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Showing posts from January, 2018

Declaring itself a 'near-Arctic state,' China to build a 'Polar Silk Road' off Canada's north Tristin Hopper January 30, 2018 5:09 PM EST China has finally unveiled its official Arctic strategy, and it includes a promise to build a “Polar Silk Road” on Canada’s northernmost fringes.  “It is interesting they put out something official … China’s strategy since 2008 was to remain low-key and avoid triggering the inevitable alarmism,” said Heather Exner-Pirot, managing editor of the Arctic Yearbook. The document,  published in English  by Chinese state media, declares China a “near-Arctic state” and lays out the country’s ambitions to become a major shipping power through an ice-free Arctic. “China attaches great importance to navigation security in the Arctic shipping routes,” it reads. The policy is coming out amidst a massive Chinese push to establish what has been called a “New Silk Road.” Officially dubbed the Belt and Road Initiative, it is China’

China-Pakistan sign new deals for Gwadar port's development: CPEC may turn out to be India's security and strategic problem India   FP Staff Jan 31, 2018 12:00:57 IST Gwadar Port, situated in the restive Balochistan province, has been the ‘it’ project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the torch bearer of the China-Pakistan relations, which Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani once said is " higher than mountains, deeper than the ocean, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey."  The Gwadar Port is expected to provide China’s western hinterland with access to the Arabian Sea – and in turn the Indian Ocean – for maritime trade.  Now partly operational , the port is one of the first visible signs of the $62 billion CPEC, which is a network of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan On Monday, Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi  inaugurated the Economic Free Zone  at the Gw

Gwadar Port’s operationalization to help improve national economy: Marriyum GWADAR : Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday said that operationalization of the first phase of Gwadar Port was a dream come true and would contribute to improve economic conditions of the country. Talking to state-run media, the State Minister said opening of Gwadar Port was a gift of the government of Pakistan Muslim League-N that was initiated by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif three years ago. Marriyum said Gwadar Port would not only create immense business opportunities for the people of Pakistan and China but would also increase regional connectivity. When asked the severe crisis of clean drinking water in Gwadar, the Minister said though the subject came under provincial domain, however the federal government would extend utmost support to resolve the problem on priority. She said the problems of Balochistan would be addressed, addi

Gaddani: Victims of Sea Erosion still remain shelter less By: Yousaf Ajab Baloch GADDANI : Sea erosion is a natural phenomenon that takes place along the coastal areas, causing loss of property and resulting hardships for the inhabitants.  Along the coast of Pakistan, Gaddani is also one of the affected areas by sea erosion. Sea erosion has submerged and  damaged houses of the poor fishermen, government owned buildings, religious places and a technical center in Gaddani city. It is likely to damage more areas and the houses close to the beach. Gadani Beach is on the Arabian Sea located near the Hub River and Cape Monze in Gadani, Lasbela District of Balochistan. Gaddani is one of the Tehsils of district Lasbela, about 50 kilometers away from Karachi, Sindh. Most of the population at Gaddani consists of fishermen and the workerers of Ship breaking yard. Ship-breaking yard is located in Gadani. The yard consists of 132 ship-breaking plots located acros

No development work going on in Balochistan, Senate body told Panel decides to send notices to depts over slow execution of projects January 31, 2018 Islamabad - A senator from  Balochistan on Tuesday complained about the slow pace of work on  development  projects in the province, demanding to complete the schemes as fast as being executed in the Punjab province. "In Multan, Lahore and Sialkot, projects are being executed swiftly while in  Balochistan  , the progress is very slow and the projects with a three-year completion deadline usually take 15 years," said Senator Usman Kakar during a meeting of the  Senate  Standing Committee on Planning,  Development and Reform. The committee met with Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi in the chair. Secretary Planning Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui briefed the committee about 213 slow moving projects and said that Rs53.4 billion were re-appropriated from slow moving projects in favour of fast-moving scheme

Balochistan seeks Punjab’s help in digitising police By  Muhammad Shahzad Published: January 31, 2018 SHARE   TWEET PHOTO: REUTERS LAHORE:  After Sindh, Balochistan Police has sought help from Punjab for the digitisation of the department by replicating their information technology projects. The projects include Local Eye, Welfare Eye and 111 Intelligence system. A delegation of Sindh Police, led by AIG Ghulam Azfar Mahesar, visited the control room of Welfare Eye, Local Eye and 111 Intelligence system which were established at Capital City Police Officer’s (CCPO) office on December 30, 2017. CCPO Amin Wains and SSP Admin Rana Ayyaz Salim had briefed the delegation about the working of the system and development of the software. On January 29, Sindh IG Allah Dino Khawaja wrote a letter to Punjab IG Arif Nawaz Khan. The letter read: “On December 30, 2017, Welfare AIG Ghulam Azfar Mehesar visited Lahore and held a detailed discussion about wel

