NK-Pressure on China: A US think-tank says Pyongyang’s effort to circumvent United Nations international sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs could be be defeated by targeting a relatively small number of Chinese companies, reports Asia Times. Washington-based C4ADS says just a few interconnected Chinese firms accounted for the vast proportion of trade with North Korea, leaving the impoverished country’s procurement network vulnerable to targeted, enforced sanctions.
Pakistan’s internet ‘blasphemy’: Pakistan’s first capital punishment sentence for a “cyber blasphemy” crime has been handed down by an Anti-Terrorism Court after a man was found guilty of sharing sacrilegious content on his Facebook page. F.M. Shakil writes that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and its specialist counter terrorism agencies are increasingly being used by a powerful hard-line clergy to silence opponents.
India’s ISIS lessons: The majority of Islamist extremists in Europe are the offspring of Muslims who settled in European countries and they are often confused about their cultural identity. Seema Sengupta writes that Europe could learn from India’s holistic approach to countering radicalization that, by shifting the onus on to elders and religious leaders, has reduced young Muslim’s vulnerability to recruitment and radicalization.
Bangladesh, Trump investigates: Embattled Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina is on the political rebound after receiving unexpected help from US President Donald Trump. Subir Bhaumik writes that after Trump met the Bangladesh Prime Minister in Riyadh, a US Senate Committee launched an investigation into whether Hilary Clinton, as US Secretary of State, aided Hasina’s opponents by intervening “in an independent investigation by a sovereign government simply because of a personal and financial relationship”.
Uyghur crackdown continues: In the latest tightening of the screws on China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, authorities have banned the use of several baby names, including Muhammad, Haji, Islam and Imam. Ben Hillman reports that authorities have said the naming regulations are designed to curtail “religious fervor” but the ruling also targets Uyghur nationalism, which is often conflated with Islamic extremism in China.