban, and certainly, to unfreeze those funds. The Biden Administration has come under a lot of pressure, particularly from aid groups around the

world also economists saying that that money belongs to the Afghan people, and that it desperately needs to be unfrozen.

Because make no mistake about it. There is a real humanitarian crisis playing out here, nearly half the population is acutely hungry according to

the International Rescue Committee. 43 percent of Afghans are really just living on one meal a day at the moment.


And there had been efforts to try to start to that process of unfreezing some of that money and trying to funnel it to the appropriate organizations

to disperse it on the ground. But obviously, the fact that the leader of Al Qaeda Ayman al Zawahiri was living here in Kabul was making audio tapes

calling for jihad, after promises have been made that this would never happen again, that has really muddied the waters.

And as you said, now we're hearing from the U.S. that there is no intention in the near term of recapitalizing Afghanistan's Central Bank, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, and let's just be quite clear. The U.S. envoy Tom West said and I quote, "The Taliban sheltering of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri

reinforces deep concerns we have regarding the diversion of funds to terrorist groups". If you step back and reflect on the one year

anniversary, just describe what the people of Afghanistan are living through at present?

WARD: Well obviously, today, there were people who were out on the street celebrating. We saw them; most of them were Taliban fighters waving flags.

They've declared it a national holiday, the victory of their Jihad and their words against the American occupiers.

But so many here are not celebrating at all they are grappling with a huge array of challenges from the cracking down on human rights, civil society

organizations being decimated journalists, facing increasingly intense prosecutions. And of course, notably, women's rights, right. This is the

main one that the international community has been fixated.

And most notably, the fact that girls, despite Taliban promises, are still not able to continue secondary education, the Taliban has said again, and

again, that this is a temporary suspension, rather than a ban. And yet several times, they have failed to allow those girls to go back to school,

in spite of their promises to do so.

But I would just say whichever side of the aisle you're on, so to speak, whether you were celebrating today, or whether you were crying today, all

Afghans are really feeling the impact of the economic crisis and the humanitarian disaster. And all of them share a preoccupation Becky, with

just trying to put food on the table for their children.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Clarissa Ward is in Kabul for you today, Clarissa I appreciate it. Thank you. Well, I spoke earlier to the Former

Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the first part of that interview last hour.

He reflected on the past year and the struggles that the people of Afghanistan faced not least, the potential damage faced by people from the

lack of access to education for girls and opportunities for women, as Clarissa pointed out there. And his message to the international community,

give Afghans the tools needed to fix their country. In the second part of that interview, take a listen to his opinion on the role of the U.S. in



HAMID KARZAI, FORMER AFGHAN PRESIDENT: I will categorize this in three different - in three different ways. One, that the agreement between the

United States and the Taliban has to be implemented, both parties must look into the implementation of it.

Two that in order for this to be implemented, there is a fundamental need of strength within Afghanistan and that strength within Afghanistan will

not come without the entire country feeling as being a participant in the processes of the country, and its dealings with the rest of the world and

with the international community.

Therefore, I will come back to my original point of the need for an intra- Afghan dialogue that will lead to a substantive conversation among Afghans, the Taliban are Afghans we other Afghans are Afghans, we all belong to this


ANDERSON: The loss of human capital is staggering. The freezing of--

KARZAI: Struggles--

ANDERSON: --reserves crippling. What does the U.S. and the West need to do next, to ensure that the Afghan economy can get moving again, and that the

Afghan people avoid a winter of extreme hunger?

KARZAI: It is the responsibility of the government to bring back confidence to those Afghans who have left or trying to leave, not to leave and to

return to the country the professionals those who are capable administrators those who can run our finances on foreign financial

institutions our central bank.


We have to be up to the standard with the rest of the world. So the rest of the world can deal with us. So it's imperative for us, the Afghan people to

find our country, livable for ourselves.

And it becomes the responsibility of any government, including the current government to provide that opportunity, that assurance, and that sense of

belonging so that Afghan people can work in their own country and employment, within the government and outside in the private sector, for

us, to fulfill our aspirations.

When this happens, there will be no excuse left in the international community or in the United States of America, to take our reserves from us.

Taking our reserves, in the name of giving it to the victims of the tragedy of September 11, with whom the Afghan people commiserate fully we have

suffered at the hands of extremism.

