Stop CPEC now: Baloch leaders to China

On the day the supreme body of the Communist Party of China met for its 19th Congress in Beijing, the Baloch leadership in exile issued a strong warning to China to stop the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPECBSE -4.45 %) or face on the ground consequences.

The CPEC passes across disputed territory and is rejected by the Baloch as a “tool for exploiting the Baloch land.”

Baloch and other oppressed people, including Sindhis, have reacted strongly after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the One Belt One Road project goes through disputed territory.

Abdul Nawaz Bugti, senior Baloch human rights activist and representative of Baloch Republican Party at the United Nations Human Rights Council issued a statement aimed at China, saying “The statement of Secretary Mattis vindicates our stance on the so-called China Pakistan Economic Corridor that it is not only a illegal project because of the fact that it passes through and exploits PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) and Balochistan, but also because it has resulted in massive human rights abuses in these territories. We call upon China to stop the CPEC immediately.”

Calling upon China to honour international norms on disputed territory Abdul Nawaz Bugti said Beijing must realise the mistake it is making as further work on the CPEC will lead to a stronger Baloch rebellion.

Then, addressing the U.S. Bugti said “Being a super power and the most influential player in the region, it is the responsibility of the United States to play its due role to stop the massive injustices committed by China and Pakistan against indigenous people, in this case the CPEC.”

Bugti’s concern over growing injustice in Balochistan is being supported by Prof. Naela Quadri Baloch, President of Canada-based World Baloch Women’s Forum.

She said, “We are glad that US Defense Secretary recognizes that CPEC passes through disputed territory. We expect that US will also recognize that major part of CPEC is in an occupied territory called Balochistan that is bleeding and burning.”

“We do not need occupier’s mega projects. We deserve a dignified life as a nation, our identity our own democratic and pluralistic way of life. We expect from the US to support Baloch for peace and justice in the region,” Professor Naela added.

The multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project also affects other parts of Pakistan including Sindh, where people are demanding intervention of international community to stop the CPEC’s construction.

Lakhu Luhana, Secretary General of World Sindhi Congress said, “We believe the statement of the US Defence Secretary Mr James Mattis is timely, just and in accordance with the international law. The people of Gilgit and Baltistan are already suffering colonial exploitation and occupation by Pakistan. CPEC which is illegal according to international law would result in complete elimination of people of Gilgit and Baltistan. Moreover, it is a project that will completely destabilise peace in the region for decades to come in addition to complete marginalisation of Sindhi and Baloch nations.”

“We hope that the US will proactively enhance its role to stop this catastrophe from continuing and we hope that the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China realises that it is time to stop this illegal road from being built on Kashmiri and Baloch land,” said Mr.Luhana, head of the World Sindhi Congress.

By: ET

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It’s a touch-and-go situation, nuclear war may break out any moment, says North Korea

North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador warned Monday that the situation on the Korean peninsula “has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment.”

Kim In Ryong told the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee that North Korea is the only country in the world that has been subjected to “such an extreme and direct nuclear threat” from the United States since the 1970s _ and said the country has the right to possess nuclear weapons in self-defense.

He pointed to large-scale military exercises every year using “nuclear assets” and said what is more dangerous is what he called a U.S. plan to stage a “secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership.”

This year, Kim said, North Korea completed its “state nuclear force and thus became the full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges, including the atomic bomb, H-bomb and intercontinental ballistic rockets.”

“The entire U.S. mainland is within our firing range and if the U.S. dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe,” he warned.

Kim’s speech follows escalating threats between North Korea and the United States, and increasingly tough U.N. sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that his country is curtailing economic, scientific and other ties with North Korea in line with U.N. sanctions, and the European Union announced new sanctions on Pyongyang for developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the North Korean crisis “will continue until the first bomb drops.” His commitment to diplomacy came despite President Donald Trump’s tweets several weeks ago that his chief envoy was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom he derisively referred to as “Little Rocket Man.”

North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador called his country’s nuclear and missile arsenal “a precious strategic asset that cannot be reversed or bartered for anything.”

“Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the U.S. is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiating table under any circumstances,” Kim said.

