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Global Perspectives

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Beijing (Countercurrents) - The Maldives’ ambassador to China Mohamed Faisal says that the country would push ahead with Chinese projects and seek more investment from the country, regardless of concerns raised by regional power India.

His statement to South China Morning Post came after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen lifted a state of emergency on Thursday March 22 after 45 days.

Rivalry between China and India has been playing out amid political turmoil in the Indian Ocean archipelago that erupted in early February. It has seen President Yameen ordering the arrest of two former leaders who staged a coup ahead of a presidential election to be held in September, with one of them seeking military intervention from India, and accusing the government of letting China “buy up” the Maldives.

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By Tushar Ranjan Mohant, Research Associate; Institute for Conflict Management 

Lahore (SAIR) - Ten persons, including six Policemen, were killed and another 35 were injured in a suicide attack near a Police check post outside the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz (centre) at Raiwind Town in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, on March 14, 2018. A teenage suicide bomber blew himself up when a Policeman tried to stop him from entering the Markaz. At least 70,000 followers of Tablighi Jamaat were present at the annual congregation. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened more attacks on Police in retaliation for the killing of their “associates” in Punjab.

On January 15, 2018, a Police constable was killed by unidentified assailants in the Bharwal area of Hasanabdal Saddar Police Station jurisdiction in the Attock District of Punjab. The deceased was identified as Head constable Faizan.

By Ajit Kumar Singh, Research Fellow; Institute for Conflict Management

Islamabad (SAIR) - Political persecution goes unabated in Gilgit-Baltistan. According to reports, Advocate Ehsan Ali, President of the Gilgit Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court Bar Association and ex-Chairman of Awami Action Committee (AAC) re-shared a photograph from a recent Iranian protests on social media on his Facebook page in January (date not specified) 2018. The photograph, showing a woman protester sitting on a platform meant for prayer leaders in a mosque, had become a symbol of defiance of ordinary Iranians against the clerical regime in Iran. Soon after, fundamentalists started opposing the post calling it derogatory.

By S. Binodkumar Singh, Research Associate; Institute for Conflict Management

New Delhi (SAIR) - On February 15, 2018, 20 Islamic State (IS, formerly, Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, also Daesh) terrorisms were killed in air and ground attacks conducted by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in Pacheragam, Kot, Heska Mina and Rawodat Districts of Nangarhar Province.

On February 13, 2018, 43 Taliban terrorists were killed and another 20 were injured in clashes with ANDSF in the Nish District of Kandahar Province.

On February 12, 2018, 20 IS terrorists were killed in air and ground attacks conducted by ANDSF in Rodat, Hasaka Mina and Achin Districts of Nangarhar Province.

On February 11, 2018, 11 Taliban terrorists, including a ‘local commander’ identified as Mawlavi Mir Wali, were killed and another five were injured during the Pamir-18 Operations conducted by ANDSF in Darqad District of Takhar Province.

By Ajit Kumar Singh, Research Fellow; Institute for Conflict Management

New Delhi (SAIR) - A local Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) leader, Malik Tufail, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the Mughalkhel area of Bannu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on February 4, 2018.

On February 2, 2018, at least 11 Army personnel were killed and another 13 injured in a suicide bombing near an Army camp in the Sharifabad area of Kabal tehsil (revenue unit) in Swat District. The suicide bomber targeted the sports area of the military base camp where soldiers were playing volleyball.  Claiming responsibility for the attack, Mohammad Khorasani, a spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said they had sent a young suicide bomber, Siddiqullah, to conduct the attack.

By S. Binodkumar Singh, Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management

New Delhi (SAIR) - Nepal, which recorded 13,301 insurgency related fatalities between 2000 and 2012, and saw 4,896 fatalities in a single year at peak in 2002, sustained the environment of peace that had been established in 2013. Not a single insurgency-related fatality is on record between 2013 and 2017. However, though the insurgency has subsided, Nepal continues to witness significant political turmoil and occasional violence.

According to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), 18 persons, including 17 civilians and one SF trooper, were killed and another 175, including 156 civilians and 19 SF personnel, were injured, in violent clashes across the country through 2017. In 2016, six persons, including five civilians and one SF trooper, were killed and another 16, including 13 civilians and three SF personnel, were injured in violent clashes.

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Lahore (Countercurrents) - China has sold Pakistan a powerful tracking system in an unprecedented deal that could speed up the Pakistani military’s development of multi-warhead missiles, South China Morning Post has reported.

News of the sale – and evidence that China is supporting Pakistan’s rapidly developing missile program  – comes two months after India tested its most advanced nuclear-ready intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range long enough to hit Beijing or Shanghai, the paper said.

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By Dr Binoy Kampmark

Melbourne (Global Research) - It might have made a bit more than a whimper had the US political scene not found itself in yet another paroxysm of the drama known as the Trump White House.  Fifteen years before, governments aligning with the dogs of war decided, in defiance of millions of protestors globally, to invade a sovereign state. Papers cheered with blood lust; propagandists and public relations firms were hired to push the politics of regime change in a country that was already hemmed in by sanctions and surveillance.

The invasion of Iraq must, over time, be given its own specific criminal gravity.  It sundered the Middle East, it tore at the artificially imposed borders contrived by former colonial masters.  It emboldened new foes and generated further disagreements.  For generations, chaos will be guaranteed on the heaped folly of the 2003 decision. 

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By Tridivesh Singh Maini

New Delhi (Countercurrents) - While all eyes  in India have understandably been on a few important political developments in the past few days. First, the by election results of 3 Parliamentary Seats and 2 Legislative Seats, given the fact that BJP had to face a surprising rout in the strongholds (Gorakhpur, Phulpur) of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister, Keshav Prasad Maurya this was understood.

Second, there has been talk of other regional parties, joining hands and forming an Anti-Congress Front. Two days after the election results, the exit of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and its decision to pass a no confidence motion (which BJP is likely to win) has certainly made the fight for 2019 more interesting.

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By Kamal Persad *

TRINIDAD (ICDN) - I wish to take issue with the attacks by Shabaka Kambon and Dr. Claudius Fergus on a fellow member of the Indian-Trinidadian intelligentsia who is also the editor of the free online Indo-Caribbean Diaspora Newsletter

In the Express of January 19, Dool Hanomansingh was accused by these two black power activists of being “most reckless with facts” and engaging in a “laughable,” “anti-African falsification” of “great magnitude” because Hanoomansingh stated that blacks in Trinidad enslaved some of the First Peoples.

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