ISLAMABAD: At a time when some major countries are overtly or covertly opposing China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient routes of Silk Road, France has declared its support for China’s gigantic programme. Talking to Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production retired Lt Gen Abdul Qayyum, French Ambassador to Pakistan Marc Barety on Friday said: “France supports the Chinese BRI concept and is ready to invest in the subsequent phases of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) provided transparency is ensured.” The remarks came amidst reports suggesting that the United States, Australia, Japan and India were considering establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing’s spreading influence. Ambassador says Paris ready to invest in subsequent phases of CPEC provided transparency is ensured The ambassador also showed keen interest in the defence sector, but expressed his disappointment that French competing companies could not win any of the three tenders floated for radars, submarines maintenance and mobile bridges which were won by the companies from the US, Turkey and China, respectively. He pointed out that the submarines, for which the tenders for maintenance were floated, had been provided by France. The committee chairman assured the ambassador that the procedures followed were transparent and French companies would always get fair chance to compete. Gen Qayyum said that Pakistan also looked forward [Read More…]
Three countries say those responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance and suspected death must be ‘held to account.’
The hunter has been admitted to hospital to be treated for shock after the Saturday evening shooting of the cyclist.
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The naming of a baby as ‘Jihad’ has stirred controversy in France. The country has suffered a string of militant attacks in recent years, as the war in Syria has caught Europe off-guard, and the baby’s name has naturally attracted a lot of attention. The parents of the baby have been reported to the authorities in Toulouse, and France’s chief prosecutor now has to look into the matter. The judge for family issues in the country may have to rule on the case. France lays to rest priest slain by ‘jihadists’ Contrary to popular opinion ‘Jihad’ does not necessarily mean ‘holy war’ but may be translated as ‘struggle’ or ‘effort’ from the Arabic language. According to French law, parents have freedom to choose their child’s name as long as it does not harm the baby’s interest or is opposed by other members of the family on representational grounds. The term ‘Jihadists’ (an iteration of the term jihad) is commonly used to refer to militants who carry out violent attacks in the name of Islam, like the Islamic State or the Al-Qaeda. French Muslim leader calls for doubling of mosques Militants have killed more than 230 people in the country over the past few years. Ever since the horrific attacks by the Islamic State on a Paris concert in late 2014, the French government has been ruling in a state of emergency. A mother in the city of Nimes was given a suspended jail term and a $2,353 fine in 2013 after [Read More…]