CPEC to be completed at all costs, says Imran


The Newspaper’s Staff Reporter Updated July 04, 2020

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the gigantic multi-faceted initiative would guarantee a bright future for the nation. — PM Imran’s Instagram/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed on Friday that the government would complete the ambitious China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project at any cost and pass its benefits to the nation.

The corridor is a manifestation of Pakistan-China friendship and the government will complete it at any cost and bring its fruit to every Pakistani,” the prime minister said at a meeting held to review progress on the CPEC projects.

Terming the CPEC an excellent project for the country’s socio-economic development, Mr Khan said the gigantic multi-faceted initiative would guarantee a bright future for the nation.

Lauding the performance of CPEC Authority, the prime minister said measures must be taken to improve its working as well as capacity.

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The prime minister was briefed about the status of ongoing projects under the giant initiative.

Asks provincial governments to upgrade master plans of major cities

Federal Ministers Asad Umar, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Omar Ayub, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, CPEC Authority Chairman retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa and senior officers of the organisations concerned attended the meeting.

CPEC is a collection of infrastructure and other projects under construction throughout Pakistan since 2013. Originally valued at $46 billion, the CPEC projects were worth $62bn as of 2017.

The vast initiative is intended to rapidly upgrade Pakistan’s required infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects and special economic zones.

In November of 2016, CPEC became partly operational when Chinese cargo was transported overland to Gwadar port for onward maritime shipment to Africa and West Asia, while some major power projects were commissioned by late 2017.

The potential impact of the massive initiative on Pakistan has been compared to that of the Marshall Plan undertaken by the United States in post-war Europe. The initiative has entered a new phase after the coming into power of the government led by Mr Khan.

Master plans of cities

At another meeting the prime minister directed provincial governments to upgrade master plans of major cities to provide the best civic amenities to the populace.

Due to ill-planned growth in major cities, the environment had deteriorated and people were facing multiple problems, Mr Khan observed.

As a result of a mushroom growth, green belts are vanishing… Master plans should be amended and upgraded keeping in view the changing circumstances.”

Prime Minister Khan said the main objective behind incentives being given by the government to the construction sector was to create job opportunities.

He advised provincial governments to use the latest technology so that master plans of major cities were upgraded as soon as possible.

The prime minister said a roadmap should be devised within a week to give final shape to the master plans.

The meeting was attended by PM’s Adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, Member of National Assembly Khayal Zaman, chairman of the Naya Pakistan Housing Authority and the housing secretary while provincial chief secretaries participated through video link.

The prime minister directed the authorities concerned at yet another meeting to improve facilities in Panahgahs (shelters) for the poor.

He gave these directives while presiding over a meeting on the government’s flagship initiative — the Ehsaas programme.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2020

Source; Dawn “CPEC to be completed at all costs, says Imran”

Note: This is Dawn’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Imran Khan criticised after calling Osama Bin Laden a ‘martyr’


26 June 2020

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has come under fire from opposition MPs after telling parliament that the US “martyred” Osama Bin Laden.

Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was killed in 2011 when US special forces raided his hideout in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

Pakistan was not informed in advance.

“I will never forget how we Pakistanis were embarrassed when the Americans came into Abbottabad and killed Osama Bin Laden, martyred him,” Khan said.

Khan used the word “shaheed” – a reverential Arabic term for a martyr of Islam.

Opposition leader and former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif criticised Mr Khan, calling Bin Laden an “ultimate terrorist”.

“He destroyed my nation, and [Khan] is calling him a martyr,” Mr Asif said in parliament.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, whose Pakistan Peoples Party was in power when Bin Laden was killed, accused the prime minister of appeasing violent extremism.

Meena Gabeena, a high-profile Pakistani activist, wrote on Twitter: “Muslims all over the world are struggling because of the discrimination they face due to recent terrorism and our PM makes it worse by calling [Osama Bin Laden] a martyr of Islam!”

Mr Khan’s speech came as Pakistan’s foreign office rejected a US state department report accusing Pakistan of continuing to be a safe haven for regionally focused terrorist groups.

“While the report recognizes that al-Qaeda has been seriously degraded in the region, it neglects to mention Pakistan’s crucial role in decimating al-Qaeda, thereby diminishing the threat that the terrorist group once posed to the world,” the foreign office said.

