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Mona Silavi is a human and women’s rights activist from the Ahwaz region in Iran. She obtained her bachelor in psychology and specialized in children and adolescence psychology at Damascus University, faculty of psychology and education. She holds a master degree in good governance and human rights in MENA region from Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. She started her activism in Damascus as member of Ahwazi Arab student association. Mona Silavi is a Project Officer at the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and is the coordinator for topics concerning freedom of religion and belief. She is also a spokesperson of the Al-Ahwaz Democratic Solidarity Party (DSPA). Since 2014 Ms Silavi lives in Belgium as a political refugee
Pakistan’s new government intends to review and renegotiate several deals with China, including the trade agreement related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a trade agreement signed more than a decade ago.
The new Imran Khan government claims that the agreements negotiated over a decade ago are unfair and biased in China’s favour.
The Belt and Road Initiative, also known as Silk Road, was launched by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013 to build up China’s global trade network. This ambitious project will strengthen China’s position in world trade.
The Belt and Road Initiative has huge international effects that overshadow the rights of communities who live in the region it affects. Indigenous inhabitants of these regions, including Gilgit-Baltistan, Sindh and Balochistan and East Turkestan (Xinjiang in Chinese), are opposing this project due to its negative effects on their provinces.
The main concern of local populations is forced displacement in the name of national development and exclusion of their communities from the revenues. What is even more brutal is that communities who suffer from these kinds of projects which governments use to discriminate against them cannot really express their demands and convince the wider public, because it is easy to label them as agents of foreign countries or separatists. The response of Pakistan’s government, for instance, remains aggressive: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif even called those opposing CPEC enemies and traitors of Pakistan.
In this short video, the whole project and the conflicts of power are demonstrated in a simple way. What it lacks is the opinion of the local population, who unfortunately are never a part of decision making and their opinion is hardly – if ever – heard.
What is more important is "when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers", and this is the case for many conflicts in the region: as people stand up for their rights, they become the victims of international competition.