Balochi film Zaraab highlights Gwadar's woes PUBLISHED ABOUT 22 HOURS AGO RAMSHA JAHANGIR The film features prominent Baloch actors such as Anwar Sahib Khan, Shah Nawaz Shah, Ahsan Danish and Aqib Asif. Against the backdrop of the first international expo in Gwadar, a feature film in the Balochi language that highlights the financial woes of locals was screened across Balochistan recently. Zaraab , which according to its makers is the first Balochi feature film to reach the big screen, follows the lives of four struggling individuals belonging to a family in Gwadar. It was initially screened in cinemas in Bahrain and last week it came to Pasni, Gwadar and Turbat. The film features prominent Baloch actors such as Anwar Sahib Khan, Shah Nawaz Shah, Ahsan Danish and Aqib Asif. “The idea behind the film is to portray the hopes and aspirations as well as anxieties of locals in a ‘city of promising future’ —Gwadar,” Jaan al Balushi, the Bahrain-based filmmaker and director of  Zaraab , tol

Balochistan: Present & Future January 31, 2018 The first international exhibition showcasing Gawadar port as global business hub should hold all the potentials to change the lives of the Baloch people for good. The Chinese envoy, like all others before him, emphasised the real aim of the project, i.e., bringing positive change in all aspects of life for Baloch people. While hoping that Ahsan Iqbal’s words, who also spoke on the occasion, that ‘Gawadar will revolutionise the life of Baloch people,’ prove true in the days to come, the present scheme of things in the province reflects that the Province was the last subject on state’s priority list all these years. For except for Quetta, the capital city of the province, the basic civil facilities including health, education, clean drinking water in the rest of  Balochistan  are virtually non-existent. The information given to the Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas show that t

42 out of 100 dams in Balochistan completed, Senate body told Islamabad The Senate’s Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reforms Tuesday was informed that total 42 dams had been completed under package 1 and 2 of the project of construction of 100 dams in Balochistan. Secretary Planning Shoaib Ahmed Siddqui informed the committee, which met here with under Senator Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi in the chair, that realizing the acute shortage of water in Balochistan, the federal government had embarked on a comprehensive programme of harnessing flood flows through construction of small dams. The project had been divided into five packages, under which the government was sponsoring construction of 100 dams in the province. He said under the first package, 22 dams had been completed and under the second package, 22 out of 26 dams had been finalized while under the third package, work on 20 dams was in process. The secretary said the construction of small an

CPEC and its advantages   RECORDER REPORT     JAN 31ST, 2018    EDITORIAL Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while inaugurating part of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative stated that "this is perhaps the most important initiative of our generation... China Pakistan Economic Corridor today for Pakistan is this reality; the Gwadar port, the Gwadar free zone, the Eastway expressway and other projects in Gwadar. It is the motorways and the highways that are linking Gwadar to Khunjerab that are linking Peshawar to Karachi. It is the modernization of our railway system. It is the establishment of our power projects and it is the special economic zones that will generate employment that will create exports for Pakistan and that will give prosperity to the people of Pakistan." This unambiguously overwhelming support for CPEC projects that envisages over 50 billion dollar investment inflows into Pakistan alone, announced during President Xi Jinping&

CJ calls meeting of chief justices of high courts on CPEC The Newspaper's Staff Reporter January 31, 2018 ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar said on Tuesday he had convened a meeting of the chief justices of the high courts on Saturday in view of disputes cropping up over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “The CPEC is the most important project for Pakistan but disputes (over it) are coming up that is why I have called a meeting of the chief justices on Feb 3,” Chief Justice Nisar said while hearing a suo motu case on the drying out of Katas Raj pond, considered by the followers of Hindu religion a sacred place. The observation came when senior counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan, representing the Maple Leaf Cement and the Bestway Cement, told the court that one of the industrial units had given six kanals of land to the government because the CPEC would pass through its doorway. The chief justice said the court would create a balance because the requirement of cement would be imm

