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Showing posts from February 5, 2019

Shuttered at home, cement plants bloom along China's new Silk Road

Brenda GohMariya GordeyevaHANGZHOU, China/SHIELI, Kazakhstan (Reuters) - On a windswept steppe in southwestern Kazakhstan, the new Chinese-backed cement plant on the outskirts of the village of Shieli stands as a gleaming symbol to some of the Central Asian country’s industrialization.A general view of the cement plant built jointly by Chinese Gezhouba Group and Kazakh firm Corporation DANAKE during its opening ceremony on the outskirts of the village of Shieli, southern Kazakhstan December 11, 2018. Picture taken December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Mariya Gordeyeva“We need oil-well cement for the oil and uranium industries,” said Yevgeniy Kim, deputy governor of the Kyzylorda region where the plant is located.“This plant should have been built much earlier. If it is needed, we will expand it,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of its opening ceremony in December, which was live-broadcast to the Kazakh capital Astana, where a nationwide event to present some of the country’s newest projects t…

How China’s Belt and Road strategy threatens India

China’s initiative to build infrastructure across Europe, Asia and Africa by land and sea will change the global economy. An excerpt from Belt and Road by Bruno MaçãesByThe TelegraphPublished 6.02.19, 1:32 AM Updated 6.02.19, 1:32 AMShare to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to LinkedInShare to WhatsAppShare to EmailShare to MoreThe truth of the matter is that the Belt and Road poses a number of seemingly intractable challenges for India. Most obviously, it threatens to turn Pakistan’s occupation of part of Kashmir into a fait accompli.Image: iStockIn June 2017 Chinese troops were spotted extending a road through a strip of land disputed between China and Bhutan. India perceived this as an unacceptable change to the status quo and crossed its own border—in this case a perfectly settled one—to block those works. The Doklam plateau slopes down to the Siliguri Corridor, a narrow strip of Indian territory dividing the Indian mainland from its North Eastern states. Were China able to block off…

Awaran possesses no library 

By: Qandeel Baloch “You build a thousand castles, a thousand sanctuaries, you are nothing; you build a library, you are everything” says Mehmet Murat ildan. Indeed, a nation without having well equipped libraries is like a tree with no roots. The barren lands turned wasted space ones into intellectuals, for it had libraries to feed it’s children. However, it is adequate to argue that library revolutionises a nation catering huge knowledge and generating researchers in a society to contribute. It obviously reproduces creative and critical minds for a nation. When the name of library is taken is meant to give time one’s self, for no teacher teaches in library but self-study which polishes a man. Library is one of the most important places for the readers because it is calm and noiseless place for studying books and doing research. It is the place where people get food of mind, the knowledge works for the development of uncivilised nation to be civilised. If someone glances over the worl…

School of Intensive Teaching: Balochistan’s largest institute in terms of strength

By: Behzad Dilawari  School of Intensive Teaching (SIT) is an American English Language institute in Hub, District Lasbela, Balochistan, in which only American methodology with its accent and pronunciation is taught. It was established in 2015.  It is one of the Balochistan’s well-known English language institutes. It is currently Balochistan’s largest institute in terms of strength.Two factors make it more famous. Firstly, for its environmental tendency towards only English speaking with the said features mentioned above since the students are only supposed to speak and communicate in English inside the institute. What this trend makes is to bound them to keep speaking in order to habitually and spontaneously produce the words and spoken later, like a native speaker.  Secondly, for, the legendary figure, its director, Sir Zahir Hussain, that, without his efforts, struggle and enthusiasm the generation of this trend within its surroundings was not possible.For Sir Zahir Hussain’s acad…

China Window & CPEC 

February 6, 2019By: Shakil Ur Rehman The Pakistan-China friendship is deeply rooted and has always been judged an exemplary ever since its establishment.  It is because of this very fact that the peoples and governments of the two countries vehemently claim that their friendship is higher than Himalaya and deeper than ocean.  While having glance of the present day developments, one finds the brotherly relationships between the two neighbors.  The wholehearted and sincere contribution on part of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan in its infrastructural development is above board; the diplomatic support is internationally acknowledged and their commitment to continue with their established friendship traditions seems un-shakable.  When in difficult hours, Pakistan pins expectations on its arch friend, People’s Republic of China and has never been dis-appointed.  The pace with which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is implemented, the project seems guaranteed to be materialized …

