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China sets rules on beards, veils to combat extremism in Xinjiang

REUTERS China will step up a campaign against religious extremism in the far western region of Xinjiang on Saturday by implementing a range of measures, including prohibiting “abnormal” beards, the wearing of veils in public places and the refusal to watch state television. Hundreds of people have died in recent …

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Reko Diq ruckus

KHURRAM HUSAIN “HAVE you heard of Reko Diq?” the man asked me in a hushed voice. “No, what’s Reko Diq?” I replied. “Very few have heard of it,” he said, “But soon, the whole country will know this name.” This was back in 2007, and I had just made the …

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Stargazing in Balochistan took me to an infinite universe

MADEEHA SYED “That constellation is the Big Bear, the one opposite it is the Little Bear. At the tail end of the Little Bear is Polaris, the North Star,” I was told. I was around 15 years old when one clear night up in the Northern Areas my father, a …

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Afghanistan to double special forces from 17,000 as Taliban threats grow

Reuters Afghanistan plans to double the number of elite special forces from 17,000 troops, officials said, part of a long-term strategy to bolster units stretched and exhausted by persistent attacks from Taliban insurgents and other militants. Special forces, who represent a small fraction of the 300,000-strong armed forces, have been …

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Chief of a phantom army

ZAHID HUSSAIN It is now official. Retired Gen Raheel Sharif will soon be taking over the command of the so-called Islamic army that is still to take shape. The ambiguity surrounding the decision to lend the services of the country’s former army chief to Saudi Arabia has finally been cleared. …

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OBOR Forum: Decoding India’s dilemma on China’s ambitious plan to reset global dynamics

By: Dhaval D Desai Come May, India could be facing a catch-22 situation when China prepares to host its first mega One Belt One Road (OBOR) Forum; China’s first big push towards consensus building on its ambitious plan, which has the potential to reset global dynamics in the 21st century. …

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Blaming India everytime for the problems in Balochistan is really not the solution, Pakistan

By: Shezad Baloch The media wing of Pakistan’s armed forces recently confirmed that at least 20 Baloch insurgents, including a Farrari commander, have surrendered to Pakistan Rangers Punjab. Neither the commander nor the insurgents were identified in the statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), nor were any details of …

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CPEC: Looking a gift horse in the mouth

Despite the promise that $51bn CPEC-related projects hold in removing big hurdles to investment and tackling infrastructure and energy bottlenecks, many in the country’s business community do not appear to be comfortable with the influx of Chinese investors, the government’s tilt towards the East and what they call the non-transparent …

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The Reko Diq disaster

THE drama that has surrounded the grant of a mining lease for the Reko Diq copper and gold mine has refused to subside, and the biggest loser in the affair is, unfortunately, the economy of Pakistan. Mining leases are always a controversial affair, particularly in third world countries that lack …

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How Pakistan Is Planning to Fight a Nuclear War

Kyle Mizokami Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan …

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