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Showing posts from March 12, 2018

US does not support Baloch insurgency, says official
US does not support Baloch insurgency, says officialBy PTI  |   Published: 10th March 2018 10:03 AM  |  Last Updated: 10th March 2018 10:03 A
Alice Wells, Senior Bureau Official in South and Central Asia wing of State Department. (File | AP)WASHINGTON: The Trump administration today asserted that it firmly supports the territorial integrity of Pakistan and does not support Baloch insurgency or any group that threatens the country.A day earlier, the US announced a USD 5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Afghanistan-based Maulana Fazlullah, leader of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an outfit which carries out terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.Under its rewards for justice program, the US also announced a USD 3 million reward each for information on Abdul Wali, of Jamaat ul-Ahrar (JuA), and leader of Lashkar-e-Islam Mangal Bagh.

"We firmly support Pa…

China’s Global Dreams Give Its Neighbors Nightmares

From Russia to Central Asia, Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative triggers bad memories of Chinese imperialism.BY ROBERTDALYMATTHEWROJANSKY | MARCH 12, 2018, 12:12 PMRussian President Vladimir Putin, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on May 9, 2015 in Moscow, Russia. (RIA Novosti via Getty Images) In 1904, Halford Mackinder theorized that whichever nation ruled the “World-Island” of Africa, Asia, and Europe would “command the world.” One hundred and nine years later, in Astana, Kazakhstan, Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping made his move, declaring himself the prophet and China the engine of Afro-Eurasian integration. The era of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) diplomacy had begun.The World-Island quickly proved too small for Xi’s vision. One month after the Astana speech, Xi went to Jakarta …

France to assist solar tube wells installation in Balochistan
Muhammad ArshadIslamabadFrench Ambassador Marc Barety, Monday, said that French Development Agency (AFD) would consider providing assistance in the Balochistan’s solar tube wells and establishment of Renewable Energy Institute in its development portfolio for the year 2018.
Ambassador further said that AFD would definitely sturdy as to how it can provide assistance in the installation of solar tube wells in Balochistan to provide off grid solution besides reducing the components of circular debt.
In a meeting with Federal Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari here, Ambassador Marc Barety appreciated the efforts of the present government in power sector. He said that the progress in the power sector has been exemplary and many French Potential Companies dealing with power sector are taking keen interest.
While explaining the recent reforms being initiated by present government in the p…

Sanjrani: Pakistan's first senate chair from Balochistan

Sanjrani is also the youngest chairman of the upper house.9 hours agoNewly elected Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, who secured 57 votes, speaks to reporters outside Parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 12, 2018. [Photo/B.K. Bangash/AP]Pakistan's governing party has lost the election of the chairman of the Upper House - the Senate - as the joint opposition candidate convincingly clinched the office, according to official results.Mohammad Sadiq Sanjrani, who hails from the southwestern Balochistan province, and is a candidate of the joint opposition, secured 57 out of a total of 103 votes, while his rival, Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) won 46 votes on Monday.BalochSanjrani, who is the first Senate chairman from the restive Balochistan province since Pakistan's independence in 1947, embodied the support of the main opposition Pakistan…

Pak-China trade soaring after signing of Free Zone Trade Agreement, CPEC

BeijingPakistan Ambassador to China Masood Khalid said on Monday that since the signing of China-Pakistan Free Zone Trade Agreement in 2007 and the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2013, the bilateral trade volume and investment between China and Pakistan was soaring.
“Currently, China was Pakistan’s largest trade partner and foreign investment country,” he said in an interview on the occasion of Chinese “two sessions”.
Ambassador Khalid said that Pakistan has benefited from both China’s economic development and “One Belt and One Road” initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping for building a community of shared future.
Pakistan’s 1320 megawatt Sahiwal and 660 megawatt Qasim port coal-fired power plants had been completed; the Peshawar-Karachi highway, the updating project of Karakoram Highway, and Lahore Orange Line were also in the final stage, he said and added, “Consider…

