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Showing posts from September 3, 2017

China’s clout has few limits. Shouldn’t we be worried about its new Silk Road?

Tom MillerXi Jinping’s global infrastructure investment programme threatens the west with more than economic dominance. He’s playing a serious political gameView more sharing optionsMonday 4 September 2017 01.00 EDTEarlier this year the first direct freight train from China to the UK arrived at a depot in Barking, east London, carrying containers loaded with consumer goods. Named East Wind, it took 16 days to travel 7,500 miles across eight countries, halving the time it would have taken by sea. A few months later the train made its first return journey, delivering Scotch whisky, pharmaceuticals and baby products to the gargantuan wholesale markets of Yiwu, on China’s east coast. Last year 1,702 freight trains from China arrived in Europe, double the total in 2015, and more services are being added.Silk Road route back in business as China train rolls into LondonThe train is …

Risky road: China's missionaries follow Beijing west

5 hours ago

Image copyrightPAKISTAN POLICE HANDOUTWhen so-called Islamic State announced on 8 June that it had killed a Chinese man and woman in their mid-twenties in Pakistan's most volatile province, many would have assumed they were two of the thousands of workers that Beijing has sent to the country in the last few years.China is investing more than $55bn (£43bn) in Pakistan, a key beneficiary of its grand plan to connect Asia and Europe with a new Silk Road paid for by Beijing.Such an ambitious project involves risk, and China is building major infrastructure projects in Balochistan, a Pakistani province home to a long-running separatist insurgency and an array of militant and jihadist groups.But Meng Lisi and Li Xinheng were not there to work on Chinese-funded projects.They were in the capital, Quetta, on a clandestine mission: to spread the word of Christianity in the unlikeliest and most dangerous of places in conservative Muslim P…

COAS assures Army's full support for security, development of Balochistan

September 03, 2017, 10:45 pmChief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa spent second day of Eid with troops at Turbat and Gwadar in Balochistan on Sunday, reported Radio Pakistan.The army chief also met family of martyred Major Jamal Sheran who embraced Shahadat in Peshawar on 17th July this year.General Qamar Javed Bajwa also met local notables.Talking to troops, Chief of Army Staff said that performing our duties in far flung and hard areas is pride and we shall continue doing it with utmost commitment and resolve.He said that security and development of Balochistan is extremely important and Army shall extend full support to all state institutions in this regard. He said all development projects for Balochistan shall be completed

Balochistan: Seven Decades Of Insurgency In Pakistan’s Restive South – Analysis
Quetta, capital of Baluchistan, Pakistan, at night. Photo by Beluchistan, Wikimedia Commons.

 September 4, 2017Michael HartBy Michael Hart*Next year will signal 70 years since the beginning of a fierce separatist insurgency fought in Pakistan’s troubled southern province of Balochistan. Over much of the last seven decades the conflict has rumbled on at a relatively low intensity, punctuated by five distinct periods of heightened violence. The current flare-up – which ignited in the mid-2000s – has proved by far the most enduring. And amid rising tensions in recent years, it appears there is no end in sight to Pakistan’s longest – yet most under-reported – war.Location of Balochistan in Pakistan. Source: Wikipedia Commons.Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province and stretches from the country’s interior to its remote southwestern region, where it borders neighbouring Afgha…

Pakistan: A slice of China in Islamabad HOURS AGO

Restaurants, guesthouses and supermarkets are opening to cater for the influx of Chinese fuelled by the CPEC.Islamabad's Firstop is one of the oldest Chinese specialty grocery stores In Pakistan, established two years ago to take advantage of the influx of Chinese migrants under CPEC [Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera]byAsad HashimIslamabad, Pakistan - Sitting in his open-air kitchen in the heart of a busy shopping centre in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, Zhang Yan Xu does not seem to have a care in the world.The tall, broad-shouldered chef seems a genial sort, who exults in his inability to communicate with his customers."No English," he says, smiling broadly. "No Urdu."Behind him, his wife looks up briefly from the chopping board, before getting back to the serious business of rolling and folding fresh dumplings for the customers downstairs.The Xus work at…

The U.S. deep state recklessly edging its way towards balkanization of Pakistan

September 1, 20176

Zara Ali |If we are looking for the unabashed bottom line of the latest version of the U.S. strategy on Afghanistan, or shall we say an outline of the next episode of the New World Order drama, in its most succinct form, the following words of Trump’s elaborate discourse delivered on August 21, 2017 would suffice: “Our troops will fight to win.”Not to mention the cost of spreading this war across the border into Pakistan as overtly as both Trump and Nicholson have alluded to could bear serious consequences for US

“We will fight to win.  From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge… Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on.”F…