Balochistan should be oozing with optimism as Chinese and Saudi investment pours into the troubled Pakistani province. It is not. Instead, Balochistan, a key node in China’s Belt and Road initiative that borders Iran, is gripped by anger, fear and uncertainty.
The spectre of sectarianism haunts the Middle East. It is blamed for chaos, conflict, and extremism. It defines what is seen as the region’s principal fault line: Sunni versus Shiite. It has the power and elegance of a grand theory that seemingly explains all.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi seemed to fine tune the officer’s statement by not mentioning Yemen in his remarks to the Saudi paper and limiting Pakistan’s commitment to the kingdom itself. “If anyone would create chaos in or attack the Kingdom, Pakistan would stand by its brethren Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Qureishi said.
When Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week, the elephant in the room is likely to be what weighs more: the issues the two men agree on or the ones that divide them.
Shia rights violations continued in November. Anti-Shia incidents were witnessed in some countries. Most violation reports are from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Anti-Shia violations, including but not limited to, imprisonment, physical and emotional torture, limited or no access to medical assistance, hate speech, explosion, and executions.
Pakistan is traversing minefields as it concludes agreements on investment, balance of payments support and delayed payment oil deliveries with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth USD$13 billion that are likely to fawn growing distrust in its relations with neighbouring Iran.
By James M. Dorsey
When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared that Turkey was “the only country that can lead the Muslim world ” he probably wasn’t only thinking of Middle Eastern and other Islamic states such as Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Increasingly, there is evidence that Indian Muslims, the Islamic world’s fourth largest community after Indonesia and the South Asian states, is on Mr. Erdogan’s radar.
Mr. Erdogan’s interest in Indian Muslims highlights the flip side of a shared Turkish and Indian experience: the rise of religious parties and leaders with a tendency towards authoritarianism in non-Western democracies that, according to Turkey and India scholar Sumantra Bose, calls into question their commitment to secularism.
We are a group of human rights activists and organisations that dream of a just, caring and peaceful South Asia. We came together in December 2015 to document the condition of the region’s minorities – religious, linguistic, ethnic, caste and gender, among others – hoping this would help in bettering out- comes for South Asia’s many marginalised groups.
From this site, download the full report – with a 2017-2018 events section, and chapters on minorities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
At least 31 people have been killed, including two policemen, in a bomb blast near a polling station in the Pakistani city of Quetta, according to officials. More than 40 others were wounded in the blast on Wednesday, Waseem Baig, a spokesperson for Quetta Civil Hospital, told Al Jazeera.
For further news on the election, see al Jazeera
and click on the Dawn and Express Tribune links here on bottom right of the Home page.
Long satisfied to attempt to dominate pan-Arab media and battle it out with Qatar’s state-owned Al Jazeera television network, Saudi Arabia has now set its hegemonic sights on influencing the media landscape of the non-Arabic speaking greater Middle East.