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China, Russia sign $7bn deals ahead of Putin visit
National U16 Hockey Championship begins today
ISB High Court orders to stay on Mumtaz death penalty
Prime Minister Gilani addresses in Quetta
Mirza’s statements continue against MQM and Rehman Malik
Meesha Shafi to Appear in a Hollywood Movie

China, Russia sign $7bn deals ahead of Putin visit

BEIJING: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin travels to China Tuesday for talks likely to focus on a gas deal mired in discord, a day after the two countries signed trade deals worth more than $7 billion.

Putin will be accompanied by a 160-member delegation for his two-day visit — his first abroad since he declared a planned Kremlin comeback — during which he will meet his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao.

China’s foreign ministry said Tuesday the two countries had already signed 16 economic and trade agreements worth more than $7 billion “in the fields of technology transfer, research and development and mineral development”.

It gave no further details of the deals, which were signed at a summit Monday held ahead of Putin’s visit.

Observers say the Russian prime minister may lay out his foreign policy priorities for years to come during the trip, which follows last month’s announcement that he plans to reclaim the presidency.

Putin has paid frequent visits to China — where he is very well known — in his capacities as president and then prime minister since he took power in 1999.

Plans to pump Russian gas to China are expected to top talks between the two sides. Russia is the world’s largest energy producer and China the largest energy consumer.

Russian gas giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Company signed a framework agreement in 2009 that could eventually see almost 70 billion cubic metres of Russian gas sent to China annually for the next 30 years.

However, talks have become bogged down in pricing disagreements. Hu’s visit to Moscow in June delivered no breakthrough, and Chinese state media said this trip was also unlikely to yield a firm, final contract.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Monday that “new progress and achievements” had been made in energy talks, but did not specify whether he was referring to the gas agreement.

The Stockholm-based International Peace Research Institute says that China’s dependence on Russia for arms and energy imports has declined and Moscow’s position when dealing with Beijing has weakened as a result.

It pointed out in a report last week that China had found other partners in the oil and gas sectors in the Middle East, Africa or central Asia.

Russia and China set much store by their bilateral ties and are often viewed as partners in international diplomacy.

China became Russia’s top trading partner for the first time last year and the two countries want to nearly double trade to $100 billion by 2015 and then to $200 billion by 2020.

Both countries are veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council, and last week infuriated the West by blocking a UN resolution against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s deadly crackdown on protests.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow and Beijing were ready to propose a new UN resolution on Syria that would condemn violence carried out both by al-Assad’s regime and the rebel opposition.

But some experts say that in reality there is little trust between the two countries.

Russia’s security service the FSB revealed last week that it had been holding a Chinese national identified as Tong Shengyong for the past year on espionage charges linked to Russia’s S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

Neither the Kremlin nor Beijing, a major purchaser of Russian weapons, have issued any comment, in a possible attempt to suppress the issue ahead of Putin’s visit.

National U16 Hockey Championship begins today

Teams from Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir had not turned up so far, Organizing Secretary and Secretary Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Hockey Association Syed Zahir Shah told APP soon after attending a meeting of team managers, umpires and technical officials at the Qayyum Sports Complex.

He said all other teams had reached Peshawar. He said the championship was shifted from Lahore to the city due to fear of dengue virus.

“We are happy to organize the event with the support and guidance of President of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hockey Association Captain Tariq Hayat and Senior Vice President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Muhammad Saeed Khan,”Zahir Shah added.

It may be mentioned that the championship was scheduled to be held on October 1 in Lahore but due to dengue virus it was shifted to Peshawar.

He said that the Pakistan Hockey Federation has nominated former international hockey player Rana Liaqat as Tournament Director and international technical officials Faiz Muhammad Faizi as umpire manager for the Championship.

A total of 10 umpires also nominated by PHF out of eight have so far reported.

He also appreciated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Sports Syed Aqil Shah for supporting the association as far as preparation at ground is concerned besides order of displaying banners and bill boards welcoming the team.

He said  they have given final touches and all available resources would be utilized to facilitate the players and officials.

He said different committees would be constituted for the smooth sailing of the Championship. He said foolproof security measures have been taken in and around the Stadium. Zahir Shah said that a total of four matches would be played  daily with all the teams have been divided into two groups – six teams in each group.

