The Diplomatic Insight _ January 2020






Tajikistan Fulcrum for

Regional Connectivity


Bolder Presence of OIC in the

international Arena


The Effects of the Martyrdom

of General Qassem Soleimani


Middle East tension: Test for

Pakistan’s policy


Great Indian Citizenship



PSCOFF Newsletter


CPEC, BRI Newsletter


Roundtable Sino-Pak

Agriculture Cooperation-

Way Forward


Roundtable China Pakistan

Economic Corridor:

Opportunities for Khyber



Lecture: Intercultural

Dialogue and Cultural



Citizen Journalism

Entrepreneurship Workshop


China Study Centre UOP

& Centre for BRI & China

Studies, IPD signed MOU



Muhammad Asif Noor


Farhat Asif


Hafsa Mustansar


M. Murtaza Noor

Mian Noor Ahmed


Prof. Dr. Victoria L Fontan

Dr. Khayala Mammadova

Prof. Dr. John M. Nomikos

Prof. Dr. Moonis Ahmar

Prof. Dr. Gulden Ayman

Dr. Muhammad Khan

Dr. Lubna Abid Ali

Dr. Muqarrab Akbar


Sara Flatto


Ammar Younas


Ayshan Guliyeva (Azerbaijan)

Tatiana Karchenkova (Russia)

Shakti Prasad


Samaira Khan


Dr. Shamas Yasir (Afghanistan)

Tanja Miscevic


Dr. Hamaneh Karimikia (Iran)


Mohammad Hanif





Shahzad Ahmed


Muhammad Sarfraz

Asir Gill


Muhammad Akram Mughal

Advocate Supreme Court (AJK)

Ch. Abdul Khaliq Thind

Advocate Supreme Court of Pak


H # 387, St # 64, I-8/3,

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Disclaimer: The views of the writers do

not necessary imply endorsement by the


The second decade

of the millennium

begins with the

world facing scores

of tragedies, deaths,

regional conflicts,

health, and natural

disasters only in

January this year.

At the eve of the

new year, the U.S.

in an unprecedented

move, airstrike

outside Baghdad,

Iraq killing General Qassem Soleimani, one of

the most powerful man in Iran and head of Al-

Quds Force. The killing of the Iranian General

threatened the regional and global peace and

stability where U.S. and Iran plunged into

deepest standoff since the Iran-Iraq war. During

the same standoff, while Iranian missiles were

hitting one of the US Military bases in Iraq, a

Ukrainian plane was hit “mistakenly”, killing

176 people on board as the aircraft was enroute

to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. While peace

in the Middle East was trembling with these

earthshaking moves from regional and global

power, third presidential impeachment trial in

the US history entered its crucial stage where the

House of Representative impeached incumbent

President of the US Donald Trump in December

2019. As Whitehouse was witnessing troubling

times in its history, Russian President Vladimir

Putin accepted the resignation of Prime

Minister Dmitry Medvedev whereas Head of

Federal Tax Service Mishustin was accepted

as Russian Prime Minister by the State Duma

the next day, with evolving political change,

happened in a dramatic manner in Moscow.

Even these political wrangling was not enough

in January only, scores of natural disasters

hit across the globe. The climatic changes and

their drastic effects have hit the regions from

Asia to Africa and gripped the world globally

causing traumatic changes and epidemics at the

beginning of this year. The worst outbreak in the

last 70 years history was seen in Kenya when

millions of locusts moved into the East African

nation from neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia.

UN warned that the number of locusts would

grow 500 times larger in the coming months

creating havoc in the regions. In Philippines,

Taal Volcano, the second most active volcano

near Manila erupted again forcing thousands

of people to evacuate. As the Philippines braced

itself from a natural disaster, Turkey was hit with

a massive earthquake killing 41 people in Elazig

province in January. More than 100 people were

killed and went missing after heaviest snowfall

hit Kashmir region in the recent century while

in Australia deadly bushfires in the country’s

history killed many people and wild animals

causing an ecological disaster. In the southeast

Asian region, deadliest floods in the ever

recorded history of the capital of Indonesia

killed at least 83 people, raising serious concerns

about climate change and threats to nature. The

world is currently witnessing with bated breath

a growing global emergence of a viral illness

originated from China and spread to more than

25 countries so far. Even China has put massive

quarantines and global lockdowns worldwide

however there is an ever-growing number of

confirmed cases of more than 12,000 surpassing

the previous SARS outbreak in 2003. US and

Israel announced a Middle East peace plan

which was completely rejected by Palestinians

across the world causing massive across the

region. Apart from these unrests and protests,

the Middle East has witnessed mounting

protests including Iraq and Lebanon against

their governments. While writing these lines, the

UK will exit from the European Union causing a

serious crisis within a “picture perfect” Union.

We have to now wait and see what to expect

from the coming days in these years, however

wishing peace and prosperity for the world and

across the globe.

Lying across the heart of Central Asia, Tajikistan

is the lynchpin to regional connectivity and

integration by providing a link to Central

Asia and beyond through its outstanding

geographical location, renewed economic and

trade policies and promising regional and global

partnership endeavors. Famously known as

“Roof of the World” bordering Kyrgyzstan,

China, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, Tajikistan

is situated at a strategic geographical position

where the world’s major civilizations are

melting together including Turkish, Russian,

Indus, Persian and Chinese. Being the smallest

in terms of geography, Tajikistan has actively

built its strength not only on its terrestrial

location but also by capitalizing on the people

of the country by building on the internal

system of peace and stability since its inception.

The country led by the Founder President

Emomali Rahmon is galvanizing its strength

to develop and reinforce its bilateral, regional

and international cooperation through global

trade. With its growing economic and regional

significance especially after the advent of the

Belt and Road Initiative of China, Tajikistan is

truly a gateway towards the economic and trade

route of the region. During his inaugural speech

at the highest level as the first head of the state

at the UN Summit in 1993, President Emomali

presented the contours of the domestic, foreign

and regional policy objectives by declaring

individuals with rights and freedom as supreme

while contributing and building on the strength

of global and regional peace and stability. Since

nearly three decades of independence, Tajikistan

has evolved itself to construct a promising

future by sailing through the challenges of the

past and converting them into opportunities.

Over the years, Tajikistan has transformed itself

as a gateway to the Central Asian region by

providing the countries across the region and

globe the opportunities through its promising

open doors policy.

A complete shutdown and a black day were

observed in Jammu and Kashmir as a protest

against India’s Republic Day celebrations.

The intensity of the demonstrations have also

increased as a result of the more than 176 days

of India’s unlawful siege of occupied Kashmir.

Kashmiris are denied basic human rights since

the brutal announcement of August 5 revocation

of Article 370 of India’s constitution ending

decades of semi-autonomous rule for the

Muslim majority region. India is slowly losing

its democratic color and the pride that it used to

take to be a leader of the democratic world. A

wide range of arrests of local political leaders,

the shutdown of communications linkages,

and restrictions on movement and increase of

the presence of the military in Kashmir are the

tactics the incumbent government of Narendra

Modi is using to curb the freedom and selfdetermination

struggle. The international

community is now well aware of India’s

draconian rule in the occupied Kashmir as a

result of Pakistan’s effective diplomacy.



Fulcrum for Regional Connectivity

Muhammad Asif Noor

The writer is Founder Director, Institute of Peace and Diplomatiac Studies

Lying across the heart of

Central Asia, Tajikistan is

the lynchpin to regional

connectivity and integration by

providing a link to Central Asia and

beyond through its outstanding

geographical location, renewed

economic and trade policies and

promising regional and global

partnership endeavors. Famously

known as “Roof of the World”

bordering Kyrgyzstan, China,

Afghanistan and Uzbekistan,

Tajikistan is situated at a strategic

geographical position where

the world’s major civilizations

are melting together including

Turkish, Russian, Indus, Persian

and Chinese. Being the smallest in

terms of geography, Tajikistan has

actively built its strength not only

on its terrestrial location but also

by capitalizing on the people of the

country by building on the internal

system of peace and stability since

its inception. The country led by

the Founder President Emomali

Rahmon is galvanizing its strength

to develop and reinforce its

bilateral, regional and international

cooperation through global trade.

With its growing economic and

regional significance especially

after the advent of the Belt and

Road Initiative of China, Tajikistan

is truly a gateway towards the

economic and trade route of the

region. During his inaugural speech

at the highest level as the first head

of the state at the UN Summit in

1993, President Emomali presented

the contours of the domestic, foreign

and regional policy objectives by

declaring individuals with rights

and freedom as supreme while


contributing and building on the

strength of global and regional

peace and stability. Since nearly

three decades of independence,

Tajikistan has evolved itself to

construct a promising future by

sailing through the challenges of

the past and converting them into

opportunities. Over the years,

Tajikistan has transformed itself

as a gateway to the Central Asian

region by providing the countries

across the region and globe the

opportunities through its promising

open doors policy.

