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China-Pakistan economic corridor: Beijing’s expansionist ulterior motives in Gilgit-Baltistan

China-Pakistan economic corridor: Beijing’s expansionist ulterior motives in Gilgit-Baltistan

Its no secret that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is less about economics and more about strategy – China’s strategy. The veneer of economics and development is maintained only to hide the real driving force behind China pumping in tens of billions of Euros into Pakistan. China is now the largest creditor of Pakistan and the latter is likely to become yet another example of China’s debt trap diplomacy. For China, CPEC has no intrinsic value. The real worth of the projects lies in China having not just a footprint but virtual control of two critical pieces of real estate – Gwadar port and the region of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

 

The secrets of the border standoff between the Taliban and Pakistan

The secrets of the border standoff between the Taliban and Pakistan

After all that Pakistan did for the Taliban over the two decades they were fighting against the US-backed Afghan Republic, there was a legitimate expectation in Islamabad that this time around the Taliban would show much greater gratitude and accede to Pakistan’s wish-list on a range of issues.

Ever since the Taliban have re-established their Emirate in Kabul, there is not a single issue on Pakistan’s wish-list that has been ticked by the Taliban : Accepting Durand Line as Border? No; Expelling Baloch insurgents? No; Dismantling, degrading and destroying Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)? No; Keeping India out? No; Inclusive government? No; Allowing education for girls and giving women rights? No!

 

Pakistani Prime Minister’s ‘‘Indecent Joy’’ to be in Moscow on Day of Ukraine Invasion

Pakistani Prime Minister’s ‘‘Indecent Joy’’ to be in Moscow on Day of Ukraine Invasion

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Russia on a 2-day official visit the very same day that Vladimir Putin launched an attack on Ukraine. On his arrival at Moscow airport, the South Asian leader was caught on camera gleefully quipping “What a time I have come! so much excitement”. This reaction from the leader of a so-called democratic nation immediately caught media attention and was largely interpreted as Pakistan having thrown its support in favour of Russia on the Ukraine issue. The other interpretation could be Imran Khan’s complete disregard for the international rule based order and a lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation where a sovereign nation’s territorial integrity had been unilaterally violated by Russia.

 

The multiple dangers of Pakistani nuclear power

The multiple dangers of Pakistani nuclear power

Pakistan’s association with its nuclear programme and adherence to nuclear safety norms has always been marred by lack of clarity and shrouded in mystery, including the very acquisition of nuclear know how. From the very inception of the process of creating a nuclear weapon, Pakistan was aware that it was not in a position to put together a weapon system on its own. Moreover, Pakistan’s aspiration for acquiring a nuclear weapon saw an element of urgency as it needed to keep pace with India, which was confidently surging ahead with its own self sufficient nuclear program. This desperation compelled Pakistan to resort to unethical means to acquire sub systems for their nuclear program from different sources.

 

Pakistan: government hostage to radical Islamist groups

Pakistan: government hostage to radical Islamist groups

Pakistan has been witnessing a rapid breakdown of its internal administrative machinery, with its police and security forces unable to control the country-wide violence engineered by the supporters of the radical Islamist party, the Tehreek -e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) that has been demanding the ouster of the French Ambassador and halting of trade relations with France. While the spotlight is on the grim domestic security situation with the government being held hostage by the TLP, the condition of its economy and its diplomatic standing is no better.

 

Pakistan: will the French ambassador be expelled before April 20?

Pakistan: will the French ambassador be expelled before April 20?

Diplomatic ties between France and Pakistan are probably at an all-time low, with Marc Barety, the French Ambassador in Islamabad faced with serious security threats following a demand by the radical Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan to expel the Ambassador. The Islamist party has refused to retreat on the ultimatum it issued to the Pakistan government, arguing that France had insulted the Prophet and thereby committed blasphemy, a sin that cannot be forgiven. The Tehreek has placed two other demands before the Pakistan government, viz. severing of diplomatic ties with France and boycotting French products.

 

China Pakistan Economic Corridor: disagreements that illustrate the brutality of Chinese neo-imperialism!

China Pakistan Economic Corridor: disagreements that illustrate the brutality of Chinese neo-imperialism!

Chinese President Xi Jinping displayed his expansionist ambitions within a year of taking over as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) when he launched the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that traverses through Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting dozens of countries. The first country that partnered with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was Pakistan, when the US$ 62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), comprising of a wide range of infrastructure projects, was signed with much fanfare in 2015. Due to its expanse, the CPEC, often referred in Pakistan as the flagship project of the BRI, provides the observer with a ringside view of the actual objectives and expectations of Xi Jinping from his dream initiative.

 

Pakistan and Turkey: When governments become the godfathers of the terrorist threat!

Pakistan and Turkey: When governments become the godfathers of the terrorist threat!

Multiple French flags and effigies of President Emmanuel Macron have been burnt all over Pakistan in the last couple of days as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government encouraged political parties, radical Islamic groups, lawyers and students’ associations to come out to the streets in thousands against the perceived Islamophobia in France.

 

Pakistan under the watchful eye of the FATF

Pakistan under the watchful eye of the FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, held a virtual plenary session from October 21 to 23. During this session, the various countries on the FATF watchlist, classified on the organization’s “blacklist” and “gray list”, were reviewed. Currently, two countries, North Korea and Iran, are on the “black list” and 16 countries, including Pakistan, on the “gray list” known as heightened surveillance.