A spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made these remarks while answering a question regarding inauguration of the first unit of Sahiwal Coal Power Plant during her press briefing in Beijing today. She said it will ease electricity shortage for the benefit of the people in Pakistan. Sahiwal Coal Power Plant, comprising two coal-based power unit, has a total capacity of generating 1320 megawatt.  The spokesperson said at present seventeen energy projects are being completed under the CPEC framework.  Terming the China Pakistan Economic Corridor game changer for the people of Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said we have strted witnessing the benefits brought by the CPEC projects and Belt and Road Initiative.

Host: Shahzad Farooqi

Co-host: Arshad Malik

Analyst on Telephone:

Dr. Shahid Hasan Siddiqui (Economic Expert):

In past, Pakistan has faced a serious energy crisis. The common people and industrial sector suffered a lot because of this crisis. The incumbent government gave importance to energy issues and huge amount of money was fixed for energy projects in CPEC. The government has tried to increase the productivity of energy. Our cost of energy productivity is high at the moment. Our government and civil and military institutions should work for the betterment of the people. China is shown trust on Pakistan by making huge investment under CPEC. Pakistan should ask China to give money out of CPEC funds for Basha dam. Pakistan is rich of mineral resources, it has important strategic location, it has hardworking farmers and on top of that it has useful weather conditions. Keeping in mind all those factors, Pakistan can achieve more than 10% annual growth rate.

Kabul explosion: Blast kills 80 near diplomatic area in Afghanistan and sending clouds of black smoke into the sky above the presidential palace and foreign embassies- Pakistan strongly condemns terrorist attack in Kabul

The explosion, one of the deadliest in Kabul and coming at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, occurred close to the fortified entrance to the German embassy on a road usually choked with traffic at that time of day, said Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for Kabul police. A public health official said at least 80 people had been killed and more than 350 wounded. The victims appear mainly to have been Afghan civilians and there were no immediate reports of casualties among foreign embassy staff. Pakistan strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Kabul on Wednesday morning Foreign Office in a statement in Islamabad said that Pakistan being a victim of terrorism understands the pain and agony that such incidents inflict upon the people and society. Expressing sympathies with Afghan people, Pakistan said it firmly stands with Afghan brothers in this hour of grief and anguish. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa have strongly condemned the attacked in Kabul.

Analyst on Telephone:

Dr. A. Z. Hilali (IR Expert):

Since 1978, Afghanistan has become hub of resistance movements because of foreign involvements. It has been divided politically and militarily. The government in Kabul is not representative of entire Afghanistan. The resistance movements occupy more than 85% of the area of Afghanistan. Pakistan has condemned terrorist attack in Kabul. With an organized mechanism, terrorist incidents cannot be controlled in Afghanistan. All stakeholders should be brought on table to resolve the issues. Pakistan and Afghanistan should cooperate with each other and exchange information. In order to maintain its influence, India wants to destabilize Afghanistan. The government in Kabul should cooperate with Pakistan to fight the scourge of terrorism.

Russia lifted certain economic restrictions on Turkey today.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree lifting certain economic restrictions imposed on Turkey and its citizens.

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