Pakistan is having more problems with its tribal minorities, mainly the Pushtuns and Baluchis. Some of these clashes make it into the global mass media. For example, three days ago northwest Pakistan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) police arrested a British citizen, Yousaf Ali Khan, and charged him with anti-Pakistan behavior because of a speech Khan recently gave in Britain where he is head of the local chapter of
(Pushtun Tahafuz Movement or Pashtun Protection Movement). Khan has lived in Britain for two decades and only returned for a family funeral. The police were obviously tracking his movements, as well as his activities with PTM. The government is trying to shut down PTM chapters outside the country as those are providing global media with a steady stream of accurate reports on criminal activity by the Pakistani military against Pakistanis, and the Pakistani government inability to control the military. The crackdown got bloody in early 2020 when a PTM leader was ambushed and killed outside his home. While the killing was apparently done by tribesmen, locals believed the killers were Islamic terrorists working for the army. This is an escalation of the army efforts to destroy or curb the PTM.
In late January 2020 the government arrested the senior PTM
leader, Manzoor Pashteen, accusing him of criminal conspiracy and stirring up trouble and so on. In other words, the military objected to the PTM publicizing and documenting military misbehavior in the tribal territories and is trying to destroy or intimidate the PTM. This has proved difficult because there are pro-PTM Pushtun MPs (members of parliament) and unelected government officials. Military opposition to dissent is not deterred by this. Pushtuns are 15 percent of the Pakistan population and most live in the northwest. The Pushtun have long complained about poor treatment by the government. The PTM is mainly about Pakistani Pushtuns uniting to oppose mistreatment of Pushtuns in general. While the PTM calls for peaceful demonstrations, the military decided in early 2019 that the PTM was a threat and thus considered a hostile opposition organization. The main reason for this was that the peaceful demonstrations by the PTM were attracting more non-Pushtuns who not only agreed with the PTM complaints against the military, but pointed out that the military is hostile to any Pakistani who speaks up and denounces the many misdeeds of the Pakistani military.
Pashteen was released on bail three weeks after his arrest and now has to watch out for army deaths squads, in addition to troops armed with arrest warrants.
This Pakistani mistreatment of its Pushtuns is another reason for Afghans hating the Taliban because the Taliban has been under Pakistani control for over two decades. That control is not absolute and never was because most of the Afghan Taliban are Afghans, despite Pakistani efforts to get more Pakistani Pushtun Islamic radicals into the Afghan Taliban. Many of those Pakistani Pushtuns that the Pakistani military supported for over a decade formed the Pakistani Taliban, whose main goal was to establish a Pushtun religious dictatorship in Pakistan. The Pakistani military found it could not control the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban were not much help. Taliban on both sides of the border were mostly Pushtun and that ethnicity was a minority in both countries. That explains why a growing number of Afghan Taliban factions are anti-Pakistan, sometimes quite openly. All Pushtun see the Pakistani army as their enemy. Pakistani support for the Afghan Taliban is now seen as a financial opportunity for the Pakistani military because of the money the Pakistani military makes from controlling the main border crossings from Afghanistan to Pakistan and the outside world. The control is being increasingly diluted by other neighbors of Afghanistan providing competitive (in terms of cost and ease of use) Afghan access to foreign markets. Currently many Afghan Taliban see themselves as playing the Pakistani military rather than the other way around.
The Pushtun are not the only rebellious tribal minority Pakistan has to worry about. In the southwest there is Baluchistan (literally, home of the Baluchi).
The Baluchi tribes account for four percent Pakistanis. Combined with the Pushtun, that makes about 19 percent of Pakistanis tribal and not particularly happy with the Pakistani government or the Chinese presence in Baluchistan and the brutal treatment of tribal people in Pakistan. Extending that brutal control to Afghanistan won’t improve anything in Pakistan.
