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China Counters Indian Influence in South Asia By Sajjad Shaukat

China Counters Indian Influence in South Asia

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Under the caption “Chinese investment in Bangladesh rings India alarm bells, Beijing deepens ties across South Asia billion infrastructure loans”, a news item was published in the Financial Times on August 7, 2018. Its summary is:  “China has invested $3.7bn in Bangladesh to built a 6 km long bridge over Padma River which will link north and south Bangladesh by road and rail. India is disturbed over Chinese growing influence in South Asia where it funded similar projects in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Maldives. It is ringing alarm bells in India which surrounds Bangladesh on three sides and considers itself as Dhaka’s principal ally. India should be concerned, given the role China is also playing in other countries which surround it. In Pakistan, Beijing is planning to spend $60bn on roads, railways and power plants as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will give China access to the sea via Gwadar port on Pakistan’s south coast. In the Maldives, it has signed a trade agreement and has been handed a contract to build a new airport that was originally granted to the Indian company GMR Infrastructure. In Sri Lanka, it has taken control of the southern port of Hambantota after Colombo was unable to repay the money it borrowed from Chinese state-backed lenders to build it.”

 

In fact, China is countering Indian influence in South Asia, as New Delhi has planned to establish its hegemony in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this regard, the fast-growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship with the Third World has irked the eyes of Americans, Israelis, some Western countries and particularly, Indians. Owing to jealousy, America desires to make India a major power to counterbalance China in Asia.

 

America which is backing Indian hegemony in Asia, especially to counterbalance China is supplying New Delhi latest weapons, arms, and aircraft. During President Barack Obama’s second visit to India, the US and India announced a breakthrough on a pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with civilian nuclear technology, as agreed upon in 2008. Besides, America also announced $4 billion of new initiatives aimed at boosting trade and investment ties as well as jobs for the Indians. During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to America, the then President Barack Obama strongly assured him to favour India’s membership in the Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG), Earlier; Washington also pressurized the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) to sign an accord of specific safeguards with New Delhi. America had already contacted the NSG to grant a waiver to India for starting civil nuclear trade on a larger scale. In the recent past, during the meeting in Washington, the US President Donald Trump also gave the same assurances to Modi.

 

 

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By availing the US secret diplomacy, in the pretext of the presumed threat of China, India has been trying to establish her dominance in South Asia.

 

Historically, India has continued interventionist and hegemonic policies vis-à-vis her neighbours through its secret agency RAW. Besides supporting separatism in East Pakistan which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and continued assistance to the separatist elements of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, New Delhi occupied Sikkim, subdued Bhutan, sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka, and has been teasing Nepal.

 

As part of the double game, India has also been making a cordial relationship with the small countries of South Asia with a view to colonializing them gradually. For example, during the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to New Delhi, India and Bangladesh on April 8, 2017, signed 22 agreements in the fields of defence cooperation, civil nuclear energy, space and cyber security among others, following bilateral talks between Indian Prime Minister Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart. Both the countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) through which India would extend a line of credit of $500 million to support Bangladesh’s defence-related procurements.

 

India is planning to counteract China’s influence in Sri Lanka. In this respect, two different stories in published in Indian media, need attention.

 

In this context, on April 27, 2017, on a website, LiveMint.Com, Elizabeth Roche under the title, “India renews Sri Lanka ties to counter China influence in South Asia” wrote, “India moved to cement closer economic ties with Sri Lanka in a bid to negate the growing influence of strategic rival China in the Indian Ocean region and South Asia. A pact on economic cooperation was signed in the presence of visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his host Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The leaders welcomed the signing of the memorandum of understanding for Cooperation in Economic Projects, which outlines the agenda for bilateral economic cooperation in the foreseeable future”, an Indian foreign ministry statement said without giving details—Both sides expressed their commitment to ensuring that this mutually beneficial agenda is expeditiously implemented.”

 

Roche explained, “Analysts said this move by India was aimed at warding off increasing Chinese influence in South Asia which India considers its sphere of influence. In recent years, China has tried to co-opt Sri Lanka and the Maldives into its ambitious. One Belt One Road initiative—a programmes to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids across Asia, Africa and Europe—Given the subsequent hiccups in the neighborhoods first policy or placing—a deterioration of ties with Pakistan and strains in India-Nepal ties for instance—Modi seems to be looking at a new framework of ties with India’s neighbours with the aim of countering Chinese influence, Mansingh said. The new formula includes an element of strong economic cooperation, he said, pointing to India announcing the extension of a $4.5 billion line of credit for development infrastructure and other projects in Bangladesh and another $500 million for defence hardware purchases for Dhaka during the 7-9 April visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India.”

