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Showing posts from February, 2018

CPEC delivering dividends: Masood Khan London The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a transformative mega-project and it is already delivering dividends in the form of the completion and early harvest projects related to the Gwadar Port, infrastructure, energy, and industrial development. The project is creating new jobs and businesses on a massive scale. Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, made these remarks during an interactive discussion with students at the University College London on the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and CPEC. Students for the School of Oriental and African Studies also joined the discussion. The event was organised by UCL’s Pakistan Society. The BRI is China’s trans-continental initiative for promoting economic connectivity between Asia, Europe and Africa. Some 65 countries, including Pakistan, are participating in it; and China plans to invest around US $ 1 trillion in this project. The Pr

China, Pakistan plundering Baloch resources: BLA commander Aslam Baloch ANI | Updated: Mar 01, 2018 05:58IST Balochistan  [ Pakistan ], Mar. 1 (ANI): A senior  commander  of the  Balochistan  Liberation Army"> Balochistan  Liberation Army ( BLA ),  Aslam Baloch , has accused both  China  and  Pakistan  of plundering the natural resources of  Balochistan  and perpetrating atrocities on the Baloch. In an exclusive video interview sent to ANI, Aslam accused both Beijing and Islamabad of conceiving a malicious plan to eliminate Baloch identity. He said, "It needs to be understood that  China , under the patronage of  Pakistan  and its army, has been plundering the natural resources of  Balochistan  for many years. Not only this,  China  has now joined hands with the  Pakistan  Army, which has been perpetrating brutality on the common people of the region for the last six decades." " Pakistan  is getting in

Macron to Set Tone for an EU Balancing Act Between India and China on Belt and Road Image Credit:  Flickr/ MEAphotogallery Will Macron speak for the EU as he balances between India and China? By Aman Thakker February 28, 2018     French President Emmanuel Macron, in his first visit to China from January 8 to 10, 2018,  announced  that he wanted France to take part in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While he did  express  that China’s “new silk roads” could not be “one-way… and cannot be those of a new hegemony,” his message to China was one based on “strengthen[ing] cooperation under the framework of the belt and road.” However, Macron will likely temper his statements on China’s Belt and Road Initiative when he  visits  India, which opposes the BRI, in March. India’s objections to the BRI are rooted in the claim that the project violates its territorial integrity as it cuts through land claimed by India in Kashmir and that China’s agen

Gwadar coal power tariff sought at Rs8.9/unit for 30 years Listen ByOur correspondent ISLAMABAD: The CIHC Pak Power Company has submitted to Nepra the petition of coal-based power plant of 300 MW at Gwadar port seeking a levelised tariff of Rs8.9 per unit for 30 years. The internal rate of return (IRR) of the project will be 17 percent. Nepra has been asked for the two-part tariff consisting Rs9.57 per unit for first 12.5 years and Rs8.49 per unit for the period from 12.5 years to 30 years. The fuel consumption of the plant will be based on the thermal efficiency of 37 percent and the coal of South Africa will be used for the power generation. The project will be completed in 30 months at the cost of $542.32 million that include engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) cost of $369.88 million, interest during cost (IDC) of $32.90 million, expenditure in the heads of withholding tax, sales tax and custom duty valuing $40.11 million, no

Sucide attack kills four FC personnel QUETTA: A suicide attack targetting a camp of the Frontier Corps (FC) and Levies martyred at least four security personnel on Tuesday evening, said security sources. The attack also injured eight FC personnel deployed at the installation. The explosion took place in Nauhisar area on the outskirts of the provincial capital. Bomb Disposal Squad confirmed that around 10kgs of explosives were used in the attack. BDS personnel swept and declared the area clear after the attack.  BDS personnel added that the attacker arrived on foot at the security forces camp.  Two policemen martyred in attack on DSP's vehicle in Quetta The area was cordoned off by security forces after the attack and the injured were shifted to nearby medical facilities for treatment.  In Punjab, the province's top police official ordered to maintain high alert. He also instructed security to be increased across the province's importan

Geopolitical tug of war between India & China for Indian Ocean Author  LBO Posted on  February 28, 2018  |  Watch Tower “Geopolitical tug of war between India and China for the Indian Ocean, in case of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is implemented” By Ruwani Weerasinghe Since 15th Century, Indian Ocean has been a source of disseminating cultural, political, economic & social transformation across the regions. Also it remained as a significant ‘trade agent’ due to its strategic location and abundance of natural resources. In comparison to Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean had always been a perfect trading ground due to one crucial feature: predictable Monsoon currents. Therefore, Indian Ocean as an ancient trade hub was commonly known as ‘Monsoon Market’. Nevertheless, with globalization the economic and political concentration is shift from Western to Eastern countries and as a result, Indian Ocean & its significance has rap

