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Showing posts from April, 2021

Onus is on Pakistan to ensure CPEC has environmental mandate

For China, sustainability is not the focus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor; Pakistan must be proactive in putting it at the heart of the project Nearly 7,000 trucks will pass through Pakistan's northern provinces daily, releasing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide on their way to Gwadar in the south. This makes it all the more important for stakeholders to put the environment and local communities at the heart of all CPEC development. (Image: Ali Mir/Alamy) Matthew MacGeoch April 14, 2021 In the past year, there has been a renewed push for sustainability within the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has coincided with the beginning of its so-called second phase. While this attention on environmental and social impact is welcome, it needs to translate into proactive and visionary governance to foster truly sustainable development. RECOMMENDED A recent  report  by the Oxford University Silk Road Society Think Tank highlighted the Pakistani origins of 2020’s  “gr

The US Military Is Set to Withdraw from Afghanistan On May 1. What Happens Next?

 Apr 11, 2021 Posted by Silk Road Briefing Written by Chris Devonshire-Ellis Op/Ed by  Chris Devonshire-Ellis Why the Afghanistan Peace Process is Vital to China’s Belt & Road Initiative  Breakdown in peace talks leave China, Russia, India & Pakistan picking up the pieces China trade deals with Iran and Saudi Arabia part of the process At stake is the future of Central Asia  Sergei Lavrov; the Russian Foreign Minister, has been visiting  New Delhi  and  Islamabad  this week, discussing trade, as well as the settlement of the Afghan Peace talks. This has occurred just two weeks after he met with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in  Beijing . Top of the agenda in all these talks was the Afghanistan Peace process, coming as violence in the country is increasing and with a fast-approaching US deadline of May 1 for Washington to withdraw the American military from the country. The stakes are high – the United States ostensibly wants its troops back home, while China and Russia want

Pakistan, Afghanistan & Uzbekistan Agree 573km Connecting Railway

 Mar 05, 2021 Posted by Silk Road Briefing An Afghanistan vista of part of the proposed route Trans-Afghan Railway To Provide Links From Russia, Uzbekistan Through Pakistan To The Arabian Gulf  Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan have agreed to a roadmap for the building of a 573-kilometer route from Mazar-e-Sharif to Peshawar, via Kabul. The project, at an estimated cost of US$5 billion, will open Pakistani seaports on the Arabian Gulf to Uzbekistan and continue Afghanistan’s gradual integration into the Central Asian economic system. We have previously discussed Uzbekistan’s desire to use Pakistan’s Gwadar and Karachi Ports as a gateway to the Arabian Sea in the article  here . In Uzbekistan, the Central Asian, landlocked country, the deal has been called the “event of the century” by Tanzila Narbaeva, the Chairman of the national Senate, noting it as “another example of Uzbekistan actively pursuing an open and pragmatic foreign policy.” There are however significant infrastructure

220 centres for accelerated learning set up in Balochistan

Updated   16 Apr, 2021   08:05am SALEEM SHAHID QUETTA: The Balochistan Education Department, with the financial support of Unicef, has set up 220 centres under the Accelerated Learning Programme in different districts of the province. These centres have been set up mostly in areas which have no government school. Around 8,000 students are getting free education in these centres. The programme seeks to provide primary education to out-of-school children within three years as opposed to usual six years to overcome the age gap created because of school years missed by these children. The main objective behind the launch of this programme was to make sure that the time of overage children did not go to waste. A worrying aspect of the current state of affairs is that most of the out-of-school children in Balochistan are girls. One of the centres under this programme has been established in New Kahan area of Quetta in which 91 boys and girls are enrolled. According to parents of the students

Pakistan committed to expeditiously complete CPEC projects: PM Imran

14 hours ago APP       Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday underscoring the transformational significance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), reaffirmed the country’s commitment to expeditiously complete  CPEC projects . The Prime Minister expressed these views while talking to Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong, who called on him here. During the meeting, views were exchanged on China’s experience of poverty alleviation, COVID-19 situation, and bilateral relations. The Prime Minister congratulated the Chinese leadership on successfully achieving the momentous goal of eradicating extreme poverty from China and underlined that Pakistan was keen to learn from China’s experience of poverty alleviation as well as development. He highlighted that Pakistan was currently facing third wave of COVID-19 and the government was taking necessary measures to combat it and had devised an elaborate plan of vaccination across the country. PEMRA bans TV, radio coverage of TLP The Prime Minister adde

Can Biden's new infrastructure plan rival China's Belt and Road Initiative?

