NATO withdrawal trucks attacked

Updated 02 April 2013
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NATO withdrawal trucks attacked

QUETTA, Pakistan: Gunmen in Pakistan yesterday set ablaze five trucks carrying NATO equipment out of Afghanistan as the international military alliance winds down its combat mission there, officials said.
Four masked gunmen on two motorbikes opened fire at the vehicles, forcing them to stop and then doused them in petrol to set them on fire in the southwestern province Baluchistan.
"Five NATO trucks were carrying NATO equipment back. Gunmen first fired on the first vehicle and then sprinkled petrol on all of them," Iftikhar Bugti, a senior government official told AFP by telephone.
The incident happened in Bolan district, around 120 km (75 miles) southeast of Quetta, the provincial capital.
"All five trucks have been almost completely destroyed," Bugti said. One driver was slightly injured in the attack, he added.
Syed Waheed Shah, another government official in Bolan, confirmed the attack.
Military officials said Sunday it would cost the United States $ 5-6 billion to remove military hardware and vehicles from Afghanistan, where NATO is ending its combat mission by the end of next year.

Brigadier General Steven Shapiro described it as "one of the most challenging military transportation operations in history in terms of scale and complexity."
Most of the hardware will be flown out of land-locked Afghanistan or taken by road to Pakistan's port of Karachi, despite complications along the route.
Pakistan in July 2012 temporarily stopped NATO traffic after gunmen attacked NATO trucks, killing a driver, in the northwestern border town of Jamrud.
Islamabad also imposed a seven-month blockade on overland NATO traffic after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011.


With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

Routine day at Dubai International Airport. AN photo
Updated 23 May 2018
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With 10-year visa, UAE could be new land of opportunity for Indians

  • The ruler of Dubai changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies
  • The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals

NEW DELHI: Indians are likely to “flood” the UAE once its recently announced residency visa rules for students and highly qualified professionals come into place, experts said Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and the prime minister of the UAE, announced on Sunday a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as their families.
 As part of the changes, students will get five-year visas and “exceptional” graduates will be eligible for a 10-year visa.  Students currently have to apply to renew their visa each year.
The ruler of Dubai also changed rules to allow foreign investors to fully own companies. So far companies have been required to have a local partner who would hold the majority stake.
 The changes are expected to kick in during the third quarter of this year.
 “The UAE has always welcomed, and always will, innovators and business leaders,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted as he announced the new rules.
 The UAE, with its proximity to India, high salaries and low taxes, has always been a magnet for Indians. It is home to about 2.6 million Indians who make up roughly 30 percent of the country’s population, according to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. These numbers are expected to shoot up once the new rules apply.
 “Indians are always looking at new work opportunities anywhere in the world,” said Aradhana Mahna, managing director of Manya Education, a study abroad solutions provider in Delhi.  While the US and the UK have historically been avenues for Indian students looking to study abroad, the number of students applying to those countries have undergone a “sharp decline” since the election of US President Donald Trump — who made protectionist comments during his campaign days and since taking office — and since the UK decided to split with the European Union, Mahna said.
 “Dubai is close to home and that has always made it a preferred destination for Indians. Especially now with the US going down, it will be flooded by Indians,” she added.
Mukesh Bhasin, partner at Career Connect, an executive search firm that focuses on banking, financial services and the insurance sector (BFSI), agreed that the new rules would go a long way in attracting Indian talent.
 “The Indian banking sector is far more developed in terms of product, technology and the caliber of professionals,” he said. “The encouraging visa regime will lead to a lot of interest from Indian BFSI professionals toward Middle East opportunities given the already-existing tax benefits and international-quality lifestyle.”
 Since the collapse in 2008 of Lehman Brothers, most developed markets, including neighboring Singapore and Hong Kong, have cut back on the number of people they are hiring from abroad for their domestic operations. This includes a slowdown in foreign transfers for Indian employees of multinational banks, said Bhasin.