Pakistan FM denies report of Chinese military base

Updated 06 May 2019
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Pakistan FM denies report of Chinese military base

  • ‘China playing a role in Pakistan’s economic prosperity’, says Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday rejected a Pentagon report that claimed Beijing is planning to build a military base in his country in order to protect its $62 billion infrastructure investments under the umbrella of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military and security developments, which was released on Thursday, said: “China will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests, such as Pakistan, and in which there is a precedent for hosting foreign militaries.”

The report added: “China’s leaders are leveraging China’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military clout to establish regional preeminence and expand the country’s international influence.”

In response, Qureshi said: “China is our friend playing a role in Pakistan’s economic prosperity.” 

He added that the report’s claim is propaganda spread by Pakistan’s enemies, including India.

The envisaged corridor will be more than 3,000 km long and will be built over the next few years, consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that are expected to modernize Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its ailing economy.


16 dead in crush at Madagascar independence day rally

Updated 26 June 2019
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16 dead in crush at Madagascar independence day rally

  • The accident occurred outside Mahamasina Stadium, where several thousand people had gathered for a concert following the traditional military parade held to mark National Day

ANTANANARIVO: At least 16 people were crushed to death and dozens injured in Madagascar on Wednesday at a stadium hosting national independence day celebrations in the capital Antananarivo.
The bodies of sixteen victims, including three children, were stored at the mortuary of HJRA hospital in the city, AFP journalists said.
Hospital director Oliva Alison Rakoto had earlier reported 15 dead and 80 wounded.
According to witnesses at the hospital, the accident occurred in the afternoon outside the Mahamasina stadium, where several thousand people had gathered for a concert following the traditional military parade held to mark the national holiday.
At the end of a military parade, security forces opened the gates to allow spectators to leave the enclosure, causing the crowd to mass outside the stadium, witnesses said.
The police then immediately closed the gates and blocked the crowd, witnesses said, causing a deadly pile up.
“When the organizers opened the gate, we were in the front row, in the queue,” said Jean Claude Etienne Rakotoarimanana, 29, who suffered bruises from the crush.
“Suddenly people ran to get in front of us. They shoved us, some even punched us and pulled us,” he added, saying he then fainted.
In September 2018, a deadly crush killed one person and injured 30 people in similar circumstances at the entrance of the same stadium during a football match between Madagascar and Senegal.