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Showing posts from January 31, 2019

Balochistan at Davos

  IKRAM SEHGAL  FEB 1ST, 2019     This year's meeting in Davos has been overshadowed by a not so bright situation worldwide. The growth forecast of the IMF has just been diminished and Chancellor Merkel has just warned that the global financial system is damaged significantly. Climate change and trade wars are other dangerous developments that threaten our global economy. Other than this larger picture, the annual presentation of Pakistan in Davos has this year opened a vista new chapter. In previous years either the Pakistani President or the PM would apprise the assembled Davoselite to what was going on in our country. Sponsored and organised by Pathfinder Group, the PAKISTAN BREAKFAST and other events like the PAKISTAN DINNERS and LUNCHES and the PAKISTAN PAVILION have been joined for the last four of years by the Martin Dow Group because of the vision of their late founding Chairman M. Jawed Akhai. During the Davos week Tuesdays PAKISTAN DINNER traditionally takes place in

Financial help assured to militants surrendering arms in Balochistan

Ali Jan Mangi Updated February 01, 2019 Compensation amount have been distributed among 132 former militant commanders and sub commanders who gave up arms. — File photo DERA MURAD JAMALI: The provincial government, under the Peaceful Balo­ch­istan Package, will provide complete financial and other help to all those who have laid down their weapons and abandoned militancy against the state and joined the mainstream to play their role for the development of the country. The Sector Commander of East, Brigadier Zulfiqar Bajwa, said this while speaking at a compensation distribution ceremony in Sui area of Dera Bugti on Thursday. Under the package, the compensation amount was distributed among 132 former militant commanders and sub commanders. A large number of people of belonging to the Bugti tribe attended the ceremony. Brig Bajwa said that because of joint efforts of the government and law-enforcement agencies, a large number of anti-state militants had surrendered their arms and

Balochistan government plans to re structure Levies Force

Parvez Jabri February 1, 2019 ISLAMABAD: The Balochistan government has finalized a plan to revamp the Levies Force in a bid to turn it into a modern and professional force of the province, said official source. Talking to APP, he said an act has already been passed by the provincial assembly recently to give more power and authorities to modernize the force. The official of provincial government said the act would be presented in the next cabinet meeting to implement the plan of modernizing Levies Force. He said that Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani have already said in his tweet that the provincial government was committed for equipping levies force with modern gadgets. He said that these reforms will make the force more capable, effective and to ensure public safety. He said that the government has also proposed to establish new wings of Levies Force in order to provide better security to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. It said that work on develop

It’s Time to Trust the Taliban

Afghanistan’s jihadi insurgents are ready to give America what it wants: defeat without humiliation. BY  ANATOL LIEVEN  | JANUARY 31, 2019 A Taliban representative attends international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow on Nov. 9, 2018. (Yuri Kodobnov/AFP/Getty Images)  In the peace process now underway with the Afghan Taliban, one-and-a-half significant U.S. interests are at stake. The “half” is the only real hang-up to signing a deal and bringing home American troops right now. For Afghans, of course, the stakes in the present war are different and infinitely higher than for Americans, for whom the only vital interest is also the easiest to achieve: a Taliban agreement not to host international terrorists themselves and to do their utmost to prevent Afghanistan from once again being used as a base for terrorism against the West in general and the United States in particular. One can be confident that the Taliban would not only agree to this but also follow through on the agreemen

Why 5G, a battleground for US and China, is also a fight for military supremacy

Next-generation networks will be vital to future military operations, raising the stakes between those developing the technologyIt may be easier to hack 5G, but strategic motivations are also behind concerns of the United States, experts say Liu Zhen UPDATED : Thursday, 31 Jan 2019, 7:28PM  28 Apart from its tremendous commercial benefits, 5G – the fifth generation of mobile communication – is revolutionising military and security technology, which is partly why it has become a focal point in the United States’ efforts to contain China’s rise as a tech power and its allegations against Chinese companies. The future landscape of warfare and cybersecurity could be fundamentally changed by 5G. But experts say 5G is more susceptible to hacking than previous networks, at a time of rising security concerns and US-China tensions on various interconnected fronts that include trade, influence in the Asia-Pacific region and technological rivalry. These tensions provide the backdrop to cont

The regional great game

OPINION Crystallisation of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia and India-Iran axes will set off ripples in the region Written by  Christophe Jaffrelot  |Updated: February 1, 2019 12:05:07 am Last month, on Christmas eve, India formally took over operations of the Chabahar port. Two neighbouring countries, Iran and Pakistan, which were trying to remain close, are today moving in opposite directions. This movement is partly pushed by circumstances, evident from the way India’s presence in Chabahar has been recently upgraded and the way Saudi Arabia is increasing its presence in Pakistan. Last month, on Christmas eve, India formally took over operations of the Chabahar port. India Ports Global company, a joint venture between  Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Deendayal Port Trust, Kandla, is now functioning from its offices at Shaheed Behesti Port Chabahar. For New Delhi, Chabahar is important to reach out to Afghanistan. In 2017, when this country was hit by drought, India had already shipped 1.1