For the US to seriously compete with China, infrastructure development will be an important area. China is the global leader in infrastructure; in contrast, many US transport facilities are in disrepair. YU HONG APR 15, 2021 05:50 AM SINCE taking office, the new US Biden administration has characterised China as "the only competitor potentially capable of combining its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system". On March 25, President Joe Biden held his first presidential press conference since taking office. He said that China would never be allowed to surpass the US as the most powerful country in the world during his term of office. He also emphasised that the US would increase investments in domestic infrastructure and key areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and biotechnology, to ensure that the US stays ahead in the competition with China. At the same time, to stre

Pakistan’s ISI has formed murderous networks to target innocent Baloch refugees

Pakistan’s ISI has formed murderous networks to target innocent Baloch refugees who have been forced to take refuge in neighbouring region. Today’s attack on Bugti refugees in Spin Boldak is another addition to the scores of similar targeted killing. Unfortunately, the international powers continue to opt for criminal silence on these brutalities. - Bashir Zeb Baloch https://twitter.com/BZ_Baluch/status/1381263500023070724

Teachers in Balochistan boycott matriculation exams, demand pay hike

ANI |  Updated:  Apr 11, 2021 13:24 IST Islamabad [Pakistan], April 11 (ANI): The  protesting teachers  of  Balochistan  on Friday boycotted  matriculation exams  in favour of their demands, said the provincial education department. The teachers under the banner of  Balochistan  Employees and Workers Grand Alliance have been protesting and demanding a pay increase, reported Pakistan Observer. A large number of students were witnessed outside different schools in Chaman. The students kept waiting on for their paper of Arts, but teachers did not show up, the education department spokesperson said. Meanwhile, a partial boycott of the matriculation examination was witnessed in various parts of the province, reported Pakistan Observer. Teachers have vowed to continue their sit-in until their demands are met. A spokesman for the  Balochistan  Employees and Workers Grand Alliance said that the sit-in would continue till the acceptance of their demand. Meanwhile, in early April, Pakistan's

China’s Belt and Road Initiative Should Be on the World Bank and IMF’s Agenda

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen ahead of the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S. on April 8, 2019.  REUTERS/Yuri Gripas The Spring Meetings should address BRI’s pitfalls and advance policies to help put BRI countries on the path toward recovery and sustainable growth. Blog Post  by  David Sacks  and  Max Yoeli April 7, 2021 9:49 am (EST)         The following is a guest post by  David Sacks , a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Max Yoeli, a New York-based attorney who is a policy advisor and speechwriter to former Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew. Jennifer Hillman  and  David Sacks  are codirectors of the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on a U.S. Response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is co-chaired by Jacob J. Lew and Gary Roughead. The Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) convene virtually this week against the backdrop of a historic health crisis

‘Great to be back in Balochistan’: Top US diplomat in Pakistan visits CPEC hub Gwadar

US Chargé d’affaires Angela Aggeler said the visit serves as the latest example of US-Pakistan cooperation on shared interests. SNEHESH ALEX PHILIP 8 April, 2021 Buildings stand under construction at a development site, operated by China Overseas Ports Holding Co in Gwadar,Pakistan | Asim Hafeez | Bloomberg New Delhi:  The officiating US Ambassador in Pakistan Thursday visited Gwadar, a key port area in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), in  the first such visit  to the port by a US official in 15 years. US Chargé d’affaires Angela Aggeler said the visit serves as the latest example of US-Pakistan cooperation on shared interests. “I would like to thank my Pakistani hosts and counterparts for hosting me at #Gwadar today. It is great to be back in Balochistan,” Aggeler said in a statement tweeted by the US Embassy Islamabad. 1/3 “I would like to thank my Pakistani hosts and counterparts for hosting me at  #Gwadar  today. It is great to be back in Balochista