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  1. #1
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    It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister (OP)


    Salaam

    Change in Pakistan, wonder if he will make a difference?

    here's what we can expect of him

    Even a genuinely reformist candidate in the state has to find some kind of accommodation with the military – but that appeasement also carries the risk that the occupant of the presidential palace will find his middle class followers disillusioned


    It is tempting to see the rise of Imran Khan in Pakistan as a sort of counterpart to the En Marche! phenomenon in France that propelled Emmanuel Macron to power. As Mr Khan enjoys a surge in support for his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice, or PTI), and every chance of winning the elections this week, there are some parallels between the young French president and the youthful (though 65-year-old) Mr Khan.

    Mr Khan enjoys a legendary charisma, mostly born of his cricketing prowess, as if Gareth Southgate or Harry Kane were running to be prime minister of Britain. We know him in Britain too as the former husband of Jemima Goldsmith, and thus brother-in-law to her brother Zac.

    He has glamour, then, and a common touch that has seen his party make inroads in the populous Punjab, without which none can rule in Pakistan. Mr Khan has also made radical, reformist noises, pledged to rid his land of endemic corruption, and, more predictably, attacked the United States from its drone powered incursions into the Islamic Republic’s territory.

    Mr Khan, in other words, promises much, and, like Mr Macron, founded and still leads his own political party, which at times is not much more than a fan club for its handsome head. (Though the basically populist PTI is much older than En Marche!)

    Mr Khan and the PTI has done well in recent years in building support, mainly at the expense of two older parties, the vaguely progressive Pakistan Peoples Party, currently led by another member of the Bhutto dynasty, and the more conservative Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), whose ex-leader, and former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was recently jailed on corruption charges.

    All, however, is not what it seems. Mr Khan is widely regarded as being an ally of what remains the most powerful institution in the country and the only one, according to Mr Khan, that functions effectively – the army.

    The generals, a ruthless though stabilising force in Pakistani society, are reportedly “pre-rigging” the election in Mr Khan’s favour, including the arrest of Sharif (which is not to say that the move was unjust). It seems that the PTI has suffered less from electoral violence than some of its rivals, including a terror attack at a rally in Baluchistan that killed 149 people.

    Condemning corruption is not consistent with being cosy with the Pakistani army, a body that controls substantial chunks of the economy and has plenty of money and the muscle to get its way, on a national scale and by way of kickbacks and petty corruption and abuse of power. The army has frequently intervened in Pakistani politics, subverted democracy, and collaborated with religious extremists, including the Taliban in the 1980s, when young men such as Osama bin Laden were based there to fight America’s proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

    The legacy of that haunts Pakistan to this day. The result is that even a genuinely reformist candidate in the state has to find some kind of accommodation with the military; but that appeasement also carries the risk that the occupant of the presidential palace will find his middle class followers disillusioned. If he chooses instead to challenge the army, then, like Mr Sharif, he may find himself more or less gently deposed.

    Pakistan’s endemic problems with graft and corruption go a long way to explaining its long-term disappointing economic performance, despite a recent spate of growth. That matters in a predominantly young nation of some 200 million, and which must look with envy at what its neighbours India and China have been able to achieve in recent decades.

    If Mr Khan is unable to do much about the corruption, then he will find the economy works way below its potential, and foreign investors, already wary of political instability and the backwash of violence from Afghanistan, will prefer to put their euros, yen and dollars into India.

    Without economic growth, better public infrastructure, and opportunities, unemployment, health and education are harder to come by. Pakistan’s severe social problems, including the treatment of women and human rights generally, will remain intractable without money, something Mr Khan, a prominent philanthropist, at least shows awareness of.

    Last, Mr Khan is no better placed to deal with tribalism than his rivals. He too enjoys a regional base of support in Punjab, and has had to rely on old-school defecting politicians from other parties and prominent families to bolster his support. He optimistically describes these mercenary politicians as “electables”, though corruptibles might be a better sobriquet.

    Pakistan, then, may change under Mr Khan, and for the better, but it will take formidable skill to make this happen. Mr Khan has won for Pakistan many times on the cricket pitch; he will find his new job a much stickier wicket.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/imran-khan-pakistan-election-prime-minister-muslim-league-army-macron-en-marche-zac-goldsmith-a8460436.html

    An old interview.


