SOURCE: Nikkei Inc

The Pakistan’s military quiet support for the leading opposition party ahead of the general election this month is raising concerns that nascent progress on improving relations with India will stall.The outcome also holds consequences for the country’s worsening fiscal situation. Should the July 25 poll produce a political vacuum, Pakistan may become even more reliant on Chinese financing.

The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, or PTI, is gaining ground ahead of voting for the National Assembly. Poling by local researchers in early July showed the PTI with 30% support and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz with 27%. A recent Gallup poll showed PML-N with 26% support to the PTI’s 25%. Continue reading


A suicide bomber killed over 130 people and injured more than 180 people at an election rally in southwestern Pakistan in the second election-related attack on Friday, officials said, amid growing tensions over ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s return ahead of the July 25 general election.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. The bombing was the most deadly attack in Pakistan in over a year and is the third incident of election-related violence this week.It came as Pakistan’s caretaker government launched a crackdown on political gatherings with Sharif, who was ousted by the Supreme Court last year and convicted in absentia of corruption a week ago, flying back to rally his party ahead of the general elections. Continue reading


Thousands of fresh graduates of new combat units from the People’s Liberation Army – China’s military – have begun a week-long drill in electronic warfare, experts said.

The war games, which started on Monday and test reconnaissance, electronic communication, cybersecurity, air strikes and other battle skills, are aimed at increasing ground troops’ understanding of modern warfare, and fostering new strategic ground force commanders after a sweeping PLA overhaul. Continue reading


A Pakistani journalist was suspended by his news organisation on Wednesday after he made an adverse comment against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan. During a press conference on Tuesday, Express News reporter Ahmed Mansoor asked Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations, that why the Army was not acting upon the “scourge” Imran Khan like it had done with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari.

“Nawaz Sharif is politically over and so is the case with Asif Zardari, why not tackle this scourge Imran Khan as he will also not spare anyone,” Mansoor told Ghafoor, who was addressing the press conference in connection with the July 25 Pakistan elections. Continue reading


Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has accused the country’s powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of meddling in the ongoing parliamentary polls there.The deposed Pakistani leader has for the first time named a seniorISI officer, General Faiz Hamid, for being allegedly involved in pre-poll rigging ahead of the 2018 general elections.

General Hamid is the head of the Counter Intelligence wing in the ISI. Sharif has also said the military’s intelligence wing, the ISI, is intimidating his party’s candidates to switch loyalties or to run as independents.  Continue reading


China on Monday successfully launched two remote sensing satellites for Pakistan, marking the first international commercial launch for the Long March-2C rocket in about 19 years. The satellites – PRSS-1 and PakTES-1A – were launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China at 11:56 am, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The PRSS-1 is China’s first optical remote sensing satellite sold to Pakistan. It is the 17th satellite developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) for an overseas buyer, it said. Continue reading


Pakistan’s central bank has decided to tighten the movement of foreign and local currency to combat money laundering after the country was placed on the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force for failing to curb anti-terror financing, according to a media report.

Pakistan was placed on the grey list by the global body during its plenary session in Paris last month despite Islamabad submitting a 26-point action plan and launching a concerted diplomatic effort to avert the decision. Continue reading


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delivered a dose of harsh reality to Donald Trump, bashing hopes for a quick denuclearization deal in a pointed rebuke to the president’s top envoy while accusing the US of making “gangster-like” demands.

After the historic US-North Korea summit in Singapore, Trump declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War. Now, three weeks later, the two sides were still at odds on all issues, including exactly what denuclearization means and how it might be verified, after a third visit to Pyongyang by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And, the promised remains have yet to be delivered. Continue reading


According to open sources, F-22 jets cost $146.2 million, while F-35s may cost between $83 million and $108 million. The Russian Su-57 fifth-generation fighter jet will be two and a half times cheaper than US Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet and F-22 stealth fighter aircraft, Russian lawmaker Vladimir Gutenev, a member of State Duma’s expert panel on the aviation industry, told Sputnik.

“The fifth-generation fighter jets are undoubtedly competing with US F-22s and F-35s, but it is considerably cheaper even though it has similar characteristics, while in some aspects, for example, maneuverability, it does better than the US jets,” Gutenev said. Continue reading


Turkey has won the tender to supply four corvettes to the Pakistani Navy, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli announced Thursday, describing it as Turkey’s biggest single military export deal and “a very important day” for the defense industry.

Canikli delivered his statement at a press conference in Montenegro, where he is paying a visit to carry out meetings.”A tender opened by the Pakistan Navy to supply four corvettes has just been concluded, and Turkey has won the tender,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Anadolu Agency (AA). Continue reading


China is developing a new fighter jet for aircraft carriers to replace its J-15s after a series of mechanical failures and crashes, as it tries to build up a blue-water navy that can operate globally, military experts and sources said.

The J-15 was based on a prototype of the fourth-generation Russian Sukhoi Su-33 twin-engined air superiority fighter, a design that is more than 30 years old. It was developed by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, a unit of state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China. Continue reading


China’s military is sick with “peace disease” after decades without war, the country’s military newspaper has claimed. In an effort to combat the “disease,” the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has stepped up its efforts to improve battle readiness. President Xi Jinping has also ordered the military to take steps to ensure soldiers are combat ready and have the required skills they need to fight, South China Morning Post reported. Instead of focusing on numbers, Xi has instituted reforms emphasizing better training for troops.

“Peace disease has been a common symptom in our military for decades,” the People’s Liberation Army Daily wrote in an editorial, SCMP reported. “If we do not make up our mind to eliminate those evils, we must pay a heavy cost in the event of a war.” Continue reading


Russia reportedly continues the modernization of its sophisticated S-400 surface-to-air missile system. Right now, the S-400’s range of destroying aerial targets stands at 285 kilometers (177 miles). Russia had successfully completed state tests of a long-range missile designed for its advanced S-400 Triumf missile defense system, according to Russian media.

A source in the country’s military and industrial complex said that the tests were conducted at the Kapustin Yar firing range in southern Russia and that that the 40?6 missile is expected to be put into service before the end of this summer. Continue reading

SOURCE: Reuters

Japan will send a large helicopter carrier to the South China Sea and Indian Ocean for a second straight year as it looks to bolster its presence in the strategic maritime region with annual tours, two Japanese officials said.

“This is part Japan’s efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said one of the officials, who has direct knowledge of the plan for a two-month tour beginning in September. The 248 meter-long (814 ft) Kaga, which can operate several helicopters simultaneously, will make stops in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and at ports in India and Sri Lanka, said the sources who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media. Continue reading


China is working on a super-powerful rocket that would be capable of delivering heavier payloads into low orbit than NASA, a leading Chinese space expert was quoted as saying Monday.

By 2030, the Long March-9 rocket under development will be able to carry 140 tonnes into low-Earth orbit — where TV and earth observation satellites currently fly — said Long Lehao, a senior official from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Continue reading