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Showing posts from May 4, 2018

Balochistan: Accession at gunpoint

Balochistan: Accession at gunpoint by  ALTAF Waseem Mir Ghaus Buksh Bizenjo while addressing the Dar-ul-Awam said ‘Although we are Muslims, this does not mean we should be a part of Pakistan, If only being Muslim is the solitary reason for our being part of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan should also merge into Pakistan’. During British Raj Baluchistan did not enjoy the status of a province but comprised four princely states namely: Makran, Kharan, Lasbela and Kalat. The Khan of Kalat was the Head of the confederacy, also known as the Baluchistan States Union. The northern areas of Balochistan including Bolan Pass, Quetta, Nushki and Naseerabad were leased out to Britain, which were later, named as British Balochistan. In 1876 Sir Robert Sandeman Chief Commissioner of Balochistan concluded a treaty with the Khan of Kalat and brought his territories which included all four princely states under British suzerainty. The treaty between the Khan of Kalat and Robert Sandeman accepted the i

China-backed Sumatran dam threatens the rarest ape in the world

Bill Laurance 13:04, May 4 2018 MAXIME ALIAGA A US$1.6 billion ($2.28b) dollar dam in Sumatra threatens the recently discovered and desperately imperilled Tapanuli Orangutan. ​OPINION:  The plan to build a massive hydropower dam in Sumatra as part of China's immense  Belt and Road Initiative  threatens the habitat of the rarest ape in the world, which has only 800 remaining members. This is merely the beginning of an  avalanche of environmental crises  and broader social and economic risks that will be provoked by the BRI scheme. The orangutan's story began in November 2017, when scientists made a  stunning announcement : they had discovered a seventh species of Great Ape, called the Tapanuli Orangutan, in a remote corner of Sumatra, Indonesia. In  an article  published in  Current Biology  today, my colleagues and I show that this ape is perilously close to extinction – and that a Chinese-sponsored megaproject could be the final nail in its coffin. SUMATRAN ORANGUTAN

Kazakhstan must look beyond the Belt and Road

Nazarbayev needs to interest other powers to avoid overdependence on China Philippe Le Corre Many of the eastbound shipping containers transiting the Kazakh-Chinese border zone of Khorgos are empty.   © Reuters At Khorgos, the Kazakh border town which is the first stop on the new Silk Road to Europe that Beijing has been building and promoting, China's presence is overwhelming. Shops and restaurants within the Khorgos trade zone are run almost entirely by Chinese citizens. Most of its 15,000 daily visitors come from the Chinese side. Trains and trucks move in both directions, but the traffic from China is heavier as many of the shipping containers traveling east from Europe are empty. For most of the past 25 years, Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest economy, has managed under President Nursultan Nazarbayev to delicately balance its relationships with various major powers. Now with Beijing's economic influence rising quickly, Astana must find a way to deal with its powe

Just how efficient is China’s Belt and Road?

Diverting resources to the western provinces comes at a cost JOHN GIBSON 4 MAY 2018 The strategic benefits of China’s Belt and Road Initiative must be weighed against domestic efficiency costs, John Gibson writes. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has the potential to remake the economic geography of China, moving investment and economic activity to the country’s western regions. Academic commentary on the BRI mostly deals with the international aspects, but it is likely that impacts within China will occur sooner, and be bigger. Many BRI partner countries have poor sovereign credit ratings, which may limit investment in these places. The infrastructure focus of the BRI is also a vulnerability, given political instability in the regions linking China to Europe and the Middle East. In contrast, China can build BRI projects within its own jurisdiction at a faster pace. This is especially because one of its economic motivations for the initiative is to deal with the country’s ind

Six labourers shot dead in Balochistan

By  Muhammad Zafar Published : May 4, 2018 The labourers were working on network installation for a private telecommunication company. PHOTO: EXPRESS QUETTA:  Six labourers working on network installation for a private telecommunication company were shot dead by unidentified armed men in Kharan district, on Thursday night. According to levies forces, the labourers, who belonged to Punjab, were working without any kind of security and did not have a no objection certificate (NOC) either. The Frontier Corps (FC), levies forces and administration reached the site of the incident and shifted the bodies to Civil Hospital. Shia shopkeeper shot dead in Quett Earlier this year, armed men sprayed bullets on two Balochistan Constabulary (BC)’s RRG personnel on Sariab flyover killing one injuring other. Muhammad Alam and Shah Nazar were on-way to their duties when armed men opened firing on them at Sariab flyover and whisked-away. “As result of firing one BC’s Rapid Response Group person

CPEC an opportunity to paint soft image: Swiss envoy

KARACHI:  Pakistan needs to step up efforts to counter its negative image in many countries and portray the real picture to highlight its huge economic potential. “Unfortunately, perception about Pakistan is generally negative,” noted Swiss Consul General Philippe Crevoisier while talking to APP at the inauguration of The Explorer Store – the first distributor of Swiss company Victorinox products in Karachi. Japan Consul General Toshikazu Isomura, Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner Noor-e-Helal Saifur Rahman, Victorinox International Sales Manager Lorenzo a Marca and Hazari Trading Company (authorised agents of Victorinox) Chief Executive Officer Aamir Hazari were present on the occasion. Victorinox produces quality knives and cutlery for household use. Businessmen fear dumping of Chinese goods under CPEC Crevoisier emphasised that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a big opportunity for Pakistan to build its soft image and boost national economy by attracting foreign