  2. #61
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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

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    Salaam

    Like to share.

    Blurb

    Bollywood is in trouble.


    Last edited by Junon; 08-26-2019 at 09:12 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

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    Like to share.









    Looks like the clown prince is getting a new religion.




    Blurb

    Wherever Modi goes, comedy follows...



    This wouldn't surprise me.





    Right on cue, these 'elites' mealy mouthed rationalisations are beyond the pale (were going to help the Palestinians, how exactly?)





    Mind you its becoming clearer, brother Zaid may have a point, is one of the reasons this crises have been manufactured is to force Pakistan to bend the knee?
    Last edited by Junon; 08-28-2019 at 12:32 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Another update



    On the general situation.



    1) Total Shutdown: 3 weeks in, complete nonsense to suggest life is normal or that Kashmiris accept any of it. Valley remains in total paralysis; no shops, no internet, no schools, no phones. Nothing is open, nothing to do, nowhere to go. Large parts of Srinagar totally empty.

    (2) Saturated Military Presence: I've visited many violence affected areas - but this is the most claustrophobic security force presence I've ever seen in a large urban area. It's absolutely maddeningly oppressive. Soldiers, paramilitaries and police are literally everywhere.

    (3) Politically Transformative: There's absolute fury & anger everywhere, & it's not going away. This amounts to collective punishment, humiliation and imprisonment and that's the way it's seen. It is definitely a historic tipping point but not in the direction Amit Shah wants.


    Let me add - locking up leadership hasn't stopped the bandh. The present shutdown in Kashmir is voluntarily observed, and total - not called by any party or leader (entire political leadership is anyway in custody, incommunicado). That's quite significant in itself.

    Finally-absolutely critical Indians open their minds to what is going on & challenge disinformation & bigoted triumphalism. Switch off your TV, read a book & maybe go visit Kashmir & see what govt is doing in your name. People are as ever, exceptionally warm and hospitable.

    Epilogue: yesterday I posted some personal observations from a trip to Srinagar. The angry responses from alumni of Watsapp university all come down to two types- (1) “what you say is not true”; (2) “so what, they deserve it” anyway”

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1...763192832.html

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Yes a noble gesture but no this wont convince anybody.



    As much as I loathe them, he has a point.



    This is perceptive.



    Trump with his mask off.





    The reality.

    Last edited by Junon; 09-01-2019 at 05:14 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Another update.



    On the general situation.





    Similarities between the situation in Palestine and Kashmir.



    Bernie Sanders speaks out.

    Last edited by Junon; 09-02-2019 at 06:56 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Another update.

    With meticulous planning then mass arrests and ‘torture’, Kashmir’s autonomy was lost

    Residents say security forces have beaten and abused locals as they attempt to prevent a violent uprising. Warning: this article contains images which some readers may find distressing


    When Jammu and Kashmir’s governor addressed the world in a press conference on 4 August, people in the Muslim-majority valley were worried.
    After decades of bubbling unrest in the most highly militarised region on the planet, they knew the signs were there that something big was happening. But when the governor was asked, he told the media that it was simply “unnecessary panic” created by “rumour mongering”.

    He had lied. The next day, the Modi administration announced that Kashmir’s constitutionally enshrined autonomy was being unilaterally withdrawn, and the state was being downgraded and split into two “union territories”.

    The news sent shockwaves across India and the region – but in Kashmir itself, a carefully orchestrated communications and travel lockdown allowed the government to claim that the situation remained “normal”.

    Now, as the first detailed allegations emerge of torture and abuse by the security forces maintaining the lockdown in the region, The Independent can trace the events that led to the end of Kashmir’s special status.
    Rewind to 26 July, and the first sign of the groundwork being laid by the Indian government was a redeployment of an additional 100 companies – around 10,000 soldiers – to a region already saturated with security forces.

    The move was issued under the pretence of countering the militancy in the region, even though the number of militant attacks had come down in recent months.

