* Egypt and Sudan in War Games after El Sisi’s Stern Warning to Ethiopia
* Pakistan Responds to US Climate Summit Snub with Commitment to Environment
* India Should Not Seek Closer Ties with US at Expense of Relationship with China
* France Needs to Get its Priorities Straight
* Erdogan Turns on his Navy
* Bread and Circus in Egypt
* Biden Offers Support to Ukraine against Russian Military Build-up
* Iran JCPOA
Egypt and Sudan in War Games after El Sisi’s Stern Warning to Ethiopia
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Tuesday said that denying his country “a drop of water” would cause “unimaginable instability” in the region. That was his sternest threat yet to Addis Ababa over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt fears the dam will deeply cut its share of the Nile’s water. With a population of about 100 million, Egypt depends on the Nile for more than 90 per cent of its freshwater needs. Egypt and fellow downstream nation Sudan have tried for years to persuade Ethiopia to enter a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam. Since late last year Sudan and Ethiopia have been tangled in a border dispute that led to deadly clashes. Ethiopia maintains that guidelines about the dam, rather than a binding deal, should suffice. It said it planned to proceed with a second and much larger filling of the dam’s reservoir in summer, regardless of whether an agreement was reached. “We don’t talk much but I need to tell everyone that no one can take a drop of water from Egypt,” Mr El Sisi said in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia. “If anyone wants to try, let him try. But we are not threatening anyone and our discourse remains very patient and very wise, but no one can take a drop of water from Egypt. “Doing so will create unimaginable instability in the region and no one should assume that he is beyond the reach of our capabilities. “I say it again, Egypt’s water cannot be touched. Touching it is a red line and our reaction if it’s touched will impact on the entire region.” [Source: The National]
The tiff over water between Ethiopia and Egypt goes to show that water wars will soon take place not just in Africa but across the world.
Pakistan Responds to US Climate Summit Snub with Commitment to Environment
Disappointed at not being invited to the upcoming US climate summit, Pakistani officials said the country remains “fully committed” to addressing climate change and its green initiatives have been “well accepted and appreciated around the world.” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson said the US climate change summit “brings together leaders from countries responsible for approximately 80 per cent of global emissions” while noting that “Pakistan is one of the lowest emitters with less than one per cent of the global emissions” despite being one of the most affected countries by climate change. Islamabad’s response came after social media rebuke as the US President Joe Biden administration ignored Pakistan at the Leaders Summit on Climate (April 22-23) in which the Biden invited 40 world leaders after the US rejoined the Paris climate accord which former US President Trump abruptly withdrew from. “Pakistan’s landmark initiatives like the Billion Tree Tsunami have won international acclaim, including from the World Economic Forum,” FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, referring to the massive plantation drive spearheaded by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. Responding to the US snub and social media speculations, PM’s special aide on climate change Malik Amin Aslam, described the US virtual moot as a forum “to bring leading global polluters at one platform to work out strategies to protect depleting nature and biodiversity” and not an international climate forum to decide future decisions on environmental conservation. “Pakistan can invite those 40 countries for a global climate change summit and extend ground-based tested and successful solutions being implemented in the country to address climate change,” he said. Detailing Pakistan’s contributions to the global fight against climate change, Aslam said Pakistan’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami project and green jobs initiatives have been recognized by the international environmental conservation organizations such as WWF, IUCN, WEF and leading countries. Pakistan was also co-chair of Green Climate Fund (GCF), key financial facility to provide finances to developing countries to implement green projects. The current government has allocated Rs10 billion for climate change projects for the year 2020-21. Pakistan’s leadership role in climate change mitigation and adaptation is also being replicated by several countries. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently announced a 10 billion tree plantation programme following in the footsteps of Pakistan’s 10 billion tree afforestation project and “Pakistan has also offered the Saudi government all sort of technical support for successful implementation of the programme” Amin Aslam said. [Source: Gulf News]
Planting trees will not solve the environmental crisis that has enveloped the world. The real culprit is Capitalism that persistently pushes the world to post exponential growth which harms the planet. Pakistani officials should take a bold stance and expose Capitalism for what it is—planet’s enemy number one.