Mr Khan, a former cricketer, has previously been criticised as sympathetic towards the Taliban, and branded “Taliban Khan” by opponents.

Following his controversial Bin Laden remark on Thursday, Afrasiab Khatak, a nationalist former senator and former head of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), said in a tweet that the prime minister had been brought to power to implement “Project Taliban”.

In a TV interview four years ago, Mr Khan refused to call Bin Laden a terrorist when pressed by the interviewer.

Analysis: M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad

Imran Khan called Osama Bin Laden a martyr not because of any ideological commitment to the 9/11 mastermind but because it was politically convenient.

The world has come a long way from the politics of 9/11, but Islamist militancy is still seen by analysts as the main weapon of Pakistan’s powerful military establishment to push for its perceived aims in India and Afghanistan.

Bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders of that time are still revered by the militants, and they function as useful tools in recruiting people to the cause. Any move to officially downgrade Bin Laden’s status therefore could be counter-productive.

Mr Khan is seen by his critics as close to the military establishment – a proxy who has been catapulted to power in a 2018 election allegedly rigged by the military.

His word choice on Thursday was not an accident. Many noted that during his speech he initially used the word “killed” for Bin Laden, then stopped himself and corrected to “martyred”.

Source: BBC “Imran Khan criticised after calling Osama Bin Laden a ‘martyr’”

Note: This is BBC’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


A Tripartite Agreement of $2.4 billion Kohala Hydropower Project under CPEC signed today


June 25, 2020

A major milestone towards the successful implementation of 1,124MW Kohala Hydropower Project in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) under CPEC framework is achieved as a Tripartite Agreement signing ceremony between a Chinese company, governments of Pakistan and AJK held today. Prime Minister Imran Khan witnessed signing ceremony and said US $ 2.4 billion investment in Kohala Hydropower project under CPEC is the biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan. The other projects signed included 700MW Azad Pattan hydropower project, 300MW Ashkot hydropower project, 640MW Mahl hydropower project, 450MW Athmuqam hydropower project, 82MW Turtonas-Uzghor hydropower project, 163MW Grange Power. Ltd.

PM further asserted the Kohala Hydropower project will promote regional development and uplift the socio-economic status of people in AJK by creating more jobs. The project would create clean energy, environmental benefits and reduce dependence on furnace oil import which creates current account deficit. Chairman CPEC authority Lt. Gen. (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa has said that it is the largest power sector investment of $2.4 billion in a single Independent Power Producer (IPP).

Prime Minister’s commitment to expedite work on CPEC projects and hard work of all stakeholders has played a significant role to achieve this milestone.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa revealed on Thursday that the tripartite agreement signing ceremony for Kohala Hydel Power Project will be held today.

SAPM Bajwa said that it was a “historic day” as it is the largest power sector investment of $2.4 billion in a single Independent Power Producer (IPP).

“With PM Imran’s clear direction to expedite CPEC projects,all stake holders worked hard to bring this day,” tweeted SAPM Bajwa on Thursday.

The work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) funded Kohala Hydropower Project has been in jeopardy since last year as the Chinese contractor has been demobilised following controversy over downstream environmental flows.

The 1,124MW (megawatt) Kohala Hydropower Project, being built on Jhelum River in Azad Kashmir under CPEC, has been awarded to Kohala Hydropower Company Ltd (KHCL), which is a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC).

Jun 25 (APP): A tripartite agreement was signed here Thursday between a Chinese company and the governments of Pakistan and China for construction of 1,124 megawatt Kohala Hydropower Project costing $2.4 billion.

The signing ceremony, held at PM Office, was witnessed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, federal cabinet members, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) authority, Chairman Lt. Gen. (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa and representatives of Chinese company.

It is the largest power sector investment of $2.4 billion in a single Independent Power Producer (IPP).

Kohala Hydropower Project, being built on Jhelum River in Azad Kashmir under CPEC, has been awarded to Kohala Hydropower Company Ltd (KHCL), which is a subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation (CTGC).

Addressing the signing ceremony, the prime minister while terming the agreement a “great step” towards foreign investment, said Pakistan should have invested in hydro power sector far earlier.

He said the country was progressing well when it had been producing hydro power until it started banking on imported fuel which not only made the local industry non-competitive but also put additional burden on foreign reserves.

The prime minister said the power generation through imported fuel generation also adversely impacted the environment as Pakistan was among nine countries to get worst hit by climate change which necessitated the promotion of clean energy.