We have died at the hands of extremism and terrorism. And we commiserate fully with American people at the loss that they had on September 11, 2001.

But to take money from one victim and to give it to another victim is wrong.

And especially to take money from one a much poorer, much more suffering victim and give it to another victim is wrong. That money belongs to the

Afghan people. It does not belong to any government. Great, great part of that money - the greatest part of that money was put together collected

during my time in office.

But that money does not belong to Karzai government, or any other government, that money belongs to the Afghan people, the United States must

return the money back to the ownership of Afghan people.

ANDERSON: What about Afghanistan's neighbors, and indeed, Gulf nations who were instrumental after all in the evacuations last year? What do you

expect from the regional leadership going forward?

KARZAI: The same, the same. The regional countries have a lot more responsibility and responsibility that they have not fulfilled to the

expectations as much as we had of the Afghan people. They can do a lot.

If the United States is expected from such a long distance, almost 10,000 kilometers away from us, to help Afghanistan and Europe considerable

distance as well. The regional countries are a lot closer, a lot more impacted by events in Afghanistan, and they have more responsibility and

share more responsibility towards Afghanistan. So we hope they will step up their own game and help Afghanistan.

ANDERSON: Can you be more specific? Who were you speaking about here?

KARZAI: Everybody, I'm talking about China, I'm talking about Russia, I'm talking about India, I'm talking about our neighbors, all of them.

I'm talking about, especially Pakistan, with an appeal to the Government of Pakistan that using methods that they think are good for them by weakening

Afghanistan by causing chaos and instability in Afghanistan and by trying to keep Afghanistan without a state structure, that that's not helpful to


In the long run, we are already seeing signs of that impacting negatively - impacts on that we hope Pakistan will engage in a civilized relationship

with Afghanistan and expect the same from us towards them, we also have that responsibility. And I hope that will happen.

ANDERSON: You told me last time, we spoke that your days in government were over. Considering the difficulties facing your people now, does that still

hold true? What are your intentions and aspirations going forward?

KARZAI: I served my time to the best that I could to help Afghanistan and our people and engage in relations with the rest of the world. 14 years is

enough to be in office, or in government. I think I've done my time.

I think I have now a responsibility towards Afghanistan, as the citizen of this country. As a citizen, that the Afghans did vote for as the President

and therefore, I have an obligation as well as a citizen to help Afghanistan to the best of my abilities.


But only as a citizen without any future aspirations, none of that. I don't want to be in government again. I don't want to be in any form of official

leadership again, never. I want to be a citizen and bring stability and peace and prosperity to this country as a citizen, together with all other

Afghans with them, and in the same line, not ahead of anyone.


ANDERSON: Well, some breaking news to bring you. Kenyan officials have just announced results from the country's close presidential election. Deputy

President William Ruto has won. You see him here speaking right now.

The Election Commission says Ruto won by 50.49 percent of the vote barely avoiding a runoff just a short time before the announcement scuffles and

shoving broke out in the crowd. It came just minutes after an aide to Raila Odinga said his side had problems with the vote count.

They suspect computer hacking and corrupt officials have tainted the result and there is word that some members of the election commission there are

refusing to approve the final tally. Let's bring in CNN's Larry Madowo who - which is the hometown of opponent Raila Odinga. Just explain what is

going on where you are?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, we just heard from the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (inaudible). And according to

this rule 5 percent - vote has been contested - by Raila Odinga, who claimed that they were not able to verify the results of that election.

And so they say they were not able to associate themselves with that resolved because they couldn't verify it. We've seen some absolute scenes

here in Kenya, because four of seven commissioners of the Electoral Commission claimed that they were not part of - final part of themselves

from the final votes by the Electoral Commission.

So we have a situation where Electoral Commission Chair and Commissioners have announced a president but four other commissioners of the Electoral

Commission have completely dissolved that thing - not the winner.

So you can see here in Kisumu, a lot of people, relatively good country, a country and they are not happy with the outcome. They're saying as long as

not Raila Odinga they don't trust the outcome, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes. Understandably, perhaps some heated feelings where you are. The Deputy President winning in his first run, beating the Former Prime

Minister Raila Odinga who ran for the fifth time, of course.

