Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi crown prince meets Chinese president, bags oil deal

BEIJING (AFP) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday and bagged a $10-billion oil deal, pressing on with his diplomatic charm offensive in Asia following a global outcry over the Khashoggi killing.
Mohammed arrived in Beijing on Thursday following visits to Pakistan and India, showing the world that his country still has allies after the grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.
China is a good friend and partner to Saudi Arabia, Xi told Mohammed in a meeting in the Great Hall of the People.Saudi Arabia’s relations with China can be traced back a very long time in the past, the crown prince said.
Over such a long period of exchanges with China, we have never experienced any problems with China.He met with Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng earlier on Friday.Is the crown prince’s tour symbolic of Saudi Arabia’s pivot to the East? Yes, Najah al-Otaibi, a senior analyst at the pro-Saudi think-tank Arabia Foundation, told AFP.Riyadh wants to strengthen alliances in Asia — especially now with the continuing fallout with the United States over Khashoggi’s murder and other issues, and attempts by the EU to put Riyadh on a blacklist over money laundering allegations.
Khashoggi, a fierce critic of the prince, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October, a murder that tarnished the image of the kingdom and of the crown prince in particular.Riyadh initially denied the murder, then gave several conflicting accounts of Khashoggi’s death, and now claims he was killed in an unauthorised operation that did not involve Mohammed.
The murder sparked global indignation, with US lawmakers pushing for Washington to distance itself from the crown prince, but the White House has maintained close relations with Riyadh, a major ally in the Middle East.Separately, the European Commission wants to add Saudi Arabia to a money-laundering blacklist of governments that do too little to thwart the financing of terrorism and organised crime.
But China is looking to strengthen its economic ties with the kingdom, as Beijing pursues its ambitious Belt and Road trade infrastructure initiative, while Riyadh rolls out Saudi Vision 2030 — the crown prince’s major programme to diversify the national economy away from oil.Mohammed told the Chinese President they could join the two projects to realise more progress and jointly confront challenges.
Vice Premier Han suggested during his meeting with the crown prince that the two countries deepen partnerships in energy, infrastructure construction, finance, and high-tech.Trade and securityRiyadh’s national oil giant Saudi Aramco said it had signed an agreement to form a Saudi-Chinese joint venture — worth more than $10 billion — to develop a refining and petrochemical complex in northeastern Liaoning province.
The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority also announced the signing of 35 non-binding memorandums of understanding, including deals related to energy, mining, transportation and e-commerce.China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner.
As the kingdom diversifies its non-oil economy, it needs a variety of other investors with technical expertise, including the Chinese, Otaibi said.China steadfastly supports Saudi Arabia pushing a diversification of its economy and societal reforms, Xi told Mohammed, according to state broadcaster CCTV, adding he supported the hard work the kingdom has undertaken to promote stability and safety at home.National security is a potential area of cooperation between the Gulf state and China.The two countries should boost partnerships in counterterrorism and law enforcement, and exchange experience on combating extremism, Han said in his meeting with Mohammed, according to a report by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The Saudis said they firmly supported Beijing’s efforts to keep the country secure, and opposed interference by external forces in China’s internal affairs, Xinhua added, paraphrasing remarks by the crown prince.Riyadh has remained silent over China’s treatment of Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang.Up to one million Uighurs and other minorities are being held in internment camps in Xinjiang as part of a draconian anti-terror and anti-separatist campaign, according to estimates cited by a UN panel.China has the right to take anti-terrorism and de-extremization measures to safeguard national security, Mohammed told Xi, according to CCTV.

Please follow and like us:

Adil Ahmed Dar, a lethal example of how Imran Khan’s softness has allowed Jaish-e-Mohammad to embrace global jihad

His testament could have been just another teenager’s Instagram holiday video, complete with tasteless graphics, low-grade mood-music, and the faux-machismo of the B-grade Bollywood potboiler. “It has taken a year of waiting, and god’s blessings, to get to this point. By the time you get this message, I’ll be frolicking in paradise”. Except that Adil Ahmed Dar was telling the story of how he was going to kill, and die.

File image of Masood Azhar. Reuters
File image of Masood Azhar. Reuters
Thursday’s car bombing isn’t significant because it’s the first suicide bombing by an ethnic Kashmiri: 17-year-old Afaq Ahmed Shah, the quiet introverted son of a Srinagar school teacher, blew himself up outside the XV Corps headquarters in 2000. Nor is the scale of the carnage unprecedented: in 2001, 34 were killed in a car-bomb attack on Kashmir’s Assembly.

