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Showing posts from February 29, 2020

The Greater Caspian region: A new Silk Road, with or without a new belt

Atlantic Council

SAT, FEB 29, 2020
Long TakebyMatthew Bryza
An aerial view of the Caspian Sea near the city of Baku is pictured through the window of Turkish Airlines airplane, ahead of Europa League Final, in Baku Azerbaijan May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah DalshWith the signing of a US-Taliban peace agreement, now might be a good time to look ahead to how Afghanistan might strengthen its economic connectivity with both its neighbors and more distant markets. Now, there will be a 135-day period of de-escalation of violence. If there are no major attacks, then the path will be clear to negotiate to add the Afghan Government to the agreement structure. This will be tricky, as today’s agreement also commits the Afghan Government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, and the Taliban to release 1,000 captured Afghan Army soldiers.As a potential permanent peace inches closer in Afghanistan, US policy for the “Greater Caspian region,” the area stretching from India to the Black and Mediterrane…

OBOR. Concerns in the Belt and Road Initiative.

0 comment On the SOAS lecture day, Professor Kerry Brown from the Lau institute at King’s College London gave us an introduction to China’s One Belt One Road scheme (OBOR), in which he listed the following key points: 1. The geopolitical significance of OBOR - it is practically a modern ‘silk road’. It was hoped to establish trilateral relationships between the USA, China and the Roman Empire. 2. China has had the ambition to establish a trade zone since the financial crisis in 2008 - the OBOR scheme is an opportunity to open up new markets.   3. This is said to be a scheme ‘to open up the west’, to establish a long-lasting relationship between the east and west. 4. A propaganda zone. In fact, he also mentioned that because China is the second largest economy, so the scheme is what the world has long expected. The Belt and Road Initiative is expected to cost more than $1tn. (£760bn), and it means that Chinese firms are engaging in construction work across the globe on an unparalleled sc…

A lifesaving project under threat

Political Economy Adnan Aamir March 01,2020 MERC, an ambulance service in Balochistan, may be shut down due to non-payment of approved funds
On January 19, Assistant Professor Dur Muhammad Pirkani of the University of Balochistan left for Karachi from Quetta by road with his family. In the evening, he was crossing the Sakin area of Lasbela district when a truck, coming from the opposite direction, lost control. While trying to overtake a vehicle, it collided with Pirkani’s car.Munir Jalib Baloch, also traveling in the car, suffered minor injuries but others were badly wounded. Baloch called the nearest hospital in Lasbela for help but there was no response from them. Someone on the scene told him to call the Medical Emergency Response Centre (MERC) at 1122. “The MERC ambulance arrived within minutes and carried all of us to their centre after providing first aid,” he tells TNS.Dur Muhammad Pirkani succumbed to his injuries. His young daughter, Nimra Pirkani, a budding social…

Will coronavirus affect CPEC and Pak economy?
Top Story Fakhar Durrani February 07, 2020 Thousands of Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects left for China last month to celebrate the New Year and might not be returning anytime soon without proper screening
ISLAMABAD: Can coronavirus outbreak create havoc in Pakistan and hamper the ongoing progress on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects? The question has put Pakistani authorities in a catch-22 situation.Thousands of Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects left for China last month to celebrate the New Year and might not be returning anytime soon without proper screening. Their return can possibly cause the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan as some of the Chinesemight be potential carrier of latent and/or active coronavirus. If they don’t return soon, the progress on CPEC projects will be halted.Pakistani officials believe the coronavirus will have no repercussions on the CPEC projects and China will not send any of its national to Pakistan without…

252 pilgrims declared coronavirus free by Balochistan health officials

Pakistan Web Desk February 29, 2020 Trade activities remain suspended for seventh straight day at the Pakistan-Iran border
Photo: File Balochistan's health officials on Saturday declared 252 pilgrims from Iran free from coronavirus after putting them under quarantine for 15 days, reported Geo News.According to Levies officials, the pilgrims were cleared after they were screened by the health officials.
Meanwhile, District Health Officer Abdul Ghani said the new pilgrims which arrived last night have been shifted to Pakistan House, adding that their screening will be conducted after 48 hours.Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday said the government now has a plan to deal with the situation of pilgrims coming to Pakistan from Iran — which has been hit with the coronavirus epidemic.
Dr Mirza said he has reviewed the situation at the Taftan-Zahedan border and that the government would gradually allow the pilgrims from Iran in batches after full health scree…