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Pakistan Timeline: News, Discussions & Opinions

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by tariqkhan18, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. lca-fan

    lca-fan Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    US-Pakistan relationship in serious trouble: Expert
    Saturday, October 07, 2017 By: ET Source Link: CLICK HERE
    [​IMG]

    The US-Pakistan relationship is in "serious trouble" and the mistrust between the two countries runs deep, an expert on the bilateral ties at a top American think-tank has said, a day after Pakistan's Foreign Minister concluded his three-day visit to Washington.

    Moeed Yusuf, a senior expert on Pakistan at the United States Institute of Peace, a top American think-tank funded by the Congress said that the default position in Islamabad and Washington was very sceptical of other's intentions.

    "The sense that I have is that this relationship is in serious trouble," Yusuf told yesterday.

    His remarks came a day after Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif concluded his three-day official trip to Washington during which he met Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H R McMaster.

    "The foreign minister said himself something to that effect, Yusuf said, pointing to the remarks made by Asif at an event after his meetings with Tillerson and McMaster.

    "I won't be extravagant. Meeting with Secretary of State went very well. Meeting with McMaster, I will be a bit cautious about, but it was good. It wasn't bad. I think we need to pursue this course of contact in discussions and exchange of views. I think we need to pursue it more rigorously," Asif said when asked what message he was taking back.

    A known expert on US-Pakistan relationship, Yusuf said the real issue here was that of mistrust.

    "The mistrust is so deep and that is going to be very difficult for both sides to work a way out in which they would essentially rely on each other, trusting that they would be sincere to whatever is being done. On both sides the default position is one that is very sceptical of the intentions on the other side," he said.

    Yusuf said that no one should expect "a major breakthrough" anytime soon.

    At best this relationship is going to muddle through and limp along till both sides are able to find a way to work together or till there is a sense that both sides are willing to give and take in a way that the other feels that there is a real incentive to do that, he said.

    "Right now, I do not think that that is the case," he said, adding that both the US and Pakistan recognise that the rupture is going to be costly and would hurt them in Afghanistan.

    "I do think that this is the first time there is a possibility that the relationship could come to a standstill despite neither side seeing this as the preferred option," Yusuf said.

    Observing that there is a very serious divergence of interest when it comes to Afghanistan, Yusuf said Pakistan sees "a very curtailed" Indian influence in the war-torn country.

    "The US view of stability in Afghanistan is one that sees a much larger influence for India by default, because of the Kabul's preference, but also a role for itself ensuring that there are no continued threats coming out of Afghanistan for the US," he said, explaining the sharp difference emerging between the two countries on the role of regional players in Afghanistan.

    Noting that the US' message to Pakistan consistently has been the need to do more on terror sanctuaries.

    "I think there's a clear message delivered again that that needs to be dealt with but not in terms of promises but in terms of actions," he said.

    The Pakistani view is that it is being scapegoated and the problems really lie in Afghanistan and Pakistan part of the problem is being exaggerated, he said, referring to Asif's post-meeting remarks.

    "I think this was also candidly conveyed to the Pakistani side," he said, adding that the meetings between the US and Pakistani officials this week were candid and both sides laid their cards on the table.

    However, there is definitely no appetite for an imminent rupture on either side, Yusuf said.

    Responding to a question on India's role, Yusuf said Pakistan's Afghan policy reflected how it views its relationship with India.
    http://www.defencenews.in/article/US-Pakistan-relationship-in-serious-trouble-Expert-383981

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  2. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Coup talk

    THERE’S a template for a coup and it goes something like this. The government is paralysed, Nawaz is on the warpath, the boys have had enough, the chief moves in.

    Good enough for before, good enough for again.

    Throw in a bit of anti-US and anti-India hysteria and you may even wonder why we haven’t already had a coup.

    But the story has deviated a bit. No one seems to be cheering on the only chap who can pull the trigger.

    It’s as if we still have a new chief; a fresher still finding his feet.

