Connect with us




Pakistan PM Abbasi puts up brave face at UN but will it matter in reality?

Pakistan PM Abbasi puts up brave face at UN but will it matter in the reality?




Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who replaced Nawaz Sharif in July this year after he was ousted in connection with corruption charges, tried to put up a brave face at the United Nations General Assembly session on Thursday, September 21, especially at a time when his country is facing serious challenges to its foreign policy.

Abbasi, who caught a special attention the day before for not sporting a tie while meeting world leaders, media personalities and a high-profile audience at the world body, spoke on various issues on Thursday, clearly trying to send across the message that Islamabad is not rattled despite the tough challenges it is facing at the moment on various fronts.

Brave face, but for how long?

But how long will this ‘bravery’ stand in reality? Abbasi’s meeting US Vice President Mike Pence and the two sides’ resolve to revive the relationship which has been adversely affected of late, Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani’s appeal to Islamabad in his UN speech to engage in dialogue with Kabul and also, the Pakistani Army chief General Qamar Bajwa’s meeting with Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal last month suggest that there is an urgency among the concerned parties to resume the process which can lead to stabilisation of Afghanistan. But does Pakistan itself have enough political stability to prove that Abbasi’s words are meant to be real?

Abbasi said in his speech that it is “galling” for Pakistan to see the amount of blame everybody puts on it for the “military and political instability in Afghanistan” especially after the big sacrifices it has made while contributing towards the campaign against global terror.

The premier’s take sounds good but it is not consistent with the policy that Pakistan has taken over the years – its civilian government, military, ISI, business, law-keepers etc. etc. – towards patronising the Taliban in Afghanistan in every possible way. The Pakistani policy-makers had always hoped that patronising the Taliban would bring it strategic advantage and also economic blessings but the real outcome has been something else.

Years of policy blunders, lack of vision and a stubborn stance on backing the Taliban have hurt Pakistan’s interests more than not. The September 11 attacks had put Pakistan’s dangerous Afghanistan policy under a serious threat and while former president Pervez Musharraf had somehow walked the tightrope in the wake of 9/11 to balance between the US and Taliban, the subsequent leaderships in Islamabad have never succeeded in finding a strong policy to tackle its foreign policy challenges. Sixteen years since 9/11, the Pakistani establishment has not only been badly exposed, but it has also seen a sharp rise in the number of its adversaries, locally as well as globally.

Abbasi said at the UN that Pakistan is not prepared to be anyone’s “scapegoat” but the reality is that the Pakistani state has mostly remained ineffective in pursuing a sound Afghan policy all these years, leading to the surrounding countries distrusting it more for allegedly destabilising the region. To bring into effect a paradigm shift which is essential for Pakistan if it wants to see it at a better position on the Afghanistan issue, Abbasi needs to show an iron will towards bettering relations with its neighbours, including India. But that is much easier said than done.

Abbasi playing to the galleries before elections?

Pakistan’s foreign policy is clearly a prisoner of the past and a little-weight leader like Abbasi is parroting from the old script just to keep the constituencies of himself and his party happy, perhaps because the national elections in Pakistan are not far off. But by issuing hot statements against India and not showing any interest to depart from the game plan of patronising the extremists in Afghanistan to disrupt New Delhi’s plans in that country, Pakistan is only ensuring that its cooperation with either Kabul or Washington to uproot terror will remain unsatisfactory and it will, in turn, build up pressure on Islamabad, despite the presence of its all-weather friend China.

To allow itself a chance to return to reckoning on the international stage, Pakistan must focus on improving its relations with India and Afghanistan which in turn can pave for better Pakistan-US ties. But for that to happen, Islamabad needs a strong leadership and also a foreign policy of consensus which will be free of selfish and suicidal schemes. Under the premiership of Abbasi whose duration in office nobody really knows, expecting a Pakistani policy seeking a genuine solution of the Afghan crisis is akin to daydreaming.

The opinions of this author may or may not reflect the views of The Duran PLC

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Notify of
Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians

PM Abbasi is in a very difficult position. Has to defend Pakistan’s support of terrorists being encouraged and financially rewarded by the US and the Wahhabi States for decades. Pakistan has millions of Wahhabi educated in Fake-Islam Wahhabi madrasas. All encouraged to join terrorism (Taliban) or at least to become violent political activists. The military forces and secret service is infiltrated with Wahhabi or at least Wahhabi sympathisers. Both have an outsized influence on Pakistan’s politics. Then there is still the India-problem. So this Prime-Minister has to walk a very fine line in eradicating terrorism. He cannot eradicate ISIS because… Read more »


4 resignations and counting: May’s government ‘falling apart before our eyes’ over Brexit deal

The beginning of the end for Theresa May’s government.

The Duran



Via RT

Four high profile resignations have followed on the heels of Theresa May’s announcement that her cabinet has settled on a Brexit deal, with Labour claiming that the Conservative government is at risk of completely dissolving.

