JIT probe and China-Pakistan ties | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs JIT probe and China-Pakistan ties – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

Blog

JIT probe and China-Pakistan ties

Published

on

As the findings of the joint investigation team (JIT) have implicated the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family in the Panama gate Case and his disqualification and ouster is becoming inevitable day by day, his biggest friend and ally China is not concerned about him, but only concerned about the ‘One Belt, One Road (OBOR)’ initiative, that includes China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as its “flagship” project.

As being widely reported in the Pakistani media, “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification or imprisonment by the full court bench sounds like the writing on the wall for not only concealing assets, but also for failing to reveal their sources of income and presenting a fake money trail,” the political situation in Pakistan has become fluid and volatile making China upset about future of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), A B Mahapatra of Think Tank said.

China is upset as the situation arises due to the Panamagate JIT  as political instability in Pakistan is the major risk to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).As the political situation in Pakistan has become fluid and if the PM Nawaz is compelled to resign or dissolve the assembly or even if there is a change of leadership, China would be looking at Pakistan only from a business point of view and will engage with who so ever occupies the central leadership as Beijing just believes in the business first.

PM Nawaz Sharif has also lost Chinese leaders faith because Some differences have emerged between Sharif and Chinese leadership: first on the issue of Karakoram toll tax collection and second on the tariff related to the coal power plants which China is constructing there. These issues emerged as major irritants in Sino-Pak relationship in the month of May in Beijing when Pakistani officials met Chinese leaders.

China is upset with PM Nawaz Sharif as Beijing has been dragged into court for charging higher tariff for the power plants.

Pakistan is of the view that when their government is providing security to the Chinese projects with manpower and maintenance support and also giving compensation to the owners of land that are being taken for the projects, then they are lawfully entitled to receive toll tax of the Karakoram Highway. But China contends that since it had built the Karakoram Highway in 1970s and is financing the current projects, they should receive the toll tax.

China is engaged in building several Roads, Railway and the power projects under CPEC which includes the Khunjerab railway, a high-altitude line that would run roughly alongside the Karakoram and link north-eastern Pakistan with the Chinese city of Kashgar, which has become the present bone of contention.

Another irritant in their relationship is the tariff related to the coal power plants which China is constructing in Pakistan and the matter has been moved to the court.

There are 17 energy projects being completed under the CPEC including the Port Qasim coal plant in Sindh and ZTE Energy Pakistan PV power plant in Punjab.

The National Energy Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had approved tariff for the project at 71 paise/unit, while the government’s Private Power Infrastructure Board had filed a review petition on the tariff in order to address Chinese investors’ concerns who were demanding 95 paise/unit.

Minister for Planning and Development in the Pak government Ahsan Iqbal and Planning Commission Secretary Yousuf Nadeem Khokhar, who are the two point persons of Prime Minister Nawaz for CPEC projects, have expressed concern over the fixing of power tariff for CPEC-related power projects by the Chinese.

However, Chinese leadership is not much impressed by the mere expression of such concerns by the PM Nawaz’s team and expected better handling of the issue by his government.

China is also not worried by the possibility of change of guard in Pakistan, which is facing serious internal security threat from the various jihadi groups including Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), because China depends 80% on Pakistan Army and 20% on the civilian government for the fulfilment of their economic and strategic interests.

China has entered into a deal with Pakistan Army to provide security to the CPEC projects and General Qamar Javed Bajwa has ensured to provide fool-proof security to the said projects.

Observers in Islamabad believe that Pakistan will gradually become a colony of China and the civilian leadership should refrain from falling into the debt trap of Beijing as China has offered massive loans at six per cent interest rates to Pakistan, excluding insurance cost which is far higher than what is being offered by the world financial institutions. Pakistan will have to cough up $2billion to China annually to repay the loans.

Pakistan is of vital strategic importance to China to fulfil its ambition of reviving the ancient Silk Road (21st-century Maritime Silk Road) trading routes through its “One Belt- One Road,” China will remain benevolent towards Pakistan as Pakistan’s geographical location helps China to enlarge its sphere of influence in Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics and to increase connectivity between the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, no matter who leads the country.

It’s also obvious that any government of Pakistan cannot live without having the full support of China whether it is ruled by Nawaz or by Military.

“Pakistan is also keeping an eye on imaginary external threat like India, as it considers that China will come to their rescue if India acts militarily against them and while Islamabad has antagonized Afghanistan, therefore Pakistan will always try to keep friendship with Beijing intact,” Dr Ashok Behuria, South Asian expert working with New Delhi based Indian Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) said.

arti bali

By : Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

Blog

BJP leaders brainstorm for second day, say govt ready for talks with farmers

Union Home Minister Amit Shah met Agriculture Minister Narender Singh Tomar earlier in the day to discuss the strategy to break the logjam.

