In the midst of Pakistan’s serious economic challenges, Saudi Arabia’s offer of US$4.2 billion in financial assistance will help to bring Saudi-Pakistan relations back on track. The Saudi move is also intended to signal that, while improving ties with India, it also wants to check any further deterioration of links with Pakistan and that, in spite of the recent rising clout of the UAE and Qatar, Riyadh is still the dominant strategic player in the Gulf.
Foreign aid for Rohingya refugees has declined since the economic fallout triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the world must not turn its back and should aid Bangladesh, which hosts the vast bulk of the refugees, by providing comprehensive financial assistance. The failure of repatriation, together with funding shortages, could risk untoward future developments, the toll of which the international community will not be able to avoid.
While Pakistan has hinted on multiple occasions that it wants a multi-dimensional relationship, not just one driven by security, the US has made it clear that, in the short term, ties with Pakistan would be centred on Afghanistan. While it was believed that the Biden Administration may tweak its predecessor’s policy, it has essentially followed a similar approach. Given the state of Pakistan’s economy, it cannot depend solely on Beijing and more acrimony with the US is not good news.
Megaprojects are not the panacea for all infrastructural deficiencies, but they are one of the best available options for addressing Bangladesh’s particular infrastructure deficiencies, transport crises and power shortages in a sustainable manner.
In spite of serious differences and Moscow’s proximity with Beijing, there is a growing realisation in Washington that a working relationship with Moscow is essential on a number of issues, including Afghanistan and the Iran nuclear deal. The Russia-US relationship is important, not just from a bilateral dimension, but will also be watched by countries which have close economic and security relations with Moscow, and which would not like to make tough choices.
Instead of promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific, the New Atlantic Charter could see China and Russia forge a united front against the US-led security partnership in the region.
Paris’s anger at having lost the contract to supply conventionally-powered submarines to the Royal Australian Navy is redolent with unmitigated hypocrisy.
By bringing together around 3,000 young people rather than political leaders, the New Africa-France Summit sought to chart a new course for the countries involved, but the true measure of success will be the degree to which the views of the participants gain traction among those in power.
There is a consensus in the global community as far as providing financial support for dealing with the economic and humanitarian challenges in Afghanistan is concerned. China, however, has been the only country which has said that economic sanctions against the Taliban should be removed and that the reserves of Afghan Central Bank should be released, given the multiple challenges the country is facing.
The evolving strategic alignment in the Indo-Pacific has ramifications for the region, which could well be the harbinger of a New Cold War, with potential catastrophic consequences. Therefore, American and Chinese leaders will be well advised to manage their strategic competition without any military confrontation(s). The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation’s (SCO) first real test would be to bring back normality and harmony in Afghanistan for overall peace, stability and prosperity in the wider region.