Thursday’s attack—the most lethal in the state since September, 2016, when 19 Indian Army soldiers were killed at Uri—still tells us something important. The Jaish-e-Mohammad, the consistent author of the most spectacular terrorist attacks in Kashmir, has shaken off the shackles placed on it by prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government in Pakistan. This sunrise will have consequences in Kashmir, and beyond.

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the strike is a stern test: will he, elections ahead, retaliate across the Line of Control, as he ordered the army to do after Uri, or hold his fire since the attacker is an Indian national?

From Ahmed’s testament, we know how the village boy from Kakapora, in central Kashmir’s Pulwama district, understood his war. “The time is not far,” he proclaims, “when the azaan will sound again from the towers of the Babri Masjid. The more you oppress us, the more lions will rise across India to wage jihad against you.” He vows “a terrible vengeance”: “you drinkers of cow urine cannot resist our wrath.”

To other young people in Kashmir, too, Ahmed had a similar message. “Your enemy is not just the enemy of Kashmir’s freedom,” he declaimed, “but of your faith itself. They want to deprive you of Islam, and seduce you into a life of vulgarity and worldliness.”

Behind the words lie a lethal reality: for months now, the Jaish has been blossoming in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s not-so-naya Pakistan, systematically expanding its infrastructure and capabilities.

Last summer, Firstpost had broken news that the Jaish-e-Mohammad was building a new training complex on Bahawalpur’s fringes, adding to its existing headquarters in the city. The terror group’s house-magazine, al-Qalam, described rallies it was holding across rural Punjab (in Pakistan) and asking for donations of ushr (religious tithes) from farmers.

In one typical report, al-Qalam quoted a leader identified as “Maulana Ammar” speaking at a mosque in Pattoki, not far from Nawaz Sharif’s home town of Raiwind, seeking donations because “jihad was a mandate of the Shari’a”.

The story was much the same in 2016, when the Jaish struck at the Indian Air Force’s base in Pathankot. Former prime minister Sharif had shied away from confrontation with the Jaish, knowing it had powerful patrons in the Pakistan Army. In 2016, a videotape surfaced showing young men collecting funds in Karachi, for “the brave young men of the Jaish-e-Mohammed who are fighting for the victory of the name of god and Islam”—this even though the terrorist group is proscribed by Pakistan’s own laws.

Earlier that year, Jaish attackers had struck at the Indian diplomatic mission in Mazhar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, leaving a message written in blood: “revenge for Afzal Guru” — the terrorist hanged for his role in attacking the Parliament House in 2001.

But, faced with the prospect of an India-Pakistan crisis after Pathankot, Sharif moved against the Jaish, publicly accepting its complicity. He also ordered the arrest of Masood Azhar. The army, however, stepped in to ensure that Azhar was only detained at an Inter-Services Intelligence-run safehouse in Islamabad.

From house arrest, Jaish chief Masood Azhar railed against Sharif. “The rulers of our country are sad that we have disturbed their friends,” Azhar wrote. “They wish to arise on the Day of Judgment to be judged as friends of (Prime Minister Narendra (Modi) and (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”

In another article, Azhar described Nawaz Sharif as a “traitor”, “even worse than (General) Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari”. He concluded: “Pakistan’s rulers have reduced their own country into a heap of ashes. Every single one of them comes, spreads fire and then escapes abroad.”

Last year’s Pakistan elections saw the Jaish throw its weight behind Prime Minister Khan—cheered on by the Pakistan Army. “Choose the party that is pious and reject the corrupt,” wrote Talha Saif, one of Masood Azhar’s brothers. “Pick a party that rejects fohashani [vulgarity] and uriyani [nudity].”

The sentiments—even the exact words—figure in Ahmed’s suicide video.

Prime Minister Modi’s Uri strikes—of far more limited military value than Bollywood might have led people to believe—were in fact mainly intended to send a message. Pakistan’s army had persuaded itself that India would not strike across the Line of Control, for fear of sparking a cycle of escalation that would lead to a costly war. India’s focus on economic growth, and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, were seen in Islamabad as a shield, guarding against the consequences of terrorism.

The cross-Line of Control strikes questioned that assumption, making clear that, push come to shove, India was willing to throw its military dice in the air, and gamble on where they might land.

Even though the Jaish’s army backers had succeeded in sabotaging prime minister Sharif’s efforts to rein it in—an investigation against the group went nowhere, even though Pakistan was given precise names and phone numbers for suspects—the group thus operated very softly.

Following Khan’s rise, though, the Jaish became increasingly defiant. “Flags of the jihad are flying on every street-corner in Kashmir, and we are victorious in Afghanistan,” Masood Azhar wrote in one article last year “Prepare yourself to be Muslim who practices his faith with the mujahideen”.

