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Posts tagged as Pakistani

Crisis with India can have unintended impact on Afghan peace process: Maleeha

NEW YORK: The ongoing crisis with India means that Pakistan’s full focus has to be on its eastern frontier and that has implications for the nascent Afghan peace process, Pakistan’s Representative to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi said.
Although she stopped short of saying this would affect Pakistans role in the process, her message was clear that the shift in focus could have that unintended results.
Our attention is going to be where we feel there is a military threat to us,” Ambassador Lodhi said in response to a question about the possible impact of the simmering India-Pakistan tensions stemming from the Kashmir dispute.Qatar offers mediation to de-escalate tensions between Pak, IndiaThat ongoing threat, she clarified, was from India.
The latest round of Afghan peace talks is taking place in Doha, Qatar, between Zalmay Khalilzad, the American special envoy, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy leader, who for the first time is taking a more direct role in the process.“Both (Afghanistan) and (Kashmir) issues are important in their own right.
But it is the eastern border, from where India attacked Pakistan. They sent planes into our territory.That’s a hot border,” the envoy added.“Afghanistan is a different situation.We would like that war to end. But we don’t perceive a threat from our western border.
It’s our eastern border from where we continue to perceive a threat.“We are in the midst of a very tense situation, a very fraught situation,” the Pakistani envoy continued.The Indian leadership is failing to respond to Prime Minister Imran Khans repeated gestures (for peace), which included freeing and releasing the Indian pilot.”The turmoil in Kashmir escalated on February 14, after a suicide bombing killed more than 40 Indian paramilitary troops in Kashmir.Pakistan categorically denied any involvement and offered to investigate, but India still went ahead and dropped bombs inside Pakistani territory.We kept asking the Indians to give us what you have and we will act on it, Ambassador Lodhi said, adding that only couple of days ago, the so-called dossier has been handed over Pakistan.Theresa May lauds PM Imran’s peace overtures amid Pak-India tensionsWe are examining that dossier to see if there is anything there on which we need to act, and we will act if there is any solid evidence, but we cannot act on the basis of allegations, she said.Replying to a question about Kashmir, the Pakistani envoy said the dispute has been there for the past 70 years.
“It has to be addressed, in its own right and (on) its own merits because it will remain an issue that will lead to repeated tensions between India and Pakistan and in any case, it is an issue that is on the Security Council agenda and it has resolutions that remain unimplemented.

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We are kind and humble, not weak: Indian Army quotes Dinkar’s legendary poem in a quiet acknowledgement of …

The Indian Armed forces took Pakistan by a surprise in the wee hours of the morning by crossing the Line of Control and breaching the Pakistani airspace.Twelve Mirage 2000 fighter jets struck and destroyed terror camps by dropping 1000 kg payloads each across the Line of Control.
क्षमाशील हो रिपु-समक्षसन्धि-वचन संपूज्य उसी का जिसमें शक्ति विजय की 26, 2019 – Article resumes – In these few words, quoted from the famous poem Shakti Aur Kshyama (Power and Forgiveness) written by Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar explaining forgiveness, tolerance, and power, the Indian Army has tried to convey:क्षमाशील हो ॠपु-समक्ष तुम हुये विनीत जितना ही दुष्ट कौरवों ने तुमको कायर समझा उतना ही, meaning The more forgiving you were in your humane compassion, the more these rouge Kauravas will peg you as a coward.सच पूछो तो शर में ही बसती है दीप्ति विनय की, संधिवचन सम्पूज्य उसीका जिसमे शक्ति विजय की, meaning Truth be told, it’s in the arrow that holds the gleam of humility.
Only his peace-talk is reputable who is capable of victory.The message has gone out today from the Indian Armed forces to everyone, who tries to mess with India, that the Indian Army is standing undeterred, ready to pay back in the same coin.To avenge the ghastly Pulwama attack the Indian Armed forces went into the Pakistan territory, demolished the targets assigned and spread panic in Pakistan soil.Today Pakistan has been answered for its treachery.
They have been left shamed and unmasked. India has been able to exact a heavy toll on Pakistan.If India dropped payload in Balakot as claimed by Pakistan, then India did not merely cross the LOC. The Indian Armed Force went farther than Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and attacked Pakistani territory.
Reports have emerged which say that the IAF has destroyed Control rooms and launch pads of Jaish-e-Muhammad in Balakot, Muzaffarabad, and Chakothi.The Indian Government has just released a statement saying that the Indian strike was against terrorists on their camps located deep in forests, away from the civilian population.