The prime minister said Kohala Hydropower Power Project drew the biggest ever investment in Pakistan on a single project.

Pakistan welcomed the investment as it could also set a trend for the country Pakistan to further move towards clean energy for reducing dependence on imported fuel.

The prime minister told the AJK prime minister that the project would also create much-needed jobs for youth both during the construction as well as the operations.

Source: epecinfo.com “A Tripartite Agreement of $2.4 billion Kohala Hydropower Project under CPEC signed today”

Note: This is cpecinfo.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Will Pakistan Exploit China-India Conflict to Take Kashmir from India


The Diplomat’s article “What Does the China-India Standoff in Ladakh Mean for Pakistan?” yesterday says that when China was fighting India in 1962, the then Chinese ambassador to Pakistan asked Pakistan why it did not take advantage of the situation to take Kashmir. Pakistan asked the US and UK for advice. The article says both the US and UK begged Pakistan to do nothing “and promising that after the fighting had ceased, their governments would pressure [Indian Prime Minister] Nehru into holding the UN-mandated vote in Kashmir. Ayub (the then Pakistan leader) and his coterie thought it would be in Pakistan’s interest to follow the UN route rather than fight a war. But unfortunately, despite that promise, the UN has remained silent over the Kashmir issue.”

The article believes that Pakistan should be a mediator rather than a party to the conflict to avoid risks as China, India and Pakistan are all nuclear armed nations. “But unfortunately, ground realities tell us Pakistan will act otherwise,” it says.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on The Diplomat’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://thediplomat.com/2020/06/what-does-the-china-india-standoff-in-ladakh-mean-for-pakistan/


India’s Dilemma, Fighting on Both Eastern and Western Fronts


Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint

India upset Pakistan with its Immigration Law and then conducted air warfare with Pakistan. In order to avoid fighting on both eastern and western fronts, it has to improve its relations with China. Therefore, it seems rational that China must have initiated the border clash with India to exploit India’s weak position now. That is perhaps why ThePrint’s article has the title “Xi has thrown the gauntlet at Modi. He can pick it up like Nehru, or try something new”

As India and the US are warming their relations and there is potential that India may join US to contain China, it is natural that China may create border tension to warn India of the dilemma India may be in if it joins the US in containing China.

We don’t know what actually happened in the border clash, but according to Indian Prime Minister Modi, in the incident, Chinese troops did not cross the line of actual control. Then the truth is India troops crossed the line to the Chinese side with quite a large number of officers and soldiers led by a colonel.

It seemed that China was well prepared so that Indian troops suffered heavy casualty. Regarding the throw of gauntlet, it seemed that India threw the gauntlet while China has picked up the gauntlet in reply to the challenge.

Despite India’s opposition, construction of the projects in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has made quite satisfactory progress. China’s vast inland west will soon have outlet to the sea through the corridor to Pakistani port of Gwadar. That will greatly facilitate the import to and export from China’s vast west and enable China to quicken the development of its vast west.

ThePrint’s article describes well Modi’s dilemma but does not seem to find a way out for Modi.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on ThePrint’s article, full text of which can be viewed at https://theprint.in/national-interest/xi-has-thrown-the-gauntlet-at-modi-he-can-pick-it-up-like-nehru-or-try-something-new/445219/.


Pak approves $7.2 bn railway line upgradation project under CPEC


The approval by the key government body has set the stage for the final negotiations with China for financing the project and talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address its concern over a big loan from Beijing.

By: PTI | Islamabad | Updated: June 7, 2020 4:22:45 pm

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Saturday approved the Pakistan Railways’ Mainline-I (ML-1) Project, The Express Tribune reported. (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Representational)

Pakistan has approved the strategic USD 7.2 billion railway line upgradation project between Peshawar and Karachi under the CPEC, paving the way for the final negotiations with China for the finance, a media report said on Sunday.

The approval of the project to upgrade the 1,872 km-long railway track from Peshawar to Karachi is a big milestone for the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said Lieutenant General (retired) Asim Saleem Bajwa, chairman of the CPEC Authority.

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Saturday approved the Pakistan Railways’ Mainline-I (ML-1) Project, The Express Tribune reported.

The approval by the key government body has set the stage for the final negotiations with China for financing the project and talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address its concern over a big loan from Beijing.

Pakistan will also have to seek relaxations from the IMF, as under the existing deal with the global financial body, it does not have space to provide sovereign guarantees to the tune of Rs 1.2 trillion (USD 7.2 billion), the report said.

It was for the fourth time that the project came before the CDWP for approval. The CDWP considered the project for the first time in 2016.

After the approval, the project would go to the Executive Committee of National Economic Council for further approval, the Ministry of Planning said.

It would be finally approved by the Cabinet but the initial approval of the CDWP is considered as a key for any big project.

Once completed, the speed of passenger trains will increase from 65/110 km/h to 160 km/h on the track.

The speed of the freight trains will also increase to 120km/h from 80 kilometer per hour.

The package-1 of the ML-I will be completed between January 2021 to December 2024 and will cover the construction of 527 km-long track between Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore.

Package 2 will be completed from January 2022 to December 2026 and will upgrade 521 km-long track from Lahore to Hyderabad while package 3 will upgrade the 740 km-track of Rawalpindi-Peshawar and Hyderabad-Multan.

Pakistan gives high priority to the ML-1 project due to its strategic importance and the CDWP’s clearance will also pave the way for its inauguration by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to the country this year, the report said.

Earlier, the Pakistan Railways proposed the construction of the project at a cost of USD 9.2 billion. However, the transport and communication wing of the planning ministry reduced the cost by USD 2 billion, the report said.

However, the World Bank linked the success of the project to bringing governance reforms in the railways and warned that the project’s debt servicing was not sustainable, the paper added.

The multi-billion dollar CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

The project was launched in 2015 when Chinese President Xi visited Pakistan and it now envisages investment of over USD 60 billion in different projects of development in Pakistan.

India has objected to the CPEC as it is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Source: The Indian Express “Pak approves $7.2 bn railway line upgradation project under CPEC”

Note: This is The Indian Express’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


China to construct 1,124-megawatt power project in Pok under CPEC


The details of the Kohala hydropower project was presented in the 127th meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) chaired by Energy Minister Omar Ayub on Monday.

Updated: Jun 02, 2020 15:32 IST

Press Trust of India | Posted by Niyati Singh

Islamabad

Photo Pok

China under the multi-billion-dollar CPEC will set up a 1,124-megawatt power project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir despite India’s objection to it, according to a media report on Tuesday.(File photo)

China under the multi-billion-dollar CPEC will set up a 1,124-megawatt power project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir despite India’s objection to it, according to a media report on Tuesday.

The details of the Kohala hydropower project was presented in the 127th meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) chaired by Energy Minister Omar Ayub on Monday.

The Express Tribune reported that the meeting was informed that a tripartite agreement has been finalised among China’s Three Gorges Corporation, the authorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the PPIB to implement the 1,124-megawatt Kohala hydroelectric power project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.

The project will be built on the Jhelum River and aims at annually providing more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity for consumers in Pakistan.

The paper further reported that this marks one of the largest investments of USD 2.4 billion in an independent power producer (IPP) in the region.

The 3,000-km-long CEPC is aimed at connecting China and Pakistan with rail, road, pipelines and optical cable fiber networks. It connects China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan Gwadar port, providing access to China to the Arabian Sea.

The CPEC passes through PoK, over which India has conveyed its protests to China.

Last month, India protested to Pakistan awarding a mega contract to build a dam in Gilgit-Baltistan, saying carrying out of such projects in territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation was not proper.

The Pakistan government has signed a whopping Rs 442 billion contract with a joint venture of a Chinese state-run firm and a commercial arm of Pakistan’s powerful military for construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam.

Our position is consistent and clear that entire territory of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been, are and will continue to be integral and inalienable part of India,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi last month.

We have consistently conveyed our protests and shared concerns with both Pakistan and China on all such projects in the Indian territories under Pakistan’s illegal occupation,” it said.

Ayub, a grandson of former military ruler Ayub Khan, in his remarks, lauded the infrastructure board for playing a crucial role in optimising hydroelectric power generation.

He said the government was determined to ensure long-term energy sustainability and reliability for which renewable energy, hydroelectric power and indigenous coal-based projects were being prioritised.

