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Tag Archives: United States

Kashmir conflict over to Trump

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During his recent visit to Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed by massive civilian protests in the region, reflective of Kashmiri peoples’ aspirations with regard to false Indian claims on the territory, and ongoing repressive measures by India occupation forced. While inaugurating a tourism based Chenani-Nashri tunnel, Modi asked the youth of Kashmir to choose between …

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Rewriting Afghan conflict!

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In yet another rebuke to Pakistan, America has repeated the beaten line: “The US continues to be clear with Pakistan about steps it should take to improve the security environment and deny safe havens to terrorist and extremist groups,” the Pentagon said in its six-monthly report on Afghanistan sent to the Congress on June 17. The US defence secretary Ashton …

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Fallout of containment strategies in Asia

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Most of terror actions in Pakistan originate from Afghanistan. Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies are working conjointly to sustain such activities. TTP runaways in Afghanistan often attack this side of international border with impunity; they enter under the garb of Afghan refugees. Pakistan has long been raising these issues with Afghan, Indian and the US governments. Pakistan has also handed …

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Dialogue of the unequal!

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Pakistan-US strategic dialogue is important from the point of view of contents; it covers almost all essential domains. It is mutually beneficial to both sides. However, every round of dialogue gets overshadowed by American obsessions with Pakistan-India relations and Pakistan’s nuclear programme. The US perception has it that onus of maintaining good Pakistan-India relations rests on Pakistan; and that irrespective of its strategic calculus with India, Pakistan should unilaterally rollback its nuclear programme. American media is often keen to link Pakistan’s nuclear programme with its external debts and makes offers for bartering Pakistani-nukes with write off of these debts. Most of the factors, which determine a good economic health are poorly addressed in Pakistan. The human development report yearly issued by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) shows Pakistan at a lower level; 146 out of 187, countries. Also, there has been persistent low per capita income rate. From 2008 to 2015, the average growth has been around 3.5 percent, which is quite low—certainly not an enviable benchmark. The last five years of Pakistan’s economy were highly inflationary. This was a major hurdle in the way of development. Rather than attracting, foreign direct investment (FDI), even local Pakistani investors left the country, in numbers, for investing in neighbouring countries. Both, nuclear programme spanning full spectrum deterrence and robust economy, are vitally important to the existence of state and well being of the people of Pakistan. Even though economy is improving, it needs to be looked at from all aspects, and above all, unless requisite structural reforms are put in place, state of economy shall continue to be unstable.

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Evolving dynamics of Afghan conflict

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Last week Afghan forces pulled out of bases in Musa Qala, a strategic district of the southern province of Helmand. The commander of the Afghan army’s 215th Corps, Mohammad Moeen Faqir, said troops had been ordered to pull back from Roshan Tower, their main base in Musa Qala, as well as other checkpoints to reinforce Gereshk, straddling the main highway, one which links Kabul with the south and west. “Now that the government has withdrawn its forces from this district, we will see Kajaki, Gereshk and Sangin collapsing very soon,” said deputy provincial council member Abdul Majid Akhundzada.The outgoing commander of Operation Resolute Support and American troops in Afghanistan, General John F Campbell, paid a farewell call on Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on February 18. Campbell paid rich tributes to the professionalism and phenomenal achievements of Pakistan Army in Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He also acknowledged Pakistan Army’s efforts towards regional stability. General Raheel thanked Campbell in particular for his efforts to bring about stability in Afghanistan! Two generals reviewed the ongoing reconciliation process in Afghanistan and discussed the way forward. Though generals may think that worst of the Afghan conflict is far behind them, from a commoner’s perspectives, Afghanistan faces numerous daunting challenges.

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Palestine at the UN

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Pakistan Focus felicitates the government and people of Palestine, the world over, on the eve of hoisting of the flag of the State of Palestine. Pakistan Focus also urges upon all members of the UN, especially Israel and the United States  to recognize Palestine as an independent and sovereign State.

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Body language of Pakistan-India peace talks!