CHINA'S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE: FIVE YEARS LATER CHINA'S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE: FIVE YEARS LATER (VIDEO) LINK TO HEARING LIVESTREAM: isvp /?type=live&comm= uscc &filename=uscc012518(link is external)   Thursday, January 25, 2018 Location: Dirksen 419     Hearing Co-Chairs: Commissioner Dennis Shea and Commissioner Katherine Tobin, PhD     9:45 AM – 9:50 AM:           Opening Remarks: Commissioner Dennis Shea and Commissioner Katherine Tobin, PhD   9:50 AM – 11:20 PM:          Panel I:  Mercantilism with Chinese Characteristics: Creating Markets and Cultivating Influence   ·          Nadége Rolland , Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs, National Bureau of Asian Research ( Testimony ) ·          Jonathan Hillman , Fellow and Director, Reconnecting Asia Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies ( Testimony ) ·          Randal Phillips , Managing Partner, Mintz Group (

China invites scientists to jointly build digital Silk Road Source: Xinhua |  2018-01-30 20:54:51 | BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientist Guo Huadong on Tuesday published an article on the website of the academic journal, Nature, calling on global scientists to build a digital Silk Road using big data. Guo, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said in the article that sharing big data from satellite imagery and other earth observations in the regions covered by China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative was key to sustainability. Guo underscored that the environments are diverse and fragile with various natural hazards in the regions. He believes a combination of accurate, reliable and timely scientific observations of the state of terrestrial and marine ecosystems is essential -- from space, the air and on the ground. Guo has been the chairman of the Digital Belt and Road Program which was initiated in 2016 by Chinese scientists in cooperation with e

Notification to ban 'designed beards' in Dalbandin withdrawn Syed Ali Shah Updated January 30, 2018 A senior administration officer in the city of Dalbandin in Balochistan's Chagai district had barred barbershops in the region from styling customers' beards "in designs" but later — on the same day as the notice was issued — withdrew the decree. Signed by Assistant Commissioner Dalbandin, Habibullah Mandokhel, the original decree was titled "Immediate ban on designed beards", and stated that "in accordance with Sunnah  lifestyle of the Holy Prophet , the barbershop owners are being strictly instructed against styling their customers' beards with designs." "There is a complete ban on this act (designed beards) and whosoever is found in violation will have to face strict legal action," the first notification, drafted on January 29, had warned. Copies of the notification were dispatched to police, Levies and other district administration officials for implemen

Senate briefing on health, civil facilities: Balochistan situation worse than Somalia’s Senate body briefing on health, civic facilities January 30, 2018 ISLAMABAD -  The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas was Monday informed that the condition in  Balochistan  is  worse  than Sudan and Somalia and the women mortality rate in the province is four times higher than rest of the country. The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas, which met here with Senator Usman Khan Kakar in the chair showed serious concern over the water scarcity in  Balochistan  . The committee member Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini said that  Balochistan  is on the verge of destruction and there is a severe water shortage in the province. He said the provincial capital Quetta is also facing water shortage. The committee was informed that in the whole Pakistan 178 women out of 100,000 die during delivery while in  Balochistan  t

Senate briefing on health, civil facilities: Balochistan situation worse than Somalia’s Senate body briefing on health, civic facilities January 30, 2018 ISLAMABAD -  The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas was Monday informed that the condition in  Balochistan  is  worse  than Sudan and Somalia and the women mortality rate in the province is four times higher than rest of the country. The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas, which met here with Senator Usman Khan Kakar in the chair showed serious concern over the water scarcity in  Balochistan  . The committee member Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini said that  Balochistan  is on the verge of destruction and there is a severe water shortage in the province. He said the provincial capital Quetta is also facing water shortage. The committee was informed that in the whole Pakistan 178 women out of 100,000 die during delivery while in  Balochistan  t

Rs9.6mn released for exploration, evaluation in coal potential areas of Balochistan   FAWAD MAQSOOD   JAN 30TH, 2018   0  VIEWS: 25 ISLAMABAD: The government has so far released an amount of Rs 9.609 million against total allocation of Rs 24.023 million under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2017-18) to carry out coal exploration and evaluation activities in Nosham and Bahlol areas of Balochistan province. The new exploration schemes would be executed with an estimated cost of Rs 42. 3 million, official sources told APP. Answering a question, they said this year an amount of Rs 148 million had been allocated to carry out a survey for underground water in Quetta to facilitate citizens. They said, the Petroleum Division would spend around Rs 554.291 million, under the PSDP, to execute four ongoing and two new projects to step up exploration activities of natural resources for achieving self-reliance in the energy sector. Th

