Daily Archives: June 9, 2017

SCO Summit to open windows for regional economic prosperity: PM

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz

Sharif Thursday hoped that the outcome of the ongoing Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit would result in paving the way for cooperation and economic prosperity of the people of the region.

He was talking to President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev during

a call on here after his arrival.

During the bilateral meeting, the prime minister reiterated

Pakistan’s strong commitment to cooperation with Kazakhstan in

energy sector, regional connectivity and human resource development.

He also underscored the need for enhancing trade between the

two countries, which was much less than the potential.

He thanked President Nazarbayev for invitation

to participate in the 17th SCO Summit and congratulated him on

hosting the summit.

He also thanked the President of Kazakhstan for the warmth and

hospitality extended to him and his delegation.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage

Pakistani Official Confirms Captive Chinese Nationals Are Dead

ISLAMABAD �Islamic State has released a video showing the bloodied body of a captive Chinese national the terrorist group claimed to have killed along with his female partner in southwestern Pakistan.

A provincial government official confirmed to VOA that the man who seems to be taking his last breaths in the video is one of the two Chinese kidnapped last month from Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he said that authorities have not yet found the bodies of the Chinese nationals, and he would like to abstain from making any official assertions on the fate of the two foreigners.

China briefed by Pakistan

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing Friday that Beijing has been told by Islamabad the two abductees are probably dead.

“Pakistan’s relevant side has provided China with some information and said these two kidnapped Chinese citizens have likely already been murdered. We are gravely concerned about this,” she said.

Chunying added that Beijing is in contact with the Pakistani side and trying to learn more about and verify the situation by all means.

Islamic State’s global media outlet, the Amaq News Agency, announced Thursday the group had executed the two captives in Mastung, a district about 50 kilometers south of Quetta.

Would-be headquarters destroyed

The Syria-based terrorist group issued the claim hours after Pakistani authorities announced a major military operation had destroyed a would-be IS headquarters in a rugged mountain range near Mastung.

The raid killed 12 hardcore militants while five security personnel were also wounded during clashes, an army spokesman said.

He added that the multi-cave complex spread across 10 kilometers was occupied by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami, a Sunni extremist organization known for deadly attacks against minority Shi’ite Muslims in Pakistan.

The group used to be an al-Qaida loyalist, but Pakistani officials believe it has lately been working to help IS establish a foothold in Pakistan.

IS has taken credit for several recent deadly suicide bombings in Baluchistan and elsewhere in Pakistan. The latest such attack took place last month in Mastung, killing 25 people.

The military said the suicide bomber had been sent from the IS base security forces neutralized last week. Pakistani officials have long insisted IS has no organized presence in the country.

But a string of attacks and a major base the army destroyed in Mastung contradict officials claims, critics say.

The army also released video footage of the IS base it raided. A bomb-making facility was also destroyed, and security forces seized 50 kilograms of explosives, suicide vests, grenades, machine guns, sniper rifles and communication systems, according to an official statement.

Belt and Road

Baluchistan, particularly its newly expanded deep-water port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, is at the heart of a $60 billion Chinese-funded Belt and Road trade and development initiative.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of a network of roads, rail links and power plants. It will ultimately link China’s western Xinjiang region to Gwadar, giving Beijing the shortest trade access to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

But as the work on CPEC-related projects has picked up, the Pakistani province is encountering an uptick in militant and separatist violence.

Thursday’s announcement by IS, if confirmed, would increase worries among Chinese experts and workers associated with CPEC-related projects.

Pakistani officials acknowledge that the gruesome killings of the two Chinese will have a psychological impact on the joint economic activity but said the two nations are determined not to be deterred by such terrorist acts.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated the resolve while addressing a regional cooperation summit Friday in Kazakhstan.

We are diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a flagship of the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), Sharif told the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCOA), which is jointly led by China and Russia.

Source: Voice of America

Pakistan keen to expand bilateral ties with Uzbekistan: PM

Prime Minister Muhammad

Nawaz Sharif Thursday said Pakistan cherished its close, friendly

and fraternal relations with Uzbekistan, as both the countries are

bound by strong commonalities of history, faith and culture.

Pakistan is keen to further expand ties in all fields,

particularly economic and energy cooperation, connectivity and human

resource development, the prime minister told President of

Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev during a call on here.

He expressed the desire to take bilateral

relations to new heights based on mutually beneficial cooperation.

He said Uzbekistan’s impressive annual economic growth and

rich energy resources, and Pakistan’s large industrial and

agricultural base provided an ideal environment for expansion of

trade and commercial cooperation between the two countries.

The prime minister proposed that both countries should work

together for making appropriate reforms in trade policies to

facilitate trade, investment and free flow of goods and services

between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage

Cultural caravan to help cement people to people contacts between Pakistan, China: Marriyum

Chairing a high level meeting held here Thursday

to discuss the proposed plan for running a cultural caravan from Urmchi in China to Gawadar comprising artists, musicians, dancers, photographers, anthropologists, writers and film makers from both the countries, the Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb said that it would further help to cement people to people contacts between Pakistan and China as cultural exchanges were one of the essential components of maintaining cordial relations between the two states.

Syed Jamal Shah, Director General PNCA briefed MOS and the meeting in

detail about the whole concept of Cultural Caravan proposed to travel through the CPEC route and the documentation of art and culture that would be done along the way and also dilated on the importance of the creative journey to promote dialogue, understanding, trust and respect between the two nations.

