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Diplomacy

Indo-Pak Stalmate & The Kashmir

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The relations between India and Pakistan have always experienced the Low and High degrees with later offering strategic dialogue with full support from the People of Pakistan while the former remained aggressive showing utmost hostility and acrimony due to extremist forces within their country. The arch-rival India has never trusted Pakistan despite assurances and this mistrust has affected their bilateral relations given the existing circumstances.

The terrorism is yet another key problem that has crippled the economy of Pakistan as Pakistan has given countless sacrifices by fighting the Afghan war at the behest of America.

With extensive relations with the world especially Pakistan’s best friend China, India’s atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir have been intensified with the passage of time. The use of Chemical weapons and widespread human rights violations, defying the UN resolutions on Kashmir valley demanding a plebiscite, the Indian aggression has infinite boundaries.

Even Indian nefarious design did not stop here; they are planning to alter the article 35A of Indian Constitution to change the status of the State of Kashmir in a bid to change the disputed status of the territory. There are widespread protests in Jammu Kashmir against such move and the leaders of Kashmir Freedom movement are either detained or put on house arrest. The Indian Supreme court is hearing the case.

The constitutional provision of article 35A does not allow people from outside the state to buy or own immovable property, seeking permanent residence, avail any state-funded scholarships or get the government jobs. It also gives power to the state legislature to define “permanent” residents. Historically, the Article 35A was added by a Presidential order to Article 370, in 1954 that applied the independent status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Recently, a Delhi-based NGO “We the Citizens” had filed the petition in the Supreme Court of India challenging the articles 35A and 370. The application argued that the above-mentioned articles were discriminatory towards the citizens from the rest of India. The Chairman Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Former Chief Minister of State of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti has warned the Indian Government that any tinkering with the aforesaid articles will result igniting violence in the valley that will be beyond the control of the security agencies.

The people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir also condemned this move and demanded from the world community to intervene and exert their pressure on India to back out from such tampering with the said provision of the Indian constitution. The Islamabad’s policy statement sent a strong message to New Delhi to refrain from such the move as Pakistan will raise this issue at UN and other International forums to win support of the world community to force India change it’s desperate trying to abrogate the articles 35A and 370 which lay the basis of Disputed Territory and stops the outsiders from buying the immovable property or seeking citizenship to turn the Muslim majority into minority through temporary settlements that may weaken the claims of Pakistan on the claims of Muslim majority as per the Independence plan of  1947.

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Pakistan has always fought a defensive war be it 1965, 1971 the fall of Dhaka, Kargil war and the subsequent heated war of words and the indiscriminate firing incidents on the Line of Control from the Indian side, resulting loss of civilians lives. Though Pakistan retaliates strongly yet Indians are the first to offend and harming the peace process .

The Political leadership remained divided over building close relations with India to maintain peace in the region. Both PPP and PML-N tried to have close relations with India and start the strategic dialogue with India and signed Confidence-building measures. PPP government remained close to Rajiv and Indira Gandhi’s Indian National Congress Government while PML-N leadership maintained close relations with BJP. Though both countries started the peace talks at Foreign Secretary level but given strong the pressure from militant or extremist forces, it was always India who cancelled the peace talks at the eleventh hour giving no solid reasons of such cancellation or rolling up dialogue process.

The blame game for internal involvement has brought them too far but the meaningful dialogue can bring them together once again. The great nations always settle their disputes through negotiation table as wars always bring misery to people and the destruction that takes years to rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

Both the Nuclear capable countries must think sensibly and restart the strategic dialogue to find a solution to the Kashmir problem and end the long rivalry that has created distrust and prompts them to have heavy defence budget rather than focusing on other sectors such as infrastructural development, Education, Health, trade, commerce, IT and Sports.

It is ironic that the enmity as has also gripped the cricket and the fans are disappointed due to the refusal of India playing the series with Pakistan within India and Pakistan or at the neutral venue such as UAE. Sporting events bring the people together and play a pivot role in the normalization of circumstances but regrettably, this option was also lost by India.

It is the twenty-first century; the world is developing rapidly with advancement in science technology especially in Communication Technologies. Both the neighbours can collaborate with each other to help boost IT infrastructure as both countries have strong IT Professionals since Indian IT experts heading the leading Software giants such as Microsoft, PayPal, Google and Yahoo.

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The Prime of Pakistan had envisaged his vibrant and robust foreign policy during victory speech that he intended to maintain relations with the world such as Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arab, US and India on the equality basis and even offered India to come forward by one step, he will go forward two steps to start the dialogue on the core issues.

The talks at foreign minister level between the two countries were announced at UNGA but abruptly cancelled by India succumbing to internal pressure given the upcoming General Elections of India likely in May 2019.

Imran Khan lashed out India of being arrogant over the cancellation of talks at foreign Ministry level.