After independence in the early 90s,

Tajikistan, formally the Republic of

Tajikistan has set forth its national,

international and regional priorities

on the solid grounds by not only

recognizing the UN charter but

also become part of the prestigious

international and regional forums

including UN, CIS, SCO, and

CAREC along with score of others.

During the initial years until

1997, although civil war has led

to the challenges and losses to the

country however Tajikistan built

internal peace and political stability

with the introduction of reforms

and development agenda. The

country has remained steadfast in

building a promising future for its

citizens through the compliance of

international standards. Tajikistan

has made tremendous progress

in social, cultural, economic and

political development for the last

thirty years. By being an important

member of the international

community with solid base in the

region, Tajikistan has a lot to offer

to the international community

especially for those who are

interested not only to invest in

the country but also to those who

are interested to make the best of

Tajikistan’s location to reach to

the all the regional countries and

beyond. As a result of the timely

efforts of the country’s leadership,

there is internal peace and stability

especially by taking strategic

measures of building governance

pillars, post-civil war reconstruction

efforts, building and capitalizing on

national unity, sending the refugees

back to their homes, building

democratic institutions.

The foreign policy of Tajikistan

is widely recognized and known

as “open doors policy” based on

the aspiring peace and objectives

of the foreign policy set forth by

the leadership of Tajikistan to deal

with the challenges and threats to

national sovereignty and stability.

Based on this, Tajikistan always

stands ready for friendly and cordial

relations with all the countries of the

region and beyond and recognizes

the shared interests based on

reciprocity, equality and mutually

beneficial cooperation. As a result

of this pragmatic, progressive and

aspiring foreign policy dimension,

Tajikistan has put forward its

strong commitment to international

treaties and international law. This

has also made the country rose to

the regional connectivity hub.

At the regional level, over the

years, the country has maintained

good relationships with neighbors

including Uzbekistan. Quite recently

both President of Uzbekistan

and Tajikistan met in the historic

summit of the two heads of states to

build and strengthen connectivity

with opportunities. President of

Uzbekistan visited Tajikistan and

later Tajikistan President also visited

Uzbekistan. Air and connectivity

linkages have also been developed

between the two countries in fact

borders were also been opened

for the quick movement of people,

goods, and services. Both Presidents

also signed a long-awaited Treaty

of Strategic Partnership during this

meeting. This new thaw between

both countries is revolutionizing

the connectivity drive. Along with

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan is building

cordial relations with Kyrgyzstan

as well. Recently, both Presidents

met to devise a common strategy to

deal with the issues of borders and

other related to mutual interests.

Tajikistan is an important and crucial

country as one of the firm supporters

of the Belt and Road cooperation

and among the first countries to

sign the cooperation MoU with

China on Silk Road Economic

Belt. BRI is a multidimensional

and advantageous opportunity for

Tajikistan and is providing roads

and railways to building pipelines

and power plants.

Tajikistan has remained at the

forefront of the regional integration

efforts including building

multilateral organizations. For

instance, Tajikistan was among the

founding members Central Asia


Regional Economic Cooperation

(CAREC), Shanghai Cooperation

Organization (SCO), the Economic

Cooperation Organization, the

Eurasian Economic Community

(EurAsEC), and the Transport

Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia

(TRACECA). Apart from these

important regional organizations,

Out of 6 Corridors of CAREC

program, 5 of the corridors are

transiting through Tajikistan hence

making the goods and services

from South Asia and Central

Asia to connect from Tajikistan

to regions and beyond. Almost

28 projects of CAREC have been

implemented in Tajikistan which is

helping Tajikistan to facilitate the

movement of people, businesses,

and trade across the borders with

great ease and with lesser cost hence

improving the jobs and services

across the regions.

Pakistan and Tajikistan are also

enjoying deep-rooted relations

since inception. As a geographical

neighbor, only a distance of the

thin Wakhan strip, both countries

are juxtaposed in religious and

cultural affinities of the past with

aspiration for the future together.

Pakistan and Tajikistan also signed

30 agreements, protocols and MoUs

to extend cooperation in the fields

of energy, banking and financial,

communications, transport and

constructions of roads, insurance,

air transport, investments and

industry, agricultural and food

industry, science and technology,

health, tourism, education, and

culture based on mutual equality,

and increased the level of trade.

One of the important projects

between Pakistan and Tajikistan is

the Central Asia South Asia-1000

energy project. Apart from Pakistan

and Tajikistan, Afghanistan and

Kyrgyzstan are also part of the

quadrilateral cooperation and

dialogue to execute this historic

project. CASA-1000 involves

building a 1,222-kilometer powertransmission

line to carry some

1,300 megawatts of electricity from

hydropower plants in Kyrgyzstan

and Tajikistan into Afghanistan

(300 MW) and on to Peshawar in

Pakistan (1,000 MW). During the

project, 1,222-kilometer powertransmission

lines will be established

to carry some 1,300 megawatts of

electricity from hydropower plants

in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan into

Afghanistan (300 MW) and on to

Peshawar in Pakistan (1,000 MW).

Former Prime Minister Nawaz

Sharif was in Dushanbe during the

launching ceremony of the project

scheduled to be completed in few

years. CASA-1000 may be termed as

a peacebuilding project making the

countries to build each other and

through economic interdependence

develop synergies to deal with the

challenges together.

While Tajikistan is proving as

a gateway for Pakistan and the

other regional countries to reach

Central Asia and beyond, Pakistan

is a connecting point for Tajikistan

and other Central Asian states to

access the shortest route through

Sea port of Gwadar and Karachi

to boost cheaper trade. Tajikistan

is a hub and has a huge resource

of hydropower and electricity with

having the cheapest rates in the

world. Pakistan with having chronic

energy dearth can be resolved in

working with the Tajikistan which

is assuring the supply of electricity

requirements and is willing to

export to the regional countries, of

which Pakistan can get the benefit.

It is significant to note here that

since Tajikistan is the world’s thirdlargest

producer of hydroelectric

power after the US and Russia,

Pakistan is expecting the transfer

of electricity from Tajikistan via

CASA-1000 Project. Keeping in view

the context and background, both

Pakistan and Tajikistan through

their collaborative efforts can build

regional connectivity. Through

coherent efforts, both states can

bring peace and prosperity in the

region and beyond.


Bolder Presence of OIC

in the international Arena

Prof. Emmy Latifah and Sara Al-Dhahri

The first author is a professor of international law, arbitration specialist, and is an international relations

coordinator of the UNS University of Indonesia.

The second author is an Intl Relations scholar of the Jeddah-based Dar Al-Hekma University and the Project

Coordinator for the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Centre to the OIC.

For over half a century, the

Organization of Islamic

Cooperation (OIC) serves

as a focal point for its member

states (MS) and as a clearing house

between its members and the rest

of the world. The OIC does that by

providing a standing forum and

diplomatic tools to solve disputes,

and to address challenges in

accordance with its charter.

Being the second-largest

intergovernmental multilateral

system after the United Nations

(UN), whose members largely

occupy the most fascinating part of

the globe (that of its geographic and

spiritual centre, as well as the sways

of rich energy deposits), gives to the

Organisation a special exposure

and hence a distinctive role.

The OIC Charter clearly states that

it is important to safeguard and

protect the common interests and

support the legitimate causes of

its MS, to coordinate and unify

the efforts of its members in view

of the challenges faced by the

Muslim world in particular and the

international community in general.

For that matter, the Organisation

should consider expanding its

activities further. One of the most

effective way to do so, is by setting

yet another permanent presence in

Europe. This time it would be by

opening its office in Vienna Austria,

which should be coupled with

a request for an observer status

with a Vienna-based Organisation

for Security and Cooperation in

Europe (OSCE) – as prof. Anis H.

Bajrektarevic tirelessly advocates in

his statements.

The OSCE itself is an indispensably

unique security mechanism

(globally the second largest after

the UN), who’s instruments and

methodology could be twinned

or copied for the OIC. Besides,

numerous MS of the OSCE are

members of the OIC at the same time.

Finally, through its Mediterranean

partnership dimension, this is a rare

international body that has (some)

Arab states and Israel around the

same table.

Presence means influence

Why does the OIC need permanent

presence in Vienna? The answer is

within its charter: To ensure active

participation of the Organization’s

MS in the global political, and

socio-economic decision-making

processes, all to secure their

common interests.

Why Vienna in particular,

when the OIC has its office in

Brussels (Belgium) and Geneva


When it comes to this city, we can

list the fundamental importance of

Vienna in Europe and the EU, and

globally since it homes one of the

three principal seats of the OUN

(besides Geneva and New York).

Moreover, numerous significant

Agencies are headquartered in

Vienna (such as the Atomic Energy

Agency, UN Industrial Development

Organisation, Nuclear Test Ban

Treaty organisation, etc.), next to

the segments of the UN Secretariat

(such as Outer Space, Trade Law,

the ODC office related to the issues

of Drugs-Crimes-Terrorism, etc.).