Shailesh Vara, the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office was the first top official to resign after the prime minister announced that her cabinet had reached a draft EU withdrawal agreement.

An hour after his announcement, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab – the man charged with negotiating and finalizing the deal – said he was stepping down, stating that the Brexit deal in its current form suffers from deep flaws. Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, submitted her letter of resignation shortly afterwards. More resignations have followed.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, predicted that this is the beginning of the end for May’s government.

The government is falling apart before our eyes as for a second time the Brexit secretary has refused to back the prime minister’s Brexit plan. This so-called deal has unraveled before our eyes

Shailesh Vara: UK to be stuck in ‘a half-way house with no time limit’

Kicking off Thursday’s string of resignations, Vara didn’t mince words when describing his reservations about the cabinet-stamped Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement leaves the UK in a “halfway house with no time limit on when we will finally become a sovereign nation,” his letter of resignation states. Vara went on to warn that the draft agreement leaves a number of critical issues undecided, predicting that it “will take years to conclude” a trade deal with the bloc.

“We will be locked in a customs arrangement indefinitely, bound by rules determined by the EU over which we have no say,” he added.

Dominic Raab: Deal can’t be ‘reconciled’ with promises made to public

Announcing his resignation on Thursday morning, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted: “I cannot in good conscience support the terms proposed for our deal with the EU.”

Raab claimed that the deal in its current form gives the EU veto power over the UK’s ability to annul the deal.

No democratic nation has ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said that Raab’s resignation as Brexit secretary is “devastating” for May.

“It sounds like he has been ignored,” he told the BBC.

Raab’s departure will undoubtedly encourage other Brexit supporters to question the deal, political commentators have observed.

Esther McVey: Deal ‘does not honor’ Brexit referendum

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey didn’t hold back when issuing her own letter of resignation. According to McVey, the deal “does not honour” the result of the Brexit referendum, in which a majority of Brits voted to leave the European Union.

Suella Braverman: ‘Unable to sincerely support’ deal

Suella Braverman, a junior minister in Britain’s Brexit ministry, issued her resignation on Thursday, saying that she couldn’t stomach the deal.

“I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by cabinet,” she said in a letter posted on Twitter.

Suella Braverman, MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Exiting the EU © Global Look Press / Joel Goodman
Braverman said that the deal is not what the British people voted for, and threatened to tear the country apart.

“It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU,” she said.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Five Saudis Face Death Penalty Over Khashoggi Killing; Crown Prince Cleared

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime.”



Via Zerohedge

Saudi Arabia public prosecutor Sheikh Shaalan al-Shaalan said on Thursday that the kingdom will seek the death penalty for five suspects among the 11 charged in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, confirming suspicions that members of the murder squad purportedly sent to “interrogate” Khashoggi will now themselves face beheadings as the Saudi Royal Family closes ranks around the Crown Prince, per the FT.

As for Mohammed bin Salman who runs the day to day affairs of the world’s top oil exporter and is the de facto head of OPEC, the prosecutor said had “no knowledge” of the mission, effectively absolving him of any domestic suspicion, if not international.

The charges were handed down after the kingdom dismissed five senior intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi insider-turned-dissident journalist disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to pick up documents that would have allowed him to marry his fiance. Khashoggi was a legal resident of Virginia.

According to the Saudi prosecutor, five people charged are believed to have been involved in “ordering and executing the crime,” according to CNN.

The prosecutor said that the former Saudi deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Assiri, ordered a mission to force Khashoggi to go back to Saudi Arabia and formed a team of 15 people.

They were divided into three groups, the Saudi Public Prosecutor said: a negotiation team, an intelligence team and a logistical team.

It was the head of the negotiating team who ordered the killing of Khashoggi, the prosecutor said.

The Saudis stuck by latest (ever changing) narrative that the Washington Post columnist was killed after a mission to abduct him went awry. The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. The team killed him after the talks failed and his body was handed to a “collaborator” in Turkey, he said.

Asked whether Saud al-Qahtanti, an aide to Prince Mohammed, had any role in the case, Shaalan said that a royal adviser had a coordinating role and had provided information. The former adviser was now under investigation, the prosecutor said, declining to reveal the names of any of those facing charges.

Al-Shaalan did reveal that a total of 21 suspects are now being held in connection with the case. Notably, the decision to charge the 5 comes after National Security Advisor John Bolton repudiated reports that a recording of Khashoggi’s murder made by Turkish authorities suggested that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was behind the murder plot.

But as long as OPEC+ is planning to do “whatever it takes” to boost oil prices, the US’s willingness to give the Saudis a pass could always be tested if crude prices again turn sharply higher.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading


U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran



Authored by Al Masdar News:

Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading


Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...


Quick Donate

The Duran
Donate a quick 10 spot!


The Duran Newsletter