Islamabad felt ‘betrayed’ at US criticism, army chief says

Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. (AP)
Updated 13 January 2018
0

Islamabad felt ‘betrayed’ at US criticism, army chief says

ISLAMABAD: Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s army chief, told a top US general the nation “felt betrayed” at criticism that it was not doing enough to fight terrorism, the military said on Friday, after US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit.”
Gen. Joseph Votel, US Central Command chief, told Gen. Bajwa during a telephone call this week that the US was not contemplating any unilateral action inside Pakistan, the Pakistani army said in a statement.
Tension between the US and Pakistan has grown over US complaints that the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network that target American troops in Afghanistan are allowed to take shelter on Pakistani soil.
Trump’s administration last week announced the suspension of about $2 billion in security aid to nuclear-armed Pakistan over accusations Islamabad is playing a double game in Afghanistan.
Islamabad denies this and accuses the US of disrespecting its vast sacrifices — casualties have numbered in the tens of thousands — in fighting terrorism.
The US aid suspension was announced days after Trump tweeted on Jan. 1 that the US had foolishly given Pakistan $33 billion in aid over 15 years and was rewarded with “nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools.”
It is not clear what prompted Trump’s tweet, which infuriated Pakistani officials and caught the rest of the US administration off guard.

The Pakistani statement on Friday did not directly refer to Trump’s tweet.
“(Bajwa) said that entire Pakistani nation felt betrayed over US recent statements despite decades of cooperation,” the army said, referring to the phone call between Bajwa and Votel.
The Pakistani assertion that Votel said no unilateral action inside Pakistan was being considered may have referred to the possibility of cross-border US drone strikes and other military missions targeting Taliban and other militant figures outside the border area.
In 2016, a US drone killed the then-leader of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, prompting protests from Islamabad of a violation of sovereignty.
And in 2011, a secret American raid in the military garrison city of Abbottabad killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the architect of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on American cities that prompted the US-led invasion to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Since Trump took office, there have been several drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region but they have not so far gone deeper into Pakistani territory, though Islamabad believes that is on a menu of punitive actions the US administration is considering.
However, the US military is also concerned that the Pakistani army, which effectively runs foreign policy, might close the air and land corridors on which US-led troops and Afghan forces in landlocked Afghanistan depend for supplies. So far, Pakistan has not done so.


China admits reporting two major quakes which never happened

Updated 20 April 2018
0

China admits reporting two major quakes which never happened

  • Earthquake monitor reported that two 6.5 magnitude quakes happened just 10 seconds apart at opposite ends of the country on April 19, 2018
  • Administration says they were holding an emergency response exercise and mock quakes were accidentally leaked 

BEIJING: China’s earthquake administration said on Friday that it had accidentally reported two major quakes which in fact had never happened, saying they were drills which had been unintentionally released to the public.
Late on Thursday, the administration said on its website there had been two 6.5 magnitude quakes just 10 seconds apart at opposite ends of the country — in the far western region of Xinjiang and in the southwestern province of Yunnan.
The information stayed on its website for at least an hour, though did not appear on its microblog, which is how many people in China first learn of quakes.
In a statement on its website, the administration said they had in fact been holding an emergency response exercise.
“An accidental leak of the quake drill was picked up by the media and caused a misunderstanding,” it said. “After this happened, our administration immediately organized relevant departments to delete the inaccurate information.”
China is a seismically active country frequently hit by major earthquakes.
A decade ago a 7.9 magnitude quake rocked the southwestern province of Sichuan, killing almost 70,000 people.