The Evil Presence
The military is still an oppressive and unwelcome presence in the tribal territories and that was largely because the military supported some Islamic terror groups. That had some unwelcome side effects. After 2001 the growing Islamic terrorist violence inside Pakistan put a lot of political pressure on the military to do something. In 2014 the Pakistani military went to war with the Pakistan Taliban and any other Islamic terror groups that would not follow orders from the Pakistani military. The Pakistani Taliban was formed by Pakistani Pushtuns who saw it as a way to gain more power for Pushtuns and Islamic conservatives in Pakistan. The 2014 crackdown was mainly the army offensive into North Waziristan. This forced the Pakistani Taliban to move their headquarters across the border into Afghanistan. At the same time there was a civil war within the Afghan Taliban over the selection of a new leader, a new strategy and how much Pakistani interference in the operations of the Afghan Taliban should be tolerated. One thing the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban agree on is that Pakistani influence in Afghanistan is bad for the Pushtun people, who are 40 percent of Afghans. The North Waziristan campaign was supposed to be over in a few years but it is still underway. That has not been a total disaster because, without North Waziristan as a secure base, Islamic terror groups hostile to Pakistan had a much more difficult time organizing and carrying out attacks inside Pakistan. Since 2014 terrorist violence inside Pakistan has declined by over 80 percent. By reducing Pushtun outlaw activity in Pakistan, the army also gets credit for reducing the very high crime rate in Karachi, the largest city, and port in Pakistan. As more and more Pushtun settled in Karachi since the 1990s they came to dominate the criminal underground that had long been part of the Karachi culture and economy. The Pushtun were far more violent and ruthless than the old-school Karachi gangsters, and that drove up the crime rate. Pushtun outlaws losing control of North Waziristan crippled Pushtun criminal organizations throughout the country and that contributed to a sharp decline in the Karachi crime rate. Terror-type attacks in Karachi declined 98 percent since 2014.
Baluchi separatist violence has been going on for decades, far longer than Pakistani Pushtun armed resistance to the government. Because they have always had access to the sea, and the outside world, the Baluchi are better educated, more affluent and more familiar with the outside the world.
To make matters worse there are also Baluchi separatists across the border in southeastern Iran. Pakistan keeps getting blamed by Iran for the continued presence of Iranian Sunni separatists in Pakistani Baluchistan. Pakistan tries but the Baluchis live on both sides of the border, and Iranian and Pakistani Baluchis want to create an independent Baluchistan that includes a chunk of southeast Iran where most of the Iranian Baluchis live. One of the usual suspects, the Iranian separatist group Jaish al Adl, is particularly hated by the Iranians. In late 2018 Iran threatened to send troops across the Pakistani border to find and destroy Iranian Jaish al Adl camps in Pakistan if the Pakistani security forces did not take action. Keeping the peace between Iran and Pakistan over the Baluchi violence consumes a lot of effort by diplomats in both countries.
The Persistent Drug Gangs
Another issue that does not get much attention in the foreign media is that the power of the drug gangs will increase with the Americans gone from Afghanistan, and more heroin and opium will get exported to world markets. The Afghans understand that without the American presence the Taliban, Pakistan and drug gangs can turn their attention to taking control of the Afghan government. In the midst of all this are the warlords of northern Afghanistan getting ready for another civil war. The majority of Afghans not only oppose the Taliban, drugs gangs and Pakistan, but have made it clear that they, especially the Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazara in the north, are ready to resume the war with the Taliban that was going on in 2001 and only ended when the Americans came in to provide air support for this “Northern Alliance”. In 2001 the Americans told Pakistan to decide if they would side with the Taliban and against the U.S. or turn on their Islamic terrorist creation. The Pakistanis lied and said they would stop supporting the Taliban. Pakistan had adopted the use of Islamic terrorist groups in the 1980s as a deniable weapon for attacks on India and any uncooperative government in Afghanistan. The Americans trusted the Pakistanis for over a decade but finally cut financial and military support for Pakistan and are still seeking ways to deal with the continued Pakistani support for Islamic terrorists.
A basic problem with any Afghan peace negotiation is that a major faction, Pakistan, cannot officially be acknowledged. Pakistan continues to officially insist that it is not backing the Taliban and drug gangs. Technically that is correct because it’s not the government of Pakistan, but the Pakistani military and its ISI intelligence service that supports and maintains Pakistani interference in Afghan affairs. It is important to note that when Britain dissolved its Indian (including what is now Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma and Sri Lanka) colonial government, the new nations that emerged were quite different. One major difference was how these new nations handled their armed forces. India ensured that the military remained subservient to the elected government. That did not happen in Pakistan or Burma and that meant those militaries frequently took control of the governments. While Pakistan is technically run by an elected government, that government cannot do anything the military disagrees with. With regard to Afghanistan, the Pakistani military has a foreign policy towards Afghanistan that supersedes anything the politicians come up with or agree to.