The ruling BJP eyes the 2019 General Elections and thus intended to create hype with their strong stance against Pakistan by cancelling the peace talks in order to get support from Indian people to win general elections 2019 and regain the Government for another term.

Well, India needs to change its attitude and should immediately start the dialogue to address the issues and find out peaceful solutions to the problem including the Kashmir issue by taking the Kashmiri Leadership on board. CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan and the region. The positive outcome of the peace talks may pave the way for India to benefit from the CPEC by joining CPEC as Partner.

CPEC can be made secure if we have peace with the neighbours such as India and Afghanistan and stability in Afghanistan is in favour of Pakistan.

Let the peace have a chance, let’s learn to live like good neighbours sharing our experiences and developing resources and promoting trade through people to people contacts. To pave the way for talks, India has to take initiatives such as ending atrocities in Kashmir, demilitarizing it and involving Kashmir leadership to find out a peaceful solution that may be acceptable to People of Jammu and Kashmir. Let the people of Kashmir decide their future.

Pakistan is ready to hold consequential talks and the Indian positive response is awaited to bid adieu to this long acrimony that has hampered peace process and bilateral trade ties between two strong nuclear powers. The SAARC forum can be instrumental for the countries to include SAARC member countries in CPEC  provided that India does not backtrack from the Peace Process.

 

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Diplomacy

For The First Time In 74 Years, Pakistan is Going To Turn Gems, Jewelry And Minerals Into An Export Industry: PM

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Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the Gems, Jewellery and Minerals Task Force. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Industry Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Special Assistant Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Chairman Gems and Jewellery Task Force Engineer Gull Asghar Khan, Atif Khan, members of the task force and relevant senior officers. During the meeting, recommendations were made to the Prime Minister on the restructuring of the Gems, Jewellery and Minerals Division of the Task Force and the proposed Mineral City.

The meeting was informed that Pakistan has a potential of USD 5 billion annually in terms of exports of precious stones which will have a positive impact on the national economy and create millions of jobs. Pakistan currently has reserves of 99 types of precious stones and is the eighth largest producer in the world. Moreover, according to conservative estimates, Pakistan consumes 200 tons of gold annually. With effective legislation and better management of this sector, it will be transformed into a major export industry.

The meeting was informed that Gems and Jewellery have been given industry status and its implementation will be ensured as per the strategy of the task force. In order to increase exports, special attention will be given to export promotion for which assistance will also be sought from Pakistani embassies. In addition, a Gems and Jewellery City will be set up to pool resources, provide one-window operations to address the problems the sector is facing and provide incentives to investors. Initially, a public-private partnership model will be adopted using existing resources.

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Pakistan will also actively seek sector-related certifications for access to international markets. It will not only improve the standards of not only precious stones but also precious metals but will bring the current standards at par with internationally recognized standards. The meeting was also informed that despite the availability of research resources in this field, no significant progress has been made. According to the strategy, all modern standards will be introduced by utilizing the research sector. The meeting was also given a detailed briefing on the establishment of Mineral City.

An area has been identified for the chemical and mineral industry in Pakistan where industrial value addition from crude minerals will not only help reduce imports but also increase foreign exchange from exports. The Prime Minister said on the occasion that the government was restructuring the sector with modern technology by changing the traditional practices of the minerals and precious stones sector. The Prime Minister further directed that all the resources that are being wasted should be utilized and a schedule should be worked out for the implementation of this strategy with clear-cut timelines as well as the existing barriers for investors should be eradicated.

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Canada

Socio-Economic Implications of Canadian Border Closure With U.S

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After doing a  detailed analysis of the situation emerging from the closure of the border between    Canada and  US, it could be assessed that how damaging the decision is for the  Economy of Canada, and how beneficial, it will be for Canada, if it decides to re-open the Border which is closed over the fears of an outbreak of Covid-19 Pandemic.

Since, some people think that given the maximum number of  Covid-19 cases and several deaths worldwide, the decision should stay as there are thousands of cases and deaths over covid-19 in the US. They deem it a good step to keep the border shut over the fears of  Novel Corona Virus with the US and Mexico. 

Though some sections consider the move as a right decision based on the covid0-19 statistics some experts term it very dangerous for  Canadian Economy as it will be affected as major industries such Tourism and Travel, Immigration affected very badly and economic cannot be put on hold for long as the numbers show that  75% to 80% Canadian exports go to the US while 30% to 40% US exports make their way in  Canada.

Thus the economy has been hit very badly due to this prolonged closure and shutdown of Economic activities will ultimately pose a grave threat to falling in Recession and Falling of  Reserves.

The Canadian authorities will have to swallow a hard pill to re-open the b border for essential and non-essential travel since both types of entries in the country contribute to the economy of the country.

