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Showing posts from February 2, 2019

The Balochistan narratives

Opinion Sartaj Khan May 26,2017 There are three main narratives propounded by the stakeholders in the conflict in Balochistan. 🔷The first is simple. It involves the aims of the separatist leader Dr Allah Nazar Baloch, an ideologue of the banned BSO Azad and head of the banned Baloch Liberation Front. 🔷The second narrative is that of middle-class Baloch leaders who mostly issue statements from abroad and seek help from imperialist countries and India to pressurise the government. They aim to produce greater benefits by striking a deal. 🔷The third is put forward by political parties -- like the PML-N and the National Party (NP) -- and the business class, which are clearly propelling the capitalist development agenda and supporting paramilitary operations in the province . To hardcore nationalists, these parties represent a great harm. This has resulted in a polarisation between the middle class and the rural poor. The space between militants and pro-development/pro-militar

External, internal factors have played havoc with Balochistan

Peerzada Salman Updated February 03, 2019 FEDERAL Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal speaking during the Balochistan session at Adab Festival on Saturday. —Fahim Siddiqui / White Star KARACHI: Balochistan has been a victim of external belligerence and internal mismanagement causing some general and perceived grievances to emerge. This was stated by General Fida Hussain Malik , the author of Balochistan: A Conflict of Narratives , which was launched at one of the pre-lunch sessions of the on-going Adab Festival on Saturday. Balochistan, he said, is the largest yet the least developed province of Pakistan. It has strategic importance and lies on the cusp of Indus, Persian and Central Asian civilisations and possesses an immense wealth of minerals. Unfortunately, despite being the largest province, it remained the least developed, regretted Gen Malik. It had been a victim of external belligerence and internal mismanagement. Its strategic importance had attracted global a

Expected socio-economic development under CPEC discussed

February 3, 2019 While the panelists, by and large, gave their approval to the CPEC, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, they however, expressed certain reservations as they spoke at a panel discussion at the Adab Pakistan Festival at the Sindh Governor’s House on Saturday afternoon. The topic of the discussion was, “Socio-economic development under CPEC”. Noted columnist Zahid Hussain said that we mustn’t go headlong into the venture and should ask ourselves many questions before taking the final plunge. He questioned the wisdom of the Orange Line project on which, he said, a mighty amount of two billion dollars had been spent. He asked if it was really worth it. He cited the Orange line project and said that the benefits of the project were dubious. How, he said, we could be sure that the CPEC would not go the same way. On the question of the project vis-à-vis the neighbouring countries, people were sceptical about India’s attitude, but then Fatemeh Aman from Washington DC said th

Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies: Opinions

Iran’s Interests in Afghanistan: Water, Black Market Currency, & Extremism By  Ejaz Ahmad Malikzada Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi recently visited Kabul to discuss recent efforts towards peace in Afghanistan. Though the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs hasn’t provided any details of the meeting, the visit is indicative of an Iranian effort to maintain relations with the Afghan government as the government neg.. Read more The Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996–2001): ‘War-Making and State-Making’ as an Insurgency Strategy By Dr. Yaqub Ibrahimi The establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) was the Taliban’s first effort to transform into a state structure in the midst of the Afghan civil war. However, the effort met with no ultimate success. After capturing Kabul in September 1996, the Taliban formed the IEA which was based on a two-track governance system.. Read more   Vietnam Redux in Afghanistan: Peace as an Extension of Wa

Baloch nationalism against Chinese hegemony

Sunday, 03 February 2019 | Rahim Baloch Despite BRI and CPEC posing threats to the regional peace and order, the world powers seem reluctant to contest it seriously. The only serious opposition to CPEC is from the Baloch people of Balochistan. In case, China and Pakistan succeed in building the roads, railway tracks and military bases under CPEC, Beijing will surely be able to reshape the world order, and will also be able to encircle India Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China is rapidly emerging with an ambitious global agenda to extend its economic and military influence worldwide and thereby reshape the world order. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a manifestation of China’s desire to establish economic and military hegemony over vast resource-rich regions in Asia and Africa and to dominate the European and American markets. Though China portrays the BRI as a scheme of connectivity and economic partnerships with countries and regions, in reality it is a cover for expa

Pashtuns celebrate the first anniversary of PTM The Balochistan Post Pashtun Tahafuz Movement(Pashtun Defence Movement) today completed its first anniversary of the foundation The Balochistan Post Correspondent Pashtun nation across the world, ones who are affiliated with the famous rights movement in Pakistan and the ones who support its cause are all celebrating its first anniversary of foundation today on Saturday. The movement existed many years ago by the name of Mehsud Tahafuz Movement under the leadership of Manzoor Pashteen, but at first, it was limited to the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area(FATA) and mostly striven for the rights of Mehsud Tribe of Pashtuns. However, it emerged as a representative of Pashtun nation after the tragic murder of a young Pashtun man in Karachi city of Pakistan, which was later proved to be an staged encounter of the young Naqeeb Ullah Mehsud allegedly by the infamous SP Rao Anwaar. PTM, as

