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Showing posts from February 19, 2019

Four ex-officials arrested in Gwadar land scam

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentUpdatedFebruary 20, 2019
Former tehsildars Mohammad Jan Jamaldani and Mohammad Jan Baloch, naib tehsildar Agha Zafar Hussain and Patwari Abdul Hafeez were allegedly involved in tampering revenue record of Gwadar district. — File photoQUETTA: The National Account­ability Bureau (NAB), Balochistan, has arrested four retired officials of the provincial revenue department, including two former tehsildars of Gwadar.NAB officials said on Tuesday that former tehsildars Mohammad Jan Jamaldani and Mohammad Jan Baloch, naib tehsildar Agha Zafar Hussain and Patwari Abdul Hafeez were allegedly involved in tampering revenue record of Gwadar district and selling lands to various people and companies, causing huge losses to the national exchequer.Sources said that an initial inquiry had revealed that some other officials of the revenue department were also involved in this scam.After Director General of NAB, Balochistan, Muhammad Abid Javed issued the arrest war…

Chinese firm rejects corruption charge in CPEC project

Iftikhar A. KhanUpdated February 20, 2019
Murad Saeed claims funds for Sukkur-Multan motorway, on which a Chinese company worked with PML-N govt, were mismanaged. — File photoISLAMABAD: Communication Minister Murad Saeed’s brickbats alleging Rs70 billion corruption in a CPEC project — the Sukkur-Multan motorway — have ‘shocked’ the Chinese state-owned company that won the contract and undertook the project.“China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd [CSCEC] feels extremely shocked by the recent groundless allegations made publicly through the media against the Sukkur-Multan motorway project, undertaken by our company,” an official press release reads.Mr Saeed recently alleged that the PML-N government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding worth Rs259bn for the construction of the motorway, but later the cost was jacked up to Rs292bn due to financial mismanagement; thus, he said, the project suffered huge losses. He also accused the Sharif brothers, former minister for plan…

Land acquired for shipyard in Gwadar

Our CorrespondentFebruary 19, 2019KARACHI: Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) has acquired land at Gwadar for the development of another shipyard, which has been approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan, KSEW Managing Director Rear Admiral Ather Saleem said.Meeting with a delegation of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), he said, “The decision has been taken in view of increased movement of ships and maritime activities at Gwadar Port in the backdrop of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).”The shipyard land has been earmarked near Gwadar port at Surnallah, which would be developed under joint venture with reputed international shipyard consortium. Project office in this regard was being established, a statement said.Saleem said there were more than 23 sizeable shipyards in India and five in Bangladesh against only one shipyard in Pakistan established since independence. He underscored the need for public-private partnership in the maritime sec…

Legal bump in the belt and road?

A Mideast port giant, a Chinese rival and a Hong Kong lawsuit over a Djibouti dealin Port News 19/02/2019A lawsuit against China’s main state-owned port builder by the Middle East’s largest port operator in the tiny African nation of Djibouti – to be thrashed out in Hong Kong’s High Court – underscores the legal risks Beijing faces in its massive global infrastructure plan, the “Belt and Road Initiative”.Usually, the obstacles to this effort to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation – Chinese President Xi Jinping’s plan for expanding the country’s influence abroad through a network of railways, roads, pipelines, and utility grids – have been related to financial or geopolitical issues.Only last year under the new leadership of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the Malaysian government halted two Chinese projects valued at US$22 billion.The now-defunct projects have joined a list of scrapped or shelved belt and road schemes that includes dams in Nepal and…

The Little-Known Security Gaps In China's Belt and Road Initiative

February 17, 2019 Beijing's international pipeline networks are exposed to various dangers.by Mollie SaltskogColin P. ClarkeChina’s Belt and Road Initiative, sometimes referred to as “One Belt, One Road,” or “the new Silk Road,” is Beijing’s signature foreign policy project focused on developing robust infrastructure to connect China to key hubs of economic activity throughout the world. Even though the Chinese Communist Party might dispute this characterization, the initiative is also a geopolitical strategy—underpinned by energy security and access to resources—that is thinly veiled as an economic policy.With all of the focus on economics and energy, however, there have been few public discussions about the security concerns surrounding this endeavor, especially as the various lines of effort extend across and through a range of failed states and ungoverned spaces in some of the most unstable parts of the globe. In addition, increasing anti-Chinese sentiment in parts of Central …

