February 2017

Land rush around Pakistan’s Gwadar port triggered by Chinese investment

Reuters

LAHORE: Pakistani real estate giant Rafi Group made a 10-fold profit last year from its sale of hundreds of acres of land in the remote fishing town of Gwadar, acquired soon after the government announced plans for a deep-sea port there.
The windfall came after 12 years of waiting patiently for the Gwadar port to emerge as the centerpiece of China’s ambitious plans for a trade and energy corridor stretching from the Arabian Gulf, across Pakistan, into western Xinjiang.
“We had anticipated the Chinese would need a route to the Arabian Sea,” Rafi Group Chief Executive Shehriar Rafi told Reuters. “And today, all routes lead back to Gwadar.”
Gwadar forms the southern Pakistan hub of a $57-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of infrastructure and energy projects Beijing announced in 2014.
Since then, land prices have skyrocketed as property demand has spiked, and dozens of real estate firms want to cash in.
“Gwadar is a ‘Made in China’ brand and everyone wants a piece,” said realtor Afzal Adil, one of several who shifted operations from the eastern city of Lahore in 2015.
Last year, Pakistan welcomed the first large shipment of Chinese goods at Gwadar, where the China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd. took over operations in 2013. It plans to eventually handle 300 million to 400 million tons of cargo a year.Read More »Land rush around Pakistan’s Gwadar port triggered by Chinese investment

HARD DAYS FOR ASHRAF GHANI

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ALI SUKHANVER

Everyone knows that Ashraf Ghani’s success in the presidential elections was warmly welcomed rather celebrated in Pakistan. The people in Pakistan were of the opinion that Ashraf Ghani would try his utmost to bring these brotherly countries more close to each other but Mr. Ghani did altogether otherwise. Pak-Afghan relationship is at present facing the ever-worst situation and this all is the handiwork of the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. He is so unfortunate that he could not bring peace even to his own country. International analysts are pointing towards a rapidly increasing violence in Afghanistan and to the fast growing Taliban influence as well. At so many places the Talban are directly running the government affairs instead of the Afghan government. There is a very visible political conflict and turmoil in spite of Afghan NUG’s claim of peace in the country. In the beginning days of Ashraf Ghani government a very clear situation of conflict and confrontation was being noticed between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah but now the first Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum has also joined this war as the third party. The Parliament is hosting different ethnic rivalries and as a result of this rivalry seven ministers have yet been impeached. The foreign minister Mr. Salahuddin Rabbani was also among the impeached ones. There is a situation of political anarchy and chaos in Afghanistan and the leaders are washing their ‘dirty linen’ in the public by accusing one another of nepotism and ethnicity. Analysts are of the opinion that after Trump’s victory in the US elections Afghan political leaders are under pressure and stress because of the expected change in US policy towards Afghanistan. The Washington Post said commenting upon the fears and apprehensions of the Afghan leaders, ‘The tensions have resurfaced just as the United States, a mainstay of Afghan defense and economic aid for years, has elected a new president with different priorities and no investment in Afghanistan’s success. Many Afghans fear President-elect Donald Trump may withdraw the 10,000 U.S. troops that President Obama kept here to help Afghan security forces take over the anti-insurgent fight.’Read More »HARD DAYS FOR ASHRAF GHANI

AFGHANISTAN-A SAFE HAVEN OF TERRORISTS

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ALI SUKHANVER

February usually brings a very pleasant weather for the people all over the world but this February proved very unlucky for the people of Pakistan. More than hundred innocent ones became victim to brutal terrorist activities; countless injured; hundreds of families were pushed to the hell of helplessness and a lot of damage was caused to the public and private properties. And this injustice was done for what; no one knows. Some people might be of the opinion that the attack on Lal Shebaz Qalander’s shrine in Sehwan had some religious rather sectarian background but what about the suicide-attack on the Chairing-Cross Lahore and what about the terrorist’s attack on the Levies Headquarter in Mohmand Agency. According to the details provided to media, all these terrorist activities were planned, acted upon and monitored by different terrorist groups now settled in Afghanistan. Most of the terrorists in these groups are those who had to run away from Pakistan as a result of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Read More »AFGHANISTAN-A SAFE HAVEN OF TERRORISTS

HAUNTING IMAGES OF KASHMIR

ALI SUKHANVER

London based Indian writer Mirza Waheed very vehemently exposed the real face of the Indian atrocities in Kashmir in his article ‘India is blinding young Kashmiri protesters’. The article was published on 18th July 2016. He says, “Two sets of images have haunted me these last few days. One is a series of photos of people splashing bucket-loads of water to wash away blood from the streets of Kashmir, where Indian forces have shot dead at least 45 people since 9 July. The other set of images is that of scores of young men with bandages on their eyes, before or after undergoing surgery to remove tiny steel pellets from their retinas. Indian forces deployed in Kashmir now routinely use pellet guns to stymie roadside demonstrations.” India is continuously trying to negate the fact that Kashmir belongs to the people of Kashmir; the Kashmiris are a nation, having an individual identity, a separate culture and independent traditional values; and they could never be treated like animals. They are looking to the world around them in search of someone who could save them from the horrible, miserable blazing inferno of human rights violation.Read More »HAUNTING IMAGES OF KASHMIR