    What’s really needed is an institutional intervention, folk are suggesting. This is bigger than any individual, folk are cautioning. Many will have to work together if the country is to be saved, they are advising.

    It’s as if no one wants the chief to become chief executive.

    Something is off. Rewind to Kayani and his ascent some 11 years ago; a reluctant transfer of military power by Musharraf in the midst of a desperate struggle to cling to political power.

    It took a while for Kayani to settle in and assert control. There were the snide remarks about the son of a JCO not being the best fit for the most prestigious post in the land.

    There were questions about whether a direct move from the ISI to GHQ was a sound idea. There were murmurs of favouritism for political reasons and debates about whether Musharraf had been conned.

    Kayani eventually overcame all of that. But he had to work at it. Hard.

    He declared a Year of the Soldier. He won over the troops with pay raises and focusing on military matters. He cultivated the media. He developed a professional mystique — the thinking soldier.

    And he eventually figured out how to navigate institutional factions and political circles to the point that pulled off the greatest of cons, a second term for himself.

    More than a decade later, the stain of the second term and political tumult at the time of his ascension have obscured the original reality: Kayani had an uncertain start as chief.

    But then came Raheel. And the script was replayed.

    Raheel too took a while to settle in and assert control. His pedigree was impeccable but his intellect was questioned. Why had a mediocre general superseded at least one perfectly good candidate and been picked ahead of a couple of quality options below him?

    Was he the right man for the job? He wasn’t going to be Nawaz’s man, but had Nawaz figured out that apolitical was all that he needed in his war against Imran?

    As the original dharna neared, the doubts deepened and the dissent threatened to spill out into the open. Rumours of a cabal of generals trying to pressure their boss into doing their bidding were unleashed.

    Like Kayani before him, Raheel eventually overcame all of that. But he too had to work at it. Hard.

    After an uncertain 10 months or so, Raheel figured out that to be king you had to make sure people knew you were king and feared you as a king. The cult of Raheel began to be born.

    Operation Zarb-i-Azb was its crown jewel and ThankYouRaheelSharif its tagline.

    And now to the problem. The same thing has happened with Bajwa. He came in under a cloud of suspicion. How had number six been elevated to number one? Why were Nawaz and co so sure he would be their man?

    To the suspicions was added a bit of aggravation. There had been an heir apparent. He was thought to have Raheel’s support and was a favourite of the troops.

    He had the right credentials, the right reputation and the right approach. But he was wronged; humiliatingly superseded for no other reason than civilian cherry-picking.

    And perhaps most of all for the unlucky Bajwa, he’s had to deal with the shadow of Raheel and the seemingly never-ending strength of his faction.

    Still, nothing that could not be overcome. And nothing fundamentally different to what Kayani and Raheel had to endure.

    The problem: the chief doesn’t seem to be overcoming his uncertain start.

    There’s a political war out there, a foreign crisis brewing in Afghanistan and DC, and institutions under attack. That’s the kind of stuff out of which reputations are made.

    Even better, all the events have been slow-moving and relatively easy to predict. Ten months in, it was set up rather nicely.

    Chief becomes more assertive, a fawning public and braying media exhorts him to do more and then — the chief either decides to let democracy continue out of the goodness of his heart or goes in for the kill.

    Except, this time no one seems to be cheering on the only chap who can pull the trigger. It’s as if no one wants the chief to become chief executive. It’s as if we still have a new chief; a fresher still finding his feet.

    Something is off. And it may not be good for any of us.

    The best-case scenario is a chief who is sure he can’t take over, whether he wants to or not. We’re clearly no longer in that terrain.

    The next best thing is a chief who is sure he can take over, but doesn’t want to take over. If we were blessed, that’s where we’d be right now.

    But in the realm of a chief who everyone thinks is too soft to take over and in any case don’t want him to take over?

    We may be tempting the gods.
     
  3. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Should the US support an independent Balochistan?

    A handful of US congressmen support creating an independent Balochistan, carved out of mostly Pakistani land.

