BEIJING: This year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit taking place in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek from June 13 to 14 will certainly strengthen Eurasian unity.
It would present leaders of participating countries with the opportunity to synchronize their positions towards the most important issues affecting each of them.
Pakistan, which hosts the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and is the largest recipient of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) investment anywhere in the world by far, is also an SCO member and is very eager to advance its full-spectrum cooperation with the rest of the organization.
This means that the SCO and BRI will naturally be integrated with the pace of this process picking up if peace finally comes to Afghanistan, according to a report of China Global Television Network (CGTN).
It would be to the benefit of Eurasian unity if India participated in BRI but the country has officially refused to do so.
India’s approach to the Kashmir conflict has resulted in New Delhi regarding the disputed region as its own, hence its objections in spite of China’s repeated reassurances that BRI is an apolitical initiative that doesn’t interfere with the issue between those two.
SCO members aren’t allowed to bring their bilateral disputes into this multilateral framework so none of them will probably directly address the Kashmir conflict and India’s reluctance to join BRI, though it can’t be ruled out that they might unofficially discuss it in a bilateral capacity on the sidelines of the event.
Lt Gen Faiz Hameed is new DG ISI
RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army has appointed Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed as new Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), ISPR said.
Gen. Hameed will be replacing Lt-Gen Asim Munir, who has now been posted as the Corps Commander Gujranwala, according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of the army.
Gen. Hameed is from the Baloch Regiment. He was in-charge of the internal security wing at the ISI. He has commanded a division in Pano Aqil.
Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been appointed as Adjutant General of Pakistan Army at the General Headquarters (GHQ) while Lieutenant General Aamir Abbasi has been named as Quarter Master at GHQ.
Lieutenant General Moazzam Abbas has been named Engineer-In-Chief at GHQ, said ISPR.
Earlier in April, the Pakistan Army had announced a number of high-level appointments and transfers in its ranks.
Kartarpur Corridor to be completed on time: Khusro
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar Friday said the government would timely complete the Kartapur Corridor to provide easy access to Sikh devotees besides promoting religious tourism.
He was chairing a meeting on development of Gurdwara Kartarpur Corridor here. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, Secretary Religious Affairs, Director General FWO Maj Gen Inam Haider Malik, Members Planning Commission, Commissioner Gujranwala, representatives from NESPAK and high level officials of the ministry were present during the occasion.
The minister said the prime minister had performed ground breaking of the Corridor on November 28, 2018 and will inaugurate the Corridor in the same month this year.
He said the incumbent government took a major initiative last year by announcing opening of Kartarpur Corridor to provide access to Sikh devotees to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on the request of Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Turkey hits out at Moody’s after credit rating cut
ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday lambasted Moody’s ratings agency after it cut Ankara’s credit rating further into junk territory, saying the downgrade raised concerns over the institution’s “objectivity and impartiality”.
The agency downgraded the long-term debt rating to B1 from Ba3 and said it maintained the negative outlook for Turkey, in a statement late Friday.
Although the country had a “large, diverse economy” and government debt was low, Moody’s said this was outweighed increasingly by “continued erosion in institutional strength and policy effectiveness on investor confidence”.
But the Turkish treasury and finance ministry said the move was “incompatible with the Turkish economy’s fundamental indicators”.
“As a result, this raises questions over the objectivity and impartiality of the body’s analyses,” the ministry added in a statement.
It pointed to rising tourism revenues, falling inflation, and a new judicial reform package as examples of “very positive developments that we sadly see are being ignored”.
The Turkish economy entered into recession for the first time in a decade last year following a currency crisis in the summer amid tensions with the United States.
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