News and Views

China Silk Road Initiative Seen as Game Changer

Voice of America | Ron Corben  BANGKOK—China’s “Silk Road” trade and economic network, launched in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, is being seen by many as a potential "gamer changer" to boost the regional economy. The Silk Road Economic Belt policy and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, known as the “Belt and Road” initiative, envisions strengthening China’s business ties into Asia, through Europe and Africa.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0831 PST

India is ready for talks, says envoy

DAWN | THE NEWSPAPER'S STAFF REPORTER  LAHORE: Indian High Commissioner in Pakis­tan Gautam Bambawale has acknowledged that Pakistan-India talks must be held on all issues, including Kashmir, and said India is ready and will go ahead with talks.
Mr Bambawale accompanied by his wife rea­ched here on Wednesday on a two-day visit, according to a TV report.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0749 PST

Maleeha scorns Indian maps depicting Jammu and Kashmir as part of India

Daily Times | APP  UNITED NATIONS: Maleeha Lodhi heavily criticised maps released by India that depicted Jammu and Kashmir as part of India. Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations said those maps could not change the fundamental fact that the state is “disputed territory”. She was referring to the controversial draft bill seeking to regulate India’s geospatial information.
“Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory and numerous UN Security Resolutions attest to this,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told APP. She was commenting on the Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesman’s claim that the state was an integral part of India and that the proposed Geospatial Information Regulation Bill was an “entirely internal legislative matter of India”.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0800 PST

US views relationships with India, Pakistan individually: Pentagon

DAWN | THE NEWSPAPER'S CORRESPONDENT  WASHINGTON: The United States views its relationships with India and Pakistan individually and not as a “zero-sum game”, says the Pentagon while endorsing Islamabad’s claim that it needs F-16s for fighting extremists.
The issue of the eight F-16s that Pakistan wants to buy from the United States came up again at a news briefing on Tuesday when an Indian journalist asked the Pentagon press secretary if he really believed Islamabad needed those planes for fighting “home-grown terrorists”.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0912 PST

Pakistan committed to Afghan-led peace process, says minister

Daily Times | Shamim Mahmood  ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lieutenat General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch has said that Pakistan is seriously facilitating Afghan-led peace process for lasting harmony in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s role in Heart of Asia and Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) has been vibrant in actively pursuing peace process. Speaking at a conference on ‘Evolving Situation in Afghanistan – role of major powers and regional countries’, Abdul Qadir Baloch said that Pakistan has been facing multidimensional challenges due to instability in Afghanistan and in the country as well.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0800 PST

White House urges Congress to review restrictions on Pakistan aid

DAWN | THE NEWSPAPER'S CORRESPONDENT  WASHINGTON: The White House has warned Congress that its effort to restrict US military assistance to Pakistan would hurt bilateral ties.
In a policy statement sent to Congress on Tuesday afternoon, the White House said that it appreciated the lawmakers’ concerns about the Haqqani network, but disagreed with their move to restrict aid as it would “unnecessarily complicate progress” in ties with Pakistan.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0733 PST

Afghanistan signs draft accord with Hekmatyar’s group

DAWN | REUTERS  KABUL: Afghanistan signed a draft agreement with the Hezb-i-Islami militant group on Wednesday in a move the government hopes could lead to a full peace accord with one of the most important warlords in the insurgency.
Hezb-i-Islami leader Gulbadin Hekmatyar is a veteran of decades of Afghan war and briefly served as prime minister in the 1990s.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0647 PST

‘India might not be able to defend itself from Pakistani missiles’

DAWN | BAQIR SAJJAD SYED  ISLAMABAD: A nuclear expert from Moscow says despite heavy investments in developing anti-ballistic missile systems, India may not be able to fully defend itself in a conflict from strikes by Pakistani missiles.
“Even in 10 years and with the huge budgets that India plans to spend on the development of nuclear weapons and capabilities, it is difficult to imagine it will be able to defend its territory from possible strikes from Pakistan in case of conflict,” said Petr Topychkanov, a senior researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Centre’s Non-Proliferation Programme.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0736 PST

N-weapons build-up in South Asia

DAWN | EDITORIAL  NEW submarines, missile defence and now a missile test — India’s breakneck acquisition and development of nuclear weapons systems and platforms are thoroughly alarming and wholly unwelcome.
Already Pakistani officials have warned that the Indian moves are threatening to change the military balance of power regionally and implied that a Pakistani response is all but inevitable.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0804 PST

Pakistan’s nuclear programme

Daily Times | News Reporter  Amid mounting pressure by the US, Pakistan has refused to be part of talks regarding the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), which bans the production of fissile materials used in making nuclear weapons. Pakistan has expressed its concerns over the disparity shown by the US towards its treatment of New Delhi and Islamabad, and has refused to freeze its nuclear programme, terming it deterrence against aggression from India. The non-proliferation of fissile material is an important issue as it requires careful monitoring by world powers. However, the rule of non-proliferation of nuclear material should be applied to all states on an equal basis.

Read MorePosted Date: May 19, 2016  Last Updated at 0800 PST

In Pakistan, 4 nations mull how to bring Taliban to talks

The Washington Post | Kathy Gannon/AP  ISLAMABAD — Four nations — Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States — ended talks Wednesday much as they began, seeking peace in Afghanistan but with no real progress on how to get there or how to bring the most powerful of the country’s insurgent groups, the Taliban, to the negotiating table.
The session ended with a promise to pursue peace, and to pressure warring groups to engage in negotiations. It also condemned violence, with a specific reference to the ferocious April 19 attack in Kabul that killed 64 people.

Read MorePosted Date: May 18, 2016  Last Updated at 0800 PST

China says it supports membership of India, Pakistan in SCO

The Indian Express | PTI  China on Wednesday said it backs the entry of India and Pakistan into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and was willing to work with other members to complete the procedures for their accession.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the SCO summit in Russian city Ufa last year initiated the procedures of admitting India and Pakistan into SCO. “China supports India and Pakistan to join the SCO, and China is willing to cooperate and work with SCO members as well as India and Pakistan to do the follow-up work,” he said.

Read MorePosted Date: May 18, 2016  Last Updated at 2058 PST