At the moment, Canada has limited Covid-19 infections as compared to the US that has a massive number of infections in the world.

According to the Border Management Experts, this could be the only problem that might have prompted  Canadian Prime Minister to extend the closure for another month until some  SOP’s may be developed to ensure on border covid-19 Testing and Scanning so that preventive measures should be taken to keep the infection ratio low in Canada.

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 The World economies are affected very badly over the lockdowns announced to prevent Covid-19 outbreak and their economy has been under pressure already and the financial experts predict the worst type recession shortly. 

The people of both countries are of the view that the Prolonged border closure has caused an economic crisis and several Industries such as Hotel Industry, Travel Tours and Immigration, Food and beverages Industry, sports Industry, Education have been affected very badly and both Canada and the US cannot afford to sustain more jolts to their economy as economic activities have dropped to almost  80%  and ring the alarm bells for the leadership to decide immediately what their next plan will for the border.

Whether they will reopen it in phases or provide restrict access to essential travel such health workers, Airline Crew, Food and Goods services, People visiting ailing relatives and other related activities that fall within the purview of  “ essential”.

Although, the global Pandemic has created a situation like recession which is going from bad to worse each Passing day, yet in such scenario “keeping borders Closed” for trade and Business Opportunities and other travel, entertainment industry, will incur an irreparable loss to the Economy of both Canada and US as both countries have signed several Trade Agreements and US has been losing millions of Dollars in terms ” US Entry Waivers” and this is putting pressure on world’s biggest economy. 

Even it is a great blow to the Immigrants who wish to travel to neighbouring countries.

Both Canada and the United States are providing millions of dollars to people as relief package, Health and social security and other procurements such  Covid-19 testing kits and establishing new isolation and Quarantine centres as the infections surge in the US and worldwide.

In such circumstances halting economic activities are suicidal for  Canada and Virus affected the US  by keeping borders close for non-essential or optional purposes despite putting some curbs on essential travels such putting immigrants in 14 days quarantine and other immigration-related curbs. 

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The economists fear that what would be the consequences if the covid-19 vaccine was unavailable till the end of the year 2021, will they still keep the border closed, sounds like insensible and disastrous for all types Industries and Sectors including  Immigration and Border services. 

So, it would be prudent on the part of Both Canada and US  to think over the re-opening of their border so that people intending to visit their relatives on both sides of borders may have uninterrupted access and they must be facilities at the border checkpoints for covid-19 so that the fears of  Canadian authorities about getting soaring infections may be dispelled by assuring them safety measures at border crossing points.

Furthermore,  the fears cannot be treated with medicines but they could be soothed with confidence-building measures as the statistics show that  65% Canadian fear to get contracted by Virus while over 60% US people have a similar situation for contracting virus.

Despite all this, nobody knows that when these borders will reopen for general people apart from essential travel as most people are in the grip of fear and prefer staying at home as per WHO guidelines, that may be the issue that both Canadian and US Governments are lingering on the issue and prefer extending closure as both nations enjoy cordial relation and the closure is a mutual decision of both countries.

Recently, though some Tour industry groups recorded their protest and demanded to re-open the border. The decision could not be influenced until the general public presses their respective Governments to review the decision and take some bold steps to save their economies falling to prey to this pandemic.

Both Canada and the US  cannot afford to lose millions of Dollars in border trade and border revenues such as Entry waivers, customs etc to boost their economies.

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China

China-India Stand-Off and the Emerging World Order

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The Recent showdown between  People’s Liberation Army and Indian Army has escalated the situation in Galwan valley along the  Line of Actual Control  (LAC) Between China and India. The unarmed fight resulted in the killing of 20 Indian Soldiers while the casualties on China side have not been confirmed yet.

The analysts link the fight with Indian Unilateral move on August 05 2019, when it annexed the disputed territory of  Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by repealing article 370. 

This move irked both Pakistan and china and both raised the issue at UNSC and UNGA and recorded their protest against such unilateral move that was tantamount to UN Security Council Resolutions that asked for holding a plebiscite in disputed  Jammu and Kashmir. 

Unfortunately, India has worst diplomatic relations with its neighbours such as Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It has used all its resources to destabilize neighbouring states especially Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and  Sri Lanka. 

The recent clash has serious repercussion after 40  years when both Nations clashed in 1962. The war clouds are looming as both Nations are preparing to engage in a full-scale war that might be disastrous for the whole region. So much so that  UK  Newspapers called it World War –III as two biggest South Asian Countries engaged in fighting that was a heavy blow to Fascist Modi who is the mastermind of Muslim Massacre and Genocide. 

Even linked  Covid-19 outbreak with Muslims, that showed his Hindutva mindset and stupidity. The Indian reaction to boycott Chinese Brands will cost the heavily economically as world economies are already fragile owing to two-month lockdown that has paralyzed the business and Trade and limited people to their houses.