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The bittersweet smell of money

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) has come and gone. He arrived amid great fanfare and departed on a high note, leaving behind a government grateful for a seemingly significant package of promised investments worth billions of dollars.
But what does the visit really amount to in both political and economic terms? The promise of $21 billion is nothing to trifle about.But seen in a broader historic context, the promises come in the shape of memoranda of understanding (MoU), not actual investments. A report in this newspaper last week revealed that Pakistan had signed over 10,000 MoUs in the last two decades but only two percent materialised into on-the-ground investments.The political context matters. The latest Saudi promises translating into MoUs have been underwritten by MBS himself on his first-ever visit to Pakistan, and come on the heels of hectic deliberations over the last four months, including two meetings between him and IK in Riyadh and another three with Pakistan’s military leadership.
They also follow two separate sets of $3 billion assistance for balance of payment support and oil on deferred payments, which led to similar arrangements with the UAE and China, thus preventing potential bankruptcy.This total of $12 billion worth of investments in oil and mineral sectorare already materialising and go beyond MoUs, so that is something.
The other significant aspect is that the MoUs are for investments that specify several projects and acquisitions such as a major refinery in Balochistan and power plants in Punjab — in a staggered manner over the course of five years. That the promised money has a high probability of materialising into Pakistan’s fraught economy is hinted at by the establishment of an Implementation Coordination Council to be co-chaired annually by MBS and IK, with its maiden meeting held in Islamabad and co-chaired by the two leaders even before the ink on the MoUs had dried.A three-year priority list and action plan were promptly drawn up, bilateral working groups created, and tasks assigned. This is super-fast by Pakistan standards and smell of real money!While the fate of the investments is in the hands of the working groups, what cannot escape scrutiny is the fact that these promises-leading-to-investments really constitute an economic bailout for Pakistan, which require payback.
Pakistan must start paying back $12 billion to Saudi Arabia, UAE and China starting from the new fiscal year in equal annual installments. This is on top of the current annual $9 billion debt servicing obligations.
The $21 billion Saudi investments will come at an average of $5 billion a year, if all of it will flow in, and that too will depend on Pakistan creating and utilising capacity for delivery.In addition to Pakistan having to deliver on these tough financial terms and economic performance, the real cost of this Saudi bailout over several years may be political and tougher to deliver.
The deep involvement of the Pakistani military in bringing fractured bilateral ties between Islamabad and Riyadh cannot come without expectations on the issue of security.The Saudi refinery at Gwadar will kill any remaining chances of a long-gestating Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline as it allows the Saudis to export oil supplies to China and Central Asia right through Iran’s backyard.
A former Pakistan Army chief is already head of the security alliance against terrorism based in Saudi Arabia. He shuttled between Islamabad and Riyadh, meeting both IK and the COAS, ahead of the MBS visit.The previous government led by Nawaz Sharif, otherwise considered historically close to the Saudis, balked at providing outright support of the military to the Saudi security alliance which is seen as one that aligns Sunni states. It was IK who protested on the streets against Pakistan aligning itself with the military alliance currently fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.
Ironically, IK seems to have reversed his stance on the issue now that he is in power and is ready to go the extra mile with Saudi Arabia.While there has been no formal mention of Pakistan’s security partnership during the MBS visit, everyone found themselves focusing on it when the Saudi foreign minister, accompanying MBS, said in a press conference jointly with his Pakistani counterpart that Iran was a sponsor of terrorism.This brought into open the elephant in the room – Pakistan’s ties with Iran – even though the engagement was a bilateral one between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. This embarrassed Pakistan and its foreign minister had to call his Iranian counterpart within a couple of hours of his press conference with the Saudi foreign minister to assuage concerns that Pakistan was neutral with Iran and that its ties with Saudi Arabia were not going to influence its relationship with Iran.
This ‘X’ factor in Pakistan’s strengthening ties with Saudi Arabia – Iran –will test Pakistan’s diplomatic and political skills at packaging a neutrality-in-policy that is not neutrality-in-practice. The Saudi refinery at Gwadar will kill any remaining chances of a long-gestating Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline as it allows the Saudis to export oil supplies to China and Central Asia right through Iran’s geographic backyard.Iran will not let go this strategic slight by Pakistan. This will make a long-term de facto or de jure security pact between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia all but inevitable to counter Iranian anger.
The MBS visit to Pakistan definitely carves out a more strategic engagement with Pakistan by moving the course from hitherto an assistance relationship to an economic relationship. But that is really a thin cover for a broader, long-term security relationship that will pitch Pakistan into a larger strategic regional game but, considering how security interests in Pakistan impact national polity, will end up changing Pakistan’s political landscape.And, from the perspective of the people, this will not necessarily be for the better. COAScrown prince Mohammad bin Salman Gwadar Imran Khan MBS Pakistan and Saudi relations Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia and Pakistan Adnan Rehmat 2019-02-24 TNS Editor tweet The author is a political analyst and media development specialist.