 

Similarly, Indian media and websites gave much coverage to an article, published by German TV Channel (Which also publishes online news items) under the title “India Nips at China’s Heels in Race to Collect Lanka Port Assets” written by Iain Marlow and Saket Sundria, April 26, 2017.

 

Iain Marlow and Saket Sundria wrote, “India is looking to invest in a colonial-era Sri Lankan oil-storage facility as it seeks to further its naval interests in the Indian Ocean and push China back in the process. A unit of state-owned Indian Oil Corp., the country’s largest refiner, is set to help fund the $350 million development of an 84-tank facility at the strategically located Trincomalee port on Sri Lanka’s east coast. India and Sri Lanka are also discussing setting up a refinery in the island nation, according to Shyam Bohra, managing director of Indian Oil’s subsidiary Lanka IOC. The talks come before a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in New Delhi. Still, India’s interests in the Sri Lankan port are probably more strategic than economic, part of its effort to displace hefty investment coming into the country from China and preserving a key gateway to the Indian Ocean. China is expanding both militarily and economically in the region, and its submarines have docked previously in Colombo. Lanka IOC is managing the 15 tanks and a lubricant blending unit. The governments of India and Sri Lanka have agreed in principle to jointly develop part of the tank farm…The Sri Lankan government has suggested that Lanka IOC retain 74 of the 84 reconstructed tanks through an equal joint venture with Ceylon Petroleum Corp., Chandima Weerakkody, Sri Lanka’s minister of petroleum resources development said by phone. The other 10 would be handed back to Ceylon Petroleum, he said… Shyam Bohra, managing director of Indian Oil’s subsidiary Lanka IOC said…Lanka IOC is open to the joint development of the tank farm. Something should definitely happen because we are very keen to see to it that the facility is developed, However, Weerakkody…the minister compared India’s investments unfavourably to China’s. India should expedite their projects that they engage in, he said. Chinese investments—they are pretty quick. India’s foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment. If India’s investments materialize, the historic but relatively obscure port could become a hub for New Delhi, whose navy must go around Sri Lanka as it crosses from ports on India’s west coast in the Arabian Sea to those on the east coast in the Bay of Bengal. But New Delhi’s plans would almost certainly be worth far less than Beijing’s ambitious infrastructure-building in Sri Lanka. China has already built a port at Hambantota in Sri Lanka’s south in a move that alarmed Indian observers.”

 

Iain Marlow and Saket Sundria further wrote, “Beijing has also invested heavily in Gwadar, a port in Pakistan that serves as the terminus of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

 

As regards Nepal, on Nov 28, 2016, a memorandum was forwarded by the Greater Nepal Nationalist Front (GNNF) to the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon on facts, which disqualify India for attaining permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC). The memorandum pointed out that “these days India is vying for a permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat. Greater Nepal Nationalist Front (GNNF) would like to register…reservations against Indian candidature for a permanent seat in the esteemed UNSC.”

 

It said, “Nepal has been a victim of Indian hegemonic and high handed mentality. India imposed a blockade against Nepal…why was India annoyed with Nepal? Because the people of Nepal did not heed Indian advise on promulgating a Nepalese Constitution. India refused to accept the mandate of the people of Nepal as the constitution was approved by more than 90% vote of the Constituent Assembly. India continues to illegally occupy 60000 square Kilo Meters of Nepalese territory.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this context, on March 25, 2017, ABC News conducted a talk programme/interview with Mr Phanidra Nepal (Mr PN) Chairman of Greater Nepal Nationalist Front, and Dr Bishnu Dahal. In the programme, the discussion was carried out on the need to change Nepal’s foreign policy so that Kathmandu can maintain an equal level of relations with both Beijing and New Delhi. Mr PN said, “Border blockade, unrest in Madhesh, growing anti-India sentiments, excessive Indian interference in internal affairs of Nepal is largely the consequence of our faulty foreign policy and diplomacy…None of the current crises being faced by Nepal is an overnight development, rather these were expected long time ago due to India dependent policies of our country, but Nepalese leaders have failed to read the writing on the wall. China has never opposed maintaining good relations with India but India always managed to alienate Nepal from China. Most of the Nepalese leaders are guided by selfish motives and they try to climb an easy ladder to power through India. This is one of the main reasons that Nepal is subjected to undue Indian pressures, harassments and humiliations. Nepal will have to bear some economic hardship in the short term, but it can lessen all difficulties and achieve a sustainable growth in the long term if it adopts Chinese funded mega projects especially OBOR [China’s One Belt One Road] to reduce dependency on a single country, i.e. India. India is worried about visits of Greater Nepal’s campaigner Phanindra Nepal to China and through diplomatic channels may express her concerns.”