Pakistan has been watching the emerging situation after  June 15 Clash between Chinese PLA and Indian Army, is ready to defend its frontiers as Forces put on Red Alert.

The high-level negotiations were held to deescalate the situation but all efforts of peacemaking have not produced positive results and Modi’s BJP is underfire internally since Congress has been posing hard questions as Chinese forces are present in areas claimed by India.

There are protests in Nepal against India as new released Map has reflected some disputed areas in India that have also sparked protests in Nepal. Though India still enjoys support from the US especially from President Donald Trump he is himself under pressure from Republicans owing to his failure to manage the pandemic and the cases are soaring each day.

America is worst affected by the pandemic with the maximum number of infections and deaths over one lac. India has also close relations with Israel and has purchased fighter jets and other war-related items.

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The recent mysterious bomb blasts targeting Iran’s Nuclear Installations and army camps have raised serious questions on the state of Iran’s internal l security measures as well as it let everybody wondering that who was behind the attacks but Iran has blamed Israel for the blasts.

Though none has accepted the responsibility of attacks, Iran has alleged Israel as Israel is the soul of the US and may be involved in a bombing incident.

The conflict will expand in the Middle East and South Asia if Iran takes aggressive action against Israel and on the other hand  If China and India engage in a full-scale war. 

The situation is getting tougher and complicated day by as US has been struggling to tackle with the pandemic issue that has infected millions of American baffling  US President Donald to the extent that It power game is waning each passing day and Global influence is declining due to economic crisis and massive unemployment owing to the pandemic.

The pandemic has forced hundreds of companies to lay off staff as they could not afford to pay the salaries of Staff given the lockdowns imposed by various Governments in the world as well as the sense of uncertainty gripping the enterprises and startups.

Though the health companies, Pharma and Tech companies, online stores and markets are booming with profit the most profitable business, travel and Tour, entertainment and Hotel Business and wedding Party and Even management Companies have almost been closed for an indefinite period owing to the restrictions placed by the Governments to control the outbreak of Covid-19.

US being superpower has been weakened or jolted by the pandemic and gradually losing its hold on world Affairs. On the contrary, China has been regaining the control and even declared itself superpower of the world. The World order is constantly changing and china has put itself in a strong geostrategic position even in the time of Pandemic.

Recent China and Iran Pact have further paved the for the success of CPEC since  Iran may join CPEC to make its oil available to China, Pakistan and  Central Asian Muslim Countries.

The inclusion of Iran in CPEC may further Isolate  India in the region since it will be surrounded by all sides i.e. China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistan may play a leading role in the region since America has lost a sincere ally in South Asia.”

Pakistan Army and Civilian Leadership played a pivotal role peacemaking in Afghanistan by bringing the Taliban on the negotiation table and signing the deal with the US providing safe passage to US Troops Withdrawal.

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Turkey also emerging great power and may have a role in changing world order where US, UK may fade in history books as some international Policy Experts are of the view that Pandemic has provided a golden chance to countries like China to play a leading role as American hegemony has bitten the dust.

The upcoming  Presidential Elections will carve the future of America as Trump Administration has completely failed to manage and control Covid-19 and even put curbs on new Testing  Policy which is already under fire from his  Rival  Political  Party the  Democrats, especially the  Presidential Election Nominee  Joe Biden.

The November is just two months away and these  Presidential Elections will be both violent and historical since the African American will support Democrats as they are fed up with Trump over racist thoughts especially brutal Killing of  African American George Floyd that prompted worldwide  Protests against racism and Police  Brutalities. 

The  Recent deal between Israel and UAE inked with efforts  Donald Trump has irked both Arab and  Non Arab Nations as recognition of  Israel will have serious repercussions on the Muslim world. 

 Efforts are being made by Turkey, Iran, Pakistan to form a new  Block as Since  Independence  Pakistan has clear Policy that it will never recognize Israel until Establishment of  Palestine  State as per the wishes of  People of  Palestine.  

Pakistan is the only Islamic country in the world that has reflected on its Passport that it is valid for all countries except Israel sending a strong message that It will never recognize Israel as it is an occupant.

Though at the moment, Pakistan is under pressure from the US  to recognize Israel this will not happen any time soon. The statement of  Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood  Qureshi has escalated  Pak Saudi diplomatic relations as Qureshi criticized that  OIC has not adopted the strong stance on Kashmir Issue. Though  Army Chief along with ISI chief paid a visit to Saudi Arab to mend ways but Pakistan’s weak economic structure will compel it to bow down before Pressure.

China is playing on the front foot as it’s expedition inside  Indian Controlled areas is advancing rapidly the escalation is high. The weakened structure of the US has given birth to new regional powers carving new world order as the US is waning due to wrong policies of  Donald. The emerging situation is favouring China, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.

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