Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Category Archives: Editorial

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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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CPEC and the environment

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been underway for almost two years but the political leadership has yet to take into consideration its societal and environmental impact. While the physical infrastructure and energy generation projects to be completed under the CPEC have the potential to boost economic activity, they will also result in degradation of the environment. Not too long ago, the Karakoram Highway had supported only a handful of trucks that traversed its narrow route to move goods between markets in Pakistan and China. The highway is expected to carry up to 100 trucks a day when CPEC reaches its full swing.

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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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Pakistan, US ties touching lowest ebb by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

The National Assembly of Pakistan on August 30, 2017 convened a special session to discuss US President Donald Trump’s Pakistan policy. Donald Trump’s tirade against Pakistan, in his Afghanistan strategy speech of August 21, ostensibly pushed relations between the two partners to a new low. Pakistan foreign minister postponed his scheduled US visit after US President’s remarks and Pakistan also refused to welcome the US Assistant Secretary of State, who perhaps wanted to visit Pakistan for some firefighting.

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The Chinese Initiative by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dash to Pakistan and Afghanistan in a bid to convince both sides to talk peace in order to ensure stability in the region as tensions between the two neighbors would only lead to chaos and instability is a welcomed initiative. Chinese have serious apprehensions about Pakistan, Afghanistan hostilities that continued tension in the region will not augur well for the smooth execution of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and their subsequent strategic development plans. 

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A win for European Union in French election  

ANSAR MAHMOOD BHATTI

Whether it is the winds of fortune or poor sailing of his opponents, Emmanuel Macron is the new French president. Surprisingly, Macron did quite well in the second round and defeated Le Pen with a clear margin. Although his win was evident right from the very beginning of the election campaign, however, the margin with which he defeated his rival unequivocally speaks volumes for the disapproval of Le Pen’s ideas of France’s pulling out of the European Union.