Author: Stuart White

ISIS set to become Islamist Frankenstein in Africa
Opinion

ISIS set to become Islamist Frankenstein in Africa

On the run from Europe and Asia since 2014, terror organization ISIS is now desperately trying to establish its turf on the African continent by setting up links with local terror bodies. In the process, its Jihadist ideology has secured a fresh lease of life to expand the influence of the Islamic caliphate.Several countries of Africa where the civil-military differences are weakening the social and economic fabric are now the hunting grounds of ISIS. Even among them, ISIS prefers countries where Islamist politics have reared their head. The world has noticed the silence of orthodox Islamic clergy in face of rogue expansion of the Islamic terror bodies in Africa as they escape the western military forces in west Asia and Europe, specially from Syria and Iraq.It is perhaps as a result of th...
China’s human rights violations: Persecution of the Uyghurs
Opinion

China’s human rights violations: Persecution of the Uyghurs

Despite its continued repression and persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China now finds itself at the “top table” of an international human rights forum.In a largely unheralded election last month, the UN General Assembly voted to elect a new tranche of 15 Human Rights Council (HRC) members, including China, which won a seat over objections from critics who challenge its rights record, not least against the Uyghurs.China joins 47 other nations on the UN council and will serve for three years from January.China faced stiff competition in the Asia-Pacific region where six nations were competing for five spots. China secured the last of the five spots as Saudi Arabia failed to cross the needed vote threshold.Support for China at the election was actually its weakest since the council’s found
Soldiers without ranks
Opinion

Soldiers without ranks

Young Muslims trained in arms and light ammunition are sought after pawns in the markets of conflict and turmoil. Wearing the masks of Islam, they are out to create mayhem and massacre. In most cases, theses forces are out to challenge the State and its well-structured armies and police forces. In old times, such confrontations were a part of the game between rulers and their opponents.However, in modern times, the rules of the game have changed. Generally, the confrontations take place according to rules of war, as well as according to the international law approved by international community. But in this case, the engagement and employment of pawns is either overlooked or ignored. This strategic game was being played in pre-colonial and even colonial era as a state craft.The rulers who u...
Madrassah education: A wrong reverse gear
Opinion

Madrassah education: A wrong reverse gear

The knowledge imparted in Madrassah has been an important constituent of Islamic Education all over the world. This education has equally been a target of censure and critical appraisal from time to time. It has been argued that this type of education is structured to take the young minds back to more than 1500 years. The objective, according to strategic experts, is to land them back psychologically and emotionally in those very social and cultural settings that existed at that time.It is an interesting psychological, emotional and political game. The case studies reveal that terror tactics tethered with this type of education have produced radicalized cadres and their allies to either be engaged directly with the state in the armed conflicts or get involved with low key proxy wars. The e...
Rock-solid India-Bangladesh ties
Opinion

Rock-solid India-Bangladesh ties

Ever since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power in Bangladesh in 2009, the Indian government headed by Narendra Modi has extended wholehearted support for Bangladesh for rebuilding its economy and its infrastructural development.In return, the Sheikh Hasina government has set a unique example of cooperation and reciprocation out of which the people of both countries would reap ample benefit. The transit, trans-shipment and building regional connectivity would immensely facilitate and promote trade, commerce and tourism.A number of issues, including the most critical and complex border problem, which had been hanging for about 40 years despite the inking of a treaty was resolved in an unprecedented bill passed in the Indian Parliament with unanimous support by all members of both the ...
‘Chairman Xi’ seeks only to purge and subjugate. That is his weakness
Opinion

‘Chairman Xi’ seeks only to purge and subjugate. That is his weakness

It’s often said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely – but does it also induce leaders to act in foolhardy, headstrong and ultimately self-destructive ways? Chinese history, is full of examples of omnipotent rulers whose unchecked behaviour led to disaster. Xi Jinping, China’s comrade-emperor, is a modern-day case in point. Xi seems to think he can do no wrong. As a result, not much is going right.Xi’s authoritarian, expansionist policies, pursued with increasing vehemence since he became communist party chief and president in 2012-13, have enveloped China in a ring of fire. Its borderlands are ablaze with conflict and confrontation from Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet and the Himalayas in the north and west to Hong Kong, the South China Sea and Taiwan to the east.Ho
Is the Chinese shipbuilding industry going up in smoke?
Business, Opinion

Is the Chinese shipbuilding industry going up in smoke?

Amidst the tensions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, one image that recently caught global attention was the fire on board the PLA Navy’s latest Type 075 landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious ship.On the morning of 11 April 2020, the PLA Navy’s LHD caught fire, as smoke was observed coming out of rear hangar opening and lift near island superstructure. Within ten days, the damaged ship was painted to hide the black smoke marks on its superstructure and readied for the launch ceremony of PLA Navy’s second Type 075, on 22 April 2020. The intensity of smoke indicates a major fire which would have caused significant damage to the ship’s aft section, equipment and electrical cables, with resultant time penalties for their repair and replacement.The fire, while extinguished has rekindled t
Is Pakistan losing Riyadh?
Opinion

Is Pakistan losing Riyadh?

“Pakistan can no longer wait … I respectfully remind the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Cooperation) once again that we are expecting a meeting of foreign ministers belonging to the member countries of the organization. If you cannot do it, I will be forced to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to hold a meeting of Islamic countries ready to stand by us on the question of Kashmir,” said Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi during an interview.With an unprecedented externalization, Qureshi shattered a ten-year protocol of relations between Pakistan and the Saudi “big brother” and gave the launch of a series of speculations on the geopolitical order or re-order of the region.The Saudis did not take well the appeal of Qureshi which was seen as a real “sgarro” by the historical “younger
Is China losing faith in its own troops?
Opinion

Is China losing faith in its own troops?

In August, a rather strange visit took place in the shadow of the Himalayas. Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister visited Tibet Military District and surrounding areas on August 14, and met with the top Communist Party official in Tibet, Wu Yingjie, as well as the chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) government, Qizhala.Before commenting on the nature and implications of the visit, it is important to understand briefly the major reasons why politicians visit any province. Even in China which abhors conventional democratic politics, the mechanics of politics that equate to grabbing, and holding on to power, are the same.There are three major reasons why a politician may visit an area: if it is a campaign season, a home province or to motivate the local population during times of disas
What is China’s military aspiration for Gwadar?
Opinion, Singapore, World

What is China’s military aspiration for Gwadar?

For a long time, Pakistan’s Gwadar port has long been touted as the site for a Chinese base suitable for People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) operations, however, it is not inevitable that Gwadar will become a PLAN base.The Chinese Communist Party pursues a “strategic strongpoint” concept whereby strategically sited foreign ports containing terminals and commercial zones operated by Chinese firms can be used by its military.These “strongpoints” offer the potential for China to form a network of supply, logistics and intelligence hubs, and there is a nascent network along the perimeter of the Indian Ocean.Gwadar is important to Beijing for two reasons. First is establishing direct transport links to the Indian Ocean via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). For this reason, China doe