On the 22nd anniversary of Pakistan’s successful nuclear tests, Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif is quoted as saying: “May 28 would always be remembered as a day when Pakistan’s defence was made invincible” (“Nawaz eulogised for ‘making Pakistan nuclear power’”, Dawn, May 29, 2020).

Invincibility is a laudable goal – but have nuclear weapons really made Pakistan invincible during these high stress times when terrorists can strike at any moment. Despite advanced technology and valiant efforts, the Pakistan military still struggles to eliminate violent extremism. Ultimately the only way to become truly invincible is to not have any enemies. If there are no internal or external threats, there are no enemies. No enemies, no conflict. But how could such an ideal goal be achieved when tensions are so high? A proven scientifically validated approach is needed to reduce tensions resulting in violent extremism. Continue reading


Terror groups Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed have been expanding their footprint in Afghanistan as part of a carefully-crafted strategy of Pakistan’s deep state to fuel terrorism in Kabul and beyond irrespective of how the US-Taliban peace process pans out, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times.

Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence, or ISI, is infiltrating the Lashkar and Jaish terrorists into the Islamic State-Khorasan Province that has been in tatters after the arrest of its chief Abdulah Orakzai aka Aslam Faroooqui and his top commanders by Afghan security forces. Farooqui was replaced by Maulvi Mohammed as the ISKP new chief. Maulvi Mohammed also has deep links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, counter-terror officials in Kabul said. Continue reading


A United Nations report has said that about 6,500 Pakistanis as foreign terrorist fighters are present in Afghanistan including 1,000 belonging to Pakistan based terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Most of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters are co-located with Taliban fighters and are hand in glove with them, the report said. The UN monitoring team in its annual technical update to United Nations Security Council said, “The number of foreign terrorist fighters in search of a purpose and livelihood in Afghanistan, including up to 6,500 Pakistanis, will render this a complex challenge, which will require careful monitoring. Continue reading


Chinese President Xi Jinping is so nervous about the position of the Communist Party that he is risking a new Cold War and imperilling Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s pre-eminent financial hub, the last British governor of the territory told Reuters. Chris Patten said Xi’s ‘thuggish’ crackdown in Hong Kong risked triggering an outflow of capital and people from the city which funnels the bulk of foreign investment into mainland China.

The West, he said, should stop being naive about Xi, who has served as General Secretary of the Communist Party since 2012. “We have long since passed the stage where, without wanting another Cold War, we have to react to the fact Xi seems to want one himself,” Patten said. Patten cast Xi as a dictator who was “nervous” about the position of the Communist Party in China after criticism of its early handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and the economic impact of its trade disagreements with the United States. Continue reading


Pakistan’s Railways Minister Shiekh Rashid on Saturday claimed that the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif was against conducting the nuclear tests in 1998 in response to India’s tests. “Sharif and almost his whole cabinet (in 1998) were against conducting the nuclear tests in response to India’s. Raja Zafarul Haq, Gauhar Ayub and I were in favour of conducting the nuclear tests,” Rashid told reporters.

Rashid was a member of the cabinet of the Sharif government in 1998. When asked then on whose order the nuclear tests were carried out on May 28, 1998, if not on Sharif’s, Rashid indirectly referred to the military establishment. “These are national secrets and let it be so.” When asked why he left for abroad when Pakistan conducted the nuclear tests, the minister replied: “I had to proceed abroad on a special duty.” Continue reading


China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier has begun sea trials to test weapons and equipment capabilities and sharpen training for its crew, the Chinese defence ministry has said. The aircraft carrier, Shandong, named after a coastal province in eastern China, left its docking port Dalian in Liaoning province on Monday to start the first trials since being commissioned in December, 2019, the ministry said.

The trials come amid rising tension with the US over weapon sales to Taiwan and a strong assertion by a Chinese PLA general on Friday that reunifying Taiwan by force is an option for Beijing. Announcing the trials, ministry spokesperson, Ren Guoqiang said training exercises were being carried out according to plan unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak. Continue reading

SOURCE: Central Tibetan Administration

 The global backlash against China over its culpability for the international spread of the deadly coronavirus from Wuhan has gained momentum in recent weeks. And China itself has added fuel to the fire, as exemplified by its recent legal crackdown on Hong Kong. From implicitly seeking a political quid pro quo for supplying other countries with protective medical gear, to rejecting calls for an independent international inquiry into the virus’s origins until a majority of countries backed such a probe, the bullying tactics of President Xi Jinping’s government have damaged and isolated China’s communist regime.

