Pakistan plans to build dams on Indus River

On Thursday V. K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs said in a written reply in  Rajya Sabha, Pakistan has decided to construct water dams with on the Indus River with the help of China.

The Indian Government has issues demarches to both Beijing and Islamabad over the new construction. The demarche states that the construction is void and it will violate India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as V.K Singh informed the Rajya Sabha

V.K Singh said, “”India has a clear and consistent position that these territories are illegally occupied by Pakistan and that any collaborative activity there is in violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,”.

In addition, he also told, “accordingly, we have made demarches to both Pakistan and China conveying the position. The government will continue to maintain this position.”
However, Pakistan is abided to follow the Indus water Treaty signed with India. The treaty gives both the countries equal distribution of river water. Recently India has been engaged in border issues with China and on the other side, Pakistan has elected its new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Sources-

  1. ASIANAGE- http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/040817/pakistan-constructing-6-dams-on-indus-in-pok-with-chinas-help-government.html

2. TIMES OF INDIA- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-constructing-6-dams-in-pok-with-chinas-assistance-govt/articleshow/59910509.cms?from=mdr

Image Source-AFP

Pakistan new cabinet in place with new PM Abbasi Presiding

Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s cabinet was sworn in on August 4, 2017Friday. The ceremony for the 46 members strong cabinet was held at the Presidency in Islamabad. While 46 members were supposed to be sworn in, it was reported by Xinhuanet that only 43 members of the cabinet turned up.  The oaths were administered by President, Mammon Hussain.

There are new and old faces to the cabinet. However, there have been numerous reshuffling. Khawaja Muhammad Asif has been given the office of the country’s foreign minister. Ahsen Iqbal is given the charge of the interior ministry of the Prime Minister. The new cabinet includes six new federal and 12 state ministers.

The new members are Khurram Dastagair as the Defence minister, Pervaiz Malik as the Minister for Commerce. Ishaq Dar has retained his former position as the Finance Minister.

Arshad Laghari is the State minister for industries and production and Junaid Anwar, the state minister for communication.

Following the oath taking session, the new Prime Minister will preside over the first session of the cabinet.

 

Sources-

  1. XINHUANET-http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-08/04/c_136499501.htm

2. ANI News- http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail-NA/MzI4MDQx/pakistan-pm-abbasi-039-s-46-member-cabinet-takes-oath.html

3. OUTLOOK INDIA- https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/pakistan-pm-abbasis-46member-cabinet-takes-oath/1115994

 

Image Source- ANI

Construction of Kishanganga and Ratle Projects in India permitted: World Bank

The World Bank has granted India the permission to construct the hydroelectric power facilities under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) on Jhelum and Chenab, the tributaries of Indus, with certain restrictions.

The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiation between the two countries. Initially Pakistan opposed the construction of the Kishanganga and Ratle (330 megawatts and 850 megawatts respectively) hydroelectric power plants, being built in Jammu and Kashmir by India. On noticing the two countries’ disagreement on the technical aspect, World Bank asked the IWT to designate the two rivers and Indus as the “Western Rivers” and that Pakistan has unrestricted use to it.

In November 2016, the World Bank appointed neutral expert and established court of arbitration, to look into the technical differences between the two countries, but the process was stopped after India’s objection.

The meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) held in March 2017, the two countries had talk over these two projects with World Bank as a mediator between them.

Finally, in the secretary-level discussions that were held this week between the India and Pakistan, both have agreed to appoint neutral expert and court of arbitration, respectively. The two parties have also con corded to continue discussions and meet again in Washington DC in September. As reported by The Times of India, the fact sheet states that, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on the specified rivers as per the “annexure of the treaty”.

SOURCES: TIMES OF INDIA, INDIA TODAY

IMAGE SOURCE: PTI

Pakistan Prime Minister disqualified by Supreme Court on account of corruption charges

The Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on account of corruption charges against him and his family. As a result, he has been barred from contesting elections for the next five years. “He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the Parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister,” said Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan during the court’s ruling. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar were among the other prominent leaders who had been disqualified from their seats in the parliament.

The disqualification came after an investigative panel’s finding which stated that his family possessed disproportionate assets which exceeded their income.These assets were disclosed during the Panama Papers leak in 2016.

Following the leak, opposition parties and leaders had placed an emphasis on the need for a panel which would investigate Sharif and his family over their alleged offshore accounts.Former cricketing legend and leader of the opposition PTI, Imran Khan described the ruling of the court as a major victory for the people.”Nations are not destroyed by wars, bombs or natural disasters. They are destroyed when their institutions have been destroyed. “This is the beginning. Now all of us have to protect our resources and not let the corrupt exploit them,” he added.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on account of corruption charges against him and his family. As a result, he has been barred from holding public office for life. “He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the Parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister,” said Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan during the court’s ruling. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Captain Safdar were among the other prominent leaders who had been disqualified from their seats in the parliament.

The disqualification came after an investigative panel’s finding which stated that his family possessed disproportionate assets which exceeded their income.These assets were disclosed during the Panama Papers leak in 2016.