Vietnam prez pitches for expanding Indo-Vietnam maritime connectivity 28 February, 2018 by  PTI Print this article Font size  - 16 + By Priyanka Tikoo New  Delhi , Feb 28 (PTI) Ahead of his India visit, Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang has strongly advocated enhanced trade ties and boosting maritime and aerial connectivity between the two countries, a push that comes amid increasing Chinese assertiveness in the region. Tran, who will arrive in India on March 2 on a three-day state visit, also feels that India and Vietnam are "blessed" with strategic locations in South Asia and South East Asia, respectively, and there is immense potential for the two countries to cooperate in different areas. "Furthermore, both countries are endowed with advantages to develop maritime economy. In this regard, we could increase information exchange and share experience in formulating maritime strategies," Tran told PTI in

Revived ‘Quad’ alliance eggs on China’s response US, India, Japan, Australia 'quadrilateral' paradigm aims to contain China and supplant Asean in shaping the region's security architecture By  RICHARD JAVAD HEYDARIAN CANBERRA, FEBRUARY 28, 2018 4:07 PM (UTC+8) 20 2 US President Donald Trump holds a trilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Manila on November 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst China’s territorial assertiveness has rapidly revived the long-dormant Quadrilateral (Quad) alliance among major maritime powers India, Japan, Australia and the United States. A renewed sense of urgency among China’s strategic rivals is being driven partly by growing frustration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) grouping’s inability to tame Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions through dialogue and engagement. The dailyReport

China’s Belt and Road will recast global alliances There are opportunities for the Gulf to figure prominently in them By Mohammad Al Asoomi , Special to Gulf News 12:33 February 28, 2018 Through a forward-looking approach, China has achieved remarkable success in finding new trade routes linking continents, in what has come to be known as the “One Belt and One Road Initiative” and a reminder of the historic Silk Road. China’s success, however, will definitely lead to a reversal of control over global trade routes that were once dominated by the West. The recent Beijing conference, held to discuss the latest developments on these routes, saw a qualitative leap in terms of the number of participants — from more than 60 countries — and in taking practical steps to implementation. With initial allocations of $60 billion (Dh220 billion), the first route will extend across the Asian continent while the second will pass through Africa an

The Silk Road, Rebooted : A photographer's epic journey through western China The Silk Road, Rebooted A photographer's epic journey through western China By  CHARLIE CAMPBELL Photographs by  PATRICK WACK Workdays in Xinjiang generally begin at 10 or 11 a.m. Not because its people are lazy; China’s westernmost region may share a rough longitude with Nepal, but it’s run according to Beijing time, meaning dawn and dusk arrive at peculiarly late hours. It’s a perpetual reminder that this is a land beholden to a faraway power. Travelers pass through the train station in Kashgar, China's westernmost city, in May 2016. Travelers pass through the train station in Kashgar, China's westernmost city, in May 2016. Ringed by seven Central and South Asian nations, Xinjiang is an Alaska-sized territory of parched desert, snowcapped mountains and lush grasslands. It is blighted by severe poverty but is also undergoing rapid development—home, as it is, to 3,500 miles of China’s Belt and Road Initiative: a $900

KPT, BQM and Gwadar: meeting to improve rail connectivity held   RECORDER REPORT     FEB 28TH, 2018    ISLAMABAD The second inter-ministerial meeting on improvement of rail connectivity with Karachi Port Trust (KPT), Bin Qasim ((BQM) and Gwadar was held on Tuesday at Ministry of Railways, Islamabad. Parveen Agha, chairperson, Ministry of Railways, said that Pakistan Railways (PR) is repositioning for CPEC as KPT is quite important for the connectivity. While chairing the meeting she claimed that there is substantial increase in line capacity of Main Line-1, said a press release. It was proposed in the meeting that railway tracks' extension shall be stretched to the pilot gate of KPT. This track will be adjacent to Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT). KPT also raised the issue of condemned wagons. According to PR, condemned wagons are being cleared on priority and so far 179 out of 525 condemned wagons have been cleared. It was decided that South Asia Pakistan Terminal Limited (SA

Balochistan FC busts militant hideouts in province-wide IBOs, recovers arms National 4 HOURS AGO BY STAFF REPORT QUETTA :  Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) raided several militant hideouts in the province-wide Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs), the media cell of Pakistan Army said on Wednesday. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that a heavy cache of arms was recovered in the operations. Chaman, Kohlu, Sibbi, and Uch were some of the areas where the security forces conducted these raids. ISPR told that the aim of these raids was to disarm and eliminate all hidden terrorist hideouts, as part of the nationwide Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. The recovered ammunition and arms include sub-machine guns, RPG grenades, and suicide belts. On January 30, it was reported that Balochistan FC had  arrested 10 suspected terrorists  during multiple IBOs in in Dera Murad Jamali and Dera Bugti. Similar IBOs were also conducted on January 25 whe