Surely, there are many important

capitals around our global village,

but after New York, Geneva and

Brussels, Vienna has probably the

highest representation of foreign

diplomats on earth. Many states

have even three ambassadors

accredited in Vienna (bilateral, for

the UN and for the OSCE.)

The OIC has nine of its MS who are

the OPEC members as well. Four

of those are the OPEC’s founding


to attain their inalienable rights,

including that of self-determination,

to establish their sovereign state

with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital

while safeguarding its historic and

Islamic character, and the holy

places therein.

members. Vienna hosts OPEC as

well as its developmental branch,

the OPEC Fund for International

Development (OFID).

Some of the OIC MS have lasting

security vulnerabilities, a fact

that hampers their development

and prosperity. The OIC places

these considerations into its core

activities through co-operation in

combating terrorism in all its forms

and manifestations, organised

crime, illicit drugs trafficking,

corruption, money laundering

and human trafficking. Both the

UN Office on Drugs and Crime

(UN ODC) and the OSCE have

many complementarities in their

mandates and instruments in this


As an Islamic organization that

works to protect and defend the

true image of Islam, to combat

defamation of Islam and encourage

dialogue among civilisations and

religions, the effective tool for that

is again Austria. It is the very first

European Christian country to

recognise Islam as one of its state

religions – due to its mandate over

(predominately Muslim) Bosnia,

100 years ago.

Back to its roots

The Organization was formed by a

decision of the Historical Summit

in Rabat, the Kingdom of Morocco

on 25 September 1969, after the

criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque

in occupied Jerusalem.

Today, after fifty years of this

ferocious incident, the OIC still

firmly holds as one of the core issues

its resolute support to the struggle

of Palestinians, yet under foreign

occupation. It empowers them

When we look back to Austria,

it was Chancellor Bruno Kreisky

(himself Jewish) who was the very

first western leader to receive

that-time contemporary Yasser

Arafat, as a Head of State, and to

repeatedly condemn many of the

Israeli methods and behaviours.

As prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic

wonderfully reminded us during

his recent lecture with Amb. Goutali

of the OIC and Excellency Elwaer of

the IsDB President’s Office; ‘Past

the Oil embargo, when the OPEC

– in an unprecedented diplomatic

move – was suspended of its host

agreement in Switzerland and

requested to leave, it was none but

that same Chancellor, Kreisky who

generously invited the OPEC to

find Austria as its new home.’

The OIC is also heavily involved

in environmental issues, such as

water implementation. According

to the Stockholm International

Water Institute, around two-thirds

of the world’s transboundary

rivers do not have a cooperative

management framework. The OIC


(STI) Agenda 2026 has also called on

the MS to first define water resource

quality and demand by planning

national water budgets at the ‘ local

‘ level where appropriate. In this

regard, certain MS lack the ability

to conduct a thorough exercise. An

organized and focused action plan

to adopt the OIC Water Vision is


introduced to help Member States

address water-related issues.

As for the implementation plan for

OIC Water Vision, Vienna is focal

again. This city is a principal seat

of the Danube river organisation

– an international entity with the

most elaborated riverine regime on

planet. This fact is detrimental for

the Muslim world as an effectively

water-managing mechanism and

instrumentation to learn from and

to do twinning with.

So far, the OIC covers Vienna

(but only its UN segment) nonresidentially,

from Geneva –

respective officers are residentially

accredited only to the UNoG.

Permanent presence, even a small

one – eventually co-shared with the

developmental arm of the OIC – that

of the IsDB, would be a huge asset

for the Organization. That would

enable both the OIC and the Bank to

regularly participate in the various

formal and informal multilateral

formats, happening daily in Vienna.

Absence is the most expensive

International security is a constant

global challenge that is addressed

the best way through the collective

participation in multilateral settings.

It is simply the most effective,

cheapest, fastest – therefore, the most

promising strategy to sustainability

and stability of humankind.

According to the Global Peace Index

(2019 figures), the economic impact

of violence on the global economy

in 2018 was $14.1 trillion. This

figure is equivalent to 11.2% of the

world’s GDP, or $1,853 per capita.

The economic impact of violence

progressed for 3.3% only during

2018-19. Large sways of it were

attributed to the Muslim Middle


The OIC fundamental purpose is

to contribute to the maintenance of

international peace and security, as

embedded in its and the UN Charter

and other acts of the international

(human rights and humanitarian)


In this light, requesting the Observer

status with the largest Security

mechanism on the planet (outside

the OUN system), that of the OSCE,

which has rather specific mandates;

well-elaborated politico-military,

early prevention and confidence

building mechanisms; net of legally

binding instruments; extensive

field presence (incl. several OIC

members), and a from- Vancouverto-Vladivostok

outreach is simply

the most natural thing to do. This

would be very beneficial to the

OIC MS, as well as one of the

possible ways to improve its own

instruments and their monitoring

of compliance and resolution



That move can be easily combined

with the bolder presence before

the Vienna-based Atomic Energy

Agency (IAEA) in advocating a just

and sustained settlement for the

Middle East – which is a nuclear

free MENA.

Among the 57 OIC MS, 21 of them

are listed within a top 50 countries

in the Global Terrorism Index for

2019. (With a ranking of 9.6 points,

Afghanistan is infamously nr. 1 on

the global terror index, making it the

nation most affected by terrorism

on Earth. The OIC member –

Afghanistan, scored the most terror

attacks in 2018 - 1,294; and the most

terror-related deaths in 2018, with

9,961 casualties. Several other MS

follow the same pattern.)

The OIC Charter (article 28,

Chapter XV) clearly states that

the Organisation may cooperate

with other international and

regional FORAs with the objective

of preserving international peace

and security and settling disputes

through pacific means.

As said, Vienna is a principal

seat of the second largest security

multilateral mechanism on earth,

OSCE. This is a unique threedimensional

organisation with its

well elaborated and functioning:

politico-military, economyenvironment;

and the human

dimension – all extensively

developed both institutionally and

by its instruments.

No doubt, the OIC so far successfully

contributes to international

peace and security, by boosting

understanding and dialogue among

civilizations, cultures and religions,

and by promoting and encouraging

friendly relations and good

neighbourliness, mutual respect

and cooperation. But to remain to

the contemporary challenges, it

necessities more forums to voice

its positions and interests. Many

of the OSCE Member states have

even three different ambassadors

and three separate missions in

Vienna. Presence of other relevant

international organisations follows

about the same pattern.

The strategic importance of the

MENA (Middle East- North Africa)

lies on its diverse resources, such as

energy, trade routes, demography,

geography, faith and culture.

The OSCE has a Mediterranean

partnership outreach, meaning

some of the LAS and OIC members

states are already participants,

whereas the Central Asian states,

Caucasus as well as Turkey, Albania

and Bosnia are fully-fledged

member states of the OSCE.

Taking all above into account, the

OIC should not miss an opportunity

to open another powerful channel

of its presence and influence on

the challenging and brewing

international scene. It would be

a permanent office to cover all

diplomatic activities and within it –

the observer status before the OSCE

(perhaps the IAEA, too). This would

be to the mutual benefit of all; Europe

and the Muslim world, intl peace

and prosperity, rapprochement and

understanding, present generations

and our common futures.


The Effects of the Martyrdom of

General Qassem Soleimani

Dr. Hamaneh Karimi-Kia

The writer is head of Press Section at Embassy of Iran Islamabad

It is now seven days since

General Qassem Soleimani got

martyred by the US. In this

article, I intend to address seven

effects of this martyrdom for Iran,

the region, the United States, and

the Muslim world.

1. The first effect of Qassem

Soleimani’s martyrdom was

the destruction of the myth

of American invincibility and

solemnity in the region. Until

recently, no one has challenged

the US presence in Iraq. By the

terrorist attack on Baghdad’s

airport and the assassination

of General Soleimani and

Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the

US has clearly shown that it

pays no respect to the Iraqi

government and sovereignty.

The same violation of Iraqi

sovereignty and attack on Iraqi

military forces caused the Iraqi

government and parliament

demand the withdrawal of US

troops and all foreign forces.

On the one hand, Interim Iraqi

Prime Minister Adel Abdul

Mahdi on Friday condemned

the US move to Martyr Quds

Force Commander Qassem

Suleimani and Commander

of Hashd Al-sha’abi, Abu al-

Mahdi Mohandis, as violation

of Iraqi national sovereignty.

Referring to the martyrdom of

Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the

successor of the Iraqi Popular

Mobilization Organization (al-

Hashed al-Sha’abi), he said:

“Assassination of an Iraqi

military commander holding

an official post is an assault on


On the other hand, he Iraqi

parliament approved a draft bill

Sunday requiring the government

to ask Washington to withdraw

American troops from the

country. Holding a special meeting

on the withdrawal of US troops,

the Iraqi members of parliament

unanimously voted for this bill. In

the aftermath of this event, Abdul

Mahdi demanded that the process

of withdrawal of US troops shall be

clarified, stressing the seriousness

of the Iraqi government.