Balochistan labour leader dies in police custody in Karachi

ByBalochistan Post President of Gadani ship-breaking workers union dies in police custodyThe president of Gadani ship-breaking workers union, Babu Karim Jan, died under mysterious circumstances in Karachi on Sunday morning, soon after being arrested by police from his residence in Metroville, located in the city’s SITE area, reported Pakistan’s leading daily Dawn News.Police claimed that Jan, who was in his late 60s, was wanted in two attempted murder cases and died after suffering a “heart attack”.According to the deceased’s relatives, Iqbal Market police conducted a raid in Metroville at around 1:30am and detained Karim Jan and his son, Amin.They allegedly dragged and threw him into the police mobile where he died under mysterious circumstances. Later on, the police abandoned his body there and tried to disappear when the residents of the area gathered and made videos of the vehicle which were then shared on social media, reported the daily.The deceased’s son, Amin, told media that …

Beijing is becoming a police state 

TRIVIUM CHINA
On Friday, Beijing Daily, published an article about efforts to install police officers in grass-roots Party cells throughout the city.Nectar Gan at the SCMP has a good summary:“In Tongzhou district alone, 239 police officers had been appointed deputy party chiefs of outlying villages and urban communities.”“The authorities began a pilot programme of the policy in 2012 and plan to have it in place citywide this year.”“By July, every village and residential community in Beijing will have a community police officer doubling as its deputy party chief to ‘strengthen grass-roots management.’It’s not just Beijing:“A similar programme is under way in Shanghai.”Some important context:“The policy is hailed as a golden example of the ‘Fengqiao experience’ – a Mao-era experiment in social management to ‘mobilise the masses’ [against] the people’s ‘enemies’ without the need to hand them over to higher authorities.”“The phrase – which had fallen out of use by Chinese leaders – has co…

Trade Minister mulls invite to Belt and Road conference in China

Trade Minister mulls invite to Belt and Road conference in China, while former PM lauds the initiative as 'one of the greatest ideas we’ve ever heard globally'19 Feb 19 Jenée Tibshraeny
Jacinda Ardern, Jenny ShipleyTrade Minister David Parker has confirmed he was invited two weeks ago to attend a Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) conference in China in April.Parkers said he was “likely” to attend but was “working through the details”. He was already planning to visit China with a trade delegation, so wants to tie the trips together.While Ardern accompanying Parker to front media on the issue suggested she wanted to use the announcement as an opportunity to highlight the work underway maintaining New Zealand’s relationship with China, she talked about the BRI with some caution.  Asked what the significance of receiving an invite to the conference was, Parker said, “There’s not much significance at all. It’s just things that happen when you’re the Trade Minister.”Asked if Parker acc…

China, Kuwait vow to deepen pragmatic cooperation on B&R Initiative

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/2/19 9:26:51
A senior official said that China is willing to work with Kuwait to consolidate political mutual trust and deepen pragmatic cooperation under the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative framework. Ning Jizhe, deputy head of China's National Development and Reform Commission, made the remark at a meeting on project "Silk City and Five Islands" on Sunday. Ning said that the political relations between China and Kuwait have maintained sound development and the cooperation under the B&R Initiative has been continuously deepened. China is prepared to work together with Kuwait to build "Silk City and Five Islands" into a landmark project for the B&R Initiative cooperation, lifting bilateral relations between the two countries, he said. The initiative, proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aim at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting …

Belt and Road Initiative brings opportunity to Myanmar, region: Myanmar State Counselor

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-19 01:18:49|YANGON, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could bring opportunities to Myanmar and the region, Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi said here on Monday.At the first meeting of the steering committee for implementation of tasks relating to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Aung San Suu Kyi also stressed the need to work on the projects under the BRI in harmony with the country's national priorities and said that the welfare of the people will be counted while implementing the projects.The BRI could promote cooperation in all sectors including infrastructure, the state counselor added.Vice-President U Myint Swe called for the engagement between respective ministries and regional governments for better implementation of projects under the framework of BRI and highlighted the need to choose the right projects which can promote the development of the country and its people.The steering committee which was formed in…

Ports of Piraeus, Venice, Chioggia Join Forces Ahead of New Silk Road Initiative

Posted On 18 Feb 2019Photo Source: Municipality of PiraeusThe ports of Piraeus, Venice and Chioggia will be cooperating for the increase of cargo flows and the strengthening of trade links between Asia and the Mediterranean after the two sides recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Piraeus.Piraeus Port Authority CEO Captain Fu Chengqiu welcomed the President of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority, Pino Musolino, at PPA’s headquarters, where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at boosting ties and increasing cargo flows between the two ports.Under the agreement, the two sides will work towards the establishment of a stable ground of cooperation in order to develop their ports and port services, support infrastructure connectivity policies and port services aimed at boosting the commercial flows between Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia via the two ports and at the same time improve performance of the ports, which are set to play a key role in the upcoming inter…