The Pakistani military have always seen Afghanistan has an unstable region that posed a potential threat to Pakistan. Historically this was true. Massive invasions and tribal raids have been coming out of Afghanistan and into India (and Iran) for thousands of years. While India was always a potential (and unlikely) invader of Afghanistan, the threat from Afghanistan was real and constant. Most Pakistanis recognized this threat and there was never a lot of popular opposition towards the Pakistani military’s actions towards Afghanistan. That continues to the present. For the Afghan Taliban it means they are very dependent on the good will of the Pakistani military to survive.
The drug gangs and Taliban survive because of support from the Pakistani military. That support included allowing essential chemicals (for converting opium into heroin) into Afghanistan, and allowing most of the heroin to be exported via Pakistani ports (naval and air) to world markets. The Taliban provides the muscle while Taliban leaders maintained their 1990s relationships with the drug gang leaders and the Pushtun tribes. The Pakistani military and ISI profit from the support they provide the drug gangs, as does the Taliban.
The possibility of American forces withdrawing has Afghans seeking replacement allies. Iran is a popular choice so many Afghans are openly developing relationships with Iran and the Afghan government is doing the same. While Iran has a hostile relationship with the United States, such is not the case with Afghanistan. This is nothing new and the two nations have been developing better economic relations for over a decade. Afghanistan backed this to get free from economic dependence on Pakistan, whose two border crossings have long handled most Afghan exports and imports. Since 2001 and the arrival of the Americans, Pakistan often used access to these two crossings as an economic weapon against any hostile moves by the Afghan or American governments. Back in 2015, Afghanistan began discussions with India and Iran over a solution. That led to the 2020 completion of a railway giving Afghanistan access to world markets
. This was the direct result of a 2017 agreement that had Iran and India finance and build a 1,300-kilometer-long rail line from the Chabahar port near the Pakistan border, to the Afghan border in the north and then inland to the Afghan city of Herat. The last link is actually an earlier (2007) project to build a rail line from the Iranian city of Khaf to Herat. Most (77 kilometers) of the railroad is in Iran with the other 62 kilometers in Afghanistan. This is all part of a larger Afghan project to build their first national railroad system. The Iran link will eventually be 220 kilometers long with over 90 percent of that in Afghanistan. In 2016 the first direct rail link to northern neighbor Turkmenistan was completed and that connection will eventually become part of an Afghan national rail network.
India provided over two billion dollars to upgrade the port of Chabahar and build new roads and railroads to Afghanistan and Central Asia. For Iran the Central Asia link is the most valuable one. But for Afghanistan having another way to move most of their imports and exports is a major achievement because Pakistan and Iran will have to complete and that will keep costs down for Afghans and reduce the use of closing the border, which Pakistan has done frequently, to coerce the Afghans.
Iran maintains good relations with Pakistan because they both see the Americans and Israel as archenemies. At the same time Pakistan is on good terms with the Gulf Arab oil states while Iran is at war with them. Pakistan is in a delicate situation here and has to tolerate Iran becoming close to Afghanistan economically and in many other ways. Iran does not want Afghanistan becoming a narcostate controlled by Pakistan. While the Pakistani military controls, supports and profits from the Afghan Taliban and drug gangs, Iran despises the drugs and the Taliban. While Pakistan responds helpfully to Iranian complaints of Sunni Islamic terrorists killing Pakistani Shia, there is no such cooperation when the Taliban kill Shia, especially before 2001. Since then, the situation has changed. Fifteen
percent of Afghans are Shia and most reside in central Afghanistan. Shia also dominate several neighborhoods in Kabul and these are where most of the IISL attacks on Shia occur. Since 2015 the Afghan Taliban have been denouncing attacks like this. Since ISIL showed up in 2015 the Taliban saw an opportunity to repair their relationship with Iran. Since then, anti-Shia violence has been monopolized by ISIL, even though in the past the Taliban killed a lot of Shia. Now, however, the Afghan Taliban is receiving support from Iran, a Shia majority nation that is hostile to groups that kill Shia unless those groups make themselves useful to Iran. This puts the Taliban in a difficult situation because Pakistan tolerates the heroin trade and Iran never would. The difference is that the military is running things in Pakistan while Iran has a religious dictatorship that keeps its own military in check. Heroin and opium from Afghanistan are unpopular in all three countries because of the millions of addicts that have been created. The Pakistan military and Taliban don’t care but everyone else does.
