Archive | Asia

The Testing of a DPRK Hydrogen Bomb and Sino-North Korean Relations


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By Konstantin Asmolov 

Our analysis of the international response to North Korea’s test of a hydrogen bomb directs our attention to China’s position and US-China debates about “what to do and who to blame.”

First, let’s look to the statement by Xinhua news agency on January 8. On the one hand, North Korea’s actions have been condemned, on the other hand, it was pointed out that “it was Washington’s antagonistic approach that pushed Pyongyang to carry on the development of nuclear weapons.” “The US military approach put Pyongyang in an acutely insecure position and encouraged the country to ignore the restrictions on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The DPRK, balancing on the brink of a nuclear war, really deserves international condemnation, as it seriously undermines the regional stability and peace in the world, might resort to desperate attempts of the country to improve its position in the fight against the USA.“

At the same time, according to anonymous sources of Yonhap news agency in diplomatic circles, Beijing is said to be very angry with the nuclear test, which came unexpectedly, especially given Pyongyang’s active attempts to improve bilateral relations. Official Spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying came up with a sharp condemnation of the tests and virtually admitted that Beijing had not been informed of the planned tests.

A number of statements from US diplomats and politicians are of interest, stating that the main villain of the place is the PRC and that China should have applied maximum efforts to “solve the problem.” Its policy and intention to continue the course to the six-party negotiations are said to have resulted in appeasement of Pyongyang. As US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “China had a particular approach to the DPRK, and Beijing partners in the six-party negotiations – Russia, the USA, South Korea and Japan – agreed to abide by this policy. The idea was to “give space” to China for cooperation with Pyongyang for the purpose of denuclearization of the Korean space… But now it is clear it did not work.”

In other words, since 2003 China has been promoting the idea of ​​six-party talks as the solution of the Korean Peninsula nuclear problem with political and diplomatic means, but its actions did not lead to denuclearization. And it is necessary to increase pressure on North Korea and expand sanctions. Or actualize them so that they have the desired effect, whereas much depends on China, its main cross-border trade partner.

Donald Trump, a controversial US presidential candidate, also stated on January 10 that China should solve the problem; otherwise it will suffer from loosening its trade connections with the USA. China is believed to have total control over Pyongyang, so the USA must find a way to force Beijing to address this issue using as much economic pressure as possible. Some westerners even expressed the idea of a “Chinese-sponsored DPRK nuclear project.”

However, we can also note the fact that both experts on bilateral relations and representatives of the PRC disagree. The Chinese often mention that they have no special relations with North Korea, but “no special relations” may mean a lot depending on the situation: “we have no favorable attitude”, “we do not have the leverage”, and “our capabilities to put pressure on North Korea are limited.” It is partly so, because the ideological influence is gradually reduced, however it should be noted that even before Pyongyang listened to Beijing only formally, especially on the nuclear issue. China’s weakening influence is due to the fact that North Korea is building relationships with other countries, primarily with Russia.

China clearly sees how America and its allies use the pretext of the North Korean threat to accumulate force aimed not against North Korea and in this situation try to blame China, although it is well known, whose non-constructive position blocked the negotiation process at least in the same degree as the intransigence of the DPRK. There are many examples here (enough for a series of articles on the emergence of the Korean Peninsula nuclear problem and ways to resolve it), as the joint draft solution dated 2005 developed by the parties, and the USA and Japan having done everything in their power to stall it.

Moreover, China’s military preparations are quite obvious. On January 13, in his address to the people of the South Korea, President Park Geun-hye did not exclude the possibility of considering placing American THAAD anti-missile complexes in South Korea. This provoked a sharp reaction from Beijing, which objected the deployment of THAAD, considering that the radars can be aimed at China.

Therefore, The Global Times responded to Kerry’s accusations possibly even tougher than Xinhua : “The origins and causes of the North Korean nuclear issue are very complicated. On the one hand, the North Korean regime has taken the wrong way to ensure its security, and on the other, the USA consistently chose a hostile approach to North Korea.” And “until the USA, South Korea and Japan change their approach to Pyongyang, there can be no hope to solve the DPRK nuclear issue.” It also implies that the hope for Beijing to solve everything for everyone and make the North abandon its nuclear ambitions is “an illusion.”

