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Showing posts from January 16, 2018

Country to pay up to Rs4b annually on loans obtained under CPEC January 17, 2018 ISLAMABAD - Pakistan will start paying up to Rs4 billion  annually  on  loans obtained under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in next few years, Senate standing committee on commerce and textiles was told on Tuesday. The committee, which met under the chair of Senator Shibli Faraz, sought details of  loans  which will be payable in future. The officials of Ministry of Commerce told the members of meeting that new trade policy is in the making, in which service policy and investment and tariff issues are also included. Officials said that the free trade agreement (FTA) with China is being considered again. The Ministry of Commerce officials said that the FTA with China will be revised. Under the FTA signed with China in 2006, Pakistan was given market access at zero duty on industrial alcohol, textiles, marble, leather articles, sports goods, fruits and vegetab

Time to focus on CPEC projects execution: Sartaj Suggests China could import meat, fish, fruits, vegetables from Pakistan January 17, 2018 ISLAMABAD - Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz has said that construction phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects is continuing smoothly and now it is  time to  focus  on working out policies, agendas, and strategies for future administrative operation of these projects. “Hardware side of the CPEC project is being implemented but we also need to  focus  on the software side that includes policies, agendas, and strategies for the administrative operations of these projects,” said Aziz in a meeting with Chinese ambassador here on Tuesday. Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan Yao Jing called on Aziz to discuss bilateral relations and mutual trade. Sources told this scribe that the deputy chairman said that the construction stage of the CPEC projects was moving fo

Conspiracy theories on CPEC, Balochistan It has been reported that CIA is now exploiting private militia like the Khost Protection Force (KPF), Afghan Security Guards (ASG) and Kandahar Strike Force (KSF), etc, to hunt and kill the Taliban. These teams have remained involved in perpetrating crimes and HR violations against civilians and detainees. All such private militias are mostly from Afghan nationals but due to having special links with CIA, they are above the law in Afghanistan. The Nato forces are also using them to avoid the direct blame of HR violations in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, there is no dearth of adventurers who think they are experts on the region. Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D, is a retired US colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of ‘Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution’. His point of view expressed in the articles on Bal

Marriages of conveniences fail Mansoor Akbar Kundi POLITICS is a game in which ultimate goal for a player is to gain power, maximise it or exert influence. In the game of power struggle the situation can become volatile and friends turn into enemies. The situation in Balochistan which developed in the direction of No-Confidence Vote against the incumbent Chief Minister, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri proves and supports the fact that politics is a unpredictable game and remains under conspiracies even under representative systems. Nawab Sanaullah Zehri stepped into Chief Minister office in August 2016 after the two and half year tenure of Malik Baloch of National Party expired under the Murree Agreement in July 2013. Murree Agreement was a power sharing formula to share the five year office tenure equally between Baloch and Zehri. Malik Baloch was the first Chief Minister of Balochistan since it was raised to a province status in 1970 who was not a Sardar. He got a chanc

Gazain Marri shuns separatist agenda, vows to join mainstream politics National 10 HOURS AGO BY  MIAN ABRAR Share this on WhatsApp Supports CPEC in a historic first saying it will bring prosperity in Balochistan  ISLAMABAD :  In a major breakthrough, Nawabzada Gazain Marri on Tuesday announced to quit separatist and nationalist politics and told his supporters that he will now join mainstream politics. Addressing a gathering of the fellow Baloch populace in Golarchi, Marri vowed to fully back the game-changing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), telling his followers that various projects under the CPEC would bring prosperity in Balochistan and other provinces. He, however, warned the government against backlash if people of smaller provinces do not receive benefits from CPEC projects. “There would certainly be lots of uproar if fruits of CPEC don’t reach the poor people of smaller provinces,” he warned. Gazain said t

Concern over WB-funded water scheme in Balochistan The Newspaper's Staff Correspondent January 17, 2018 QUETTA: Civil society activists, independent experts and representatives of different communities from several districts of Balochistan have expressed concern over what they called the violation of resettlement policy by World Bank (WB) and the Balochistan Irrigation Department in the WB-funded Balochistan Integrated Water Resource Management and Development Project being implemented in Nari and Porali Rivers’ basins of the province. They expressed their views at a workshop titled, ‘Peoples’ Consultative Workshop on Balochistan Integrated Water Resource Management and Development Programme’, organised by Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) here on Tuesday. A large number of civil society activists, independent experts and people’s representatives from areas adjacent to Porali and Nari Rivers participated in the workshop. Giving detai

ATM fraud Editorial January 17, 2018 THE rising number of arrests being made in the ATM-skimming fraud points to a serious flaw in the country’s security architecture: it seems that criminals are being issued visas to enter the country without any checks. Reports of a growing number of ATM-skimming frauds have been rising since 2016, and only last week, the arrest of five Chinese nationals raised fears that under the garb of CPEC and a lax visa policy for visitors from China, large numbers of lawbreakers were starting to enter the country and engage in fraud. Police who interrogated the arrested nationals claim that a large ring may now be operating in the country, centred in Karachi for the moment, using crude technology to steal personal information from ATM machines, including pin codes, to gain unauthorised access to accounts and withdraw funds from them. The scam is rudimentary, and can be easily stopped if staff at the branches maintains vigila

Ten army men killed in Turbat. BLF

Quetta (Sangar News) Gwaharm Baloch, the Spokesman of Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) claimed that today, on Monday, Baloch guerrillas ambushed 4 army vehicles with heavy automatic weapons and rocket launchers, patrolling on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The exchange of fire continued for twenty minutes, in which 10 army personnels were killed and several suffered injuries. An army vehicle was completely destroyed and another was partially damaged when a rocket hit them. The spokesman stated that the dead were SSG commandos who were deployed in the protection of CPEC project. He added that Baloch people had already rejected this exploitive project.  This project aims to settle millions of non Baloch in Balochistan which is an intrigue to convert Baloch nation into minority in their own native land. Gwaharm Baloch stressed that we intimidate all investors including Pakistan and China that any project is impractical without the consent and participation of Baloch nation

Why is Britain keeping quiet about Pakistan’s assault on free speech?