CPEC: Collaboration in higher education and sustainable development

PESHAWAR: The China Study Centre (CSC), University of Peshawar, in collaboration with institutions of higher education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is organizing a three-day international conference on “CPEC: Collaboration in higher education and sustainable development” today.The organisers said the conference will engage academicians, scholars, government officials, practitioners, diplomats, journalists and development specialists from all over the world, especially Pakistan and China, in an interaction with the participants to generate critical thinking over policy formulations and coordinative integration across borders.Development specialists from Pakistan, China and the developed world will analyse the project’s trajectories objectively to help reap the opportunities and address the challenges in an efficient manner.The speakers and presenters at the conference will engross the participants in a constructive interaction of learning and contributing to the understanding of CPEC and its…

Balochistan CM wants Pasni fish harbour relocated

Saleem ShahidUpdated February 19, 2019
Balochistan chief minister proposes reconstruction of Pasni fish Harbour to protect rights of fishermen. — File photoQUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has proposed reconstruction of Pasni Fish Harbour with all modern facilities at some other place in the area to protect rights of fishermen of the area as the present harbour cannot be made functional.Presiding over a meeting to review performance of Pasni Fish Harbour, he said the government would definitely make all those government institutions functional which were at present not functioning.The secretary of fisheries and the managing director of Pasni Fish Harbour, Ali Gul Kurd, briefed the meeting on the harbour. The meeting reviewed to use the grant of Japan for the development of Pasni Fish Harbour.It also reviewed a plan to construct eight new jetties in coastal areas of Makran and directed the Board of Revenue to complete the process of providing land for the purpose…

Balochistan wants Centre to protect its rights in deals with S. Arabia

The Newspaper's Staff Correspondent February 18, 2019Provincial assembly passes resolution, demands Centre to take Balochistan lawmakers into confidence before signing MoUs. — File photoQUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly through a unanimously adopted resolution has called upon the federal government to ensure that interests and rights of the people of the province are adequately protected while reaching any agreement with Saudi Arabia on the setting up of an oil refinery in Gwadar.The resolution was jointly moved by Provincial Minster Zamarak Khan Piralizai and BNP-Mengal’s Sana Baloch in the provincial assembly on Saturday.The assembly session was presided over by Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail.The resolution said that the Balochistan government and lawmakers of Balochistan must be taken into confidence before signing the agreements with Saudi Arabia on the oil refinery and other development projects on the soil of Balochistan.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER ADMembers of the go…

Iran’s Being Tricked Into Making Balochistan The New Kurdistan

Written by Andrew Korybko on 2019-02-18The transnational region of Balochistan risks becoming another Kurdistan-like fault line as long as Iran continues to be tricked into worsening relations with Pakistan, with the worst-case scenario being that the Golden Ring’s weakest link undermines the entire geopolitical project that it has such a serious stake in securing.“Blood Borders”Iran’s uncharacteristically bellicose rhetoric against Pakistan in the aftermath of a recent terrorist attack along their shared border in the transnational region of Balochistan risks replicating the Kurdish scenario of turning this issue into an instrument of international leverage against both of them by third-party intelligence agencies for divide-and-rule purposes. Retired US Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters infamously published his 2006 policy proposal about geopolitically engineering “Blood Borders” across the so-called “Greater Middle East”, crucially including both Kurdistan and Balochistanas integral …

WHO Situation Report - Pakistan: Drought in Balochistan and Sindh (6 February 2019)

REPORTfrom World Health OrganizationPublished on 06 Feb 2019BackgroundSince 2013, Pakistan has been receiving below average amount of rainfall. In 2018, less than 10% of the projected annual rainfall was received in Sindh and Balochistan provinces. This drought has had serious public health implications in the two provinces.Current SituationOver 4.4 million people have been affected by the ongoing drought in Balochistan. Around 670 000 children under 5 years and 370 000 pregnant and lactating women are in dire need of health services. The average distance to reach heath facilities is 30 kilometers (km). The per capita OPD utilization in 2018 is 0.4 which is far below the acceptable range of 1 to 1.2 in an emergency setting. In addition, less than 1% of the OPD patients scheduled for review return to the health facility for follow up treatment (DHIS report 2018). 73% of cases who attend OPD are suffering from communicable diseases. There is high suicidal tendency among the women due to…

Eight fish harbours in Balochistan coastal area on the cards

Parvez JabriFebruary 19, 2019
QUETTA: The Balochistan government is planning to establish eight fish harbours in its coastal areas to boost and revamp the much declined fishing business in the province which is already in dilapidated condition for the last many years.The Chief Minister chaired a meeting held here on Monday and made important decisions regarding fisheries department, said a press release.The provincial government has also decided to provide basic facilities to the fishermen and other people associated with the fisheries.“Pasni Fish Harbour will be constructed at a new site as the existing harbor site due to soil accumulation has been abandoned for the last 10 years as the situation does not improve even after dredging,” said the chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan.The chief minister during an official meeting with the provincial Fisheries Department said that the government had also been planning to rebuild the Pasni fish harbor as it was paying Rs 1.5 billion in …