On December 30, 2016, China once again blocked India’\s attempt to get the United Nations (UN) to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. The move took place despite clear indications that the Pakistan-based JeM under the leadership of Azhar is responsible for several attacks on Indian soil, like the Parliament terror attack (2001) or the Pathankot airbase attack. In this context, it is remarkable that JeM has already been blacklisted by the 15 members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), but not the terrorist leader himself. Due to the persistent ‘technical holds’ enforced by China, Azhar did not get listed as a designated terrorist under the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh, the militant Islamic State/IS group) and Al Qaida Sanctions Committee’ of the UNSC. Continue reading “Double Standards? Understanding China’s Diplomatic Support for Pakistan’s Cross-Border Terrorists”
Regionalism in South Asia has entailed the search for collective efforts to overcome mostly weak, congeneric economies, political fragmentation, socio-religious cleavages and the consequent deep-rooted conflicts between different states, especially between Pakistan and India. In order to enhance regional cooperation, for quite some time, the idea of Economic Corridor (EC) has become not only a trend in foreign policy strategies but also a buzzword in plans for stimulating economic growth as well as deeper integration of Asia’s sub-regions. This has especially been the case within South East Asia, spearheaded by the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) initiative. In South Asia, it is a more recent phenomenon that the establishment of economic corridors has gained prominence. One of the most advanced examples is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
At the end of July 2015, in the aftermath of the second round of the ‘official’ peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the Taliban finally verified the death of its creator, commander and spiritual leader Mullah Muhammad Omar (DW, 30.7.2015). Omar was also the ‘Head of the Supreme Council’ of the Taliban during their rule in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 (Waraich, 31.7.2015). Before he died he appeared to give his authorisation for the first round of peace talks earlier this month. However, as his successor, Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, got appointed after a shura held outside Quetta (Pakistan) the Taliban unanimously elected him as the “new emir of the Taliban” (DW, 30.7.2015). Generally he got portrayed as a pragmatic and protagonist of negotiations for a political settlement to end the ongoing armed insurgency of the Taliban and affiliated groups to topple the western-backed government in Kabul (cf. Siddique, 21.4.2014; Withnall, 30.7.2015). This created – temporarily – new hopes for peace in the war-ridden country. Continue reading “Quo vadis Taliban – What happens next after the ‘official death’ of its supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar?”