Flashpoint – 30 August 2019

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What’s happening?

The news stories today report on Indian accusations of cross border infiltration into Indian-held Kashmir, China’s resolve to work with Pakistan for regional stability, action against terrorists and measures for peace in Muharram. Op-eds on the other hand discuss irresponsible commentary on Indo-Pak conflict, rise of far right extremism, and the need of understanding armed resistance and terrorism.

Today’s news stories

India accuses Pakistan of trying to infiltrate terrorists

Indian authorities have alleged that Pakistan is trying to infiltrate terrorists into the country to carry out attacks amid rising tensions over New Delhi’s decision to abrogate the autonomy of Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK). DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor rejected the Indian claim, saying Pakistan is a responsible state and said we would be insane to allow infiltration across the Line of Control.

Read more in The News

CTD arrests alleged terrorist in Hangu

The Counter-Terrorism Department arrested a suspected terrorist from Thall area of Hangu district who was carrying Rs 500,000 head money. A CTD official identified the suspect as Ajab Khan, saying he was wanted in at least five cases to the Thall police. He was arrested by the CTD Kohat region from Bazukot area of Thall following a tip-off about his presence in the area. The official said that the suspect was nominated in five cases of murder, attempted murder and terrorism at the Thall police station.

Read more in Dawn

Joint jirga held in Kohat for peace in Muharram

Chief Secretary Muhammad Saleem Khan has appreciated the efforts and assistance of people of Kohat and Hangu in maintaining peace for several years in the area. He was addressing a joint peace jirga of Sunni and Shia communities about Muharamul Haram at the Commissioner’s House in Kohat, said an official handout. On the occasion, Kohat Division Commissioner Syed Abdul Jabbar Shah, DIG Kohat Tayyab Hafeez Cheema, deputy commissioners of Karak, Kohat, Hangu, Kurram and Orakzai were present.

Read more in The News

China says it will work with Pakistan to safeguard regional stability

Terming the recent visit of the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, Gen Xu Qiliang, to Pakistan very successful, the Chinese defence ministry on Thursday said that Beijing would work together with Islamabad to strengthen strategic communication, enhance mutual trust and improve defence cooperation to safeguard peace and stability in the region. Given the complex security situation in the region, the defence ministry spokesman said, China was willing to work with Pakistan to implement the consensus reached between the two heads of state.

Read more in Dawn


Sheikh Rashid’s ‘war’

This editorial piece in Dawn comments on a statement by Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad where he said he foresaw a war with India in October or November. Dawn says war and peace is not the domain of a railways minister and therefore best left to the relevant quarters. It says the Railways minister should instead focus on his ministry and address the long existent issues that mire railways in Pakistan. “The minister once promised to revamp the railways within 120 days,” Dawn says, “his zeal would be best applied towards fulfilling this much-delayed pledge.”

Read more in Dawn

Rising far-right extremism

In his opinion piece for Express Tribune, Syed Mohammad Ali says despite the accelerating pace of globalisation, there is a surge in right-wing extremism today. This xenophobic extremism, the writer says, rides on the back of growing populism. He says xenophobic ethno-nationalist movements, Islamist terrorism and right-wing violent extremism are some of the varied manifestations of the inadequacies of globalisation

He says the influence of right-wing populism and extremism has ballooned in recent years in countries as diverse as Hungary, Italy, Brazil, and India. He mentions that even the US.

Read more in Express Tribune

Understanding armed struggle

An editorial piece in The Nation comments on the words of Prime Minister of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Raja Muhammad Farooq Haider Khan that neither Pakistan nor AJK will allow India to link Kashmiri movement with terrorism”. The newspaper says the PM has only reiterated the US demand of not allowing an armed resistance in Kashmir. The newspaper says the armed resistance in Kashmir is not terrorism. “Whenever people take up weapons for the sake of achieving their right to self-determination, such resistance does not amount to terrorism at all,” it stresses, “even the United Nations considers such a resistance a justified one where the purpose of the movement is the overthrow of colonisation or occupation and liberation of its land.

Read more in The Nation

Sheikh Rashid foresees war

This editorial in Daily Nawaiwaqt comments on Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad’s statement where he said he foresaw Indo-Pak war in October or November. Daily Nawaiwaqt says although the Kashmir dispute has become a core issue due to India’s belligerence but advises that a federal minister should exercise utmost restraint while commenting on sensitive and irrelevant issues. It says the minister’s statement was untimely which can create panic. The newspaper advises that the matters of war and peace should be left to relevant quarters.

Read more in Daily Nawaiwaqt

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