Commenting on Seoul’s propaganda resumption and the raid of the US strategic bomber to South Korea, the PCR Foreign Ministry spokesman stressed that “ALL parties should make joint efforts to avoid further escalation. We hope that the parties will take careful steps to maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia.” In short, “we did everything we could, but what have YOU done to ease up the problem except for sharpening it?”

However, displeasure towards the North also is demonstrated. According to the South Korean media (or rather the memorable Chosun Ilbo) with reference to its sources in the area of ​​China-North Korean border, the Chinese authorities have tightened border controsl with Korea. As well as the passage through the bridge over the Tumen River is said to be closed, some cooperation projects canceled, and goods at customs and border points inspected by the Chinese more carefully. There is no information on the full-fledged sanctions from the authorities of China, but at least they started to do everything “strictly according to the rules” that previously were not always respected.

What does this mean? From the viewpoint of the author (as repeatedly mentioned) the PCR policy on the Korean Peninsula is slowly beginning to resemble the Russian one in terms of its so-called “multidirectional character.” At the same time, China is making use of the differences between the two Koreas and the balance of power. The North Korean issue is considered in the context of having a system of loyal regimes across the border (in this context, unauthorized DPRK actions are annoying) and in the context of potentially growing confrontation with the USA (whereas the DPRK is an ally, albeit difficult). The balance of these factors will determine ensuing actions.

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Malaysia: Zionist puppet PM Won’t Face Charges over $681 Million Saudi ‘Gift’


Zionist Najib Razak

Malaysia’s attorney-general has closed a lengthy corruption investigation involving the country’s prime minister.

Malaysian Zionist puppet Prime Minister Najib Razak won’t be facing any legal consequences for a US$681 million donation from the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family after the country’s attorney-general decided to drop the case on Tuesday.

“There was no reason given as to why the donation was made to PM Najib – that is between him and the Saudi family,” said Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi.

Zionist puppet Najib returned all but US$61 million shortly after the money transfer in early 2013, during an election campaign, because it was not used, he said. The prime minister calls the donation, made to his personal account, a “gift” that was for the party and not meant for his own personal gain.

Opposition parliamentarian Tony Pua told The Guardian that the “basis to absolve the prime minister of any wrongdoing is utterly without merit because the ‘personal affair’ does not preclude corrupt motives or transactions.”

The scandal has dominated the Malaysian political scene for the past seven weeks, with his own party launching a public campaign demanding his resignation. Malaysia’s next elections are set to take place in 2018.

Apandi, who replaced the previous attorney general – dismissed by Najib for “health reasons” – will tell the country’s anti-graft commission to close the investigation into the prime minister.

One of the related probes of the commission includes US$932 million in misappropriated funds from SRC International, a subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which Najib chairs. About US$9.79 million of the funds ended up in Najib’s own account, reported the Wall Street Journal. Though Malaysia is Asia’s third-largest economy, it has suffered from the global drop in oil prices. Food, transportation and electricity prices have all risen as the government has slashed public subsidies.

Posted in Far East0 Comments

40 Years On, the Vietnam War Continues for Victims of Agent Orange


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By: Marjorie Cohn

Hong Tu, 5 months old, with Encephalocele — a rare neural tube defect characterised by sac-like protrusions of the brain and the membranes that cover it through openings in the skull. Photo: Ash Anand / NEWSMODO

The war in Vietnam resulted in the deaths of more than 58,000 Americans and more than 3 million Vietnamese. Twenty years ago, the United States and Vietnam normalized diplomatic relations in an effort to put the terrible legacy of the war behind them. But for the survivors—both Vietnamese and American—the war continues. About 5 million Vietnamese and many U.S. and allied soldiers were exposed to the toxic chemical dioxin from the spraying of Agent Orange. Many of them and their progeny continue to suffer its poisonous effects.Agent Orange was a chemical, herbicidal weapon sprayed over 12 percent of Vietnam by the U.S. military from 1961 to 1971. The dioxin present in Agent Orange is one of the most toxic chemicals known to humanity.Those exposed to Agent Orange during the war often have children and grandchildren with serious illnesses and disabilities. The international scientific community has identified an association between exposure to Agent Orange and some forms of cancers, reproductive abnormalities, immune and endocrine deficiencies and nervous system damage. Second- and third-generation victims continue to be born in Vietnam as well as to U.S. veterans and Vietnamese-Americans in this country.There are 28 “hot spots” in Vietnam still contaminated by dioxin. These hot spots still affect the people who live there and eat the crops, land animals and fish.

