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Showing posts from September 26, 2021

Balochistan: A land of endless misery

Modern Diplomacy SOUTH ASIA Published   2 days ago   on   September 30, 2021 By   Sanchita Bhattacharya SHARE TWEET 0 Comments On September 26, the statue of Pakistan’s Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was destroyed in a bomb attack in Marine Drive area of Gwadar city, Balochistan. The banned Baloch insurgent group, Baloch Libe­ration Front (BLF) claimed responsibility for the bombing. Unfortunately, the statue was completely destroyed. This is not the first time, that Baloch fighters have orchestrated such daring attack. Earlier, on June 15, 2013, the historic Ziarat Residency of Jinnah, was set alight in an arson attack by militants. The outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) had claimed responsibility for the attack. The then provincial government of Balochistan, headed by Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, rebuilt and restored the Ziarat Residency to its original shape. These attacks not only showcase ferocity, but also mistrust and disregard for Paki

Art is political

Art is political. More importantly, it can act as a very crucial medium of social transformation. As the famous dialogue of the film Party (1984) goes,   ‘ Every creation of art, through which you are able to concur with the public opinion is a weapon in social and political  struggle.’   https://youtu.be/xnYFvnEfRSs

Eastern disinformation

Oxford Analytca, Weekly Briefing   The four Central European states lag behind the Baltic republics in developing approaches to widespread disinformation.  For example, the leader of the anti-establishment Pirates party claims that the party has been the greatest victim of disinformation during the campaign for the October 8-9 Czech parliamentary elections. The Pirates and their coalition partners have fallen to third place, having previously made a shock breakthrough to surpass Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO party. Pirates leader Ivan Bartos’s claim has highlighted the prevalence of disinformation, affecting politics and security everywhere. Unlike misinformation, also rife, disinformation is deliberate, hostile and intended to cause harm and undermine targets, whether through confusion or via the direct formation of particular opinions. Deception is central: hiding the true identity of the authors, using falsehoods and providing entirely false reports. There will be no escape from

The AIIB Fails on Public Access to Information

By  Dr. Korinna Horta  and  Wawa Wang SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 Starting next month, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will begin using a newly revised but still problematic environmental and social framework. This framework contains the right words and appears to tick all the boxes, but it includes too many loopholes and caveats that undermine early disclosure of environmental and social risks. Investments in large infrastructure projects invariably carry high environmental and social risks. Standards on public access to information before project approval are a key element in addressing these risks. European and like-minded governments stated that they would be working toward the adoption of high international standards and best practices at the AIIB. In response to these sensitivities, AIIB President Jin Liqun, a former deputy finance minister in China with many years of experience working at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, ensured that the AIIB’s language was

The Quad’s Strategic Infrastructure Play

By  Jonathan E. Hillman SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 President Biden hosted the first in-person Quad leaders’ summit at the White House on Friday. The four countries—Australia, Japan, India, and the United States— announced  progress on commitments made during a virtual summit in March and expanded cooperation into several areas. Strategically, infrastructure is now squarely on the Quad’s agenda, which includes a new dedicated coordination group. The elevation of infrastructure as a priority area makes economic and political sense. It’s what the world wants, especially developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region. It strengthens the Quad’s reputation for concentrating on tangible solutions to collective challenges. And the focus on “high-standards infrastructure” provides an implicit contrast to  China’s Belt and Road . But rather than bashing China’s initiative, the Quad leaders wisely focused on what they want to offer. That message is more likely to resonate across the Indo-Pacific and bey

Focusing on the middle class

OP-ED Cheng Li Tuesday, September 14, 2021 China-US Focus Editor's Note:  Some of the tensions and conflicts in U.S.-China relations are arguably a result of a focus on differences. Indeed, broadening the focus to this shared identity — and similarities — will help humanize the other side, fostering empathy and respect for shared interests, writes Cheng Li. This article originally appeared in  China-US Focus . U.S.-China relations have deteriorated in recent years at a speed and scope beyond what could have been predicted. This most consequential bilateral relationship in the world is heading toward an adversarial and dangerous state. Not only has each side accused the other of being a genocidal regime and speculated that the COVID-19 pandemic was spawned from a lab leak in the other country, but the risk for military confrontation and war between both superpowers is also on the rise. Cheng Li Director -  John L. Thornton China Center   Senior Fellow -  Foreign Policy As demonizati

NEET and the illusion of ‘merit’

Opinion NEET and the illusion of ‘merit’ In many quarters “merit” is simply considered to be performance in a competitive exam. However, this view remains oblivious to many external factors. Salem Dharanidharan Tuesday, September 14, 2021 - 17:26             Kanimozhi, Anitha and Dhanush. This piece is a part of TNM's reader-funded Cooperative Federalism Project. Indian residents can support the project  here , NRIs, please  click here .  Across the world, education, instead of becoming a mechanism for mobility, has become a fortress of privilege. Often in India we hear this debate on how affirmative action thwarts meritocracy, or why exams like NEET foster meritocracy and help the country produce better doctors. These narrow views and opinions stem from a lack of understanding of the term “merit.” The idea of merit is abstract, or can be even termed treacherous. Naively, in many quarters “merit” is simply considered to be performance in a competitive exam. However, this view remai