Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

Military threats will bind Pakistan and China together

Shaukat Qadir

This year Pakistan has held three joint military training exercises with China. Two of them were in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, but the one this month was a new development. A brigade-level exercise was conducted in Pakistan’s portion of the Rajasthan desert, barely 25 kilometres from the border near the Indian town of Jaisalmer, where the Indian lines of communication to the south are very vulnerable.

Predictably, the exercise caused considerable concern in New Delhi.

It follows a pattern of China’s extended influence in the area. Last year during a trip to Kabul, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani suggested to Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai that he should start looking to Beijing rather than Washington for the future.

Since then, US-Pakistan relations have seriously soured and increasingly Pakistan is looking to China for th

e military support being denied by the United States. Islamabad’s friendship with Beijing has been a constant for decades, unlike its turbulent relations with Washington, including joint ventures in military technology.

The most surprising recent development was China’s warning to the United States following the May 2 incursion by US troops to execute Osama bin Laden. Later that month Beijing stated that "an attack on Pakistan will be construed as an attack on China". So what explains this aggressive stance by a country that has been known for a cautious foreign policy?

There can be little doubt that China is projecting power farther abroad than it has in recent decades. In South Asia, a key component of that strategy is the commercial corridor from western China to Gwadar Port in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. As the recent military exercises show, there also has been a deepening Chinese-Pakistani military relationship.

This is in response to a changing regional security situation. In recent years, the most serious threats confronting Pakistan’s military have been internal, including domestic terrorism and civil strife such as the recent violence in Karachi. There is virtually no apprehension of a military threat from India in the immediate future.

But both Islamabad and Beijing are conscious that the Indian military force structure is, and is likely to remain, Pakistan-specific for many years to come. In Rajasthan there are mutual vulnerabilities. If Indian lines of control are exposed at Jaisalmer, Pakistan is more vulnerable at the district capital of Rahim Yar Khan. The joint exercise was intended to send a message that, conscious of its own vulnerability, Pakistan could exploit a similar weakness in India’s lines of communication.

Although Chinese participation was limited to an engineering regiment, the first known joint manoeuvre near the Indian border demonstrated Beijing’s role in this balance of power. This was the first show of joint operational readiness inside Pakistan, but there are already Chinese soldiers in Gilgit in the north, working on the Karakorum Highway. Economic and development cooperation has a long track record.

Gwadar Port is a good reflection of how that collaboration fits into recent geo-strategic developments. Most trade will probably flow north to south, but a new commercial corridor also opens important energy options, not least of all by connecting Iranian energy resources to China.

From China’s eastern ports, access to the Indian Ocean from the Pacific is a lengthy route via the straits of Malacca and the entire route is peppered with US naval bases. On the other hand, there is no US threat on the road to Gwadar.

By some accounts, Beijing contributed 80 per cent of the funding to develop Gwadar’s port and city, although there have been questions recently about direct Chinese control of operations. If in the not-so-distant future China establishes a naval presence there, it could project power over Gulf oil trade routes and provide multiple avenues of military influence.

No wonder that Pakistan has become an indispensable strategic partner for China, even to the extent of the warning to the United States about a mutual defence policy. And because Gwadar is situated in Balochistan, where several foreign forces are stoking unrest, the relationship is likely to continue to include a security component. However, it is also important to note that instability in Balochistan is fundamentally caused by the ineptitude, corruption and callousness of Pakistan’s political elite, which remain indifferent to the concerns of the Baloch people. After all, unrest can only be stoked if it already exists.

But for all of its other challenges, Pakistan’s strategic location in this new geo-strategic balance will probably benefit it in the long term. The challenge is to stem the internal bleeding in the interim.

August 31, 2011

China to participate in 6th Expo Pakistan 2011

China will participate in the 6th Expo Pakistan scheduled to be held at Karachi Expo Centre from October 20-23, 2011.  This was assured by vice chairman of Chinese Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Zhao Jianding and Director General of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce Yu Jian Ming, on the occasion of 3rd Pakistan-China Business Forum held in Shanghai on August 30, 2011. According to information reaching by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) here Tuesday, they also underlined the need to increase the trade and business relations of Pakistani businessmen with region located at Eastern Coast of China and at the Yangtze River Delta.