 

In this connection, in an article, under the caption, “Nepal leader vows to revive Chinese dam project, open to review pact over Nepalese soldiers in India”, Debasishroy Chowdhury wrote on February 25, 2018: “The campus was a US$350 million gift from China, which built it in two years and handed it over last year to the paramilitary force, which plays an important role in checking Tibetan refugees from entering Nepal. “Apart from the bricks and mortar, they brought everything from China. All the fittings, the furniture, everything,” says a visibly impressed Shrestha as he points to the overhead projector and the desks in one of the many classrooms. “This entire campus in just two years, imagine the level of efficiency…As a new government takes power in Kathmandu, this widening rift puts it on the cusp of a geopolitical transformation as Nepal seeks a hedge in China to counterbalance India’s traditional dominance.”

 

Nevertheless, India’s endeavour to alienate Nepal from China will not succeed, as a majority of the Nepalese is aware of this duplicity of New Delhi.

 

Regarding the Maldives, David Brewster pointed out on February 8, 2018: “Maldives opposition leaders, such as former president Mohamed Nasheed, are pushing for India to again intervene to restore democracy. However, Delhi’s biggest worry about the Maldives is not the current threat to democracy, but its tilt towards China, especially the possibility that Beijing may establish a naval and airbase there.” 

 

In the recent past, under the title, “Cold War between China and India”,  Jamshed wrote,

“Evidently the relationship between China and India has been strained due to border disputes and economic competition…However, both the countries are in the race to influence the region due to its geo-strategic location…The Global Times said in a recent editorial, “India has a strong desire to control all South Asian countries. It regards the region as its backyard. New Delhi is particularly sensitive to any endeavour by small South Asian states toward independence and autonomy, especially ties with other major powers. All small South Asian nations want to extricate themselves from India’s excessive leverage.” Particularly in the case of the Maldives, India has some very alarming type of fears and apprehensions with reference to the increasing Sino-Maldivian closeness. On request of the Maldivian government, China has consented on doing co-operation in the construction of a port in Northern Atoll. Moreover, last year on 8th December 2017 a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was also signed between the Maldives and China during Maldivian President Abdulla Yasmeen’s four-day visit to Beijing. By signing this agreement, the Maldives became the second South Asian country after Pakistan to sign an FTA with China. This deal also proved a ‘stunning blow’ for India. Earlier in August 2017, the Maldives permitted three Chinese warships to visit the country, though India had expressed its strong resentment over the decision. Same is the approach of India towards the countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Myanmar and even towards Bangladesh. Whereas, China also wants to have its presence as well as influence in the region.”

 

An analyst wrote, Nepal maintains cordial ties with all its neighbours. Since it is one of the less developed countries in the region, it is interested in seeking investment for its economic development. Kathmandu intends to diversify its economic interdependence and develop its reliance on all the South Asian countries for resources and development. Nepal and Bhutan can be a big source of hydropower for neighbours. Bhutan and Maldives view regional economic cooperation as a strategy to bring about economic self-reliance and mutual prosperity. Bhutan aims to improve air links and telecommunication between member states. The Maldives, on the other hand, is interested in joint economic ventures, and in achieving greater liberalization of its economy. China’s observer status in SAARC was a product of the push from Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. China is investing in several infrastructure projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor in South Asia. It is also investing in mega projects in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and enjoys cordial relations with Nepal.”

 

Besides, as part of the double game, based in Afghanistan, CIA-led Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad are also destabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan through terrorism-related attacks and are giving a greater setback to the collective efforts of Russia, China and Pakistan which want peace and stability in Afghanistan.

 

Nonetheless, China is successfully countering Indian influence in South Asia. New Delhi will have to understand that maintaining hegemony in the region through negative planning is a bad idea in the 21St century. If India has to create a positive role, she will have to lend a hand to its Chinese investment in Bangladesh and other South Asian countries.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: the US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 

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Confucious Institute: A Symbol of Pak-China Friendship

 
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Raheem
wa salli `ala nabiyyihi Muhammadin wa `ala aalihi wa saahbihi ajmaa`een

Hadith:
‘Utlub il ‘ilma wa law fis-Sin.


The Prophet (SAW) said,
“Seek knowledge even in China,”



Hadith HASAN MASHHÛR – “fair, famous.” Note: Applied to a hadith, the term mashhûr refers to a type of ahad narration that has five to nine narrators at each link of its chain and is therefore nearly mass-narrated (tawatur). Note that this is not an index of its authenticity as a mashhûr hadith may be either sahîh, hasan, or da`îf. Also, the label of mashhûr is sometimes given to merely famous narrations which are not nearly-mass-narrated.