    After a few days, another 180 companies were sent to the valley, but this time home secretary Shaleen Kabra gave the excuse that there was specific intelligence of an imminent terror attack around the annual Hindu pilgrimage to Amarnath Temple in the Himalayas.

    The order was followed by another advisory notice, issued by the Modi government and again citing the terror threat, asking tourists and pilgrims to leave the valley immediately for their own safety.
    Meanwhile, the influx of troops was creating panic and confusion on the streets of Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital.

    Footage obtained by The Independent shows worried students turning up at their college buildings and accommodation only to discover that they had been commandeered by the army to house the security forces.
    Part-time students who attend the Indira Gandhi National Open University on Sundays travelled for hours to reach college on 4 August only to find the gates shut.

    Shabana Wani, a 28-year-old woman who travelled almost 70km to attend college that day, said she called her professor. “I asked him about shutting the college, he said they didn’t have any proper orders, they just received the call to close immediately as forces we supposed to take the college.”

    At the same time, doctors say, the authorities ordered all major hospitals to conduct an immediate stock-taking exercise. Hospital employees told The Independent they were largely unable to give an accurate count of their supplies in the short span of time provided.

    The preparations led to a climate of hostility towards non-locals. Videos show migrant workers from the rest of India flocking to taxi ranks leaving Srinagar with only the luggage they can carry, while non-local students at the National Institute of Electronics and Information and Technology were picked out and taken away from a hostel by forces – possibly for their own safety.

    The communications lockdown, in force since 4 August, meant that the scale of the preparations was not appreciated at the time, and only official statements such as those from the governor, insisting everything was OK, were widely circulated.

    The announcement on 5 August, that the government was reading down Article 370 of India’s constitution, meant the worst nightmare of many Kashmiris had come true.

    An angry backlash was expected. But visiting the most restive districts of southern Kashmir, The Independent heard allegations from residents that security forces resorted to extreme brutality and public humiliation in order to snuff out any unrest at source.

    People in Nadapora Parigam, an area of the Pulwama district where a deadly suicide bombing killed 40 paramilitary officers in February, said that local boys were tortured by the security forces on the night of 5 August, hours after the Article 370 announcement was made.

    Mohammad Yasin Bhat, 22, said he was dragged out of his bed at midnight by soldiers and brought out of his home to the main road, where he was made to stand naked in line with 11 other civilians.

    It became apparent that security forces passing through the neighbourhood had been pelted with stones earlier in the day, and the troops were rounding up youths – seemingly at random – to find the culprits.

    The officer in charge began by asking Yasin about his views of the Article 370 decision, he said. “I could sense the tension around, so, for my own safety, I said ‘we are happy – it is a good decision’. But I knew he didn’t trust my words,” said Yasin.

    Yasin said he and the others were asked to remove their clothes, and then beaten with canes, gun butts and kicks. He says there was no one to help them – the whole village was cordoned off, and troops were at every corner.
    During the beating, “many of us fainted”, Yasin said. “They would give electric shocks in our private parts, and start the torture again.”

    During the beating, one man who asked for water was made to drink muddy drain water from the side of the road, Yasin said. And the final indignity came when, at the end of the beating, the naked men were made to “lie face-down on top of each other in a pile”. “It was harassment, making us feel violated,” he said.

    Neighbours gave similar accounts of the incident. One man in his eighties, who asked not to be named, said he watched the beatings from beginning to end and, when the security forces left, came out onto the street to help “rescue all of the victims”.

    The family showed pictures of severe bruising on Yasin’s backside and thighs, while other families provided images of other youths who had suffered injuries.

    Yasin’s is not the only allegation of torture by the security forces to have emerged since the current crisis in Kashmir began, and representatives for the Indian army have strongly denied the claims.

    In a statement to the BBC, which reported on alleged beatings in Pulwama on Friday, a spokesperson said the Indian army was “a professional organisation that understands and respects human rights” and that all allegations “are investigated expeditiously”.

    On the same night of 5 August, at around 2am, armed forces arrived at the residence of Mohammad Maqbool Khan in the New Colony area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.
    Soldiers started banging on the door. Maqbool’s daughter in-law, Shazada Bano, said she rushed to open it in a panic.

