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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan-China ties’

China to invest in Solar, Wind Energy in Pakistan

China to invest in Solar, Wind Energy in Pakistan

SHANGHAI (China): President Asif Ali Zardari has called upon Chinese alternate energy entrepreneurs and manifold companies to make investment in Pakistan as it has a great economic potential and a future role in the world affairs.

He said: “When I draw the attention of the investors in the alternate and renewable energy, I ask for shifting from pollutant fossil fuel to clean sources of energy. We are impressed by the development made by the Chinese companies in the environment-friendly mixed hybrid fuel.”

He said Pakistan and China both had old friendship and cooperation. President Zardari invited Chinese energy firms to harness solar and wind power in Pakistan, saying that they are destined to find themselves in a win-win situation for both countries.

He said this while addressing Pak-China Alternate Energy Forum here on Saturday. He said that Pakistan needed power to meet its energy demands and the investors needed new markets where they were assured of steady and investor friendly state national policies.

“I have come to Shanghai to tell you that seldom before such a commonality of interest existed and seldom before such a great opportunity had come our way,” he said. He said Pakistan has tens of millions of rooftops waiting eagerly to be adorned with solar panels in same way as China had done.

Speaking on the occasion, Masood Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to China, said Mr Zardari’s quest for energy security for Pakistan is the driving force behind the Pak-China Alternate Energy Forum. He thanked deputy mayor of Shanghai, Tang Dengjie for attending the conference.

Chief executives of SUNTECH, CEEG, Goldwind, Yinge Li Energy Group, Zhejiang Yuhui Solar and other companies engaged with alternate energy modes participated in the conference.

Arif Alauddin, Chief Executive Officer of Alternate Energy Development Board also spoke on the occasion. He invited to the Chinese entrepreneurs to make investment in alternate energy sector in Pakistan. He said: “My father-in-law, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, had sent his children to see and learn from the fast development of this country. My wife, who became Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988, had also pursued the forward-looking policies of her father.”

He said it was his fifth visit to China as President of Pakistan and each time he had learnt from the rapid socio-economic development of the country. He said in today’s scenario China had the status of the growth engine of the world.

President Zardari said that he was the first businessman President of Pakistan and he wanted to see that his future generations should have a prosperous and clean world around them. He said it was an adequate and opportune time for the business people to invest in Pakistan. “I have brought my daughters with me so that they could see the development of China. My elder studying in Scotland will come to China for a year to learn Chinese language”, he added.

He said his martyred wife Benazir Bhutto had a vision to have a trade and economic connectivity with China. She wanted to see gas pipeline, railway tracks and highways running through both the countries, he said.

He said today name of the game was mixed fuel, to substitute fossil fuel with the mixed energy comprising solar, wind and ethanol to save the world future. He said: “When we talk about the alternate energy, it means we are working for the future generations.”

Earlier in his welcome remarks Pakistan’s Ambassador Masood Khan said President not only has the general overview of Pakistan’s energy requirements but he emphasized the exploration of full potential of renewable energy in Pakistan. Khan said Pakistan has a long coastal area in Sindh and Balochistan with a potential for wind power. Zardari Terms:China Growth Engine of the World, ‘Pakistan Times’ Special Correspondent

Maoists winning the battle to control India

Friday’s train crash in India has been blamed on “sabotage” by Maoist rebels. It was the latest in a series of rebel attacks after the government launched an offensive against them. The BBC’s Soutik Biswas asks whether the rebels are gaining the upper hand.

It is not surprising that Maoist rebels are being blamed for the derailment of an express train in India’s West Bengal state, in which 71 passengers were killed.

The police claim they have found posters signed by a local Maoist militia claiming responsibility for removing part of the track, which led to the train skidding off and colliding with a freight train coming in the opposite direction.

West Midnapore district, where the incident happened, is the hotbed of Maoist rebellion in West Bengal, one of the states where the rebels have a presence.

Tribespeople dominate the district, especially the forested Junglemahal region bordering Jharkhand state.

They feel ignored and deprived by the Communist government which has been ruling the state since 1977. Most live in abject poverty. The only visible signs of “development” I spotted during a trip to the area some years ago were cheap liquor shops.

Strong support

Fed up with the state of affairs, Junglemahal’s tribespeople even agitated for a separate state.

When neighbouring Jharkhand was carved out as a separate state, their alienation grew and they were quick to welcome the Maoists, who wield most influence in areas which are poor and dominated by tribespeople.

