Friday, 14 October 2016

Pakistan-China defence and economic ties

Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The relations between Pakistan and China are beyond the realm of normal diplomatic ties, and no terminology in the diplomatic parlance can really explain the nature of these bonds. China is not only a true friend but also a benefactor of Pakistan. The diplomatic relations established in 1951 have developed into an impregnable, vibrant and long-lasting partnership over the years. Their ties have always remained on the upward curve, belying the maxim that in international relations there are no permanent friends and enemies.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Regional linkages and shared prosperity

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) arguably is the pivot of the Chinese One Road One Belt initiative, which envisages not only the revival of the centuries’ old Silk Road (for trade and cultural interaction) but also a participatory process of sharing the fruits of economic development made possible by regional and global linkages that it desires to orchestrate. It is really a matter of great satisfaction that due to an abiding commitment both by Pakistan and China to see this project implemented within the envisaged time frame and their priority for the Early Harvesting Projects (EHP), a number of first phase initiatives costing $18 billion likely to be completed by 2018 are already under execution. Another set of ventures with an accumulated cost of $17 billion is under different stages of approval. CPEC involving an investment of $46 billion covers wide-ranging areas including energy, roads, railways, ports, optic fiber, oil and gas pipelines and industrial parks among others.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Pak stance on Kashmir vindicated

Courtesy:- Malik M Ashraf

In the backdrop of killing of more than eighty people by the Indian forces in the Occupied Kashmir and the blatant violation of human rights for well over a month, Pakistan has launched a diplomatic offensive to sensitize the international community about the situation in the valley and remind the world and the UN of their obligations towards the people of Kashmir. Pakistan has been condemning the Indian atrocities in IHK and its permanent ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi raised the issue at the United Nation General Assembly. Pakistan renewed its commitment to the cause of the people of Kashmir and stated in unequivocal terms that it would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris. The Prime Minister also wrote a letter to the UN Secretary General on the issue. He is also likely to raise this matter in his ensuring address to the General Assembly.

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Quetta attack and its aftermath

Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The suicide attack in Quetta on Monday, which claimed more than 70 lives, mostly lawyers, was the deadliest attack after the Karsaz tragedy of 2007 and the APS carnage in December 2014. This act of bestiality allegedly carried out by a splinter group of TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which has claimed responsibility, has sent a wave of shock and sadness among the people of Pakistan. The attack has been widely condemned not only within Pakistan but also across the world expressing solidarity with the people of Pakistan in this hour of pain and grief.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Kashmir dispute and Pakistan

Courtesy:- Malik M Ashraf

Indian insistence that Kashmir is its integral part, is not only the most preposterous contention but also constitutes an affront to the world community and the UN whose 23 resolutions on the subject invariably recognise Kashmir as a disputed territory and emphasise the settlement of the question of accession of the state through a plebiscite. This assertion also makes mockery of the repeated commitments given by Nehru and Lord Mountbatten to resolve the Kashmir issue by allowing the people to exercise their right of self-determination.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Significance of AJK poll results

Courtesy:- Malik M Ashraf

The PML (N) has made a clean sweep in the AJK polls by clinching 32 seats out of 41 directly contested seats, contrary to pre-poll assessments of political commentators and the propaganda of some private TV channels. The pundits who forecast mixed results have been fairly and squarely proven wrong. The elections were held in a peaceful atmosphere barring sporadic skirmishes among the workers of different political parties. However, no major incident of violence or irregularities was reported. Imran Khan and the PPP’s Bilawal Bhutto Zardari failed to create any impact.
The factors which contributed to this landslide victory for PML (N) include: dismal performance by the PPP government during its tenure like the government under Zardari in the centre between 2008-2013; rejection of the politics of hurling unsubstantiated allegations against PML (N) government by both Imran and Bilawal; their immature approach to serious issues like Kashmir and lack of understanding of the dynamics of change in the region. In regards to the significance of the poll results, it has sent a loud and clear message that the people were no more interested in politics of self-aggrandizement and agitation.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The inhuman humanity


Attention global humanitarians: this is not just a territorial dispute

 What goes on in Kashmir with the acquiescence and criminal tolerance of the so-called civilised world, never tiring of espousing the cause of human rights and human liberties whenever dictated by political expediencies and their own interests, rightly earns them the epithet of inhumane humanity.  What a shame that the self-styled champions of human causes, remain unmoved by the spilling of the blood of the people of Kashmir and the never ending orgy of rapes and violation of human rights by the Indian security forces. According to reports compiled by international human rights organisations the Indian security forces in Kashmir have killed nearly 94 thousand Kashmiris during the last 26 years, raped more than ten thousand women and killed more than seven thousand persons while in custody, under the protection of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, particularly section 7 of the Act, which grants immunity to members of the security forces from prosecution for human rights violations.