    This alternative policy centres on backing remnants of the Northern Alliance and Baloch insurgents, who seek to carve out semi-autonomous territories or independent states from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran


    As a result of the hearing, witnesses - including Ralph Peters and M Hossein Bor - were able to argue that the dismemberment of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan would serve the United States' long-term strategic interests. But, even more importantly, the hearing allowed the witnesses to inject their views into the larger debate on US foreign policy in Southwest Asia. This included Bor's controversial assertion (which was later censored in Pakistan) that supporting an independent Balochistan stretching from "the Strait of Hormuz to Karachi" would be a better policy approach than ongoing US efforts to counter the Iranian and Pakistani regimes



    In the same breath, Gohmert provided one of the first definitive links between support for the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and Baloch nationalists in Pakistan: "Let's talk about creating a Balochistan in the southern part of Pakistan. They'll stop the IEDs and all of the weaponry coming into Afghanistan, and we got a shot to win over there."




    With these remarks, the two pillars of an alternative Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak) policy approach were now set: To advance its interests, the US should support the carving out of an independent Baloch state and semi-autonomous Afghan territories - even if it undermined existing US partnerships with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.


    Baloch nationalists in the US diaspora - have increasingly sought to extend their cause beyond US foreign policy in the Af-Pak region. They appear to recognise the need to latch onto larger foreign policy issues as part of their efforts to garner mainstream support for their cause. Four of the most important include:

    I. Punishing Pakistan for supporting terrorism and nuclear proliferation


    II. Containing a rising China and an emerging Iran, and preventing Pakistan from achieving strategic depth

    According to supporters, an independent Balochistan, "extending from Karachi to the Strait of Hormuz", would help to contain a rising China and an emerging Iran, provide a long-term security guarantee against China, Iran, and Pakistan emerging as maritime powers, and undermine the strengthening of strategic relationships between these three potential adversaries.

    III. Providing the West with an opportunity to profit off of Southwest Asia's natural resources

    Recognising "the tremendous deposits of oil, gas, and minerals" found within or made accessible through the Baloch and Northern Alliance territories, some supporters have argued that the West should advance the "Berlin Mandate" if for no other reason than self-serving economic interests.

    IV. Preventing gross human rights violations and providing post-colonial nations their right to self-determination

    While members of Congress have long condemned the Taliban and the Pakistani government for human rights violations, supporters - particularly Baloch nationalists - have used novel approaches in recent months to win over members of Congress. They have increasingly restrained themselves from leading with the genocide argument. Recognising that this argument has failed to win over Congress in the past, they have instead turned to a more complex argument: that the Baloch, like the South Sudanese and numerous minority groups in the former Yugoslavia, have won their right to self-determination because Pakistan and Iran have failed to provide basic human rights protections. Pakistan and Iran have, they argue, thereby forgone their sovereignty over Baloch territories - regardless of historical precedent.
     
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  4. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan will 'discontinue' talks with US this month if asked to 'do more' to combat terror, says media report

    NEW DELHI: Pakistan may immediately discontinue talks with US officials visiting there this month if they insist it "do more against terror"+ , reported a Pakistani newspaper, citing a "well placed source".

    What's more, Pakistan "won't accept" any pressure to compromise on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) either, the source said to The Express Tribune newspaper.

    US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and acting assistant secretary of state Alice Wells are expected to visit Islamabad this month for talks on the US's new Afghan policy, which has been met with extreme disfavour by Pakistan. Unveiling the new Afghan policy in August, US President Donald Trump savaged Pakistan for its terror safe havens and threatened to punish it if it didn't take decisive action against terror elements+ .

    "If the US foreign secretary demands for more action from Islamabad then there will be only one answer from the government: 'No more do more'," the source told The Express Tribune newspaper.

    The US is aware that Pakistan may discontinue talks, the Tribune said in its report, adding that Pakistan's foreign minister recently conveyed to the US that its new Afghan policy is "not acceptable" to Pakistan.

