A recent US Department of Defense report submitted to the United States Congress concludes that though the US and Taliban representatives signed an agreement on February 29 as a move to end the conflict in Afghanistan, a number of subsequent events has raised questions over whether the peace process would take place.
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was launched nearly 5 years ago with much fanfare. However, over the last few years, the progress of the CPEC has been hampered by questions on the economic viability of these protests for Pakistan, China’s increasingly intrusive presence in the country and huge environmental concerns.
On April 23, the body of Sajid Hussain Baloch, a Pakistani national, who had been given asylum in Sweden since 2017, was found in the Fyris River, outside Uppsala. According to the Swedish police, Sajid Hussain had been last seen on March 2 boarding a train in Stockholm for Uppsala. He had been missing for nearly 2 months, and a missing report was filed with the Swedish police on March 3.
Afghanistan suffered two deadly suicide attacks on May 12. The first one hit the Dasht-e-Barchi maternity hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kabul that killed at least 14, including 2 new born babies and the other was at a funeral of a local police commander in Khewa district of Nangarhar, killing 24. Both attacks were aimed at innocent civilians majority of who were women and children.
The international media is so focused on the corona virus epidemic that is spreading rapidly across the world, that a small incident in the Pakistani port city of Karachi went almost unnoticed. The incident took place near the port area in Karachi on the night of February 16, where it was reported that due to a gas leak at least 14 people were killed and several hundred hospitalised with chest pains, burning eyes and breathing difficulties. The Sindh government, thereafter, also ordered the evacuation of the coastal residential area of Keamari , which was worst affected.
Asia has finally been able to flee Asia. Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani, left her native country after ten years of nightmare. Ten years on death row in the prison where she was thrown in 2009 for “blasphemy”. In Pakistan, “blasphemy” is a crime: it allows everyone to accuse their neighbour of insulting Islam and its prophet.