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Showing posts from August 5, 2018

Unabating violence in Balochistan

By  Dr Raza Khan Published: August 6, 2018 Over the last couple of years, an unprecedented spike in terrorist attacks in Balochistan province has been observed and the trend became extremely deadly when recently at least 150 people were killed on July 13 on an election-related corner meeting of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP). Importantly, the responsibility of the attack was accepted by the global terrorist organisation, the Islamic State (IS). The fact of the matter is that the unabated terrorism in Balochistan has much to do with several concatenated internal and external factors. Some of these factors are the upshot of the local, national, regional and extra-regional security dynamics. In this connection it must be recalled that in September 2016, Pakistani authorities reportedly busted a huge network of the IS in Balochistan. The busting of the network demonstrated the effective measures by the state’s security institutions against the terrorist organisation as well as the serio

India must act alone in Asia’s new Great Game

Padma Rao Sundarji The writer is a senior foreign correspondent and the author of Sri Lanka: The New Country Published :  Aug 6, 2018, 12:08 am IST Updated :  Aug 6, 2018, 12:56 am IST The United States will set aside $113 million for its Indo-Pacific Economic Vision.  Since the Doklam standoff last year made it clear that China was heightening its surveillance on India’s border troops, New Delhi is hardly going to roll out the tarmac to aid the PLA’s arrival on its doorstep. (Photo: AFP) The United States is showering goodies on India and it’s not even Christmas yet. The frosty vibes of the Indira Gandhi-Richard Nixon/Henry Kissinger era of the 1970s and the indecisiveness of bilateral ties under latter-day coalitions in New Delhi seem like yesterday’s news now. India has been exempted from the heat of the American sanctions on Russia. There’s an even bigger deal — Washington granting New Delhi the coveted Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA-1) status, allowing it hassle-free

The many problems with China Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is designed in such a way that Beijing would end up with effective control over critical infrastructure assets in faraway lands Last Published: Sun, Aug 05 2018. 05 32 PM IST Livemint Illustration: Jayachandran/Mint China’s belt and road initiative (BRI) has seen multiple speed-breakers of late. The story of Sri Lanka being saddled with great amounts of debt to China was well known. Last month, the Malaysian President Mahathir Mohamad suspended work on a few BRI projects in his country. The government in Myanmar is significantly scaling down the Kyaukpyu port over concerns of mounting Chinese debt. The number of voices against the terms of Chinese projects and loans have increased in Pakistan too. Meanwhile in Montenegro, a Chinese loan has sent, a  Reuters  report summarized, “debt soaring and forced the government to raise taxes, partially freeze public sector wages and end a benefit for mothers to get its finances in order”. India had taken an

Political Risk and the Belt and Road Initiative

P Photo Credit: Pakistan Tribe BY ALVIN CHENG-HIN LIM Political Risk and the Belt and Road Initiative Aug. 06, 2018  |     |   0 comments      Recent difficulties facing the implementation in various countries of infrastructure projects that are being constructed under the banner of China’s Belt and Road Initiative have highlighted the political risk faced by such multiyear construction projects when hosted in countries with democratic systems of government.  Zheng Yongnian  observes that such countries carry political risk for long-term projects, since a newly-elected government could introduce “upheavals not just in personnel but also in policies. The newcomer may even tear down his predecessor’s work totally.”   The  Belt and Road Initiative  (BRI) is Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to accelerate global development through the construction of major infrastructure projects such as ports, high-speed railways, oil and gas pipelines, power plants, highway network

Forced disappearance growing in Balochistan, says Bugti

ANI | Geneva (Switzerland) | Last Updated at August 04 2018 17:15 IST Baloch  Republican Party  spokesperson  Sher Mohammed  Bugti  expressed concern over growing incidents of human rights violations in Balochistan, the largest in terms of land and natural resource rich province of  Pakistan. In an estimate, over 14,000 people are missing from  Balochistan  who have been allegedly picked up by security agencies. Focusing on the  Pakistan  Army's ongoing genocide,  Bugti  said that enforced disappearances and killings of indigenous Baloch have remained unstoppable in the province. "Earlier, they ( Pakistan  Army and ISI) used to abduct people and put them in torture cells. Nowadays, they abduct them and throw their dead bodies on streets. The situation is worsening as Army operation has been intensified in  Balochistan.  Not a single day is passed when incidents of enforced disappearance and killing are not reported from the province. The situation is worsening. The securi

In Xi’s China, the center takes control of foreign affairs

01/08/18 Helena Legarda The establishment of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission appears to strengthen the role of the CCP in China’s foreign policymaking. The new body will likely have a higher standing than the former Leading Small Group on Foreign Affairs and further sideline the government agencies in charge of foreign policy. This article is part 2 of a MERICS blog series on China’s new foreign policy setup. Read part 1  here. Following this year's National People's Congress, the Central Foreign Affairs Commission replaced the former Central Leading Small Group on Foreign Affairs. Image by Imaginechina. In overhauling China’s foreign policy, party and state leader Xi Jinping started at the top. On March 21, 2018, during this year’s National People’s Congress, Beijing announced a  major reshuffle  of government and party institutions. As part of this reform, four leading small groups, including the Foreign Affairs LSG, were upgraded to Commissions. The Central For

China’s new foreign policy setup

01/08/18 Thomas S. Eder Xi Jinping has a global vision for China and has centralized foreign policy around himself and the CCP. In this blog series, MERICS researchers take a closer look at the (new) setup of China’s foreign policy leadership, institutions, budget and personnel – as well as on its policy approach to Europe.  This article is part 1 of the series. The personnel appointments to top foreign policy-making positions are all closely linked with Xi or his concepts. Image by Mykhaylo Palinchak via 123rf Xi Jinping has put the world on notice that China intends to be an active global player. In support of this new and more visible profile, the Chinese leadership has changed the foreign policy setup to give Xi and the CCP greater control. This was reflected in changes to the foreign policy leadership  team  at the CCP’s National Congress in November 2017 and the National People’s Congress session in March 2018. As more details become known, it is time to take stock of this