    "During the visit, Pakistan will judge as to whether the US is serious to expand its relations with Pakistan. If the US foreign secretary gave any assurance of adopting a strategy to remove Pakistan's reservations on new Afghan policy, the federation will start next phase of talks with Trump authorities," the source reportedly said.


    Islamabad will make its stance clear to the US and will let it know that "Pakistan has already offered countless sacrifices for elimination of terrorism", the report said.

    Another touchy subject, that of CPEC, might also feature in these talks. The US has expressed its reservations about the project because it goes through disputed territory.

    "Work on the CPEC project will continue come what may. Pakistan's priority is not the US but China because Pakistan's economic future is associated with the CPEC," the source said to the Tribune.
     
  5. stephen cohen

    stephen cohen Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  6. stephen cohen

    stephen cohen Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan’s crisis: Let the rupee depreciate or increase tariffs – the billion-dollar question

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/152626...ate-increase-tariffs-billion-dollar-question/
    ISLAMABAD:

    Pakistan’s external sector is under serious stress as the current account deficit has increased to an astronomically high level. Due to this crisis, foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan have decreased to $13.85 billion as of September 29, 2017.


    Although August brought some respite due to stronger exports, remittances and foreign direct investment; it remains to be seen if it is a one-off event or the start of an improving trend. Either way, challenges to Pakistan’s external sector remain far from over.

    Unfortunately, policy response to the situation is yet to show any semblance of clarity. Earlier this month, the prime minister’s office was considering to depreciate rupee by 9% or Rs10 against US dollar or to increase the scope of 100% cash requirement before goods are imported.




    Rupee sinks 3.2% against US dollar, Dar and SBP divided over explanation

    However, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar opposed this proposal on the grounds that rupee depreciation will increase the burden of external debt on the federal budget. With the election year ahead, the government will naturally not want to compromise its already limited fiscal space. He has also opposed the 100% cash requirement option because the IMF raised objections when the move was previously used.

    Ironically, the impact of both of these polices can be negative on the external sector. If rupee remains overvalued, as it is now, the import bill will remain high. Similarly, if rupee is depreciated, burden of external debt in rupee terms will be a cause of concern.

    The government is mulling that the only way out of this apparent puzzle is to increase tariffs. The National Tariff Commission (NTC) has already identified 300 tariff lines of non-essential consumer goods on which it has proposed to increase duties by 30%.

    As always, these goods include cosmetics, consumer goods, and agriculture products. As per the NTC, there is an added benefit of collecting revenue worth Rs26 billion for the government. However, per NTC proposal, duties will be abolished completely on import of raw materials and other materials that are used in manufactured exports. So what should the government do? Let the rupee depreciate to Rs115 vis-a-vis dollar or increase tariffs to the tune of 30%?

    Tariff

    Increasing tariffs on agriculture, cosmetics, and consumer goods can’t bring down Pakistan’s import payments in a comfortable range. The recent swift deterioration in current account deficit has come on the back of increased imports of power and construction machinery under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Increasing tariffs on goods that are not responsible for massive uptick in import payments can’t bring any dramatic improvement in our current account.

    On top of that, our economy may run the risk of imported inflation especially in agriculture goods that we import. Pakistan’s major agriculture imports include edible vegetable, oil seeds, fruits, coffee, tea, and spices. While this policy may not reduce our import bill by a large margin, it may adversely decrease the purchasing power of consumers especially those who are poor and lower middle income since a significant portion of their income is spent on food items.

    Rupee depreciation

    It is widely believed that a depreciated rupee will give a push to Pakistani exports. Different business associations and economists have urged the government to depreciate it in order to give a temporary boost to exports. Even the IMF has continuously maintained that rupee is overvalued by at least 20%.

    Dar’s concern about the implication of this policy on external debt can only make sense in rupee terms. But in dollar terms, rupee depreciation can reduce the dollar value of external debt.