Narrated from Anas by al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Imaan and al-Madkhal, Ibn `Abd al-Barr in Jami` Bayaan al-`Ilm, and al-Khatib through three chains at the opening of his al-Rihla fi Talab al-Hadith (p. 71-76 #1-3) where Shaykh Nur al-Din `Itr declares it weak (da`îf). Also narrated from Ibn `Umar, Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud, Jabir, and Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, all through very weak chains. The hadith master al-Mizzi said it has so many chains that it deserves a grade of fair (hasan), as quoted by al-Sakhawi in al-Maqaasid al-Hasana. Al-`Iraqi in his Mughni `an Haml al-Asfar similarly stated that some scholars declared it sound (sahîh) for that reason, even if al-Hakim and al-Dhahabi correctly said no sound chain is known for it. Ibn `Abd al-Barr’s “Salafi” editor Abu al-Ashbal al-Zuhayri declares the hadith hasan in Jami` Bayaan al-`Ilm (1:23ff.) but all the above fair gradings actually apply to the wording: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.”

 

al-Mizzi said it has so many chains that it deserves a grade of fair (hasan)

The first to declare the “China” hadith forged seems to be Ibn al-Qaysarani (d. 507) in his Ma`rifa al-Tadhkira (p. 101 #118). This grading was kept by Ibn al-Jawzi in his Mawdu`at but rejected, among others, by al-Suyuti in al-La’ali’ (1:193), al-Mizzi, al-Dhahabi in Talkhis al-Wahiyat, al-Bajuri’s student Shams al-Din al-Qawuqji (d. 1305) in his book al-Lu’lu’ al-Marsu` (p. 40 #49), and notably by the Indian muhaddith Muhammad Taahir al-Fattani (d. 986) in his Tadhkira al-Mawdu`at (p. 17) in which he declares it hasan.

Al-Munawi, like Ibn `Abd al-Barr before him, gave an excellent explanation of the hadith in his Fayd al-Qadir (1:542). See also its discussion in al-`Ajluni’s Kashf al-Khafa’ under the hadith: “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim,” itself a fair (hasan) narration in Ibn Maajah because of its many chains as stated by al-Mizzi, although al-Nawawi in his Fatawa (p. 258) declared it weak while Dr. Muhammad `Ajaj al-Khaatib in his notes on al-Khatib’s al-Jami` (2:462-463) declared it “sound due to its witness-chains” (sahîh li ghayrih). Cf. al-Sindi’s Hashya Sunan Ibn Maajah (1:99), al-Munawi’s Fayd al-Qadir (4:267) and al-Sakhaawi’s al-Maqaasid al-Hasana (p. 275-277).

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Confucious Institute: A Symbol of Pak-China Friendship

Times of Islamabad

 

The all-weather and time-tested friendship between Pakistan and the Peoples Republic of China seems to be almost a rare phenomenon in modern day diplomacy in terms of ascendancy of relationship between the two countries in a rather shorter span of time.

The diplomatic relations between the both countries were established on May 21, 1951 after Pakistan recognized China on January 4, 1950.

In mere 65 years’ time, these ties are now being often termed by both as taller than Himalayas, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey and stronger than steel.

And these assertions are mere not rhetoric as they are very much based on the facts and ground realities. Over the decades, they were fostered on institutions to institutions and people to people as well as at the grassroots level forging deeper understanding and goodwill.

The purview covered various fields of fields of activities and the academic realm was no exception.

In this respect, the province of Sindh did not lag behind. A Confucious Institute was established at the University of Karachi in 2013 as part of collaboration with Sichnan University.

Confucious was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of the Chinese history.

At Karachi University this Institute is offering certificate programmes in Chinese language and culture accredited by the Hanbem headquarters China.

A Dean of Karachi University, Prof. Dr. Khalid Iraqi, informed that the Confucious Institute here has two directors- one from China and the other is from Pakistan whereas six instructors have come from China.

He said that in a major move, Karachi University has introduced Chinese language as a subsidiary subject at the undergraduate level and the enrollment at present is 22 students which has been termed as a good beginning.

The Director of the Confucious Institute at the University of Karachi, Moin Siddiqui, informed that certificate courses of various levels- I, II, III and IV, are being offered, The duration is four months and the current enrollment is 375 students.

Siddiqui said that the University of Karachi has introduced from January this year, Chinese language as a subsidiary subject for its Honours programme and currently 22 students are studying.

