Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 9 Aug 2017


  • Lashkat-e-Tayyaba – A Blunderous Move
  • North Korea Threatens US

Lashkat-e-Tayyaba – A Blunderous Move

A Pakistani charity designated by the United Nations as a front for armed group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) launched a political party on Monday, in a move that could see the anti-India group accused of carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, enter mainstream national politics. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the chief of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) organisation that launched the party, has been designated by the UN as a “terrorist”, and the United States has had a $10m bounty on his head since 2012 for his alleged role as the leader of LeT armed group. Saeed is currently under house arrest and has been since January, so what role he actually plays in the party is still unclear. The UN listed LeT on an international sanctions list in 2005 for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of […] supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material to […] or otherwise supporting acts or activities of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and the Afghan Taliban. The MML party has submitted registration documents to Pakistan’s Election Commission, but it is unclear if the party’s links to JuD would prevent its official registration, which is required to put up candidates for elections. However the motive of this party should also be put into questions as their aims are vague having animosity towards India is about all they have expressed and entering a system which undermines their anti-India stance is somewhat bizarre.


North Korea Threatens US

As Pyongyang continues its missile tests, North Korea vowed to retaliate and make the United States pay a price for drafting new United Nations sanctions over its banned nuclear programme. The sanctions will aim to reduce North Korea’s export revenues by a third. In response North Korea has said it would continue to develop its new nuclear programme. Specifically speaking, the BBC have said these sanctions are on the; the importing of coal, seafood, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore from North Korea; the reception of new North Korean workers; any new joint ventures with North Korean entities or individuals; the investment in existing joint ventures; increased individuals targeted with travel bans and assets freezes. These nuclear tests have been an important tool for the Trump administration to threaten North Korea. However, this tension must not be seen in isolation, rather a US attempt to curb the Chinese entity. In engaging in tensions around the Chinese border, America is asserting its authority so as to limit China’s expansion. Time will only tell the extent to which the United States is able and or willing to continue its efforts to limit its rival.