India Should Not Seek Closer Ties with US at Expense of Relationship with China
A view in New Delhi’s strategic circle argues that China benefited greatly from its engagement with the US from 1972 to around the year 2000, and thus, India should learn from China to use the US chariot to achieve its own development. There is no problem at all for New Delhi to strengthen its economic ties with Washington, as the US remains the world’s largest economy today. But there is a big difference between the India-US proximity now and China and the US moving close back then. First, Beijing and Washington began their cooperation partly to jointly confront the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. The US almost had no economic exchanges with its then-rival, the Soviet Union. But now the Cold War has been long over, and China is not the new Soviet Union. China is still quite close with the US, especially economically. The large scale of trade between the two countries is self-evident. Second, after China-US relations were normalized and Beijing and Washington began economic cooperation, many of the US’ low- and medium-end industries were transferred to China. But now, the US domestic manufacturing is facing a state of hollowing out. Washington now wants to bring the manufacturing back. It does not have much to transfer to New Delhi. From 1972 to 2000, China and the US approaching each other objectively alleviated China’s security pressure, allowing China to concentrate more resources on economic construction. However, New Delhi’s approach to Washington today will do more harm than good to India’s security and economy. In terms of security, India wants to take advantage of the US, but the US is also seeking to make use of India to contain and confront China. This will inevitably intensify the China-India confrontation, requiring India to invest more in the military field. As a result, it will squeeze India’s resources for economic development, which is not beneficial for New Delhi. With the continuous rise of emerging economies, the US’ national strength is declining. Many actions of the US are based on its own interests. India now wants to get on the US chariot, but the present-day US no longer has the international status it had during the Cold War. If there is a military conflict between China and India, the US will at best provide India with political and diplomatic aid, as well as weapons and intelligence. New Delhi must understand that Washington will not fight a war with Beijing for the sake of India. India will have to bear the price itself if it starts a military conflict with China. India needs to understand that what India is facing is China, a country that currently plays the role the US played in the 1980s and 1990s. [Source: Global Times]
India’s close ties with America mean that China will not trust India in its neighbourhood. This will fuel security competition in the region and increase the probability of war.
France Needs to Get its Priorities Straight
France banned veils in public schools in 2004, now the French Senate has voted to ban the hijab for anyone under 18-years old. The move was proposed on March 30, 2021 falling under the proposed Separation Bill. In addition, mothers who wear the Hijab will be prohibited from accompanying school field trips and burkinis would be banned at public swimming pools. France is currently struggling with a political system that’s broken, its economy has been hijacked by an oligarchy and the country has seen the failure of its regime to tackle the Covid pandemic. With all these problems France is focused on a mere 3% of its population who apparently pose a bigger problem than all the other issues the nation is engulfed by.
Erdogan Turns on his Navy
Turkish authorities detained 10 retired admirals who had signed, along with 94 other former high-ranking military personnel, a statement expressing their concern about actions that could infringe on an 85-year-old maritime accord called the Montreux Convention. The arrest of the admirals is the latest act in Erdogan’s crackdown of dissent. While it is unlikely that Turkey will withdraw from the Montreux Convention, the issue has become a fresh point of friction between Erdogan and Turkey’s military leaders, who have long been at odds.
Bread and Circus in Egypt
With his rule in chaos, and the recent multiple crisis in Egypt, the Sisi regime created its own bread and circus this week by a procession of the country’s ancient rulers through the capital, Cairo. In a country where the youth have no jobs and poverty at over 30% the lavish, multimillion-dollar spectacle saw 22 mummies – 18 kings and four queens – transported from the peach-coloured, neo-classical Egyptian Museum to their new resting place 5km away.
Biden Offers Support to Ukraine against Russian Military Build-up
US President Joe Biden has reached out to Ukraine in his first official phone call to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday. According to an official US statement: “President Biden affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.” This comes as NATO and Western countries have expressed concern over Russian troop movements in the eastern Donbass region. However, these Russian movements come after Zelenskiy had taken a number of actions targeting Russian interests such as sanctioning the Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladmir Putin. Russian media is also reporting that it is the Ukrainians that are mobilising troops, indicating that Russian manoeuvres are only in response to Ukrainian provocations. Ukraine has been in crisis since the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and the infiltration of Russian proxy forces into the Donbass region, fomenting separatism of the Russian-speaking east from the Ukrainian-speaking western part of Ukraine.
