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Multi-billion dollar fine on Pakistan puts the spotlight on a secret court.

Multi-billion dollar fine on Pakistan puts the spotlight on a secret court.https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/multi-billion-dollar-fine-on-pakistan-puts-the-spotlight-on-a-secret-court-29141The Reko Diq mine case shows the overreach of a secretive arbitration system.Last month, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a global quasi-court, slapped more than a $5 billion fine on Pakistan in an arbitration case involving a gold and copper mine. But the ICSID, which is part of the World Bank Group, didn’t initially announce its decision. There was nothing on its website. Except for perhaps the lawyers involved in the case, hardly anyone had seen the judgement*. Instead, the news of the award came through Antofagasta and Barrick Gold, the two multinational mining companies seeking compensation, which is one of the largest ever awarded by the ICSID.ICSID is part of what is known as the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, which was formed to add…
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Three reviews to determine Pakistan’s place on FATF list

Khaleeq KianiUpdated August 21, 2019
Three separate evaluations currently in progress will determine Pakistan’s possible exit from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by the mid of October. — FSC.go.kr/FileISLAMABAD: Three separate evaluations currently in progress will determine Pakistan’s possible exit from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by the mid of October.A senior government official told Dawnthat Asia-Pacific Group — the regional affiliate of the FATF — was currently conducting in Canberra (Australia) five-year mutual evaluation of Pakistan’s progress on upgrading its systems in all areas of financial and insurance services and sectors.Read: FATF compliance will require all-out effortThis round is not directly linked to Pakistan’s performance on its highest level commitments with the FATF on money laundering and terror-financing, but its assessment report can indirectly impact the country’s position to move out of the grey list. The a…

China’s belt and road cargo to Europe under scrutiny as operator admits to moving empty containers

China’s belt and road cargo to Europe under scrutiny as operator admits to moving empty containersChina Railway admitted the existence of the problem in an interview with the state-run ‘Global Times’ last week but insists it has improved recentlyCities and provinces were looking to benefit from subsidies offered by both the local and national government as part of Xi Jinping’s plan to boost global tradeTopic |  China economySidney LengPublished: 6:30pm, 20 Aug, 2019Widespread waste and fraud associated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative has been unearthed after the country’s state railway group was forced to admit this month that a significant amount of cargo containers shuttling between Chinese factories and European cities were empty.The admission by the state-run China Railway – the sole operator of the lines – followed an investigation by the Chinese Business Journal, a newspaper supervised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which found that in one extreme case only one…

Kashmir: How deeply China is entrenched in J&K

Kashmir: How deeply China is entrenched in J&KChina is deeply entrenched in Kashmir. And, this is not limited to the cold desert of Aksai Chin, having a population of less than 10,000 people.ADVERTISEMENTPrabhash K Dutta New DelhiAugust 20, 2019UPDATED: August 20, 2019 13:49 ISTChina-built Karakoram Highway passes through Gilgit-Baltistan, which is part of Jammu and Kashmir and in illegal occupation of Pakistan, which ceded an area of over 5,000 sq km in the region to China. (Photo: WikiCommons)HIGHLIGHTSChina occupied Aksai Chin in 1962 war and has retained control over the regionIn 1963, Pakistan ceded a part of Gilgit-Baltistan to China giving it more access in J&KChina increased its hold in PoK with $60 billion CPEC project passing through Gilgit-BaltistanIrked by India's decision to offer shelter to Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama in the late 1950s, China launched a treacherous attack on India in 1962. Some observers have seen an element of envy in Chinese leader Mao Ze…

Secret life of Article 370: Nehru's use of ruthless force to integrate Kashmir behind veil of 'special status' offers lessons for today

Secret life of Article 370: Nehru's use of ruthless force to integrate Kashmir behind veil of 'special status' offers lessons for todayFirstpost   • Aug 19, 2019 22:14:19 ISTBy Praveen SwamiFrom the gracious verandah of the Tara Niwas, fanned by the cool September breeze, Kashmir's prime minister would stare across the mountains, perhaps hoping imagination could transport him to the homeland he had lost. Ever since he had arrived, an uprising had swept Kashmir, pitting the state against mobs armed with rocks. Inside eight days, 37 people had been shot dead by police and troops in the days after his arrest, and 500 people had been arrested, including legislators.He did not know this, yet: even the radio set in the palace that was now his prison had its dial locked in place with a wire, and sealed to the anodyne burbling on Radio Kashmir.Ever since the National Democratic Alliance hollowed-out Article 370, liberals — here, as well as Pakistan and the West — have cast the…