He stated that the Confucious Institute of Karachi University is also offering its services for conducting Chinese classes in other academic institutions in the metropolis.

Siddiqui informed that two classes each are being run at the Preston University and the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

The number of students enrolled at Preston University is 75 whereas that at the IBA Karachi is 55.

Chinese classes at the Latif Ibrahim Jamal (LEJ), University of Karachi, have been planned and these would be started by July this year.

There is also a move for the initiation of the students and the faculty exchange programme, he added. Siddiqui apprised that with regard to the Confucious Institute at the University of Karachi an agreement with the Chinese Government was reached in November 2013 and the classes commenced two months later.

This very programme is going ahead at the University in a very smooth and successful manner.

It will certainly expand further like the very close relations between Pakistan and China besides fostering goodwill and understanding among the people of the two countries.

In Pakistan two other Confucious Institute are currently operating. Besides, University of Karachi, they are located at NUML in Islamabad and the Agriculture University Faisalabad. At the global level there exist over 500 Confucious Institute in 133 countries around the world.

With the successful launch of the mega China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), there would be also need for expanding the number of Confucious Institutes in Pakistan.

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The Army, the Government, and the Chinese Corridor. by Saeed A.Malik

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Army, the Government, and the Chinese Corridor.

 

By

 

 

Saeed A. Malik.

 
The main driver of Israeli foreign policy objectives in the region is the Oded Yinon Plan i.e to break into small principalities, all Arab states which have the potential of being a threat to Israel any time in the future. Because of the incredible influence which Israel exercises on U.S policies, the Yinon Plan was infused into U.S policy for this region. Thus whatever the U.S objectives in the region, the play of the Yinon Plan can plainly be seen behind the U.S destruction of Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Even a fool could have foreseen that the de-baathification of Iraq, and the dismemberment of its army would lead to the dismemberment of the state itself. Indeed Gen Shinseki advocated that the invasion force should be half a million U.S troops so that post-invasion stability of governance would be ensured, as did Colin Powell. The former was forcibly retired, while the latter was marginalized, and we see Iraq precisely in a state as Yinon had advocated. The same is true of Libya, and the same is the aim for Syria.
 
Israel tried its very best that Iran too should be destroyed and split into small principalities, but the sheer exhaustion visited on the U.S by the Iraqis who decided to fight back, foreclosed this option. This being the situation, how can Israel countenance a strong and thriving Pakistan, which not only has the bomb, but also varied delivery systems, and which Israel sees as an enemy? Logically therefore a failed Pakistan, which international powers would be obliged to de-nuclify would be much more in Israel’s interests–and by extension, those of the U.S as well.
 
Apart from the Israeli-U.S policy nexus vis a vis a Pakistan whose nuclear wings must be clipped, the U.S has other concerns about a strong Pakistan which is averse to taking dictation from the U.S. One of these concerns is that Pakistan is refusing subservience to the U.S Afghan policy objectives where such objectives are seen as undermining Pakistan’s perception of its own national interest. Another U.S concern is that whereas the U.S would like to see India built up as a credible counter-weight to China, Pakistan, by constantly snapping at India’s heels is a constant distraction in the way of the achievement of this U.S aim. And most importantly, Pakistan, by allowing China an opening onto the Arabian Sea, is directly undermining the most important driver of the U.S foreign policy i.e the containment of China, which it sees as the premier challenge to U.S hegemony around the world.
 
The third country which would like the CPEC initiative nipped in the bud is India, which sees Pakistan as a nuisance in the way of its becoming the unchallenged regional hegemon of the area; and this is quite apart from the ideological view that India’s independence from colonial rule cannot be considered complete till such time as it is ” akhund” [complete] again.
 
Pakistan should therefore have absolutely no doubt that these three countries [ plus their allies] will strain every sinew of their power towards sabotaging the CPEC.
 
And what are the tools they will employ to undermine Pakistan? These tools are already deployed and are in operation for all to see, except for those of us who are willfully blind:
–Aiding the terrorist onslaught against Pakistan. Dont we already know this,  and the names of countries involved?
–Burdening Pakistan with a volume of debt which it will never be able to repay. Why is it after all that IMF obliges Ishaq Dar each time he goes to them, begging bowl in hand? Does anyone, anywhere in the world, freely extend credit to a country or entity which is a bad credit risk? Cant we see through this easy credit? Cant we see that in less than 5 years we will have reached a debt ceiling which it will be beyond our capacity to repay? And what happens then? Is this not a road to default and sanctions, which will lead to Pakistan giving up its nuclear assets?
–And the most potent tool of all–key members of our national “leadership”, both here and in Dubai, willfully undermining the very foundations of the state by both hollowing out the country financially, and also selling it out to those bidding for its ultimate demise! Does anyone not see this happening already? Which one of our top leaders is not a billionaire? And which of these has made his billions through honest sweat? And will such people, who can sell their grandmothers for a pittance, not sell off their country when the time comes? The problem is that the time is already here and the sale is going on day and night.
 