Source: Hindustan Times “China to construct 1,124-megawatt power project in Pok under CPEC”

Note: This is Hindustan Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Nuclear-Armed Submarines and the Balance of Power in the Indo-Pacific


By James Goldrick

May 16, 2020

The maritime strategic balance in the Indo-Pacific is changing rapidly. The future of undersea nuclear deterrent forces has strategic, operational and force structure aspects for all major powers in the region. Strategic competition in an increasingly competitive environment has a significant maritime element, which itself is profoundly influenced by the continuing importance—and progressive expansion—of the region’s underwater nuclear deterrent forces.

To a greater extent than during the Cold War, both threatening and protecting such assets will be difficult to separate from other maritime campaigns. This particularly applies to potential anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations in the East and South China Seas, as well as to India and Pakistan and to North Korea, creating uncertainty over the possibility of unplanned escalations and outright accidents.

Maintaining any kind of regional balance will, therefore, call for cool judgements on the part of all the players, judgements that will need to be continually revised in the light of technological innovation and force development.

The U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) force is central to the country’s nuclear arsenal. While the navy can’t be complacent about threats to the survivability of its submarines, until there are revolutionary developments in sensor technology, the combination of geography, oceanography, and platform and missile capabilities means that its at-sea deterrent will remain the most secure element of America’s nuclear force and thus receive high priority in funding.

The problem for the U.S. Navy is that it will need to start replacing the Ohio class within the next decade, but the cost of 12 new Columbia-class submarines will severely limit its ability to regenerate all the other force elements that will be required to meet the combined challenges of China and Russia.

The navy’s efforts represent just one part of a strategy to push the U.S.’s competitors off balance and regain the strategic initiative. An important maritime element is likely to be undermining China’s efforts to create an underwater ‘bastion’. Here, the Americans must weigh the benefits of actively threatening the security of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s SSBN force against the resource commitments that that would entail, as well as the complications that it could represent for alliance arrangements, notably with Japan and Australia.

In seeking to become the predominant maritime power in the western Pacific, China has its own problems of resources and technology. However attractive the concept of an at-sea deterrent force within its nuclear inventory may be, China must first extend the range of its submarine-launched missiles and considerably improve the stealth qualities of its missile submarines if it is to create a capability sufficient to pose a credible threat to the continental United States.

Russia’s challenges are in some ways parallel to those of the U.S., particularly its need to sustain an SSBN force while modernising the remainder of its navy. Maintaining an at-sea nuclear deterrent remains the highest priority. However, replacement of the older SSBN with the new Borey class must be consuming a very large share of the Russian navy’s resources. To the SSBN program must be added the need to renew the nuclear-powered attack submarine force and continue development of the ASW capabilities necessary to secure the bastions against potential attackers. The limited money available means that Russia’s maritime power-projection assets don’t enjoy the same level of attention.

Japan’s defence expansion, despite the tensions with China and the rise of the PLA Navy, has been relatively limited. Its most significant new elements are focused on developing amphibious forces capable of responding rapidly to any threat to the Ryukyu Islands, including the contested Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands. Japan’s ASW efforts are much less visible in, but perhaps more significant for, its maritime strategy. Japan’s submarine force is slowly expanding, and the modernisation of its surface and air ASW forces continues.

Australia faces equivalent challenges. Because it is one of the few regional players with substantial high-technology capabilities, particularly in the ASW domain, Australia’s assistance will be eagerly sought by the Americans, just as they have long looked to Japan. While its defence expansion remains relatively constrained—and slow—Australia’s emerging force structure will provide both independent national capabilities and strategic weight in alliance terms in ways that are relatively new. Australia has been a regular presence in the South China Sea over many years, but the latest Indo-Pacific Endeavour task group deployments have been on a larger scale than the individual ship deployments of the recent past.

North Korea remains a wild card. Its efforts to develop an underwater nuclear deterrent are only a small part of the increasingly complex problem its future presents for neighbouring countries and the region as a whole.

India must balance its apparently unresolvable tensions with Pakistan against a developing strategic rivalry with China that has important maritime dimensions. The growing Chinese economic and military presence in the Indian Ocean threatens India’s self-image as the dominant power in the region. India’s interest in the South China Sea represents something of a riposte and a deliberate effort to complicate China’s maritime strategy.

On the other hand, the entry of the first Indian SSBN into operational service and the start of its deterrent patrols may have added to India’s nuclear capabilities, but they also create a hostage to fortune that the Indian Navy must factor into its dispositions. Whether Pakistan will add to India’s problems by embarking nuclear weapons in its submarine force is uncertain, as is the priority that the Pakistan Navy will give to locating and tracking Indian SSBNs.

