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…]
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt: African nations would support Gianni Infantino for re-election as FIFA president, the head of the continental football federation Ahmad Ahmad said on Sunday.“I feel it is my duty… to announce this support from Africa,” Ahmad said at a special meeting of the Confederation of African Football Executive Committee, which Infantino attended, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.Infantino, a former deputy head of UEFA, was first elected in 2016 to succeed Sepp Blatter, when the scandal that engulfed the governing body of world football was at its height.The next presidential election will be held in Paris in June 2019 and Infantino has said he will stand.Infantino expressed his gratitude for the African backing.“It means a lot to me,” said the Swiss. “Since long before my election, I had said, and since I have done everything, to make sure that the future really is Africa.”Infantino is believed to have supported Ahmad when he ousted the long-time CAF president Issa Hayatou in March 2017.Infantino described the election as a “vote of change”.“It’s about taking football forward, it’s about making progress together,” Infantino told CAF delegates, calling for “a real impact.”
Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta has alleged she was harassed by a veteran actor 10 years ago.