India Joins the SCO: Next Step OBOR!

INDIA and Pakistan formally became the latest members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at the latest summit of the grouping held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in the second week of June. The two countries had enjoyed observer status in the organisation for many years and have now been elevated to full membership. Iran is the next country that is expected to join the grouping in the near future. The original members of the grouping initially known as the Shanghai Five that was established in 1995 were Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

On President Rouhani’s Second Term

THE emphatic electoral victory registered by the incumbent president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani in the third week of May is proof that the vast majority of the Iranian people still repose great deal of trust in him and his reformist policies. The voter turnout was exceptionally heavy with young voters coming out in larger numbers than before. Rouhani won 57 per cent of the votes. More than 70 per cent of Iran's 56 million voters cast their ballots despite calls from opposition groups based in western capitals for a boycott of the polls.

Qatar Crisis

THE attempt by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region to isolate and undermine the Emirate of Qatar, seems to be failing. The American military establishment, despite President Donald Trump's repeated tweets supporting the Saudi position, seems to have decided against regime change in the Emirate. The evidence of this is the signing of a $12 billion deal by the Americans to sell 36 F-15 fighter jets to Qatar. Even within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Oman and Kuwait are not supporting the Saudi move for regime change in Qatar.

US Rants Do Not Rattle Cuba

US President Donald Trump had declared at a rally in Miami, Florida on June 16, that he was cancelling Obama's “completely one-sided deal” with Cuba. Speaking before a highly partisan crowd, Trump ranted against Cuba and vowed to completely cut-off relations and strangulate the country into submission. Through the reintroduction of harsh measures, the US administration is reverting to its pre-2014 policies in order to subdue and subjugate Cuba. Cuban government and people immediately responded to this challenge and reiterated their commitment to socialism.

UK General Elections 2017: Youth Awakens

ONE of the biggest gambles by any sitting prime minister in the history of British politics has spectacularly backfired on the cautious Prime Minster Theresa May.

When May called a snap general election, she required a change of legislation to repeal the fixed time parliament that had three years to run.

The main opposition parties of Labour and the Scottish National Party were confronted with Hobson’s choice to either endorse the call for an early election or be highlighted as running scared of the will of the people.

South Korea’s New President Aims to Restore Calm in the Korean Peninsula

THE victory of Moon Jae-in, former trade unionist and human rights activist in South Korea's presidential polls with a large majority, is the first bit of refreshing news to come out of the Korean peninsula this year. The region has been witnessing political turmoil and military tensions since last year. The newly elected president had vowed on the campaign trail that his first priory would be to restore calm in the Korean peninsula.

BRITISH GENERAL ELECTION FALL-OUT: A Government and State in Existential Crisis And the Roaring Return of Class Politics

IT will rank among the most calamitous of political blunders. The decision of British Prime Minister Theresa May to call a snap election to buttress her ‘hard’ bargaining stance in upcoming Brexit talks has blown up in her face, with consequences that continue to reverberate across the entire British state.

ANC on Decline? SACP Calls for Reconfiguration of Tripartite Alliance

THE African National Congress (ANC) is in a deep crisis and if the recent election results are any indicator, is in a real decline. This crisis naturally has a reflection on the South African governing tripartite alliance – ANC-SACP-COSATU. South African Communist Party (SACP) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), recently, have been openly expressing their dissatisfaction on ANC led government and called the ANC leadership responsible for deviating from the path of National Democratic Revolution (NDR).

Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike

MORE than 1500 Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated for years in high security Israeli jails have been on an indefinite hunger strike from April 17. The date is observed every year as “Prisoners Day” by Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel. More than 6500 Palestinian prisoners, including an estimated 300 children, are languishing in Israeli jails, living under bleak conditions. The Israeli government has passed a law which allows for the arrest of children aged 12 and above for “terrorist offenses”.

Kashmir in the International Spotlight

IT has been some time since visiting international heads of state offered to mediate on the Kashmir dispute while on official visits to India. The president of Turkey, no doubt took New Delhi by surprise when he politely suggested in an interview the need for India and Pakistan to calm down the volatile situation in Kashmir and offered his good offices to mediate between the two countries. Erdogan fancies himself as the pre eminent leader of the Muslim world. He has been outspoken about the treatment of Muslim minorities in other countries.


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