Category: Facts Files

China overtakes US as top direct foreign investor in Pakistan

China is overtaking the US as the largest direct foreign investor in Pakistan, with the South Asian nation increasingly favouring its neighbour’s “One Belt, One Road” trade route that is funnelling in billions of dollars and revamping decrepit infrastructure.

With relations frayed between the United States and Pakistan, China has been strengthening its ties to the nation of about 200 million people after it pledged two years ago to loan and finance about US$55 billion (S$77 billion) in a so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

US direct investment in Pakistan stood at US$505 million – from July 2013 to January this year, compared with US$1.82 billion that came from neighbouring China, according to central bank data.

Five Pakistani Soldiers killed on Afghan Border

Pakistan Afghan border

Five brave soldiers of the Pakistan Army and more than 10 suspected militants were reportedly killed in a cross-border “terrorist attack” on three Pakistani border posts along the Pak-Afghan border area on Sunday night, the 6th of march 2017 Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

ISPR in a statement said “terrorists” from across the border had targeted the posts late on Sunday night in Mohmand Agency.

“Effective presence, vigilance and response repulsed terrorists attempt,” read the statement.

“In exchange of fire five soldiers embraced martyrdom and over 10 terrorists were reportedly killed,” it added.

Pakistan shares a 2200 km long and porous border with Afghanistan called Durand Line. Pakistan has already sealed the border after a series of bomb blasts across the country, responsibility of which was taken by terrorist organizations across the border.

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5th of February Kashmir Day

MUZAFFARABAD: The people of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) will observe the ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ on Sunday to reaffirm their support for the struggle of the people of India-held Kashmir for their right to self-determination pledged under several UN Security Council resolutions.

Pakistanis and Kashmiris have been observing the Kashmir Day every year on Feb 5 without any discontinuity since 1990.

The call to observe this day was first given by then emir of Jamaat-i-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmed and it was endorsed by then prime minister Benazir Bhutto and then chief minister of Punjab Nawaz Sharif.

On Sunday, rallies, seminars, demonstrations and other events, such as speech and essay competitions in educational institutions, will be organised across Pakistan and AJK, notwithstanding the harshness of weather, as an expression of unwavering support to the struggle of Kashmiris.

However, the main event of the day will be the formation of symbolic human chains at five or six points linking AJK with Pakistan, in a loud and clear message to the international community in general and India in particular that Pakistanis and Kashmiris are like “one soul in two hearts”.

Pakistani and Kashmiri expatriates in different parts of the world, mainly the United Kingdom and United States, also hold rallies to voice their support for the oppressed but resilient people of India-held Kashmir.

A special joint session of the AJK Legislative Assembly and the AJK Council has also been convened to meet here at 2pm on Sunday.

Weather permitting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would address the special session and in case he fails to make it to Muzaffarabad owing to inclement weather, his message would be read out.

A special function in connection with the Kashmir Day will be held in Convention Centre Islamabad with Pakistani and Kashmiri leaders among the speakers.

Prime Minister Sharif will host a dinner in the honour of Kashmiri leadership from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday night.

On Saturday, AJK ministers and lawmakers visited different camps of Kashmiri refugees and distributed ration packages among them with the cooperation of the federal ministry of Kashmir affairs.

Messages from Srinagar

In their messages on the eve of the Kashmir Day, pro-freedom leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Syed Shabbir Ahmed Shah expressed their gratitude for the government, people and armed forces of Pakistan for their unflinching support to the Kashmiris’ struggle.

“People in India-held Jammu and Kashmir are challenging a big power and Pakistan is the only country that acknowledges our right to self-determination and extends its persistent support to us,” Mr Geelani said.

“But we hope that Pakistan will play more effective and active role in this regard,” he said, asking Islamabad to activate all of its foreign missions to highlight the Kashmir issue and human rights violations in an operative method.

In his message, incarcerated chairman of Democratic Freedom Party Shabir Ahmad Shah said that observance of Feb 5 as ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ was “encouraging and praiseworthy”.

Fair plebiscite

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged India to stop bloodbath in held Kashmir and allow holding of free and fair plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations, adds APP. He said in a message for the last seven decades India had denied valiant Kashmiris the right to self-determination promised to them by the international community through numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

The prime minister said the people of Pakistan joined their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in observing the “Kashmir Solidarity Day” to reaffirm the country’s moral, diplomatic and political support to their legitimate struggle for their basic human rights, especially the right to self-determination, enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain has said the dream for peace in the region would remain elusive until resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiris.

In a message, Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the Kashmir Day had special significance this year because the recent uprising in India-held Kashmir, following the July 8 extra-judicial killing of popular youth leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani had shaken the conscience of the international community.

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Kashmiris and Kashmir Fact File

Kashmir Fact File

  • Kashmir is an 86,000-square mile region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

    Indian Army Brutality on Kashmiris
    Indian Army Brutality
  • The separatist violence has killed more than 47,000 people, which does not include people who have disappeared due to the conflict. Some human rights groups and nongovernmental organizations put the death toll at twice that amount.
  • India and Pakistan have been fighting over Kashmir since both countries gained their independence in 1947.
  • The Line of Control separating Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir is 435 miles (700 km) long.
  • India-controlled: One state, called Jammu and Kashmir, makes up the southern and eastern portions of the region, totaling about 45% of Kashmir.
  • Pakistan-controlled: Three areas called Azad Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan make up the northern and western portions of the region, totaling about 35% of Kashmir.
  • China-controlled: One area called Aksai Chin in the northeastern part of the region, equaling 20% of Kashmir.
  • Srinagar is the summer capital city in Jammu and Kashmir state. Jammu is the winter capital.
  • The capital of Azad Kashmir is Muzaffarabad.
  • Majority of the population in Kashmir is Muslim, but Sikh ruler of Kashmir Hari Singh backed by British Rule signed accession with India instead of Muslim country Pakistan.
  • Till now Human rights abuses in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state are taking place.
  • Indian forces doing mass killings of Kashmiri People, forced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech.
  • Indian Army, central reserve police force, border security personnel and various separatist militant groups are held accountable for committing severe human rights abuses against Kashmiri civilians.
  • In a 1993 report, Human Rights Watch stated that Indian security forces “assaulted civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in custody and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks”.
  • Thousands of Kashmiris have reported to be killed by Indian security forces in custody, extradjudicial executions and enforced disappearances and these human right violations are said to be carried out by Indian security forces under total impunity.
  • Civilians including women and children have been killed in “reprisal” attacks by Indian security forces. International NGO’s as well as the US State Department have documented human rights abuses including disappearances, torture and arbitrary executions carried out during India’s counter terrorism operations
  • United Nations has expressed serious concerns over large number of killings by Indian security forces. Human Rights groups have also accused the Indian security forces of using child soldiers.
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