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Showing posts from March 19, 2021

The Continuing Mystery of the Belt and Road

There are still competing theories and explanations of what China’s signature foreign policy platform actually means. By  Yuan Jiang March 06, 2021 Credit:  Pixabay ADVERTISEMENT Almost eight years have passed, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) still remains a mystery, raising much global furor. Is China too difficult to understand or does China intentionally not want to be understood? The story begins with President Xi Jinping’s eye-catching proposals to establish a Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in 2013. However, Beijing took over a year to form its  leading group  on the subject, and a year and a half to issue a single BRI  guideline , full of vague mottos. Even the name was not meticulously drafted, experiencing changes from “One Belt, One Road” to the “Belt and Road Initiative.” That said, these fluctuations are consistent with Beijing’s framing of the BRI as mutually discussed, open, and inclusive. Unexpectedly, this framing has caused unfettered

What Lies Behind China’s Belt and Road Initiative?

World Although popular perception views the Belt and Road Initiative as an offensive project, it is a defensive venture by China to safeguard its international trade, the source of its growing wealth. 22 hours ago | Prem Shankar Jha         Source: HKTDC Research This is the first article in a two-part series on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The second one deals with the politics surrounding the BRI.  China’s prompt  withdrawal of its troops and armour  from the eastern part of the grey zone around Pangong lake between the Indian and Chinese defined Lines of Actual Control has confirmed the hypothesis advanced in several previous  columns  on this platform, that its purpose, from the start, was not to nibble Indian territory away in small slices but to force the Modi government to reconfirm India’s commitment to the agreements on Peace and Tranquility in the Border region arrived at in  1993  and  2005 . But, why should China be so intent upon re-establishing a durable peace with

Francis elected to Balochistan Assembly

THE NEWSPAPER'S STAFF CORRESPONDENT QUETTA: Khalil George Francis, a former member of the National Assembly of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has been elected a member of the Balochistan Assembly on a seat reserved for the minority community, says an official notification of the Election Commission of Pakistan issued on Thursday. The seat fell vacant after election of Danesh Kumar as a member of the Senate on a ticket of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party in the March 3 Senate election on a seat reserved for members of the minority community from Balochistan. Mr Francis resigned from the PML-N in 2018 and joined the newly-formed Balochistan Awami Party which won 24 Balochistan Assembly seats in the 2018 general election. The BAP parliamentary board nominated Mr Francis for the vacant seat and the Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday declared him elected as a member of the Balochistan Assembly. Mr Francis was elected to the National Assembly as a minority member from the P

PSP chief calls for talks to resolve Balochistan problems

THE NEWSPAPER'S STAFF CORRESPONDENT QUETTA: Pak Sar-zameen Party’s (PSP) chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal has called upon the government and state institutions to pardon the angry people of Balochistan and hold talks with them for restoring peace in the province. He also asked the angry youth to choose the path of peace for achieving their rights instead of taking up weapons. Speaking at a public meeting on Friday on the fifth founding anniversary of the PSP at the Ayub Stadium, Mr Kamal said his party would end the sense of deprivation among the people of Balochistan and foil nefarious designs of hostile agencies and their supporters. PSP president Anis Qaim Khani, senior vice chairman Ashfaq Mangi, Attaullah Kurd and other leaders also spoke on the occasion. Expressing optimism that future belonged to none other than the PSP, Mr Kamal said his party was the only hope for resolution of problems the people of Balochistan were facing. He said that in the next five years, the PSP would em

UNHRC: Baloch activists accuse Pakistan of violating human rights in Balochistan

ANI |  Updated:  Mar 19, 2021 15:37 IST Geneva [Switzerland], March 19 (ANI): Baloch political activists have raised the issue of human rights violations in  Pakistan 's resource-rich  Balochistan  province by the state security agencies during the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. Waja Siddique Azad, Secretary-General of Baloch Peoples' Congress during the intervention drew the Council's attention towards the appalling Human Rights situation in  Balochistan . He said, "The depressive cases of missing persons have been going on for decades now. The Human Rights Commission of  Pakistan  (HRCP) has over the years condemned  Pakistan  state for its dark record in handling the cases of enforced disappearances in  Balochistan ." A UN working group made recommendations against enforced disappearances, but the  Pakistan i government did not live up to its constitutional and international responsibilities. Azad said, " Pakistan 's