Archive for the ‘NOREF’ Category


By Zia Ur Rehman

August 18, 2014

Pakistan and China have enjoyed friendly relations for six decades, but Beijing has now expressed concerns over links between Pakistan militants and the ethnic Uyghur Islamic militants belonging to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Chinese authorities are said to be concerned about the presence of ETIM militants in Pakistani territory, where they say that fighters are being trained before they cross into Xinjiang to carry out attacks, as well as harming Chinese interests in Pakistan.

For a long time the U.S. and Afghanistan, and recently China, have been pressuring Pakistan to launch a military operation against local and foreign militant groups in its tribal areas. Finally, on June 15th 2014, Pakistan officially launched a fully fledged operation against various Taliban and international militant groups in North Waziristan. Analysts believe that, at the behest of China, the operation is mainly focused on ETIM and its allied Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

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By Zia Ur Rehman

June 2, 2014


The Sistan and Baluchistan Province of Iran has long been associated with instability and armed conflict. The two million largely Sunni Muslim Baluch living in the province have suffered sustained racist persecution and discrimination in predominantly Shia and Persian-speaking Iran.

Analysts claim that lack of development and cultural and religious repression in Sistan and Baluchistan have encouraged popular support for the insurgency among the Baluch community. Iran claims that the main bases of the two main Baluch insurgents groups, Jundullah and Jaish-ul Adl, are in Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province, which shares a 1,165-kilometre border with Iran. Iranian forces are increasingly carrying out cross-border attacks against these groups, straining relations between Iran and Pakistan and possibly fuelling sectarian violence in both countries.

Pakistan is battling its own Baluch separatist insurgency. It is feared that the mistreatment of the Baluch community on both sides of the border could lead to an alliance between religiously motivated anti-Iranian Sunni militant groups and the various secular Pakistani Baluch separatist groups.

Iranian Baluch militants groups are not only causing an increasing internal security crisis in Iran, but are also threatening to become the key to the survival of the Taliban on the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

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By Zia Ur Rehman

December 10, 2013

Karachi, with its large businesses, moneyed residents and huge Pashtun population, has been fertile ground not only for the Pakistani Taliban, but also the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda. Karachi’s religious leadership and Islamic seminaries played a leading role in resistance against the Soviets, later fighting the Northern Alliance and then supporting the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Pakistani jihadi groups, which have a strong influence in Karachi, have also sent a significant number of fighters to Afghanistan to participate in the Afghan war. When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, these groups enjoyed the complete support of the organisation.

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