China has stepped up its programme to train fighter pilots for the newly developed fighter jet J-15 and sail and command warships, a move that aims to create more capable commanding officers for aircraft carriers. China currently has one aircraft carrier, Liaoning, a refit of the Soviet era ship which was commissioned in 2012. It is being largely used for training, especially to test the carrier fighter jet J-15 which has been specifically developed to operate from the decks of the aircraft carriers.

Official media reports say that the second aircraft carrier which is undergoing sea trial is expected to be commissioned shortly while the third one is under construction. State-run Global Times reported on Tuesday that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is training jet fighter pilots to sail and command warships to create more capable commanding officers for aircraft carriers. Continue reading


The war in Afghanistan would end in few weeks if Pakistan denied the Taliban safe haven in its territory, a top U.S. Senator said. Senator Lindsey Graham said the United States should negotiate with Pakistan instead of the Taliban to see an end to the war in Afghanistan.

“As to negotiating with the Taliban, I think we got this wrong. I think what we should do is start negotiating with Pakistan. If Pakistan denied the Taliban safe haven in Pakistan, the war in Afghanistan would end in a matter of weeks,” Graham said in an interview to Fox News on Monday. Continue reading

SOURCE:  Al Jazeera

In this episode of UpFront, we challenge Pakistan’s Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on the country’s support for groups that have carried out attacks in Indian-administered Kashmir; enforced disappearances in Balochistan and treatment of religious minorities. And in our Arena, author Grace Blakeley and financial policy analyst Diego Zuluaga debate the state of capitalism in the world today.

Pakistan defends its rights record in Kashmir and Balochistan
The Pakistani government’s support for internationally designated terrorist groups came under scrutiny earlier this year when the Pakistan-based group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama in Indian-administered Kashmir in February. Continue reading


The body of London Bridge attacker who killed two persons on Black Friday attack will be buried in Pakistan. The body of Usman Khan, 28, was flown out from the UK on a passenger plane on Thursday afternoon and arrived in Pakistan today morning. Officials at Islamabad International Airport confirmed this news to SkyNews. Khan, a terror convict and on probation, had been invited to share his experiences as a former prisoner at Learning Together event. However, he started stabbing students and other people with two large kitchen knives.

According to a report by The Telegraph, Khan left school with no qualifications after spending part of his late teens in Pakistan. After returning to the UK he started preaching extremism on the Internet and attracted a significant following. Continue reading


A study published by the Oxford University and the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) has revealed that the risk posed to humanity by terrorism in Pakistan is three times the risk posed in Syria. The report titled ‘Humanity at Risk-Global Terror Threat Indicant (GTTI)’, says, “Afghan Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) pose the maximum threat to international security and Pakistan is placed on top of the list of countries with the highest number of terrorist bases and safe havens.”

It said that if one looks at the most dangerous terrorist groups, based on hard facts and statistics, one finds that “Pakistan hosts or aids majority of them”. “Also, there are a significant number of groups based in Afghanistan, which operate with the support of Pakistan.” Continue reading


Chinese infrastructure projects under its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiatives in Central Asia, Pakistan and Myanmar are projected to lose money due to underutilisation and could potentially cause more harm than good, a prominent US think-tank said in a report on Thursday.

In its latest report on China, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said India has expressed significant hesitation toward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China. Leaders in New Delhi opted out of both the 2017 and 2019 Belt and Road Forums. In addition to being generally skeptical of the BRI, one specific major concern is building of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through Kashmir, it said. Continue reading


Dozens of protesters carrying banners and chanting slogans against a Pakistani newspaper tried to storm its offices in Islamabad, enraged over the leading daily’s news report in which the London Bridge attacker was identified as a “man of Pakistani origin”. The Dawn newspaper in its headline had identified Usman Khan, a convicted Islamist terrorist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who stabbed two people to death in a terror attack on London Bridge last week, as “UK national of Pakistani origin”, unlike many other local dailies which said he was born and brought up in Britain and had no link with Pakistan.

A few dozen unidentified people on Monday staged a protest outside Dawn offices in Islamabad over publication of a news report regarding the ethnicity of the London Bridge attacker of last week, the paper reported on Tuesday. Continue reading


A Sikh girl who went to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur in Pakistan with a religious jatha has gone missing. The girl went missing three days ago, reported the news agency ANI. Pakistan police have arrested four men in connection with the case. The arrested men hail from Lahore and Faisalabad. Further details are awaited.