    “They ordered all of us to come in the courtyard. All of us gathered and they started asking our names,” she said. As soon as they heard the name of Amir Khan, a 27-year-old man who runs an electronics shop, they dragged him outside.
    “We tried to stop them, but they said they want him to guide them in locating a few houses for searches, and we believed them. But that wasn’t true at all,” said Shazada.

    The next morning when they reached the nearest police station, they found Amir in lockup. Maqbool asked officials the reason for his detention and they replied simply that he “will be released after 15 August” (India’s Independence Day, when a spike in unrest was expected).

    That never happened, and on 18 August when Maqbool went to see Amir, the commanding officer told him he had been moved to the central jail in Srinagar.

    The family travelled to the city and asked after Amir. They were told he and three other men from their village had been booked under the Public Safety Act – an emergency law that allows the authorities to imprison a person for up to two years without charge or trial.

    One of the other youths detained was Shahid Ahmad Bhat, a 25-year-old boy whose father Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat is a pharmacist who lives a few metres away from Maqbool.

    But unlike Maqbool, Mushtaq doesn’t even know where his son is being held. “For some time he was in the police station, later they said he has been shifted to Srinagar. At central jail, officials said he is not there. I have no idea where my son is, or if he is dead or alive,” Mushtaq said.

    Government officials would not comment on specific cases, but they were not shy about the scale of the arrests carried out since 5 August decision. An official told The Independent that more than 4,000 people have been detained since the announcement, though they could not give an exact number. Many, like Shahid and Amir, face the prospect of potentially years in jail without any recourse to justice.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a9086611.html



    The issue was raised in the British parliament.

    Last edited by Junon; 09-05-2019 at 08:21 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    And who is operating in the shadows?





    Last edited by Junon; 09-07-2019 at 01:00 AM.

  11. #68
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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Another update



    Muted Response to the Kashmir Issue: Reflection of Changing Priorities of Muslim Leadership?

    India seized upon a reality about Kashmir when it announced that it had revoked the special status it conferred on, and its previous agreements with, the Muslim-majority territory. This reality was that Kashmir’s 8 million Muslims have become the world’s forgotten people. A people that the international community can no longer summon the will to stand up against its oppressors and violators of human rights and international law.

    Indian security forces instantly moved into the region, as New Delhi proceeded to action its strategic aim of changing the region’s demographics and implement its new ethnic cleansing Hindu nationalist settler-colonial project.

    This will systematically transform settlements into mini-cities, usurping land from the Kashmiris and giving it to Hindu Indians, while Muslim citizens of this besieged state will be denied the same rights that have been afforded to their colonisers. Does this plan sound familiar? It’s probably because our minds are drawn towards the Zionist oppression in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

    Decades of state-sponsored terror and militancy have ensured that a cycle of violence remains, one where the rights of Kashmiris have been repeatedly violated. The people of Kashmir have been victims of torture, threats, extortion, arrests, and killings. They have always been hostile to the presence of India’s troops on their soil and have shown strong determination in resisting the tens of thousands of killings and thousands of rapes, disappearances, and torture inflicted upon the population at the hands of these foreign occupiers. Long-standing agreements in place had afforded the Kashmiri people the right to determine their own destiny.

    The dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has been a searing wound for decades, with the roots of the conflict lying in their shared colonial past. Both nations fought three wars over the contested territory, whilst their previous colonisers Great Britain kept aloof from the explosive developments in the region. This conflict largely reflects a bitter and troubled legacy of British colonialism, and without a shadow of a doubt has been part of the leftovers from the decolonisation process.

    In fact, drawing parallels with the Palestine crisis (another legacy of British colonialism), renowned author Arundhati Roy aptly captures this development: “How carelessly imperial power vivisected ancient civilizations. Palestine and Kashmir are imperial Britain’s festering, blood-drenched gifts to the modem world. Both are fault lines in the raging international conflicts of today.” [1]

    The parallels between the two have never looked as ominous as they do now. Several reasons for the conflict over Kashmir have been argued, more often than not to serve globalist interests rather than the fundamental needs or desires of the Kashmiris themselves. There are many outside factors at play that have exacerbated the human rights situation in the Kashmir region.