I tell you what; I want to get back to you. We're going to take a very short break because I think you've probably struggling to hear me a little

bit. But to get back to you take a short break. We will be back with Larry other side of this - just confirming though the results from the Kenyan


Kenyan officials have just announced results from what was closely contested election and the Deputy President William Ruto has won. He is

speaking at present the election commission says he won with 50.49 percent of the vote, barely avoiding a runoff. More on that is coming up this hour.

Stay with us.



ANDERSON: And breaking news for you. Kenyan officials have just announced results from the country's presidential election. Deputy President William

Ruto, now, the President Elect he is one you see him speaking here. The election commission says he won with 50.49 percent of the vote to barely

avoiding a runoff.

We'll get you more on this and get you on the ground in Kenya in the next few minutes. While Iran is offering its first official reaction to the

stabbing attack on one of the great wordsmiths of the modern era, Salman Rushdie, take a listen.


NASSER KANAANI, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON: Regarding the attack on Salman Rushdie, we do not consider anyone other than himself and his

supporter's worth of blame and even condemnation.


ANDERSON: Well, you heard that right. Tehran is blaming Friday's attack on the award winning author. Himself Rushdie's family says his condition

remains critical after police say he was stabbed multiple times here at a literary event in New York State and suspect is being held without bail.

Well, the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini called for Rushdie's death in what's known as fatwa in 1989 over his novel, "The Satanic Verses" more

on that in a moment. Well, as you can see, these were the newspapers in Iran over the weekend and how they covered the attack on Salman Rushdie.

Right now I want to take a deeper dive into the meaning of fatwa.

As you probably know, it's a religious ruling or opinion concerning Islamic law when the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie in 1989. It called for

his execution. Rushdie spent years in hiding.

Well, joining me now is an authority on Shia Islam, Vali Nasr, He's also a Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies,

who has advised U.S. policymakers on Iran and knows how the government in Tehran operates, a regular guest on the show, it's good to have you back.


ANDERSON: Did you ever expect this fatwa to be carried out?

NASR: No, I didn't expect it to carry it. Of course, the attack was a shock. But it's also important to note that that Ayatollah Khomeini only

issued the fatwa or learned about Satanic Verses, after the war, riots in India.

And then there were also a large number of demonstrations in England. And in a way he came from behind and captured the attention. And the Rushdie

issue had galvanized a lot of extremist's hard-line conservative anger in the Muslim world. And there was always an expectation that the vigilante

may do this, whether it's because they follow the fatwa or whether because they basically nurse the anger against Rushdie.

I always thought that some kind of an attack would be carried against them, because there are too many people out there with extremist views with hard-

line views, who still are nursing a grudge about what he said about the Prophet.

And I mean it's unfortunate that it happened, but I didn't think that necessarily would be an implementation of the fatwa itself.

ANDERSON: Yes, and it is, let's be quite clear, it is not clear at this point, what the motivation of the attacker was who is now being held

without bail. What did you though make of the coverage of this in the hard- line press and indeed the official response that we've just run?

NASR: Well, I mean, let me begin by saying, to me, it's very clear what the motivation is. He basically wanted to silence somebody who killed somebody

who had insulted the Prophet.

But what we don't know is whether he did this on his own or whether he was instigated by either Iran or another authority. The coverage in Iran is at

some level it's a way of managing the situation.


In other words, the Iranian government cannot basically say anything other than what Khomeini had said decades ago. They cannot come out and say that

they condemned this attack, when Khomeini had given fatwa decades ago for the execution. So what best they can say is that it's great that he was

attacked, because Khomeini had already said that he should be attacked, but we didn't have anything to do with it.

But at the same time, there is a domestic component here, namely, that the attack on Rushdie has divided Iranian society very deeply. There are a

large number of Iranians who have their own issues with free expression, with the Iranian government are unhappy with its politics.

They want to move beyond it. The theocracy in Iran, and have come out on internet on the right is of forums and criticize the attack, and by

implication, criticize Khomeini's fatwa as well. And, and the hardliners in Iran and their constituency, essentially are trying to defend the

revolution and Khomeini against this criticism as well.


NASR: So the statements are not only directed at the West, they're also directed domestically in Iran.

