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Showing posts from May, 2020

Why are Pakistan's generals taking up top civilian posts?

By S. Khan (Islamabad)|28.05.2020
Members of the powerful Pakistani military have grabbed many civilian posts in the past two years, raising concerns that Prime Minister Imran Khan's civilian government is ceding most of its power to generals. The recent crash of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane has ignited a debate about whether military officers should hold important civilian jobs.An aircraft carrying 91 passengers and eight crew crashed into a residential area near the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on May 22. Ninety-seven people were killed and two survived when flight PK8303 from Lahore went down close to the city's international airport.Initial investigations revealed that both engines of the plane were damaged after they scraped the runway during the pilot's first landing attempt. But some reports suggest the aircraft was in poor condition before it took off from Lahore.Read more:Survivor of Pakistan plane crash recounts horror

This has led some people…

CPEC criticism: What needs to improve?

By shakeel ahmad ramay

Pakistan must not engage in rhetoric, pay attention to developing projects ISLAMABAD: Since the inception, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been under attack. Leading powers see it as a geostrategic initiative and continue to engage in criticism. The story is still going on without any interruption.Western think tanks also keep producing material to lash out at CPEC on one pretext or the other. They have found a good partner in the region in the form of India.Unfortunately, the potential huge economic benefits are undermined in this campaign. Pakistan and China have been striving to highlight benefits of the economic corridor for the region and beyond for the past six years.At the same time, Pakistan needs to be cognisant of the fact that there are some areas that need to be focused on to silence the CPEC detractors.First of all, the country needs to understand that CPEC is an economic initiative and not a charity programme or aid initia…

Modi-Trump nexus and CPEC

By dr talat farooq
 Jun.01,2020 It is therefore not surprising that China’s action in Ladakh is stronger than usual
After the recent skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh and North Sikkim, Chinese troops moved into sensitive areas along the eastern Ladakh border that India claims to be its territory.The point of contention is the illegally constructed Indian defence facilities across the Chinese side of the Galwan Valley region. These facilities could also be used to threaten G-B and the Karakoram Highway that connects CPEC to China. Given India’s illegal claim on G-B and AJK, it is quite obviously a planned move by New Delhi.Emboldened by the lukewarm US and western response to revocation of Article 370, the subsequent lockdown and continued human rights violations in IOK, the RSS-BJP combine is shaking the status quo over contentious issues.Accordingly, the rollback of Article 370 has been followed by t…

Balochistan: Son killed parents wounded in Iranian forces firing

NEWS 31st May 2020 DOZZAAP (Zahedan) Iranian intelligence agencies opened fire on a family car on Friday, May 29 killing a youth and injuring his parents in Shaston (Saravan) district of Iranian Occupied Balochistan (IOB).   According to details, the Iranian officials stopped and searched the vehicle of Khalid Sephai son of Ashur resident of Jalq village at a checkpoint in Saravan city.  However, after the search when he [Khalid] moved his car, the officials opened indiscriminate fire at them killing Khalid’s son on spot and injuring himself and his wife.  Eyewitnesses said that the incident happened in Sinokaan region of Saravan city when the agents of intelligence agencies stopped Khalid’s care, inspected it and allowed him to move but then opened fire from behind.  A source present at the scene said, “After inspecting Khalid’s car, he continued on his way, but the Intelligence officers opened fire on his car from behind, killing his son on the spot and seriously wounding him and his…

Another doctor dies of coronavirus in Balochistan

SAMAA |  Posted: May 31, 2020 | Last Updated: 24 mins ago Doctors in Quetta protest against non-availability of protective gear in provincial hospitals. Photo: SAMAA TV FILE Another doctor died of coronavirus in Balochistan on Sunday, taking the death toll in the province to 47.Dr Shah Wali had been working as a child specialist at the Mastung District Headquarters Hospital.He was diagnosed with coronavirus last month and had been under treatment at the Bolan Medical Complex’s isolation ward.Confirming the death of Dr Wali, Balochistan Health DG Saleem Abro paid him tribute for his services.The virus has so far affected 4,193 people in the province, while 1,471 have recovered from it.