On April 29, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee introduced HR 2114, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2015. This bill would go a long way toward remedying the humanitarian crisis among both the Vietnamese and U.S. victims of Agent Orange.

Representatives of the Vietnam Association for the Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) have arrived in the U.S. to mark the official launch of HR 2114 on Thursday. VAVA is an organization of more than 365,000 Agent Orange victims and activists that works to achieve justice for the victims throughout the world.

One member of the VAVA delegation is Tran Thi Hoàn. Her mother was exposed to Agent Orange from a barrel of the chemical buried in her land during the war. Born without legs and with a seriously atrophied hand, Hoàn grew up in Peace Village II, the Agent Orange center at Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City. Hoàn is a college graduate and currently works as a computer science professional at the hospital.

In the U.S., VAVA’s sister organization, the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC), is educating the public about the ongoing problems caused by spraying Agent Orange in Vietnam and working to pass legislation to remedy these problems. VAORRC believes that the U.S. and chemical manufacturers such as Dow and Monsanto must take responsibility for the use of these chemicals to redress the harm they have caused and to heal the wounds of war. VAVA advocates for and provides assistance to victims in Vietnam, but Agent Orange victims need even more help. Through the work of activists in the U.S., Vietnam and internationally, the U.S. government has allocated some money for the cleanup of one hot spot, but has done little to alleviate the suffering of Agent Orange victims in Vietnam or to clean up the remaining 27 hot spots.

The use of Agent Orange in Vietnam constituted prohibited chemical warfare, amounting to a war crime. Yet the U.S. is still using chemical weapons, including white phosphorus gas, in its wars abroad. In addition to taking responsibility for and rendering assistance to Agent Orange victims, the U.S. government must also provide compensation to victims of recent and current wars who suffer from exposure to chemicals used by its military.

HR 2114, which has 14 co-sponsors, would:

  • Provide health care and social services for affected Vietnamese, including medical and chronic care services, nursing services, vocational employment training, medicines and medical equipment, custodial and home care, daycare programs, training programs for caregivers, physical and vocational rehabilitation and counseling and reconstructive surgery.
  • Provide medical assistance and disability benefits to affected children of U.S. veterans of the Vietnam War. The veterans fought for and won benefits for their Agent-Orange-related health conditions, but only the children of female veterans were covered for most conditions. This bill will equalize benefits to the children of both male and female American veterans.
  • Provide health assessment, counseling and treatment for affected Vietnamese-Americans and their offspring through the establishment of health and treatment centers in Vietnamese-American communities.
  • Clean up the lands and restore ecosystems contaminated by Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam.
  • Conduct research into the health effects of Agent Orange/dioxin in the U.S. and Vietnam.

HR 2114 should be enacted into law. The refusal of the U.S. government to compensate the Vietnamese and U.S. victims of its chemical warfare would set a negative precedent for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who need similar help.

Posted in Far East0 Comments

Zionist Najib and Naziyahu of I$raHell. Birds of a Feather, Fly Together

Global Research

Zionist Najib of Malaysia

Both politicians kept in power by huge transfers of money: one from the Saudi Arabian royal family, the other from the AIPAC lobby-led, US congress. Neither has apparently committed any crime by the acceptance of these sums but to call such activity ‘democratic’ is to call a pork chop, kosher.

Such sums are routinely used to irrevocably damage the democratic principle of ‘government by the people, of the people and for the people’. In these two instances, it is government by the people but for Riyadh and Washington respectively. That is not democracy but a travesty of the democratic process perpetrated by vested business and political interests.

For one state, or a cabal within a state, to seek to influence the choice of government of another state by the direct transfer of funds calculated to direct the result of a national election, should be designated a criminal activity. It is banned in European democratic elections – but neither Malaysia nor Israel are in Europe and nor, of course, is Saudi Arabia or America. More’s the pity. Then the world would not have had to deal with the ineptitude of the pathetic US president, George Bush, and similar results of corrupted democratic process.

Both politicians kept in power by huge transfers of money: one from the Saudi Arabian royal family, the other from the AIPAC lobby-led, US congress. Neither has apparently committed any crime by the acceptance of these sums but to call such activity ‘democratic’ is to call a pork chop, kosher. Such sums are routinely used to irrevocably damage the democratic principle of ‘government by the people, of the people and for the people’. In these two instances, it is government by the people but for Riyadh and Washington respectively.