He told the disarmament committee that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea _ North Korea’s official name _ had hoped for a nuclear-free world.

Instead, Kim said, all nuclear states are accelerating the modernization of their weapons and “reviving a nuclear arms race reminiscent of (the) Cold War era.” He noted that the nuclear weapon states, including the United States, boycotted negotiations for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was approved in July by 122 countries at the United Nations.

“The DPRK consistently supports the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the efforts for denuclearization of the entire world,” he said. But as long as the United States rejects the treaty and “constantly threatens and blackmails the DPRK with nuclear weapons … the DPRK is not in position to accede to the treaty.”

By: ET

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Pakistani military plane crashes, 3 officers injured

A Pakistani military plane today crashed due to a technical fault in the restive tribal area in the country’s northwest, injuring three army officers on board.

An official release said the ‘Mashak’ plane hit the Wana stadium in South Waziristan just after take off from Wana.

The crash occurred due to a technical fault injuring three army officers, including a colonel and two majors, it said.

The condition of the injured was said to be stable.

By: ET

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“Only one thing will work” with North Korea, i.e. total destruction : Trump

US President Donald Trump on Saturday said “only one thing will work” in dealing with North Korea after previous administrations had talked to Pyongyang without results.

“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump said in a tweet. “…Hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of US negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”

Trump did not make clear to what he was referring, but his comments seemed to be a further suggestion that military action was on his mind.

The president has previously said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary to protect itself and its allies from Pyongyang’s nuclear threats.

Earlier this week, during a meeting with top US military leaders and their spouses, Trump told reporters it was the “calm before the storm.” Asked for clarification then on what he meant, Trump said: “You’ll find out.”

Speaking to reporters on Saturday ahead of a trip to North Carolina, Trump said he had nothing more to clarify.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders referred to Iran and North Korea the following day when asked about Trump’s “calm before the storm” comments.

Asked on Saturday about Trump’s tweet, Sanders said she had nothing to add to the president’s comments.

The Pentagon referred a question for clarification to the White House and said the Defense Department’s job was to “present the president military options and carry out orders.”

Trump repeatedly has made clear his distaste for dialogue with North Korea. On Sunday he dismissed the idea of talks as a waste of time, a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington was maintaining open lines of communication with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s government.

Trump said on Saturday that he had a good relationship with his secretary of state despite some disagreements.

“We have a very good relationship. We disagree on a couple of things. Sometimes I’d like him to be a little bit tougher, but other than that we have a very good relationship,” he said.

A Russian lawmaker on Friday was quoted saying North Korea was preparing to test a long-range missile that it believes can reach the west coast of the United States. Anton Morozov, a member of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, was part of a Russian delegation that visited Pyongyang from Oct. 2-6, according to Russian RIA news agency.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs have driven up tensions in the region and around the world in recent months, particularly after it conducted a test explosion of what it said was a hydrogen bomb.

By: ET

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Pakistan only nation in the world where a terrorist (Hafiz Saeed) can send a defamation notice to the Foreign Minister

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and the mastermind of Mumbai terrorist attack Hafiz Saeed has sent a Rs. 100 million defamation notice to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif for his remarks at the Asia Society forum in New York earlier this week.

The notice was sent by a legal team and served by Advocate AK Dogar on behalf of Saeed on Friday under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance of 2002. The notice claimed that Saeed is “respected as a deeply religious and devout Muslim”.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif had recently refused to accept the blame for the presence of the Haqqani Network and Hafiz Saeed in his country, saying it was United States that regarded these ‘terrorists’ as the darlings of the White House a few decades back.

“Don’t blame us for the Haqqanis [the Haqqani Network] and don’t blame us for the Hafiz Saeed, chief of banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa. These were the people who were your darlings just 20 to 30 years back. They were being dined and wined in the White House, and now, you say ‘go to hell Pakistanis because you are nurturing these people,” The Dawn quoted Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif as saying at the Asia Society in New York.

“It is very easy to say Pakistan is floating the Haqqanis and Hafiz Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. They are liabilities. I accept that they are liabilities, but give us time to get rid of them, because we don’t have the assets to match these liabilities and you are increasing our liabilities further,” he added.