    According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2016-17, Pakistan’s external debt is $58.4 billion. If the rupee is depreciated to Rs115 per dollar, our external debt goes down to $53.2 billion. It is standard economics, whenever a currency loses value either due to inflation or depreciation, the debtor gains and the creditor losses.

    On the other hand, depreciation may not be viewed favourably by long-term foreign investors since they prefer to invest in a currency in which their returns are secure. As Pakistan waits on the Emerging Market Funds to invest in the Pakistan Stock Exchange, rupee depreciation may render them nervous.

    What should the government do?

    Rupee depreciation can be the only viable and effective policy option in line with market fundamentals. However, it will only bring temporary relief to our external sector crisis. The fact that Pakistan is one of the few economies in the world, which repeatedly seeks help from the IMF for its external account crisis, warrants serious attention.

    Rupee dip ‘meant to fix imbalances’

    The real problem is that we have always been short-sighted in viewing our current account problems. We have always tried to plug this deficit either through more borrowing, remittances, or foreign direct investment — even privatisation proceeds. When inflows are not coming through these mediums, such as right now, we turn to options like rupee depreciation, tariffs and cash requirements.

    A permanent end to the external account crisis can only be achieved through increasing our export earnings. For that, we need to scale down economic protection of industries as it has turned them uncompetitive in the global markets.

    The writer is a researcher and works in the development sector of Gilgit

    Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2017.

    Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.
     
  7. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Pak media-अमेरिका पाकिस्तान के खिलाफ बड़ा GAME करने के लिए अफ़ग़ानिस्तान में रुका है !!

    Pak media speaker realises that America is moving towards expanding "War on Terror" deep inside Pakistan and intervene just like in Iraq,Libya

     
  8. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    The take-over

    We are fast becoming an island under attack from an endless tsunami of fake news, fraudulent analyses, and fraudulent theories. The rising tide has overwhelmed the space for truthful debate and destroyed our collective sense of reality of the present. There is a deluge of delusions drowning voices of dissent and disagreement. The result is an intellectual wasteland where lies sprout at will and facts die before birth.

    Allah willing, like every tsunami this too shall pass. This is the idea that keeps the hope alive of us surviving as a balanced and reasonable species whose critical faculties are intact, and which retains the ability of course correction in rough weather. However, the damage done is quite vast. As the calamity of misleading narratives continues to strike, there is every reason to entertain the fear that regaining our consciousness as a thinking nation will take much longer than allowed by circumstances. We will pay a heavy cost of living in denial through a constant dose of self-defeating claims of how well we are coping. Some of this cost of fake news, fraudulent analysis and false narratives is already upon us; and we are paying it through our nose.

    Consider this. Since gaining independence, our strategic goal linked to our survival has always been that we should avoid being caught in a vice-like situation where our enemies (real and imagined both) are in a position to squeeze us from both sides of the borders. Every day the nation was told that we had achieved tremendous success in defeating “the nefarious designs of ill-wishers” and had “succeeded in securing our core national objective of border security.” In peace or in war time, in defeat or in victory, we never let go of the claim that we have done wonderfully well in preserving and securing our territory. We said the same thing even when we lost half of the country.

    Later in national life, we created for ourselves a nuclear deterrent – the ultimate weapon (capability) of total offence and complete defence. We spread the nuclear shield all over the country to ensure that borders remain stable and we remain secure. We did other things as well. We sat in the American boat of counterterrorism and deployed all our resources on the border with Afghanistan in the name of creating security on the western front.

    However, thousands of martyrs, billions of dollars and zillions of claims of success later we continue to face hostility and existential threat from that side. More troops are deployed on that side of the territory than on the border with India, our arch enemy. There too things are only partially stable. We have seen more attacks across the Line of Control and on the Working Boundary in the last few years than ever before, peaking this year. We are in a classic pincer-like situation – exactly what we wanted to avoid and what we claimed to have been our prime achievement.

