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Regime change?

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Political turmoil that has been unleashed due to American interference could generate internal chaos.

Addressing a public rally on 27th March, Prime Minister Imran Khan charged on the basis of documentary evidence that foreign powers are trying to bring about regime change in Pakistan through supporting the opposition’s no-confidence motion against him. While the opposition has denied these charges, such a serious assertion from the head of government deserves serious scrutiny.

The document in question, a report of 7th March from the Ambassador in Washington – the contents of which were shared with journalists before it was placed before the National Security Committee – reportedly maintains that it is no longer possible for Washington to work with the incumbent Prime Minister and if the no-confidence vote fails then there would be dire consequences for Pakistan. Bur if the motion succeeds, bilateral relations would significantly improve. Intriguingly, these remarks predate the tabling of the no-confidence motion which suggests that this move has American endorsement. Even more alarming is the contention of some government spokesmen that the message contains threats which endanger the life of the Prime Minister.

Western powers have been openly critical of Pakistan’s decision not to join the US-led alliance against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and of the Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow before the invasion, taking the diplomatically unprecedented and unacceptable step to castigate Pakistan in a joint press statement. More broadly as well, Americans have been critical of Pakistan’s foreign policy direction, specifically relations with China, Russia and Afghanistan while being incensed about the refusal to provide military bases. Therefore, it would not be surprising if regime change in Pakistan is being sought by Washington.

It is worth recalling that Prime Minister ZA Bhutto had claimed an American conspiracy to remove him from power after the 1977 elections owing to his refusal to abandon Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme for which the US had threatened to “make an example” of him. Later General Zia died in a mysterious plane crash for which many Pakistanis blame the US, on the grounds that Zia had become a liability for Washington after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989. The ouster of General Musharraf in 2008 was accomplished more openly by the Bush administration with his own naïve collaboration, once the Americans realised that he could no longer mobilise public support for the American “War on Terror”. With the passage of time such charges of American interference are now broadly accepted in Pakistan.

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This conviction is strengthened by the more recent publicly acknowledged US policy of regime change such as in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Only a few days ago, President Biden himself called for removing Russian President Putin, though subsequently his officials retracted this statement. There are also several other prominent examples of American regime change documented in numerous books and articles. In 1953, Iranian Prime Minister Mosaddagh was removed in a coup orchestrated by the US and the UK to take control over Iranian oil. In 1961, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo was removed and executed with the involvement of the American CIA, for his relations with the Soviet Union.

Similarly, the CIA was involved in the overthrow and death of Salvador Allende, President of Chile in 1973, owing to his socialist policies. Several failed attempts were also made by American administrations to remove Cuban President Fidel Castro including an abortive military invasion of the Island. Similarly, the Reagan administration created the “Contras” to overthrow Nicaraguan Leader, Daniel Ortega. These are among the more well-known instances of regime change by the US which include dozens of others in Latin America and South-East Asia, such as in Guatemala (1953-1990s); Costa Rica (1950-1970); Vietnam (1945-1973); Cambodia (1955-1973); Ecuador (1960-1963) among others listed meticulously by William Blum in his book Rogue State.

With such a track record, it is indeed conceivable that the US would be willing to orchestrate the removal of Imran Khan’s government and promote a more pliable set-up instead. The brief positive trend in Pakistan-US relations, following Pakistan’s facilitation of the American-Taliban dialogue, ended when the Biden administration took over. The American debacle in Afghanistan for which Pakistan has been blamed, compounded further by the refusal to provide bases, has led to vengeful indignation. Such pique has been aggravated by Pakistan’s outreach to China and Russia, especially implementation of CPEC and promotion of regional connectivity which undermines America’s containment of China in the Asia-Pacific. Moreover, India’s continuing tensions with Pakistan over Kashmir and with China in Laddakh, confronting that country with a two-front challenge, undermine India’s role as “net security provider” for the Americans. Therefore, the US wants Pakistan to “normalise” relations with India but on Indian terms which is rejected by Khan’s government. These are the geopolitical considerations that essentially underscore the American compulsion for regime change in Pakistan.

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But, even in the event of the opposition succeeding in the no-trust vote against the PM, it is unlikely that American objectives would be realised. No Pakistani government, no matter how pliable, would be able to reverse the popular consensus on key national issues such as Kashmir, the nuclear programme, relations with China and pursuit of a balanced foreign policy. Past experience amply demonstrates this. Bhutto’s ouster did not reverse the nuclear programme. Zia’s removal did not change Afghan policy nor did Musharraf’s abdication. But, due to their arrogance, the Americans are purblind to the reality that any change of leadership in Pakistan cannot deviate from the country’s strategic interests. But the political turmoil that has been unleashed due to American interference could generate internal chaos undermining Pakistan’s political and economic development. It is, therefore, essential for all political parties to recognise and overcome the dangers ahead.