ANDERSON: Vali, I want to turn to the Iran nuclear deal, because there's been a lot of movement in the past week, and Iran says it will now provide

an answer in just a few hours.

And I wonder whether you believe Iran and the U.S. are likely at this point to revive that deal. And how difficult of a sell that might be given Iran's

response to Rushdie's attack and the plot to, for example, assassinate John Bolton?

NASR: Well, those kinds of things make it more difficult for President Biden to sell any kind of a deal to the American public. There's no

question about that. But if we talked about the terms of the deal itself, I think the chances are higher than before they met in Vienna.

Iranians reject the fact that this is the final draft and that they are bound by any time. I think the United States also was not ready to have

this as the final draft; both sides are not ready to kill the deal if there is not an immediate agreement.

The Iranians have some reservations, including the fact that the previous Iranian nuclear activity is a subject of IAEA investigation. And I think

Iranians want that issue to be addressed, and that issue to be closed as part of a deal.

The U.S. has said no, the IAEA Board of Governor's meeting in September, my expectation is that Iran is going to come back basically accepting much of

the draft but asking for certain revisions.

And he's not likely to sign on to anything, until it makes sure that the United States does not the United States pressures IAEA not to refer Iran

to United Nations Security Council, or pursue the investigation into Iran's previous nuclear program in order to refer to the United Nations Security

Council. So I don't think we're there yet. But there is progress.

ANDERSON: Fascinating, I'm going to let you go. I just want to quote Karim Sadjadpour who wrote today in an article for "The New York Times"; Mr.

Khamenei too understands that the great danger to his theocracy is not global isolation. But global integration when that isolation becomes too

debilitating, Mr. Khamenei's willing to consider a tactical deal to serve as a release valve for Mr. Khamenei.

The ideal position is just the right amount of isolation. He wants to be neither North Korea nor Dubai. He wants to be able to sell Iran's oil on

the global market without sanctions, but he doesn't want Iran to be fully integrated into the global system, another perspective there from a Korean

writing today in the international press. It's always good to have you sir.

NASR: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much indeed for joining us up next on "Connect the World". Democracy is not supposed to look like this. We'll tell you why one

side is fighting mad about the presidential election in Kenya that is coming up.



ANDERSON: Almost a week after Kenyans voted. That nation's Presidential Election Commission has finally announced the winner. Deputy President

William Ruto is now President Elect taking just over 50 percent of the vote.

He is addressing the nation right now, but there are allegations that the vote counts are tainted. Just a short time before the announcement of the

result, supporters of the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga tried to interrupt the proceedings without offering any evidence.

And intuiting says his side suspect's computer hacking and corrupt officials have tainted the result and some members of the election

commission are refusing to approve the final tally. Let's get you to CNN's Larry Madowo who is in Kisumu in Kenya that is the hometown of Odinga.


MADOWO: Becky, you're already seeing some disquiet here. Some Raila Odinga supporters are unhappy about the outcome of this election. They have

barricaded some of the roads here.

They didn't think that Raila be the lucky - think that he didn't win more than 50 percent of the vote that is required to avoid - at least he and

Ruto were neck to neck according to all the results that they have seen.

They have engaged - and some running battles here. There's some tear gas has been deployed in parts of this major highway in Kisumu. This is the

political epicenter of Kisumu.

And this is also the heartland of Raila Odinga support and these people here seem to agree with Raila Odinga's chief agent - before William Ruto

was declared as the new President.

But - they did not accept the results because they were not allowed to verify. So even though the results of the presidential election were known,

for at least a few days, they could not be announced until they were verified Becky, this is because of a quirk in the Kenyan electoral law

requires that, even though results are announced that every politician is final, they are then now sent to Nairobi whether verified by the agent of

every presidential candidate.

And that's why this has taken so long. This is the longest that's taken to identify a president. What is likely to happen now, as we've seen in the

last two elections, Raila Odinga will likely go to the Supreme Court to contest this outcome.

In 2017, he successfully did that contest of the election, and the Kenyan Supreme Court announced the presidential election, which are the first in

Africa, so there's a possibility based on everything we've seen this afternoon that that is going to happen in this election as well Becky.

ANDERSON: In the run up to today's announcement, the atmosphere that this election has been held in has been quite positive, correct?