Jon Boone The Foreign Office should be protesting about the kidnap and torture of social media activists, not pandering to the generals Mon 15 Jan 2018 14.07 GMT Last modified on Mon 15 Jan 2018 19.28 GMT Taha Siddiqui In recent times Pakistani social media activists of a liberal, secular persuasion have been abducted by agents of the state, tortured then released after a few weeks. Invariably they then give up the blogging business: they stop criticising the country’s military establishment, or the militant religious groups long backed by the army as proxy warriors. Last month saw another abduction of a peace activist in Lahore. A Marxist professor was found dead in Karachi yesterday. Pakistani journalist who criticised military tells of attempted abduction Read more And last week, Taha Siddiqui, an outspoken journalist, narrowly escaped the most brazen kidnap attempt yet. He was roughed up, in broad daylight, by several armed men who had stopped the taxi he was travellin

China's AIIB Expected To Lend $10-15B A Year, But Has Only Managed $4.4B In 2 Years Salvatore Babones   ,    CONTRIBUTOR   📎The AIIB approved just $1.13 in loans in its first year of operation and $3.30 billion in its second 📎To date, India has received five loans worth a total $1.074 billion from the AIIB . Jin Liqun, inaugural president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), speaks during a press conference at a hotel in Beijing, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. The AIIB officially opened at a ceremony on the previous day in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was launched two years ago on January 16, 2016 amid a storm of excitement and controversy. Excitement, as  anti-American pundits  hailed the arrival of a "new world order" with China at its center. Controversy, over fears that China would use the bank to undermine global standards for

Pakistan to ‘self-finance’ Gwadar’s water treatment plant By  Shahbaz Rana Published: January 16, 2018 The government had to clear the 5-million gallons per day water purification plant to meet the Gwadar city’s emerging water requirements, although it did not allocate the money for the project in this fiscal year’s Public Sector Development Programme. PHOTO: FILE ISLAMABAD :  Pakistan decided on Monday to self-finance the Rs5-billion water treatment plant in Gwadar after China remained non-committal to fund the scheme despite its importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. The federal and provincial government of Balochistan would now equally share the construction cost of the 5-million gallons per day osmosis sea water treatment plant for Gwadar city, according to a revised plan approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP). Amid questions over the exorbitantly high cost, the CDWP also approved the revised project f

China’s CPEC game plan threatens Indian interests  3-MIN READ Ranajoy Sen  | Updated: Tuesday 16 January 2018 8:07 IST, DNA The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the principal constituent of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) – a plan to give effect to China-initiated economic activity and trade in the surrounding regions of China’s western border. CPEC is an ambitious programme entailing mega Chinese investments into Pakistan’s economy. CPEC’s ambit is apparently being extended to include Afghanistan.    The explicit purpose, repeatedly stated, is to bolster Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s economies and the consequent economic amelioration of those countries. $57 billion has been earmarked for that purpose by China. Nevertheless, between the lines, scope for anti-Indian acts is discernible. In brazen disregard of Indian sensitivities, the CPEC passes through Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK). That territory is claimed by

On CPEC projects, now it is Pakistanis who need security clearance, not foreigners By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Jan 16, 2018, 14:20 PM IST All Pakistanis working alongside Chinese citizens will have to get security clearance. (Representative image) The highly unusual move comes after a Chinese engineer disappeared last month Police in the Pakistani province of Punjab are set to start the process of vetting and issuing security clearances to any locals who would work with Chinese nationals on CPEC projects. The unusual move of security vetting locals instead of foreign citizens comes a month after a Chinese engineer went missing from a power plant site in the region. Police will soon begin the process of collecting wide ranging details on all Pakistani staff working on CPEC projects in Punjab province. The government has also demanded that the security vetting for new staff members be done before they actually begin working alongside th

5 security personnel killed in Balochistan as vehicle turns over after ambush Syed Ali Shah Updated January 15, 2018 At least five security personnel lost their lives and six others were injured when a vehicle carrying them turned over after being ambushed in Balochistan's Kech district on Monday. A district administration official told  DawnNews  that suspected terrorists opened fire at a convoy of security forces in Shapok area of Kech district. One of the vehicles in the convoy turned turtle after the attack, killing five personnel. It wasn't immediately clear which security force the personnel belonged to. The injured personnel were rushed to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD More security personnel were called to the area to apprehend the culprits involved in the ambush. In September last year,  three Frontier Corps (FC) personnel , including a lieutenant colonel, were martyred while three others were injured when unidentified attackers opened fire on their convoy in Balochi

Balochistan to become corruption free province   PARVEZ JABRI   JAN 16TH, 2018   QUETTA: Former chief minister Punjab and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Monday said that Balochistan would become a corruption free province under the leadership of Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo. Addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister Secretariat here, he said, “We are going to unite all the Muslim League blocs at one platform and success of Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo is a great news for the workers of Pakistan Muslim League (Q).” He was grateful to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Leader Maulana Fazalur Rehman, Balochistan National Party, Awami National Party, Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri and Provincial Assembly members of PML-N for electing Abdul Quddus Bizenjo the Chief Minister of Balochistan. ADVERTISEMENT Ad Pervaiz Elahi said, “We have good relations with the people and leaders of all the political parties of Balochistan.”