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Pakistan’s responsibility as terrorism in Afghanistan intensifies, UN’s fresh resolution on the Rwanda genocide matters, Milos Zeman’s election is an EU alarm bell, Africa has a major inequality problem, Roger Federer’s late career renaissance continues

A roundup of global commentary for the Feb. 12, 2018 weekly magazine.

Czech President Milos Zeman reacts as he defeated pro-EU academic Jiri Drahos in the presidential election in Prague, Czech Republic, January 27, 2018.
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  • Monitor Editors

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan

Pakistan’s responsibility as terror attacks in Afghanistan intensify

“The latest wave of terror attacks in Kabul that has claimed dozens of civilian lives marks the bloodiest phase of the so far 16-year war...,” writes Zahid Hussain. “The escalation in fighting raises questions about the new US-Afghan strategy.... [T]he ferocity and the frequency of assaults is alarming.... Both Kabul and Washington have once again accused Pakistan of providing safe havens to militants.... There are clear indications that the Trump administration is getting ready to tighten the screws on Pakistan.... It may be true that Pakistan is being used as a scapegoat for America’s failure to wind up the war.... Yet the allegations of some Afghan insurgent groups taking sanctuary in our border areas cannot be refuted.”

The New Times / Kigali, Rwanda

Why UN’s updated resolution on the Rwandan genocide matters

“The United Nations General Assembly ... unanimously adopted a decision on the ‘International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda’, which corrected inaccuracies in an earlier resolution that omitted the word ‘Tutsi’,” states an editorial. “By not mentioning ‘Tutsi’ ... the previous resolution ... upheld the same ambiguity that is deliberately promoted by genocidaires.... [B]y setting the record straight ... the United Nations did not only do the right thing, it also honoured the over a million children, women and men whose lives were brutally brought to an end.... [It] should also spur all nations to stand up for the truth ... where communities are under the threat of extermination....”

The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland

The election of Milos Zeman should be an alarm bell to the EU

“In the end, Czechs chose Milos Zeman [in the Jan. 27 election], and fear,” states an editorial. “Despite enjoying economic growth, the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union and no prospect of mass immigration, Czechs re-elected a president who peddles scare stories about refugees and suspicion of Brussels. His narrow ... victory ... was based on overwhelming support from the Czech regions, where people feel short-changed by EU membership and cheated by a corruption-tainted political elite.... Such fear-
mongering has found fertile ground in ... [countries that] have tiny immigrant communities and reject EU efforts to relocate refugees.... Progressive leaders must find a cure before the malaise spreads even further.”

The East African / Nairobi, Kenya

Despite economic growth, Africa has a major inequality problem

“The defeat of Keynesianism in the 1980s witnessed an increase in income and social inequalities associated with the domination and monopoly of neoliberalism...,” writes Jean-Luc Stalon. “The corporate drive behind free markets and globalisation was intended to boost economic growth ... that would gradually benefit all segments of the society.... But the past three decades have shown that the prescription failed to ‘lift all boats’.... As the Davos summit ... look[ed] at Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World, a cursory look at Africa reveals alarming levels of inequality. On average sub-Saharan Africa has enjoyed sustained economic growth.... Nevertheless, [the] World Poverty Clock shows that more than 408 million people in Africa still live in extreme poverty, with a current escape rate of -11.8 per minute.”

The Hindu / Chennai, India

Roger Federer’s late career renaissance continued at the Australian Open

“Roger Federer’s iridescent late-career renaissance continued at the Australian Open on [Jan. 28],” states an editorial. “The Swiss maestro has now won three of the last four Grand Slam events he has entered.... A large part of his [recent] success ... owes itself to this more urgent style of play, which both conserves energy and discomfits the opponent.... It requires the full range of Federer’s genius to pull it off.... [Federer] later admitted that in the fourth set his ‘mind was all over the place’ – ‘I was so close and I was telling myself, ‘Don’t mess it up,’ and then that’s exactly what I did.’ But the greatest of athletes find a way of silencing the voice of doubt that whispers in their ear....”

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