MADOWO: Becky, I'm suddenly to hear you, but I can answer one thing about the timelines here. He has seven days from today to contest the outcome of

this election.

So if he's going to file a presidential petition, Raila Odinga and his team have seven days to do so. After that the Supreme Court has to hear and

determine that case within 14 days. So these are all spelled out in the Kenyan presidential election.


These teams will be disappointed to many Kenyans who have been proud of the fact that this has been almost a boring election. It has been very

peaceful. You didn't see any major cases of violence.

We spend a lot of time in William Ruto's strong roles in Eldoret, and here in Kisumu, everybody was tense because it took so long but you didn't see

any major issues here.

So this is the first time we're really seeing any sort of public disturbance, but that's only after this election has been declared for

William Ruto who's given a speech, thanking his supporters that these people here in Kisumu and in many other parts of the country where Raila

Odinga has a lot of support, they don't trust that.

ANDERSON: Yes. Larry Madowo is in Kenya. Larry, thank you. Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now. And

Brittany Bryan's legal team has filed an appeal against a Russian courts verdict.

The WNBA star was sentenced to nine years in prison for smuggling drugs into Russia, which he says was an accident. Russia has confirmed Griner is

among the names being discussed in potential prisoner swap talks with the United States. Israeli police are investigating Sunday shooting attack in

Jerusalem's old city that left at least eight people wounded, including five Americans.

Authorities say the suspected government at first fled the scene near the western wall but later handed himself over to police. In Egypt at least 41

people are dead nearly half of them children after a fire broke out during services at a Coptic Church. We believe most victims died from smoke

inhalation with churches, classrooms, the latest from CNN's Jomana Karadsheh.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): What started as a day of worship has turned into tragedy. Investigators in Giza sift through the

debris of a burned out Coptic Church is done relative sin outside grappling with the losses of what occurred here.

Egypt's Interior Ministry says a fire broke out after Sunday Mass caused by an electrical failure in an air conditioning unit. Dozens of people were

killed. And it's the ages of some of the victims.

Some witnesses say make this even more tragic. This man was injured in the fire. He says the fourth floor of the church was on fire. There were

children in the nursery. He says there were kids and elderly people.

We saved who we could save. Hospital documents say many children between the ages of three and 16 were among the victims. A Coptic Church

spokesperson says a priest was also killed.

Officials say most of the deaths and injuries were caused by smoke inside church classrooms. One witness says he broke down the door of the church to

try to rescue people and saw desperate people jumping out of windows to try to save themselves.

And he says he and a group of others caught a man falling from the building and a blanket that he says the man eventually died. Overwhelming grief

fills the halls of another church, well family member who have gathered to begin burying the dead.

Coffin after coffin is carried through the crowds. The raw emotions of the mourners echoed through the church. Like so many others Egyptian President

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi tweeted his condolences to the victim's families, as did Egyptian footballer Mo Salah. But for these devastated families, there

are a few words of comfort to cut through the pain. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN.


ANDERSON: We'll take a short break back after this.




LORD LOUIS MOUNTBATTEN, LAST VICEROY OF INDIA: On this historic day, when India takes place as a free and independent dominion and the British

Commonwealth of Nations, I send you all my greetings and heartfelt wishes.


ANDERSON: Well, that was August the 15th 1947 when the world was seen and images of black and white. Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last viceroy of

India, announcing the end of British rule.

Well, our 75 years on India and Pakistan celebrating their independence and looking back at decades of tensions conflict and bloodshed. Our

correspondents covering the anniversary from both nations, Sophia Saifi is in Islamabad, Vedika Sud is in Delhi. Let me start in India. This is Vedika

for many a proud moment for India, but also a reminder of some violent and dark times, explains.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Absolutely two extreme emotions on their Becky. On one hand, you have millions of people who are celebrating 75 years of

independence for India the world's biggest democracy, a population of 1.4 billion people.

There's so much to celebrate. India's come a long way from its struggles, its initial struggle since partition. But there are a lot of other people

as well who've had their families kind of entangled and linked to the partition violence in the last 75 years. It's come down generations those

stories; we spoke to one of them. Her name is Baljit Dhilon Vikram Singh, she's 80. She lives in America now. But she was born somewhere near Lahore.

