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Showing posts from July 12, 2017

Reko Diq gold mine project: Pakistan may face $11.5-billion penalty By Zafar Bhutta Published: July 12, 2017 ISLAMABAD:  An arbitration tribunal of the World Bank has ruled in favor of Tethyan Copper Company Pvt Ltd (TCC) in a case involving the Reko Diq gold mine project in Balochistan. As a result of the ruling, Pakistan may face a penalty of $11.5 billion for not awarding the project to TCC. The World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had earlier rejected Pakistan government’s application to dismiss TCC’s claims on grounds of corruption and malpractices by the latter. Both the federal and provincial governments submitted applications before the ICSID and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague during 2015-16, seeking admittance of new evidence showing TCC’s corrupt practices in Reko Diq affairs for illegal and undue gains. The move was futile, however, as the court ruled against the govern

CPEC Long Term Plan: Glimmer of new hopes Asia Maqsood Pakistan’s newspaper Dawn reported a detailed report of Long Term Plan (LTP) on CPEC concluded in the recent OBOR Summit held in Beijing which has raised many concerns about the project. It is said, this plan is not the project document but it delineates the aspirations of both sides. In short it laid out associated projects which would have long-run impact on Pakistan’s surveillance, agriculture, tourism, transportation and finance and security situation. The LTP of CPEC has following salient dimensions; First, thousands of acres of agricultural land would be leased out to Chinese companies to set up demonstration projects ranging from irrigation technology to seed varieties. Second, there would be a surveillance system crossing cities across the country with 24 hour video recording on roads and in market places and data will be sent to the command centre. Third, national fiber-optic would be laid for th

CPEC security woes and a separatist agenda 13-Jul-17by  DailyTimes Militants have chosen to target Chinese workers once again, this time in Sindh. A blast in Bin-Qasim struck just seconds after their convoy passed through the main National Highway. Local officials confirmed that the foreign engineers were the intended targets. This is bad news for the long-term economic security of the country. Incidents of violence against Chinese workers on contract for CPEC projects continue to take place — yet the government has still to come up with any kind of effective plan of action. CPEC’s success will be determined by investor confidence. If these attacks carry on, the very project that the Islamabad insists will revolutionise the country’s industrial sector risk being severely impacted. Since India is not too happy with all the financial injections that CPEC is bringing Pakistan’s way — it may well use the attacks on foreign workers as an exc

CPEC a ‘Game Changer,’ will make it a success, come what may, affirms army chief Pakistan by  Muhammad Irfan  | Published on July 12, 2017  🔗 RAWALPINDI – Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa says China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is truly a harbinger of economic development, peace, and prosperity in the region. Addressing a function on CPEC Logistics in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, he said CPEC is also an affirmation of Pakistan’s efforts for a peaceful and prosperous region. He said unlike some other countries of South Asia, we believe in focusing our energies on peace and inclusiveness, rather than divisive competition. He said, “the honourable President of China, Mr Xi Jinping’s grand vision of One Belt One Road (OBOR) has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for the countries of the region and beyond. CPEC, being an important project of OBOR, holds great promise for turning around the economies of Pakistan, Western China and the re

The U.S. Charges Head-On Into the Gulf Crisis Assessments Jul 12, 2017 | 13:19 GMT (STR/AFP/Getty Images) The crisis in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has reached a turning point. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed an agreement on counterterrorism with the Qatari government July 11, the second day of a trip designed to diffuse the  tension in the bloc . Though the content of the deal is vague, its message is clear: The United States has had enough of the feud between Qatar on one side and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the other. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will have to reassess their position in the dispute with Doha, much of which centered on Qatar's alleged support for terrorist organizations, in the wake of the memorandum of understanding. But even if the agreement hastens a resolution to the current conflict in the bloc, another one probably won't be too far behind. When its members are on the same page, the GCC is a power

China’s New Silk Road Encroaches on U.S. Turf in Eastern Europe By  James M Gomez July 12, 2017, 9:30 AM GMT+5:30July 12, 2017, 5:45 PM GMT+5:30 Former communist countries woo Chinese money as U.S. retreats Eastern Europe provides gateway into EU for China’s Xi China Plans to Reshape World Trade China Plans to Reshape World Trade In the 19th century mansion in central Belgrade where bureaucrats plan some of Serbia’s important overseas projects, 64-year-old Ivan Mrkic is busy unpacking boxes teeming with the books, research papers and maps he needs to become an instant expert on China. Mrkic, a one-time foreign minister, anticipates investors from Hong Kong and Beijing will pour tens of millions of euros into eastern Europe and he wants Serbia -- among the poorest -- to be ready. For decades, U.S. money has powered steel plants and carmakers in post-Communist Europe, but the region is now hanging its hopes on China stepping into the void

China Builds Maritime Muscle Jul 11, 2017 | 09:00 GMT (Stratfor) China recently reached a new milestone on its  path toward military modernization . On June 28, the country launched the first Type 055 warship from the Jiangnan Shipyard on Shanghai's Changxing Island. The vessel is China's first heavy destroyer, and it is the largest surface combatant warship built by an Asian power since the end of World War II. With the Type 055, China shows how far it has come in its efforts to  expand its maritime capabilities . The Type 055 warship is a large and heavy vessel, with a full displacement — or weight — of more than 12,000 tons, a length of about 180 meters (590 feet) and a beam of roughly 20 meters. In fact, the U.S. military classifies the Type 055 as a cruiser, a class of warship larger than a destroyer. And despite its size, the new ship is sleek and modern in its design. For instance, it incorporates numerous features that reduce

CPEC harbinger of economic development, peace in region: Bajwa «Back Press Trust of India | Islamabad Jul 12, 2017 10:07 PM IST Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa today defended controversial multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying it is a harbinger of economic development, peace and prosperity in the region.  Addressing a seminar on CPEC Logistics in Rawalpindi, he said the CPEC is also affirmation of Pakistan's efforts for a peaceful and prosperous region, according to Radio Pakistan.  "Unlike some other countries of South Asia, we believe in focusing our energies on peace and inclusiveness, rather than divisive competition," he said, without naming any country.  The army chief said that CPEC will bring increasing economic integration among regional economies and reduce the development gap within various regions of Pakistan.  He said the Chinese investment i

Baloch Leadership should answer these questions

MalikSiraj Akbar once  asked five Questions to Baloch leaders at Berlin Conference, these questions need to be answered by Baloch leadership. Without this it will be like blind following blind. ✔What is going to be the role of religion in an independent Balochistan? ✔What will be the status of the tribal system? ✔How will land reforms be carried out? ✔What role will women have in the country’s polity and administration? ✔What will the Baloch foreign policy look like? 🔴These are very pertinent Questions and World wish to know.  One expert said below about Baloch Movement as below: ✔There is no over-arching vision of what sort of a state they want, ✔ no road map on how they propose to achieve nationhood, ✔no thinking of how the state will be run, what sort of government it will have, ✔how they will utilise the natural resources of the province for the welfare of the people, ✔what sort of developmental model the new state will adopt, ✔will the new state be a tribal confederac