Published

on

Farmers on Protest

Eager to break the deadlock with famers who are agitating for scrapping the new farm laws, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership held meetings for a second consecutive day on Monday and sent out the message that the Union government is ready for talks.

Union home minister Amit Shah met Union minister for agriculture, NS Tomar earlier in the day to discuss the strategy to break the logjam. A senior party functionary said, “The message from the top is clear that the laws are not anti-farmers and that the farmers are being misled. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated that laws will offer better opportunity for the farmers.”

The functionary said the government is ready to sit across the table and discuss the new laws and “address whatever concerns” the farmers have.

Speaking in Varanasi, the PM on Monday said the laws have given farmers new options and legal protection. He lashed out at the opposition for “misleading” the farmers and said earlier decisions of government were opposed now rumours have become the basis for opposition and propaganda is being served even though the laws favour the farmers.

The party has also opted for a cautious, measured response to the agitation. Even though it is pinning the blame on the opposition for provoking the protest, it is taking care not to rile the farmers. “The farmers are innocent. They are being misled by those with vested interests. The laws have barely been implemented and their impact is yet to be ascertained, so how can people rush to call these anti-farmers,” said Rajkuamr Chahar, head of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha.

He said the Punjab unit of the Morcha has been communicating with the farmers’ representatives and has relayed the government’s willingness to address their concerns.

On Monday, even as the party tried to diffuse the anger against the bills, its ally the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) joined the chorus for the rollback of the laws. Rajasthan lawmaker and RLP chief, Hanuman Beniwal, shot off a letter to Shah, seeking the reversal of the laws.

“….In view of the countrywide sentiment in support of the ongoing farmers’ movement, the recently introduced three bills related to agriculture should be immediately withdrawn. (The Centre must) implement all recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, and immediately hold dialogue with farmers in Delhi,” he said.

The BJP, however, played down the ally’s demand. Its national spokesperson on economic issues, Gopal Krishna Agarwal said, “We assure all, including our NDA partners that farmers’ well-being and welfare are in our heart. Large scale market reforms are needed and that has always been the consensus.”

He went on to add that while the BJP opposes misgivings about the APMC mandis being dismantled and MSP being withdrawn, the opposition is politicizing the issue along with the Arhtiyas (commission agents) and middleman.

“We have offered all the basic facilities to farmers, drinking water, toilets, shelters and medical facilities. They have been given permission to protest and also been invited for dialogue. We are open for all discussions on the merits or demerits of the three bills. If farmers have certain serious concerns, we are ready to listen to them,” he said.

Continue Reading

Blog

Lunar Eclipse: Chant these mantras for peace during Chandra Grahan

Check out the Chandra Beej Mantra, Dhanvantari Mantra, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Shanti Path given below to ward off the ill-effects of this celestial movement.

Published

on

By

Lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipse 2020: The fourth and the last Upachaya Chandra Grahan (Penumbral Lunar Eclipse) of 2020 will take place today. Though Sutak is not applicable during Upachaya Chandra Grahan, the constant movements of the Grahas (planets) may cast an impact on zodiac signs. It may influence people’s natal charts. Hence, people must chant mantras to negate the negative effect of Grahan.

The Lunar Eclipse will have a duration of 4 hours and 18 minutes. It will begin on Monday at 1.04 pm and reach its peak at 3.13 pm. The Lunar Eclipse will end at 5.22 pm and will have a magnitude of 0.82.

Check out the Chandra Beej Mantra, Dhanvantari Mantra, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and Shanti Path given below to ward off the ill-effects of this celestial movement.

Continue Reading

Blog

Uttar Pradesh law on love jihad seeks to divide communities, writes Kapil Sibal

The Ordinance also goes against the right to privacy. The state has no role to play in the personal choice of individuals in consummating a union and embracing their partner’s religion

Published

on

Love Jihad

When laws are motivated by communally divisive agendas, they breed suspicion within communities, resulting in a sense of alienation. That in turn negatively impacts societal peace and harmony. Occasionally, it leads to sporadic violence. When such laws attempt to interfere with personal relationships or emotive issues of choice, which are at the heart of individual freedoms, the outcomes are even more disturbing. That explains why matters relating to marriage, divorce, succession and inheritance polarise dialogues and attitudes.