That is not democracy but a travesty of the democratic process perpetrated by vested business and political interests. For one state, or a cabal within a state, to seek to influence the choice of government of another state by the direct transfer of funds calculated to direct the result of a national election, should be designated a criminal activity. It is banned in European democratic elections – but neither Malaysia nor Israel are in Europe and nor, of course, is Saudi Arabia or America. More’s the pity. Then the world would not have had to deal with the ineptitude of the pathetic US president, George Bush, and similar results of corrupted democratic process.

Posted in Far East, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Tony Blair Queried, Again, Over Nature of Burma Dealings

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair meets with National League for Democracy chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo: NLD Chairperson Office / Facebook)

Former British prime minister Tony Blair was back in Burma earlier this month for at least his fifth visit since a quasi-civilian government assumed power under President Thein Sein.

Blair, who has staked out a lucrative niche in various advisory and entrepreneurial roles since leaving office, met with outgoing Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann and National League for Democracy chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw on Jan. 7.

However, as in previous years, the purpose of his visit was less than clear.

A UK-based rights group, Burma Campaign UK, has consistently called on Blair to reveal the precise nature of his dealings in Burma. The group reiterated this stance in an email to The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

“Tony Blair should be transparent about what who he is working for and why he keeps visiting Burma,” said Mark Farmaner, Burma Campaign UK director.

“In other countries Tony Blair has been known to combine work with his foundations with his business interests.”

Farmaner said the advocacy group had repeatedly written to Blair’s office to seek details of his dealings in Burma, without receiving adequate clarification.

Burma Campaign UK has previously stated that Blair was believed to be advising Thein Sein in some capacity.

Blair’s former chief of staff from 1997-2007, Jonathan Powell, also has interests in Burma through his charity Inter Mediate, which works in conflict resolution.

According to informed sources, Powell helped broker a trip to Columbia in December for a delegation comprised of representatives from the Burma Army, three ethnic Karen armed groups including the Karen National Union, and the government-affiliated Myanmar Peace Center, to study the country’s peace process.

Farmaner said he wouldn’t be surprised if Blair’s recent visit was linked to Powell’s work in Burma.

“Jonathan Powell and Tony Blair are old friends from their time when Tony Blair was Prime Minister, and they have both been involved in Burma in recent years,” he said.

“The problem is that their involvement seems to have been more in support of President Thein Sein’s government than being neutral or supporting civil society and the democracy movement.”

The Irrawaddy wrote to Inter Mediate for comment but was yet to receive a reply at time of publication.

Bertil Lintner, a veteran Swedish journalist and the author of several books on Burma, said there were numerous foreign organizations jockeying for involvement in Burma’s ongoing peace process.

“It is just a waste of time and money in the ‘peace-industrial complex,’” Lintner said. “There is lots of money to be made there.”

Posted in Far East, UK0 Comments

India’s Republic Day is Black Day for Kashmiris


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By Sajjad Shaukat

When every year, on January 26, is being celebrated by India as the Republic Day, Kahmiris on

both side of the Line of Control (LoC) and all over the world, including their Pakistani brethren

commemorate it as the Black Day in protest against Indian illegal occupation of Kashmir, while,

the issue is still alive due to continued struggle of the Kashmiri people.

On January 26, 1930, the Indian National Congress proclaimed the declaration of Independence.

Hence this very day was selected as the Republic Day. Although Indian constitution declares

India to be a secular and democratic state, yet its subsequent regimes have broken all the records

by continuing undemocratic injustices in relation to the Kashmiris.

During the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)

which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula.

But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the State of Jammu and Kashmir

(J&K), in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General

Lord Mountbatten joined India.

The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the

announcement of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. It gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority

Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir.

There was a rebellion in the state forces, which revolted against the Maharaja and were joined by

Pathan tribesmen. Lord Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar.

When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, on December 31, 1947, India

made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into

effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir to

enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or

India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding plebiscite. Instead, in

March 1965, the Indian Parliament passed a bill, declaring Kashmir a province of India-an

integral part of the Indian union.

The very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine right

of self-determination. They organized themselves against the injustices of India and launched a

war of liberation which New Delhi tried to crush through various forms of brutalities.

It is notable that since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its

repressive regime in the Occupied Kashmir through various machinations.

