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Showing posts from November 6, 2017

Pakistan: End enforced disappearances now 6 November 2017, 15:29 UTC Amnesty International is alarmed by reports it has received of a wave of enforced disappearances that have taken place over recent days, particularly of activists in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, and calls upon the Pakistani authorities to immediately carry out independent and effective investigations with a view to determining the fate and whereabouts of all missing people. Where they are in the custody of the state to either release them or charge them with a recognisable criminal offence. Anyone reasonably suspected of criminal responsibility for enforced disappearances must be held to account through fair trials. While some of the people who were reported to have been disappeared have been returned home over recent days, there are credible reports that others still remain missing. Enforced disappearances are a blight on Pakistan’s human rights recor

The U. S. Coast Guard in the South China Sea: Strategy or Folly? The U. S. Coast Guard in the South China Sea: Strategy or Folly? Posted by  Guest Author By Michael D. Armour, Ph.D. Introduction Recently there has been discussions at the highest level of the U.S. military concerning the deployment of U.S. Coast Guard assets to the South China sea and integrating them into the freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) conducted by the U.S. Navy relating to the manmade atolls constructed by the Chinese and subsequently claimed as Chinese sovereign territory. It may be that these U.S. Coast Guard units, if deployed to the area, may turn out to be a combat multiplier or a diplomatic plus. However, given the meager USCG budget and the limited assets of the service, their deployment may prove to be insignificant or even fraught with danger. Chinese Territorial Expansion Claims The South China Sea (SCS) has become a flashpoint on the world stage. The People’s Republic of China ha

Test of Chinese Vessel in Contested Sea Adds Speed Bump to Diplomacy November 06, 2017 8:27 AM Ralph Jennings This photo taken on Nov. 3, 2017 shows the ship 'Tian Kun Hao' being launched at a port in Qidong in China's eastern Jiangsu province. Share TAIPEI, TAIWAN —  China’s announcement of a super-sized reclamation vessel for use in the disputed South China Sea stands to rile much of Asia as well as the U.S. government during a month of meetings among the region's top leaders. Beijing has begun testing Asia’s largest deep-water dredging vessel, the  Tian Kun Hao , according to the state-run  China Daily’s  website Sunday. The report said the140-meter-long vessel can dredge 6,000 cubic meters of land per hour up to 35 meters under the sea floor. The vessel can accelerate the creation of artificial islands, a process that would let it expand control of the South China Sea where most natural features are too small for development. “From a diplomatic angle

Turkey's leg of the Silk Road could be smoother Fehim Tastekin  November 5, 2017 ARTICLE SUMMARY Turkish officials are playing up the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway as a segment of the new Silk Road linking Beijing to London, but there are many bumps yet to come along the way. Turkish politicians  and the  media  tend to quote staggering numbers when discussing strategic equations, as they are doing now regarding the BTK railway project connecting Baku in Azerbaijan, Tblisi in Georgia and Kars in Turkey. The 527-mile leg contributes to China's work in progress, the Silk Road route to connect Europe and Asia. The BTK, which has been in the works since 1993, was finally inaugurated Oct. 30 in the new Port of Baku at Alat, actually 55 miles from Baku. The presidents or prime ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia  attended the ceremony . No doubt, this is not a project to ignore. It may offer n

SCO, OBOR and Pakistan (Part – 2) Columns   Comment 3 HOURS AGO BY  WAQAS A KHAN Share this on WhatsApp Recipe for progress   The project claims that 1,100-kilometer extended motorway is to be constructed between the cities of Karachi and Lahore. Plus the Karakoram Highway between Rawalpindi and the Chinese border is to be utterly renovated and refurbished   The world has been observing India’s enmity with Pakistan since 1947. When the leaders of Pakistan and China mutually agreed upon the project and signed a contract to construct the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), connecting China and Pakistan with other regional and regionally extended countries with the Gwadar port, India was utterly surprised and tremendously demoralized     Pak-China relations The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a full opportunity for Pakistan to coagulate its relations with China and The Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) will offer an

RCP, journalists decry curbs on press freedom in Balochistan By Zia Ur Rehman Monday Nov 06, 2017 A protest for the rights of journalists. Photo: File  KARACHI: Balochistan has long been a hard place to practice journalism mainly because of a restraining atmosphere for freedom of expression and a restless security situation.  However, after recent threats hurled by Baloch militant groups for not giving sufficient space in media, journalist activities and the distribution of newspapers have been suspended in the entire Baloch region of the province. Also, journalists, media workers and newspaper vendors have found themselves in an untenable situation because of the multi-dimensional sources of pressure around them. This was the crux of a discussion organised by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) at its Karachi office on Saturday to discuss the overall situation regarding the freedom of press in Balochistan. Asad Iqbal Butt, the HRCP’

A viral identity card proves Pakistan may be China's ally but Pakistanis are not By ET Online | Updated: Nov 06, 2017, 04.07 PM IST Whatsapp Facebook Twitter LinkedIn gplus email message aPlus VIEW IN APP The 3,000 km CPEC project connects Pakistan's deep-water port Gwadar and China's Xinjiang. A national identity card for  Pakistani citizens issued to a Chinese man kicked up storm when it circulated on Pakistani social media. Many Pakistanis saw it as the beginning of a Chinese invasion. Many others considered it morally wrong when  Pakistan , a Muslim country, had yet to issue identity cards to Muslim refugees from Afghanistan. Some termed it "the aftereffect of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (  CPEC )". Construction of nearly $60-billion CPEC, which is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, has left Pakistanis divided over its benefits. A string of ener