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The ummah at war with itself

The ummah is at war with itself. What other way is there to describe the brutal bloodletting by Muslims of Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Turkey, and, of course, Pakistan.To be fair, the ummah has not mattered for a long time to the governments or peoples of Muslim …

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The Guardian view on Saudi Arabia: the seventh son rises

The ascension in June of Muhammed bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia was an instant Rorschach test for observers of the desert kingdom. Is he a reformer prepared to drag his kingdom, a repressive regime that writes very large welfare cheques, into the 21st century or a callow …

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A bitter mix of politics and sugar

Last week, the Lahore High Court stopped relocation of the three sugar mills owned by Nawaz Sharif and his family from the central districts to the cotton-growing southern regions of Punjab.Throwing out intra-court appeals challenging the 2016 single-bench decision against the relocation of Chaudhry Sugar Mills, Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills …

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Lessons to learn from FTA with China

While the Pakistan and China bilateral Trade Agreement, signed in 2006, seemed to be quite enthusiastic and ambitious; the ground realities turned out to be quite different.The FTA resulted in the Pakistani market getting flooded with Chinese goods as the country had extended unwarranted and unintentional clandestine market access to …

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Mega water projects: why the secrecy?

Swimming against the current, the water issue has arrived in Islamabad, or so it seems.Not only was there was confusion and debate on the issue; the water scene watchers believe that groundwork is under way and work on two mega-dam projects will start in 2018, with or without Chinese support.The …

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Is there really a Turkey-Iran rapprochement?

Turkish-Iranian relations have always defied any general characterisation. The two neighbours have never had a straightforward alliance, feud, cooperation or rivalry. Instead, their relationship always carried all these elements simultaneously. There have been times in which the relationship has seemed to be tilting one way or another, and this has …

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Heads, Saudi loses. Tails, Iran wins

However many twists and turns the crisis of Sunni leadership takes, one regional power always seems to come out on top. That country is Iran.Iran’s threat to intervene militarily was one of the factors that thwarted Saudi Arabia’s plans to invade Qatar at the very start of the blockade. I …

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Kashmir talks: reality & myth

KASHMIR is so deeply emotive that perceptions often mix reality with myth. This is true of discussions over the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, the Tashkent Declaration, the Simla Accords, the Lahore Summit Declaration and, most of all, of bilateral efforts to address the dispute.On YouTube,I saw Prof Christine …

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Financing burden of CPEC

The ongoing debate on the impact of CPEC projects on future external payments’ obligations is welcome, but should be informed by analysis based on facts rather than opinion.The total committed amount under CPEC of $50 billion is divided into two broad categories: $35bn is allocated for energy projects while $15bn …

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“CPEC is not a game-changer, it’s game over”

Kaiser Bengali is a senior economist who has served as advisor to the chief minister Balochistan as well as consultant/national coordinator for Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Government of Pakistan. Besides, he has headed research institutions including Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC),Karachi, and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad.He …

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