The notice accuses Asif of “an absolute lie and falsehood that Hafiz Muhammad Saeed is one of those persons who had been the darlings of Americans and had been dining and wining in the White House,” the Dawn reported.

“I have been advised by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed to tell you that he has never been near the White House, not to speak of wined and dined. It is shocking to know that the foreign minister of my country is accusing Hafiz Muhammad Saeed of taking wine. This is abusive language and can never be used about my client. He is [a] patriotic Islam loving Muslim following the dictates of [the] Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). This is a defamatory statement punishable under Section 500 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to five years imprisonment and with [a] fine,” Advocate Dogar was quoted by Dawn as saying.

“Please take notice that my client intends to file a suit for damages to the tune of Rs. 100m for hurting the reputation of my client not only in Pakistan but all over the world,” he further said in the notice.

Saeed was put under house arrest at his residence in Lahore’s Johar Town earlier this year

Responding to an appeal for Saeed’s release before the Lahore High Court, the Punjab home ministry recently said that releasing the JuD chief would cause unrest in the province.

Saeed is a wanted terrorist by India and the United States for his alleged role in masterminding the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that claimed 166 lives.

He even carries a bounty of 10 million USD (approx. Rs 66 crore) on his head for his role in the attack.

He is an internationally designated terrorist but continues to be an influential person in Pakistan’s certain religious groups.

Pakistan claims to have banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), but following the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2002, it re-emerged as Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD). The United States has designated the JuD as a front for the LeT.

By: Outlook India

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Chinese police order Muslims to hand in all copies of the Koran and prayer mats or face ‘harsh punishment’

Chinese authorities are reportedly stepping up their campaign against Muslims in the north-western region of Xinjiang.

According to sources in the region, officials have been warning neighbourhoods and mosques that ethnic minority Muslim families are being forced to hand in religious items including the Koran and prayer mats.

They face severe punishment if they are discovered.

According to Radio Free Asia, reports have emerged from Kashgar, Hotan and other regions of similar practices starting last week.

The spokesman for the exile World Uyghur Congress group, Dilxat Raxit said they received a notification saying that every single ethnic Uyghur must hand in any Islam-related items from their own home.

Copies of the Koran and related items must be handed into the government authorities, and there are will be notices being broadcast via WeChat, China’s most popular social media app.

According to local officials, Xinjiang authorities earlier this year, began removing all Korans published more than five years ago due to extremist content.

The Korans were taken as part of the ‘Three Illegals and One Item’ campaign that was underway in Xinjiang, which is against ‘illegal’ religious items owned by mostly Muslim Uyghurs.

This operation bans ‘illegal’ publicity, religious activities, religious teaching, and items believed to be tools of terrorism including flammable objects, and knives.

The Uyghur American Association said in a recent press release that China has introduced new regulations that further criminalise religious practice and belief.

The Uyghur Human Rights Project has asked China to respect international human rights standards on freedom of religion and to end the targeting of Uyghurs.

China says it is facing threats from domestic cults and radical Islam, however, critics have accused Beijing of a broader pattern of harassment, detention and abuse.

According to a copy of the regulations posted on the State Council’s official website the latest measures focus on ‘maintaining legality, blocking extremism, and attacking crime’.

By: Daily Mail UK

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ISIS headquarter found operating from a flour mill in Pakistan

A headquarter of the ISIS terrorist group has been found operating from a flour mill in Pakistan’s Peshawar.

The security sources in Pakistan said that the mill was located in the outskirts of Peshawar and it was being used as the headquarter, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

The headquarter was found in a raid by the security forces.

At least two terrorists were killed during the operation – one identified as the leader of the terror group and another companion.

Five Pakistani soldiers were also injured during the raid.

The ISIS has not commented on it so far.

Earlier there were reports of the ISIS gaining a substantial foothold in Pakistan as many splintered outfits, youth believing in the ideology of Jihad have integrated into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria known as Walayat-e-Khurasan (ISIS-K) for South Asia.

In April 2017, a female ISIS recruit named Noreen Laghari was arrested following a law enforcement agency’s raid in Lahore, shortly before she planned to blow herself up in a Christian church.

By: Business Standard

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