CPEC to ensure prosperity in Pakistan: Governor

PARVEZJABRI MAR 13TH, 20180 VIEWS: 21LAHORE: Punjab Governor Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana said on Monday that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would prove to be a game changer and ensure prosperity in Pakistan.The Governor expressed these views while speaking at the launching ceremony of annual Report on Economic condition: Review and Analysis-2017 prepared by Shahid Javed Barki Institute of Public Policy Institute (SJBIPPI) and Net Sol, at a local hotel. Former foreign minister Khursid Mahmood Kasuri, former State Bank of Pakistan’s Governor Dr Ishrat Hussain, former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan, Shahid Najam, Ali Touqeer Sheikh and other renowned personalities also spoke on the occasion.Rafique Rajwana was of the view that CPEC had not only great importance for Pakistan but also for the entire region, citing that the economic corridor would benefit immensely the far-flung and…

Marco Polo in reverse: how Italy fits in the New Silk Roads

Italian engineers and Chinese traders are looking to transform Venice into a key hub with an offshore-onshore port system, known as Voops, to rival northern European ports such as RotterdamBy PEPE ESCOBARMARCH 12, 2018 2:56 PM (UTC+8)1395Italian engineers plan an offshore facility to take cargo from large ships from China for relay to an onshore facility and transported to destinations around Europe. Photo: Venice Offshore Port websiteThe Chinese economy is bound to surpassthe 19-nation eurozone before the end of the year. You don’t need to be an analyst in China to know that. Common knowledge from Guangdong to Gansu is that China’s economy was bigger than Europe’s up to the mid-19th century. Then came a bad spell – unleashed by Brit gunboat diplomacy – for a short 150 years.Now things are back to a historical normal.

Europe accounts for roughly 60% of Chinese foreign investment – including mergers and acquisiti…

Arctic ice melting reignites Russia and China visions of a 'Polar Silk Road'

Washington PostKeith Johnson and Reid StandishMarch 9, 2018 11:45 AM ESTFiled under:

The unprecedented melt of Arctic sea ice is sounding alarm bells around the globe, but it’s also rejuvenating hopes of a shipping shortcut across the top of the world. It shouldn’t be.China is dreamy-eyed about the prospects of shipping goods from Asia to Europe across the top of Russia, with visions of transpolar shipping dominating its brand-new Arctic strategy. Some specialized tankers are making headlines by crossing the Arctic alone – in the dead of winter, something that was almost impossible before.And Russia is convinced that the melting Arctic will open up a new economic frontier rich in oil, natural gas, and lucrative transport routes between the world’s workshop and the world’s consumers. Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government plans to in…

Finland explores prospective railway link from Rovaniemi to the Arctic Ocean

A railway connection linking Rovaniemi with the northeast coastal city of Kirkenes in Norway is being considered by Finland's Transport Ministry. Minister Anne Berner says it will improve Finland's security of supply.Image: Yle UutisgrafiikkaA study on a potential Arctic rail line connecting Finland with the Arctic Ocean was released on Friday, with a route from Rovaniemi to Norway's Kirkenes judged the most feasible. Finland's Ministry of Transport says it will join with Norway to explore the matter more thoroughly. Transport and Communications Minister Anne Berner said the route to Kirkenes would improve Finland's logistical position and accessibility."This route alternative is the most realistic, but still requires further research," she said.Berner says the project would promote Finland's security of supply and general ease of ac…

China seen slowing spending on Belt and Road energy projects

By Bloomberg | Mar 12, 2018, 04.09PM IST

The initiative traverses territory where most bond investors fear to tread.By FaseehMangi and Dan MurtaughChina’s thirst for overseas energy investments is slaking, at least by one tally.The nation’s financing for so-called Belt and Road Initiative energy projects dropped 28 percent to $14.3 billion last year from $19.9 billion, according to data released Monday by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center. Spending last year included investments in gas pipelines in Malaysia, coal power plants in the Pakistani desert and an oil terminal in Bangladesh.
China has invested about $128 billion in energy projects in Belt and Road countries since 2001, according to Boston University’s research, which tracks finance data from the country’s two policy banks, the China Development Bank and the Ex…

4 militants killed in Gwadar

March 10, 2018QUETTA : The security forces reportedly killed four militants of a proscribed outfit in Balochistan’s port city of Gwadar on Friday.“Four operatives were killed in exchange of firing with security personnel in Gwadar’s Clanch area,” claimed the security sources.It was reportedly said that the militantsbelonged to an outlawed organisation and these armed persons were killed by the law-enforcement agencies personnel in search operation.The bodies were handed over to the local administration by the security forces personnel