Who is surrendering in Balochistan? Daily Times JANUARY 30, 2018 Whenever Pakistan is feeling particularly flush, it rewards or compensates those whom it thinks are the most deserving. Yet this appears to happen on an ad hoc basis. Whereas the civil-military leadership would do better to strengthen national institutions, including the criminal justice system. According to figures released by the National Action Plan Review 2017 — some 2,000 Baloch separatists have surrendered to security forces over the last two years. As part of a general amnesty scheme, the latter are to be given money as well as government jobs. Indeed, the 200-300 who did just that is last week have reportedly been given Rs 0.1million for returning to the political fold. Given that the security establishment has long contended that India is fuelling unrest in the area — this raises questions as to whether these are the latest in an increasing line of ‘reformed assets’? Who can

Pakistan, China jointly host Gwadar Expo January 30, 2018 QUETTA -  Pakistan  and  China  on Monday  jointly  organised the first international exhibition to showcase the significance of the Gwadar Port and its economic free zone as an emerging global business hub. The exhibition,  jointly  arranged by Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) and  China Overseas Port Holding, was attended by foreign diplomats, entrepreneurs and over 5,000 business representatives from all over the world. More than 200 companies from both  Pakistan  and  China  were present at the Gwadar Expo, while six Chinese provinces also sent their representatives, said Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing, while addressing the ceremony. Foreign diplomats and business leaders were also invited to the opening session of the two-day event. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the International Gwadar Expo and preliminary phase of Gwadar Free Zone. Speaking on the

BoI for exploiting investment opportunities in ZEZs under CPEC Staff Reporter Islamabad Chairman Board of Investment Naeem Zamindar on Monday called upon the investors across of the world to exploit huge investment opportunities offered by Pakistan in Special Economic Zones projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Talking to a delegation of World Bank (WB), headed by its Regional Vice President Annette Dixon, he underlined that in Pakistan entrepreneurs were recognized as important drivers of economic and social progress. He invited the bank to invest in national insurance fund and other venture capital funds to promote and strengthen the local capital sector, said a press release here. Chairman BoI appreciated the efforts of the bank for improving business climate in the country and emphasized that simplification of procedures in every area of the business cycle was important to attract investment in the country. Executive Director General BoI Fareena

India has imposed certain redlines on China's BRI: Expert By PTI | Jan 30, 2018, 03.32PM IST WASHINGTON: India has effectively imposed certain redlines on  China 's ambitious  Belt and Road Initiative  in South Asia, a US expert has said. India is the only major country of the world to have opposed Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The BRI focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. " India has effectively imposed certain redlines on the the Belt and Road Initiative in South Asia," said  Andrew Small , senior transatlantic fellow, German Marshall Fund of the US. India skipped the  Belt and Road Forum  (BRF) in May last year due to its sovereignty concerns over the  CPEC , a flagship project of  Silk Road  project, officially called OBOR. During a hearing of the US-China Economic and Security Rev

Want to resolve all CPEC-related disputes: CJP By GEO NEWS Tuesday Jan 30, 2018   ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar stressed the importance of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project during proceedings of the Katas Raj case on Tuesday. The chief justice observed that several disputes were surfacing regarding the CPEC, adding that the court wants their resolution. For this purpose, the chief justice informed that he has summoned all the high court chief justices.  The remarks were made when Bestway Cement's counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan informed the court that one of their factories is located on the path of CPEC.  The Supreme Court has taken a suo motu notice of the depletion of the Katas Raj pond, a revered site for Hindus, due to the depletion of the water table by nearby cement factories.  CPEC most important initiative of our generation: PM Abbasi At the last hearing of the case on January 19, the

Candle light vigil: Solidarity with Afghan victims of Pak Tàliban attack

For folks in Washington DC - please join Afghans in solidarity against Pak-Taliban attacks in Afghanistan ...this helps trigger further US action against Pakistan: Date : Friday Feb 2nd, 6Pm-8Pm at Venue : Dupont Circle, Washington, DC. Parking right next, also Metro stop. All Global citizens concerned about lives of Afghans,

New momentum for Cambodia-India ties Mn  January 29, 2018 New momentum for Cambodia-India ties Chheang Vannarith / Khmer TimesShare:     Prime Minister Hun Sen, left, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. AFP Prime Minister Hun Sen wrapped up his state visit to India yesterday, with new hope and commitment to strengthen the bilateral partnership between the two countries and their people. Both sides issued a joint statement covering a wide range of areas of cooperation and signed four agreements on the prevention of human trafficking, mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, cultural exchanges and a dollar credit line agreement of $39.92 million for the Stung Sva Hap water resource development project. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has upgraded India’s Look East Policy to India’s Act East Policy, India has been actively promoting its regional role and influence in Asia. India is an emerging a