 Unfortunately, it is said to be extremely high  interestin loan facility from China i.e  @ $4.5 + Libor
 
It is not for nothing that as the Chinese unfolded their plans for the CPEC, they went to the Army Chief for guarantees of security. This was not just a comment on the power the Army enjoys, but more so a comment on the lack of trust which may credibly be imposed in our civilian leadership.
 
But with the politicians now haggling over the route of the CPEC, the Chinese have issued statements of concern which have been released to the press. This is not the way the Chinese function. They eschew press statements and use them only as a last resort. The level of Chinese concern should make it clear that the enemy sleeper cells among our national leadership have been activated to sabotage the project. This has been the standard operating procedure to undermine third world countries by the first world for decades.
 
If it is not the case already, the Army should wake up to what is happening. It should also include mega corruption, which has undermined the country and taken it to the very brink, as a national security imperative. If the Army refuses to see the writing on the wall, it must know that its days of glory and power cannot be extended to beyond five years, because then it may not have a country to defend. And then all the Generals will be like the rest of us. It is my bet that in five years or less the IMF will call in our debts, and we will not be able to repay. The Last Post will then be sounded.
 
Saeed A. Malik.

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US-India-Israel-Iran Sabotage Axis of Evil : Major Challenge to Pak-China Alliance

                                        It is of particular attention, that Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly admitted that during his tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of the then defence minister to sponsor acts of sabotage in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan.

 

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Major Challenge to Pak-China Alliance

                                                          By 

Sajjad Shaukat

 

It is noteworthy that during his visit to Balochistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, this year warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”

 

During the historical visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan, on April 20, this year, he and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements for cooperation in various fields, related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), energy, infrastructure, agriculture, research, technology, education etc.

 

The establishment of CPEC between deep Gwadar seaport of Balochistan and the historic Silk Road city in western regions-Xinjiang of China will connect Gilgit-Baltistan through Khunjerab Pass. Beijing would also build an international airport at Gwadar, while the roads infrastructure in Gwadar would link the communication network of rest of the country to facilitate transportation of goods.

 

When Gwadar seaport becomes fully operational, it would connect the landlocked Central Asian states with rest of the world. Being the commercial hub, the port is likely to increase volume of trade, bringing multiple economic and financial benefits to Pakistan like the Suez Canal which changed the destiny of Egypt when Israel returned it to the former. It will enable high-volume cargo vessels to move in the major oceans. Gwadar project will not only uplift the impoverished people of Balochistan by providing thousands of employment opportunities and is likely to develop whole the province by redressing their grievances. The resulting prosperity in the province would trickle down to the Baloch people and damp the separatist sentiments, which the hostile elements, supported by anti-Pakistan powers do not want.

 

Recall, when during the Musharraf regime, Islamabad initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in Balochistan in March 2002 with Chinese assistance, sirens went off in the capitals of foreign countries, especially the US, India and Israel which took it as a threat to their global and regional plans.

 

Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, Balochistan’s Gwadar seaport is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its ideal location among three key regions, South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia has further increased its strategic significance. Its development has shifted the Great Game of Central Asia to Pakistan. Hence, sirens still continue alarming in the foreign countries.

 

Besides, Balochistan’s abundant mineral resources like gas, coal and gold, entailing Pakistan’s close ties with China also pinches the eyes of the US, India, Israel and some western countries which intend to destabilize Pakistan for their collective aims.

 

Therefore, major challenge to Pak-China strategic alliance is that with the tactical support of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, Indian RAW has continuously been assisting the Baloch separatist groups and Baloch Sub Nationalists to conduct subversive acts—and using terrorist elements in Balochistan to threat Pak-Chinese interest in the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. And, Afghanistan has become a hub from where external secret agencies have been funding and arranging subversive activities in other parts of Pakistan—especially in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran. In the past few years, they abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan.

 

It is of particular attention, that Indian former Army Chief Gen. VK Singh openly admitted that during his tenure, he supervised special army unit, Tactical Support Division (TSD) on the instructions of the then defence minister to sponsor acts of sabotage in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan.

 

As regards the deteriorating situation of Balochistan, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and their affiliated outfits including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from RAW and other anti-Pakistan spy agencies—these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province. They also massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. Therefore, they are responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. The main aim behind is to create unrest in Balochistan and to discourage Beijing for the development of Gwadar port.