And she was on a five Becky when a mother woke her up one night along with the brothers.

And they rushed to the jeep where her father or uncle, the mother, the brothers Baljit herself and a servant sat in that jeep, she remembers very

clearly there was just one suitcase in the car. Here's what she told us about that ride from near a place in Lahore, into Taran Taran in Amritsar.


BALJIT DHILON VIKRAM SINGH, WAS 5-YEARS-OLD DURING PARTITION: The journey started, it was dark, but as the day lights proceeded, that you could hear

the gushing waters of the big canal. And when I looked towards that, as the day light came, there were objects bobbing around in it.

And I was wondering why objects in the water because the canal waters supposed to water the fields, and I had seen that many, many times. They

were decapitated heads, bloated bodies, arms, limbs, clothes, suitcases, all worldly kind of possessions floating down the canal.

And my mother somehow sensed and looked back and said, don't look that site. But I was just kind of magnetically drawn towards that scene of



SUD: It was a bloody partition. It was a violent partition. And the country was divided on religious lines, Becky, and then you have Baljit talking to

us about her incident here.

And this is something that will never leave her just like it won't leave millions of other families who had to cross over either from India to

Pakistan or Pakistan to India. Remember, there were about 500,000 to 2 million people who were killed in those violent clashes.

Over 15 million people were uprooted. And that is one part of the partition of India that will never be forgotten. But today you have millions of

people across India celebrating the big day commemorating it right behind me.

We're standing actually in the power center of Delhi. This is known as the central Secretariat area. You can see the government buildings that have

been lit up behind us in the tricolor of the Indian national flag. Today you had Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also addressed the nation from

the iconic Red Fort where he said that now the aim will be to progress into a phase where India becomes a developed country in the next 25 years.



ANDERSON: Vedika is in, in Delhi. Sophia, what's the perspective where you are?

SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Becky, there is, of course, celebrations of 75 years of independence from British rule. But to look forward, here in

Pakistan, you also have to look back. It's been quite a tumultuous 75 years is, of course, the inheritance of that issue of the contested territory of

Kashmir, between India and Pakistan, which has caused three wars between the two countries.

The last time we saw hostilities rise was in 2019, when an Indian plane was shot down here in Pakistan. I spoke to Raza Rumi, who is a policy analyst,

a Pakistani policy analyst, based in Ithaca, and this is what he had to say about the fact that this is a heavily militarized border.

And it's very difficult for Pakistanis and Indians to have any sort of communication with each other. Let's have a listen in to what he said.


RAZA RUMI, DIRECTOR, PARK CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA: What we have seen since 2014, onwards has been completely, you know, re-erecting the iron

curtain between India and Pakistan. And, you know, unless you don't build these people to be people, bridges, you don't create a public opinion

favorable to normalization.

I think there's a lot of potential. If we let our experts talk to experts, students go to meet students, you know, activists, meeting activists,

artists, collaborating sportsmen, meeting each other and playing together. Until we don't do this, we are not going to, you know; end up creating a

civilized society on both sides of the border.


SAIFI: And that's the hope, Becky that a lot of the young populations of both India and Pakistan want, they are communicating via social media via

the Diaspora. There are many issues that are facing both countries with regards to the economy with regards to climate change.

And if there might come a time in the near future when these two hostile neighbors will have to put aside their differences sit down and come up

with ways to make lives better for their populations. Becky?

ANDERSON: To both of you, thank you very much indeed. Well as India celebrates its fitting take a moment for homage to Mumbai born novelist

Salman Rushdie.

Satanic Verses made him a hunted man, but it was the Booker Prize winning Midnight's Children that made his name, the main character Saleem Sinai is

our eyes and ears through the novel.

He is born along with one other child at the exact moment of India's independence. This is how Salman Rushdie through Saleem describes it "At

the precise instant of India's arrival at Independence, I tumbled forth into the world. There were gasps and outside the window fireworks and


A few seconds later, my father broke his big toe but his accident was a mere trifle, when set beside what had befallen me in that benighted moment.

Because thanks to the occult tyrannies of those blandly saluting clocks. I had been mysteriously handcuffed to history. My destinies indissolubly

chained to those of my country".