Thar coal power plants could cause 29,000 deaths from pollution, says new study

Updated May 30, 2020
AN open pit mine in Tharparkar.—File photo KARACHI: A cluster of coal-fired power plants in the Thar desert, some of which are already operational, could expose around 100,000 people to harmful acidic gases exceeding safe limits established by the World Health Organization and 29,000 people could die from air pollution related causes over the 30-year operating life of the plants, a new study by an independent research organization shows.The study was released in an online presentation on Friday by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), which describes itself as “an independent research organisation focused on revealing the trends, causes and health impacts, as well as the solutions to air pollution.”The lead author is Lauri Myllyvirta, whose bio on the CREA’s website says he has “served as a member of the Technical Working Group on regulating emissions from large combustion plants in the EU and currently serves as a member of the exper…

Commentary: What's behind China's controversial Health Silk Road efforts

The idea of a Health Silk Road predates the coronavirus outbreak and is a part of a growing Chinese brand of medical diplomacy, says Ngeow Chow Bing. Chinese medics posing for a group photo after landing on a China Eastern flight at Rome's Fiumicino international airport from Shanghai, bringing medical aid to help fight the new coronavirus in Italy. (Photo: STRINGER/ANSA/AFP) 31 May 2020 09:19AM(Updated: 31 May 2020 09:20AMKUALA LUMPUR: China’s Health Silk Road (HSR) first appeared in a speech given by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016 in Uzbekistan.
But the concept can be traced back to a document prepared by China’s health authorities in 2015. Advertisement The document laid out a three-year proposal to promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) through cooperation in the healthcare sector.READ: Commentary: China billionaires a force to be reck…

Premier makes wrong turn on Belt and Road

By The Age's ViewMay 29, 2020 On the global stage, there is no other foreign policy platform that comes close to its scale and ambition. China's Belt and Road Initiative is worth hundreds of billions of dollars in investment across more than 60 nations. But as Beijing attempts to surpass an increasingly divided US, President Xi Jinping’s grand plan has come to encapsulate the promise and pitfalls of dealing with the Asian giant.The Age agrees with the federal government, which has expressed no firm views on the merits of the initiative except that it will not sign up. Many countries have borrowed heavily from China to invest in new projects, and as a consequence of that debt, China now owns a port in Sri Lanka. The state of Victoria has taken the unusual step – for a state or local government – of committing to Belt and Road. It is unlikely to suffer the same fate as Sri Lanka, but this is not the same sort of benign trade deal our states usually sign with other countries.Havin…

Balochistan reported 1,600 coronavirus cases in last two weeks: spokesperson

SAMAA |  Posted: May 30, 2020 | Last Updated: 42 mins ago SAMAA TV/screengrab More than 1,600 coronavirus cases have been reported in Balochistan in the last two weeks, Balochistan Government Spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said.“These are those cases that were reported, but we suspect that there are a greater number of people affected by the virus in the province,” he revealed during a Saturday media briefing.In the last 24 hours, at least 16 people died from the deadly virus. “Following the increase in these numbers, the chief minister has decided to test everyone person who passes away in the province,” Shahwani said, adding that he will keep sharing details with the public.The total number of cases Balochistan has recorded so far is more than 4,000, of which 3,000 cases were reported in May alone. According to Shahwani, the overall recovery rate in the province has increased from 13% to 36% and more than 1,400 people have recovered so far.A total of 71 isolation facilities have …

Private schools to reopen on June 1 in Balochistan

By mohammad zafar
 May.30,2020 Balochistan private schools association president claims institutions will follow SOPs
QUETTA: Amid increasing spread of the coronavirus across the province, a key private schools association has announced schools will reopen in the province from June 1.All Balochistan Progressive Private Schools Association President Muhammad Nawaz Pindrani said on Thursday All Pakistan Private Schools Association and other bodies have announced to reopen schools from June 1.“All private schools will be reopened after implementing the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” said Pindrani while addressing a meeting of the association on Thursday.Stressing on the SOPs to be followed, Pindrani said, “The classrooms and bathrooms will be properly cleaned and disinfected and the seating arrangement will be repositioned to maintain proper distance among the students in order to prevent the spread of the virus.”The president of the association directed teachers and staff to follow…

Abysmal Human Rights Situation in Balochistan

Nazir Ahmad Mir Dr Nazir Ahmad Mir is a Research Analyst at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses Click here for detailed profile More from the author
 May 30, 2020 On the Eid-ul-Fitr day this year, instead of celebrating and feasting, relatives of Baloch missing persons chose to assemble outside Quetta press club and stage a hunger strike.1 They demanded the early return of those missing so that it could be a happy occasion for them to celebrate. The sad case of missing persons has been going on for decades now. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has over the years condemned the Pakistan state for its dismal record in handling the cases of enforced disappearances in Balochistan and hinted at the involvement of state agencies in such cases. Media personalities taking up this issue have been coerced into silence; the attack on Hamid Mir in 2014, a well-known Pakistani journalist, is …