At around the same time, we know would-be suicide bomber Adil Ahmed had joined the Jaish—and the process of grooming him for his mission had begun.

In 2018, the Jaish stepped up the tempo again, hitting military targets across Kashmir—a campaign that culminated its strike on an army camp in Jammu.

“To Delhi, O’ Hindus, the army of the Prophet will soon return,” reads a giant mural over the entrance of the Jaish-e-Muhammad’s headquarters at Bahawalpur. Inside the building, there is a swimming pool, stables, training grounds and accommodation for hundreds of students. “The life of nations depends on martyrs,” Masood Azhar wrote in the Fathul Jawwad, his disquisition on the Quran. “The national fields can be irrigated only with the blood of the best hearts and minds.”

For many young people, groups like the Islamic State and the Al Qaeda offer a template for liberation, not the failed religious nationalism of groups like the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. This youth cohort, fired by global jihadism, offers an unprecedented opportunity for the Jaish.

From the hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC814 to the Parliament House attack, the Jaish has shown it means business. For New Delhi, there are no easy options.

Please follow and like us:

PM Imran Khan’s govt pursuing people-centric social agenda: Maleeha Lodhi

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi has said that said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is taking steps to address poverty and help the underprivileged to gain access to education, employment and health care.
Speaking in the annual session of the UN Commission for Social Development, Maleeha Lodhi detailed priorities of the government and emphasized its commitment to the socio-economic welfare of the people especially the marginalized sections of society. Maleeha Lodhi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s people-centric policies are aimed at promoting financial inclusion, rural development, provision of educational opportunities, access to health care and poverty eradication.The Pakistani envoy also called for global cooperation to eradicate poverty and ensure social development for all.In this regard, she underscored the need for national and international commitment and action to reduce inequalities.Faced with a youth bulge, she said that Pakistan is looking to reaping a demographic dividend by providing opportunities for the growth and development of its young population and to maximize the potential of youth.The Prime Minister’s Youth Program envisages a broad canvas of steps aimed at enabling young people to access opportunities through skills development, higher education and information technology.“At the same time”, she said, “our new government has instituted a National Health Programme to provide health care to underprivileged citizens.‘Insaf Sehat Cards’ will potentially benefit over 15 million families for a start”.

The ambassador also highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment.She pointed to social safety initiatives like the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) as an example of help being extended to vulnerable segments of society to overcome extreme poverty and find livelihood case: Musharraf resubmits reply in Apex Court“We believe that the country’s social, political and economic development can only be sustained by ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment”, she added.“In a world”, Maleeha Lodhi said, “where economies increasingly rely on sophisticated skills and well-trained citizens, my country considers education as an investment in its future”.Describing education as an equalizer, a means of inclusion and a vehicle to address marginalization, the Pakistani envoy said that through programs such as Waseela-e-Taleem the government is trying to increase primary enrollment and provide basic education to all.“This program has already benefited close to two million children across my country”, she added.The Pakistani envoy told the 193- member Commission that Pakistan has also put in place robust results-based monitoring systems to evaluate progress on a wide range of strategies to ensure the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Maleeha Lodhi noted that despite reduction in income inequality between countries in the past three decades, wide disparities within and among countries persist, based on income, gender, age, race, religion disability and opportunity.

Pinterest WhatsApp Previous article Another polio case surfaced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Next article Traffic Plan for Islamabad on eve of Saudi Crown Prince’s visit on February 16-17MatiMati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND.He is real man to handle team around the country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.RELATED ARTICLES MORE FROM AUTHOR South Asia India withdraws Most Favoured Nation Status for Pakistan Government of Pakistan.Pakistan and China are all-weather strategic cooperative partners: President Arif Alvi Government of Pakistan New vistas of Pak-Saudi cooperation to be unlocked on Crown Prince’s arrival: Minister Editorss PickVisit of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to Pakistan Starts on February 12, 2019 Azerbaijan honors memory of victims of January 20 tragedy January 21, 2019Tourism in Ukraine: City of Lviv in Western Ukraine attracted 2.January 19, 2019 Headlines India withdraws Most Favoured Nation Status for PakistanFebruary 15, 2019 Pakistan and China are all-weather strategic cooperative partners: President Arif Alvi February 15, 2019 New vistas of Pak-Saudi cooperation to be unlocked on Crown Prince’s.February 15, 2019PTV Sports Live Streaming Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans Peshawar.February 15, 2019 Traffic Plan for Islamabad on eve of Saudi Crown Prince’s visit.February 15, 2019PM Imran Khan’s govt pursuing people-centric social agenda: Maleeha Lodhi February 15, 2019

Please follow and like us: