July 5, 2017 - AsiaNet-Pakistan

Archive for July 5th, 2017

Pakistan Enhances Range of Controversial ‘Tactical’ Nuclear Weapon

July 5, 2017 |

ISLAMBABAD � Pakistan’s military announced Wednesday that it has successfully undertaken a series of flight tests of its battlefield nuclear-capable NASR missile this week, enhancing the rocket’s flight maneuverability and extending its range to 70 kilometers from 60.

This weapon system will augment credible deterrence against prevailing threat spectrum more effectively, including anti-missile defenses. NASR is a high precision weapon system with the ability of quick deployments, the Pakistan army’s media wing said when it released details of the flight testing process.

The development of Pakistani tactical nuclear weapons is a source of concern for the United States because their smaller size increases the risk of a nuclear conflict with rival India, non-proliferation experts say.

Pakistani officials say that smaller weapons would deter their bigger neighbor from imposing a sudden, limited and lightning assault with conventional forces under New Delhi’s Cold Start doctrine.

Pakistan army Chief General Qammmar Javed Bajwa, who has witnessed the Nasr flight tests, referred to the Indian doctrine.

“Nasr has put cold water on Cold Start. War must be avoided at all costs and our strategic capability is a guarantee of peace against a highly militarized and increasingly belligerent neighbor, the army statement quoted Bajwa as saying.

Our [nuclear] capability is only meant to ensure, no one thinks war remains an option, the general said.

Pakistan’s relations with India have deteriorated in recent years and military clashes along the disputed Kashmir border have lately become routine.

The disputed Himalayan region has triggered two of the three wars between India and Pakistan and it remains the primary source of regional tensions.

Source: Voice of America

Read More

Afghanistan Accepts Pakistan’s Offer of ‘Coordinated’ Anti-Terror Operations

July 5, 2017 |

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN � Pakistan and Afghanistan have agreed to conduct coordinated, complementary security operations against terrorist groups on their respective sides of the shared border, officials confirmed Wednesday.

A high-powered U.S. bipartisan congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain mediated the deal during its visit this week to Islamabad and Kabul.

The [U.S.] Senators said that the head of Pakistan’s armed forces, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, agreed to joint operations against terrorist groups in the Durand Line region, said an Afghan statement after Tuesday’s talks between President Ashraf Ghani and the U.S. delegation.

They said that the U.S. would provide monitoring and verification of these operations, the statement quoted McCain’s delegation as saying, while sharing the Pakistani proposal with Ghani.

The nearly 2,600-kilometer, largely-porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is called the Durand Line. Both countries regularly accuse each other of not doing enough on their respective sides to stop terrorist infiltration. The allegations are blamed for deep mutual mistrust and strained bilateral ties.

The Afghan government has welcomed the [Pakistani] proposal and a mechanism to undertake these simultaneous joint operations will be developed by our defense and security forces, Afghan presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Meenapal told VOA on Wednesday.

Pakistan military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor, when contacted by VOA, confirmed the security deal with Afghan counterparts. However, he dismissed the reported impression that Afghan forces would be allowed to step on Pakistani soil.

There is no concept of joint operations [on Pakistani soil]. Pakistan does not and will not allow foreign boots on the ground, said General Ghafoor.

He went on to explain that under the proposed coordinated, complementary operations, when Pakistani forces plan counterterrorism actions on their side of the border, Afghan counterparts will be required to mobilize forces on the other side and the other way around to prevent terrorists from fleeing.

McCain and his fellow senators, including Lindsay Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, Elizabeth Warren and David Perdue, held talks with Pakistani civilian and military leaders and visited a tribal region near the Afghan border on Monday before traveling to Kabul for talks with leaders there.

President Ghani has long blamed Pakistan for not upholding its commitments to prevent terrorists from using Pakistani soil against Afghanistan. He has lately linked complete normalization of relations to the involvement of a third country to oversee actions and commitments undertaken by Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Afghan government alleges that Taliban insurgents and their ally, the Haqqani network, are using sanctuaries inside Pakistan for sustaining the insurgency in Afghanistan, charges Islamabad strongly rejects.

The offer of coordinated operations to Afghanistan came as Pakistan’s military is building a fence on the long border and undertaking other fortification measures to deter militant infiltration in either direction. Islamabad has long complained that a lack of coordination from the Afghan side has allowed militants to flee security operations in the volatile Pakistani tribal belt and take refuge in Afghan border areas to plot attacks against Pakistan.

Source: Voice of America

Read More

U.S. Senators Call For New Strategy To Defeat Taliban In Afghanistan

July 5, 2017 |

A bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators visiting Afghanistan on July 4 called for a new strategy from the Trump administration to turn the tide against an increasingly strong Taliban insurgency and end the longest U.S. war.The delegation, led by Senat…

Read More

Pakistan’s Sharif Arrives In Tajikistan For Two-Day Visit, Talks With Afghan President

July 5, 2017 |

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Dushanbe on July 5 for a two-day official visit to Tajikistan.Tajik Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda and other government officials met Sharif at Dushanbe International Airport upon his arrival.Sharif als…

Read More

President stresses to expedite process of tax refunds to small industries

July 5, 2017 |

President Mamnoon Hussain says the process of tax refunds to small industries should be expedited and they should be provided all necessary facilities to further strengthen the country’s economy.Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Electric Fan Manufact…

Read More

Pakistan’s economic outlook improves significantly over last four years: PM

July 5, 2017 |

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Tuesdaysaid Pakistan’s economic outlook had improved significantly over the last four years, which was globally acknowledged.The prime minister expressed these views while meeting to Chairman ofHuaneng Group Cao Pei…

Read More