Following the leak, opposition parties and leaders had placed an emphasis on the need for a panel which would investigate Sharif and his family over their alleged offshore accounts.Former cricketing legend and leader of the opposition PTI, Imran Khan described the ruling of the court as a major victory for the people.”Nations are not destroyed by wars, bombs or natural disasters. They are destroyed when their institutions have been destroyed. “This is the beginning. Now all of us have to protect our resources and not let the corrupt exploit them,” he added.

Following Nawaz’s resignation, his brother Shehbaz Sharif is expected to be declared as the next prime minister.

 

News Sources- NDTV, Hindustan Times

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in dock over corruption cases

The supreme court of Pakistan resumed the hearing of graft case against Nawaz Sharif and his family after the Joint Investigations Team (JIT) found significant discrepancies between the assets and Income of Sharif and family. The probe began after the link of Panama Papers-which had exposed offshore accounts of Sharif to buy property abroad.  It accuses Sharif of concealing assets, providing false wealth statements along with an unexplained steep hike in his family wealth. The JIT also accuses Maryam Sharif, the heir-apparent of the prime minister to be the main beneficiary of the offshore firms.

Sharif however has called the JIT report as baseless and has decided to stay in power which was endorsed by his cabinet recently. He has stated that the properties were brought in a clean manner after divesting their family steel business in UK and Gulf region and reinvesting them in another business in Qatar. But JIT has refuted the facts stated by Mr. Sharif and dismissed about evidence of any money trail for the deals. The nation has been divided over the JIT report.

There have also been doubts over the composition of JIT in which two members from military intelligence services –MI and ISI were drawn by Supreme Court instead of financial experts. With the hearing of cases to be drawn soon, Sharif will have a tough time ahead especially now the Supreme Court and ISI working together.

India and War- IAF’s miserable story of hopelessness

In the age of rising patriotism and nationalism in India; the army has been the holiest cows of all. Any criticism to the Indian Army is considered as a misconduct of highest order by a certain section of the society.

THE ROAR

Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat on his recent interview to ANI boasted about how India was ready for two and a half wars referring to Pakistan, China and internal conflicts. If we were to look at it, India has the third largest army in the world, on the accounts of military expenditure India ranks five with a budget of 56 billion dollars. India is currently the largest buyer of arms according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). So statistically it checks out and Bipin Rawat is absolutely justified with his ‘Let it rip’ attitude. But, there is always a flip side to the coin.

THE REALITY

In the recent months, India has seen an outrageous amount of air crashes. In the first week of July itself the country saw, Kiren Rijiju narrowly escape a potential chopper crash, an MIG-23 crash in Rajasthan and one more incident of a chopper going out of the radar that later was found to have crashed with no survivors.

If the modern day warfare were to depend upon a country’s strength in air-warfare, India would probably score a big fat zero. Indian Air Forces current squadron strength is 32 as opposed to the sanctioned number of 42 squadrons. Amongst that 32 squadrons of combat aircraft, most are past their use-by date and have not been retired just because the IAF will run out of options.

THE FLYING COFFIN

With a treacherously alarming rate of air accidents, India has lost 11 major jets in the past year itself and nobody seems to care and talk about it. While the government remained busy pushing its ‘Make in India’ initiative with Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which by the way CAG found 53 shortcomings in, the IAF continued to overwork its old faulty Russian through intensive training. Dubbed as the ‘Flying Coffin’ for their tendency of operational malfunction mid-air India lost numerous pilots and lost half of its MIG fleet through minor or major accidents.

THE BIG WALLET

India recently brought MIG-29’s worth Rs 10,000, an aircraft that has a serviceability of 15%, which means that the jet can reach to the place if called upon only 15 times out of hundred. No wonder that the CAG called the expenditure avoidable.

Indian government’s flawed purchases, out-dated technology, scams and not to mention utter disregard for human life comes out as shocking if not as disturbing considering the turbulent times.

Can Bipin Rawat defend India on ‘Two and a Half Fronts’? It’s very unlikely that he can defend us from one.

Sources: Scroll, Indian Express

 

Ausaf to represent Pakistan against India

The decision to appoint the attorney general of Pakistan AG Ausaf to lead the legal team of Pakistan in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case has been formally communicated to the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Thursday. 

While Ausaf has been appointed as the “agent”, foreign affairs director general Dr. Mohammad Faisal is going to continue as the “co-agent”.

An agent is a functionary who acts as a middle person between the International Court of Justice and Pakistan. Ausaf will open arguments or open discussions on behalf of Pakistan. In future as well, he will represent Pakistan in ICJ.

In an order passed by the ICJ on May 18, Judge Ronny Abraham had stayed the execution of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent Kulbhushan Jadhav. ICJ also ordered Pakistan to provide him consular access.

“Pakistan shall take necessary measures to ensure that Jadhav is not executed until the final decision in these proceedings and shall inform the court all the measures taken in implementation of the court’s order,” the order stated.

India had accused Pakistan of violation of Vienna Convention as they denied consular access to Jadhav almost 16 times.

Jadhav, who was arrested from Balochistan last year on March 3 had been sentenced to death by Pakistan Military court on April 10. India approached the ICJ in May for fair trial of the case.

News Source: Daily Pakistan, Times of India 

Image Source: AGFP