It is, in fact, America that is inflaming the crisis in Ukraine, just as it was America that drew the Russians into Ukraine and Crimea in the first place. It is America’s purpose to push Europe, particularly France and Germany, into conflict with Russia. America has repeatedly expressed its opposition to any attempts to reconcile between Europe and Russia, such as protesting against the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline. America is following the same approach that Britain long followed of creating conflicts between the other powers in the world, to keep them balanced and divided against each other. It is this thinking that is responsible for the intense nature of international conflicts in the modern world.
The approach of the Western powers is very different from the practice of the Khilafah State over the millennium that it remained the world’s superpower and which brought stability and harmony to international affairs, resorting to balance of power tactics in particular situations only, such as in the dealings of the Ottoman State with the factionalised European continent. The Western powers then copied and generalised such tactics, elevating them to grand strategy and projecting their own divided political model onto the entire world.
With Allah’s permission the Muslim Ummah shall soon re-establish the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw), which shall almost from its inception enter the ranks of the great powers and work to confront, contain and calm the other global powers, returning the entire world to general peace, harmony and stability, as existed before.
As expected US President Joe Biden has taken steps to negotiate with Iran in order to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that had been concluded under President Obama but was abandoned by President Trump. The talks will be conducted indirectly with Iran, in Vienna, through the intermediation of Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China and will be focused on “the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance with the terms of the J.C.P.O.A.” according to a US State Department spokesperson. In fact, Iran is already a client state of America; the JCPOA was conducted at that time to smooth international acceptance of Iran’s role in support of American objectives in Syria and Iraq by providing Europe access to Iran’s massive oil wealth. When America no longer had need for Iran, as the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts stabilised, President Trump withdrew from the agreement, despite much European protest. However, Biden is interested in returning to the agreement to overcome the extreme animosity that developed between America and Europe during the Trump years, and also to provide a long-term framework for containing Iran. According to the New York Times, the suggestion of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that the next Iran accord must be “longer and stronger” suggests it would have to go beyond 2030 when many of the fuel-production constraints in the last agreement expire. The Muslim countries are all governed by rulers who owe their allegiance not to Muslims but to the West. But still the West is fearful of the power of the Muslim Ummah and continues to make efforts to restrain, control and diminish that power wherever it can. With Allah’s permission, the Muslim Ummah shall soon overthrow their present rulers and pledge their allegiance to a single general leadership for the entire Muslim Ummah, that shall eject the influence of the foreign imperialist disbeliever and dismantle the artificial borders that currently separate Muslim countries thus unifying Muslims within a single state encompassing multiple regions and continents, as existed before.
On Tuesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan replied to the letter he received from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling for peaceful relations between the two countries, in spite of India’s continued forced occupation of Kashmir, which is mostly populated by Muslims. Under British rule, Kashmir had been kept separate from the Indian colonial government, in accordance with Britain’s policy of maintaining buffer areas on India’s borders. But with the partition of India, and the separation of Pakistan, the British sought to have Kashmir brought under the new Hindu-controlled Indian government. For two decades, America has also adopted the same objective, in order to strengthen India as a proxy against China. The rulers of Pakistan, oblivious to the larger geopolitical dynamic, are reconciled to abandoning the Muslims of Kashmir to their Hindu overlords, while the Muslims of both Pakistan and Kashmir desire that Kashmir should be fully liberated from Hindu occupation. Like other occupied territories, Kashmir can be easily retaken with military force. But Muslim rulers, under US instruction, have always restrained their armies from such actions, resulting in an artificially diminished perception of Muslim strength. Fighting to liberate occupied territories is a legal obligation upon Muslims. But as with so many other issues, liberation will only practically be possible once the existing governments are overthrown and replaced with the re-established Islamic Khilafah that shall marshal its military power for the benefit of only Muslims and Islam; the Islamic Khilafah shall restore the Islamic way of life and carry the light of Islam to the entire world.