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Showing posts from July 17, 2021

Balochistan: When it comes to the solution, the problem is restated

Dr Pervez Tahir  |  July 15, 2021     The writer is a senior political economist based in Islamabad. He can be reached at perveztahir@yahoo.com No prefix. No suffix. Mention Balochistan and everybody and their uncle knows what the problem is. When it comes to the solution, the problem is restated. The latest on offer is from the top man in authority, or so he likes to believe. He lost a Baloch ally for making little headway on its six demands. As framed, the Baloch are angry. Before that, it was lack of development. The federal government would announce special development packages with great fanfare with the objective of mainstreaming Balochistan. Not many in other provinces feel any mainstreaming, nor an ordinary Baloch vouchsafes development. According to the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurements survey, 2019-20, the average score of districts in Balochistan in education, health, information communications and technology, and living standard is far behind the other provi

G-7’s counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative is welcome, but needs more coherence

It remains to be seen what role India will play in Build Back Better World since it has been a strong opponent of BRI, which is designed by China to establish strategic dominance in trade, foreign policy and geopolitics. Written By  Pravakar Sahoo  | Updated: July 17, 2021 8:36:27 am Chinese construction workers walk together after work, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 3, 2018. (Adam Dean/The New York Times) G-7 leaders finally came around with the proposed Build Back Better World (B3W) to counter China’s rising influence across 100-plus countries through Belt Road Initiative (BRI) projects. The proposal, though at a nascent stage, aims to address the infrastructure investment deficit in developing and lower income countries — the space which has been increasingly captured by China through 2,600 BRI projects with trillions of dollars of investment. BRI projects are perceived as corrosive tactics or debt traps laid by China for its strategic dominance in trade, foreign policy and geopolitic

Is Pakistan Serious About Peace Talks in Balochistan?

Past initiatives have given Balochs plenty of reason for skepticism. By  Samand Muhammad Shahi  and  Mujeeb Baloch July 16, 2021 Troops of Pakistan para-military forces patrol in the troubled area of Dera Bugti in Balochistan province of Pakistan, Monday, Jan 30, 2006. Credit: AP Photo/Arshad Butt ADVERTISEMENT In a recent visit to Gwadar, with the aim to portray a positive image of the port city by launching various  infrastructure projects , Prime Minister Imran Khan  voiced   his intention to hold talks with Baloch insurgents who are offering resistance in Balochistan. But soon, his announcement was overtaken by confusion due to contradictory statements from within the government regarding  the criteria to be met for  negotiations. Still, Khan  appointed  Shahzain Bugti, a member of the National Assembly and the grandson of Nawab Akbar Bugti, the late leader of the Baloch insurgency, his special assistant on “reconciliation and harmony in Balochistan.” All these announcements were m