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Showing posts from July 22, 2018

China’s Global Building Spree Runs Into Trouble in Pakistan

The Orange Line metro through Lahore, Pakistan’s second-biggest city, was financed and built by Chinese state-run companies. PHOTO: JAMIL AHMED/XINHUA/ZUMA PRESSCHINA
To fund a 70-nation infrastructure initiative, Beijing has been extending loans in opaque deals often contingent on using Chinese contractorsBy Jeremy Page andSaeed ShahJuly 22, 2018 1:27 p.m. ET79 COMMENTSLAHORE, Pakistan—Pakistan’s first metro, the Orange Line, was meant to be an early triumph in China’s quest to supplant U.S. influence here and redraw the world’s geopolitical map.Financed and built by Chinese state-run companies, the soon-to-be-finished overhead railway through Lahore is among the first projects in China’s $62 billion plan for Pakistan. Beijing hoped the $2 billion air-conditioned metro, sweeping past crumbling relics of Mughal and British imperial rule, would help make Pakistan a showcase for its global infrastructure-building spree.Instead, it has become emblematic of the troubles that are throwing C…

Pakistan rights group warns extremists trying to influence political campaigns in close election

A police officer checks mock voters while other looks on, as they perform a rehearsal for security measures, outside a polling booth, ahead of general elections in Karachi, Pakistan CREDIT: REUTERSBen Farmer, islamabad21 JULY 2018 • 3:12PMFollow The Facebook post from Imran Khan's political party announcing the support of a new backer at first glance looked like a run-of-the-mill electoral announcement in Pakistan.Except the cleric pledging support to the sportsman-turned-politician was Maulana Fazal ur Rehman Khalil, the founder of a banned terrorist group who remains on an American terror watchlist.The endorsement from the veteran jihadist as well as the open campaigning of known extremists ahead of this week's general election has again bought attention to what rights groups say is the worrying role of militancy in a close-fought election.Promoted StoriesSomeone Got A Bit Chocolaty This World Chocolate DayWittyFeedThe New Accu-Chek Instant Blood Glucose Meter. Know more…www…

Xinjiang continues counter-terror measures to ensure safe Belt and Road

By Liu Xin in Urumqi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/22 16:53:390Strategically located on the frontier of China's opening to Central Asia and beyond, Northwest China's XinjiangUyghur Autonomous Region continues efforts on counter-terrorism to create a safe environment, officials and experts say.Gao Jianlong, director of the Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday that "maintaining stability is the key to ensuring Xinjiang's development, which has also become a consensus for the whole society and has created a good environment for promoting the Belt and Road initiative." Gao said that in an effort to be open while keeping terrorists from sneaking into the region, Xinjiang has strengthened border control and management to make sure no terrorists can get into the region.Other measures include fighting against crimes and religious extremism, Gao said.Xu Guixiang, deputy director of the publicity department of the Communist Party of …

Pakistan’s military uses menace to ease Imran Khan’s path into power

After 31 years reporting from the country, our reporter was barred as the army stifles coverage of Khan’s election rivalsChristina Lamb, Chief Foreign CorrespondentJuly 22 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday TimesThe Pakistani military may be hoping to act as the power behind the scenes if Imran Khan’s party fails to win an overall majorityAAMIR QURESHI/AFP/GETTY IMAGESShareSaveGul Bukhari, 52, was driving to her television studio in Lahore one night last month when pick-up trucks blocked her way and armed men dragged her from her car so forcefully they left bruises on her neck and back.The political commentator, who has dual British-Pakistani nationality, was held for several hours. Released only after her disappearance prompted outrage across social media, she says her abductors threatened to harm her husband and son if she revealed details.“I feel very insecure, always looking over my shoulder and worrying about my son,” she said last week.Bukhari is a prominent critic of the Pakistani milit…