With all that in mind it should be no surprise that Iran and Afghanistan are close to completing negotiations for a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement that will officially give Afghanistan a new economic and military ally against the Taliban and the Pakistani military. The last item being negotiated is the security aspects. Apparently, this item is not a roadblock but is subject to a fair amount of haggling. One item to work out is the need for Afghanistan to continue working with the United States against international terrorist groups, like al Qaeda and ISIL, that still maintain a presence in Afghanistan. Iran has long provided some support to al Qaeda as long as that connection improved the chances of carrying out successful attacks on Americans or Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil states. One generally ignored aspect of Iranian politics is that the religious dictatorship in Iran is well aware that they have a potential rival because their IRGC (Islamic Republican Guard Corps) is in danger of staging a coup because the current religious dictatorship is not radical enough. This is one thing the Islamic rulers of Iran and Saudi Arabia have in common.
February 14, 2021: Pakistani media reported that the Afghan Taliban leader,
Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada, was apparently killed in late 2020 while presiding over a meeting of senior Taliban personnel in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan in southwest Pakistan where the Afghan Taliban have had sanctuary since 2002. The Taliban denied that Akhundzada was dead but he has not been seen in public for months and the explosion was reported in local media. If true, it would not be the first time someone tried to kill Akhundzada with a bomb. In 2019 rivals planted a bomb with a timer in a Baluchistan Mosque that Akhundzada and other family members regularly attended. On the day the bomb went off Akhundzada was late arriving. The bomb went off killing a brother of Akhundzada and four others while wounding over twenty. At first no one took credit for the bombing and the rival Rasool faction was blamed. Akhundzada is unpopular with many Taliban faction leaders, in part because Akhundzada is seen as a figurehead and his chief deputy, the head of the Haqqani Network, is actually in charge.
February 11, 2021: In northwest Pakistan (South Waziristan) four soldiers died when Islamic terrorists attacked their outpost. The attack was repulsed with at least four of the attackers dying. The army is still encountering Islamic terrorist and local tribal resistance in the aftermath of the army offensive into neighboring North Waziristan in 2014.
February 10, 2021: Russian news agency TASS claims that mid-June 2020 fighting in southwest China (Tibet border with India) were more damaging to the Chinese than to the Indians. TASS reports 45 Chinese troops dead versus twenty Indian. The fighting took place on the shores of Pangong Lake. A 1996 agreement stipulates that troops from both sides entering disputed areas without firearms or explosives. The Chinese have taken to sending in their troops armed with wooden clubs and iron bars. This led to a battle on a ridge overlooking the Galvan River that was initially believed to have left at least twenty dead on both sides. Total casualties (dead, wounded, prisoners) were reported as at least fifty on each side. Currently both Indian and Chinese troops are moving back from the border Ladakh (India) area where they have been confronting, and occasionally fighting each other since May, 2020. China is still in close contact with Indian forces in other parts of their long mutual border.
February 2, 2021: In Pakistan an appeals court reduced the charges against the four men convicted of
the kidnapping and murdering (on video) American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. A high court voided the murder charge which got the four men off death row and ready to be released for time-served. From the beginning the U.S. accused Pakistan of being reluctant to round up all the terrorists involved because many of them were protected by ISI (Pakistani intelligence). It turned out a lot of people were involved and the last of them was arrested in 2019. The key culprits were the four now being released. This is not unusual in Pakistan and not popular with other nations that have been victims of ISI-sponsored terrorism. .
