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Showing posts from May 13, 2017

Prize for peace Adnan Aamir  May 14, 2017 Leave a comment In Balochistan, 500 militants have surrendered A new beginning? An old man walks up to the stage set up in the lawns of the Balochistan Assembly. He sports a white beard, holds a small national flag and carries a weapon. He moves towards Chief Minister Balochistan, Sanaullah Zehri, who is on stage, and hands him his weapon. This man, an old insurgent commander, is among the 500 militants that, according to provincial government, surrendered in a ceremony held on April 21 this year. In this elegant ceremony, managed amid tight security, some 500 militants surrendered — and took oath of allegiance to the state. Among those who surrendered were 12 commanders and 16 sub-commanders of insurgent groups. The rest were foot soldiers of outlawed Baloch insurgent groups. This was not the first of its kind ceremony. On August 6, 2015, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the Peaceful Balochistan

Suo motu case: Balochistan chief secretary summoned for cutting trees By  Our Correspondent Published: May 13, 2017 The three-judge bench expressed annoyance over cutting of trees in district Pishin of Balochistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS ISLAMABAD :  The top court on Friday summoned Balochistan chief secretary for cutting trees in Balochistan to extend a road. The three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, while hearing a suo motu case expressed annoyance over cutting of trees in district Pishin of Balochistan. The bench observed that it is an irony to cut trees in the desert areas of the province. SC takes suo moto notice of possible mass tree felling in Balochistan ADVERTISEMENT An application was filed before the apex court that the 10-kilometre Pishin-Yaroo Link Road was being extended in Pishin district and over 2,200 trees would be cut down for the purpose. The applicant told the court that these trees could be sa

Attacks in Balochistan EDITORIAL UPDATED ABOUT 5 HOURS AGO THE contrast could not be grimmer and is almost certainly deliberate. As the country’s civilian leadership gathered in Beijing for a milestone summit of the One Belt, One Road project, Balochistan has come under vicious attack. In Mastung, Deputy Chairman of the Senate Ghafoor Haideri’s convoy was bombed during a visit to a local madressah. At least 25 people were killed in the attack, which has been claimed by the militant Islamic State group. A day later, in Gwadar, 10 labourers belonging to Sindh were killed, with separatist Baloch militants quickly claiming responsibility. The complex, multilayered, seemingly never-ending security crisis in Balochistan continues. What is apparent is that neither the state’s militarised approach to security in the province is working nor has the latest civilian government, led by one of Balochistan’s most powerful tribal sardars, had much success in engagi

Aircraft carriers do not make China a ‘global power’ Thursday, May 4, 2017 China’s aircraft carriers are hailed as a sign of military might and ambitions to rival US global power projection Source: IISS; South China Morning Post; Kyle Mizokami; International Business Times; US Navy; UK Royal Navy Outlook China ‘launched’ an indigenous-built aircraft carrier last month, but the vessel is still years away from being fully operational. Even then, the US lead over China in this area will grow as Washington deploys a new generation of carriers. Possessing aircraft carriers will not set China apart as a ‘global power’, or for the foreseeable future significantly increase its ability to defend its global interests. Indeed, Beijing focuses more narrowly on ‘core interests’ on its periphery, and here its already formidable missile capabilities (including ‘carrier killers’) matter more. China’s own carriers will be of value primarily against wea

Conference on CPEC in Italy by UKPNP

United Kashmir People's National Party INVITATION Dear Sir/Madam, United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) has pleasure to invite you to the conference on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and its political and environmental implications on the region . Venue Sunday 14th May 2017 At 14:00 h to17:00 h Library Hall Torino Casa del quartiere San salvario Via morgari 14 Torino Italy This conference will highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent growing intrusion andincreased influence of China in matters of disputed State of Jammu & Kashmir. Plundering ofnatural resources, constructing mega projects in disputed areas of Gilgit Baltistan and So CalledAzad Kashmir and its political, economic, socio and environmental implications on the region. We hope that you will attend and contribute to the Conference. Local Coordinator Contact details: Asif Abbas +39 328 4759555, Abdul Waheed Khan+393510779918, Kamran Ayub +0039