    This is not all. More layers of threats have been added to the traditional threats on both sides of our borders. The border with Iran has become more volatile, necessitating extraordinary measures like additional deployments and planning a visit of the army chief to the country to cool down temperatures. More critical is the lengthening possibility of the US striking inside our country in addition to the hundreds of drone strikes that they have already carried out here without a single word of apology or remorse ever expressed at any level. Now the entire defence establishment in Washington is swinging towards ‘punitive measures’ against Pakistan in the coming months. These are serious possibilities but we at home continue to distribute the all-is-well opium through press statements.

    We have wrongly reduced this new global challenge to our security to the Trump Administration’s legendry stupidity, and have deliberately suppressed the context in which Washington is making these threatening plans. This context is not just the zealotry of the Trump Administration: it is set by the G-20 and Brics declarations and now the India-EU cooperation on countering terrorism (read the document to know which way the world is turning.) There is a global groundswell of concern that has started to concentrate on Pakistan which we continue to ignore and paddle-down because the truth of it is too inconvenient to accept.

    At the same time, we continue to struggle and sacrifice precious blood and money against domestic terrorism whose ugly head refuses to disappear. Attacks like the one that killed at least 22 in Jhal Magsi at the Naseerabad Shrine last week rip through official stories of fascinating success and yet the mantra of glory continues to pore out without any let or hindrance. After seventy two years in existence, Pakistan in 2017 is facing dangers on all its borders; it is in the eye of the storm of global manoeuvres and has to deal with a tricky and partially-managed internal threat from myriad terror outfits at home. Is this success of policy or a woeful tale of failure? Is this the basis for claiming crowns or grounds for inquiry? Is this cause for calm and self-assuredness or for alarm and deep concern?

    The right answer is well-known, but the right answer will never be at the centre of debate in the country today because the centre is dominated by a long and oft-repeated tale of the unjustness of the international community that we say does not acknowledge our sacrifices. We call this lament, this petition of being wronged by the world, ‘our narrative’. We have built an echo chamber for ourselves where we continue to shout out about our sacrifices (which are totally genuine) in the hope (which is false) that the world will realise that we have a case. Repeating the data of national sacrifice is not a ‘narrative’. In a world governed by dodgy diplomacy and economic interests, there are no takers of how much a nation has lost for what cause unless that nation is able to demonstrate its case successfully at different levels.

    In World War 1, Germany alone lost over two million men while twice as many suffered injuries. Its economy was devastated and there were dislocations at a mass scale. It was not alone in triggering the war nor was it the only one suffering the losses but when the Treaty of Versailles was negotiated Germany was not even invited and was singled out along with its allies as the cause of all trouble. Its human and material losses were set aside in favour of the plan to neutralise it as the factor of trouble in Europe. It was made to suffer. Under the treaty after the war, it lost ten percent of its land and all of its territorial possessions (colonies) abroad. Almost 13 percent of its population was distributed in different regions and newly created countries and almost one fifth of its precious coal fields and industry went away because of territorial adjustments in its borders. Germany’s lament that it was a victim fell on deaf ears. Germany fell to regional politics head-down and emerged only with Hitler causing even greater and longer distress to the nation.

    The point is that the complexity of global and regional politics requires talking to the world in a language other than that of victimhood. It also requires smart and intelligent debate within, one that is not grounded in grandiosity and a self-serving parade of achievements. This in turn can only happen when there is appetite and space for brutally honest introspection, shunning fakeness and pretention.

    It is regrettable that, instead of looking ourselves in the mirror and acknowledging our weaknesses, a new season of hollow bombast has arrived. Our ‘narrative’ is akin to the dialogue of the deaf with himself. He cannot even hear what he is saying to the world outside much less appreciate that words spoken without facts on the ground are mere sounds without meaning.

    Military takeovers destroy democracies as completely as information take-overs destroy critical national faculties like thinking, reflection, debate. They detach collective wisdom from reality and spread the disease of self-deception via fake news and fraudulent theories. Of the two takeovers it is hard to tell which one is worse. We have suffered one type of takeover in the past. We are suffering the other type at present.
     