Pakistan to export donkeys to China to earn foreign exchange

Pakistan is placed third in the world with a donkey population of more than 5 million 12:26 January 31, 2019 File photo: A man rides on his donkey cart across a flooded street during heavy rain in Lahore on January 21, 2019. Image Credit: AFP By Ashfaq Ahmed, Associate Editor, Online Dubai Pakistan is expected to earn millions of dollars annually in foreign exchange by exporting donkeys, said a senior official at the livestock department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistan has the world’s third largest population of donkeys with more than 5 million animals, while China stands at number one. In a bid to boost the country’s exports to earn much needed foreign exchange, the Live Stock Department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has announced that it will develop donkey farms — the first of its kind in the country. This follows the opening of the first donkey hospital in Lahore, which has the largest number of animals in the country. According to reports, at least two donkey farms are

Imran Khan government most disappointing in Pakistan's recent history: Ex-diplomat Husain Haqqani to WION

File photo of Imran Khan and Wagah Border. Photograph:( Reuters ) FOLLOW US WION Web TeamNew Delhi, Delhi, IndiaJan 21, 2019, 04.44 PM (IST) Rustam Roy Former Pakistani diplomat Husain Haqqani has had a successful career serving as Pakistan's ambassador to the US during President Bush's administration. In his early years, he served both Nawaz Sharif and former PM Benazir Bhutto during the tumultuous period in the late 80s and early 90s. Now an expert on South Asian affairs, he is also a prolific writer, part-time journalist and academic. Haqqani is currently in India. He spoke exclusively to WION on India-Pakistan relations, the Kartarpur corridor, China's Belt and Road Initiative with Pak and Imran Khan's 'Naya Pakistan'. WION:  How do you view the current relations between India and Pakistan? Husain Haqqani:  India and Pakistan relations are at a stalemate. India wants terrorism to be resolved, it also wants justice for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Influence and Infrastructure

The Strategic Stakes of Foreign Projects Jan. 22, 2019|By Jonathan E. Hillman Photo credit: A.B.C. TELEGRAPHIC CODE 5TH EDITION/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/PUBLIC DOMAIN This report illustrates how states use foreign infrastructure to advance strategic objectives. Some avenues for influence are intuitive, while others require a more detailed understanding of how infrastructure projects are conceived, financed, built, and operated. With an eye toward illuminating current issues, this report draws from examples throughout history and shows how China is updating and exercising tactics used by Western powers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With developing Asia alone requiring $26 trillion in additional infrastructure investment by 2030, these issues, and the strategic implications they carry, are likely to intensify in the coming years. Read the full report  here .

US lawmakers, intelligence agencies express concern over China's OBOR initiative

By PTI | Jan 31, 2019, 12.09 PM IST Chinese servicemen gesture from the deck of a naval vessel, during the closing ceremony of the Pakistan Navy's Multinational Exercise AMAN-17, in the North Arabian Sea, Pakistan, February 14, 2017. WASHINGTON: Top American lawmakers and spymasters on Tuesday expressed their concern over the increasing global presence of  China  through its ambitious 'One Belt One Road' or  OBOR  initiative, which they said has also a military dimension including in India's western neighborhood. Responding to lawmakers concerns in this regard, American spymasters during a Congressional hearing on worldwide threats refrained to talk about the OBOR's military dimension in Pakistan in open setting. ADVERTISEMENT "We can talk in a classified session about the nature of the relationship with Pakistan and I think that we can eliminate what you are seeking there," Defence Intelligence Agency Director Gen Robert Ashley told members of the S

Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road

Xuan Liu Tim M. Blackburn Tianjian Song Xianping Li Cong Huang Yiming Li   7 Published: January 24, 2019DOI: Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road Highlights • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an unprecedented global development project • BRI’s high expenditure on trade and transportation may promote alien species invasion • We evaluate the invasion risks of 816 alien terrestrial vertebrates within BRI • We identify 14 invasion hotspots to help the sustainable implementation of BRI Summary China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an unprecedented global development program that involves nearly half of the world’s countries [ 1 ]. It not only will have economic and political influences, but also may generate multiple environmental challenges and is a focus of considerable academic and public concerns [ 2 ,  3 ,  4 ,  5 ,  6 ]. The Chinese government expects BRI to be a sustainable development,