Will protect Chabahar; Hindu, Sikh rights guaranteed, says Taliban spokesman to WION 

File photo of Taliban. Photograph:( Reuters )FOLLOW USWIONNew Delhi, Delhi, IndiaFeb 03, 2019, 11.56 AM (IST)Siddhant SibalIn a rare interview with WION's diplomatic correspondent, Sidhant Sibal, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid talked about the future of Afghanistan as well Hindus and Sikhs if they come back to power. He added that he wants a cordial relationship with all neighbouring countries and added, "I'll protect Chabahar as it's positive for Afghanistan''. Edited excerpts  WION: Do you think American forces will leave Afghanistan and when is your next meeting with the US? Zabihullah Mujahid: From the initial agreement we have reached with the United States, they seem to have shown readiness to leave Afghanistan and put an end to their occupation. A meeting to complete will be held on February 25, 2019.WION: What kind of role Pakistan is playing in your talks with the US? Zabihullah Mujahid: Our talks with the United States are between us and the Am…

Speaker Fawzia Koofi says India should back Afghanistan peace process

ET Women's Forum: Speaker Fawzia Koofi says India should back Afghanistan peace processBy DIVYA RAJAGOPAL, ET Bureau | Updated: Feb 01, 2019, 12.26 PM IST

Koofi has been a champion of women’s rights in her country as well as in South Asia. (Image: fawziakoofi.org)MUMBAI: India should not remain a bystander and take a position in the ongoing Afghan peace process with the Taliban for its own security interests, said Fawzia Koofi, a Parliament member and women’s rights activist in Afghanistan. According to her, it is in the best interests of India to remain engaged with Afghanistan and support its democratic process.“I think we should keep in mind that India was also affected by the Taliban government. If India steps aside and doesn't show interest in this process, there is no guarantee about the safe future of Afghanistan," Koofi said in an interview over the phone from Kabul.ADVERTISEMENT
Koofi’s statement comes just days after the US and leaders of the Taliban came together…

Taliban 'not seeking to seize whole Afghanistan'

By Secunder Kermani & Sami YousafzaiBBC News2 hours agoShare this with FacebookShare this with WhatsAppShare this with MessengerShare this with TwitterShareImage captionSher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai: "Peace is more difficult than war"The Taliban official who has led the group's peace negotiations with the US has told the BBC the insurgents do not want to seize "the whole country by [military] power"."It will not bring peace to Afghanistan," Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said.However, he said the group would not agree to a ceasefire until foreign forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan.UN data shows that the Taliban are responsible for more civilian casualties than any other warring party.Taliban threaten 70% of Afghanistan, BBC findsWhy Afghanistan is more dangerous than everWho are the Taliban?Mr Stanikzai, who until recently was the head of the Taliban's political office in Qatar and remains a leading figure in the group, spoke to the BBC whi…

Paris: Scholars term CPEC an oppressive design of Pakistan

ANI, India
February 6, 2019
Scholars, former diplomats, human rights activists and journalists from various parts of the world gathered in Paris to discuss the implications of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Reported ANI News.While discussing the CPEC’s legal, geo-strategic, economic and environmental impacts, the participants during a seminar argued that acquiring control of trade inevitably translates into governmental influence.“CPEC is just another way to exploit Baloch people. First of all it is an economic method. It is a method of land compensation and is a method of depriving local people of jobs and natural resources. An area which is already being deprived, all the economic benefits of CPEC is going into Punjabis and Chinese pockets. The local people have no benefits,” Francesca Marinoa, a journalist from Italy noted.Activists have long blamed China and Pakistan, who together aim to change the demography of Balochistan while highlight…

FBM signature campaign kicks off in Germany

BIELEFELD:  The Free Balochistan Movement has formally started its signature campaign on January 31 from Germany’s province of North Westphalia in University of Bielefeld. The student of University and hundreds of other people have taken keen interest and supported the campaign by signing the FBM petition title “Balochistan not Pakistan or Iran”.
Signatories have expressed concern and anger over illegal occupation of Balochistan by Pakistan and Iran, enforced disappearances, recovery of mutilated dead bodies, and discovery of mass graves, mass executions and other human rights violations as well as the loot and plunder of natural resources of Balochistan.Free Balochistan Movement activists’ informed German Public that we [Baloch] are facing an enemy where democracy and freedom of expression are a crime and the punishment for such crimes is enforced disappearance and in-custody killing by forces of the deep states. “One cannot even imagine crimes in the civilised world.”
FBM Germany Bra…

