Monthly Archives: March 2017

Recent events involving Afghanistan and Pakistan

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Dear readers,

Instead of focusing individually on Afghanistan or Pakistan, today I have decided to combine the two given the fact that the two countries have been interacting politically quite recently.

Pakistani troops clash with militants near Afghan border

In a raid conducted by Pakistan’s military near the tribal region near the Afghan border, with wo soldiers and five “terrorists” killed. Evidence points to the fact that a Pakistani Taliban commander was killed in the raid. The Pakistan’s military has upped their anti-terrorism game in the last month following a “series of attacks that killed at least 125 people. It also closed its border with Afghanistan for more than a month, accusing Kabul of failing to crack down on militants.”

 To read more please visit this link.

Afghan, Pakistani Traders Demand Reopening of Joint Border

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has ordered that the two main (for trade) border crossings with the Afghanistan to reopen immediately. The concern at the moment is that the closure of the border crossings may result in what could become a large scale huminatorian crisis. For this reason the border crossings at Torkham and Charman were opened for two days amid these worries.

The initial reason for the closure was related to concerns of national security, there was a wave of suicide bombings across the country, that Pakistani intelligence reported, were planned on Afghan soil. There have been about 3000 containers that were to cross the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan and have instead been stranded in Peshawar by the Torkham border, while 2000 containers have been stuck by the Chaman border.

National security is just one concern, but the abrupt border crossing has affected trade and economic well-being as well as basic needs of the Pakistani and Afghani people, respectively. A joint statement released after a meeting beween Pakistani and Afghan officials state that they have “fostered better understanding and cooperation” so the hope is that a solution benefitting both parties will be reached soon. It is important to note that this is the fifth time the borders have been closed since June 2016, this has resulted in millions of dollars of financial loss on both sides of the border, as well as a mutual trust deficit between the two countries.

To read more please visit this link, and this article from Reuters.

Terror-sponsor Pakistan is a destabilising factor in Afghanistan

Although Pakistan has been blaming Kabul of not paying attention to matters of national security, Kabul has been placing the blame on Islamabad in return.

Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani has come outright and said “slamming Islamabad for the destabilising factor in his war-torn country.” Rabbani recently attended a “US-sponsored anti-coalition group meeting, urged the Trump administration to put pressure on Pakistan to stop using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.”

Although the relatively new Ghani administration has tried to forge new connections with Islamabad, the tensions are at a new high combined with the closed border and mutual mistrust and blame for issues in national security.

To read more please visit this link.

Recent events in Afghanistan

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Dear readers,

Happy Wednesday. The Barakat team is wishing you a pleasant week ahead.

No End to Terrorism Without Better Pakistan-Afghanistan-India ties

In an article in the Express Tribune of Pakistan the conclusion that terrorism will not end without better Pakistan-Afghanistan-India ties is a strong, yet true statement in mending the region that has been plagued with extremism and war over the last few years. Without stronger multi-national relations between these countries it is virtually impossible to represent a a strong and unified strategic and military front.

All three countries have suffered from the rise of extremism, which has been attributed to foreign intervention and war in the last few decades. The article states that in “in the last 16 years, scores of terror attacks have killed about 61,700 people in Pakistan.” Furthermore, “India has suffered the Mumbai attacks, assaults on its parliament and security forces, as well as the recent Uri incident.” Afghanistan has also be subject to similar extremist activity with “severe militancy and heavy civilian casualties” as a result of the creating of the Islamic State and other organizations “with global agendas (who) are also active in the country.”

To read more please visit this link.

Australian aid worker kidnapped in Afghanistan freed

Recent Events in Pakistan

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Dear readers, we hope you are enjoying your week! Below are some articles about recent events in Pakistan over the last month or so. Enjoy, and as always we hope we are doing a good job at informing you all!

G7 Plus India and Afghanistan: Lead Economic Sanctions against Pakistan

The G7, which leads the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has warned Pakistan that if they are involved with terrorist financing (during the three-month warning they have been given) Pakistan will become a “no-go zone” for international banking. The threat of losing that status will put Pakistan in grave economic turmoil, and also effect many non-resident Pakistanis that live outside but choose to bank in Pakistan. Pakistan has a history of allegedly supporting the Taliban in times when the government needed a sort of paramilitary support.

To read more please visit this link.

Afghanistan urges Pakistan to reopen border, de-escalate tensions

The closure of the two major border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan has not only halted or impeded travel, but has also blocked trade supply. The border closures took place following an ISIL attack on a Sufi shrine that killed 88 people in the middle of February. The border closure is intended to put pressure on Kabul to look into the frightening increase of ISIL members in Afghanistan in the last few months.

Ambassador to Afghanistan Abrar Hussain has requested the borders to be re-opened, and he also stressed that “Afghanistan should take appropriate measures to deny “use of its soil by terrorists against Pakistan.” Hussain also suggested that both countries look into improving and strengthening their border management so future attacks can be halted before they become detrimental.

To read more please visit this link.

 

Pakistan Super League controversy

As some of you may know, cricket is not only a past time, or a hobby in Pakistan but it has become an institution of some sorts. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) is a club cricket league that runs a tournament every year. The games have been played across the UAE in Sharjah and Dubai, however the final is to be played on March 5th in Lahore. In the recent months Lahore has faced turmoil and has been victim to extremist activities, therefore many international players have decided not to participate if their team reaches the final. Also, many international renowned commentators will not be traveling to Pakistan for security reasons.

There have been many other complications to hosting the PSL final in Pakistan, for example the PSL broadcasting company has pulled out of covering the final (following the example of international players and commentators), competition will be unequal because many international players have decided not to play, there are evident security threats, in fact having an international event in general is a risk with “deteriorating security conditions of Lahore.”

The idea is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan, but the question to be asked is it really worth it and at what cost will this be achieved?

To read more please visit this article.