Pakistan

Pakistani poker: Playing Saudi Arabia against China

Pakistani poker: Playing Saudi Arabia against China

October 7, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, TuneIn and Tumblr. Desperate for funding to fend off a financial crisis fuelled in part by mounting debt to China, Pakistan is playing a complicated game of poker that could hand Saudi Arabia a strategic victory in…

Attack in Iran raises spectre of a potentially far larger conflagration

Attack in Iran raises spectre of a potentially far larger conflagration

September 23, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. A podcast version of this article is available at https://soundcloud.com/user-153425019/attack-in-iran-raises-spectre-of-a-potentially-far-larger-conflagration An attack on a military parade in the southern Iranian city of Ahwaz is likely to prompt Iranian retaliation against opposition groups at home and abroad. It also deepens Iranian fears that the United States. Saudi Arabia and…

China struggles with Belt and Road pushback

September 17, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. A podcast version of this story is available at https://soundcloud.com/user-153425019/china-struggles-with-belt-and-road-pushback By James M. Dorsey China, in an implicit recognition that at least some of its Belt and Road-related projects risk trapping target countries in debt or fail to meet their needs, has conceded that adjustments may be necessary.…

Playing politics with religion: Imran Khan puts himself between a rock and a hard place

August 28, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Less than a week in office, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has made blasphemy one of his first issues, empowering militants and initiating international moves, long heralded by Saudi Arabia, that would restrict press freedom by pushing for a global ban. Mr. Khan, in his first address as…

Crunch time in Pakistan

August 26, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. It’s crunch time in Pakistan. Resolving Pakistan’s financial crisis is likely to require newly appointed prime minister Imran Khan to not only accept an International Monetary Fund (IMF) straightjacket but tackle his and Pakistan’s convoluted relationship to militancy. With the breeding ground for militancy built into the country’s…

Saudi Arabia and Iran woo incoming Pakistani prime minister

August 10, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. An offer by a Saudi-backed bank to lend financially strapped Pakistan US$4 billion is likely intended to bolster Saudi influence when former international cricket player Imran Khan is sworn in in the coming week as the South Asian country’s next prime minister. The offer was most immediately related…

Talking to Rouhani: Is Trump shooting from the hip or following a script?

August 3, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Message to Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Tel Aviv: Not to worry, US President Donald J. Trump has no intention of meeting his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, unconditionally. On the contrary, Mr. Trump’s surprise announcement that he is willing to talk to Mr. Rouhani is likely part of a…

Despite concerns, China sees a potential ally in Pakistan’s Imran Khan

July 30, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Pakistani prime minister-in waiting Imran Khan’s ability to chart his own course as well as his relationship with the country’s powerful military is likely to be tested the moment he walks into his new office. Pakistan’s most fundamental problems loom large and are likely to demand his immediate…

Imran Khan Breaks the Party Duopoly in Pakistan but Will he Differ in his Leadership?

July 26, 2018

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Justice Movement (PTI) wins the most seats of any single party in parliament, says Junaid Ahmad, Professor of Middle Eastern Politics at the University of Lahore

Saudi-UK media tie-up: Targeting the non-Arabic-speaking Middle East

July 22, 2018

By James M. Dorsey / Mid-East Soccer. Long satisfied to attempt to dominate pan-Arab media and battle it out with Qatar’s state-owned Al Jazeera television network, Saudi Arabia has now set its hegemonic sights on influencing the media landscape of the non-Arabic speaking greater Middle East. In the wake of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s…