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Pakistan must bridge differences between Muslim countries

ISLAMABAD: With the unity of Muslim Ummah vulnerable to emerging challenges, Pakistan must play the role of a bridge to strengthen the bonds between Muslim countries.
PHOTO: EXPRESS This was stated by ulema during a seminar on Pakistan-Saudi Relations in Islamabad on Thursday.
The seminar had been organised by the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) and was presided by the council’s chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi.Addressing the convention, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Maulana Noorul Haq Qadri said that visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to Pakistan will herald a new era of prosperity and economic stability.
He added that Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) are knotted in an eternal relationship of brotherhood and faith.“KSA is committed to making a historic investment in Pakistan to uplift its economy, which is a demonstration of Saudis trust and confidence on the people and the government of Pakistan,” Maulana Qadri said.
He recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan chose Riyadh as his first destination for an official foreign tour after taking office.“History is witness to the fact that both Pakistan and KSA are time-tested friends.
In every thick and thin, both the brother Islamic countries have assisted each other,” he stated.Furthermore, he said that KSA has always been on forefront whenever Pakistan has called on it, either on the occasion of nuclear sanctions or economic mayhem.
He added that KSA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had supported Pakistan during the current economic crisis.KSA’s investment in Pakistan will restore and reinforce the trust and confidence business communities the world over have in the country, he said.
International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) President Dr Ahmed Yousaf Al-Darvesh, who is a Saudi, stated that KSA feels proud of its brotherly ties with Pakistan.The leadership of political and religious organizations speaking at the conference welcomed the state visit, stating that this visit will prove to be a historic milestone to strengthen Pak-Saudi Arabia relations in the longer run.
Participants of the seminar also underlined that the Muslim Ummah was resolved to confronting challenges faced by the Muslim world.They added that Muslims from all over the world gathered and united in Harmain Al Sharifain keeping aside all distinctions, this unity is required to steer out the Muslim Ummah from prevailing challenges.
The participants of the seminar also lauded efforts of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for strengthening its ties with brotherly Muslim countries with the visit of Crown Prince Salman to further cement brotherly relations between Pakistan and KSA.The massive Saudi investment in Pakistan will enhance opportunities for both Saudi and Pakistani merchants to boost bilateral trade between both the Muslim brother countries.
The participants of the seminar stated that Pakistan enjoys a respectable place amongst Muslim countries. Hence, it must play an effective role as a bridge for the unity of the Muslim Ummah.
Saudi Crown Prince Amir Muhammad bin Salman is scheduled to land in Pakistan later this week where he is expected to sign a series of agreements in different fields to uphold economic ties between the two countries.The conference also underlined that in mosques across Pakistan, special prayers will be offered after the Friday sermons on February 15, regarding stability and peace in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The Friday congregations will also adopt resolutions to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Amir Muhammad bin Salman on his arrival in, 2019.

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