In group-A comprising Punjab-A, Sindh-B, KP-B, Gilgit-Baltistan, Punjab-C
and Balochistan while in group-B team including Islamabad, Sindh-A, Punjab-B, AJK, KP-A and FATA. Only slide changes would be made if Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad  Jammu and Kashmir not turn-up in-time by Tuesday morning.

Matches Schedule:
The first match between Punjab-B vs Sindh-A will be played at 9.00 a.m, followed by Punjab-A and Punjab-C at 11.00 a.m, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-B will face Balochistan at 1.00 p.m and Islamabad to clash against KP-A at 3.00 p.m.

ISB High Court orders to stay on Mumtaz death penalty

According to sources story, the hearing of the appeal against the death verdict to Mumtaz Qadri was heard by a two-member bench lead by Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman of Islamabad High Court Pakistan.

Former Chief Justice, Lahore High Court, Khawaja Muhammad Sharif is leading the panel of lawyers shielding Mumtaz Qadri in the appeal which he filed against his confidence for killing former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer in Islamabad High Court.

Mumtaz Qadri was sentenced to two-time death and Rs100,000 fine by the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), Rawalpindi on October 1, 2011.

Prime Minister Gilani addresses in Quetta

Choose the path of peace, as this is the only way for the progress of people of Balochistan and Pakistan,” the Prime Minister said while addressing the passing out parade of the recruits of the Pakistan Army belonging to Balochistan.

“The agenda of these terrorists and extremists is certainly against Pakistan,” Gilani said and urged them to shun this path.

The Prime Minister said those who opt not to heed to this advice must understand that they might delay progress and prosperity of the people of Balochsitan, but they cannot deprive the people from the pace of development for long.

The event was also attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and senior civil and military officials.

Prime Minister earlier reviewed the guard of honor. The young recruits presented him salute and the national anthem was played.

The recruits also exhibited their prowess in anti-terrorist skills and demonstrated ways to neutralize militants.

In his address to the recruits, Prime Minister Gilani said Pakistan was passing through a critical juncture and regretted that some people had chosen the path of terrorism, which was bringing a bad name to the country and to the religion Islam.

Prime Minister Gilani paid rich tributes to the country’s armed forces for their sacrifices to rid the country of the scourge of terrorism.

He said the armed forces and the people of Pakistan stand united to eliminate extremism and terrorism and to bring prosperity and development to the country.

The Prime Minister also lauded the Baloch youth for standing shoulder to shoulder with their brethren from the rest of the country to safeguard country’s sovereignty and integrity.

He said the government had planned to provide jobs to 20,000 youth from Balochistan and appreciated General Kayani and Commander of the Southern Command Lt General Javed Zia for ensuring best possible training to bring the youth from the area into the national mainstream.

He said measures were afoot to provide natural gas in areas of Sui, Pir Koh and Looti. He said the federal government would also provide 30 per cent of its shares from its 50 per cent of the Saindak Project to the Balochistan government.

Mirza’s statements continue against MQM and Rehman Malik

Zulfiqar Mirza again said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik is liar and referred to him as “Shitan Malik”.

Malik was talking to the media persons in Lyari that no one has permission to ban Peoples Aman Committee.

The Supreme Court decision on Karachi Situation; Mirza said every faithful Pakistani is disconsolate over the judgment and he will issue 5 lacs more weapons license if he will again be given the assortment of Home Minister; he added.

Dr. Mirza said that assertion of extortion on Jamaat-e-Islami is drivel because there is no such allegation on the party in the past three-and-half years.

Former Home Minister more added that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will absolutely take part in elections from Lyari.

Meesha Shafi to Appear in a Hollywood Movie

Pakistani fashion model Meesha Shafi is to star in a Hollywood movie “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”. This movie is directed by Mira Nair.

The movie is based on Mohsin Hamid’s bestselling novel ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’. Pakistani fashion model Meesha Shafi will perform alongside Hollywood actors Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland. Rest of the cast, of ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, includes Bollywood icons Shabana Azmi, Om Puri and the international project star Riz Ahmed along with Nelsan Ellis, Martin Donovan and Haluk Bilginer.

Meesha Shafi

“The Reluctant Fundamentalist” is adapted by Mohsin Hamid, Bill Wheeler, and Ami Boghani and is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher. The movie will be filmed in New York, Atlanta, Lahore, Delhi and Istanbul.

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