Such agendas germinate a majoritarian culture pitting “us” against “them” and give birth to electoral majorities. The road to power then becomes a relatively easy enterprise. The rise of right-wing assertions, a global phenomenon, is based on such engineered societal divides. The Uttar Pradesh government’s recent promulgation of the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, relating to “Love Jihad” is yet another attempt, in a string of communally charged initiatives, aimed at reaping electoral dividends.

Love jihad is a concept the contours of which are blurred. However, in simple terms, all that it means is that if a Muslim boy, in love with a non-Muslim girl chooses to marry her and she embraces Islam, such a union will be looked upon with suspicion by the law and is liable to be declared void. This strikes at the root of individual liberty since such a union cannot be held to be legally suspect. It strikes at the core of the ‘right to privacy’, which is protected constitutionally.

The Ordinance also targets mass conversions, which have taken place in the past. These include conversions to Christianity in the 1930s, to Buddhism by Dalits in the 1950s and Mizo Christians to the Jewish faith in the 2000s. Those seeking to convert allure marginalised castes and tribes with hope, dignity and material enticement. Dr Ambedkar, disenchanted with the caste structure of Hinduism, converted to Buddhism.

The reasons for such mass conversions are complex and need to be addressed separately. Under the proposed law, those guilty of mass conversions are liable to face a jail term extending up to 10 years and a minimum fine of Rs 50,000. While it is justifiable to prevent conversion based on force, coercion, undue influence, misrepresentation and allurements, it is difficult to prove these elements if a Muslim boy and a non-Muslim girl or vice-versa exercise their free will to marry for reasons that are entirely personal. The reason why non-Muslims convert to Islam is because the children born in wedlock would otherwise be excluded from inheritance under Muslim law.

Absent this conversion, the union of a Muslim with a non-Muslim or vice-versa will be a difficult proposition. That is why the intent of the proposed law is suspect as it seeks to target conversion and not marriage. The Ordinance provides that in an interfaith marriage, if one of the partners wishes to embrace another religion, that person will have to inform the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate in writing at least two months in advance. A format of the application seeking permission for conversion will be provided by the government.

Under the proposed law, it would be the responsibility of the person embracing another religion to prove that such person was not converted forcibly or through fraudulent means. Those who abet, convince or conspire are also liable to be prosecuted. Any such violation of the law would entail a jail term of six months to three years and a minimum fine of Rs 10,000.

Marriage between two people is personal to them. It allows either of them to opt out of the marriage. In addition, the person victimised is free to allege use of force, coercion, fraud, undue influence or misrepresentation against the other. In the absence of any of these, it is unthinkable that the law mandates a person who voluntarily embraces another religion to seek permission to prove that the decision was not actuated by any of those elements. Reversal of the burden of proof in matters of personal choices of a life partner may be legally unsustainable.

The obligation to seek permission for conversion two months in advance is fundamentally arbitrary and a violation of the ‘right to privacy’. The state has no role to play in the personal choice of individuals in consummating a union and embracing the religion of the partner. The state can certainly regulate acts of forced conversion but the starting point of such regulation has to be a complaint made by the individual who opts to convert. In most of these cases, it is the parents who complain that their daughter has been fraudulently enticed into a relationship and is a victim of forced conversion.

The Ordinance allows members of the family of those who convert or any relative to lodge an FIR. This makes the Ordinance an instrument of harassment in situations where interfaith marriages are voluntary.
We have seen this being played out in Hadiya’s case in Kerala. The couple went through trauma when Hadiya’s husband and some organisations were targeted for allegedly having induced her to convert to Islam. This was despite the fact that she constantly denied the allegations, asserting that she had embraced Islam voluntarily and much before she had met her husband.

The drama was then played out in court after the Kerala High Court held the marriage to be void on grounds that there was no reasonable explanation given by Hadiya for her marriage to a Muslim without the consent of her parents. Finally, while appearing personally in the Supreme Court, she unequivocally stated that she had married her husband of her own free will and converted to another religion much before her marriage. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was asked to investigate the circumstances in which Hadiya had married and converted.

The NIA decided to widen its investigations. From a list of 89 such marriages, it investigated 11 cases and in the absence of prosecutable evidence, all such matters resulted in closure. The bottom line is that the Ordinance serves a political purpose. It is yet another way to polarise our polity. The issue is emotive and seeks to divide communities. The constitutionality of such a legislation when challenged should be decided with utmost speed. The court, hopefully, will find such laws to be antithetical to the constitutional ethos and our civilisational values. Any attempt to delay adjudication would only be playing into the hands of those intending to divide and not unite India.

This article first appeared in the newindianexpress on Nov 30, 2020 under the title ‘The perils of an economic oligarchy’. The writer, a senior Congress leader, is a former Union minister.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Data

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.