Speaking on the occasion, TDAP Chief Executive Tariq Puri said that the TDAP was extending all necessary support to the CCPIT in organizing a “China Pavilion” at the Expo Pakistan 2011, in order to facilitate the participation of Chinese companies in this upcoming event, which also celebrates the 60th year of friendship between the two countries.
Puri pointed out that TDAP has declared China as the focus country for its trade initiatives in 2011-2012 and plans to participate in more than 20 fairs in China.
Through this outreach program, TDAP is accessing different regions of China to introduce and establish the brand “Pakistan” which can be relied for its quality and competitive offerings in various sectors like textiles, leather, fisheries, food products, marble, gemstones and minerals.
TDAP and Pakistan’s Consulate General of Shanghai has clubbed the 3rd Forum with Intertextile exhibition of home textiles held in Shanghai from August 29-31, 2011.  
CE TDAP delivered the keynote speech apprising the participants about the flourishing Textile sector of Pakistan. He said that it is a good opportunity for Pakistani businessmen to introduce and display their products. This event has helped in boosting bilateral trade between China and Pakistan and to ensures exposure of  the home textiles of Pakistan in the Chinese market.  
He further stated that TDAP has launched an awareness program both in Pakistan and China for identification of new areas of trade and investment and Business Forums are manifestation of such program.
He said that 4th Pakistan China Business Forum will be held in Urumqi on 2nd September 2011 and another in November 2011.

August 30, 2011

Higher than the Himalayas

By Malik Muhammad Ashraf

To say that the relations between Pakistan and China are “deep-rooted” would be an understatement. They are vibrant, ever-growing and, perhaps, indescribable by any word in the diplomatic parlance. Therefore, the correct expression would be to term it “higher than the Himalayas”. This friendship is, indeed, underpinned by mutual trust and confidence; close identity of views and mutuality of interests remain the hallmark of the bilateral ties.

China over the years has supported the Kashmir cause and extended liberal economic and military assistance to Pakistan. When Pakistan was abandoned by the US during the 1965 war with India, China helped the State, as it did in each and every subsequent crisis. Also, an assistance of well over $42 million for the recent flood victims adequately reflects the strength of friendly sentiments. In this time of crisis, China is the only country that has expressed solidarity with Pakistan, supported its counterterrorism strategy, called upon the international community to support it and reiterated respect for its national sovereignty at all times. Islamabad, too, has been supporting Beijing on all the important issues, including the question of China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and other sensitive matters such as human rights. Like the Pakistani leaders, the Chinese too appreciate their steadfast and unqualified support.

China has also played a significant role in the economic progress of Pakistan. The construction of KKH Highway, Heavy Mechanical Complex at Taxila and Chashma nuclear plant are the monuments of the ever-spiking relationship. Against the backdrop of US-India deal for the transfer of civilian nuclear technology, which Pakistan regards as discriminatory, China again exhibited friendship between the two countries by agreeing to set up two nuclear power units at Chashma, notwithstanding US concerns, and an agreement to that effect was signed on June 8, 2010, during President Asif Zardari’s visit to Beijing.

Although the curve of relations between the two countries has always been moving upwards irrespective of who was in power in Pakistan, yet it is a reality that it has soared to dizzying heights during the present regime. The interactions between the leadership of the two countries have produced very positive results in the expansion of economic cooperation, besides strengthening the process of consultations about security issues of the region and efforts to jointly quell terrorism.

Currently, China is working on a plan for the upgradation of KKH at an approximate cost of $500 million and in building 165km Jaglot-Skardu and 135km Thakot-Sazin roads in Gilgit-Baltistan at a cost of Rs45 billion. It would pay 85 percent of the cost, while Pakistan will contribute 15 percent. Also, a rail link between the two countries is envisaged to be built. Besides this, China is helping Pakistan to tide over the energy crisis. It is working on 17 mega projects in the energy sector in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. A very significant project in hand is the significant upraising of the Mangla Dam reservoir. As part of resettlement of the dam affectees, the Chinese firm, International Water and Electric Corporation (CIW&EC), is also working on the construction of a bridge over Jhelum River in the same area.