The security forces are on the backfoot after a spree of rebel attacks
The Lalgarh area in Junglemahal is the rebels’ most formidable stronghold.
In February, they stormed a police camp in Lalgarh, killing 24 policemen.
Rebels love to describe Lalgarh as a “liberated zone” where the state has withered away – schools and medical centres have closed down because teachers and doctors are afraid to attend, and policemen are confined to the police stations fearing reprisals.

Friday’s incident in West Midnapore demonstrates how the rebels are taking the battle to their enemies ever since the federal government launched an offensive in what is known as India’s “red corridor” earlier this year.

This comprises 223 of India’s 636 districts in 20 states which the government says are “Maoist affected”, up from 55 districts in nine states six years ago.
Ninety of these affected districts, the government says, are experiencing “consistent violence.”

The rebels have been carrying out attacks with impunity in recent months – two major attacks Dantewada in Chhattisgarh state left more than 100 people dead, including 75 paramilitary troops.
But there are also theories that in this case the Maoist script went slightly awry.

Maoists frequently tamper with railway lines and often these lead to minor derailments; a number of such attempts have been caught well in time. There have been hijackings but no major attacks on civilian transport with such a death toll.

In the past year, Maoists have carried out 32 attacks on railways, mainly in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh – but no major casualties have been reported.

Support for the Maoist cause across India generally will be dented by such an attack, just as it was after the assault on troops in Dantewada.

Following the twin Dantewada attacks, the government said it was reviewing its strategy for fighting the rebels, who have refused to respond to repeated government offers for talks.

Analysts say that the strategy of “clearing, holding and developing” rebel-affected areas evidently inspired by the US strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan is not working.

‘Visible retreat’

One reason, they say, is that the surge of security forces and resources on the ground are not sufficient enough to take on the rebels who are spread over a vast swathe of remote mineral-rich forest lands.

Maoists call Lalgarh a “liberated zone”

The government is now in a “visible retreat” after a spree of rebel attacks, says security analyst Ajai Sahni.
He believes that a lack of adequate forces, training and intelligence is leading to these “disasters”.

“Unless local capacities for intelligence and operations are enormously augmented, this [offensive] can go nowhere, and lot of lives are going to be lost for no useful purpose,” Mr Sahni says.

But the under-equipped local police and intelligence-gathering networks remain Indian security’ s weakest link, and there no visible efforts to bolster them.

The government appears to be confused over how the rebels should be tackled – there are differences in the ruling Congress party itself on whether the state should strike hard against it’s own people.

Recently federal home minister P Chidambaram requested wider powers to deal with the rebels, saying that he had been given a “limited mandate.”
He said the chief ministers of some of the worst affected states have asked for air power to be used against the rebels – a measure that the government has refused to sanction.

Analysts believe that many states are not doing enough to take on the rebels, leading to a “centralisation” of the problem.

The train ‘”sabotage” was one of the biggest attacks launched by the rebels
“The principal responsibility for dealing with the Maoists remain that of the states; the first responders, the local police stations, have to be strengthened and equipped to deal with the task on their own.”

Till that happens, the rebels will be seen to have an upper hand in what promises to be long drawn out and bloody conflict, the like of which India has never seen.

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At least 35 die as Maoists blow up bus in India

RAIPUR: At least 35 people were killed after Maoist rebels blew up a bus carrying police and civilians in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Monday, an official said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters in the state capital Raipur that the dead included 11 police personnel.

“Twenty-four civilians and 11 policemen have died and 15 persons including 14 police personnel were injured in the blast,” the chief minister said.

He said an unspecified number of bodies were still trapped in the mangled bus following the mine blast in Dantewada district, a Maoist stronghold where rebels ambushed and killed 75 policemen last month in the bloodiest massacre of security forces by the extremists.

Television footage showed bodies laid out on the road next to the wreckage of the bus. The front portion of the vehicle had been almost completely destroyed by the force of the blast.

“The killing and targeting of innocent civilians travelling on a bus is to be strongly condemned by all right-thinking people,” Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai told reporters in New Delhi.

The security men among the dead and injured were special police officers, who are recruited from the civilian population to help security forces in anti-Maoist operations, said S.R. Kalluri, deputy inspector general of police.

The left-wing guerrillas have stepped up attacks in response to a government offensive against them that began late last year in the forests of the so-called “Red Corridor” that stretches across north and eastern India.

The insurgency began in the state of West Bengal in 1967 in the name of defending the rights of tribal groups, but attacks have since spread to 20 of India’s 28 states.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has labelled the insurgency the biggest internal security threat to India.
Tribal groups and many rural areas have been left behind by the country’s economic development, and the poverty and discontent with local government corruption is seen as a major source of Maoist support.

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