Analysis, South Asia

Views on the News – 29 May 2020


  • Trump’s America is a Disaster Zone Edging on the Brink of a Failed State
  • Khan: ‘Millions Facing Starvation’
  • China and India Move Troops as Border Tensions Escalate

America is a Disaster Zone Edging on the Brink of a Failed State

Donald Trump has threatened to take control of Minneapolis as city officials warned that a police station which was stormed by rioters and set alight could now explode during the third night of violence as protests over George Floyd’s death spread across America. The president blasted protesters as ‘THUGS’ and laid into ‘weak’ Mayor Jacob Frey as he pledged to ‘assume control’ if he fails to tackle the escalating violence that is destroying the city and warned protesters that ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’.   Cops were forced to flee from the burning Minneapolis Third Police Precinct Thursday night when rioters broke into the building and torched it. Shocking footage showed flames billowing out of the precinct just hours after prosecutors warned there is ‘evidence that does not support criminal charges’ in the case of the four cops accused of killing Floyd, sparking fears that they will continue to walk free.  A total of 500 National Guard soldiers were deployed to the streets of Minneapolis and neighboring St. Paul Thursday night and Frey declared a state of emergency as rioting escalated and cars and buildings were torched. Break-off protests over Floyd’s death are building across several states, with disturbing footage showing the driver of a black SUV appear to deliberately mow down a Black Lives Matter protester in Denver – where panic also erupted when shots were fired during a march on the Colorado State Capitol. In New York City, NYPD officers were seen brawling on the ground with protesters as at least 70 people were arrested in the Big Apple.  Protesters in Ohio smashed the windows of the statehouse in downtown Columbus and raided the building. Over in Kentucky, seven people were shot in downtown Louisville during a protest demanding justice for black woman Breonna Taylor who was shot dead by cops back in March, as the Floyd case reignited tensions between cops and the African-American community. President Trump waded in on the escalating violence in Minneapolis in the early hours of Friday as he warned he would step in and take over if officials fail to bring the rioting under control.  He blasted the ‘Radical Left Mayor’ Frey saying he needs to ‘get his act together’ while slamming protesters for ‘dishonoring the memory’ of Floyd and warning ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’.’I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right…..,’ the president tweeted.   ‘These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!’ Meanwhile, things turned ugly in the Big Apple during Thursday as protesters and NYPD officers clashed in Manhattan, New York City.  More than 70 people were arrested when the demonstration in Union Square descended into violence. The NYPD said several cops had been attacked by demonstrators, according to Newsweek.  One officer was reportedly hit with a garbage can that was hurled at them by a demonstrator while several protesters allegedly spat on the cops.  Police said one of the protestors was arrested for brandishing a knife while another tried to take an officer’s gun from their holster.   ‘We have over 40 people that are arrested right now in regards to this ongoing demonstration,’ an NYPD spokesperson told Newsweek. [Source: Daily Mail]

Trump’s America is fast turning into a disaster zone, as riots against white nationalism and protests against the super-rich converge under the umbrella of Covid-19. America is now the sick man of the world and unfit to govern itself let alone humanity!


Khan: ‘Millions Facing Starvation’

“Unless we open up our economy, we have millions facing starvation.” That was the straightforward assessment of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on the impact of COVID-19 during a virtual meeting of the Forum’s COVID Action Platform on 20 May. Khan explained: “In Pakistan, we have 25 million workers who are either [on] daily wages or get paid weekly or are self-employed. When we locked down, like the whole of the world, to stop the spread of the virus, all these people became unemployed. When we’re talking about 25 million workers, you’re talking about 25 million families and it has affected almost 120-150 million people…unless the men and women work, they cannot feed their families.” Launched in March, the Forum’s platform aims to convene leaders from governments and the business community for collective action to protect people’s livelihoods, facilitate business continuity and mobilize support for a global response to COVID-19. To date, more than 1,500 people from more than 1,000 businesses and organizations have joined the platform. In addition to Khan, participants on this week’s webinar included: Sigrid Kaag, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Netherlands; Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer, Bayer AG, Germany; and Meenakshi Gupta, Co-founder, Goonj, India. [Source: World Economic Forum]

Imran Khan is to blame for the millions of Pakistanis starving. His economic policies dictated at the behest of the IMF have robbed people of a meager income to feed themselves. Then Khan imposed the lockdown, a self-inflicted economic wound plunging millions into abject poverty.


China and India Move Troops as Border Tensions Escalate

Tensions between China and India over their Himalayan border have escalated, with China accused of moving thousands of troops into disputed territory and expanding a military airbase in the region. Thousands of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are reported to have moved into sensitive areas along the eastern Ladakh border, setting up tents and stationing vehicles and heavy machinery in what India considers to be its territory. In response, the Indian army has moved several battalions from an infantry division usually based in the Ladakh city of Leh to “operational alert areas” along the border, and reinforcement troops have been brought in. The aggressive military posturing follows two skirmishes between the two sides on 5 and 9 May in the contested areas around Pangong Lake and North Sikkim, in which more than 100 soldiers from both sides were injured. On Wednesday Donald Trump waded into the heightened standoff, claiming that he had “informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute”. The high-altitude border has been aggressively contested and heavily militarised since 1962 when China launched an offensive into Indian territory, sparking a short but bloody war. Ashok K Kantha, a former Indian ambassador to China and now director of the Institute of Chinese Studies based in Delhi, said the recent incursions and border aggressions from China were “far from routine occurrences”. He said: “This escalation is serious; I don’t think this is just a localised incident. China’s behaviour is more aggressive this time, backed up by a fairly large number of troops, which is not typical of this border where troop levels tend to be low on both sides. It could be a territorial claim or part of a wider messaging to India that they need to be more mindful of China on sensitive geopolitical issues.” Kantha said it was “in the interest of both India and China to keep the situation under control and maintain relative peace”. China’s actions appear to be a response to India’s construction of roads and airstrips adjacent to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which will improve connectivity and enable easier mobility for Indian troops in the area. Construction has paused during the coronavirus lockdown but is due to resume imminently. There have been diplomatic discussions as well as multiple meetings on a local level in an attempt to defuse the tensions. [Source: The Guardian]

Pakistan has an ideal opportunity to take advantage of the situation and liberate Kashmir. Will Imran Khan be bold enough to undertake such a move or will he cut a deal with the US to bolster India, just as Ayub Khan did in 1962?