Moreover, trade between the two countries has been expanding. China is the fifth largest source for Pakistani imports; bilateral trade between the two countries touched $7 billion mark in 2008. Under a five-year programme launched in 2006, this volume is proposed to be enhanced to $15 billion by 2012. In the past few years, the Chinese have made an investment of $1.3 billion in Pakistan. A number of Chinese companies are working in the oil and gas, IT, telecom, engineering, power generation and mining sectors.

The new dimension imparted to the bilateral relations between the two countries by the present government reflects a marked departure from our perennial propensity to look up to the West, particularly the US, for our security and economic progress. The enhanced economic, political and strategic cooperation between China and Pakistan will contribute immensely to warding off the lurking dangers and consolidating the gains of the efforts made for changing the economic situations of the people of both the countries. This renewed and vigorous engagement between the two countries is an encouraging development, as it will greatly benefit Pakistan by re-invigorating commercial and industrial activities and creating new jobs. This will, indeed, restore the confidence of the international community in Pakistan as a ‘safe’ place to invest.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

August 29, 2011

4th Pakistan-China business forum on September 2


KARACHI – A high powered business delegation led by Federal Commerce Minister, is expected to attend the 4th Pak-China Business Forum to be held on September 2, 2011.

Expo aimed to boost regional cooperation
According a statement issued by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Pakistani exporters would attend the 1st China-Eurasia Expo at Urumqi. A Pakistan pavilion for displaying a wide range of export quality products has also been arranged to highlight the industrial progress achieved by Pakistan. This Expo is aimed to boost regional economic cooperation among Central, West, South Asian and European countries and to further expand the collaboration in multilateral fields. Highlight of this Expo will be the “1+9” forums and the “China Eurasia Forum on Economic Development and Cooperation”. Chinese Government will also hold 9 ministerial high-level forums during the event: News Ministers Forum; Overseas Chinese Businessmen & Xinjiang Development Forum; Agricultural Cooperation and Development Forum; Technical Exchange and Cooperation Forum; Financial Cooperation Forum; China-Eurasia Travel Cooperation and Development Forum; The Forum of Regional Cooperation in Shanghai Cooperation Organization Business Series Activity and Foreign Entrepreneur Conference.

30 distinguished dignitaries participating in the forum
The Chinese cultural exhibition will also be displayed during the Expo. The event is likely to be visited by dignitaries from various South Asian and European countries as well as many distinguished dignitaries from Pakistan. TDAP in collaboration with Pakistan Embassy at Beijing is also organising 4th Pak-China Business Forum on 2nd September, 2011 at Urumqi on the sidelines of the event. B2B meetings of Pakistani businessmen will be arranged with their Chinese and other European counterparts in this Forum. Thirty high profile businessmen are participating in this Business Forum representing different business sectors of Pakistan. Commerce Minister Makhdoom M. Amin Fahim, will deliver the keynote speech during the Business Forum and lead the delegation of Pakistani businessmen. Mr. Tariq Iqbal Puri, Chief Executive TDAP will officially represent Pakistan on the forum of “Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Business Day”.

August 28, 2011

Indian hand in Chinese unrest

Momin Iftikhar.