Terming the concept of cultural caravan as unique, MOS fully endorsed

the initiative and reiterated her Governments commitment to promote art and culture of Pakistan with the view to spotlight its softer image across the globe.

Minister of State observed that exchange of cultural troupes and

caravans consisting of prominent artists may be made regular feature of the cultural ties between the two time- tested friends.

She said such kind of events would not only provide a platform to meet

and exchange ideas but would also keep the heritage of nations alive. She added that it would also promote the historical Silk Road and give boost to the creative industry of all nodal cities on the caravan route.

This inventiveness is imperative for building softer and positive image

as well as showcasing economic achievements, Marriyum Aurangzeb said.

The minister directed PNCA to orchestrate a detailed and comprehensive

implementation plan with timelines and fixation of responsibilities and asked other relevant departments of Ministry to fully collaborate and actively participate in this project of Cultural Caravan once it is formalized. Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb also emphasized the need to engage all stake holders including relevant federal ministries, divisions as well as provincial Governments for effective coordination and to gain maximum support to make this initiative of cultural caravan a resounding success.

She said that such kinds of activities were the need of hour to

neutralize an extremist mindset and thwart the nefarious designs of the forces of retrogression and suppression. Marriyum observed that it would also generate a festive mood in the whole country at a time when preparations were on the anvil to commemorate the 70th birthday anniversary of Pakistan.

The meeting was attended by Secretary IBNH Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, Director

General, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation Sheraz Latif,Director General, External Publicity Wing Shafqat Jalil, Managing Director, APP, Masood Malik , Director General, Pakistan National Council of Arts, Jamal Shah, Executive Director Lok Virsa Fauzia Saeed and other senior officials of Ministry of IBNH.

Source: Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage

Pakistani Official Confirms Captive Chinese Nationals Are Dead

ISLAMABAD �Islamic State has released a video showing the bloodied body of a captive Chinese national the terrorist group claimed to have killed along with his female partner in southwestern Pakistan.

A provincial government official confirmed to VOA that the man who seems to be taking his last breaths in the video is one of the two Chinese kidnapped last month from Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he said that authorities have not yet found the bodies of the Chinese nationals, and he would like to abstain from making any official assertions on the fate of the two foreigners.

China briefed by Pakistan

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing Friday that Beijing has been told by Islamabad the two abductees are probably dead.

“Pakistan’s relevant side has provided China with some information and said these two kidnapped Chinese citizens have likely already been murdered. We are gravely concerned about this,” she said.

Chunying added that Beijing is in contact with the Pakistani side and trying to learn more about and verify the situation by all means.

Islamic State’s global media outlet, the Amaq News Agency, announced Thursday the group had executed the two captives in Mastung, a district about 50 kilometers south of Quetta.

Would-be headquarters destroyed

The Syria-based terrorist group issued the claim hours after Pakistani authorities announced a major military operation had destroyed a would-be IS headquarters in a rugged mountain range near Mastung.

The raid killed 12 hardcore militants while five security personnel were also wounded during clashes, an army spokesman said.

He added that the multi-cave complex spread across 10 kilometers was occupied by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami, a Sunni extremist organization known for deadly attacks against minority Shi’ite Muslims in Pakistan.

The group used to be an al-Qaida loyalist, but Pakistani officials believe it has lately been working to help IS establish a foothold in Pakistan.

IS has taken credit for several recent deadly suicide bombings in Baluchistan and elsewhere in Pakistan. The latest such attack took place last month in Mastung, killing 25 people.

The military said the suicide bomber had been sent from the IS base security forces neutralized last week. Pakistani officials have long insisted IS has no organized presence in the country.

But a string of attacks and a major base the army destroyed in Mastung contradict officials claims, critics say.

The army also released video footage of the IS base it raided. A bomb-making facility was also destroyed, and security forces seized 50 kilograms of explosives, suicide vests, grenades, machine guns, sniper rifles and communication systems, according to an official statement.

Belt and Road

Baluchistan, particularly its newly expanded deep-water port of Gwadar on the Arabian Sea, is at the heart of a $60 billion Chinese-funded Belt and Road trade and development initiative.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) consists of a network of roads, rail links and power plants. It will ultimately link China’s western Xinjiang region to Gwadar, giving Beijing the shortest trade access to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

But as the work on CPEC-related projects has picked up, the Pakistani province is encountering an uptick in militant and separatist violence.

Thursday’s announcement by IS, if confirmed, would increase worries among Chinese experts and workers associated with CPEC-related projects.

Pakistani officials acknowledge that the gruesome killings of the two Chinese will have a psychological impact on the joint economic activity but said the two nations are determined not to be deterred by such terrorist acts.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reiterated the resolve while addressing a regional cooperation summit Friday in Kazakhstan.

We are diligently implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a flagship of the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), Sharif told the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCOA), which is jointly led by China and Russia.

Source: Voice of America

UN RIGHTS CHIEF SEEKS INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY INTO CONGO MASSACRES

The United Nations has called for an international investigation into massacres and other crimes committed in Congo claiming hundreds of lives.

The demand was made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein while addressing a meeting of Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The UN high commissioner also offered technical assistance to Congo government for holding transparent investigation into violence and mass killings in Congo.

Hundreds of people were killed and nearly 1.3 million persons went missing in central Congo since last August during fighting between a militia and government forces.

Source: Radio Pakistan