CPEC: Geo-economics vs. Geo-politics There is no doubt that in the today’s globalized world, following the geo-economics rather than geo-politics would offer multifaceted incentives to various regions and countries in the form of faster economic growth, creation of jobs, socio-economic development, energy cooperation and regional connectivity. In this context China’s initiatives relating to regional connectivity and infrastructure development in the form of One Belt One Road (OBOR) also termed as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) offer great opportunities to all the countries on a win-win cooperation basis. The traditional trend of geo-politics based on power projection is no longer attractive as it creates dominance and hegemony of a few countries. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a mega project designed to create economic interdependence not only between China and Pakistan but also among other regio

CPEC’s transparency: NHA admits irregularities in award of $2.9b contract to Chinese firm By  Shahbaz Rana Published: February 28, 2018 NHA admits irregularities in award of $2.9b contract to Chinese firm PHOTO: AFP ISLAMABAD :  The National Highway Authority (NHA) chairman confessed on Tuesday that there were irregularities in the award of a $2.9-billion contract to a Chinese firm for construction of a motorway under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The admission raises transparency concerns in the multi-billion dollar deals. CPEC dividend: Western route to benefit DI Khan NHA Chairman Jawwad Rafique Malik admitted that concessions worth roughly $200 million given to the China State Construction Engineering Company (CSCEC) were not part of the original bidding documents Pakistan had floated for the construction of the 392-kilometre long Multan-Sukkur section. The chairman also confessed that the Rs294.4-billion or $2.9-billion contract

Chinese language interpreters: CPEC projects to create 40,000 jobs: Tevta chief   RECORDER REPORT     FEB 28TH, 2018    LAHORE Chairman Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Irfan Qaiser Sheikh has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will produce around 40,000 jobs of Chinese language interpreters for youngsters. TEVTA is preparing youth to avail the opportunities by starting courses in Chinese language. While addressing to a meeting at TEVTA Secretariat here on Tuesday, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that CPEC is bringing a huge industry along and for availing opportunity through this industry; we need to prepare our youth. Keeping this in mind, TEVTA started Chinese language course from just 250 students per course and this number will be increased to 16,000 students per course. He said that purpose of starting Chinese language courses is to trained the youth in Chinese language so that they are able to interpret with the representatives of the Chinese companies. He also said

STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE OF CPEC The geographical location of a country determines its role in the world politics. It denotes that critically how beneficial or non-beneficial one country is to the others in terms of the social, economic and political aspects. Strategically, Pakistan is located at a very significant geo-strategic place on the globe. It is situated at the juncture of energy proficient to the energy deficient countries. The geo-strategic importance of Pakistan is evident from the fact that it is bordered by the emerging economic giants of the world i.e. India and China, and by the countries rich in abundant natural resources i.e. Afghanistan and Iran. Historically it is evident that the very concept of a corridor has been a cause of development in parts of the world. Economic corridors have emerged in the recent years as an important tool of regional cooperation, integration and development in a globalized world under reciprocity. China as being the

Humanity at stake in Balochistan

Abdullah Abbas  February 28, 2018 Opinion In the middle of the night of October 28, 2017, I received a call from one of my colleagues in the Baloch Human Rights Organization (BHRO), a group working to highlight human rights abuses in Balochistan. It was unusual to receive a call from Pakistan directly on my mobile phone. Our colleagues there would usually use free calling apps to avoid being billed, or more precisely, being tracked by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies always eager to hunt down human rights campaigners from Balochistan. “Nawaz jaan too has been taken away,” his voice shivered. I was trying to figure out what did that mean when the voice echoed again. “Nawaz Atta has been abducted by secret agents in a raid on his house”. And the call disconnected. Earlier the same night, I was discussing with Nawaz Atta about our research and documentation of the Internally Disappeared Persons caught in military operations across Balochistan. It was so difficult to believe that a fu

Public Diplomacy :LESSONS FROM NATO

LESSONS FROM NATO Feb 27, 2018   The first issue of  CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy  this year is an article by 2015-17 CPD Research Fellow  Barbora Maronkova . "From Crawling to Walking: Progress in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Public Diplomacy: Lessons Learned from NATO," looks at the evolving evaluation and measurement practices of NATO's Public Diplomacy Division. Maronkova's essay delves into the organizational restructuring within NATO that merged the Office of Information and Press and the Science for Peace Program, as a means to address challenges in communication and public diplomacy. This issue also marks the first in the  Perspectives  series with Guest Editor  Vivian S. Walker , a past contributor to the series on such topics as Russian disinformation campaigns in Georgia and re-framing state narratives on terror. "This paper detailing efforts to raise awareness about and generate trust in the NATO alliance illustrates that all too ra