The occurrence of two terrorist incidents within a short span of two weeks in the month of July, in two cities located along the fabled Silk Route, in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (XUAR) has shaken the tranquillity of this picturesque and laid back region. The first incident occurred on 18 July in Hotan when a group of terrorists attacked a police station with explosives, killing four people including two women and took hostages.
During a rescue operation 14 attackers were killed while four were taken into custody. In the second incident violence broke out in Kashgar on 30th July. There were two explosions and a hijacked car was driven into the pedestrian crowd killing at least 14 civilians and injuring 40.
A conglomeration of history, geography and politics makes Xinjiang region a rich target for interference from outside. The region is vast and remote — Urumqi, its capital is 3,000 kilometres from Beijing. Its spatial vastness embraces spaces as wide as the Western Europe. Ingress from outside is rather hard to monitor since the nodes of population are far and distant.
The region has always been considered strategically important to the security of China. Two thousand years ago the Han Dynasty, fearing attacks by the Turkic nomads, maintained a military garrison in Xinjiang — literally meaning the “New Dominions”. It was made a part of Chinese Empire in 1759 with the purpose of permanently neutralising the threat from the Central Asia to the security of the Chinese hinterland. Strong undercurrents of ethnic identities; Chinese Hans and the indigenous Uyghur provide the background in which the acts of terrorism take shape in Xinjiang. With the rise of China as a communist nation a large number of Hans were settled in Xinjiang region, which has created friction with elements of the local Uyghur population. The presence of this friction has become an important aspect for foreign elements to rake trouble.
With the break-up of the Soviet Union in the 90s and emergence of the Central Asian States, contiguous to the Xinjiang region, the incidents of violence have shown a marked rise, with inalienable linkages to the foreign elements. Foreign headquarters of Uyghur insurgents operated openly in Amati and Bishkek in the mid 90s before a governmental crackdown under Chinese government pressure scattered them; driving Uyghur separatists under ground. Encouraged and supported by certain intelligence agencies attempting to embroil China in internal security issues these separatists have forged ties with other radical groups in the region.
Apart from the Central Asian region, Afghanistan with a substantially large Uyghur Diaspora has turned into a major hub of anti-Chinese activities. Indian influence with the Northern Alliance in Northern Afghanistan as well as with Central Asian States of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has added new dimensions to the evolution of the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the terrorist organization that is behind string of violent incidents in XUAR. In Afghanistan where the Northern Alliance controls the major levers of power in the Karzai led government, there is no dearth of the safe havens for ETIM terrorists who are being funded and trained under the patronage of RAW. It is worth noting that Hasan Mesum, the acknowledged leader of the ETIM was killed by Pakistani forces while crossing from Afghanistan into Pakistan in 2003.
The blame game by the Indian media alleging a Pakistan angle following the turmoil in Hotan and Kashgar was viewed in Pakistan — and China, as a flimsy attempt to draw attention away from the Indian involvement for raking trouble in China.
While there were no statements from the Chinese officials implicating Pakistan in the episode, the Indian media went all the hog to ‘indict’ Pakistan for its involvement in acts of terrorism in the Xinjiang region.
A Hotan government spokesman categorically stated that there was no sign of linkages between the incident and Pakistani based terrorist groups. Not to be deterred, the Indian media quoted Global Times, a Chinese paper to draw in a concocted Pakistani connection. In fact what the Global Times had opined was that the incidents seemed to be the work of premeditated terrorism and that Hotan with its 90% Uyghur population appeared “prone to the influence of the terrorism that has penetrated the country from overseas.”
The paper had mentioned that Hotan was located near the borders with Pakistan (it is 500 kilometre away) — a reference that was seized by the Indian spin masters to spin their fictitious yarns of Anti-Pakistan propaganda and take a dig at the Pak-China cordial, strong and time tested relations.
What the Indian papers had missed out was that an earlier article in Global Times, authored by journalists who had visited the bordering countries of Xinjiang had reported the border with Pakistan as the “most harmonious one.”

August 27, 2011

The Pakistani coach of China’s cricket team

China’s cricket team coach Rashid Khan on Friday said that the improvement graph of the game in the country has been impressive and the things will only get better.
“The game has made tremendous progress post-2006 and it feels proud to be associated with people who are eager to learn the trade,” Khan, a former Pakistan Test player told ‘The News’ on Friday.
In addition, he claimed that women players are even more quick learners than men.
The game of cricket is still new for the people of China, who are fond of watching and playing football, basketball, badminton, table tennis and gymnastics.
“Although cricket is getting popular but it is yet to be recognised as it is a relatively new game. But I optimistic that cricket will certainly make its mark in the whole country,” he added.
Khan, who played four Tests and 29 One-day Internationals (ODIs), revealed that the promotion of the games is continuing at the schools and colleges in China and the response has been satisfactory.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has played a vital role in promotion of the game in China and according to Khan, Director General PCB Javed Miandad has played a major role.
“Miandad has been very helpful because he is willing to assist us in every way. He is such a great player but yet remains very humble and often gives me tips to better my knowledge, so that I can serve China in a better way,” he said.
“Chairman PCB Ijaz Butt too has been very supportive of China.”
China participated in the 2010 Asian Games, which was played in Guangzhou’s cricket stadium. As hosts, they took on the likes of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. The Guangzhou cricket stadium has been given to the China Cricket Association (CCA).
“The Guangzhou stadium in now with CCA and I am sure they will try to arrange a few series for us against top sides,” Khan said.
“I expect that a junior team of Pakistan or the ‘A’ side could play against us. Ijaz Butt came to attend the Asian Games and had a chat with officials of CCA over arranging a series back in China.”
He stressed that the popularity of the game will substantially increase if cricket gets into the Olympic fold. Khan added that the country has all the infrastructure and financial muscle needed for the development of sports and only the recognition is missing.

