Tue, Feb 28, 2017 | updated 03:29 PM IST

Exploitative nature of CPEC raised at 33rd UNHRC session

Updated: Sep 22, 2016 12:16 IST

Geneva [Switzerland], Sept.22 (ANI): Friends of Gilgit Baltistan, an international organization set up by a few Members of the European Parliament, held a seminar last week on the sidelines of the 33rd UNHRC session in Geneva, on the exploitative nature of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir.

The speakers included Alberto Cirio, Member of the European Parliament, Paulo Casaca, Executive Director, South Asia Democratic Forum, Junaid Qureshi, prominent Kashmiri human rights leader and Mehran Marri, Baloch Representative to the UN. Paulo Casaca moderated the seminar.

During his speech, Paulo Casaca mentioned that though the CPEC has been termed by Pakistani leaders as a game changer time and again, they had glossed over and failed to acknowledge the negative impacts of the project.

He opined that though the government harped on the expected economic benefits of the CPEC, little attention was given to the fact that the CPEC would fail to provide economic benefits, including jobs, to the locals and instead only enrich a few.

The CPEC, he stated, had become more of a project championed by the Pakistani government and its military to divert attention from all the failures of the civilian government in all other areas including human rights. Later, responding to an intervention, Casaca stated that the most worrying factors with regard to Pakistan was its support to cross border terrorism and there was an immediate need for this to stop as otherwise it would impact the security of not only South Asia but also the world.

In his speech, Alberto Cirio, MEP, highlighted the lack of economic and social benefits to the people of Gilgit Baltistan from the CPEC. Giving the example of earlier Chinese investments in the Karakoram Highway and Gwadar Port, he stated that neither of these investments had benefitted the local people and it was important that the Pakistan government realized that the local population had basic rights on the natural resources of their area.

In his presentation, Junaid Qureshi raised the issue of the illegal nature of the CPEC as it passed through disputed territory. He expressed strong reservations about the large Chinese investment in Gilgit Baltistan, which he said was a part of the undivided State of Jammu and Kashmir. He opined that China, by investing in projects in this disputed area, was also becoming one of the players in the dispute, which was not acceptable to the people of Kashmir. He concluded that it was necessary for Kashmiris to be masters of their own land. In response to a comment on recent human rights violations in Indian Kashmir, he said that while in India people were free to express opposition to policies, in Pakistan leaders like Arif Shahid were being shot dead by the State machinery.

Mehran Marri described the CPEC as an illegal project and expressed concern that China's interest in pursuing the CPEC was not just economic but also to increase its military footprint in Pakistan, and especially in Gwadar Port in Balochistan. He added that the Chinese need for security for its personnel along the CPEC had further jeopardized the Baloch rights and also facilitated the deployment of Chinese military personnel in the area. All the speakers who spoke at this event, emphasized the disputed nature of Gilgit Baltistan, through which the CPEC would be traversing. (ANI)

Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb. 28(ANI): Afghanistan has refused to send high-level representatives to the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit being hosted by Pakistan.

Full Story >>

Indian envoy to US Sarna meets Tom Shannon

Updated: Feb 28, 2017 14:08 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 28(ANI): Ahead of the four-day visit of Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon met Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna at the Department of State.

Full Story >>

Irving [USA] ,Feb. 28(ANI): In a shocking incident of xenophobia, a customer at Irving Wal-Mart asked an employee to 'go to their own countries'.

Full Story >>

Plano (Texas) [USA], Feb. 28 (ANI): This week, for the students at Plano West Senior School, started with hateful and racist graffiti, scribbled on several windows and doors of the school.

Full Story >>

Peyton [USA], Feb. 28(ANI): An incident of possible hate crime has come to light in a US town where a house of an Indian man was trashed with eggs, dog poop and hate messages.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 28 (ANI): Wilbur Ross's name has been approved by the Senate, as President Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 28 (ANI): The White House has termed the early reports of Kansas shooting, where an Indian engineer was shot to death in an alleged racial attack by a gunman as "disturbing".

Full Story >>

Hong Kong [China], Feb.28 (ANI): China has confirmed that it is helping Afghanistan conduct joint law enforcement operations in the border areas of that country to counter terrorism, after initially being in a state of denial about the sightings of Chinese military vehicles moving around inside Afghanistan.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 28 (ANI): Senior Chinese official met U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday to enhance bilateral high-level exchanges and cooperation in all fields.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 28 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump has claimed that more American adults support Republicans in Congress than Democrats since he became the President of the country.

Full Story >>

Astana [Kazakhstan], Feb. 28 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin has affirmed his willingness to cooperate with Tajikistan in strengthening security and stability.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 28 (ANI): Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged President Donald Trump to speak out against hate crimes following a rise of the same across the country.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 28 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump has said that nobody knew health care could be so complicated, adding that his administration has come up with a solution which is very good.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], Feb. 27 (ANI): The White House announced Monday that President Donald Trump's first budget proposal will look to increase defence and security spending by $54 billion and cut roughly the same amount from non-defence programs.

Full Story >>

Militants behead German hostage in Philippines

Updated: Feb 27, 2017 22:01 IST

New York [U.S.], Feb. 27 (ANI): Abu Sayyaf militants in southern Philippines beheaded a German hostage after the deadline passed to pay his ransom passed.

Full Story >>

London [UK], Feb. 27 (ANI): The indigenous communities in Pakistan's Sindh province have come down on the government over the massive coal mining in the region which has severely affected their daily lives.

Full Story >>

Kabul [Afghanistan], Feb.27 (ANI): The killing of five UAE diplomats in a terror attack in Kandahar was planned in Pakistan, a spokesman of Afghanistan's interior ministry has said.

Full Story >>

Senior Taliban commander killed in Afghanistan

Updated: Feb 27, 2017 18:11 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb.27 (ANI): The Taliban confirmed on Monday through a statement that one of its senior commanders had been killed in an air strike in Afghanistan's northern Kunduz province.

Full Story >>

Karachi (Sindh) [Pakistan): Sufism is the country's first line of defence against terrorism, said PPP Chairmain Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb.27 (ANI): Police in Karachi were Monday directed by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to put the names of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leaders Farooq Sattar, Khalid Maqbool and Amir Liaquat on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Full Story >>