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Asia Watch

On July 18, the global media carried stories of how Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Naif was ousted from his position and replaced by his cousin, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

 

South Asia is situated in a strategically important location and has always been bone of a contention for control by major powers.

 

Earlier this week, hours after the White House had confirmed that Iran was abiding by the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, the State Department announced new sanctions targeting Iranian individuals and entities linked to the country’s missile programme.

 

IS retired Gen Raheel Sharif commanding a ghost army? Government representatives have insisted that so long as the terms of reference of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism are not finalised, Pakistan’s participation cannot be determined.

 

As journalists it is our job to seek out information, report on stories that affect the lives of the average person and hold those in power to account by asking them the questions their people want answering.

 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s two-day visit to Dushanbe, Tajikistan where he met with his Tajik and Afghan counterparts was important not just because of the political significance of Nawaz and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani finally meeting but for the economic benefits we can get out of increased trade with the Central Asian Republics.

 

First there was the indignity of being outed for not being ‘straight’ on Iraq by the man who spent seven years finding out. Then, on the anniversary of the London bombings, which also happened on his watch, a British think tank published important findings. Namely, that Saudi Arabia is responsible for funding extremism on British soil.

 

After seven years, Iran’s Supreme Leader broke his silence on the Kashmir issue this week. Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned Kashmir as part of an appeal to look out for “oppressed Muslims” alongside Yemen and Bahrain, but this sudden interest in the plight of Kashmiris has led to speculation about the motive for this in both India and Pakistan.

 

Last month, Saudi Arabia and the UAE imposed a blockade on Qatar, arguing that the country was promoting terrorism. The irony is that Saudi and elite groups of nations in the Gulf have also been supporting Salafis and jihadis for a long time.

 

The city of Marawi in the south of the Philippines has been engulfed by a deadly, ongoing siege since late May, when government forces began to take on heavily armed militants linked to the Islamic State. Local media estimate the death toll to be above 300. Over 200,000 residents have fled what has effectively become an urban battlefield. 

 


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It is often conjectured if the reason for long-standing conflicts and insurgencies, in the developing world, especially South Asia, is not only other powers fishing in troubled waters but also the keenness of arms industries, mostly Western, to...

 
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