Stories about China

Has the United Nations outlived its utility?

The United Nations (UN) was formed in 1945 in the wake of World War II, and aimed to bring together all nations of the world at a single table to avoid another world war. Though the organisation was a successor to the League of Nations (LoN), it was formed not only to act as a mediator between member countries, but also to promote harmony amongst them. In addition, it would promote social development and justice across the globe, and take action if a consensus was reached and approved by the all-powerful Security Council (SC). However, as it nears 75 years, debate ...

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Pakistan and Russia: From Cold War foes to budding allies?

It is no secret that Pak-US ties are experiencing a downward spiral. However, there is some good coming out of this mistrust between both countries. The ongoing tensions have motivated Pakistan to reach out to regional stakeholders other than China for potential partnerships, and one such partner being actively pursued by Islamabad is its former Afghan-jihad foe, Russia. Who would have thought that after almost three decades of Soviet disintegration and Pakistan’s active role in the former’s defeat in Afghanistan, both countries’ foreign ministers would be warmly embracing each other in Moscow? Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif – who recently concluded a three-day visit to Russia and signed a number of ...

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Pakistan’s inclusion on the FATF watchlist is no mere symbolic gesture

After much anticipation, speculation and confusion, we now know that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put Pakistan on a terrorism financing watchlist. Well, sort of. FATF decided to “grey list” Pakistan, but the designation won’t formally take effect until June – hence why FATF didn’t mention Pakistan in a report it issued last week. Admittedly, the FATF’s deliberations are opaque and its procedures byzantine. But this much is true – Pakistan is on its way to the watchlist. Pakistani financial journalist Khurram Husain, who understands FATF well, put it to me this way: FATF has passed a motion to grey list Pakistan. ...

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Skyscraper seems similar to Die Hard and definitely worth every buck!

After seeing him going on a rampage against creatures of enormous sizes, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson can now be seen jumping off of huge buildings in Skyscraper, according to its trailer, which debuted during the Super Bowl. Johnson doesn’t do much wrong – Baywatch being an obvious anomaly – when it comes to choosing films to star in. He has everything – fans love him and all of his movies wreak havoc at the box office. So, it’s quite understandable that he has his own popcorn flick lined up for release this summer. The plot revolves around Will Ford (Johnson), a former FBI hostage ...

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Actually, General Bipin Rawat, nuclear weapons CAN deter war; a deterrence our countries are all too familiar with

Indian army chiefs rarely make policy statements. Thus, on the rare occasion when they do choose to partake in diplomatic posturing, it is taken very seriously. This is exactly why the DG ISPR and the Defence Minister took very stern notice of General Bipin Rawat’s press statement on January 12th, where he said that his force was ready to call out Pakistan’s “nuclear bluff” and carry out cross-border operations if need be. It must be fun to engage in high-level brinkmanship. Otherwise, it must get tiring to have so much authority and yet not be able to do anything with ...

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Pakistan says the US is no longer an ally – and it’s a much bigger deal than you think

Donald Trump’s decision to ring in the new year by simultaneously demonising both Iran and Pakistan on Twitter has already backfired tremendously. Following threats that the US would withhold aid to Pakistan, the US confirmed it would withhold $255 million in aid (which has now become $900 million) and is now reportedly threatening a roughly $2 billion more as well. “We’re hoping that Pakistan will see this as an incentive, not a punishment,” a US State Department official told reporters. According to the Wall Street Journal, this recent animosity towards Pakistan has not gone over well. Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said in an interview that the US has failed to ...

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Trump’s incoherent tweet will only push Pakistan to “do more” for China and Russia

American President Donald Trump welcomed 2018 with the same practice that he has employed almost for the entirely of his presidency – sending out an incoherent tweet. Unfortunately, this time, his tweet sent into frenzy much of Pakistan’s arm-chair analysts as well as talking heads from the myriad of shows on television. This was primarily because Trump chose Pakistan as the subject of his ire in his very first tweet of 2018. The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies ...

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The fall and fall of Pakistan’s economy in 2017

There were a lot of fairly good economic indicators seen in 2017, such as the following: – An 8.5% growth in Large-Scale Manufacturing (LSM), – An inflation rate of 3.9%,  – A super-strong growth in lending to the private sector, – A 74.4% growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth $939.7 million, – A 19.5% growth in the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Tax Revenues and a double-digit growth in exports Amidst these “good” indicators, less focus was paid to the depleting foreign currency reserves and burgeoning imports. Whether this is due to Mr Ishaq Dar being pre-occupied during the year, trying to save himself and his boss from the aftermath of the Panama leaks, or merely because the ...

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Can Pakistan sideline the US and pursue an independent foreign policy?

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif, said the following in a statement made earlier this month, “Pakistan’s foreign policy has for long remained US-centric. However, the time had come to review the policy and shift its focus towards Russia and China.” At the rhetorical level, Pakistan’s commitment to shifting its foreign policy focus away from Washington has been in place for quite some time. In this regard, these recent changes that Islamabad has touted by and large deal with the country’s increasing economic dependency on China, as well as Russia’s growing interest in Pakistan. Arguably, Pakistan may have gained some tactical leverage vis-à-vis the US by increasing its economic dependency on other regional states, but ...

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As history proves, presidents will come and go, but Pakistan’s relationship with the US will always hang by a thread

The relationship between the US and Pakistan today is the diplomatic equivalent of a miserable marriage, where neither partner is ready to divorce the other, yet there is persistent bickering. Can’t live with each other, can’t live without each other either. Earlier this year, Islamabad watched with anxiety and horror as President Donald Trump called on India to deepen its influence in Afghanistan in his speech outlining the Afghan policy. India’s presence in Afghanistan has been a long time worry for Pakistan, and Trump’s speech earlier this year only reinforced that fear. By pitting two arched enemies against each other, President Trump aimed to ...

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