FAISALABAD: The industrial phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going to kick off soon under which Chinese investors would be allowed to set up only high tech industries, which would not have any negative impact on Pakistan’s existing industry, said CPEC Acting Project Director Hasan Dawood.
Speaking to a delegation of the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that CPEC has three major perspectives including geo strategic, regional integration and industrial cooperation, adding that Chinese investors cannot afford any clash at any stage with Pakistani industrialists; hence, they prefer to concentrate on Gwadar Port.
The delegation, which was headed by FCCI Vice President Ahmed Hasan, met with the director and apprised him about the reservations of the local industrialists.
Three routes have been proposed to link China with Gwadar Port including eastern, western and central routes, which are expected to be completed by the year 2018, informed Dawood.
Talking about the industrial cooperation under CPEC, he said that working groups are being established to determine the needs of both countries. Four meetings between National Development and Reforms Commission of China and Planning Commission of Pakistan have already been held, said the director.
He said that working groups will have representation of all provinces and encouraged FCCI to present its proposal through their related province for discussion in the working group.
He further told that 36 economic zones would be established under CPEC which would not only create thousands of jobs but also gear up the pace of progress and prosperity.
First published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2016.
By Oonib Azam
KARACHI: With an aim to give the city a better look, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar kicked off a 100-day cleanliness campaign from District Korangi’s Shah Faisal No 2.
On Thursday morning, Akhtar, broom in hand, swept the road himself along with District Municipal Corporation (DMC) Korangi officials.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)-Pakistan head Dr Farooq Sattar swept roads in District East’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal and MQM’s deputy senior convener, Muhammad Amir Khan, started off the cleanliness campaign in District Central’s Liaquatabad.
Earlier in March, the MQM kicked off the same drive with as much zeal by removing political and hateful graffiti sprayed on walls, including party slogans. However, the campaign ended midway with no fruitful results.
Akhtar’s current campaign will cover three districts – East, Korangi and Central – in the first phase. The mayor has announced a plan to construct a hospital, school and park in some union committees in these districts. The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation will help the DMCs in these districts.
However, according to the Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA), 2013, cleanliness is no longer under the purview of the KMC or DMCs and once the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board becomes functional by the start of the next year, the DMCs will not be responsible for garbage collection in the city either.
For this purpose, the Sindh government has inked an agreement with a Chinese company, Changyi Kangjie Sanitation Engineering Company, to lift garbage door-to-door in East and South districts. The MQM has expressed its reservations over handing over garbage collection to the Chinese company without taking them into confidence.
Issue of funds
Meanwhile, the KMC’s employees’ union president, Zulfiqar Ali Shah, said that the department has 250 vehicles for garbage collection in the city, out of which only 110 are functional, which help the DMCs lift garbage on a daily basis.
He said that all the DMCs in the city have 550 functional and as many faulty vehicles. Currently, he said that in order to clean the backlog of garbage accumulating in the city for years, KMC’s vehicles will work along with those of the DMC’s. However, he pointed out that after the SLGA, 2013, KMC is no longer allowed to collect garbage in the city.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
DMC Central’s chairman, Rehan Hashmi, said that they have selected five union committees in their district in which to initiate the cleanliness campaign. He said that different universities and college students and managements are on board with them as well.
District Central alone has 80,000 tons of garbage in the backlog, he said, which they plan to remove. Simultaneously, he said that they will eliminate all the illegal garbage collection points in the district and repair and beautify footpaths and roads.
While speaking to the media, Akhtar assured that soon the public will notice the clean roads in the city. “We have urged the federal and provincial governments as much we could,” he said. “Now we will work with the help of the public and available resources.”
According to him, they have managed funds after controlling many leakages in the KMC. He said that one cannot fool the public and they have not been given the powers under the Constitution’s Article 148’s true spirit.
Amid the cleanliness campaign, MQM-London activists blocked the road and shouted slogans against MQM-Pakistan. Responding to them, Akhtar said that those who have tried to stop them have had their faces revealed to the public.
The report was first published in The Express Tribune
By Oonib Azam
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: Core commander 10 core Lieutenant General Malik Zafar Iqbal on Friday said the violation of cease fire on the line of control cost Indian army dearly as it suffered double the causalities in the recent days.
“The number of our soldiers embraced martyrdom is about 20 while they lost over 40 soldiers,” said the core commander while addressing a selected gathering of parliamentarians and journalists at Gilgit. The gathering was also attended by chief minister Hafeezur Rehman and force commander G-B Major General Saqib Mehmood.
“If there is a violation of cease fire during the day, we settle the score before evening, but if it [the violation] take place during the night, we settle it before dawn,” said the core commander who earlier visited Khunjerab top – the entry point of multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC)- where he inaugurated an ATM machine. At 15397 ft, the ATM is said to be world’s highest cash drawing facility.
He said India had set up a special section within its intelligence apparatus to create hurdles in the CPEC. “But we are ready round the clock to foil nefarious design of the enemies.”
Lieutenant General Malik Zafar Iqbal, whose visit comes days after end of a 10-day long sit-in by a religious group on Karakoram Highway, asked public representatives to play their role in settling internal conflicts through negotiations instead of staging protest demonstrations on highways.
He said government was worried about the law and order situation of the G-B till recent past but the combined efforts by government and public representatives made the region one of the most peaceful areas of the world. “This is all because of the team work,” said the core commander adding the peace also led to increase of tourism in the region.