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For some years a politically prompted theme had been circulating amongst Indian academicians and strategists that India should abandon bilateral talks with Pakistan for a decade or so, hoping that by then Pakistan would be so weakened that it would accept to talk to India on Indian terms. This fantasy echoing Nehru era wishful fallacy ‘that newly created Pakistan would not survive long and Jinnah would approach Nehru with his knees bent for its re-merger with greater India’ appears to have gone to the head of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His national Security Adviser Ajit Dival is still suffering the hangover of his police assignment. Emerging Modi-Doval doctrine is to impose a new bilateral regime whereby Pakistan should forget about Kashmir, water and talk about terrorism, and that too as interpreted by India. Indian external affairs minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj has a vast experience of sabotaging Pakistan-India peace process. She was instrumental in scuttling Agra Summit 14–16 July 2001, while she was Union Cabinet Minister for Information and Broadcasting. Pakistan has rightly taken a position to follow multi-lateral route for presenting its dossiers on Indian involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan should India shut the bilateral window on flimsy pretexts. Dialogue between India and Pakistan has never been an easy ride. Most of the agreements of strategic dimension could only come about with formal or behind the scene intervention, facilitation and or prompting of a third party. Pakistan need to revisit its policy of dying for dialogue with India, calculations indicate that there is not much that Pakistan is likely to gain from this futile approach.

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Afghanistan’s erratic trajectory

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Afghan government is pressurizing Pakistan through the US, it has persuaded America to suspend the next tranche of Coalition Support Fund(CSF) to Pakistan for not doing enough against Haqqani network. Though formal announcement is likely to take sometime, reportedly the decision has informally been conveyed to Pakistan's embassy in Washington. This would cause a loss of US$ 1.5 billion; the amount has already been budgeted in the current year's budget. CSF is a reimbursement of amount already spent by Pakistan for providing services in connection with American counter terrorism effort. It is unbecoming of an ally to withhold such payments. This would be a setback for Pakistan and Afghanistan would stand absolved of what all it has uttered in the recent past. President Ashraf Ghani’s frustration is understandable, but his approach to resolve the issues is unfortunately getting more and more erratic. More than a decade long Pakistan bashing neither helped Americans nor Ashraf’s predecessor; it is not likely to help him either. Americans have corrected their course, and it would serve Ashraf well, if he follows the suite. Afghan conflict needs a professional handling. President Ashraf Ghani should have done his calculations before signing the Bilateral Security Agreement with America that a very powerful component of Taliban is not likely to compromise on presence of foreign troops on American soil. Despite stern tone in his comments on Pakistan, Ghani failed to come up with something concrete to achieve the desires objectives. Afghan leadership should comprehend that it is an exercise in futility to assume that Pakistan has compelling influence on Taliban. Bad experience of cobbling together a broad based Mujahedeen government in the wake of Soviet withdrawal from Kabul in the 1990s is not a distant memory; and ever since, Afghan insurgent leadership’s psyche has not changed much.

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Fragility of Pak-Afghan relations

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[Featured Image: Courtesy the Diplomat]. It would be naïve to take Pakistan-Afghanistan relations for granted. Complexity demands continuous steering and frequent course corrections. Home to this reality, the leadership of the two counties is maintaining frequent contacts at various tiers. Afghanistan and Pakistan enjoy a unique relationship that has many shades which keep morphing into each other in a number of ways; at times throwing up diverse and daunting challenges, and at times oozing out comforting brotherly sentiments and environment. Afghanistan-Pakistan, bilateral relationship appears to have come of age, however the gains are fragile and are not irreversible—hence needing careful handling and nurturing.

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Afghan peace process: China in lead role

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To end the Afghan impasse, America is encouraging Pakistan and China to support President Ghani's reconciliation efforts.This is a good approach because China, due to its credibility amongst all stake-holders is better placed to lead the process and act as guarantor for the implementation of the agreement .Realizing the importance of Pakistan in intra Afghan reconciliation, Dr Abdullah has asked India not to overreact about improvement in bilateral relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.The next few days are very crucial. All sides are aware of the fact that the breakthrough has to be achieved before the Taliban’s spring offensive. To cater for all possibilities about the outcome of talks, White House has decided to extend the stay of about 5500 troops out of core 9,800 combatants in Afghanistan beyond 2015; formal announcement would come in due course.

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