India's response to BRI/OBOR

🔴 Regarding the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, which is being projected as the flagship project of the BRI/ OBOR , the international community is well aware of India’s position. No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity. 🔴 Connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognized international​ norms,good governance,rule of law,openness, transparency   & equalty -MEA 🔴 We have been urging China to engage in a meaningful dialogue on its connectivity initiative, awaiting a positive response from China: MEA

PSM agrees to give 1,500 acres for CPEC industrial zone By  Shahbaz Rana Published: May 13, 2017 ISLAMABAD :  The board of directors of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) on Friday gave approval to giving 1,500 acres of its land on lease for the construction of an industrial zone under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), but left price decision on independent assessors. The board also agreed to give another 930 acres for  building the National Industrial Park (NIP) at book value of Rs13 million per acre. The book value is significantly lower than market rates, which go up to Rs20 million per acre. A committee will negotiate with NIP management to settle the years-old issue. PSM cuts jobs to reduce salary expenses ADVERTISEMENT Ad Engineer Abdul Jabbar Memon chaired the board meeting held in Islamabad. Regarding 1,500 acres of land for the CPEC Special Economic Zone, the board decided that A-category assessors would determine fresh book value of t

Govt to lift ban on imported fuel-based power plants By  Zafar Bhutta Published: May 13, 2017 PHOTO: REUTERS ISLAMABAD :  The government has decided to lift the ban on setting up new power plants based on imported fuel in an attempt to resume and step up work on an abandoned imported coal-fired project planned under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). A senior official in the Ministry of Finance told  The Express Tribune  that the Ministry of Water and Power and the Finance Division were working on a study to withdraw the restrictions on new imported fuel-fired power projects keeping in view the projected increase in demand. With Thar coal project, Pakistan is harnessing the dirtiest energy ADVERTISEMENT In July last year, the government had slapped the ban on developing new imported coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG)-based power plants to ease the pressure on foreign currency reserves. The decision had a double impact as it would re

China to invest $50 billion to develop Indus River Cascade: Report PTI | 7 hours ago Pakistan and China are expected to sign an MoU for developing the North Indus River Cascade with investment of $50 billion to generate up to 40,000 MW hydro electricity. The memorandum of understanding is likely to be signed in Beijing today during the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China. ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan  and China are expected to sign an MoU for developing the  North Indus River Cascade  with investment of $50 billion to generate up to 40,000 MW  hydro electricity . The memorandum of understanding is likely to be signed in Beijing today during the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China, according to The Express Tribune newspaper. "The $50 billion investment comes on top of the $46 billion investment being provided by the Chinese government and Chinese banks for financing power and road infra

India to skip China’s OROB summit over sovereignty concerns: report The report says India will skip China’s OROB summit in view of sovereignty concerns related to the CPEC project in Pakistan that is expected to play a dominant role in the 2-day meet       Subscribe to our newsletter. K.J.M. Varma Indian officials say that New Delhi has objections related to the CPEC traversing through Gilgit, Baltistan of PoK. Photo: AFP Beijing:  India will skip China’s high- profile Belt and Road summit beginning in Beijing on Sunday in view of sovereignty concerns related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the initiative that is expected to play a dominant role in the two-day meet. While there is no official word, informed sources told  PTI  that India will not take part in the meet, contrary to Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s announcement that India will have a representative at the Belt and Road Fo

