Tue, Mar 28, 2017 | updated 01:45 PM IST

Protestors to be charged under anti-terrorism laws: Pak on CPEC row

Updated: Aug 18, 2016 15:54 IST

Washington, Aug. 18 (ANI): Amid recent protests in Gilgit-Baltistan against crackdown by the Pakistani security forces, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said that those protesting against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Quoting the minister, Gilgit Baltistan National Congress Director Senge Hasnan Sering tweeted, "Those protesting in #GilgitBaltistan against China led #CPEC will be charged under anti-terrorism laws: Minister Dr Iqbal."

The people of Gilgit-Baltistan believe that CPEC will exploit its water resources which would only benefit Pakistan. The locals are also worried about the increasing Chinese footprint in the region.

The leadership of Gilgit-Baltistan has been objecting to the controversial corridor for months.

The Gilgit-Baltistan based Awami Action Committee (AAC) had earlier called for an indefinite shutdown across the region, saying they will not be holding down their protest unless and until Pakistan withdraws its security forces and also rollbacks the CPEC.

AAC, an alliance of around 23 religious, nationalist and political groups, also demanded a complete withdrawal of the Pakistani forces from its soil.

The alliance is also against the lack of share for Gilgit-Baltistan in the CPEC.

The strike call came days after a powerful senate committee, headed by Senator Taj Haider, visited the region to review the CPEC projects.

The committee members, who met several delegations during their three-day stay in Gilgit-Baltistan, confirmed that the region had no share in the CPEC.

Last week, the Pakistani Army arrested more than 500 young men in Gilgit-Baltistan who had come on to the streets protesting against them and asking them to vacate the occupation of the region.

So far, hundreds, including Gilgit's top political activist Baba Jan, has been arrested.

Baba Jan was arrested under Pakistan's Anti-Terrorism Act for raising his voice for displaced people of the Hunza Valley during a climate disaster in January 2010 and protesting against corruption and against the violent repression that had been unleashed against the victims demonstrating in August 2011.

Meanwhile, Iqbal while addressing the inauguration ceremony of two new blocks in University of Balochistan earlier on Tuesday said that CPEC will be complete till 2030 and all four provinces will get benefits from its positive impacts.

Due to delays in the development of CPEC, the authorities in Beijing had last month suggested Islamabad to formally rope in the Pakistan Army to ensure smooth execution of the project.

Security official privy to the development said the Chinese were "unhappy with the overall management of the project, particularly the involvement of various ministries", which were causing unnecessary delays.

They envisioned the creation of a separate ministry or authority to deal exclusively with the CPEC.

The project is currently being overseen by a special section set up at the Prime Minister's Office - with Iqbal's Ministry of Planning and Development serving as the focal ministry.

The army has already created a special division to provide security cover to the CPEC-related projects.

Earlier in January this year, China had openly expressed its concern over the lack of consensus on the CPEC across the political spectrum and the Chinese embassy in Islamabad had urged political leaders to "address their differences in order to create favourable conditions" for the completion of the project.

In the latest, the members of Corridor Front have said that Pakistan has dodged the Chinese Government regarding the CPEC and insisted the "peaceful completion" of the $46 billion mega project was only possible through its original route, reports The Express Tribune.

For India, given the political synergy between Beijing and Islamabad, the CPEC will be a disguised political disturbance.

The CPEC actually refers to various major infrastructure works currently underway in Pakistan, intended to link China's Xinjiang province to Gwadar deep sea port close to Islamabad's border with Iran.

Apart from infrastructure, it seeks to widen and deepen economic ties with its "all-weather friend" China. The Chinese firms will invest just under $46 billion in the project over six years.

However, reports also suggest that several projects have plagued the country due to stalled development, poor infrastructure and lost investment. (ANI)

New York [United States], Mar. 28 (ANI): U.S. defense officials have claimed that recently North Korea conducted another ballistic missile engine test.

Full Story >>

Berlin [Germany], Mar. 28 (ANI): The German Government has lauded the Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) programme of the Indian Embassy in Berlin as an extraordinary initiative towards the overall Indo-German Business relations.

Full Story >>

Johannesburg [South Africa], Mar. 28 (ANI): Legendary South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, who spent 26 years in jail with Nelson Mandela, passed away at the age of 87 on Tuesday after a short period of illness.

Full Story >>

Sheikhupura [Pakistan], Mar. 28 (ANI): At least two people were killed and five others wounded after a Karachi-bound passenger train, Shalimar Express, collided with an oil tanker in Punjab's Sheikhupura district leading to a huge explosion in the wee hours of Tuesday.

Full Story >>

Hong Kong (China), Mar. 28 (ANI): China's One Belt, One Road is the brainchild of President Xi Jinping, a concept he floated in 2013.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Mar. 28 (ANI): Asserting that his linkage with the Russia story is a 'hoax', U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday questions as to why the House Intelligence Committee is not investigating Bill and Hilary Clintons various ties with Moscow.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 28 (ANI): Russia's Head of the Department of Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Mikhail Ulyanov visited India for the annual round of bilateral consultations during which discussions were held on wide range of issues including nuclear, terrorism, and nuclear energy.

Full Story >>

Berlin / Kabul, Mar. 28 (ANI): The pro-freedom Baloch political party 'Free Balochistan Movement' held protests and awareness campaigns in Balochistan and abroad to mark the 'Balochistan Occupation Day' yesterday.

Full Story >>

Moscow [Russia], Mar. 28 (ANI): Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been fined and sentenced to 15 days in prison for disobeying police orders and organising anti-government protests.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Mar. 28 (ANI): China has expressed firm opposition and lodged representations over a Japanese official's visit to Taiwan saying the visit breaches the commitment made by Tokyo to interacting with Taiwan only at non-governmental level.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned of a pending crackdown against "sanctuary cities" on Monday, saying non-cooperation with immigration authorities is "dangerous" and will cost communities federal funding.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): The popular "Fearless Girl" statue of a brave young woman staring down the famous bronze "Charging Bull" sculpture will stay on Wall Street for another year.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Mar. 28 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson postponed his Russia visit following the rescheduling of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting.

Full Story >>

United Nations, Mar. 28 (ANI): Dozens of members states including the United States on Monday boycotted United Nations talks for a treaty that would ban nuclear weapons saying the time was not right to outlaw nuclear arms.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Mar. 28 (ANI): Beijing and Kathmandu agreed to cooperate more in jointly building the Belt and Road initiative during Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday.

Full Story >>

Washington D. C. [USA], Mar. 28 (ANI): U. S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, has volunteered to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the US election.

Full Story >>

New York [United States], Mar. 27 (ANI): Attacks by the Taliban and other militant groups are having a devastating impact on education in Pakistan, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released a day before the Second International Conference on Safe Schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Full Story >>

By Binod Prasad Adhikari

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 (ANI): Expressing regret over the attack on an Indian origin taxi driver in Hobart, Australia has said it places great importance on the safety and security of Indian community in the country.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 27 (ANI): The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is not in favour of the government's decision to allow former army chief General (Retd.) Raheel Sharif to assume the command of a yet-to-be-formed Saudi-led 39-nation military alliance of Muslim states and has decided to raise the issue in the Parliament.

Full Story >>