Via Tribune

Analysis

Israel’s Retaliatory Strikes Against Iran: A Deep Dive into the Implications and Potential Escalation of Conflict in the Region

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Introduction

In the past few days, Israel has launched retaliatory strikes against Iran, raising concerns about the potential escalation of conflict in the region and its implications for global peace. The attacks, which were in response to Iran’s continued support for terrorist groups and its nuclear program, have been met with condemnation from the international community. The question on everyone’s mind is whether this is the beginning of World War III, as some have predicted. In this article, we will take a closer look at the situation, examining the implications and repercussions of the conflict in the region.

Background

The conflict between Israel and Iran has been ongoing for decades, with tensions escalating in recent years due to Iran’s nuclear program and its support for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel has long been concerned about the potential for Iran to develop nuclear weapons, and has taken a hardline stance against the country’s nuclear program. The United States has also expressed concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, and has imposed economic sanctions on the country in an effort to curb its nuclear ambitions.

Retaliatory Strikes

In response to Iran’s continued support for terrorist groups and its nuclear program, Israel has launched several retaliatory strikes against Iranian targets in recent days. The attacks, which were carried out using advanced military technology, targeted Iranian military bases, missile factories, and other strategic assets. The Israeli government has stated that the attacks were necessary to protect the country’s security and to deter Iran from further aggression.

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Implications and Repercussions

The retaliatory strikes by Israel against Iran have significant implications and repercussions for the region and the world. The conflict has the potential to escalate, drawing in other countries and leading to a wider regional war. The United States has expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself, but has also called for restraint and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

The conflict between Israel and Iran also has implications for the global economy. The Middle East is a major source of oil and gas, and any disruption to the region’s stability could lead to a spike in energy prices. The conflict could also have a negative impact on global trade and investment, as businesses and investors become increasingly wary of the region’s instability.

The conflict between Israel and Iran also has implications for global security. The region is already home to several ongoing conflicts, including the civil war in Syria and the ongoing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The conflict between Israel and Iran has the potential to further destabilize the region and to draw in other countries.

Expert Opinions

Experts have expressed a range of opinions on the conflict between Israel and Iran. Some have expressed concern about the potential for the conflict to escalate, while others have downplayed the risk of a wider regional war.

According to Dr. John Allen, a former U.S. Marine Corps general and the former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, “The conflict between Israel and Iran has the potential to escalate, but it is not inevitable. The international community must work together to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and to address the underlying issues that have led to the current tensions.”

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Dr. Kori Schake, a senior fellow and the director of the International Security Program at the American Enterprise Institute, has expressed a more optimistic view. She states, “The conflict between Israel and Iran is a complex issue, but it is not the beginning of World War III. The international community has the tools and the resources to address the conflict and to prevent it from escalating into a wider regional war.”

Conclusion

The retaliatory strikes by Israel against Iran are a significant development in the ongoing conflict between the two countries. The conflict has the potential to escalate, with significant implications for the region and the world. The international community must work together to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and to address the underlying issues that have led to the current tensions.

In conclusion, the conflict between Israel and Iran is a complex and multifaceted issue, with significant implications for the region and the world. The retaliatory strikes by Israel against Iran are a reminder of the ongoing tensions between the two countries and the potential for the conflict to escalate. The international community must work together to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict and to prevent it from escalating into a wider regional war.

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Analysis

Breaking Down the Xi-Biden Phone Call: A Step Forward in China-US Relations

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In a significant development, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden engaged in a ‘candid’ direct conversation, marking their first call since 2022. This conversation holds immense importance as it comes at a time when tensions between the two global powers have been escalating. Let’s delve into the details of this crucial phone call and its implications for China-US relations.

Understanding the Context

The backdrop against which this phone call took place is crucial to grasp the significance of the dialogue. Tensions between China and the United States have been on the rise due to various issues ranging from trade disputes to human rights concerns. The need for constructive dialogue between the two leaders has never been more pressing.

Key Points of Discussion

During the phone call, Xi and Biden reportedly discussed a range of topics, focusing on areas where their interests align. This ‘candid’ conversation indicates a willingness on both sides to engage in meaningful dialogue despite the challenges that exist in their relationship.

Progress Made and Areas of Agreement

The fact that progress was achieved in limited areas of aligned interests is a positive sign for China-US relations. This could potentially pave the way for further cooperation on issues of mutual concern such as climate change, global health, and regional security.

Implications for Global Dynamics

The outcome of this phone call has broader implications for the global geopolitical landscape. As two of the most influential countries in the world, any positive developments in China-US relations can have far-reaching effects on international trade, security, and diplomacy.

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Analysis of the Tone and Approach

The use of the term ‘candid’ to describe the conversation between Xi and Biden suggests a level of openness and honesty in their exchange. This could indicate a shift towards more transparent communication between the two leaders, which is essential for building trust and resolving differences.

Future Prospects and Challenges

While the phone call signifies a step in the right direction, it is important to acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead. Both China and the US have complex issues to address, and sustaining this momentum towards improved relations will require continued effort and cooperation from both sides.

Conclusion

The recent phone call between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden marks a positive development in China-US relations. By analyzing the key points of discussion, progress made, and implications for global dynamics, we can gain valuable insights into the evolving dynamics between these two global powers. This dialogue sets the stage for future engagement and cooperation, highlighting the importance of constructive communication in navigating the complexities of international relations.