CPEC A MISNOMER: INDIA MUST RENAME IT Saturday, 13 May 2017 |  Priyanka Singh  | in  Oped The online reproduction of Chinese envoy Luo Zhaohui’s address at a New Delhi gathering on May 5 was swiftly edited to delete a particular line where he offered to rename CPEC if that were to alleviate India’s growing sovereignty concerns on the project.  CPEC  is emerging as a potential pivot in the geo-strategic calculus between India-Pakistan and China, and it has, for a while, been rearranging conventional parameters of the trilateral equations. From blatant indifference towards India’s territorial concerns, to cajoling New Delhi to participate in CPEC and now possibly progressing towards a rather accommodative mode — the triangular dynamics between the three countries are unfolding at a fast pace. Abiding by its extant claim on Gilgit-Baltistan as part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir ( PoK ), India has pitched a strident opposition to the corrid

Gwadar airport, rail, roads on PM’s China visit agenda National 20 HOURS AGO BY APP Rail track to be upgraded from Karachi to Peshawar to double speed from existing 80km per hour to 160km per hour Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Friday said agreements for the construction of an international airport and expressway in Gwadar and upgradation of railway track ML-1 were on the agenda of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during his week-long visit to China. In an interview in the flight en-route to Beijing along with the prime minister to attend Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Chinese capital, Ahsan said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was world’s biggest ever project of regional connectivity and shining part of the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative. Under the OBOR, China was aiming at establishing regional connectivity with Africa and Asia through multiple linkages, h

Accord on Gwadar Airport on PM's agenda | Nawaz arrives in Beijing to attend Belt & Road Forum May 13, 2017 Beijing -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in China Friday on a weeklong visit, on the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The prime minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Pervaiz Khattak and Balochistan CM Sanaullah Zehri. Besides, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, State Minister for IT Anusha Rehman, PM's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz were also accompanying the prime minister. During the visit, the prime minister would mainly join 27 heads of states and governments to attend 'Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation' being hosted by Chinese government in Beijing on May 1

China, Pak ink 6 pacts ahead of B&R summit;Xi says ties Sharif said Pakistan will continue to cooperate with China under multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations and the SCO to contribute to stability and development in the region and beyond He said the China-Pakistan friendship is solid and stressed that it was a national consensus to deepen ties with Beijing and participate in the B&R initiative priority (Eds: Updating with fresh inputs) From K J M Varma beijing / islamabad , May 13  China  and  pakistan  today signed six pacts to boost cooperation on the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including one on building an airport at the strategic Gwadar port city, with President  Xi Jinping  asserting that ties with Islamabad were a priority. The pacts were signed in the presence of Pakistan Prime Minister  Nawaz Sharif  and Chinese Premier  Li Keqiang  ahead of the much-publicised Belt and Road (B&R) For

BLA Gunmen kill 10 labourers in Balochistan's Gwadar Attack was claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army, which has been fighting for an independent homeland for the Baloch. The victims were working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Gwadar [File: Caren Firouz/Reuters] Gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on construction workers, killing 10 in  Pakistan 's southwestern province of Balochistan, officials said Saturday. Mineral-rich Balochistan has been plagued for decades by a separatist uprising and sectarian killings. Gunmen have previously targeted labourers seen as outsiders in the region. "Two gunmen riding on motorbikes opened fire on a group of construction workers in Peshukan Ganz neighbourhood of Gwadar," local administration official Munir Zamari told AFP news agency. The attack has been claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an armed separatist group that has been fighting for an independent homeland

10 labourers killed in Gwadar as unidentified assailants open fire at construction site AFP | REUTERS | SYED ALI SHAHUPDATED ABOUT 3 HOURS AGO At least 10 labourers were killed in Balochistan's Gwadar district on Saturday as unidentified assailants opened fire at the construction site where they were working, Levies sources said. Unidentified gunmen on motorcycles opened indiscriminate fire on a group of labourers working at a road in Gwadar's Pishgan area, killing eight of them on the spot, Levies sources confirmed. Key updates Two gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on group of labourers in GwadarBaloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility of attackThe road where labourers were working was not a specific CPEC-funded project A spokesman for the separatist Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the incident in a telephone call to AFP. Two of the injured labourers succumbed to gunshot wounds while they were being rushed to the D