Chinese influence in South and Central Asia is set to expand through the much-hyped China-Pakistan Economic Corridor just as the United States draws down its presence in the region. The proposed corridor, which plans to connect Kashgar in Western China to Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province through a network of rail, road and energy infrastructure, has become the subject of intense domestic wrangling in Pakistan. Leaders from Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, two under-developed provinces, are accusing the federal government, which draws support primarily from Pakistan’s most populated province, Punjab, of modifying the original route away from the two less developed provinces. The government, which recently approved the route, maintains that it only intends to use existing rail and road networks in Sindh and Punjab until new rail and road infrastructure is built in the less-developed regions. Although it appears that the ongoing dispute is a result of technical considerations raised by China, and for Pakistani authorities these are informed by an underlying need to secure Chinese investment for the planned economic corridor, which would also stabilize Pakistan’s fragile economy. Underdevelopment and ongoing insurgencies in KP and Balochistan increase the cost of constructing new infrastructure, while Chinese and Pakistani governments want to operationalize the corridor as soon as possible. Economic and geopolitical concerns in both countries inform their collective haste. This project will consolidate the growing Chinese power in the region, thereby posing a formidable challenge to Western influence. […]
I hold no brief for the Taliban. They have enraged the world and brought much shame to Muslims and dare I say the great religion Islam as well. In fact, I detest their version of Islamic codes that they want to impose on the world through coercion.
However, the NATO battle against Taliban is not only barbaric in equal intesnity but it also dehumanizes them.
Mr Ali Khan of Washburn University School of Law sent his piece that is eloquent, and extremely well argued. Ali Khan says that in the name of the “war of terror,” NATO forces are “committing genocide in Afghanistan by systematically hunting down and destroying” the Taliban, in violation of the terms of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide…
These sentences are chilling:
Politicians, the armed forces, the media, and even the general public associate in the West the Taliban with irrational fanatics, intolerant fundamentalists, brutal assassins, beheaders of women, bearded extremists, and terrorists. This luminescent negativity paves the way for aggression, military operations, and genocide. Promoting the predatory doctrine of collective self-defense, killing the Taliban is celebrated as a legal virtue..”
THe West should remember that this will not solve the issue of terrorism or militancy – whatever one may want to name it – in fact such wars cause more pain, create more martyrs and legends and motivate people to resist – theyhave nothing to lose in the first place. And, the history of Afghanistan spells out some clear lessons for the current imperial powers.
Read his full article below. […]