 

While, in May, 2013, a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack. Taking note of the foreign powers’ anti-Pakistan designs, during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Islamabad made extraordinary security arrangements.

 

It is notable that a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 212, had disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan.

 

As a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. These elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation, and have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by external forces which are weakening Pakistan by supporting the anti-state elements in Balochistan.

 

It is noteworthy that during his visit to Balochistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, this year warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”

 

In fact, Gen. Raheel Sharif was compelled to expose conspiracy against Pakistan after the gunmen killed 20 laborers in Turbat district of Baluchistan in the deadliest attack on April 11, who were working at a dam construction site.

It is worth-mentioning that during China’s visit, Gen. Raheel Sharif, on January 25, 2015, China’s Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission Gen. Fan has assured that China will assist Pakistan in every challenge.

 

Nevertheless, foreign entities shall pose a major challenge to Pak-China strategic alliance through terror-acts. Hence, the intelligence agencies and security forces of both the countries must be well-prepared to cope with these elements.

 

It is noteworthy that during his visit to Balochistan, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on April 15, this year warned foreign forces and spy agencies against destabilizing Pakistan by supporting insurgents in Balochistan. Gen. Raheel elaborated, “Army will continue supporting the Balochistan government till terrorism is wiped out…those found involved in funding and facilitating terrorists will be dealt with iron hands.”

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

 

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Pakistan enters the New Silk Road by Pepe Escobar

Unknown-37

 

 