Gwadar to have MCC

March 09, 2018ISLAMABAD - The government will construct Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) at Gwadar to cater for increased customs revenues due to operationalization of Gwadar port and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).However the Planning Commission has recommended the FBR that instead of construction of MCC at Gwadar in one go divide it in phases, as currently the construction of residential facility is banned, revealed by the official documents available with The Nation.Federal Board of Revenue is the sponsoring agency while the PWD is the executing agency of the project. Originally the sponsor had demanded Rs2525.25 million cost of the project which is scheduled to be completed by 2020.The PSDP allocation during fiscal 2017-18 is Rs110 million. As per the project detail there is insufficient office and residential buildings at Gwadar and the project strategy includes construction of office and residential facilities to meet …

First container service commences at Gwadar port under CPEC

ByWeb DeskWednesday Mar 07, 2018A Pakistan Navy marine stands near MS Tiger. -PNKARACHI: The first-ever container vessel MS Tiger, under the China-Pakistan Economic Project (CPEC), arrived at Gwadar Port on Wednesday, said a statement by the Pakistan Navy (PN). Pakistan Navy ships PNS Dehshat and PNS Karar escorted MS Tiger to Gwadar Port.The new ship container service, Karachi Gwadar Gulf Express, will connect Gwadar Port with the Middle East hub of Jebel Ali as well as the neighbouring UAE ports of Abu Dhabi & Sharjah.After embarkation of more containers of frozen sea food from Gwadar Port, the ship proceeded to Jebel Ali Port.A ceremony was held at the port on arrival of MS Tiger. The reception ceremony was attended by Commander Coast of Pakistan Navy Rear Admiral Moazzam IIyas, the press release added

Protesters hold Free Balochistan protest in Geneva

ANI | Updated: Mar 11, 2018 21:49ISTGeneva [Switzerland], Mar 11 (ANI): Silent protests were organised at various offices of the United Nationsin Geneva to raise the issue of human rights violations in Pakistan's Balochistan province.The protesters were carrying umbrellas and wearing shirts of 'Free Balochistan' to demand a sovereign Baloch state and make the UN aware of brutal atrocities being committed against the Baloch people by Pakistan Army and spy agencies, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence.The protest was organised by Balochistan House during the ongoing 37th Session of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).Despite being a resource-rich province, Balochistan is facing an acute poverty and discrimination by Islamabad.Pakistan army and intelligence agencies are allegedly behind enforced disappearances, torture and killings of political activists and other intellectuals from the province.In an estimate, over 45,000 Baloch people are missing fro…

Bumpy ride on CPEC road as people cry for transparency

By Faran MahmoodPublished: March 12, 201814SHARESSHARETWEETLast week, a Senate standing committee raised concern over a possible corruption scandal after the panel uncovered a series of irregularities in the award of a lucrative motorway (M5) contract by the National Highway Authority (NHA) to a Chinese state-owned entity. PHOTO: AFP/ FileISLAMABADThe China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project these days is getting filled with stories of contracts being awarded without ensuring a level playing field in the public procurement market.Stakeholders are getting fed up with the government’s inability to overhaul an antiquated tender system as well as to keep corruption in check.Though the government is committed to transparency, what it actually does is an exercise in bureaucratic smoke and mirrors designed to confuse the public. So while these mega transparency  projects promise t…

Troubling concerns over Pakistan reforms

The national election may pave way for a political transition, but the country’s future continues to held hostage by corruptionBy Farhan Bokhari, Special to Gulf News16:34 March 10, 2018FILE - In this June 15, 2017 file photo, deposed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks to reporters outside the premises of the Joint Investigation Team, in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan's Supreme Court has ruled against Sharif, declaring that anyone disqualified from office cannot serve as head of a political party. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)Image Credit:APFriday’s announcement of the conclusion of the tenure for Pakistan’s government by May marked a political milestone, though a largely unimpressive one.Events in the run up to end of the government’s five-year tenure and the increasingly sharp divide among the mainstream political players hardly provide inspiration for the country to embark on a long over…