Stories about China

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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Why is the US making a mountain out of the Masood Azhar molehill?

The United States has introduced a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to blacklist Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. Azhar is the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (banned in Pakistan since 2002) and has been blamed by India for masterminding February’s Pulwama incident, even though no evidence has been produced which links Azhar to the incident. China has refused to list Azhar as an international terrorist after careful consideration of the definition of international terrorism according to international law. China has made this position absolutely clear and as such, it would appear that the US is looking to transform the UNSC ...

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Why the time to invest in Pakistan is now

Being a capital market participant, I have seen quite a few ups and downs during the past decade. I have experience of evaluating a large number of companies listed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). I believe, at this point in time, most of the listed companies are trading well below their fair price, thus, offering good return potential and strong dividend yield. Historically speaking, every time our stock market experienced a downturn, it bounced back with more power. Even though the downturns are often abrupt, recovery usually takes a while. Nonetheless, once our stock market comes out of crisis, ...

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How the Kashmir crisis threatens Russia’s interests in Pakistan and India

The world watched with bated breath as Pakistan and India narrowly escaped full-blown military conflict last week. But the Kashmir crisis demonstrates more than a bitter dispute between two nations. This volatile frontier provides a springboard from which a historic rivalry between two nuclear states could culminate, with potentially seismic consequences for its surrounding neighbours. Moscow’s readiness to mediate the tensions therefore comes as no surprise, with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcoming Russian Foreign Minister Viktorovich Lavrov’s offers to host talks. As an ally of both countries, pressure mounts on Russia in particular, to abate tensions in ...

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Why the world suddenly sees Pakistan through a different lens

While US-Pakistan relations appear to be at an all-time low, it appears Islamabad is continuing to cement and develop more and more friendships across the wider region. The obvious example of this can be seen with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s (MBS) visit to Pakistan this week. According to Voice of America, MBS announced and oversaw the signing of investment projects worth up to $20 billion, even higher than the suspected $12 billion in projects which had earlier been lamented. MBS also ordered the release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners from Saudi prisons, who have started arriving home. Last year, a ...

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