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Afghan peace talks: Quadrilateral group expected to meet in Oman next week

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KABUL: Representatives of Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the United States will meet in Oman next week to discuss reviving peace talks with Afghan Taliban, foreign ministry said in a statement today

However, the ministry did not mention if Afghan Taliban representatives would join the talks. On the other hand, the Afghan Taliban denied receiving any invitation in a video message.

The four-nation Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QGC) has been trying to ease the path to direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, with little success.

Amin Waqad, a close aide to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and a senior member of the High Peace Council (HPC), said, “HPC and government representatives will participate, and it is an important one because the Taliban representatives will be there. We will go with a clear plan.”

A senior Pakistani foreign ministry official confirmed the talks would take place on Oct 16. Last week, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told Voice of America the “quadrilateral arrangement will again be in operation” in Muscat in October.

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Pakistan

Private sector can bring cost-effective methods for delivering energy to Pakistani industry: USAID

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 ED: M. M. ALAM

KARACHI: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) brought together stakeholders from government institutions and the private sector to investigate challenges and explore opportunities for increasing investment in clean energy.  

Project developers, financiers, investors, senior federal and provincial government officials, industry advisors, regulators, donors, and other energy professionals were in attendance.  The workshop provided a forum for formulating a framework based on international best practices to promote clean energy development across Pakistan.

Addressing the workshop, USAID Deputy Mission Director for Sindh and Balochistan, John Smith-Sreen, reflected on the history of USAID’s efforts to expand energy access.

“Over the years, our partnership with the Government of Pakistan and the private sector has resulted in a higher quality of life, and a brighter future, for more than 38 million Pakistanis,” he held.   

John Smith-Sreen also contemplated the future of the partnership, stating: “We believe that the private sector can bring new, innovative, efficient, and cost-effective methods for delivering energy to businesses and households across the country. These entrepreneurs need an environment which rewards, even incentivizes, taking a chance on clean energy endeavors.  What we learn today will help us to define the support required for government institutions and the private sector to meet growing consumer demand for energy.”

Agha Wasif Abbas, Sindh Secretary for Energy chaired the inaugural session of the workshop. They reiterated the Government of Pakistan resolves to promote reforms in the energy sector and make it more sustainable, efficient, and capable of meeting the growing energy requirements of the country.

USAID’s Sustainable Energy for Pakistan (SEP) project, which aims to promote private sector investment in clean and sustainable energy production, transportation, and delivery in Pakistan, organized the workshop.

 

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Asia

‘Makers’ in Shenzhen belie China’s reputation as a hub for technology copycats!

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SHENZHEN: Engineers, computer programmers and children tinker with self-made radio-controlled toy cars and robotic arms in China’s southern city of Shenzhen, home to “makers” who belie the country’s reputation as a hub for technology copycats.

The group works in a special space inside a high-rise in a city considered a nerve centre for the “maker movement” of tech whizzes who invent, design and make their own gadgets and devices from scratch.

China is trying to shed its notoriety as a hub for counterfeit goods, a battleground in an ongoing trade dispute with the United States, which is threatening to hit Chinese electronics and other high-end industry with steep tariffs for the “theft” of intellectual property.

The Shenzhen government has doled out $145 million in grants to lure thousands of Chinese and foreign entrepreneurs, and tens of millions more to fund “maker spaces” and activities to encourage innovation.

At the “MG Space”, a wall is covered by shelves with meticulously labelled bins containing assorted pieces of wood and foam, circuit boards, wires, soldering kits, plastic parts and joiners for communal use.

“I’m designing a pulley system that can support a lot of weight,” 11-year-old Li Zhonghan informed without taking his eyes off a 3D modelling programme on his computer.

Once their blueprints are ready, the makers send their plans to a 3D printer and laser cutter to make their designs a reality.

Yue Lingyu, vice manager of “MG Space,” which is privately funded, said it is important to give children and youth opportunities to collaborate on projects with professionals. 

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Crime

Black-listed US diplomat, who killed a biker in Islamabad, cannot stand trial in Pakistan!

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Black-listed US diplomat, who killed a biker in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: IHC has been informed by the federal government that Black-listed US diplomat, who killed a biker in Islamabad  Ateeq Beg and injured another by ramming his vehicle into their bike at an intersection here, could not be tried in Pakistan due to diplomatic immunity.

Nevertheless, according to the Deputy Attorney General (DAG), Emanuel Hall’s name has been put on the black list and hence he could not leave Pakistan. 

DAG, while informing IHC that putting Emanuel’s name in the ECL was a very lengthy process, added that he could not be arrested as Geneva Convention gives him immunity. US Attaché could only be tried in Pakistan if his immunity is withdrawn.

It is pertinent to mention here that during the last hearing IHC judge held that being a diplomat did not mean the he could kill Pakistani citizens. The Kohsar SHO was also reprimanded for destroying the case by not conducting a blood test of the accused to determine whether he was driving under influence of any drug. 

 

RELEVANT NEWS:

Youth killed as US Defense Attache Col. Joseph Emanuel vehicle hits his motorcycle!

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