Nevertheless, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the

Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has

been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted

killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation

of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, since 1989,

there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 7,023 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests,

1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children

orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continue

In fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir

Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and

Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual

for an indefinite period.

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out

grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim

majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security

In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of

the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The

report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered

Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected

militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been

tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has in

turn facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000

disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”

In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by

Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages

across the northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups

reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this respect, in August, 2011,

Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its

report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked

Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves

include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake

encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi

reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding

their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore

the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien rule.

But, New Delhi is still showing its intransigence in order to resolve Kashmir dispute with

Pakistan by neglecting the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the

neighbouring countries.

In this context, Egbert Jahn in his book, “Kashmir: Flashpoint for a Nuclear War or Even a Third

World War?” has pointed out, “The Kashmir conflict is embedded in the wider conflict over the

incomplete creation of nations and states on the Indian subcontinent, which during the east-west

conflict even threatened at times to escalate into a nuclear world war between Pakistan and the

USA on the one side and India and the USSR on the other. Until now, there have been three wars

between India and Pakistan over the Jammu and Kashmir: in 1947–49, 1965 and 1999… finally,

the Indo-Chinese border war of 1962…after these wars…and could unexpectedly again lead to a

regional and under certain circumstances…even a major nuclear war or a Third World War.”

Meanwhile, like the previous year, Pakistan’s recent serious and sincere effort at the annual

session of the United Nations—the speech of Pakistan’s prime minister and his meeting with the

American president, highlighting the Kashmir dispute and demanding its solution has infused a

new spirit among the Kashmiri people.

Nonetheless, by exposing the myth of Indian claim of the largest democracy and double standard

of the US-led western countries which still remain silent over the Indian injustices, Kashmiris,

living both sides of the LoC observe “Black Day” on January 26 to protest against the Indian

illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. On this very day, Pakistanis and Kashmiris across the

globe express solidarity with the freedom fighters of Kashmir, demanding their legitimate right

of self-determination from India which continues various forms of state terrorism in order to

suppress their popular movement.


Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,
Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in India, Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

Taliban: Remove us from UN blacklist before new peace talks


Former Taliban fighters carry their weapons prior to turning them over as they join a government peace and reconciliation process at a ceremony in Jalalabad, 2013.

The Taliban militant group says it wants to be removed from the blacklist of the United Nations as a condition for rejoining peace talks for an end to the conflict in Afghanistan. “We conveyed them to first remove us from the ‎blacklist of the United Nations and allow us to freely travel around the world and then we can think about holding peace talks,” said an unidentified Taliban member during unofficial talks with activists and former Afghan officials in the Qatari capital of Doha on Saturday.

Taliban has reemerged as a strong militant group over the past months as it has managed to capture some key areas in the north and south of Afghanistan. The militants also carry out attacks in the capital, Kabul. That has prompted renewed efforts in the country and by neighbors to revive stalled negotiations between the militant group and the Afghan government.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said Saturday that representatives of the group had attended the unofficial talks in Doha to express the views of the group on how the situation in the country should be handled. “The meeting is providing us an opportunity to express our views about the future of Afghanistan,” said Mujahid, without elaborating on the condition set by other senior members about removal of Taliban from the UN blacklist.

Pakistan mediated the first round of talks in the summer of 2015, but a planned second meeting was cancelled after news broke that Taliban’s founder and long-time leader Mullah Omar had died two years ago. Many suspect that Taliban could reappear on the negotiating table as factional infighting and leadership division has deepened in the group since the death of Omar.

Officials from former Afghan administrations who attended the talks said Taliban has yet to make a concrete demand. ”So far they have not proposed any concrete ideas about how to move forward. Hopefully by tomorrow we will know if they want peace and if so what their conditions are,” said Anwar Ahady, a former minister of finance.

Comment: As far back as 2009 the UN called for talks with Taliban leaders. In 2010, the UN lifted sanctions on the Taliban and a request that Taliban leaders and others be removed from terrorism watch lists. It is now 2016.

Posted in Afghanistan0 Comments

Designs behind Attack at Charsadda’s University


Image result for Attack at Charsadda’s University PHOTO

By Sajjad Shaukat

On January, 20, this year, at least 21 persons, including students, a faculty member and security

guards were killed at Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkha’s Charsadda town, when

heavily-armed terrorists of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) entered the university

and opened fire on them. It was due to the quick response of Pakistan’s security forces, including

Special Services Group (SSG) personnel of the army which killed the four attackers and cleared

the premises of the university by securing the civilians inside.

