Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Category Archives: Articles

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US in the dock under Donald Trump By Ansar M Bhatti

The UN General Assembly on Dec 21, 2017 in its extra-ordinary session adopted Pakistan co-sponsored resolution declaring US President Donald Trump’s decision to move American Capital to Jerusalem, by 128 votes. Only nine countries chose to side with the US President while 35 countries including Australia, Canada, Israel, Romania, Hungary did not attend the session. The UNGA decision and the earlier decision of the UN Security Council in which 14 countries out of 15 voted against Trump decision, may not force belligerent American President to withdraw his decision, nevertheless huge moral and political pressure from the international community has ostensibly put America on the back foot.

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Indo-US nexus:

By: Mustansar Klasra.

Factors determining the geo-political dynamics of our region have a name. It is Modi’s concept of ‘Act Asia’ and Obama’s idea of ‘Pivot to Asia.’ In fact, both the concepts emanate from their failed post 9/11 Afghanistan policies:The 2005 Indo-US Strategic Partnership was aimed at establishing Indian hegemony over the territories from Afghanistan to Bangladesh. For this purpose, Afghanistan was declared a part of South Asia, giving a free hand to India to use Afghan soil as the base for the “Coalition Spy net-work”, against all the neighbors of Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan.

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Emerging political scenario by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

While mystery still shrouds the underlying motives of the Faizabad dharna staged by stalwarts of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) that significantly added fuel to the already charged political scene. Who actually masterminded it and what were the ultimate objectives? PTI in particular has demanded the resignation of the prime minister and the interior minister for the government’s ‘failed’ attempt to disperse the mob after repeated deadlines owing to failures of planning and shocking poor tactics of the operation. PTI’s contention that if everything is to be settled and mediated by the Army then government has no moral right to remain in power, undoubtedly carries weight.

ANSAARR

Isloo mafia: pitfalls for diplomats (Part-II) By Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

I did not know at all my article about Isloo mafia will get such a huge response. Interestingly I got most of the messages and calls from those who usually enjoy the diplomatic hospitality without an invitation. Most of them also wanted to know the names of such people; probably in a bid to make sure that they are not the ones whom I had referred to in the last paragraph of my previous article. Anyhow, in general, response to my article was tremendous and encouraging therefore I thought I should pen down some more details. Before I dilate further upon the subject, let me clarify here that there are, of course, genuine business people who keep a close liaison with the diplomatic community. Likewise, there are genuine media people also who maintain a professional relationship with the diplomatic corps and vice versa, which is perfectly alright.

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Isloo mafia: pitfalls for the diplomats by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Much has been written about various mafias like the Sicilian, Russian, 18thStreet Gang, Colombian Cartels, Chinese Triads and many more. Here in Pakistan a new mafia seems to have made inroads into our polity that may aptly be called “The Islo mafia”. This unscrupulous business mafia, mostly comprising businessmen, businesswomen, so-called media practitioners, real estate agents etc, is out to trap unwary diplomats. And then use their privileged positions for various purposes  acquiring visas being at the top of the list. This mafia adopts various innovative ways to trap their unsuspecting targets. Their normal modus operandi is to first invest in certain key individuals who can potentially deliver on their varied needs. These investments are made in different shapes.

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BISP progress during PML-N tenure Marvi Memon, MNA

Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has made commendable progress under the PMLN government during the last four years highlighting the commitment of the government to the poor and vulnerable of the country. The budget allocation for BISP that was Rs 70 billion in 2013 jumped to Rs 121 billion in 2017. The quarterly stipend increased from Rs 3000/quarter in 2013 to Rs 4834 in 2016. BISP has made itself the pride of Pakistan and a role model for international social safety nets winning Pakistan recognition internationally thereby contributing to institution building and poverty alleviation in Pakistan.

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Beijing has literally pulled Pakistan out of a generally hostile international environment through the CPEC Imtiaz Gul

Whole-of-government

approach needed

Recent interviews of President Trump’s National Security Adviser HR McMaster sound like alarm bells for Pakistan. While talking of an Afghanistan strategy packaged in a regional collaboration context, McMaster resonated a White House desire for a ‘change in behaviour.’ And this desire singles out Pakistan.“This is Pakistan in particular that we want to really see a change in — and a reduction of their support for these groups,” he said. “I mean, this is — of course, you know, a very paradoxical situation, right, where Pakistan is taking great losses.” “They have fought very hard against these groups,” McMaster argued, “but they’ve done so really only selectively.”