    Israel has been playing a big role in India’s escalation of the conflict with Pakistan. Modi appears to be taking a page straight out of the Israeli playbook. Critics have warned that metamorphosis in Kashmir could mirror Jewish settlements in the West. [2]

    Many of the Indian ruling party BJP’s aspirations and policy proposals for Kashmir are imitations of extant Israeli practices in Palestine. Key among these is the desire to build Israeli-style Hindu-only settlements in Kashmir as a way of instigating demographic change.

    For months, Israel has been assiduously lining itself up alongside India’s nationalist BJP government in an unspoken – and politically dangerous – ‘anti-Islamist’ coalition; an unofficial, unacknowledged alliance. India has now become the largest weapons market for the Israeli arms trade.[3] Several Indian commentators, however, have warned that right-wing nationalism under Modi and right-wing Zionism should not become the foundations of the relationship between the two countries, both of which – in rather different ways – fought the British Empire.[4]

    It is pathetic that the international community is, yet again, responding to Kashmiri fears and suffering with callous indifference. Its concerns are confined to hoping that Pakistan and India do not end up nuking each other into oblivion.

    The history of the international community’s involvement in the Kashmir dispute is one of repeated frustration and failure. The international community has recognised that the continuous refusal of the Indian government to countenance an international role in Kashmir makes it likely that any outside efforts will be as unsuccessful as others were in the past. However, India cannot get away from the fact that Kashmir is an ‘internationally recognised disputed territory’, thereby unilaterally changing the status quo of the state is unacceptable. It is clear that the spirit of the 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan, which states that the final status of Jammu and Kashmir is to be settled by peaceful means in accordance with the UN Charter, is in tatters.

    It is doubtful to what extent the UN will consider using the UN doctrine of the principle of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ – the international community’s intervention to stop atrocities from taking place – in light of the many crimes against humanity committed against the Kashmiri people under cover of lockdowns and blackouts.

    What is more troubling and concerning is the sheer indifference of the so-called Muslim world (Ummah), with some Arab leaders even rewarding the oppressors. Whereas the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has expressed its “deep concerns” and condemned “illegal Indian actions” in Kashmir, the leaders of Muslim-majority countries have been conspicuously mute or worse. This is typified by Saudi Arabia refraining from taking a position on recent developments, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) praising New Delhi by arguing that India’s revocation of Article 370 will “improve social justice and security and confidence of the people in the local governance and will encourage further stability and peace.”

    Shamefully, amidst these developments in Kashmir, the ruler of UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, graced Modi with the ‘Order of Zayed’, the Kingdom’s highest civilian order. Similarly, the kings of both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain conferred their highest Orders on Modi on earlier occasions.

    This shameful scenario of Arab leaders betraying Muslim causes is not entirely surprising. In fact, Palestinians today are torn between President Donald Trump’s arrogance and Arab indifference. Faarah Adan writes, “Arab leaders laid down the very foundations that led to the pitiful conditions in which the Palestinians exist today. The Palestinian road to peace and self-determination is hamstrung not only by Israeli aggression but also by decades of indecisiveness and the Arab leaders’ bumbling incompetency.” [5]

    Like Trump, Arab regimes — particularly Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt — find themselves more aligned than ever with Israel on regional priorities. Equally shameful is when 22 (mostly Western) ambassadors wrote to the UN Human Rights Council in July expressing concern about China’s mass detentions in East Turkestan (which it calls the “Xinjiang” region) and calling for “meaningful access” for “independent international observers”, another letter was delivered to the Council signed by 37 ambassadors, which included a dozen Muslim governments (including Pakistan) endorsing what China whitewashed as a “counter-terrorism and de-radicalization” operation and claimed that “the fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there are safeguarded.” [6] It is not surprising that gross human rights violations have also been occurring in the Muslim world.

