Stories about China

Calling Iran’s bluff: Who are the real winners in the Gulf tanker crisis?

Iran has shot down what it claims to be a United States (US) spy drone in the Strait of Hormuz, accusing Washington of violating its airspace amidst escalating tensions between the two nations. Two days earlier, the US announced that it will deploy 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in response to Iran’s “hostile behaviour”. The attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week marked a tipping point in their steadily deteriorating relationship, and although both countries insist that they want to avoid war, there are fears that recent developments could inevitably result in military confrontation. ...

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The international response to Sudan: just another day in ‘Dictatorland’

Rarely does Africa make American headlines. Briefly we may hear about Boko Haram, or read about pirates off the coast of Somalia. Occasionally, a rich American game hunter murders an animal in Africa which, while heart-breaking, triggered more outrage than the unremitting plight of human beings across the region. Sometimes we learn of military losses in Mali, never asking why American soldiers are deployed there to begin with. Beyond that, Africa is perceived much like it was during the time of Joseph Conrad – a “heart of darkness”. This disinterest persists even during the current upheaval in Sudan, where ordinary citizens have ...

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Lessons PTI can learn from BJP and its landslide victory

For many, the two-nation theory (TNT) is a matter of history rather than a contemporary and ongoing political phenomenon. If the plebiscite demanded by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 was implemented, if Pakistan was not facing hostile provocations from India and its allies in Kabul, if India was at peace with itself in terms of ending communal violence, if India was not pitting Iran against Pakistan, and if Bangladesh and Pakistan had healthy relations, then perhaps the TNT could be viewed as an historical accomplishment. Because the aforementioned issues are far from being solved, and moreover, due ...

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Will PayPal never come to Pakistan?

Pakistan’s financial sector received yet another shock recently when it was revealed that PayPal, which the present government was keen to introduce here, had declined to come to Pakistan citing internal issues. PayPal is a banking channel which acts as a middleman for payments between two parties. After signing up on the platform, a customer is supposed to link their bank account, credit card or debit card to PayPal. Once the procedure is complete, the customer pays or receives money, having the option of keeping the amount in their PayPal account or transferring it to their bank account. Former finance minister ...

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Yes, Chinese men are sham-marrying Pakistani girls, but CPEC is not to be blamed for it

After she finished her initial studies, her parents could no longer afford to send her to college to continue her education. What her father earned was not even enough to make ends meet. The family was living in a rented house in a slum-like dwelling. Sensing she should not be a burden on the gradually weakening shoulders of her father, she started seeking a job but was not successful at all. She was willing to do anything to ease life for her parents so they could focus on her younger siblings instead. Hira, the 19-year-old daughter of a Christian watchman from Sarai ...

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Vladimir Putin ‘snubbing’ Imran Khan – why all the fuss?

When Pakistan failed to secure a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the recent Belt and Road Forum, a report in the Express Tribune called it a major “diplomatic setback”. Sure, many would have expected Prime Minister Imran Khan to have at least had a casual meet up with the president of Pakistan’s new “regional ally on Afghanistan,” however, it seemed that Putin had other, and more important, commitments. In light of this failure, should it really be seen as a major “diplomatic setback”? Sure, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is already going through a series of governance and public ...

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Why did Pakistan release Indian prisoners when India is not interested in peace?

US President Ronald Reagan was fond of using the Russian proverb “Doveryai, no proveryai” (trust, but verify). If Prime Minister Imran Khan hasn’t heard of this then he has probably seen the movie, The Italian Job, where the heist gang’s mantra is to trust everyone but not the devil inside them. In the interest of honesty, PM Imran must understand that India is not just the devil from inside, for the rhetoric emanating from within it is absolutely devilish as well. Pakistan has now released 360 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen, in four phases as a goodwill gesture amidst very tense relations between the ...

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How Modi sold India’s reputation to get his Masood Azhar ‘trophy’

Most of Indian media is portraying Masood Azhar’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) terrorist designation as a long-sought victory for their country, one that was only brought about by Narendra Modi’s campaign of pressure on Pakistan which supposedly got China to reverse its position on this issue and finally agree to the sanction. While that narrative is easily believed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) hyper-nationalist Hindutva base, the political opposition immediately pointed out that the global body’s official statement made no mention of the many attacks that New Delhi accused him of masterminding. The conspicuous omission of the 2001 Parliament attack, the 2008 Mumbai ‘false flag’ ...

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Why CPEC is not a debt trap after all

US President Donald Trump once stated that he was for free and fair trade, but he just wanted better deals. This statement can be applied to his trade war with China, which he initiated last year to bring down the massive trade imbalance between China and the US. Pakistan, too, faces a trade imbalance with China. It signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China in 2006, which was touted as Pakistan’s gradual phasing out of protectionism. However, there were concerns that exposure to big export powerhouses had the potential to damage developing countries such as Pakistan, that were unable ...

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Pakistan’s space programme: Achievable goal or impossible dream?

Last year, newly anointed Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry boldly announced that Pakistan would launch its first manned space mission in 2022, and as expected, many people took to social media to voice their amusement. The statement cracked many smiles and it became the subject of much ridicule and cynicism. For the first time in a long time, a Pakistani minister had publicly shown interest in and hinted at developing a space programme. Although space travel may not seem like a necessary concern for a developing nation like Pakistan, the feat would require incomparable resources and in the process ...

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