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  9. stephen cohen

    stephen cohen Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  10. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    3 Hazaras among 5 shot dead on Quetta's Kasi road

    At least three members of the ethnic Hazara community and two other Shias were killed, while one other was seriously injured on Quetta's Kasi road on Monday morning as unidentified armed men opened fire at their vehicle, police said.

    According to the police, armed motorcyclists sprayed bullets at the vehicle and fled the scene unhurt.

    Police reached the spot and started an investigation into the incident.

    The Hazara community staged a protest at Alamdar road and demanded protection while chanting slogans against the government and the law enforcement agencies.

    The protesters dispersed after Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti visited them and promised them the government's support.

    Balochistan has been experiencing incidents of violence and targeted killings since more than a decade. More than 1,400 incidents targeting the minority Shia and Hazara community have taken place in the province during the past 15 years.

    While sectarian terrorism in Balochistan has disproportionately targeted the Hazara community, easily identifiable because of their distinctive physical appearance, other Shias — especially pilgrims travelling to and from Iran — have not been spared either.
     
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  11. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    5 policemen martyred in suicide attack in Quetta

    At least seven, including five policemen(notice the way the civilian deaths have been discarded), were martyred as an explosion ripped through a police truck on Wednesday in Quetta.

    Security forces said at least 22, including 9 policemen, were also injured in the attack. “It was a suicide explosion,” police sources told The Express Tribune. Police were the target of the attack, the sources added.

    The truck was carrying police recruits, five of whom were martyred, along with two passers-by on the city’s eastern outskirts, Quetta Police Chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said.

    Initial investigation suggested that some 50 kilogrammes of explosive was used in the explosion, added police.
     
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  12. stephen cohen

    stephen cohen Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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  13. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Two security personnel martyred in FR Bannu IED blast

    PESHWAR: Minutes after five policemen were martyred in Quetta, two security personnel were martyred in an IED blast in FR Bannu.

    According to government officials, the vehicle of the security personnel was attacked near Jalal check post by a remote-controlled IED.

    The two security personnel were identified as Sepoy Tasawar Ali and Sepoy Ghulam Rabani.
     
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  14. Butter Chicken

    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    US-Canadian hostages held for five years in Pakistan, claims CIA chief

    WASHINGTON: The head of the CIA claimed on Thursday that a US-Canadian couple kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan were held inside neighbouring Pakistan for five years before being freed last week.

    “We had a great outcome last week when we were able to get back four US citizens who had been held for five years inside of Pakistan,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo told the Foundation for Defence of Democracies think-tank in Washington.

    Pompeo’s remarks appeared to be the first time a US official has publicly stated that the family spent their captivity in Pakistan.

    Pakistan’s military and government has indicated that US citizen Caitlan Coleman, her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their children were rescued shortly after entering Pakistan from Afghanistan.

    The couple had been kidnapped in 2012 while backpacking in Afghanistan and their children were born in captivity.

    US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have previously said there was no indication that the hostages had been in Afghanistan in the days before they were freed, contrary to the Pakistani account. The officials said the United States believed the hostages were probably held by the Haqqani network in or near its headquarters in northwestern Pakistan the entire time.

    A senior Pakistani security source said last Friday that Pakistani troops and intelligence agents, acting on a US intelligence tip, zeroed in on a vehicle carrying the family as they were being moved into Kurram Agency near Kohat, some 60 km inside Pakistan.

    Pakistani officials bristle at US claims Islamabad is not doing enough to tackle militants, particularly the Haqqanis.

    After the release of the family, they emphasised the importance of cooperation and intelligence sharing by Washington, which has threatened to cut military aid and other punitive measures against Pakistan.

    However, two Taliban sources with knowledge of the family’s captivity said they had been kept in Pakistan in recent years.
     
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    Butter Chicken Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Pakistan: Attack on workers at Gwadar port for Chinese project; 26 injured

     

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