He hoped development would continue to take place with the support from locals. “The cadet college at Chilas and work on Gilgit-Skardu road would also be started after completion of the codal formalities soon.”
“Army is ready to eliminate terrorism no matter where and in which community it takes place,” he said, assuring the chief minister.
Published in Outpost on November 19, 2016
By Raja Mushtaq Ahmad
As I talked about my stay in Oregon previously in these pages, there exist some basic differences between Gilgit-Baltistan society and American society.
The American people are independent, welcoming, gracious, well-mannered, kind and helping because they are residents of the most developed country in the world.
But few things are new to me and attract me to make further comparisons. My observations are based on my discussion with faculty members of the University of Oregon (UO), students at UO, and community members at different shopping malls, at Eugene bas station and in different hotels.
In my previous article, I raised the issue of homeless people in Eugene, Oregon USA. One of the main reasons these people are homeless is because they don’t have a joint family system.
We have a joint family system back in Gilgit-Baltistan. A joint family system is an extended clan comprising multiple hierarchical tiers of relatives with their respective spouses and children. They live under one roof, eat meals together and try to get along.
It is the elderly who mostly prefer this system, because it alleviates their insecurities regarding age, loneliness and being excluded from their adult children’s lives.
Some of the advantages associated with the joint family system include enhanced security for members, support in times of need, getting different perspectives during decision making and enjoying affection from family members.
(Also from the author: http://outpost.pk/opinions/983-from-eugene-to-gilgit-baltistan.html )
Joint family systems are closely knit together, making family members bond and help each other in whatever way necessary. Joint family systems stress the need for each family member to look out for the interest of the other, enhancing security for all.
Family members are also able to help each other in times of financial need or health complications.
Our culture strongly supports a joint family. It expects sons to dwell with their elderly parents in their homes and financially support them, even if the latter are well-off.
My wife is a teacher and mother of a two-year-old son; we have a joint family and that’s why she is able to pursue her teaching career despite children.
But the concept of family is different in Eugene as compared to Gilgit-Baltistan. Most families consist of a mother and father with an average of one to three children. But we have a family consisting of many members.
Most families, regardless of where they are located, will all get together to celebrate events like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
But a few cases are different. I met some old parents; the father is above 80 and the mother is above 65. Both have three children, from their previous life partners.
The man has suffering from cancer, and is under treatment at a healthcare center. While his wife is living outside of Eugene, in a farm house, lonely. She visits her husband daily. But their children visit them only once in a blue moon, because they are busy and live in different states.
This is part of American culture, but in Pakistan we never let our parents alone in their old age.
In the US, parents of an adult person are not considered their dependents or part of his/her immediate family. Some people get married and divorced several times, or even have children out of wedlock. Relationships are sometimes confusing.
It is not uncommon to hear phrases like “she is my father’s wife” (not necessary the mother), “he is my mother’s boyfriend “or “he is my son’s father” (not necessary the husband).
I heard one of my colleagues saying that on Thanksgiving, “We are going to meet our father.” I asked, “Is your father not living with you? How old is your father?” He replied,”65, and my father is living with his new girlfriend in another state.” This is a very interesting story for me.
Advantages for Senior Citizens - A Fine Array of Privileges
Senior citizens in US are entitled to significant discounts on anything from travel to movies and from bus fare to consumer goods. Retail stores sometimes give senior discounts on slow days, such as every Wednesday, for example.
Some establishments give out senior citizens cards which allow discounts all the time.
Community help for senior citizens can range from help preparing tax returns, to free hot meals for the homebound. Many communities have “senior citizen centers” that allow for socializing, entertainment, job searches and other kinds of assistance.
During our stay in Oregon, I had the chance to experience voluntary work with Dr. Muhammad Ismail who is my KIU colleague, Aneela, an International Studies student at UO who is from Swat, Pakistan, and Dr. Anita Weiss, Professor of International Studies, UO.
We worked with the volunteers of Habitat for Humanity, and made a wheelchair ramp for an old lady at Springfield.
Some (homeless people) adopt this lifestyle by choice. I met a young boy and girl (homeless) in Springfield, who used to be students at University of Oregon. But, they left their studies due to financial reasons and adopted this lifestyle; they said they are happy to live as homeless people.
Joint family system is an enduring strength, and I am sure we don’t have a single homeless person in Gilgit-Baltistan, although we are living in a very backward and underdeveloped area as compare to Eugene.
The author is currently in Oregon, United States, as part of a faculty exchange program.
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: The role of Chinese in Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) Sost Dry port has come to an end after a court ruled against them.
The decision came in favour of Sost Dry Port Trust, which further leased the port to the National Logistic Cell (NLC) for a period of 20 years under an agreement.
The G-B Chief Court’s decision came two years after staff of Chinese company “The Sino-Trans” and staff of Pakistani company Dry Port (Limited) Company clashed in the dry port over powers to run the affairs of the port.
The clash left the matter to court to decide matters of the port, which is located in the last town before China.
“The decision is in favour of us,” said Zafar Iqbal, chairman Sost Dry Port Trust on Thursday.
“Now we have leased the port to NLC under an agreement,” Iqbal told Outpost.
He said the decision to handing the port over to the NLC was taken in a general meeting with members of the Port Trust. “Since army has a major role in the CPEC we are pleased to work with them.”
Iqbal said army will make it sure the NLC handles the affairs in a better way to make the port a profitable entity in future especially in the wake of CPEC.
“The locals will be preferred for job at the Dry Ports while the jobs of the already employed people will be secured,” said Iqbal referring to the agreement that will last next 20 years.