In the southeast Pakistan (Baluchistan) on the Iran border two IRGC operatives entered Pakistan at night and in cooperation with Pakistani forces rescued two Iranian border guards that had been kidnapped by Iranian Jaish al Adl Baluchi rebels in late 2018. The Iranian Baluchi rebels often maintain temporary bases across the border in Pakistan. The 2018 incident saw twelve border guards captured and taken back to Pakistan where the rebels tried to use them to extract concessions from Iran. That did not work and since then there have been ongoing efforts to find and free the captives. Four of the captives were released a month after the kidnapping while another four were rescued by a Pakistani raid in early 2019. Now only one border guard remains a captive, or may be dead. Jaish al Adl took credit for the 2018 kidnapping and said it was in retaliation for Iranian attacks on Iranian Baluchis (who are Sunni Moslems). Another grievance was the late September 2018 border clash in which a Jaish al Adl leader was killed. Iran depended on Pakistan to locate the missing Iranians as they were held in a series of Jaish al Adl camps and bases in Pakistan. Jaish al Adl has been around since 2012 and is the successor to Jundallah and perpetuates Iranian Sunni Baluchi resistance to Iranian Shia rule. The Iranian and Pakistani Baluchis have family, tribal and ideological links and that makes it easier for an Iranian Baluchi Islamic terror group to establish and sustain bases in Pakistan. This is a constant source of friction between Iran and Pakistan because the Iranians could shut down groups like Jaish al Adl were it not for the Pakistani sanctuaries. Pakistan is unable to suppress its own Baluchi Islamic terrorist and separatist groups.
February 1, 2021:
In northwest Pakistan soldiers fired over 40 shells and rockets into eastern Afghanistan (Kunar province). The target was apparently a suspected Islamic terrorist camp. There were no reported casualties but Afghan officials complained of property damage. This is the first such incident of 2021. There were several incidents in 2020 that left four civilians dead and nine wounded. There may have been casualties among the Islamic terrorists but these are rarely revealed. Pakistan complains that the rockets fired into Afghanistan are in response to similar attacks made from Afghanistan against security forces and civilians in Pakistan. Many of these attacks involve Pakistani Taliban crossing into Pakistan to attack the security forces. The Afghans complain that the rocket and artillery attacks rarely have an actual target but are mainly to “respond” to Pakistani Taliban attacks inside Pakistan.
The Pakistani rocket and artillery attacks have declined since early 2019 when the Afghan government sent the UN a letter complaining about nearly a decade of Pakistani border violence. The Afghan letter detailed incidents since 2012 to the early 2019 in which Pakistani troops fired 28,849 rockets, mortar or artillery shells into eastern Afghanistan
. Much of this firepower is directed at Kunar province and has been going on since 2010 in an effort to hit real or suspected Pakistani Taliban bases in Afghanistan. These incidents increased to the point where the Afghans began keeping track of them in 2012. From 2012 through early 2019 nearly 300 people were killed or wounded. There may have been more because the shells and rockets land in rural areas that are often unpopulated so it is unclear if the Pakistanis hit many Pakistani Taliban. The Pakistani government propaganda insists that these Taliban Islamic terrorists are based in eastern Afghanistan and regularly cross into Pakistan to carry out attacks. The letter detailed how the situation was getting worse and that since January 2018 there have been 161 of these incidents that involved at least 6,025 Pakistani projectiles landing in Afghanistan. The letter points out that several elected Pakistani leaders have pledged to halt these border violations but those pledges are ignored by the Pakistani military.
In eastern India, neighboring
Myanmar (Burma) is again controlled by a military government. China and Russia promptly used their veto powers in the UN to block UN actions against the new military rulers of Burma. The military move was a reaction to recent parliamentary elections that put into power a political party that pledged to reorganize the military to prevent another military takeover. The response of the military was not unexpected, because the civilian government knew that the Burmese generals maintained their connections in China and were the main reason China has sold $1.4 billion worth of military equipment to Burma since 2010. Russia sold $800 million worth. Together China and Russia accounted for over 90 percent Burmese spending on imports of military gear.
Before the local military gave up power in 2011 Burmese army officers made a lot of money allowing China to do business in the tribal north, often at the expense of local civilians, most of them tribal people. After the return of democracy in 2011, China no longer had as much freedom in the north. After 2011 China tried to maintain many of these economic projects by including them in the new CMEC (China-Myanmar Economic Corridor) agreement China and Burma signed in late 2018. That agreement called for both countries to begin detailed negotiations on where a 1,700-kilometer-long transportation corridor from southern China (Yunan province) to central Burma (Mandalay) and then west to the coast at the Kyaukpyu SEZ (Special Economic Zone) will be built and what it will consist of. The corridor would improve roads, railroads and build, as needed, pipelines and electrical transmission lines. This would be financed by China and built mainly by Chinese construction firms.
