The Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka in which China has a 70 percent stake, is being seen by shipping analysts and other experts as a virtual white elephant because most ships passing through the Indian Ocean don’t stop to unload their cargo.

According to report published this week by Bloomberg News, the port, which is eight years old, has almost no container traffic, which to experts is surprising, given that close to 60, 000 ships sail by it every year.
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Pakistan says Afghan authorities have returned the bodies of five Pakistani soldiers killed during a weekend clash along a disputed segment of the two countries’ border, and also released a sixth soldier captured by the Afghans.

Islamabad had described the incident as an attack on a Pakistani border post in the Kurram tribal region, saying it was carried out by Afghan forces and tribesmen. Continue reading


Three “terrorists” and three members of the Iranian security forces were killed during night-time clashes along Iran’s border with Pakistan, state news agency IRNA reported today.

“At 0130 this morning (2100 GMT Monday], a terrorist group from Pakistan attacked” a police post in the border area of Mirjaveh, around 75 kilometres southeast of Zahedan, the capital of Sistan-Baluchistan province, IRNA said. Continue reading


China’s new indigenously developed multi-role stealth fighter jet J-10C, capable of striking precisely both land and maritime targets, were put into active combat duty today, the military said. The third-generation supersonic fighter jets are equipped with an advanced avionics system and multiple advanced armament, making it capable of precisely striking both land and maritime targets within medium and close range, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) said in a statement.

China had in February commissioned its latest J-20 stealth fighter into its air force’s combat service. The J-20 is China’s fourth-generation medium and long-range fighter jet. The Chinese supersonic fighter jet had made its debut in July last year, when the PLA marked its 90th anniversary, at Zhurihe military training base in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.  Continue reading


Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has accused the country’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, of “butchering” members of Pashtoon community like animals.

Party’s founder Altaf Hussain made this remark days after Pakistan witnessed a huge protest rally in Peshawar, wherein Pashtoon community demanded from authorities to release members of their community who have been “illegally” arrested. Continue reading


The story of Pakistan’s quest for nuclear weapons and the country’s involvement in its unprecedented selling of nuclear weapons designs to Iran, Libya and North Korea are carefully documented by Professor Hassan Abbas of the National Defence University in Washington DC, in his book Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb: A Story of Defiance, Deterrence and Deviance. Abbas has also worked in Pakistan for Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and President Pervez Musharraf.

Professor Abbas primarily focuses on how Dr AQ Khan, Pakistan’s internationally disgraced and nationally revered respected metallurgist-turned-nuclear scientist, is said to have almost single-handedly sold the country’s nuclear secrets for personal enrichment, amongst other reasons. Continue reading


Pakistan on Saturday successfully test fired an enhanced version of indigenously-built Babur cruise missile that can deliver conventional and non-conventional weapons with a range of 700 kilometres.

‘Babur Weapon System-1 (B)’ incorporates advanced aerodynamics and avionics that can strike targets both at land and sea with high accuracy, the army said in a statement. “Equipped with the Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and all time Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) technologies, which enable it to engage in various types of targets with pinpoint accuracy even in the absence of GPS navigation, thus making it an important force multiplier for Pakistan’s strategic deterrence,” the army said. Continue reading


Pakistan should become a “trading nation” rather than a “warrior nation” while ensuring it does not turn into China’s pawn, Islamabad’s former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani, has said. In an interview to PTI, Haqqani said Pakistan also needs to take a call on what is more important – supporting terror suspect Hafiz Saeed or gaining international credibility and respect.

Amid the consolidation of the already-robust Sino-Pak ties, Haqqani, who served as ambassador to the US from 2008 to 2011, stressed Pakistan should not go from being dependent on the US to relying on China and must refrain from becoming a “Chinese pawn”. “Pakistan needs to build a self-sustaining economy,” he said, warning Islamabad of the pitfalls of aligning with a major power. Continue reading


Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has inaugurated the first unit of a key hydropower mega project built with the financial and technical support of China in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The 969 MW Neelum Jehlum Hydropower Project near Muzaffarabad was announced more than 12 years ago but work on it lingered on until ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif vowed in 2013 to build it before the end of five-year tenure of his government.

Though Sharif stepped down last year after disqualification by the Supreme Court his nominee and successor, Abbasi, yesterday lauded his vision and efforts for the project. Continue reading


 The State Department has given the go-ahead for American defense companies to market submarine technology to Taiwan to aid in its quest to locally develop and build its own submarines. According to media reports from Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Chen Chung-chi and presidential office spokesman Sidney Lin confirmed that the State Department has granted the marketing license required for the sale of technology to Taiwan.

The granting of the license is a significant step for Taiwan’s domestic submarine program, and Lin added that the decision would upgrade Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities, as well as benefit the safety and security of the region.

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SOURCE: IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Australia has received a further batch of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), and the first to be fitted with the latest ‘full combat’ software.

Three conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35As (AU-3 to AU-5) were delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to add to the two already delivered, the Australian defence minister, Christopher Pyne, announced on 9 April. Continue reading


A United States Defence Attache has run down three persons in Daman-e-Koh, north of Islamabad, ratcheting up the ongoing visa/diplomatic rift between the two countries. Colonel Joseph Emanuel Hall, Defence and Air attache at the US Embassy, was reportedly sloshed while driving the white Land Cruiser that hit three motorcyclists at a traffic signal.

One of the riders was dead, while the other two were critically wounded, who were taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). Continue reading


Amid the incessant tussle between Pakistan’s military and civilian institutions, the country’s largest television network, Geo TV, has gone off air in most parts of the country, apparently for airing programmes widely seen as unacceptable to the powerful establishment.

Without revealing who was behind the blackout of Geo, Pakistan home minister Ahsan Iqbal said it was not taken off air by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) or the ministry of information. “We are off the air in 80% of the country,” Mir Ibrahim Rahman, the chief executive of Geo network, told media without blaming anyone. Continue reading


Khurram Dastgir Khan confirmed to Sputnik that Islamabad was in talks with Moscow on the issue of purchasing air defense systems, adding that Pakistan was interested in such weapons.

“Air defense system is a different kind of weapon we are interested. We are very much interested in a very wide range of the Russian weapons technology. We are in negotiations [on air defense systems] and once we conclude negotiations, we will be able to announce them,” Khan said in an interview.Pakistan and Russia may reach an agreement on Islamabad purchasing Russian Su-35 jets “in the next few years,” the talks on the issue are in their early stages,Khan told Sputnik. Continue reading


China’s new defense minister says his visit to Russia is a signal to the United States about the increasingly close military ties between Moscow and Beijing. The unusually bold statement Tuesday by Gen. Wei Fenghe at the start of his talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reflected the growing military cooperation between the two former Communist rivals.

Speaking in Moscow, Wei emphasized that he chose Russia for his first trip abroad since becoming the international face of China’s military last month to “show the world a high level of development of our bilateral relations and firm determination of our armed forces to strengthen strategic cooperation.”

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