Arif Rafiq

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For years, Chinese and Pakistani leaders have described their relationship as “sweeter than honey.” Pool photo by Parker Song, via Getty Images

For years, Chinese and Pakistani leaders have described their relationship, forged by a common rivalry with their neighbor India, as “sweeter than honey”. But the Pakistani Army’s view of the relationship with China appears to be souring — and diverging from the political leadership’s.

Last month, after Prime Minister Imran Khan declined  the Biden administration’s invitation to its Summit for Democracy, the Pakistani television news anchor Kamran Khan posted a video on social media denouncing the “wrong decision”, one he declared was made at China’s behest. (China was not invited to — or happy about — the summit.) The journalist lamented that, with that move, the prime minister had “put Pakistan openly in China’s lap”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pakistan is beset by a torrent of maladies. Its government is bankrupt. Its economy is mired in stagflation as the population booms. Terrorists strike all corners of the country. Civil conflict in its largest city, Karachi, has evolved from feuds between ethnic political parties into a Taliban war against them all, exacerbated by ever-powerful criminal mafias. The cancer of extremism is spreading deeper and the death toll mounts.

But there is opportunity for change. Pakistan's political leaders have taken major steps toward institutionalizing civilian, democratic rule. In March, for the first time in Pakistan's history, a democratically elected National Assembly completed its term.…  Seguir leyendo »