ANDERSON: The UK is now the first country to approve an updated COVID-19 booster shot targeting two Coronavirus variants manufactured by Moderna. It

targets the original virus strain from 2020 and the Omicron strain, the vaccine is approved for use in adults.

Well, after weeks of a little rainfall and a massive heat wave that smashed the UK's all time temperature record last month. The starting point of

England's famous River Thames has dried up the river actually shrinking in size.

And - several kilometers downstream from where it wants, state experts say this situation is unprecedented and warn that the climate crisis will only

lead to more extreme conditions. Well CNN's in Scott McLean joining us from London. What do we know at this point, Scott?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Becky. So along this stretch of the Thames the river rises and falls with the tides. But if you go about 130

kilometers west of here to the headwaters of the river what little water you can find well lately, levels are only dropping there. River levels

across England are at their lowest since 1935.

The Thames is no exception. We had to trace the winding dry riverbed of the river at the headwaters, the better part of 15 kilometers before we could

find any meaningful flow of water.


MCLEAN (voice over): It's one of the most famous waterways in the world, London's Thames River this year at its headwaters to the west, there's no

water at all.

MCLEAN: What would this look like on a normal year?

MCLEAN (voice over): Well, typically you'd find half a meter of water in here. Local rivers expert Rob Collins toured us along the winding riverbed

in southern England that stretches on without water for miles past parched fields and through quaint villages, where the once mighty father Thames has

been reduced to a stagnant puddle.

ROB COLLINS, HEAD OF POLICY & SCIENCE, THE RIVERS TRUST: The very source of a river you might find drying up quite frequently, but what's quite

unprecedented just here is there's absolutely no water and that continues to be the case, the best part of 10 miles downstream.

MCLEAN (voice over): Collins says England uses far too much water and its aging pipes leak far too much. A fifth of supplied water is lost to


COLLINS: We have to adapt to this new, new normal. We have to use less water use it more wisely more efficiently.

MCLEAN (voice over): Satellite images show why 2022 has just been officially declared a drought in some parts of England, normally lush

green, the nation is now scorched pale yellow.

At the nearby Oak sea golf club, they're hoping to be spared the watering bans already imposed in other places.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A golf course without grass on the greens is like a shoe shop without shoes on the shelf.

MCLEAN (voice over): In the quaint hamlet of North End, water has never felt so precious. Last week, locals were forced to rely on bottled water

and water tankers when the taps ran dry. It's not clear if the persistent problems during hot weather are high demand or low supply in the local


MCLEAN: So this is the moment of truth?


MCLEAN (voice over): The water is back now. But local farmer Peter Langford nearly had to give his cows, bottled water.

LANGFORD: And it was getting quite desperate.

MCLEAN (voice over): The drought has also killed off the grass his cattle rely on forcing him to use the hay he saved for winter. Rain can't come

soon enough.

LANGFORD: What it says to me is that these extreme temperatures that we've got, that's not Thames waters fault. That's everybody's fault. You know, we

all fly off in planes we all do our bit to increase the problem. And I think this is a wakeup call really.


MCLEAN (on camera): As for all of those leaky pipes crisscrossing the country underground in England, well, the water companies themselves have a

goal of having their leakage rate by 2050.

So from about 20 percent right now down to about 10 percent though there are plenty of critics who think that that goal is not nearly ambitious


And so you can understand the frustration of a lot of customers in this country when they're being asked to reduce their water consumption either

voluntarily or otherwise. When the water companies themselves asking them to do this are among the worst offenders when it comes to actually wasting



Now the good news in all of this is that after the driest July, on record in southeast England, there is rain in the forecast perhaps as early as

today. The trouble though, is that it's the wrong kind of rain Becky, its thunderstorms.

And because right now the ground is so parched, so dry and so hard, it's not going to be able to easily absorb a lot of water in a very short amount

of time. And so the concern over the next three days, well, it's not going to be the heat. It's going to be flash flooding. Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. Thank you very much indeed, for that. And as you can see, the weather has changed slightly. It's certainly 10 degrees cooler

than it was over the weekend, which was hot for those who live here on a full time basis. We don't of course, this show is normally broadcast from

the Middle East, but we're out of London at the moment and more from CNN, of course is coming up.