These developments showed the

difference between Iran’s presence

in Iraq and America’s presence

there. The Martyrdom of General

Soleimani highlighted the difference

between working to protect Iraqi

territorial integrity from breaking

national sovereignty and invading

territory and occupation for

imperialist purposes. Compare the

fact that the Iraqi Prime Minister

came to the airport to welcome

Qassem Soleimani, with the tragic

entrance of Trump on Iraqi soil in

Christmas 2019.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, with

prior notice to the Iraqi government,

attacked several US bases in Iraq at

dawn on Wednesday, including its

security eye and ears in the area, the

Ayn al-Assad base. Iran did so in

response to a US attack on Baghdad

airport and the assassination of

two Iranian and Iraqi military

commanders and several other

militants. At this time, for the

first time in post-World War II, a

government attacked US bases and

responded to its attempt to break

the sovereignty of other countries.

Don’t forget that President Trump

traveled to Ayn Al-Assad military

base overnight last Christmas

(2019) without informing the Iraqi

government. This was an overt

violation of national sovereignty

and territorial boundaries of Iraq.

Then, shortly after Christmas

2020, the same military base was

destroyed by Iran.

The assassination of General

Soleimani also showed the

hypocrisy and lies of the Americans:

claiming to fight terrorists and

killing the hero of the fight against

terrorists who was the number

one enemy of ISIS and al-Nusra;

claiming to support human rights

and repeated and grave human

rights abuses including violation


of Iraqi sovereignty and territorial

integrity in the attack on Baghdad

airport, directly threatening

Iranians, killing Iranian and Iraqi

soldiers with rockets brutally

during the peace time (lack of

war); US has also threatens to

attack Iran’s cultural and historical

sites that are part of Iran’s cultural

heritage and a common human

heritage registered with UNESCO.

These threats are completely illegal

under humanitarian law and the

Convention for the Protection of

Cultural Heritage. Thus, Trump has

transformed the face of America,

which has so far seemed to be a

civilized country and a human

rights defender in the international

community into an interventionist

and human rights violent country,

and anti-American sentiment

spread around the world and

across the country. The world has

witnessed anti-American slogans

and demonstrations, including

in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon,

Pakistan, Kashmir, Russia, Jordan,

Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia,

Indonesia, Yemen, Turkey and the

Republic of Azerbaijan.

In many Western countries, the

US government’s current policies

have also been criticized and

challenged. In the United States,

Britain and Germany, thousands

of demonstrators near major

government centers warned their

governments against war with Iran

and raised the flags of Iran, Iraq

and Palestine to protest against

the incorrect US policy towards

the Middle East, including war,

interventionism, imperialism, and

terror. Protestors called for the

withdrawal of US troops from the


2. The beginning of an important

phase in the withdrawal of US

troops from the region and

the Islamic world is another

effect of General Suleimani’s

martyrdom, which is associated

with the first effect. With

the brutal attack on the car

carrying General Soleimani

and Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes,

Islamic zeal was awakened

in Iraq, and the movement to

expel America was formed

simultaneously in Iraq society

and political institutions. The

Iraqi Parliament’s resolution

embodied a public demand to

expel American invaders and

their Western allies from Iraq.

3. Given the importance of the

role of “martyrdom” in Islamic

culture, with the Martyrdom

of General Soleimani, the unity

of the Islamic Ummat and the

legitimacy of the resistance

forces became increasingly

stronger. Martyrdom and dying

in the fight against oppression

and invasion is an irrefutable

myth in Islamic culture.

General Soleimani’s Martyrdom

stirred up Iranian and Islamic

zeal. Not only Iranians, but also

many Muslims and freedomseekers

around the world, have

been impressed by the terrible

and vicious assassination of

Commander Soleimani. So, they

cried out for revenge and shouted:

“death to America”. From the

earliest hours after hearing the

news of General Soleimani’s

Martyrdom, Muslims and rights

activists around the world have

responded. People, media, officials

and figures in Islamic countries

including Iran, Pakistan, Kashmir,

Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey,

Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, Yemen,

Palestine, Malaysia, Indonesia

and Syria have condemned the

cowardly assassination of Soleimani

and demonstrated against it.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran

Khan warned Trump last year that

martyrdom is a force that should

not be underestimated. But Trump

ignored it and resorted to the

assassination tool. He did not know

that the image of martyr Soleimani

would become a banner of Muslims

gathering around and rebelling

against America.

In this regard, the unity of the

two nations of Iran and Iraq is

exemplary after the Martyrdom of

General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi

al-Mohandes. For a long time, the

United States has been trying to

divide the two nations, but its move

to assassinate two Iranian and

Iraqi symbols of Islamic resistance

together, has brought the unity of

two nations into a new phase. The

flag of Iran and Iraq was raised

together in public demonstrations in

both countries, and the head of the

General Staff of the Iranian Armed

Forces, General Bagheri, kissed

the coffin of Iraqi commander Abu

Mahdi Al-Mohandes.

Muslim users of the social media

welcomed the firing of Iranian

missiles at the US base in Iraq,

calling it a sign of the power of




the Islamic world. Users pointed

to the role and impact of General

Soleimani’s Martyrdom as a

turning point in the awakening of

the Muslim world by selecting this

verse from the Holy Quran and

إنه من“‏ cyberspace: publishing it in

ي سلن وإنه بمس هللا الرمحن ي الرح‏ أال تعلوا ي عل وأتو‏

Al-Naml- (verses 30-31, Surat ‏,مسمل‏ ي ن

Translation: Indeed, This is from

Solomon and this is: In the name of

God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Be not haughty with me but come

to me in submission [as Muslims]).

The image of Iranian missiles next

to this verse is a combination of

faith and power.

4. The Martyrdom of General

Soleimani had important and

decisive effects on Iranian society

and led to the unification of the

Iranian people and the renewal

of the Islamic Revolution

in Iran. A commander’s

martyrdom means that fresh

blood is thrown into the veins

of resistance, and this will

power the Islamic Revolution in

Iran. Some analysts see General

Soleimani’s martyrdom and

subsequent developments as

the third phase of the Islamic

Revolution in Iran. The first

revolution was the overthrow

of the Shah and the collapse

of the West-dependent

monarchy. The Second Islamic

Revolution was the seizure of

the US Embassy in Iran and

the expulsion of interventionist

Americans from Islamic Iran.

At this time, the anti-imperialist

nature of the Islamic Revolution

of Iran became fully apparent.

The third revolution, which has

begun its main wave, will be the

expulsion of Americans from

the entire region.

5. The US decision to remove

the most influential Iranian

commander, as well as Iran’s

strong response to the attack on

US bases, showed Iran’s power

in the world. This power was

revealed not only by military

power, but also by the power

of faith and the religious and

political influence of Iran. For

a week, Iran has become the

headline news for the media of

all countries around the world.

The statements of the Iranian

leadership and president were

broadcast live across the world,

and analysts were trying to

speculate on Iran’s power and


The world media acknowledged the

importance and potentials of Iran,

and Iran became a global issue.

Some Pakistani analysts in their

analysis of Iran’s attack on the US

base at Ayn al-Assad in Iraq stated

that Iran appeared to be far beyond

a regional power in response to the

US and indicated that it could be

a superpower. Since, without any

fear of the next American step, Iran

attacked the most important US base

in the region with fully internally

made missiles and showed its

potential for a second attack. The

credit that Iran found was due to

the leader’s courage, the people’s

determination, and the capability

of their armed forces. The US tried

to weaken Iran by the assassination,

but it actually gave Iran a chance to

maneuver its power.

6. The decision to assassinate

Soleimani also had an impact

on American domestic

developments. The effects of the

assassination on undermining

the international image and

position of the US in the Middle

East had a clear sign of Trump’s

mismanagement. The US

government administration was

handed over to Trump when a

relative détente had taken place

between Iran and the United

States as they had signed an

international agreement. But






Trump shattered all hopes

of managing the Iran-US

relationship, and again brought

tensions. This means trouble

for America and voters and

the US Congress do not want

it. Therefore, this step may

end with the impeachment of

Trump or the loss of votes in the

next election.

7. Another impact of General

Soleimani’s Martyrdom is on the

Persian Gulf states. Persian Gulf

states, such as Saudi Arabia, the

United Arab Emirates, Bahrain,

and others, in dread of the

aftermath of the assassination

of Soleimani and the prospect

of a new war in the region, were

completely passive and did not

even dare to ask the US to use

their bases to attack Iran or its

allies. Users of the cyberspace

used a Quran verse to describe

this passive reaction, which has

a literary aesthetic Simile given

the name of Martyr Soleimani.

Verse 18 of Surat al-Naml says:

“ َ

ُ ْ سُ‏ ل

ُ ْ ال

َ أَ‏ ُ ل

‏َّك يْمَ‏ انُ‏

َ ‏ْطِمَ‏ ن


‏ُوا مَ‏ سَ‏ اكِن

يُّ‏ ‏َا النَّمْ‏ ل ادْخ

Translation: O“ ants ‏.”وَ‏ جُ‏ نُ‏ ودُ‏ هُ‏

enter your dwellings that you

not be crushed by Solomon and

his soldiers.”