August 26, 2011

Efforts on to dent Pak-China ties

Foreign intelligence agencies are working overtime to dent the all-weather Pak-China friendship, sources have revealed. In this regard, they quoted the recent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, China, in which several people were killed.
Not ruling out the role of inimical foreign intelligence agencies in creating unrest in southwestern China, they said there was little evidence that members of the terrorist organization, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), were receiving training in Pakistan and Afghanistan for sabotage activities on the Chinese mainland. Those who were discovered were promptly eliminated by the Pakistan military.
In this connection, sources quoted Al-Jazeera website as saying, “Analysts and Uighur activists confirm that Chinese Muslim activists have been to Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but say there is no evidence that they are being trained to carry out attacks in China.”
The website quoted Dru Gladney, a Chinese expert at the US-based Pacific Basin Institute, as saying: “I don’t think there is any reason to assume that any organization is orchestrating. Barring any evidence, it’s ridiculous to make such a claim.”
Another analyst Gardner Bovingdon, a professor of Central Asian studies at Indiana University, said that “I have seen no irrefutable evidence that the ETIM still exists or that it is responsible for the recent round of violence.”
Meanwhile, senior Pakistani officials have given out significant information regarding operations against the ETIM. DG ISPR Major General Athar Abbas recently said Hasan Mahsum had been killed in October 2003 and Abdul Haq Al-Turkistani in February 2011, both of them the top ETIM leaders.
Sources said that since the very beginning, the Sino-Pak relationship had troubled many powerful world capitals, including New Delhi.
Tracing the history of attacks on Chinese interests on Pakistani mainland, they said: “The problem became acute when the Chinese built the Gwadar Port in Balochistan.” They said that the port and the presence of Chinese in Balochistan in particular was considered a strategic threat by the US and India besides several other countries.
They said terrorist organizations based in Fata and Afghan border were given the task to attack and kidnap Chinese nationals in Pakistan. However, most of the threats were foiled by Pakistani security agencies. — Waqar Ahmed

August 26, 2011

Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan’s mining and energy sector

Chinese companies want to invest in the mineral and energy sector in Pakistan, Shi-Jun, Vice Governor of Gansu Province of China on Thursday said while leading a ten member delegation to Board of Investment (BOI).
Shi-Jun while talking to Chairman BOI Saleem Mandwiwala said that Baiyin Nonferrous Limited, Huaneng Gansu Energy Development Company Limited and Jinchuan Group, three leading state owned Chinese companies want to invest in Pakistan in the mining and energy sectors. “We want to bring forth new ideas of scale-economic development ways, metal product level, technological process equipment level and technological economic index to advanced level in Pakistan” Shi said.
Chairman BOI acknowledged the positive approach of the Chinese groups towards investing in Pakistan and assured all due support and facilitation on behalf of Government of Pakistan, so as to successfully complete this exemplary project. Baiyin Nonferrous Group Corporation Limited produced more than 6 million tonnes of 4 kinds of cathode copper, aluminum ingots, lead ingots and zinc ingots.
The main products which were produced by Baiyin Nonferrous registered in London Metal Exchange (LME) and the “IBIS” Brand have a high reputation and renowned at home and abroad.
Huaneng Gansu Energy Development Corporation Limited is one exclusive regional company of China. It mainly takes up investment development, construction and operation management of coal, thermal power (heating power), railway, coal chemistry, water conservancy, hydro power, wind power and photo electricity projects. The company owns a coal production capacity of 20 million tonnes, along with the coal resource in Ningzheng coal field of 3.352 billion tonnes. The Company consists of 5 hydro power companies, while at the same time possessing development rights of 7 medium and small hydro power stations. Jinchuan group limited is a diversified large mining conglomerate integrated with mining, mineral processing, refining, chemical production and value-adding fabrication. Jinchuan with mining and metal as the core business and a series of auxiliary businesses and a nickel flash smelting furnace is the fifth of its kind worldwide. It is the first of its kind in Asia possessing copper integrated smelting furnace and rich-oxygen top blowing smelting furnace for nickel. Director General Land and Resource Commission, DG State owned Asset Supervision Commission, DG Reform and Development Commission, Chairmen Jinchuan Non Ferrous Metal Group, Chairman Beiying non Ferrous Corp, President of Huaneng Group Gansu Corporation were among the delegation that visited BOI.