Pakistan has witnessed numerous cases of kidnappings and forced conversions of non-Muslim girls recently. A Hindu girl was abducted, forced to convert to Islam and forcibly marry a Muslim man in October. A young girl Chandri Kolhi from Noukot, Mirpurkhas, was allegedly abducted, converted and married to Allah Dino in October. Continue reading


Pakistan’s Punjab province chief minister on Monday reappointed Fayyazul Hassan Chohan as his Information Minister, nine months after he was sacked over his anti-Hindu remarks that invited intense criticism from senior party leaders and the minority community.

According to a notification, Chohan will head the information department along with his current portfolio of Colonies Department, Geo TV reported. “Chief Minister (Punjab) is pleased to assign the portfolio of ‘Information Department’ to Mr Fayyaz-ul-Hasan Chohan, MPA, PP-17 Rawalpindi, Provincial Minister, Punjab in addition to the portfolio of Colonies Department’,” the notification read. Continue reading


Seven Generals of the Pakistan Army joined hands with Supreme Court chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa to block the Imran Khan government’s move to grant three-year extension to Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

ET has learnt that the seven Generals, including one who had served as a defence attache in Pakistan High Commission in Delhi, were opposed to granting a three-year extension to Bajwa as this would spoil their chances for the coveted post. The list of disgruntled generals includes Corps Commander Multan Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar who was on top of the seniority list for appointment as the Chief of Army Staff; Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, Lt Gen Humayun Aziz, Lt Gen Naeem Ashraf, Lt Gen Sher Afghan and Lt Gen Qazi Ikraam. Continue reading


Pakistani newspapers today censured Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government for its “inept” handling of the sensitive case of extending the term of the army chief and cautioned him that the confidence of the people in his administration stands at an “all-time low”.
The Supreme Court gave General Qamar Javed Bajwa a reprieve on Thursday and allowed him to continue as the Chief of the Army Staff for six more months after posing tough questions to the government about the most powerful institution in the coup-prone country.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who headed a three-member bench, announced the landmark verdict after getting an assurance from the government that Parliament will pass a legislation on the extension reappointment of an Army chief within six months. Continue reading


Pakistan’s executive, judiciary and military have found themselves on a collision course, and Imran Khan’s government might bear the brunt of the impact. For the past month, Pakistanis have been glued to their television screens, watching a farcical power struggle between state institutions and other political stakeholders.

The floodgates were opened in early November by a sit-in led by Pakistan’s leading cleric-politician, Maulana Fazlur Rehman. A veteran of anti-government movements dating back to the 1980s, Rehman calculated that the way to undermine Prime Minister Imran Khan was to target the military – widely viewed as his backers. He repeatedly called for Khan’s resignation in daily speeches replete with references to the forced imposition of an incompetent government. Continue reading

SOURCE: Jane’s Defence Weekly

Malaysia has received an offer from Russia to part exchange its fleets of Russian multirole combat aircraft for new models, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu has confirmed in parliament.

Sabu said the government is considering the offer from Moscow but indicated that the priorities of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) are in procuring capabilities such as surveillance and light attack. He also indicated that Malaysia would not realistically consider buying a new multirole combat aircraft until after 2030. Continue reading


The Chinese navy is moving ahead with plans to build another aircraft carrier, but plans for a fifth have been put on hold for now, according to military insiders. They said that technical challenges and high costs had put the brakes on the programme and the recent merger of the country’s two major shipbuilders was unlikely to have a significant short-term impact.

The country currently has just one active carrier, the Liaoning – a refitted Soviet-era vessel – but the first homebuilt carrier, the Type 001, is undergoing sea trials and may soon be ready for service. Work on the more modern Type 002 carrier started two years ago and a naval source said construction on the second Type 002 could start as early as 2021. Continue reading


Pakistan’s Supreme Court today granted six-month conditional extension to Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in a relief to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. A three-member bench of the top court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justices Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Mansoor Ali Shah, in its short order directed the government to bring necessary legislation within six months’ time, Geo TV reported.

Bajwa’s original three-year tenure is set to expire on Thursday at midnight and he can now continue as the Army chief for another six months. Prime Minister Khan through an official notification of August 19 granted a three-year extension to General Bajwa, citing “regional security environment”. Continue reading