On the same day, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif reached Charsadda to boost the

morale of the security personnel who took part in the operation. He appreciated timely response

by the security forces, and also expressed deep grief over the loss of lives.

The mastermind of the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar attack, Umar Mansoor of the TTP

Geedar group claimed the attack at the university through a post on his Facebook page, adding

that four attackers were sent to the university.

Head of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa revealed, “The

investigations show that Charsadda terror attack was being controlled from a location in

Afghanistan through Afghan cellphone by a TTP operative.”

He also said that Gen. Raheel Sharif called Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive

Abdullah Abdullah and top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan Gen John Campbell to

inform them about the evidence which has emerged from investigations into the university

assault, pointing towards Afghanistan-based terrorists of the TTP, controlling it.

Reliable sources disclosed that Indian consulate located in Jalalabad, Afghanistan played a key

role in targeting the Bacha Khan University. In this regard, the operatives of the Indian secret

agency, RAW in connivance with Rahmatullah Nabil, the former director of Afghan intelligence

agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah planned this

assault. Indian consulate gave rupees 3 million to the Talban commander to arrange this brutal

However, this terror attack cannot be seen in isolation, as it is part of the Indian nefarious

designs not only against Pakistan, but also against other regional and global powers. While some

powers like the US are also playing double game with Pakistan and China which are also behind

It is notable that in January 13, 2016, at least seven personal of the Afghan security forces died

during the suicide attack which targeted the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad. Islamic State group

(ISIS or Daesh) claimed responsibility for the terror attack.

The assault which coincided with efforts to restart the stalled peace process with Taliban

insurgents and ease diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan, added a dangerous new

element to Afghanistan’s volatile security mix. In this respect, delegates from Afghanistan,

Pakistan, China and the United States had met this to try to resurrect efforts to end nearly 15

years of bloodshed in Afghanistan.

It is mentionable that on December 9, 2015, the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Conference was

held in Islamabad in which high-level representatives of supporting regional and international

organizations from over 30 countries including especially the US, China and Indian Foreign

Minister Sushma Swaraj participated.

The participants realized the importance of the conference as an important regional platform

aimed at a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan which was not only in its own interest,

but also vital to peace, stability and prosperity of the ‘Heart of Asia’ region as a whole—it was

collective responsibility to help Afghanistan in combating the challenges it faced.

In the joint declaration, the participants reaffirmed the respect for each other’s sovereignty,

territorial integrity and reiterated their commitment to refrain from the threat or use of force

against each other and reaffirmed the objectives, aimed at promoting regional peace and

prosperity and enhanced cooperation for countering security threats collectively.

And a series of meetings were held in Islamabad between Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the

US to develop an understanding of the earliest possible resumption of stalled talks between the

Afghan government and Taliban. A trilateral meeting was also held among Pakistan, Afghanistan

and the America. Besides, President Ashraf Ghani, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj also

met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Sushma said that India and Pakistan have decided to restart

composite dialogue to address all issues including Kashmir.

President Ghani vowed to work together to eliminate the common threat of terrorism, which

Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing, and emphasized on the need to enhance bilateral relations

between the two countries.

In this respect, in the recent past, cordial relations were established between Pakistan and

Afghanistan when Afghan President Ghani had realized that Afghanistan and Pakistan were

facing similar challenges of terrorism and would combat this threat collectively.

While, it is misfortune that on direction of New Delhi and like the former regime of Afghan

President Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s present rulers have also started accusing Pakistan of

cross-border terrorism. In this context, after hours of the Taliban captured Kunduz city, on

September 28, 2015, during his address to the UNO General Assembly, Afghanistan’s chief

executive Abdullah Abdullah blamed Islamabad for carrying out cross-border attacks and

destabilizing Afghanistan.

Differences exist between chief executive Abdullah Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani, as the

former wants cordial relations with New Delhi at the cost of Afghanistan and the latter prefers

Islamabad, because Pak-Afghan stability is interrelated.

It is noteworthy that on December 10, President Ghani accepted the resignation of Rahmatullah

Nabil as director of the Afghan intelligence agency, NDS, after developing differences of the

spymaster with him over Ghani’s move to attend the regional conference in Islamabad. In his

statement, Nabil said President Ghani had asked him to relinquish charge of the NDS.