This week’s top Belt and Road news

Our BRI Briefing summarizes and analyzes key news related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the last week.
Belt and Road AdvisoryChina selects Silk Road Super Ambassadors: China seems to be picking Belt and Road favorites. The Ambassadors of Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Malta and Bosnia and Herzegovina to China were conferred Silk Road Super Ambassador Awards in Beijing.Chinese Envoy to EU slams EU policies on Chinese tech: Beijing’s envoy to the EU has launched a blistering attack on the “slander” and “discrimination” faced by Huawei and other Chinese companies in Europe, warning that efforts to exclude China from 5G mobile projects would be self-defeating.Malaysia still in discussions over BRI rail project: Malaysia is in talks with China over the $20-billion East Coast rail project, the finance minister said on Wednesday, just days after another cabinet minister said Kuala Lumpur had decided to cancel the contract.China accelerates development of foreign investment law: T…

China’s Belt and Road Initiative could increase alien species invasion

by Shreya Dasgupta on 5 February 2019China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative could introduce alien invasive species into several countries, threatening their native biodiversity, warns a new study.Researchers looked at the risk of invasion of more than 800 alien invasive vertebrate species and found that there were 14 invasion hotspots — areas that have both high introduction risk with the movement of people and goods, and conditions that would allow the invasive species to thrive.These hotspots include areas in North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.Other researchers say the study doesn’t include many other kinds of invaders, such as insects and pathogens, which can have major financial impacts on ecosystems, agriculture and livestock.China’s ambitious, multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative could introduce alien invasive species into several countries, threatening their native biodiversity, warns a new study.Announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt…

Remembering the sane voice from Balochistan

By Shehzad BalochPublished: February 5, 2019Journalist Siddiq Baloch. PHOTO: TWITTERToday marks the first anniversary of veteran journalist, senior political economist and democrat Siddiq Baloch who died of pancreatic cancer last year in Karachi at the age of 78.Baloch was an undisputed authority in Balochistan with a voice, deeply missed in the province today when it comes to solving political and economic matters. I was also amongst many journalists who are honoured and privileged to work under his leadership.Baloch’s wide-ranging command of the issues was the envy of his fellow journalists, including me.A colleague of mine, Malik Siraj, once said that if the conflicts in Balochistan ever came to an end, the journalists would fast run out of stories to cover. But such was Baloch’s mastery of all things related to the province that he would never run out of the related material.A symbol of resistance: Veteran journalist Siddiq Baloch laid to restBaloch made a point of visiting every …

Protest Strike Against Pashtun Activist’s Alleged Killing By Pakistan Police

February 04, 2019Abubakar SiddiqueAbdul Hai KakarArman Luni's elderly mother (R) and lawmaker and senior PTM leader Ali Wazir at his funeral late on February 3.ShareMajor cities across Pakistan’s restive southwestern province of Balochistan have been shut down as part of a protest strike against the alleged killing of a senior leader of a Pashtun civil rights movement by police.Most businesses in the region remained closed on February 4 as several political parties, traders, and lawyers backed a call to protest the February 2 death of Arman Luni, a senior member of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM).Authorities in the province have ordered a probe into Luni’s death. But PTM leaders say he died after a targeted attack by police at a protest sit-in Balochistan’s Loralai city. A major hospital in the provincial capital, Quetta, has yet to issue a final autopsy report.The police have yet to register a First Information Report (FIR), an initial police complaint that is a prerequisite f…

CPEC projects: ECC agrees on speeding up work on two more SEZs

By Shahbaz RanaPublished: February 5, 2019Finance Minister Asad Umar. PHOTO:AFPISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday decided to fast-track work on two more prioritised Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being set up under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and directed  ministries to resolve issues hampering progress on earlier three prioritised zones.The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet directed the Ministry of Energy to prepare a plan for the provision of 740 megawatts of electricity and 170 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) to the zones to be set up under CPEC. The work on CPEC SEZs has remained stalled due to delay in finalisation of their administrative structures, incentive packages and availability of utilities.The ECC also decided to amend the SEZ Act to give more powers to the provinces for approval of these zones.These decisions were taken on the basis of a presentation given by Board of Investment Chairman Haroon Sharif, who highlighted…