The backlash could take the form of Western sanctions as Xi’s regime seeks to overturn Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” framework with its proposed new national-security laws for the territory, which has been wracked by widespread pro-democracy protests for over a year. More broadly, Xi’s overreach is inviting increasing hostility among China’s neighbors and around the world. Continue reading


Last month, in a conversation with YouTube users, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed a range of issues, one being a popular 2014 Turkish television drama production named ‘Dirili?: Ertu?rul’, also available on Netflix. According to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, this hit television drama has been airing on the PTV channel since the first day of Ramzan, dubbed in Urdu, at Khan’s request.

It appears that Khan has a particular fondness for Turkish historical dramas. Just days after the conversation with YouTubers was broadcast, Pakistani politician Faisal Javed Khan, tweeted on May 4 that the prime minister wanted another historical drama, ‘Yunus Emre: A?k?n Yolculu?u’, to be broadcast in Pakistan. Continue reading


China’s first domestically developed unmanned helicopter focused on plateau operations recently made its maiden flight. Capable of conducting missions including reconnaissance, communication relay, electronic disruption and fire strike at high altitude, this versatile and easy-to-operate drone could help safeguard China’s southwestern borders with India, analysts said on Sunday.

The AR500C unmanned helicopter, developed by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), on Wednesday successfully made its maiden flight at an AVIC base in Poyang, East China’s Jiangxi Province, in which it conducted several maneuvers including hovering, horizontal and vertical moves, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday. Continue reading


Representatives of pilots’ association and aviation experts have expressed concern over the handling of the air force-led investigation into the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) plane crash in Karachi that claimed 97 lives last week. Pakistan Airlines’ Pilots Association (Palpa) Secretary Capt Imran Narejo, while talking to Dawn over phone on Saturday, said the “investigation team was not balanced”, because it lacked the representation of commercial pilots. Commercial pilots better understood the accidents involving commercial jetliners, he explained.

Islamabad appointed a four-member “investigation team” comprising three officials of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board, two of whom are Air Force officers, and the fourth member has been co-opted from Pakistan Air Force’s safety board. There is no commercial pilot in the team, which has been asked to submit its findings “within the shortest possible time”. Continue reading


China, the second-largest military spender after the US, has hiked its defence budget from last year’s 177.6 billion to USD 179 billion, nearly three times that of India, the lowest increment in recent years apparently due to the heavy disruption caused to its economy by the COVID-19, according to the official media.

China, which has the world’s largest military of two million troops, will continue to lower its defence budget growth rate to 6.6 per cent in 2020, according to a draft budget report presented on Friday to National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature. The 2020 defence budget continues to see single-digit growth for a fifth consecutive year. It is the lowest growth rate in recent years, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Continue reading


The tragic crash of PIA flight PK8303 onboard 91 passengers and 8 crew members in Karachi on Friday was caused due to serious ‘technical difficulties’ as reported by the pilot. However, the country’s national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) remains in shaky hands with many of its aged aircraft and unavailability of civil management.

In January 2019, PIA was taken over by officials of Pakistan Air Force after its new management was approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting attended by the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan as well as key ministers. Continue reading


Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat kicked off a storm recently when he suggested that naval assets could be deployed in support of the army along the China border and navy fighter jets could be deployed over the desert. Military veterans were aghast at the prospect of naval aircraft parked in desert airbases and flying missions in support of the army and air force.

The CDS has been here before. Speaking to the press in February this year, General Rawat cited the 2017 India-China Doklam standoff during which the Indian Navy’s US-built P-8I long range maritime patrol aircraft, used to track Chinese ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean, were deployed to monitor troop movements of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the Chumbi Valley. General Rawat, who has the task of integrating the three services into joint commands by 2023, used the P-8Is to illustrate how the army, navy and air force were unaware of each other’s capabilities. Continue reading


The United States Department of Defense (DOD) has approved an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Pakistani F-16s. The contract has been awarded to Lockheed Martin. The contract involves Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for Sniper, Infrared Search and Track (IRST), and Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) navigation pod (fixed wing) hardware production.

The US DOD confirmed the development on its website on Monday. This contract provides the necessary resources required for the management, fabrication, upgrade/retrofit, integration support and testing and shipping of its non-developmental item (NDI) Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) System, NDI LANTIRN Fixed Image Navigation Set upgrades, and the NDI IRST system as it relates to the requirements document associated with each specific delivery order placed under this contract. Continue reading


A Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore, with 99 passengers and eight crew on board, crashed near the Karachi airport, just a minute before the Airbus A320 was to land this afternoon. There are no reports on the number of casualties yet.

The PIA flight PK-8303 went down in what looks like a densely populated residential area – Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir – just short of the Jinnah International Airport. The crash comes just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume after planes were grounded due to the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading

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