Stories about CPEC

The scenario for Afghanistan after the US-Taliban deal

The tentative deal signed on February 29, 2020 between the United States (US) and the Afghan Taliban after almost two decades of war hinges on a successful execution of four main points. Firstly, America has to gradually withdraw its troops from Afghanistan over the next 14 months, with 5,600 troops to leave the country within 135 days. Secondly, the Taliban and the Afghan government (which was not a party to the deal) must open direct talks, which will be preceded by the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners currently held by the Afghan government and the release of 1,000 prisoners in Taliban captivity. Thirdly, the Taliban ...

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Lessons in tenacity: Why Pakistan should learn from Turkey

When faced with the seemingly unyielding support of its ostensible NATO ‘partners’ for Kurdish secessionists in the Syrian-Turkish border regions, Turkey faced a veritable conundrum. Turkey’s  successful October 9-24, 2019 Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria against entrenched, US military-protected Kurdish fighters came after setting red lines regarding its national security, acknowledging that lack of respect afforded to those red lines by traditional partners necessitated threatening core foundational assets of its ties with them, recognising its advantages and constraints and hedging its bets with new foreign allies. In numerous ways, Turkey’s negotiation of the ordeal vis a vis the Kurds and ...

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Pakistan’s precarious waltz with the FATF

A quick internet search reveals a litany of news articles, twitter rants, and opinions regarding the presence of Pakistan in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) infamous black and grey lists. Back in October, the global watchdog posed 150 questions which Pakistan had to respond to. While it remains to be seen as to how many issues the government has actually addressed, the subject in question goes beyond the scope of clamping down on terror financing and money laundering for Pakistan. Major shifts in the global balance of powers, geopolitical conflicts and diplomatic duels have significantly affected the FATF ...

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Dining on ashes: Pakistan’s hazardous coal dependent future

This article is the second part in a series about climate change and Pakistan’s carbon footprint. Read the first part here. ~ Earlier this year in August, I came across a newspaper article that read: “The government confirmed on Sun­day successful commercial operations of a two billion dollar 1,320MW coal-fired power plant set up by the China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC) under the China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor (CPEC) project.” It is mind boggling to see such news at a time where the world is moving towards renewable energy. What makes it worse is that Lahore has been plagued by dangerous smog for the ...

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Is Pakistan’s smog epidemic about to get worse?

Environmentalists in Islamabad were aghast this week when precious old trees in the capital were cut in order to make a bridge to connect sector G-7 to G-8 over the Express Highway, a signal free corridor. Despite their pleas that an alternative loop existed nearby which could be used, the Capital Development Authority went ahead to facilitate traffic flows. Islamabad’s activists are ringing alarm bells because this is exactly what happened in Lahore, with all its fancy signal free corridors, over passes and under passes which steadily ate away the old trees and green belts of the city. The ...

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It was to be expected that the UAE would side with India over Pakistan

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) shocked many observers late last month when it awarded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the country’s highest civilian honour amidst the on-going concern that New Delhi plans to carry out ethnic cleansing against the Muslims of Kashmir after its Israel-like unilateral moves in early August. This development flies in the face of everything that the international Muslim community (Ummah) is supposed to stand for, yet it should have been expected, especially after the Emirati Ambassador to India lauded the de-facto annexation of occupied Kashmir right after it happened for supposedly aiming to improve the economic ...

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Modi has no one to blame but himself for Imran-Trump’s successful meet

Narendra Modi disastrously bungled India’s famous policy of so-called ‘non-alignment’ over the past year and ensured that the summit between Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and American President Donald Trump was an unprecedented success in changing the strategic chessboard in South Asia. Afghanistan, trade and Kashmir All of Eurasia is still trying to process the grand strategic implications of what took place last week during Imran’s unprecedentedly successful summit with Trump. The American leader praised his counterpart for “extricating” the Pentagon from Afghanistan, committing to invest even more in the South Asian state, and even surprisingly offering to mediate the on-going Kashmir ...

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How Imran Khan and Donald Trump ruined Iran-India relations for good

Iran-India relations might be about to enter their worst-ever period in modern history, as a result of two very important and uncoordinated moves undertaken at almost the exact same time by the American and Pakistani leaders. Prime Minister Imran Khan just paid his first visit to Iran, where he and his hosts announced that they will enter into a new era of anti-terrorist cooperation. Geopolitical analyst Adam Garrie comprehensively analysed this in his recent piece on this breaking news event. The ball was indeed in Iran’s court to stop India’s anti-Pakistani Baloch terrorism, like I wrote the other day. To Tehran’s credit, its ...

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Lights, camera, action: India’s ‘Surgical Strike 2.0’ crashes at Pakistan’s ‘box office’

In the early hours of February 26, 2019, India thought that it pulled off an infowar coup by pretending to have carried out a ‘surgical strike’ against 200 to 300 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) fighters in Pakistan. However, this vote-grabbing stunt by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi completely backfired on him after Pakistan turned this latest Bollywood flick into a reality by defending its airspace and downing two Indian MiG planes that violated the Line of Control (LoC). The movie that came to life The hottest Bollywood flick in the world right now is ‘Surgical Strike 2.0’, which is a big-budget and high-stakes sequel ...

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Caught in the middle: Pakistan’s position in the US-China power shift

China’s rise has triggered a myriad of debates among political and academic commentators alike. Will it be peaceful and rely solely on America’s decline? Or will the changing structure of the international arena inevitably be riddled with war and violence? As the aforementioned thoughts become the subject of repeated discussions, another problem closer to home becomes more and more pressing: can Pakistan ride the ever-turbulent wave of great power rivalry, or is it playing dangerously close to the fire?  Developing trends in regional governance suggest that although American hegemony endures on the international scale, it is undoubtedly being subverted, as China’s global influence ...

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