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Showing posts from March 12, 2010

BALOCHISTAN CONFERENCE: BNF chief hails Baloch nationalists’ struggle - Injustices brought us together

- Weekly Baang Karachi Tuesday March 9-5, 2010

BANGKOK: Chairman Balawaristan National Front (BNF) Abdul Hamid Khan has said though Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochitan do not share a common border and other interest, they were both victim of exploitation and time has come to get united to achieve the rights denied to their people for the last over six decades, says a press release.

Speaking at a conference on Balochistan at Bangkok recently, Mr Khan said Balochistan has become a burning issue in South Asia because of the heroic struggle of the nationalist parties and their youth who have been sacrificing their lives for their nation’s future.

He said that the first freedom struggle for Balochistan started immediately after Pakistan was created in 1948. This was the turning point for Baloch nation when Pakistan merged a sovereign Kalat state into its territory. Pakistan has been adopting a multi-pronged strategy to deal with Balochistan from very beginning. It laun…

Pakistani MPs’ wealth declaration ‘is a farce’

Tom Hussain, Foreign Correspondent
Last Updated: March 11. 2010 11:35PM UAE / March 11. 2010 7:35PM GMT

ISLAMABAD // An annual public declaration of assets by Pakistani legislators has ignited a debate about the legitimacy of wealth accumulated by politicians in a country where most people live below the poverty line.

The ensuing media scrutiny on Monday prompted an admission by election commission officials that, while a false declaration carries the penalty of disqualification and a three-year jail term, there was no legal mechanism of verifying the claims.

“We simply collect and publish the information, as the law does not authorise the election commission to examine the data on assets and liabilities provided by the parliamentarians,” Ishtiak Ahmed Khan, the secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan, told the Daily Times, an English-language newspaper.

But not all the declarations, made to the el…

Reko Diq at melting point
By Syed Fazl-e-Haider

KARACHI, Pakistan - The would-be operator of Pakistan's first world-class copper and gold mine, at Reko Diq, in the southwestern province of Balochistan, still hopes to salvage its US$3 billion copper venture despite a government threat to scrap the deal because of misgivings about the share of benefits.

Tethyan Copper Co (TCC), a joint venture owned by Canada's Barrick Gold and Chilean copper miner Antofagasta along with the Balochistan provincial government, is about to conclude a feasibility study into the site and is expected to apply for a mining license within weeks.

The Balochistan government in December announced the cancellation of the Reko Diq agreement with TCC on the grounds that the company violated their agreement and unnecessarily

delayed the project. In January however, the federal government, indicating a willingness to reinstate an agreement with TCC, conditioned a renegotiation of the …