    This trend is pointing towards a change of priorities by Muslim leaders in the modern context. What is clear is that Modi’s unilateral declaration on Kashmir fits the mould of Trump’s declaration on East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. In this context, Modi riding roughshod over Kashmir is nothing surprising. In dealing with recent conflicts, Muslim leaders also appear to be joining the Trump/Netanyahu/Xi Jinping/Modi club in putting flesh on the skeleton of a new world order that enables civilisational leaders to violate international law with impunity. It also allows them to cast aside diplomacy and ignore national, ethnic, minority, religious, and human rights.

    The Muslim world’s varied response to crises that target the rights of Muslims suggest not only impotence, but also a growing willingness to sacrifice causes on the altar of perceived national interest and economic advantage. The question is whether this is an approach that would be popularly endorsed if freedom of expression in many Muslim countries was not severely restricted. The risk is that the inability of leaders to gauge public opinion or willingness to ignore it will eventually come back to haunt them. [7]

    https://www.islam21c.com/opinion/mut...im-leadership/

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    A surprise to no one.



    ISLAMABAD: UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan had said that Pakistan and India should not make the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) an issue of the Muslim Ummah as it was a dispute between the two countries.

    Geo News anchorperson of ‘Capital Talk’ on Wednesday said that some officials of the federal government informed that UAE minister for foreign affairs is visiting Pakistan apparently to express solidarity with Pakistan on the IHK issue but his interaction with Pakistani leadership previously suggested that he had conveyed that Kashmir issue should not be made an issue of the Muslim Ummah rather, according to him, it is a bilateral issue and should be resolved through talks between Pakistan and India.

    Hamid Mir said that Pakistan leadership must convey to the world in general and the Muslim countries in particular that Nerendra Modi’s atrocities are not limited to the IHK only rather he wants to unleash reign of terror across India to forcibly convert the Muslims into Hindus. In this context, Kashmir issue is not a dispute between India and Pakistan but it is an issue of the whole Muslim world.

    https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/522...im-ummah-issue

    We were warned about the rise of Modi.



    More generally

    Last edited by Junon; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:23 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Another update. They have their sights set on a bigger prize.





    Blurb

    New Delhi says Pakistan-controlled Kashmir should be considered as part of India: India's foreign minister also expressed hope that 'one day they would have physical jurisdiction over the region'.

    New Delhi and Islamabad have been at loggerheads for more than 7 decades over Kashmir since they failed to agree on the borders drawn up during the British partition of India.




    Modhi is currently in the USA.

    Last edited by Junon; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:32 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Another update.



    Diverging Gulf Responses to Kashmir and Xinjiang Reflect Deep Divisions

    Very different responses were recently on display in Gulf reactions to India’s unilateral withdrawal of Kashmir’s autonomy and Qatar’s reversal of its support of China’s brutal clampdown on Turkic Muslims in its troubled northwestern province of Xinjiang.

    The divergence says much about the almost decade-long, fundamentally different approaches taken by Qatar and its main detractors, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, toward an emerging, more illiberal new world order in which minority rights are trampled upon.

    The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading a more than two-year-long economic and diplomatic boycott of Qatar in a so far failed attempt to force the Gulf state to alter its policies.

    The feud reflects the Gulf states’ different efforts to maneuver an environment in which the US has sent mixed signals about its commitment to Gulf security and China and Russia are seeking to muscle into US dominance of the region.

    In what was perhaps the most surprising indication of differences in the Gulf, Qatar appeared to reverse its tacit acquiescence in China’s clampdown, involving the incarceration in reeducation camps of an estimated 1 million predominantly Turkic Uyghur Muslims.

    Qatar did so by withdrawing from a letter it initially signed together with dozens of others countries expressing support for China’s human-rights record despite its clampdown in Xinjiang.

    In a letter to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Ali Al-Mansouri, Qatar’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, advised the council that “taking into account our focus on compromise and mediation, we believe that co-authorizing the aforementioned letter would compromise our foreign policy key priorities. In this regard, we wish to maintain a neutral stance and we offer our mediation and facilitation services.”

    Signatories of the letter included Qatar’s detractors – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – as well as Kuwait and Oman, which, together with the feuding Gulf states, are part of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

    The withdrawal coincided with a US warning that kowtowing to China’s “desire to erode US military advantages” in the Middle East by using its “economic leverage and coercion” and “intellectual property theft and acquisition” could undermine defense cooperation with the US.