Pakistan enters the New Silk Road

April 24, 2015
By Pepe Escobar

Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on BOARD an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project.
Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway.
Just to drive the point home – and into everyone’s homes – a LITTLE further, Xi penned a column widely distributed to Pakistani media before his first overseas trip in 2015.
He stressed, “We need to form a ‘1+4′ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the CENTER and the Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people.”
Quick translation: China is bringing Pakistan into the massive New Silk Road(s) project with a bang.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, also on cue, stressed that Pakistan would be in the frontline to benefit from the $40 billion Silk Road Fund, which will help to finance the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road projects; or, in Chinese jargon, “One Belt, One Road”, that maze of roads, high-speed rail, ports, pipelines and fiber optics networks bound to turbo-charge China’s LINKS to Europe through Russia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean.
The Silk Road Fund will disburse funds in parallel with the new Asian Infrastructure INVESTMENT BANK (AIIB), which has already enticed no less than 57 countries. China’s assistant foreign minister, Liu Jianchao, has not delved into detailed numbers, but he assures China “stands ready to provide financing.”
So no wonder Pakistani media was elated. A consensus is also fast emerging that China is becoming “Pakistan’s most important ally” from either West or East.
Beijing’s CAREFULLY calibrated commercial offensive mixing Chinese leadership concepts such as harmonious society and Chinese dream with a “win-win” neighborhood policy seduces by the numbers alone: $46 billion in investment in Pakistan ($11 billion in infrastructure, $35 billion in energy), compared to a U.S. Congress’s $7.5 billion program that’s been in place since 2008.
The meat of the matter is that Washington’s “help” to Islamabad is enveloped in outdated weapons systems, while Beijing is investing in stuff that actually benefits people in Pakistan; think of $15.5 billion in coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects bound to come ONLINE by 2017, or a $44 million optical fiber cable linking China and Pakistan.
According to the Center for Global Development, between 2002 and 2009 no less than 70% of U.S. aid was about “security” – related to the never-ending GWOT (global war on terror). As a Pakistani analyst wrote me, “just compare Xi’s vision for his neighbors and the history of AMERICA in Latin America. It is like the difference between heaven and hell.”
That “X” factor
At the heart of the action is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), whose embryo had already been discussed when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Beijing in the summer of 2013. The economic corridor, across 3,000 km, will LINK the port of Gwadar, in the Arabian Sea, not far from the Iranian border, with China’s Xinjiang.
China is already in Gwadar; China Overseas Port Holding Company is operating it for two years now, after helping to build the first phase. Gwadar formally opens before the end of the month, but a first-class highway and railway linking it to the rest of Pakistan still need to be built (mostly by Chinese companies), not to mention an international airport, SCHEDULED to open by 2017.
All this action implies a frenzy of Chinese workers building roads, railways – and power plants. Their security must be assured. And that means solving the “X” factor; “X” as in Xinjiang, China’s vast far west, home to only 22 million people including plenty of disgruntled Uyghurs.
Beijing-based analyst Gabriele Battaglia has detailed how Xinjiang has been addressed according to the new guiding principle of President Xi’s ethnic policy. The key idea, says Battaglia, is to manage the ethnic conflict between Han Chinese and Uyghurs by applying the so-called three “J”: jiaowang, jiaoliu, jiaorong, that is, “inter-ethnic contact”, “exchange” and “mixage”.
Yet what is essentially a push towards assimilation coupled with some economic incentives is far from assured success; after all the bulk of Xinjiang’s day-to-day policy is conducted by unprepared Han cadres who tend to view most Uyghurs as “terrorists”.
Many of these cadres identify any separatist stirring in Xinjiang as CIA-provoked, which is not totally true. There is an extreme Uyghur minority which actually entered Wahhabi-driven jihadism (I met some of them in Masoud’s prisons in the Panjshir valley before 9/11) and has gone to fight everywhere from Chechnya to Syria. But what the overwhelming majority really wants is an economic shot at the Chinese dream.
The Pakistani counterpart to Xinjiang is Balochistan, inhabited by a little over 6 million people. There have been at least three different separatist factions/movements in Balochistan fighting Islamabad and what they call “Punjabis” with a vengeance. Former provincial minister Jaffar Khan Mandokhel, for instance, is already warning there will be a “strong reaction” across Balochistan to changes in the corridor’s routes, which, he says, “are meant to give maximum benefit to Punjab, which is already considered the privileged province.” Islamabad denies any changes.
The corridor is also bound to bypass most of the key, northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Opposition political star Imran Khan – whose party is on top in Khyber – has already condemned it as an injustice.
Beijing, for its part, has been very explicit to Islamabad; the Pakistani Taliban must be defeated, or at least appeased. That explains why since June 2014 the Pakistani army has been involved in a huge aerial bombing campaign – Zarb-e Azb – againt the Haqqani network and other hardcore tribals. The Pakistani army has already set up a special division to take care of the corridor, including nine battalions and the proverbial paramilitary forces. None of this though is a guarantee of success.
Karakoram or bust
It will be absolutely fascinating to watch how China and Pakistan, simultaneously, may be able to keep the peace in both Xinjiang and Balochistan to assure booming trade along the corridor. Geographicaly though, this all makes perfect sense.
Xinjiang is closer to the Arabian Sea than Shanghai. Shanghai is twice more distant from Urumqi than Karachi. So no wonder Beijing thinks of Pakistan as a sort of Hong Kong West, as I examined in some detail here.
This is also a microcosm of East and South Asia integration, and even Greater Asia integration, if we include China, Iran, Afghanistan, and even Myanmar.
The spectacular Karakoram highway, from Kashgar to Islamabad, a feat of engineering completed by the Chinese working alongside the Pakistan Army Corps of engineers, will be upgraded, and extended all the way to Gwadar. A railway will also be built. And in the near future, yet another key Pipelineistan stretch.
Pipelineistan is linked to the corridor also in the form of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, which Beijing will help Islamabad to finish to the tune of $2 billion, after successive U.S. administrations relentlessly tried to derail it. The geopolitical dividends of China blessing a steel umbilical cord between Iran and Pakistan are of course priceless.
The end result is that early in the 2020s China will be connected in multiple ways practically with the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Large swathes of massive China-Europe trade will be able to avoid the Strait of Malacca. China will be turbo-charging trade with the Middle East and Africa. China-bound Middle East oil will be offloaded at Gwadar and transported to Xinjiang via Balochistan – before a pipeline is finished. And Pakistan will profit from more energy, infrastructure and transit trade.
Talk about a “win-win”. And that’s not even accounting for China’s thirst for gold. Balochistan is awash with gold, and there have been new discoveries in Punjab.
New Silk Road action is nothing short than frantic. The Bank of China is already channeling $62 billion of its immense foreign exchange reserves to three policy banks supporting New Silk Road(s) projects; $32 billion to China Development Bank (CDB) and $30 billion to Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM). The Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) will also get its share.
And it’s not only Pakistan; the five Central Asian “stans” – rich in oil, gas, coal, agricultural land, gold, copper, uranium – are also targeted.
There’s a new highway from Kashgar to Osh, in Kyrgyzstan, and a new railway between Urumqi and Almaty, in Kazakhstan. We may be a long way away from the new high-speed Silk Rail, but trade between, for instance, the megacities of Chongqing or Chengdu in Sichuan with Germany now moves in only 20 days; that’s 15 days less than the sea route.
So it’s no wonder a “special leading group” was set up by Beijing to oversee everything going on in the One Road, One Belt galaxy. The crucial action plan is here. Those who’re about to go silk, we salute you.

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