MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 01 APRIL
PICTURE OF THE DAY
A beautifully illuminated view of a mosque on the eve of the Holy Night of Shab-e-Barat amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Karachi, Pakistan, on March 29, 2021. Shab-e-Barat was observed on Monday in Pakistan and across the world to seek forgiveness from Allah. Special religious gatherings were held throughout the country, and people also visited graveyards to say prayers at the graves of their loved ones.
The misunderstood history of Pakistan-US relations
Writing about Pakistan-U.S. relations is like composing a piece of literary criticism of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” always looking for new answers to old nagging questions, and falling short. Nevertheless, a serious inquiry into the history of the bilateral relationship may help our quest for answers. The fact is that the history of Pakistan-U.S. relations is much misunderstood.
Myanmar junta makes ceasefire offer, but not to protesters
Myanmar’s junta announced on Wednesday that it is implementing a unilateral one-month ceasefire, but made an exception for actions that disrupt the government’s security and administrative operations - a clear reference to the mass movement that has held daily nationwide protests against its seizure of power in February.
The many pitfalls of the new US proposal for Afghan peace
As violence continues to escalate in Afghanistan, a new draft peace plan proposed by the United States – calling for an interim administration to replace the current government, ceasefire, and a UN-sponsored conference of all regional stakeholders – has evoked strong reactions from both the Afghan government and independent experts.
Why the China-Iran Strategic Partnership Deal benefits Pakistan
Pakistan is the third party that stands to gain the most from the Chinese-Iranian Strategic Partnership deal that was just clinched this weekend. According to reports, Beijing plans to invest upwards of $400 billion into the Islamic Republic’s economy over a 25-year period, with a specific emphasis on energy and infrastructure. Without any exaggeration, one can rightly describe this as a much-needed lifeline that will likely ensure the West Asian country’s long-term stability in the face of crushing American sanctions and increased US-led regional military pressure from its GCC and “Israeli” rivals.
Sri Lanka: Discrimination against Muslims and Tamils is getting worse
Sri Lanka recently passed regulations allowing detention without trial for two years for those suspected to have caused “religious, racial or communal disharmony”. This is a significant expansion of the already notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which has historically been used to target Tamils and Muslims.
Malaysian parties Bersatu and PAS say they will face general election together, in rebuff to Umno
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's political party and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) on Wednesday (March 31) said they will work closely to face the next general election and rejected any "new alignment" of parties, in a rebuff of Umno.