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Showing posts from October 1, 2018

Rabbani blames govt for ‘diluting’ CPEC

  Imran Mukhtar October 02, 2018 ISLAMABAD  -  PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani Monday blamed the PTI government for what he said that it was going to “dilute” the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. READ MORE:  Various areas of Karachi face power outage The opposition senator also questioned the government’s decision to make Saudi Arabia a part of the CPEC project, saying how the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government took this major decision unilaterally without taking the parliament onboard. Pakistan People’s Party’s stalwart and former Senate chairman Rabbani made these remarks while taking part in the debate on Finance (Supplementary) Amendment Bill, 2018 before the house unanimously adopted its recommendations on the money bill for the National Assembly. Some other opposition lawmakers also endorsed remarks of Rabbani and said the government was undermining the provincial autonomy by not taking the provinces onboard while signing contracts with foreign countries

Cost of railways project under CPEC cut by $2bn: minister

Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui Updated October 02, 2018 FEDERAL Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid addresses a press conference on Monday.—PPI LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid has said the cost of Pakistan Railways (PR) projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been brought down. “Railways is the backbone of CPEC and it makes no difference who is the minister or the officer. All PR projects under CPEC will continue,” Mr Rashid said at a news conference at the railways headquarters here on Monday. He said that under the CPEC, railways was to upgrade its Karachi-Peshawar Main Line-1, stations and other strategic assets at a cost of $8.2 billion. “We have brought down railways projects’ cost to $6.2bn from $8.2bn in the PC-1 sent to the prime minister. It’s my wish to further bring it down to $4.2bn. I am the biggest supporter of CPEC, but I also want that the railways has minimum burden,” he added. The changes appear to be part of Islamabad’s efforts to r

China-India Relations: A Pearl Is Unstrung in the Maldives

SITUATION REPORTS  - September 24, 2018 By  Geopolitical Monitor SUMMARY Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has defeated the incumbent president Abdulla Yameen by approx. 40,000 votes – an unassailable margin in this small island nation of 417,000. Turnout in the weekend election was an eye-popping 89%. Yameen has officially accepted the result and will now make way for his opponent. His departure marks the end of a tumultuous phase in Maldives politics. Since coming to power in the wake of a 2012 military coup, Yameen presided over a trend of deepening authoritarianism, rolling back press and individual freedoms and arbitrary jailing political opponents. The situation came to a head late last year when Yameen declared a state of emergency and shuttered the Supreme Court after it appeared as though an impeachment petition was on the verge of being approved. Of course, the impact of the Solih victory goes well beyond domestic politics. The island nation has historically fallen within India’s

The Islamic State’s Future in Afghanistan

By Daud Khattak October 1, 2018 Afghanistan and Pakistan map via Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 963, October 1, 2018 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:   After the loss of its stronghold in parts of the Middle East, the Islamic State (ISIS) fixed its eye on the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. There, the ongoing conflict carries the potential for a secure sanctuary, and the region provides a steady stream of fresh recruits from war-battered Afghanistan and over-populated Pakistan. While ISIS does face an uphill battle in the region, it will take a concerted effort to eradicate it completely. The Islamic State (ISIS) temporarily managed to win over disgruntled elements among the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban alongside youth from the remote districts in Afghanistan’s east soon after restructuring and renaming itself Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) in 2014. IS-K’s initial victories against the Taliban and the Afghan government on both the battle and propaganda fronts rang alarm b

A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe-Asia connectivity

Federica Mogherini recently outlined a new EU strategy for improving connectivity between Europe and Asia.  Thomas Kruessmann  examines the proposals, which are widely viewed as a response to the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative launched by China in 2013. He argues that the overall direction of the strategy is misguided and that it largely ignores the potential to capitalise on improvements in Europe-Asia connectivity which have already been made in the last few years. On 19 September, Federica Mogherini unveiled a  Joint Communication  entitled “Connecting Europe and Asia – Building Blocks for an EU Strategy”. As the title acknowledges, the document is meant to contain mere “building blocks”, designed to support the  12 th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)  that will be held in Brussels in October. However, the ambitions behind this process are more far-reaching, on the one hand aiming at an EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia, while on the other hand providing some key ideas for the  Mult

Balochistan CM reviews uplift projects in Makran division

Saleem Shahid October 01, 2018 QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani paid a three-day visit to Makran division and presided over several meetings there to review law and order and pace of work on several under-construction development projects in Turbat, Gwadar, Pasni Ormara, Makran and other areas. During his stay in Makran, the chief minister also visited Gwadar Port, Pasni’s Fish Harbour and a desalination plant being built in Karwat area to provide clean drinking water to Gwadar. Chief Minister Alyani also visited a government boys college and announced upgradation of the institution into a degree college. He also pledged to establish a college for girls in Pasni. The chief minister ordered to make functional a 50-bed hospital. The building of the hospital was constructed by funds provided by the government of Oman. ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD Mr Alyani announced allocation of Rs13 billion for the project for connecting Makran division with the national gri

CM Kamal orders Gwadar schools to teach Chinese

By  Mohammad Zafar Published: October 1, 2018 The provincial government has decided to allocate Rs13 billion to connect Makran with the national grid station under the provincial PSDP. PHOTO: EXPRESS QUETTA:  As part of the Balochistan government’s agenda of addressing the problems of the province, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan undertook a three-day visit of the Makran division and chaired various meetings to review the law and order situation and development projects. The meetings targeted Turbat, Gwadar, Pasni, Ormara, Makran and other cities of the province. The chief minister has set a new precedent in the history of the province for being the first chief executive to undertake a solo visit of Makran as the previous CMs only visited the division when the prime minister or the president would visit the area. Balochistan CM issues orders for formation of standing committees During various sessions held over public issues as well as law and order, Kamal reviewed development p

High-profile Saudi delegation arrives in Pakistan

Share:    Our Staff Reporter October 01, 2018 ISLAMABAD  -  A high-level Saudi Arabian delegation Sunday landed here for bilateral trade talks. READ MORE:  Private institutes have turned education into business: CJP The delegation led by Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan is expected to sign five important memorandums of understanding with Pakistan. The prospects of setting up oil refineries in Gwadar would come under discussion as well, as per the sources. The delegation will hold meetings at different high-level offices during its stay. “It will also hold talks on promotion of bilateral ties and economic and trade cooperation,” the sources said. Though this could not be confirmed but the Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had earlier said that the delegation will include Saudi Arabian investment head, minister for petroleum and minister for energy. The visit is in line with previous government announcement pertaining to Islamabad’s invi

Opposition senators object to govt inviting Saudi Arabia as partner in CPEC

By Nausheen Yusuf   Monday Oct 01, 2018   ISLAMABAD: The senators belonging to opposition parties have objected over Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to make Saudi Arabia a partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and to hand it Reko Dik mine project. During a session on Monday, Senator Raza Rabbani said Parliament should have been taken into confidence before Saudi Arabia was invited to become the third partner in CPEC. He objected to the government’s move, asking if CPEC was being reviewed or plans were under way to dilute it. The senator further said that no statement was issued from the prime minister, except for this that Saudi Arabia was offered to set up an oil refinery in Gwadar. Moreover, Rabbani expressed doubt over China being approached before PM Imran offered Saudi Arabia to become a partner in CPEC. He said it seemed as if China was agreeing to the Pakistani government’s move despite not wanting to do so. About the Reko Dik project, Rabbani s