James M. Dorsey writes: Widely seen as a populist with ultra-conservative leanings, Pakistani PM Imran Khan increasingly appears to reinforce widespread traditionalist attitudes that reject religious tolerance as well as the rights of women and minorities.
Al Jazeera writes: Dozens of Afghan soldiers have slipped across the border into northwestern Pakistan after their border post was overrun, apparently by the Taliban, the Pakistani army says. A statement by the Pakistani army on Monday said 46 members of the Afghan forces, including five officers, crossed the border late on Sunday near the Pakistani border town of Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Al Jazeera writes: When the first bullet whizzed past Sheikh Nasir Ahmad’s ear, he brushed at it, thinking it was a mosquito, out on an unseasonably cool August night in the central Pakistani town of Lalamusa. Before he was able to react, however, two gunmen on a motorcycle pulled up alongside him and shot him four times, hitting his right leg, lower back and the right arm he used to try and shield himself from the hail of bullets.
Amb Skand Ranjan Tayal writes for VIF: President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan hosted an important conference ‘Regional Connectivity Between Central Asia and South Asia – Challenges and Opportunities’ in Tashkent on 15-16 July 2021. The conference was proposed by the Uzbek President in his statement at the UNGA last September, but the weeks before the conference saw a rapid deterioration in the Afghan situation and the subtext of the informal discussions and the formal statements was the dangerous situation in Afghanistan.
go to VIF website: Uzbek President’s Call for Connectivity, Cooperation, Dialogue and Trust in Central Asia-South Asia Region: Pakistan’s Obduracy is the Obstacle | Vivekananda International Foundation (vifindia.org)
Al Jazeera writes: Pakistan’s foreign ministry has termed the Afghan government’s decision to recall its ambassador and senior diplomats from its embassy in Islamabad “unfortunate and regrettable”, after the ambassador’s daughter was abducted and assaulted last week. In a statement released late on Sunday, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the incident was being investigated “at the highest level”
go to Al Jazeera website: Pakistan urges Afghanistan to reconsider recall of diplomats | Asia News | Al Jazeera
Arvind Gupta writes for VIF: At the initiative of Uzbek President Shavket Miriziev, a high-level conference was held in Tashkent on 15-16 July 2021 to discuss connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia. The conference was attended by President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan and several Foreign Ministers of regional countries, including the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
Mu Lu writes for Global Times: On Saturday, China’s cross-departmental joint working group to Pakistan visited the scene of a bus blast in Pakistan to express condolences to Chinese nationals who were killed in the explosion. The group also started an investigation into the terrorist attack. As of press time, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
go to Global Times website: Beijing, Islamabad to safeguard security in Pakistan – Global Times
Pakistan Photo: Xinhua
Representatives of the United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity. The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing. Recognizing the historic opportunity to open flourishing interregional trade routes, the parties intend to cooperate to expand trade, build transit links, and strengthen business-to-business ties. The parties agreed to meet in the coming months to determine the modalities of this cooperation with mutual consensus.
Al Jazeera writes: The Taliban says it has captured the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak along the frontier with Pakistan, continuing sweeping gains made since foreign forces stepped up their withdrawal from Afghanistan.