After the Iranian reaction to the

assassination of General Soleimani,

we saw the US withdrawal. Trump’s

remarks at a news conference on

Wednesday after Iran’s attack

on the Ayn al-Assad base were

passive, with Trump referring

only to increased sanctions and no

threat of another attack on Iran.

When Trump ordered the attack on

General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi

al-Mohandes, he did not imagine

that their Martyrdom would create

such a wave of vengeance and

hatred. He did not know that their

path would be continued more

determined after their death.

The nations of the region know that,

by submission and subordination,

America and the Zionists will come

sooner. The Holy Qur’an says in

وَ‏ لَن“‏ 120: Surat al-Baqarah, verse


That تَ‏ .” ض ٰ عَ‏ َ نك يَ‏ ال‏ ودُ‏ وَ‏ ال

‏َّبِ‏ عَ‏ مِ‏ ل تَ‏ َّ ‏ُم

النَّ‏ ٰ صارى حَ‏ تّ‏ ٰ تَت

means: “the Jews and the Christians

will never be satisfied with you, until

you fully submit to their desires,

and to obey their religion.” The US

policy towards the countries that

follow them is the policy of exaction

and demanding (“Do More” policy).

The Muslim nations can only

achieve self-reliance by progressing

in the way of resistance to arrogant

powers and only by relying on

internal forces, by promoting selfconfidence

and empowerment

of the revolutionary and capable

youth. Real power lies in true

independence, and dependence on

the others, contradicts with national

dignity and pride. Martyr Soleimani

showed that even one person could

save the fate of a people and even

the fate of a region. Every nation has

Soleimanis which must be known.

As I said in my previous article,

“The martyrdom of General Qassem

Soleimani and the awakening of the

Islamic world,” hard revenge does

not mean killing a few people, it

will mean the complete withdrawal

of US troops from the region. And

this is a major strategic change in

the region. But the major and true

change is not in the outside world,

but in the inner world, and that is

self-belief and faith.

The miracle of the blood of

Soleimani is to restore unity and

empathy among the Islamic nations.

Imagine the people of Iran and Iraq,

who had been in a bloody war for

eight years; now with the bravery of

veterans of those same days of war,

they came together and shouted:

Death to America! Blood fertilizes

the seedlings of Islam and faith,

and this is the difference between

divine war and material war. In the

material war the highest value is

human life, and at one end, every

soldier fears death. But in the divine

battle, every fighter desires to get


The blood of a martyr in the divine

warfare not only does not frighten

other soldiers but also makes them

more determined in their path,

as millions of Muslims today are

shouting that they are ready to fight

and avenge the blood of Soleimani.

This is the greatest effect of the blood

of martyr Soleimani. As 1400 years

ago, the blood of Imam Hussein

(PBUH), the grandson of the

Prophet of Islam, led to the survival

and continuation of the Islam and

the idea of ​fighting bullying. The

path of martyr Soleimani is the

continuation of Imam Hussein’s

path. Symbolically, some dust from

graveyard of Imam Hussein was

also buried with him. Yazid did

not gain the true success in issuing

the order of killing Imam Hussein.

In the same way, Trump issued

the order to assassinate Soleimani

and turned himself into an ever

evil character.


Middle East tension:

Test for Pakistan’s policy

Kamran Yousaf

The writer is a senior journalist working both for print and electronic media

The last thing the world

needed at the start of 2020

was the assassination of

a top Iranian General in US drone

strikes that has potentially put the

entire region and even the world

on the cusp of a major conflict.

General Qasem Soleimani was

the head of the Quds Force

of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

Corps (ICRG), looking after Iran’s

strategic and military operations

in the Middle East. Soleimani

was virtually revered as a hero

back in Iran and was considered

the most powerful figure after

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah

Khamanei. In fact, a few years ago,

an American University survey

revealed that Soleimani even

surpassed Khamanei in terms of

public popularity in Iran. Against

this backdrop, even people in the

US are questioning the wisdom

behind Trump’s move to order his

assassination. Contrary to Trump’s

claims that he approved the action

to stop the war, there is certainty

that Iran would respond to the

killing of its general. Iran has in fact

minced no words. From Supreme

Leader to the President and from the

Foreign Minister to its Ambassador

at the UN, Iranians have made it

abundantly clear that they would

avenge Soleimani’s killing.

For Pakistan, it already struggles

to maintain a delicate balance in its

relationship with different Muslim

countries. This is yet another

challenge that would surely test

the skills and ability of its decision

makers to stay away from the mess.

The official reaction from Islamabad

to the killing of Gen Soleimani was,

therefore, naturally very guarded.

An official hand-out issued by the


Foreign Office expressed Pakistan’s

“deep concern with the recent

developments in the Middle East,

which seriously threaten peace and

stability in the region.”

Without mentioning the

assassination of the Iranian general,

the official readout emphasized the

need for “respect for sovereignty

and territorial integrity” and

called for avoiding “unilateral

actions and use of force.”

Within hours of the drone strikes, US

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

telephoned Army Chief General

Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed

the situation in the aftermath of

Soleimani’s killing.

An ISPR statement said Secretary

Pompeo and Gen Bajwa discussed

the regional situation including

the possible implications of the

recent escalation in the Middle

East. The Army Chief, according

to the military’s media wing,

emphasized “maximum restraint”

and constructive engagement to

de-escalate the situation in broader

interest of peace and stability.

But Pakistan’s call for restraint

aside, it is evident that the situation

would only get worse from here

onwards. This means that the

government or those who are

in charge of the country’s foreign

policy must be prepared for any

contingency. An escalation leading

to a conflict in the Middle East

is bound to affect Pakistan. First,

the increase in global oil prices will

surely hit Pakistan, which is already

struggling to revive its ailing

economy. The global oil prices once

shot up to $150 per barrel in 2008-

09 because of the global economic

recession. Pakistan was hit hard

by that despite the fact that the

Pakistani rupee was far stronger

against the US dollar. If the oil

prices hit the $150 per barrel mark

in the coming months, this would

have unimaginable consequences

for ordinary Pakistanis.

This is, however, something that

is not in Pakistan’s hands. What

Pakistan can do and must do is try

to take decisions based on its own

national interests. We have recently

shown how vulnerable our decision

making process could be in the

case of the Kuala Lumpur summit.

Any misstep in the on-going

Middle East situation will have

repercussions that we may not be

able to deal with. We often curse

our politicians but in the present

situation only the democratic

institutions can bail us out. As

we have demonstrated during the

Yemen War in 2015, the parliament

can play a central role in shaping

our foreign policy on the brewing

tensions in the Middle East.


Great Indian Citizenship Mess

Faizan Mustafa and Aymen Mohammed

The First author is a constitutional law expert; the second author Aymen Mohammed is a research scholar

at NALSAR University, Hyderabad.

On January 22, the Supreme

Court will hear 60-plus

petitions challenging the

constitutionality of the Citizenship

(Amendment) Act (CAA). As a

matter of fact, it is the apex court that

is largely responsible for the current

mess. Its Sarbananda Sonowal

judgment (2005), which struck down

the Assam-specific Illegal Migrants

(Determination by Tribunal) Act

(IMDT), was the turning point of

the debate on ‘illegal migrants’.

Some observations made in the

ruling bordered on the xenophobic

and were filled with paranoia about

‘outsiders’. Now, some of these

‘outsiders’ will become beneficiaries

if the court does not rule against the


In the Sonowal judgment (2005),

the Supreme Court struck down

the Assam- specific Act that had

put the burden of proof on the

state rather than on the person

alleged to be a foreigner. Without

providing any evidence, the court

went on to say that “unabated

influx of illegal migrants from

Bangladesh into Assam [had] led

to a perceptible change in the

demographic pattern of the State

and reduced the Assamese people

to a minority in their own State.”

The National Register of Citizens

(NRC), monitored by the Supreme

Court itself, has proved these fears

to be exaggerated. Even if all

the 19 lakh excluded people are

considered ‘illegal migrants’, their

composition as a proportion of

Assam’s population is just 4%.

CAA is territory-specific

The CAA, just like the IMDT that

was deemed unconstitutional by the

Supreme Court, is territory-specific

and exempts certain Northeastern

States from its scope. The IMDT

had created a separate regime for

the determination of citizenship

for Assam while a different regime

would operate for the rest of India.

The court in the Sonowal verdict

had said that such geographical

differentiation is admissible only if

it has a rational nexus with the

Act’s objective. The court also

ruled that the IMDT’s objective, to

reduce illegal immigration, was not

served by enacting such a criterion

for Assam alone, and hence the

Act violated Article 14. It can be

argued that in the case of the CAA

also, the geographic differentiation

exclusion of Inner Line Permit

States/areas from its ambit has no

nexus with the overall objective

of the Act, i.e., helping persecuted

people. This makes the Act fall

short of the criterion laid down in

the Sonowal case.