Besides, Prime Minister Sharif and President Ghani also showed their determination that their

countries would cooperate in fighting the threat of ISIS.

As the US is playing double game with Pakistan, because it is the only nuclear country in the

Islamic World, which irritates America and Israel. Hence, secret agents of American CIA, Israeli

Mossad and Indian RAW which are well-penetrated in the TTP and ISIS are making efforts to

weaken Tibetan regions of China, Iran and Pakistan, especially Pakistan’s province of

Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities, promoting acrimonious sense of dissent,

political volatility, sectarian violence and arousing sentiments of separatism.

While the US and India are also playing double game against each other. In this connection, in

collusion with Afghanistan’s spy agency NDS, particularly, RAW has well-established its

network in Afghanistan, and is fully assisting cross-border incursions and terror-activities in

various regions of Pakistan through Baloch separatist elements and anti-Pakistan groups like

Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundullah (God’s soldiers) and TTP.

Nevertheless, Indian desperation in Afghanistan is increasing in the backdrop of growing

engagements of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and US. Therefore, by arranging terror-assaults in

Pakistan and Afghanistan, India is also thwarting the peace process between the Afghan officials

and representatives of Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan, which started in Murree, Pakistan, on July

8, 2015 through a meeting, hosted by Islamabad, and in it, Chinese and American

representatives, also participated. While, the US, China and Pakistan are jointly working to

facilitate the process so as to bring peace both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the whole

US and especially New Delhi is also trying to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

(CPEC) and is targeting growing Pak-China-Afghanistan relations.

Although the US is acting upon dual strategy, yet by waging a prolonged war in Afghanistan,

the America and other NATO countries have realized that after the withdrawal of foreign troops,

Afghanistan would be thrown in an era of uncertainly and civil war. They realize the fact that

there is a co-relationship of terrorism or stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Therefore, US-led

developed nations which also spent billions of dollars for the development of Afghanistan have

repeatedly agreed that without Islamabad’s help, stability cannot be achieved there.

Unfortunately, India does not intend to see peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hence, India is

undermining Pak-Afghan stability by creating unrest, and by sabotaging their cordial relations.

As regards the protracted conflict in Afghanistan, the problem cannot be solved through war and

weaponry. Initiation of peace dialogue and positive engagements among the contestant groups

can be the other practicable option.

Pakistan is desirous of peaceful Afghanistan and sincerely committed to play a positive role in

facilitating atmosphere for the dialogue-parties.

Islamabad has categorically denounced any proximity with Taliban as propagated by Indian and

western segments. The impression of proximity has been exploited to fan mistrust between

Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pakistan has expressed its firm resolve to eradicate extremism and terrorism and military

operation Zarb-e-Azb and National Action Plan is clear manifestation of the same.

The entities which are playing double game are opposed to a peaceful Afghanistan. Therefore,

they have always attempted to hinder or disrupt any positive outcome of Pak-Afghan

engagement by exploiting holed up proxies to carryout terrorism either on Afghan soil or in

Due to Pakistan’s incontestable role in Afghan imbroglio, the country remains a prime target of

vested countries and extra regional powers and have been witnessing terrorism through the ISIS

which these hostile have themselves created to obtain the secret designs of America, India, Israel

and some western countries.

Optimistically speaking, while appreciating increasing engagements at military level of both

Pakistan and Afghanistan, media may urge political leadership to expend the contacts and

engagements, so that the bilateral relations foster at all levels.

For the purpose, the US-led developed countries must also realize that unlike India, Pakistan

shares common geographical, historical, religious and cultural bonds with Afghanistan, while

Pak-Afghan stability has a co-relationship, which is essential for their global and regional

interests. Especially, America must abandon its double standard, and must check Indian hidden

strategy against Pakistan, Afghanistan and other regional countries. Nonetheless, dual policy of

the peace disruptors in Afghanistan must be stopped by the respective governments of these

Returning to our earlier discussion, there were multiple designs behind the terror attack at the

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

China’s economic growth reached 6.9% for 2015

China’s economy grew 6.9 per cent year on year in 2015, the slowest annual expansion in a quarter of a century, but it is still in line with the official target, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday. Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.8 per cent year on year, the lowest quarterly rate since the global financial crisis, the data showed.The Chinese government targeted an annual economic growth of around 7 per cent for 2015. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 67.67 trillion yuan (about $10.3 trillion) in 2015, with the service sector accounting for 50.5 per cent, the first time the ratio exceeded 50 per cent, according to the NBS. China’s economy still “ran within a reasonable range” in 2015, with its structure further optimized, upgrading accelerated, new growth drivers strengthened and people’s lives improved, NBS chief Wang Baoan told a press conference in Beijing. However, the country faces a daunting task in deepening reforms on all fronts and needs to step up supply-side structural reforms, he said. Major economic indicators softened in 2015, with industrial output growth slowing to 6.1 per cent year on year from 8.3 per cent in 2014, NBS figures showed.