Secret life of Article 370: Nehru's use of ruthless force to integrate Kashmir behind veil of 'special status' offers lessons for today

Secret life of Article 370: Nehru's use of ruthless force to integrate Kashmir behind veil of 'special status' offers lessons for todayFirstpost   • Aug 19, 2019 22:14:19 ISTBy Praveen SwamiFrom the gracious verandah of the Tara Niwas, fanned by the cool September breeze, Kashmir's prime minister would stare across the mountains, perhaps hoping imagination could transport him to the homeland he had lost. Ever since he had arrived, an uprising had swept Kashmir, pitting the state against mobs armed with rocks. Inside eight days, 37 people had been shot dead by police and troops in the days after his arrest, and 500 people had been arrested, including legislators.He did not know this, yet: even the radio set in the palace that was now his prison had its dial locked in place with a wire, and sealed to the anodyne burbling on Radio Kashmir.Ever since the National Democratic Alliance hollowed-out Article 370, liberals — here, as well as Pakistan and the West — have cast the…

Clingendael China Center: Silk Road Headlines 15 August 2019 

An experimental report (or net assessment) by CSIS in Washington DC, entitled [China and the U.S.: Cooperation, Competition and/or Conflict], addresses the rise of China as a ‘global superpower’. The report addresses various dimensions of China-US relations such as China’s evolving national strategy, its emergence as an economic power, the significance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, key areas of military focus (for instance China 2019 defense white paper), the views from other Asian actors, and Chinese force development and modernization among other things. This rather comprehensive report tries to map out broad trends instead of focusing on specific numbers and stats.It is impossible to summarize the full scope of the report here. Some key points, however, stand out. In terms of the strategic priority of China, a key point that is emphasized in the report is that “China's economic progress, and regional economic outreach, will often be more of the central focus of its grand…

China seeks to justify Xinjiang camps

TRIVIUM CHINA
On Friday, the State Council Information Office released a new white paper on the re-education camps in Xinjiang.The paper seeks to explain the need for the camps:“For some time Xinjiang has been plagued by terrorism and religious extremism, which pose a serious threat to the lives of the people in the region.”“Addressing both the symptoms and root causes and integrating preventative measures and a forceful response, Xinjiang has established vocational education and training centers in accordance with the law to prevent the breeding and spread of terrorism and religious extremism.”Unsurprisingly, the paper puts a positive spin on the camps and says they have been successful:“These efforts have eradicated extremist thoughts, delivered widely recognized results, helped to safeguard social stability in the region, and protected the environment for the healthy development of religions.”Get smart: This white paper won’t convince anybody outside China that the camps are justifi…

CPEC authority being established for ensuring continuous progress on different projects: PM

August 19, 2019ISLAMABAD, Aug 19 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority was being established for ensuring uninterrupted progress on different projects.The authority would be most effective in ensuring timely completion of the CPEC projects, besides ensuring better coordination and cooperation among all the relevant departments, the prime minister said while chairing a high level meeting to review progress on the CPEC projects.The prime minister observed that the CPEC was a practical manifestation of the multi-dimensional and strategic partnership between the two countries.The meeting was attended by Minister for Planning and Development Khusru Bakhtiar, Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant Nadeem Babar, Board of Investment chairman, federal secretaries, chie…

Think India needs to learn how to crush terrorism in Kashmir from Israel? Think again

By Praveen Swami, Aug 09, 2019 19:45:50 ISTIsrael’s counter-terrorism response is much tougher on civilians; Kashmir had 9.3 civilian fatalities per 100,000 population, whereas, it was 36.7 in Palestinian territoriesIndian forces killed many more non-state combatants than Israeli forces in 2009-2019 — 1,828 to 1,254Israel kills a lot more civilians — but isn’t better than India at fighting actual terrorists.Israel’s counter-terrorism response is much tougher on civilians. Between 2009 and 2019, Israel killed 1,771 Palestinian civilians while Kashmir saw 647 civilian fatalities, however, over half of them were victims of terrorists, not Indian forces. Adjusting for population, Kashmir had 9.3 civilian fatalities per 100,000 population, whereas, it was 36.7 in Palestinian territories.Indian soldiers in Kashmir. PTIAdvertisementLots of Indians think Israel’s also better at killing terrorists. Not so. Indian forces killed many more non-state combatants than Israeli forces in 2009-2019 — 1…