The court had then said that the

territory-agnostic Foreigners Act

was far more effective than the

IMDT in the identification and

exclusion of foreigners who had

entered India illegally and had no

authority to remain. It needs to

be stated here that the Foreigners

Act deals with ‘foreigners’, not

with those whose names may

have been excluded due to lack

of documentation, for instance

in the Assam NRC. Many of them

could indeed be ‘citizens’. We

must create separate citizenship

tribunals under the Citizenship

Act to examine such cases, placing

the burden of proof on the state

to justify their exclusion. A denial

of citizenship, which is a ‘right to

rights’, must be through a process

that fair, reasonable, just and

non- arbitrary. Foreigners’ tribunals

are nothing but kangaroo courts.

It also becomes pertinent here to

examine different types of awarding

citizenship and the history of India’s

Citizenship legislation. Citizenship

by birth, or just soli, embraces

all those who identify with a

country. In contrast, jus sanguinis,

citizenship based solely on descent,

recognizes that some races or

ethnicities as ‘national’ and others

are ‘outsiders’. In postcolonial

nations, such citizenship laws

have provided grounds to render

whole populations without rights

and produced a constant stream

of refugees into neighboring

countries. Myanmar’s 1982


Interestingly, the apex court had

said nothing about the process after

its conclusion.

Citizenship Act was one such

example that classified only some

ethnicities as national’, effectively

outlawing the Rohingya people.

While jus sanguinis is premised

on a country harking back to an

arbitrarily-determined past, jus

soli looks at the future, enabling

a country create a pluralistic and

inclusive society.

Citizenship by birth and


While discussing citizenship in the

Constituent Assembly (CA), the

drafters were very conscious of

how they wanted to build the India

of their dreams. Sardar Vallabhbhai

Patel, now an icon for the Narendra

Modi regime, rejected citizenship

based on racial principle. His

enlightened views, and those of the

other CA members, were reflected

in the Citizenship Act of 1955

which provided for citizenship by

birth. This changed in 1987 when,

for the first time, India made just

sanguinis applicable after the Prime

Minister Rajiv Gandhi buckled

under pressure from Assamese

nationalists and signed the Assam


The Accord created a frameworkgraded

citizenship, depending on

a person’s parentage and when

he/she had migrated to India. The

constitutionality of Section 6A of the

Act, which reflects the provisions of

the Accord, is still pending before

a five-judge bench of the Supreme

Court. Ideally, the court should

have disposed of this petition

before insisting on an Assam


The Assam Accord and the

Sonowal verdict laid the grounds

for the Supreme Court-directed

NRC. Now, when the CAA has

made the inclusion of NRCexcluded

migrants belonging to

certain communities possible,

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda

Sonowal, who was the petitioner in

the 2005 case, has himself expressed

doubts about the final list. He has

also assured the Assamese people

that their culture and language will

be preserved. None of the 19 lakh

excluded people have been issued

orders that would enable them to

appeal to a Foreigners’ Tribunal.

There is little doubt that the

Assam Accord implicitly targeted

Bengalis in general and Muslims

in particular. The CAA has

made this discrimination more

explicit by offering citizenship

to persecuted minorities from

certain communities who came

from Afghanistan, Pakistan and

Bangladesh before a specified date.

It is obvious that the Act intends to

exclude Muslims, including those of

persecuted religious denominations

from these nations. To make a

related point, the CAA could

possibly also enable people to

convert to one of the listed faiths

and seek citizenship. They could

well say that they adopted Muslim

names due to a well-founded fear

of persecution in these countries.

The CAA, in essence, not only

violates the constitutional values of

secularism and freedom of religion,

but also negates the principle of equal

protection and non-discrimination.

Finally, if the purpose of the CAA is

to preserve the spirit of Vasudhaiva

Kutumbakam (‘The world is one

family’), why does the government

not enact a comprehensive refugee

law that would provide for a

fair and objective procedure to

determine ‘persecution’ and allow

eligible refugees to seek asylum? By

conflating asylum with citizenship,

the CAA sadly prioritizes politics

over persecuted people.



Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies Centre

Building Bridges through an Informed Dialogue

January 2020

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretary

General Vladimir Norov visits India to attend

Raisina Dialogue

12-1-2020: During the stay of Vladimir Norov in India

he met and interact with representative from business

chamber and held meeting on India startup initiative.

They discussed roam of cooperation on wider range of

pertinent international policy




Statue of Unity gets listed among eight wonders of

Shanghai Cooperation Organization

14-1-2020: Statue of unity that was monumental

tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Petal, India’s first home

minister and deputy prime minister. It has been

included in the list of eight wonders of Shanghai

Cooperation Organization. SCO is promoting tourism

among member nations and asserted the statue’s

inclusion in the list will surely serve as an inspiration.





* * * * *

12-1-2020: Shanghai

Cooperation Organization

general Vladimir Norov

visits India to attend

Raisina dialogue.

14-1-2020: Statue of unity

gets listed among eight

wonders of shanghai

cooperation organization.

7-1-2020: The SCO

Secretary met with the

ambassador of the Islamic

Republic of Iran to China.


* * * * *

Pakistan Shanghai Cooperation

Friendship Forum is an initiative of

Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Studies Centre, a research centre at

Institute of Peace and Diplomatic

Studies Islamabad.





* * * * *

18-1-2020: To keep

normalize the frozen

relations between

Pakistan and India SCO

forum offer a safe space

for dialogue to pursue


17-1-2020: After UNSC

prod, India to invite

Imran Khan to SCO


15-1-2020: SCO

Secretary General meets

with Russian foreign

Minister Sergai Lavrov.


SCO General Secretary

spoke at the Indian

council of world affairs.

To become normalize the frozen relations between

Pakistan and India SCO forum offer a safe space for

dialogue to pursue peace

18-1-2020: the prospect of Pakistan’s participation in the

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit to be held in

India later this year has brought up the possibility of

forward movement where the currently frozen bilateral ties

between the two countries are concerned. The SCO summit

can prove to be a chance to change things for better.

After UNSC prod, India to invite Imran to SCO moot

17-1-2020: A day after the p-5 meeting the UNSC advised

India and Pakistan to resolve their differences bilaterally.

India would invite Prime Minister Imran Khan to the

Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit to be held in

New Delhi.

SCO will develop IT, e-commerce among SCO

member countries

15-1-2020: Mr. Validamir Norov, secretary general,

Shanghai cooperation organization, said that the

member countries of SCO hold cooperate in

developing e-commerce in the region as it is rapidly

growing and changing the structure of world

SCO Highlights

* * * * *

15-1-2020: SCO will

develop IT, e-commerce

among SCO member


15-1-2020: SCO

Secretary-General meets

with senior IAS officials

and discussed solar energy

and meeting energy


9-1-2020: SCO

secretariat holds

roundtable discussion on





CPEC, BRI and China Bulletin


Building Bridges through an Informed Dialogue

January, 2020

Pakistan’s President said that, we are grateful to

China for saving Pakistan during the time of crisis

through BRI, CPEC.

23-1-2020: CPEC, BRI is an economic saviour for

Pakistan, it was stated by Pakistan’s Prime Minister,

Khan. China has rescued the bleak economy of Pakistan.

He further highlighted that special concessions are offered

to the investors and the industries under the special

economic zones, CPEC. He underlined China would help

in technology and training of agricultural development.

Xi, Markle pledge to take China-Germany, China-EU

ties to a new level in 2020.

22-1-2020: president XI, on telephone spoke to Markle,

they pledge to push forward the China-Germany, EU-

China ties at high level during 2020. Both leaders agreed

to deepen their bilateral ties through solving international

issues including, epidemic control, Climatic change, and

WTO reforms.

Pakistan rejects US claims regarding CPEC financing

23-1-2020: Pakistan has rejected US diplomat Alic wells

claims that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is

financed solely through loans or non-concessional

financing with sovereign guarantees. He also reminded

that CPEC has helped Pakistan to address development

gaps in energy, infrastructure, industrialization and Job



* * * * *

23-1-2020: Pakistan’s

President said that, we are

grateful to China for saving

Pakistan during the time of

crisis through BRI, CPEC.

22-1-2020: Xi, Markle pledge

to take China-Germany, China-

EU ties to a new level in 2020

23-1-2020: Pakistan rejects US

claims regarding CPEC


21-1-2020: Chinese premier

call for joint cooperation to

bolster bilateral ties in different


22-1-2020: Pakistan-China

focused on cooperation in

readymade textile under





* * * * *

BRI, CPEC & China Bulletin is an

initiative of Institute of Peace and

Diplomatic Studies Islamabad.





* * * * *

22-1-2020: Sino-Pak

textile cooperation to

focus on readymade


21-1-2020: Chinese Vice

premier will calls for

joint efforts to bolster

economic globalization.


Sindh Government to

prioritize execution of

projects under CPEC.

18-1-2020: Chinese

president visits Myanmar

for investment in


Sino-Pak textile cooperation to focus on readymade


22-1-2020: Pakistan and Chinese experts have been

agreed to developing a textile cooperation under CPEC, by

focusing readymade garments, man-made fibre and textile

skill training. It has been agreed that the Chinese side will

provide technical and intellectual support to accelerate

Pakistan’s priority sector under CPEC.