In sum, strategic competition in the increasingly competitive Indo-Pacific has a significant maritime element. Distinguishing threatening and protecting nuclear assets from routine maritime campaigns is increasingly difficult. As SSBN capabilities proliferate, and ASW technology advances, maintaining a regional maritime balance will increase in complexity.

This piece was produced as part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy: Undersea Deterrence Project, undertaken by the ANU National Security College. This article is a shortened version of chapter 2, ‘Maritime and naval power in the Indo-Pacific’, as published in the 2020 edited volume: The future of the undersea deterrent: a global survey. Support for this project was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

James Goldrick served as a rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy, has published widely on naval issues and now has appointments at UNSW Canberra, the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and ANCORS (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security).

Source: realcleardefense.com “Nuclear-Armed Submarines and the Balance of Power in the Indo-Pacific”

Note: This is rea;c;eardefemse.com’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Coronavirus Pakistan Business Opinion Culture Sport Magazines World Tech Prism Diamer-Bhasha dam ready for construction, PM Imran told Sanaullah KhanMay 11, 2020 Facebook Count Twitter Share 119 The premier was informed about the progress of all pending issues related to the project’s construction. — PM Khan’s Instagram/File Prime Minister Imran Khan was informed on Monday that all the prep work for the Diamer-Bhasha dam has been completed and the project was ready for construction. Taking to Twitter, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa called the announcement “historic news”. He said: “Announcing to start construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam today is historic news for all generations of Pakistan. A huge stimulus for our economy, [will] create 16,500 jobs, generate 4,500 MW hydel power and irrigate 1.2 m acres agri land, enhance Tarbela dam’s age by 35 years.” Article continues after ad Chairing today’s briefing on national water security strategy and the construction of dams to meet the country’s agricultural and energy requirements, the premier was informed about the progress of all pending issues related to the dam’s construction. The premier expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far and directed authorities concerned to begin construction work on the dam. “Ensuring water security is the government’s first priority,” he said, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. “In addition to ensuring the optimum utilisation of available water resources for agricultural needs, the construction of dams will help meet energy requirements at affordable rates.” The prime minister directed that local materials and expertise be used during construction to provide the people with ample job opportunities. According to the statement, during today’s meeting, PM Imran was informed that “all issues related to this critically important project, including settlement, detailed roadmap for mobilisation of financial resources etc. have been resolved and the project was ready for commencement of physical work”. The meeting was informed that Diamer-Bhasha dam had remained in limbo for decades due to various reasons. “The construction of the dam will create 16,500 jobs and utilise a large quantity of cement and steel which will boost our industry, in addition to its main purpose of water storage and producing 4,500 MW of cheap and affordable electricity,” the press release said. “The 6.4 million acre feet (MAF) water storage capacity of the dam will reduce the current water shortage in the country of 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF. It will add 35 years to the life of Tarbela dam by reducing sedimentation. An area of 1.23 million acres of land will be brought under agriculture [use] due to this dam,” it added. The meeting was also informed that Rs78.5 billion will be spent on the area around the dam for its social development as part of the project. “[The dam] will also be a major source of flood mitigation and save billions in damages caused by floods each year,” the statement added. The chairman of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) also briefed the meeting about the progress of the recently-commenced construction work that at Mohmand Dam. PM Imran was also informed about the Dasu hydropower project and the progress made so far. “The premier expressed satisfaction over the progress and directed to ensure expeditious commencement of the project,” the statement read. It added that the prime minister was also told that funds have been arranged for Naulong dam in Balochistan and that work on the project will commence next year. The premier stressed the need for starting the Sindh barrage project. “The project has huge benefits in addressing the agriculture needs of the province. It will stop soil erosion and also improve the drinking water situation for urban centres in Sindh,” he said. PM Imran also appreciated the efforts made by the water resources ministry and Wapda in pursuing the projects. He reiterated his emphasis on keeping a close eye on the quality of work and meeting timelines.


The premier was informed about the progress of all pending issues related to the project's construction. — PM Khan's Instagram/File
The premier was informed about the progress of all pending issues related to the project’s construction. — PM Khan’s Instagram/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan was informed on Monday that all the prep work for the Diamer-Bhasha dam has been completed and the project was ready for construction.