August 25, 2011

President Zardari to visit China on August 30

President Zardari

President Asif Ali Zardari will visit China from August 30 to September 1, to participate in the China-Eurasia Expo being held in Urumqi. Giving details of the visit of President Zardari to China, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tehmina Janjua Thursday said, the President will meet Chinese Vice Premier Li Kequang at Urumqi during his stay there. President Zardari will also meet leaders of Chinese corporate sector in Urumqi, she added. The spokesperson said, ”The visit of President Zardari to China aims at strengthening business to business linkages between the two countries and Pakistani and Eurasian business.” A Pakistani pavilion is being set up at the Expo and President Zardari will also visit the pavilion.


Source: The Nation

August 25, 2011

Chinese Company offers Economic Zone in Zulfikarabad (Pakistan) without taking Profit for 15 years

ISLAMABAD (APP) – The proposed new city of Zulfikarabad in Sindh has taken a significant step forward as a Chinese company has submitted a proposal to set up an economic zone in the new city and also offered to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) before the forthcoming visit of the Chinese Vice President to Pakistan. The economic zone, as proposed by the Chinese investor, will house leading investors and industrialists from China to undertake mega developmental projects in the new city project. This was informed during a briefing in the Presidency on Wednesday. Those who were present during the briefing included Finance Minister Dr. Hafeez Sheikh, M. Salman Faruqui, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem-ul-Haq, Secretaries of Communication, Economic Affairs and Planning Divisions, Chairman NHA and other senior officials.

From the Sindh government, the meeting was attended by Provincial Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Shavaiz Shamon and other senior officials concerned.

According to reports, the proposed economic zone would not be confined to industrial and economic activities but cover the entire range of activities in a modern metropolis. According to the proposal, the development program would be spread over 15 years split into three five-year programs. Initially the industrialists and investors from China would be brought in to initiate the developmental activities which would subsequently be followed by investors from other countries. Farhatullah Babar said that a significant feature is that the Chinese would invest and reinvest for 15 years before taking out profits. The President directed that the Chinese proposal for the economic zone should be thoroughly studied and recommendations be forwarded to the government at the earliest.

He said that the whole idea of setting up a new city was to meet the challenges of the future and to develop safe, modern and an environment friendly coastal city having world class amenities with economic opportunities not only for the habitants of the city but also for the people of neighboring areas. He reiterated his call to the developers that the city be developed in accordance with the most modern and latest concepts of city planning. The President said that the study of recent concepts of town planning would be helpful in designing the city and to equip it with state-of-the-art facilities. Putra Jaya of Malaysia and Islamabad model could also be replicated to ensure harmony and symmetry, he said. Managing Director Zulfikarabad Developmenrity (ZDA), Lt Gen (R) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah while briefing the meeting about the overall progress on the city projects informed that the development of the new city includes construction of Zulfikarabad Expressway and a bridge over Indus at Dhandhari.

He said that to accelerate the work on the proposed city, ZDA was in an advanced stage of hiring a consultant for conceptual Master Planning of the city. It may be recalled that during the previous meeting on the subject in June this year at the Presidency, the President was informed that the process of opening bid documents for short-listing the firms for the issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP) has already been completed. It was told that the process of submitting Conceptual Master Plan supported by its feasibility study would be completed by December 12, 2011. Managing Director ZDA also informed that work has been started on the establishment of site camp office at Baghan Taluka Keti Bander on the available land. He said that initially a camp office would be set up in Porta cabin and would go in permanency with the scope of work. Deputy Director General Frontier Works Organization (FWO), Brig Jehangir Akhter briefed the meeting about status of developmental work being undertaken by FWO.

He informed that the FWO team has completed elaborate reconnaissance and survey for construction of Expressway and bridge over Indus at Dhandhari. Plan of Action and the cost estimates have been presented to ZDA, he informed. The President directed that the pace of work be accelerated and efforts be geared up to attract more foreign investments in the developmental projects of the proposed city.