Chinese vice premier will calls for joint efforts to

bolster economic globalization.

21-1-2020: at DAVOS meeting Chinese President

delivered a historic speech and expressed firm bolster for

economic globalization. He noted that economic

globalization is essential for productivity growth and a

natural result of the advance in science and technology.

Sindh government to prioritize execution of projects under


20-1-2020: Sindh government has keen to start a number of

projects under CPEC. Karachi circular railway, Dhabeji special

economic zones and Keti Bandar deep sea port is on first priority.


China- Pakistan free trade agreement to give much

needed boost in bilateral economic relations.

21-1-2020: China has eliminated tariffs for Pakistan on 313

high priority tariff line that earlier range from 3.5 to 35 %

before the signing of free trade agreement. Under the

second phase of China trade agreement china, has

immediately eliminated tariffs and Pakistan on the other

hand exported 167 of these tariff lines to the world in 2018.

China’s president visits Myanmar for infrastructure


18-1-2020: despite international outcry Chinese stepped

up to cooperate with investment in Myanmar. He signed

memorandum of understanding in various projects

including infrastructure and economic growth.


* * * * *

21-1-2020: China-

Pakistan free

trade agreement

to give much

needed boost in




IPD Proceedings

* * * * *

10-12-2019: Institute of Peace and

Diplomatic Studies in collaboration with

Commission of Science and Technology

for Sustainable in South (COMSATS)

organized a roundtable on Sino-Pak

agricultural cooperation a way forward.



Sino-Pak Agriculture Cooperation-Way Forward

The Centre for Belt and

Road Initiative and China

Studies at the Institute of

Peace and Diplomatic Studies in

collaboration with Commission

on Science and Technology for

Sustainable Development in the

South (COMSATS) organized a oneday

roundtable conference entitled

“Sino- Pak Agriculture Cooperationa

way forward” on January 20,

2020 at COMSATS Secretariat,

G-5/2, Islamabad. The aim of the

roundtable was to highlight and

promote the ongoing Sino-Pak

cooperation in the second phase of

CPEC engaging the stakeholders in

the discussion about how to benefit

from ongoing cooperation in the

agriculture sector and also helping

the decision-makers in formulating

a policy framework in this regard.

Dr. Gu Wenliang, Agricultural

Commissioner, Embassy of Peoples

Republic of China, graced the

occasion as a keynote speaker.

Dr. Muhammad Munir, Director,

Centre for BRI and Chinese studies

emceed the roundtable conference.

Ms. Farhat Asif, founder President of

the IPD, gave welcome address and

formally instigated the roundtable

by introducing the mandate of her

organization, Institute of Peace and

Diplomatic Studies. The audience

included diplomats, representatives

of various companies, academics,

research scholars, media persons

and members of the civil society.

Dr. Gu Wenliang, during his

conversation, highlighted the

importance of the agriculture sector

cooperation between Pakistan and

China. Dr. Gu shared plans and

ideas to cooperate from Chinese

side with the counterparts here

in Pakistan. He expressed his

intentions to introduce the Green

Corriodr for Pakistan, especially

focusing on Northern Areas of

Pakistan. After sharing experience,

interactions and visits to agricultural

farms and farmers in Punjab, Dr.

Gu noticed that there are certain

gaps in Pakistan agriculture sector

due to climate change. “Pakistan

is lacking in good variety of crops

and is facing issues in technology or

machinery relevant to agriculture.”

While talking about water

waste issues Dr. Gu advocated

the adoption of new irrigation

patterns. Pakistan can learn from

Chinese experience of processing

of agricultural products for valueadded

crops. Dr. Gu identified

various avenues of agriculture

cooperation between China and

Pakistan such as cooperation in

agro-research, developing business

to business model for cooperation

in crops variety technologies;

processing and storage and

capacity building trainings related

to the agriculture sector. He spoke

of the great potential of Sino-

Pak agricultural cooperation. He

rejected the concerns of a section

of Pakistan’s Farmers Associations

that China would occupy Pakistan



Expressing his perspective on

agricultural cooperation with

China, Mr. Hassan Daud Butt,

CEO, Board of Investment, KPK,

discussed the background and

inclusion of agriculture cooperation

under CPEC. He emphasized the

importance of co-branding and comarketing

of agricultural products.

He wanted the cooperation of China

in 70 projects including, health care,

education, capacity building, and

development of agriculture, genetic

resources and research on variety of


Dr. Muhammad Azeem, Chairman,

Pakistan Agricultural Research

Council, Ministry of National

Food Security and Research, gave

a comprehensive presentation on

opportunities and potential for

Sino-Pak agricultural cooperation.

He highlighted the need for

modernizing agricultural sector in

Pakistan and seeking Chinese help

in lab development equipment for

processing and value additions. We

can learn from Chinese experience

on developing farm size, palm oil

fields, post-harvest losses, hybrid

seed facilities to enhance valuable

trade, he added. He emphasized

the need for promoting the rural


Lastly, Mr. Waqas Burki,

Capability Manager, Fatima Group,

emphasized the need for revitalizing

the overall agriculture crops and

production mechanisms through

digitalization and technology use.

He gave an overview of global

ranking of Pakistan in crops

production. He discussed the share

of various Pakistani provinces in

agricultural sector: Punjab 70%,

Sindh 20%, and KPK 8%. Baluchistan

has a lot of potential for increasing

its share in agriculture sector.

While discussing Pakistan’s Crops

Production he said that Pakistan’s

last five years average growth in

food crops is around 2% which is

needed to be enhanced up to 4%

to meet the food requirements of

its growing population. He added

that the growth of Cotton crop

suffered the most in the last fifteen

years. He highlighted that about

60 % of the country’s population

was facing food insecurity and

nearly 50% of the women and

children were malnourished. He

said Fatima Group, as a Fertilize

player in industry, is playing

a critical role in different areas

such as developing collaborations

with government, academia and

research institutes; farm advisory

services; digitization of entire

value chain; fertilization of vast unproductive

lands; and collaboration

with local and international

organizations (CMEC,USAID, IFA,

FAO). He argued that agriculture

development would help Pakistan

in poverty alleviation. He said that

agriculture growth can be enhanced

by increasing crop yields, improving

Return on Investments (ROIs) for

the farmers; and by Optimizing

Sales Channels He talked of various

projects that Fatima Group had

undertaken in collaboration with

Chinese companies. These projects

include the revival of cotton crops

and textile industry, improving seed

variety and quality, digitalization to

bridge the knowledge gap.


In view of climate change

there is a need for adopting

new irrigation patterns in

the agricultural sector of

Pakistan. There is a need to

build the capacity of irrigation


departments in the latest

technologies and practices in the

world especially from China.

Pakistan’s agriculture sector is

facing multifarious challenges

in seeds, use of water resources,

and lack of modern agricultural

technology. Therefore, it is

imperative for Pakistan to

improve cooperation with

China in agricultural research,

developing business to business

model for cooperation in crops

variety technologies; processing

and storage and capacity

building trainings related to

agriculture sector.

Pakistan has great potential

for enhancing its agricultural

products, especially foods,

fibers, and raw materials

including food items such as

cereals (grains), vegetables,

fruits, oils, meat, milk, and

eggs. Similarly, there is a great

potential for the promotion

of agricultural by-products.

This potential can be realized

in cooperation with Chinese

companies by co-branding and

co-marketing of agricultural


Pakistan’s farmers are lacking of

high tech machinery relating to

farming, it is vitally important

to import farming machinery

and equipment from China.

To improve the productivity

of all sub-sectors of agriculture

namely: crops; livestock

both production and animal

health); fisheries and forestry.

There is dire need to develop

a comprehensive strategy

in coordination with all the

relevant departments and

stakeholders to avoid any

negative fallout of cooperation

with Chinese companies and to

ensure a win-win situation.

A sustainable policy framework

would be required to achieve

the desired targets such as bring

average yield of a commodity

closer to the world average

level; reducing post-harvest

losses from 50-3o percent to

25-10 percent; bring exportproduction

ratio near to the

world average ratio; bringing

the Pakistan’s export price near

to the world average; bringing

prices of 10% of the commodity

sold within the country equal

to the imported/exported price

of the commodity; increasing

processing and value addition;

and reducing cost by adopting

mechanized operation on certain

areas. Pakistan Agricultural

Research Council may be tasked

to formulate a strategy under a

national agricultural policy to

achieve the desired results.

A consultative series of

dialogues and conversation

should be started including

series of awareness raising

seminars, dialogue conversation

for concrete recommendations

in every sector of agriculture

and then finally a national

level conference followed by an

international conference may

be organized to galvanized

strength of Pakistan to not

only for effective utilization

public, private and corporate

agriculture resources of

Pakistan. These resources may

be presented to the international

community with regular

diplomatic engagements with

the diplomatic community

residing in Islamabad.



