Friday, 2 December 2016

CPEC harbinger of regional connectivity


Malik Muhammad Ashraf

CPEC harbinger of regional connectivity

Regional connectivity and development of the required infrastructure through cooperative efforts of the participating countries for shared economic prosperity is a visionary concept and recipe for addressing issues related to poverty alleviation and development, as well as ensuring peace through economic interdependence. The leadership of new China deserves credit for pioneering this movement through its ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, which is likely to benefit 26 countries. The CPEC being the pivot of the initiative has generated a lot of interest and acceptability among the countries of South Asia and Central Asia, and even some of the European countries have shown their willingness to join it. Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location is a key participant in making the venture successful. Pakistan surely will also be its greatest beneficiary by becoming a hub of economic activity for both regions. CPEC, therefore, is a harbinger of regional connectivity.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

CPEC becomes operational

Courtesy:- Malik M Ashraf

WITH the formal inauguration of Gwadar port by the Prime Minister on Saturday that also coincided with shipment of the Chinese trade cargo for Middle East and African countries, CPEC became operational; a reality which undoubtedly holds key to the prosperity of the entire region. Reportedly a trade cargo convoy comprising 60 containers reached Gwadar on Friday through the western route of the Corridor and a Chinese ship also docked at port to carry goods to its desired destinations.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Pakistan-China defence and economic ties

Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The relations between Pakistan and China are beyond the realm of normal diplomatic ties, and no terminology in the diplomatic parlance can really explain the nature of these bonds. China is not only a true friend but also a benefactor of Pakistan. The diplomatic relations established in 1951 have developed into an impregnable, vibrant and long-lasting partnership over the years. Their ties have always remained on the upward curve, belying the maxim that in international relations there are no permanent friends and enemies.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Regional linkages and shared prosperity

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) arguably is the pivot of the Chinese One Road One Belt initiative, which envisages not only the revival of the centuries’ old Silk Road (for trade and cultural interaction) but also a participatory process of sharing the fruits of economic development made possible by regional and global linkages that it desires to orchestrate. It is really a matter of great satisfaction that due to an abiding commitment both by Pakistan and China to see this project implemented within the envisaged time frame and their priority for the Early Harvesting Projects (EHP), a number of first phase initiatives costing $18 billion likely to be completed by 2018 are already under execution. Another set of ventures with an accumulated cost of $17 billion is under different stages of approval. CPEC involving an investment of $46 billion covers wide-ranging areas including energy, roads, railways, ports, optic fiber, oil and gas pipelines and industrial parks among others.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Pak stance on Kashmir vindicated

Courtesy:- Malik M Ashraf

In the backdrop of killing of more than eighty people by the Indian forces in the Occupied Kashmir and the blatant violation of human rights for well over a month, Pakistan has launched a diplomatic offensive to sensitize the international community about the situation in the valley and remind the world and the UN of their obligations towards the people of Kashmir. Pakistan has been condemning the Indian atrocities in IHK and its permanent ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi raised the issue at the United Nation General Assembly. Pakistan renewed its commitment to the cause of the people of Kashmir and stated in unequivocal terms that it would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris. The Prime Minister also wrote a letter to the UN Secretary General on the issue. He is also likely to raise this matter in his ensuring address to the General Assembly.

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Quetta attack and its aftermath

Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The suicide attack in Quetta on Monday, which claimed more than 70 lives, mostly lawyers, was the deadliest attack after the Karsaz tragedy of 2007 and the APS carnage in December 2014. This act of bestiality allegedly carried out by a splinter group of TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which has claimed responsibility, has sent a wave of shock and sadness among the people of Pakistan. The attack has been widely condemned not only within Pakistan but also across the world expressing solidarity with the people of Pakistan in this hour of pain and grief.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Kashmir dispute and Pakistan

Courtesy:- Malik M Ashraf

Indian insistence that Kashmir is its integral part, is not only the most preposterous contention but also constitutes an affront to the world community and the UN whose 23 resolutions on the subject invariably recognise Kashmir as a disputed territory and emphasise the settlement of the question of accession of the state through a plebiscite. This assertion also makes mockery of the repeated commitments given by Nehru and Lord Mountbatten to resolve the Kashmir issue by allowing the people to exercise their right of self-determination.