Sri Lanka seeks to borrow US$1 billion from China amid debt woes

The heavily-indebted South Asian nation is negotiating a loan even as it makes arrangements to pay down US$5.9 billion in foreign loans this yearA large chunk of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt is from China, which sees Sri Lanka as a key link in its transcontinental Belt and Road infrastructure initiative Associated Press UPDATED : Saturday, 2 Feb 2019, 9:15PM  3 Sri Lanka is negotiating a US$1 billion loan from China to construct a highway linking the capital Colombo to the hilly resort city of Kandy, even as the heavily-indebted nation makes arrangements to pay down US$5.9 billion in foreign loans this year. Finance Ministry spokesman MR Hasan said on Saturday that he was waiting to hear whether terms of the loan for the highway project had been approved. A series of  credit-rating downgrades amid a political crisis  have made it harder for Sri Lanka to borrow as it faces record high repayments this year, US$2.6 billion of which are due in the first three months. A large chunk of Sr

China's Belt and Road dreams under pressure

2 February 2019 This file photo shows Malaysia's prime minister Mahathir Mohamad posing after an interview at his office in Putrajaya. (Manan Vatsyayana / AFP Photo) Chinese President Xi Jinping already had plenty of reasons to rethink his grand plan to build railways, ports and other infrastructure across the globe. Malaysia has given him 20 billion more. The Malaysian government’s move to cancel a China-financed high-speed rail link across the Malay Peninsula raised new questions about Xi’s so-called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The cabinet decided the US$20 billion project was “beyond the government’s financial capability,” Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said, previewing a move that could be formally announced by next week. The deal’s collapse adds urgency to a debate already growing in Beijing about the potentially US$1 trillion program, the main engine of Xi’s effort to convert China’s economic might into global influence. In recent months, countries acro

Zhob’s Sandeman Fort — a symbol of British rule in Balochistan

February 2, 2019 Shah Hussain The historical Sandeman Fort in Zhob, the residence of political agents during the time of the British Raj, still attracts thousands of people and is one of Balochistan’s most famous buildings. The fort, situated between Takht-e-Suleman and the Zhob River, was constructed in 1890 on the orders of Robert Sandeman, agent to the governor general of Balochistan. It is a ship-shaped fort that looks like a big vessel if you see it from a distance. Historian Dr Irfan Ahmed Baig said that the fort was not a residence. It was a cantonment area built to defend the area. Related: ‘Magical’ Swat Valley casts its spell on the Swiss ambassador Historians say that the British rulers constructed this fort in the mountains so they could keep an eye on the local population. The fort is now being used as the residence and office of Zhob’s deputy commissioner. Jabbar Baloch, Zhob’s deputy commissioner, said that the fort would be repaired to make it safer. He said th

China’s Belt and Road Initiative is here to stay, whether the US likes it or not

David Dodwell says China’s ambitious infrastructure-funding project is a reflection of the country’s vision of itself and a way to ensure the stability of its neighbours David Dodwell UPDATED : Saturday, 2 Feb 2019, 6:51AM  18 A headline in this newspaper just a week ago said it all: “ Dim future seen for Belt and Road programme ”. It is in vogue to portray China’s ambitious infrastructure-focused plan, embracing at least 80 countries, as a strategy in trouble. As some would have it, the Belt and Road Initiative’s project stream has dried to a trickle as countries have wised up to the danger of  debt traps  and threats to sovereignty. They are turning their backs on opaquely structured projects that serve China’s interests far more than those of the host country and provide a dumping ground for surplus Chinese steel and cement in a new form of colonialism. Critics point to the US$20 billion on-again-off-again  East Coast Rail Project  in Malaysia, to Sri Lanka’s  Hambantota port

The Domestic Consequences of China’s ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’

Saturday 2 February 2019, by  Qian Benli Currently, the prospects of China’s ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’ (hereinafter referred to as OBOR) are dim. An article published in the Financial Times in July 2018 pointed out that 234 out of 1,674 Chinese-invested infrastructure projects announced in 66 Belt and Road countries since 2013 have encountered difficulties. [ 1 ] Currently, the prospects of China’s ‘One Belt One Road Initiative’ (hereinafter referred to as OBOR) are dim. An article published in the Financial Times in July 2018 pointed out that 234 out of 1,674 Chinese-invested infrastructure projects announced in 66 Belt and Road countries since 2013 have encountered difficulties. [ 2 ] The most recent and striking problem occurred in Malaysia——newly elected prime minister Mahathir Mohamad canceled the US$20 billion East Coast Rail Link project right after his official visit to Beijing. [ 3 ] Although it is very likely that Mahathir Mohamad’s primary aim is to force China to