January 29, 2021: In northern India (Delhi) a crude bomb went off outside the Israeli embassy. A letter left nearby said the bomb was revenge for the death of Iranian terrorism chief Qassem Soleimani, killed by an American Hellfire missile as he and associates departed Baghdad airport in January 2020. The letter claimed that this attack was just the beginning. Throughout 2020 Iran has openly sought to strike back at the United States or Israel but has been unsuccessful. Israeli embassy security had been increased over the last few weeks but the Israelis would not make public what they believed the threat was. This Delhi bombing was obviously inspired by the death of Soleimani and Iranian calls for revenge, but it is unlikely Iran was directly responsible. Iran and India are trading partners and generally on good terms. Iran sees India as a friendly neighbor while Pakistan is distrusted by India and Iran. Indian police are seeking two men security camera video shows in the area about the time the bomb was left outside the embassy and detonated. India has an even closer relationships with Israel, which supplies more and more modern weapons India needs to modernize its forces.
January 28, 2021: In southwest Pakistani (Baluchistan province) just across the Afghan border in Helmand province security forces killed 26 members of anti-government militias associated with the drug gangs, the Taliban and Pakistani smugglers. Four of the dead were later found to be Pakistani citizens. This operation also found and destroyed four Taliban storage areas where weapons ammunition was stockpiled. Pakistanis are increasingly found to be members of drug gangs or Taliban factions that regularly work closely with the drug gangs.
January 27, 2021:
For Pakistan and India, a major predictor of political and economic success is the amount of corruption the country suffers from. Pakistan ranks 124th out of 180 countries (compared to 120th out of 180 in 2019) while India ranks 86 (80 last year). These ratings and ranking are updated each year for the annual
Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Corruption is measured on a 1 (most corrupt) to 100 (not corrupt) scale. The most corrupt nations (usually Yemen/15, Syria/14, South Sudan/12 and Somalia/12) have a rating of under 15 while of the least corrupt (New Zealand and Denmark) are both 88.
The current Pakistani score is 31 (versus 32 in 2019) and 40 (41) for India compared to 42 (41) for China, 65 (65) for Taiwan, 40 (39) for Turkey, 30 (28) for Russia, 61 (57) for South Korea, 18 (14) for North Korea, 36 (37) for Vietnam, 85 (85) for Singapore, 74 (73) for Japan, 37 (40) for Indonesia, 38 (38) for Sri Lanka, 34 (34) for the Philippines, 26 (26) for Bangladesh, 25 (26) for Iran, 19 (16) for Afghanistan, 28 (29) for Burma, 71 (71) for the UAE, 61 (61) for Israel, 15 (15) for Yemen, 67 (69) for the United States, 33 (35) for Egypt, 25 (26) for Nigeria, 44 (44) for South Africa, 21 (20) for Iraq, 40 (39) for Turkey, 53 (53) for Saudi Arabia, 33 (30) for Ukraine, 47 (45) for Belarus, 56 (58) for Poland, 80 (80) Germany and 25 (28) for Lebanon.
India corruption score has changed for the better since the 2012 when it was 36. Same with Pakistan, which was 27 back then.
January 24, 2021: In northwest Pakistan (
North Waziristan) security forces carried out two raids that left five Pakistani Taliban dead, including two prominent leaders and organizers of dozens of terror attacks.
January 15, 2021: The Indian Air Force and government have reached a compromise on the dispute over using the locally made Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft). The government will get its way and approved a $6.5 billion purchase of the last 83 Tejas fighters to be built. The air force will accept them, mainly because the government admitted that air force criticisms of the Tejas were accurate and agreed to have an improved Tejas 1A model developed and to address some of the most serious deficiencies of the original Tejas 1. The order will be the last for the original Tejas as a new Tejas 2 is being developed that is supposed to address all of the air force problems with Tejas 1 and is to be ready for service as the last of the Tejas 1As are delivered in the mid-2020s. Because the Tejas 1 was such a well-publicized failure Tejas 2 will receive a new name before it begins production.