    “Many investments are beneficial, but we’re concerned countries’ economic interests may blind them to the negative implications of some Chinese investments, including impact on joint defense cooperation with the United States,” said Michael Mulroy, the US Defense Department’s top official responsible for the Gulf.

    The Qatari move also came against the backdrop of the Gulf state, which is home to the largest US base in the region, being the only country in the greater Middle East to host an expansion rather than a reduction of US facilities and forces. Qatar is believed to have funded the expansion to the tune of $1.8 billion.

    The US has withdrawn some of its forces from Syria and is negotiating a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan with the Taliban.

    Nevertheless, Qatar, an enlightened autocracy that has yet to implement at home what it preaches abroad, is unlikely to reap the full soft power benefits in liberal Western democracies of its withdrawal from the pro-Chinese letter despite Uyghur and human rights activists welcoming the move.

    It is unclear what prompted the Qatari change of heart, though it did follow an incident last month at Doha’s Hamad International Airport that drove home the limits of China’s ability to flex its financial, economic, and political muscles to control the fallout of its clampdown beyond its borders.

    Those limits were evident when Ablikim Yusuf, a 53-year old Uyghur Muslim seeking protection from potential Chinese persecution, landed at the airport. After initially intending to deport Yusuf to Beijing at China’s request, Qatar reversed course.

    But rather than grant Yusuf asylum under its newly adopted asylum law, the Gulf’s first, Qatar gave him time to seek refuge elsewhere. Even that was in sharp contrast to countries like Egypt and Turkey, which have either deported Uyghurs or entertained the possibility.

    As a result, Qatar’s withdrawal drove one more wedge into the Muslim world’s almost wall-to-wall refusal to criticize China for what amounts to the most frontal assault on any faith in recent history.

    Turkey, Qatar’s ally in its dispute with the Gulf states, as well as the Turkic republics of Central Asia, have been walking a tightrope as they attempt to balance relations with China and domestic public criticism of Chinese policy in Xinjiang.

    Kazakhstan this month silenced a detained Kazakh rights activist of Uyghur descent by forcing him to plead guilty to a hate speech charge and abandon his activism and public criticism of China in exchange for securing his freedom.

    The Qatari withdrawal complicates the Turkish and Central Asian balancing act and strengthens the position of the US, which is locked in multiple trade and other disputes with China.

    The withdrawal and US criticism of Chinese policy in Xinjiang put Muslim states, increasingly selective about what Muslim causes they take up, in an awkward position.

    The UAE, in sharp contrast to Qatar, has not only maintained its support of China but also, alongside Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, ignored requests for support on Kashmir by Pakistan, its longstanding regional Muslim ally.

    Adding insult to injury, the three Gulf states are rewarding Indian PM Narendra Modi for his undermining of Kashmiri autonomy and imposition of unprecedented, repressive security measures.

    Modi is scheduled to travel this week to the UAE to receive the country’s highest civilian honor and then go on to Bahrain for the first-ever visit to that country by a sitting Indian PM.

    Meanwhile, Saudi national oil company Aramco announced a $15 billion investment in an Indian oil company as Modi was clamping down on Kashmir.

    For its part, Qatar has remained largely silent about Kashmir, other than advising its nationals to leave the region.

    If the policy divergences in the Gulf say anything, they suggest that differences among the region’s rivals as well as in in the greater Middle East are likely to deepen rather than subside.

    A study last year by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace concluded that conflict in the region was fueled by a “dearth of regional communication channels, dispute resolution mechanisms, and norms for warfare as well as a surplus of arms imports.”

    There is little on the horizon to suggest that this state of affairs is going to change any time soon.

    https://besacenter.org/perspectives-...hmir-xinjiang/
    Last edited by Junon; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:03 AM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Like to share.




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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    So much awesomeness to fit into one clip. Love him or hate him, Prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, smashed it.





    On certain Indian Muslim leaders cosy relationship with Modhi.

    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:59 PM.

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    Re: It looks like Imran Khan is about to become Pakistan's prime minister

    Salaam

    UK Royal family came to visit.



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