Down Fall of Pashto Cinema in Quetta

  By: Abdul Hadi Cinema is the most popular and common source of entertainment. Years ago, more than seven cinemas were in Quetta to entertain the viewers of Pashto films. But now the number of Pashto cinemas have decreased to just two in the capital city of Balochistan. A manager of a local cinema says: “the standard the Pashto films have declined, producers and directors don’t know the cultural borderlines.98% of the chairs in the cinema remain empty every day and the infrastructure of the cinema is miserable.” Muhammad Iqbal, an employ in the cinema told the scribe that they had to close the entrance of cinema with in an half hour after opening it for the public as all the seats were always booked within 30 minutes four decades ago. The Pashto cinema started its golden era in 1970, produced variety of films as “Darra Khyber”, “Bangri” and many more. Kamal Khan, 52, one of the viewers said: “I was a boy at time as I used to visit cinema in the evening of daily basis. I never sa

Pakistan certifies first organic cotton bale

Irfan-ul-Haq Malik Updated January 31, 2019 A certified organic cotton bale is seen in this photo taken on Wednesday. RAHIM YAR KHAN: Balochistan on Wednesday marked the certification of Pakistan’s first organic cotton bale at a ceremony held at Kot Sabzal. Balochistan’s Minster for Agriculture Engineer Zamrak Khan said the provincial government was committed to promoting organic agriculture throughout the province. He further said that Balochistan would be developing an organic agriculture policy soon. WWF-Pakistan Director General Hamad Naqi Khan said, “We have made a major breakthrough in the cotton sector of the country that will benefit stakeholders and the overall economy of Pakistan.” In his remarks, Secretary Agriculture Balochistan Khaleeq Nazar Kiyani appreciated the efforts of WWF-Pakistan and the Agriculture Extension team. “The certification is a step towards a more sustainable Pakistan. Production of organic cotton will propel the cotton sector into a new directi

Pakistan’s first organic cotton bale harvested in Balochistan

January 31, 2019 Minister says Balochistan will be developing an organic agriculture policy soon QUETTA:  Balochistan has produced Pakistan’s first organic cotton bale, while the ceremony for its certification was held at Kot Sabzal, a local media outlet reported on Thursday. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the harvesting of the cotton bale was made possible due to the cooperation of Balochistan’s Department of Agriculture. Balochistan’s Agriculture Minister Engineer Zamrak Khan said the provincial government was committed to promoting organic agriculture throughout the province, adding that the government was paying special attention to Balochistan. He further said that the Balochistan government would be developing an organic agriculture policy soon. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of cotton in the world and the third largest exporter of raw cotton. WWF-Pakistan Director General Hamad Naqi Khan said, “We have made a major br

Govt releases Rs1424.5mn for different projects including Rs200mn for Gwadar

Web Desk  On  Jan 30, 2019 ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday released around 1424.553 million rupees for various projects of the Finance Division under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) during first seven months of the current fiscal year. The government also released 200 million rupees for the Gwadar Development Authority, whereas another 200 million rupees have been released for Khyber Institute of Child Health and Children Hospital Peshawar). An amount of 344.8 million rupees has been released for the Greater Karachi Sewerage Plant (S-III Karachi), which is being executed on 50:50 cost sharing basis between the federal and provincial governments. Read More:  Construction of Gwadar Shipyard to soon be started: defence production minister According to a data of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, in total 862 million rupees have been allocated for the project under PSDP 2018-19. Chief Minister Balochistan Mir Jam Kamal Khan on January 8 said that imp

Pakistan gears up for Chinese tourists

By Daniel Hyatt, January 31, 2019 People walk on a street decorated with Chinese lamps to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Bangkok, Thailand January 26, 2017. [Photo/VCG] As China progresses towards becoming the world's largest economy, its citizens have gained increased spending power. Their increased outlays are not only encouraging domestic consumption but also helping the global economy. Tourists from China made 140 million visits abroad last year and spent more than US$120 billion, according to data from the China Tourism Academy. Chinese travelers are increasingly looking for unique destinations in their neighborhood. While growing political uncertainty and diminishing facilitation for foreigners in traditional tourist hubs of the west are discouraging visitors from China, its neighbors are working hard to offer a lively and welcoming experience. Pakistan presents itself as an exquisite choice for those who prefer less-traveled roads. Although the U.S. based

Situationer: US-Taliban talks to decide TTP’s fate, PTM’s future

Muhammad Amir Rana Updated January 29, 2019 Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor visits a market in Miran Shah, a town in North Waziristan, near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. — AFP/File THE recent talks between the Afghan Taliban and the US interlocutors in Doha have raised hopes of achieving peace in Afghanistan. The success of the talks will also decide the fate of Pakistani militants, allegedly hiding in Afghanistan. At the same time,  trade relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan  as well as issues linked to border security will also come under immediate consideration in bilateral diplomatic discourse. Many in the Pakistani establishment believe that a negotiated settlement with the Afghan Taliban will reduce the impact of the hybrid warfare against Pakistan and will help in defusing anti-establishment sentiments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Take a look:  ‘Hybrid war’ imposed on country to internally weaken it, says Bajwa ARTICLE CONTINUES