Taking to Twitter, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa called the announcement “historic news”.

He said: “Announcing to start construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam today is historic news for all generations of Pakistan. A huge stimulus for our economy, [will] create 16,500 jobs, generate 4,500 MW hydel power and irrigate 1.2 m acres agri land, enhance Tarbela dam’s age by 35 years.”

The premier expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far and directed authorities concerned to begin construction work on the dam. “Ensuring water security is the government’s first priority,” he said, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“In addition to ensuring the optimum utilisation of available water resources for agricultural needs, the construction of dams will help meet energy requirements at affordable rates.”

The prime minister directed that local materials and expertise be used during construction to provide the people with ample job opportunities.

According to the statement, during today’s meeting, PM Imran was informed that “all issues related to this critically important project, including settlement, detailed roadmap for mobilisation of financial resources etc. have been resolved and the project was ready for commencement of physical work”.

The meeting was informed that Diamer-Bhasha dam had remained in limbo for decades due to various reasons.

“The construction of the dam will create 16,500 jobs and utilise a large quantity of cement and steel which will boost our industry, in addition to its main purpose of water storage and producing 4,500 MW of cheap and affordable electricity,” the press release said.

“The 6.4 million acre feet (MAF) water storage capacity of the dam will reduce the current water shortage in the country of 12 MAF to 6.1 MAF. It will add 35 years to the life of Tarbela dam by reducing sedimentation. An area of 1.23 million acres of land will be brought under agriculture [use] due to this dam,” it added.

The meeting was also informed that Rs78.5 billion will be spent on the area around the dam for its social development as part of the project. “[The dam] will also be a major source of flood mitigation and save billions in damages caused by floods each year,” the statement added.

The chairman of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) also briefed the meeting about the progress of the recently-commenced construction work that at Mohmand Dam.

PM Imran was also informed about the Dasu hydropower project and the progress made so far. “The premier expressed satisfaction over the progress and directed to ensure expeditious commencement of the project,” the statement read.

It added that the prime minister was also told that funds have been arranged for Naulong dam in Balochistan and that work on the project will commence next year.

The premier stressed the need for starting the Sindh barrage project. “The project has huge benefits in addressing the agriculture needs of the province. It will stop soil erosion and also improve the drinking water situation for urban centres in Sindh,” he said.

PM Imran also appreciated the efforts made by the water resources ministry and Wapda in pursuing the projects. He reiterated his emphasis on keeping a close eye on the quality of work and meeting timelines.

Source: DAWN “Diamer-Bhasha dam ready for construction, PM Imran told”

Note: This is DAWN’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


No compromise on CPEC as it is country’s future: Bajwa


By Our Correspondent ​

Published: May 7, 2020

CPEC Authority Chairman and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa says emphasis is on agriculture, industries, trade, and science and technology sectors. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD :

CPEC Authority Chairman and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a non-political international project and work for its completion is in progress on a fast pace.

There is no political hindrance in its way. The project is Pakistan’s future as well as a tangible reality and no compromise will be made on it,” the chairman said while talking to a delegation of senior journalists on Wednesday.

Bajwa said Pakistan takes decisions in its interest and there should be no doubt that the CPEC project “is in the best interest of the country”, adding that “no external pressure will be accepted”.

He said that the working plan of both the routes from Khunjrab to Gwadar has been completed and the remaining link routes will be added into the plan in the next few months.

The second phase of this multibillion-dollar project is crucial for the development of the country and construction work will soon be started.”

CPEC phase-II to generate mass employment, industrialisation: Asim Bajwa

Describing the projects in the second phase of CPEC, Bajwa said, “Special emphasis is on agriculture, industries, trade, and science and technology sectors.”

He said that the highest priority was to make functional the economic zones in the four provinces, adding that Gwadar’s development projects were included in the second phase of the CPEC.

He also said that Pak-China Cooperation Committee would soon conduct a conference.

On the locusts’ attack, which is damaging the crops on a large scale in the country, Bajwa said that China would establish a pest control centre in Pakistan.

The quality of seeds is being improved to strengthen the crops against infestation,” Bajwa added.

On the scholarship programme, he said that the headway had been made in the programme. “Twenty thousand Pakistani students will go on scholarships to China.”

Source: Tribune “No compromise on CPEC as it is country’s future: Bajwa”

Note: This is Tribune’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.