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Analysis

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai Criticizes China for Filing WTO Complaint Regarding Electric Vehicle (EV) Subsidies

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US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has denounced China for filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over electric vehicle (EV) subsidies. Tai has accused China of using “unfair, non-market policies and practices to undermine fair competition and pursue the dominance of the PRC’s manufacturers.” Beijing has objected to a US law that it says provides “discriminatory” subsidies for EVs.

Katherine Tai speaks out against China's WTO complaint on EV subsidies

Tai’s remarks come as tensions between the US and China continue to escalate, with both countries accusing each other of unfair trade practices. The US has previously accused China of stealing intellectual property and engaging in forced technology transfers, while China has accused the US of unfairly targeting its companies with sanctions and export controls.

The dispute over EV subsidies is just the latest in a series of trade disputes between the two countries, and it remains to be seen how it will be resolved. However, Tai’s strong words suggest that the US is prepared to take a tough stance against China’s trade practices, and that the dispute is unlikely to be resolved quickly or easily.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s Statement

Katherine Tai condemns China's WTO complaint on EV subsidies

Denouncement of China’s WTO Complaint

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has denounced China for filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over what it calls “discriminatory” subsidies for electric vehicles in the United States. Tai stated that “China continues to use unfair, non-market policies and practices to undermine fair competition and pursue the dominance of the PRC’s manufacturers”.

Tai’s statement comes after China filed a complaint with the WTO on March 22, 2024, alleging that a US law provides “discriminatory” subsidies for electric vehicles. The law in question, the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit, provides a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle. China argues that this tax credit is only available to US-made electric vehicles, and therefore discriminates against foreign-made electric vehicles, including those made in China.

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Criticism of China’s Non-Market Policies

Tai’s statement also criticized China’s non-market policies, which she says are designed to give Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the global marketplace. These policies include subsidies for domestic companies, restrictions on foreign investment, and intellectual property theft.

Tai’s denouncement of China’s WTO complaint is the latest in a series of moves by the Biden administration to confront China on trade issues. The administration has also taken steps to address China’s human rights abuses, including sanctions on Chinese officials and companies involved in the repression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Overall, Tai’s statement reflects the US government’s commitment to fair competition and a level playing field for all companies, regardless of their country of origin.

China’s Objections to US EV Subsidies

US Trade Rep denounces China's WTO complaint over EV subsidies

Allegations of Discriminatory US Law

China has accused the US of providing “discriminatory” subsidies for electric vehicles (EVs) through a tax credit system that only applies to domestically produced vehicles. The US law in question, known as the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit, provides a tax credit of up to $7,500 for the purchase of a new EV. However, the credit is only available for EVs produced by manufacturers that have not yet sold 200,000 qualifying vehicles in the US. This has led to accusations that the law unfairly benefits US automakers, while discriminating against foreign manufacturers such as those from China.

China’s WTO Complaint Filing

China has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the US law, arguing that it violates WTO rules by providing “discriminatory subsidies” to US automakers. In response, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has denounced China’s complaint, stating that “China continues to use unfair, non-market policies and practices to undermine fair competition and pursue the dominance of the PRC’s manufacturers.” Tai has also accused China of “continuing to use unfair trade practices to gain an unfair advantage in the global marketplace.”

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The US has countered China’s complaint by arguing that the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit is not discriminatory, as it applies equally to all automakers that meet the eligibility criteria. The US has also argued that the tax credit is intended to promote the adoption of EVs in the US, and is therefore consistent with WTO rules that allow for certain types of subsidies to promote environmental protection.

Overall, the dispute between the US and China over EV subsidies highlights the ongoing tensions between the two countries over trade policy, and the challenges of balancing domestic priorities with international trade obligations.

Implications for US-China Trade Relations

US Trade Rep denounces China over WTO complaint on EV subsidies

The recent filing of a WTO complaint by China over US subsidies for electric vehicles has the potential to further strain the already tense trade relations between the two nations. The US Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, has denounced China’s actions, stating that they are using “unfair, non-market policies and practices to undermine fair competition and pursue the dominance of the PRC’s manufacturers”.

This latest development is not the first time that the US and China have been at odds over trade policies. The two nations have been engaged in a trade war since 2018, with each imposing tariffs on the other’s goods. The dispute has had far-reaching effects, with both nations suffering economic losses as a result.

The filing of the WTO complaint by China is likely to escalate tensions even further. The complaint alleges that a US law providing subsidies for electric vehicles is discriminatory, and violates WTO rules. The US has denied these allegations, and has stated that the subsidies are intended to promote the use of electric vehicles, and are not discriminatory in any way.

The outcome of this dispute remains to be seen, but it is clear that it will have significant implications for US-China trade relations. If the WTO rules in China’s favor, it could lead to further trade restrictions and tariffs being imposed by the US. On the other hand, if the US is successful in defending its subsidies, it could embolden the nation to continue its current trade policies, further straining relations with China.

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