Monday, December 15, 2008

Makes you wonder what topics are being discussed.

Sixth Sino-Pakistani Defense and Security Talks held in Beijing 2008-12-15 20:58:20
Special report: Pakistani Situation

BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- China and Pakistan agreed to work together to deepen military ties during the Sixth Sino-Pakistani Defense and Security Talks held here on Monday.

The talks was co-chaired by Chen Bingde, Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and Tariq Majid, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan.

Speaking highly of China-Pakistan military relations, Chen said the two sides have witnessed long-term close military exchanges and carried out comprehensive military cooperation, in accordance with the sound development of the bilateral relationship.

Attaching great importance to China-Pakistan relations, China will work together with Pakistan to further develop the bilateral military relations, Chen added.

Pakistan hopes to make achievements in cooperation on defense and security with China through the talks, said Majid.

Majid said Pakistan cherishes the traditional friendship and cooperation with China, and is ready to make concerted efforts with the PLA to strengthen military ties.

The two sides also exchanged views on the international security situation and issues concerning bilateral and military relations.

The First China-Pakistan Defense and Security Talks was held in March 2002.\12\13\story_13-12-2008_pg3_1
Editorial: Cleaning up the act with conviction

The government of Pakistan, together with the leaders of the armed forces, and the main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), have done Pakistan a great service by heeding the voice of the international community in general, and China in particular, by taking action against the organisations banned on Wednesday by the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council: Jama’at-ud Dawa and Jaish-e Muhammad.

Most Pakistanis will be shocked at the outreach of Jama’at-ud Dawa in the country after its “education” and charity institutions were raided on Thursday in compliance with the UN Security Council ban. In fact, action had begun before Thursday after Pakistan became aware of the extent to which Dawa-Lashkar was possibly involved in the Mumbai attacks.

In Punjab alone, 18 cities have the presence of an outfit that the UN Security Council thinks is involved in terrorism abroad. Outside Punjab, the network is also highly developed from Karachi to Peshawar and Azad Kashmir. In some cities, the Dawa “system” has chains of kindergarten schools which the government must now consider taking over and running as its own system to prevent the children from being deprived of education. Dawa had its own “universities” too, but public knowledge about them is scanty.

It is also not known widely in Pakistan that Jama’at-ud Dawa was the target of new restrictions at the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council but was saved by a Chinese veto every time the matter was brought up by affected states. It was accused of being involved in terrorism in the UK, and there was a scandal in 2005 of large sums of money being funnelled as charity funds during the earthquake in Pakistan, which some suspected had been actually remitted to Dawa.

India had its plaint over the Red Fort attack in 2000, and Dawa was noted for the conspicuous act of leading the funeral prayer in absentia in Lahore for Al Qaeda’s sectarian terrorist Zarqawi after his death in Iraq. After that, Dawa warriors were noticed in Iraq too. Of course Dawa claimed that it was a new organisation and had nothing to do with Lashkar-e Tayba that was allegedly carrying out terrorist acts, and was based in Indian-administered Kashmir. The UK had to bring in new laws to prevent charity contributions of up to 3 million pounds annually to the Dawa-Lashkar recipients in Pakistan.

Dawa moved from Muridke — after it became “vulnerable” — to Lake Road, Lahore, where it significantly named its headquarters as Masjid Qadisiya, after the historic location where the Arabs had defeated the Iranian king in antiquity, a very sectarian reference in our times. But all this was ignored and allowed to pass under the radar of intelligence. People who got into trouble with Dawa were visited with “official” wrath, and soon everyone accepted the anomaly of Dawa as a part of life.

It is the Chinese “message” that has changed our mind. The Chinese did not veto the banning of Dawa on Wednesday, and they had reportedly told Islamabad as much beforehand, compelling our permanent representative at the UN to assert that Pakistan would accept the ban if it came. One subliminal message was also given to Chief Minister Punjab, Mr Shehbaz Sharif, during his recent visit to China, and the message was that Pakistan had to seek peace with India or face change of policy in Beijing. Once again, it is our friend China whose advice has been well taken; above all, thankfully, by the media, while discussing the Dawa ban on the night of December 11.

There are other things to take care of too. Jaish-e Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar has been placed under house arrest in Bahawalpur. But reports from Bahawalpur for the past five years had consistently said that he was not there but was occasionally seen in Islamabad. That is also true of the chief of Harkatul Mujahideen, Fazlur Rehman Khaleel, who was taken out of his “safe house” and displayed to the media during the Lal Masjid crisis in 2007. But these are patently Al Qaeda hangers-on who can bring more heat on Pakistan in the future.

Pakistan will need to cooperate with the international community in the coming days. The trend among our jihadi outfits so far is not to surrender to bans but to make a beeline for the Kohat Road pockets of terrorism and join the Al Qaeda-Taliban combine to kill our soldiers. Our army discovered all the banned jihadis when it confronted the militants at Darra Adam Khel. If Jaish was let off the hook after it attacked General Musharraf in 2004, it should now be confronted for providing the bulk of suicide-bombers to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Last but not least, Pakistan should act not because an “unfair international system” compels it to act; it should act out of conviction. Some commentators are already suggesting the kind of double-faced strategy adopted by Musharraf. It has been exposed as self-damaging and should not be embraced again. *

Pakistan, China sign MoU for military cooperation

BEIJING (updated on: December 15, 2008, 19:29 PST): General Tariq Majid, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) along with a high powered delegation arrived in Beijing for the 6th Round of Pakistan-China Defence and Security Talks, a forum that is spearheading the strategic and defence relations between the two countries.

According to ISPR press release, both sides were opposed to all forms of terrorism, extremism and militancy and resolved to cooperate with each other to fight these three forces. China conveyed its complete support to Pakistan's efforts to fight terrorism and appreciated the sacrifices made by the Government and people of Pakistan in this regard. After the talks, an agreement for military cooperation was also signed between the two sides.

Beside the dialogue, CJCSC is scheduled to meet with high level civil and military leadership of Peoples Republic of China. He will also visit HuDong Shipyard in Shanghai to see the progress on construction of F – 22 P Frigates for Pakistan Navy and JF 17 Thunder Aircraft project in Cheng Fei Company in Chengdu.

The Defence and Security Talks were instituted during 2002 and have since been held regularly, alternatively, in Pakistan and China and have matured into an extremely useful bilateral forum.

Under the framework of this forum, the relations between the two Armed Forces have now reached a strategic dimension.

The dialogue now covers military to military cooperation, collaboration between the defence industries and global / strategic issues.

On arrival at Ba' yi Building (Peoples Liberation Army Headquarters), CJCSC was received by General Chen Bingde, Chief of General Staff, Peoples Liberation Army followed by a guard of honour.

The 6th Round of Defence and Security Talks was held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere between the high level defence officials from both sides headed by General Bingde and General Tariq.

The dialogue covered a wide range of regional / international issues and a review of the ongoing military to military cooperation including measures to bolster the existing ties.

There was complete unanimity of views on all issues.

The two sides agreed to take forward their strategic partnership to new heights and agreed to augment the existing military to military cooperation.

While reviewing the growth of China-Pakistan relations over the past 57 years, two leaders expressed satisfaction that the friendship between China and Pakistan has withstood the test of time, notwithstanding changes in the international, regional and domestic environment and has matured into a comprehensive partnership.

Later in the evening, a banquet was hosted by General Bindge, CGS PLA in honour of the CJCSC, which was attended by senior Chinese officials.

Copyright Aaj TV, 2008

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