Urban fixed-asset investment continued to cool, expanding 10 per cent year on year, compared with 15.7 per cent in 2014. Retail sales rose 10.7 per cent, down from 12 per cent registered in 2014. Foreign trade ended 2015 with its first annual contraction in six years. Sagging global trade, rising financial risks and changing domestic market conditions were among the factors affecting the economy, NBS Chief Wang told reporters on Tuesday.

He also pointed to an ailing property sector and stock market fluctuations but said their impact on the economy was either limited or yet to be evaluated. Wang dismissed worries about China’s government debts, noting that they accounted for less than 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, well below the internationally accepted alert line of 60 per cent.

Comment: While Chinese economic growth for 2015 was the slowest it’s been in 25 years, it’s worth noting that it remains in a better position than Western countries under the thumb of the Unites States, which is expected to see average growth of somewhere around 2.5% for last year.China has been working on releasing itself from the influence of the collapsing US economy, and that takes time and resources to implement. China understands that it is not just a matter of becoming untangled from the US, but that there needs to be an alternative global economic community that will be able to withstand a US collapse. Of course this is all lost on Western commentators because they are lost in the delusions of their own wishful thinking.

Posted in China0 Comments

China pledges millions in aid and billions in loans to Middle East in support of peace


© Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 21, 2016

The Chinese government has decided to pledge 50 million yuan ($7.53 million) to help improve the lives of besieged Palestinians and 230 million yuan ($35 million) for the violence-hit countries Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Yemen as humanitarian assistance, Chinese President Xi announced in Egypt. The aid to Palestine will support a solar power station project in its territories. Xi also reiterated the BRICS position on Palestinian statehood.

“China firmly supports the Middle East peace process and supports the establishment of a State of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Xi told the Arab League’s delegates at their headquarters in Cairo.

Along with the rest of the West Bank, Israeli forces occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 war. Xi also stressed that the Palestinian issue should not “fall into oblivion” as it is of fundamental importance to peace in the Middle East.

Maintaining the legitimate interests of the Palestinian people is the responsibility of the Arab League as well as the international community,” Xi said.

The Chinese leader stressed that the international community should promote the resumption of the talks that collapsed in April 2014. The visiting Chinese President on Thursday said it is crucial to promote development in the Arab world. To aid industrialization in the Middle East, Beijing is going to hand out a number of loan programs, including a $15 billion exclusive loan, $10 billion in commercial loans and $10 billion in preferential loans to facilitate production capacity cooperation between China and the Middle Eastern states.

Xi described the Middle East region, not in the usual terms of “wars and tumult”, but as a “land of abundance.” Xi also sought to drum up Arab support for the ambitious Silk Road and Belt project of China.

China, the leader announced, will work with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to set up a $20 billion common investment fund that focuses on traditional sources of energy in the Middle East, infrastructure, and high-end manufacturing. Xi also offered in his speech $300 million for law enforcement cooperation, police training so as to help build up the abilities of the regional countries to maintain stability.

On the Syrian crisis, Xi said what is most urgent, is to bring about cease-fire and start political talks. Rejecting recent reports and analyses of China’s countering the West’s influence in the region, Xi said Beijing will neither look for proxies nor try to fill any “vacuum” in the Middle East.

“Beijing has no intention of building any sphere of influence in the region,” Xi said.

“Instead of looking for a proxy in the Middle East, we promote peace talks; instead of seeking any sphere of influence, we call on all parties to join the circle of friends for the Belt and Road Initiative; instead of attempting to fill the ‘vacuum’, we build a cooperative partnership network for win-win outcomes,” he added.

China’s Middle East policy will only be determined by the rights and wrongs of relevant issues as well as the fundamental interests of the Middle Eastern people, Xi stressed.

Posted in China, Middle East0 Comments


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