China Pakistan Economic Corridor:

Opportunities for Khyber PakhtunKhwa

On January 8, 2020, the

Centre for Belt and Road

Initiative and China

Studies at Institute of Peace and

Diplomatic Studies in collaboration

of University of Peshawar, China

Centre organized a roundtable

conference on BRI-CPEC will

bring new Chapter of prosperity

in KP-Pakistan. The main objective

of roundtable conference to take

initiatives for strengthen the

mutual academic and diplomatic

relationships for research activities

under the second phase of CPEC.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

second phase will bring new

chapters of prosperity in Khyber

Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan

in line with other parts of country.

Mr. Hassan Daud Butt, CEO,

KPK, Board of Investment and

Trade was key note speaker of the

roundtable conference. He said that

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has immense

opportunities with strategies

and policies. He highlighted the

significance of second phase of

CPEC by saying that we will get

maximum benefit from this phase.

He introduced certain ideas to

innovate research and development

cooperation with exchanges

between Pakistan scholars and

those in China.

Expressing his intentions towards

the second phase of CPEC, Prof. Dr.

Zahid Anwar, Director China Study

Centre, University of Peshawar,

also mentioned that we should

enhance our capabilities by getting

more and more scholarships for

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the field of

education and other technical fields

that will increase capacity building

of people and enabling us to achieve

the desired economic and social

development. This collaboration

will further strength the exemplary

friendship of Pak-China.

Farhat Asif, President, Centre for

BRI and China studies, Institute

of Peace and Diplomatic Studies,

Islamabad, also mentioned the

activities and achievements of her


Dr. Muhammad Abid, Dean

Numerical Sciences, University of

Peshawar, Syed Ali Nawaz Gillani,

and General Secretary also attended

the conference. Other than these,

the audience included academics,

research scholars and students from

University of Peshawar.


Lecture: Intercultural Dialogue and Cultural Diplomacy

Organized by

Institute of Public Policy Riphah, International University and Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies

Institute of Peace and Diplomatic

Studies in collaboration

with Riphah International

University organized a seminar

on “Intercultural Dialogue and

Cultural Diplomacy” where the

keynote speaker was Dr. Fatemah

Kamli-Chirani, research scholar and

academicians with specialization

on Cultural Diplomacy. Dr.

Fatemah said that dialogue and

understanding among the cultures

will help the audience to improve the

peace and stability across the region

and the world. While explaining

in-depth analysis Dr. Fatemah has

emphasized the role of diplomats

and developing the linkages and

understanding among the members

of the civil society where they are

representing their own countries.

Through the medium of art,

literature, and heritage, countries

can develop an image of themselves

that can enhance not only the

understanding of the foreign public

but also will help the country to

build a long relationship with the

other countries.

Dr. Fatemeh Kamali-Chirani is an

Iranian-German Political Scientist

having her Ph.D. from the University

of Augsburg, Germany. In 2019 Dr.

Fatemeh published her first book,

a short version of her Ph.D., “Does

Intercultural Dialogue matter. The

Role of Intercultural Dialogue in

the Foreign Cultural Policy of Iran

and Germany”. Her main fields of

interest are intercultural dialogue,

Civil Society, Women, Migration,

and Refugees.

Dr. Fatemah is of the view that

the process of cultural diplomacy

and engagement is not instant

and requires one to be patient and

persistent in finding the gradual

linkages. She further added that

countries across the world are linked

to various values and strengthen.

and these values are the values of

humanity, correlations in religion

and commonalities of cultures. It

is for those who devise policies

and diplomats to see closely apart

from encouraging the academics

and students to engage in dialogue

and collaboration. She spoke about

the three activities that considered

significant for the growth of public

diplomacy, that are monologue,

dialogue, and collaboration. While

speaking, she emphasized that

the intercultural dialogue “is the

art and science of understanding

others”. She suggested, to the young

scholars to must apply for foreign

internship programs and should try

to pursue new horizons in cultural

diplomacy because this field has

great potential.

Dr. Rashid Aftab, Director of the

Institute of Public Policy Riphah,

International University, explained

the significance of dialogue among

civilizations and provided an

overview of the vision and mission

of the Public Policy Institute. While

Ms. Farhat Asif, President, Institute

of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, in

her introductory remarks explained

the reason for holding such an

important dialogue and seminar.

This was also announced that

Institute of Peace and Diplomatic

Studies and Institute of Public Policy

Riphah, International University

recently signed and MoU to work

in collaboration in areas of mutual


The audience includes the

Ambassadors and Diplomats from

different countries of the world,

diplomats, students, academicians,

research scholars, media and other

members of the civil society.


Citizen Journalism

Entrepreneurship Workshop

Institute of Peace and Diplomatic

Studies organized a two

day workshop on “Citizen

Journalism Entrepreneurship

Workshop” from January 30-31,

2020 in Islamabad for the promotion

of sharing skills with participants

from various backgrounds about

the latest and new technologies

highlighting the issues of the

communities. Participants of

the workshop were from Punjab,

KPK, ICT, Kashmir region. The

main aim for this workshop was

to promote entrepreneurial skills

amongst different age groups in

order develop and enhance their

understanding about effective

use of technology for business.

To give a first-hand experience to

the participants of the workshop,

renowned anchorpersons and

journalist including trainers on

MoJo (Mobile Journalism) was

invited to deliver lectures and

experiences on community based

journalism. People from different

backgrounds have attended the

workshop for excelling themselves

in the electronic media field.

Founder President, IPDS, Ms. Farhat

Asif, president of IPD, presented the

aims and missions of the workshop

including introduction and in

depth understanding about work of

IPDS. Ms. Aniqa Nisar, renowned

anchor and host on Capital TV

has explained her journey as a

journalists and challenges to the

journalists. During her conversation

with the participants, Ms. Aniqa

shared her views on digital media

and mainstream media-finding a

common ground and how young

people can promote awareness

about the issues faced by the

communities. In her inspiring

talk Ms. Maliha Hashmi, who is a

renowned community journalist

and a development trainer shared

her own inspiring stories and talked

at length about “Story Telling

Through Digital Media”. Maliha

Hashmi is also a motivational

speaker and through various

techniques used during the session,

Ms. Maliha engaged the workshop

participants about various methods

and ways to effectively tell the


story through the digital media

forum. In the third session of the

works about “Citizen Journalists

in Strengthening Societies”, Mr.

Ahmad Farhad, a young and

inspiring journalist spoke at length

about ethics and values for the

Citizen Journalists. While sharing

his insight, Ahmad Farhad was of

the opinion that ethics and values

should be an important part of a

rising community journalist who

is carrying reports and projecting

the social issues. He was also

the opinion that in the past it

was difficult for the media to

understand the dynamics about the

values however, now after several

years, journalists in the main stream

media are realizing and set their

own standards. Mr. Eisa Naqvi is

heading Indus News Islamabad.

Mr. Eisa explained about the issues

of Privacy and Piracy and explained

how well the new emerging

journalists can must build on the

knowledge about the privacy and

piracy laws in Pakistan especially

related to digital media platforms.

Mr. Siddique Jan, a leading media

entrepreneur and YouTuber has

shared in-depth technical insight

about using the social media forum

effectively to earn. He was of the

view that the value of unique

content is important. During the

second day of the workshop, Mr.

Najam ul Hassan, a pioneering

young mobile journalism trainer

has spent quality time with the

participants and shared with how

to use mobile for videos and photos

with practical demonstration during

the session. He has also stressed

about using mobile effectively

by using latest applications and


softwares available in the media.

At the end of the Workshop Ms.

Ghareedah Faruqi, Pakistan’s

leading journalist, during her

conversation with the participants,

shared deep insight about the

overall media landscape. While

praising to have such workshop

and the need of the day, Ms.

Faroqui also shared her experience

and encouraged the participants

to choose content cautiously and

deliver with authentic research

and media. At the end certificate

was distributed amongst the

participants. The Workshop

was aimed to impart practical

interventions to upgrade the skills

of better community journalism

with mainstream journalism. This

workshop was focused on to the

moto “you see it, you report it and

you earn it”. It would be necessary

to make the youth primary drivers

for community journalism in

connection with mainstream

media. This workshop is a positive

step for awareness of journalism

amongst the young people. It will

have immediate benefit to the

participants who learnt a lot from

the experienced journalists.


China Study Centre UOP & Centre

for BRI & China Studies, IPD

signed MOU

The University of Peshawar, China study center, is a leading and future oriented institute, has signed

a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, Centre

for BRI and China Studies for research and development cooperation with exchanges Pakistani

scholar and those in China.

The student of Peshawar University will get chances and benefits from the upcoming second phase of CPEC.

The student will find opportunities to innovate research and development cooperation with exchanges of

Scholars between Pakistan and China. Hassan Daud, CEO, KPK board of investment said that KP has immense

opportunities with effective strategies and policies to get benefits through the establishment of a new industrial

economic zone. These ties will transformed less developed areas into the developed areas.





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