Friday, September 18, 2009

Yamaha to set up Motor Cycle plant in Pakistan !

Hundred's of generic Pakistani motor cycle companies making motor cycle parts makes it very cheap for Yamaha to manufacture motor bikes in Pakistan.

TOKYO: Yamaha, a leading Japanese company, has prepared a plan to make an investment of $150 million in motorcycle manufacturing on a large-scale in Pakistan.

This was stated by President of Yamaha Takashi Kajikawa in a meeting with Pakistan’s Ambassador to Japan Noor Mohammad Jadmani at the company’s headquarters at Hamamatsu.

President Takashi said that the plant would be established in National Industrial Park at Bin Qasim, Karachi.

Giving salient features of the project, Takashi informed Ambassador Noor Jadmani that the company in the first phase would assemble around 22,000 motorcycles by 2012, after that it would manufacture the motorcycles by using various domestically manufactured parts in Pakistan.

In the final phase, the company would start manufacturing motorcycle engines in Pakistan by 2017.

‘The company intends to make Pakistan a base for exports to neighbouring Asian and African countries,’ Takashi informed the Pakistani Ambassador.

The plant, he said, would provide job opportunities to about 25,000 Pakistan engineers, technicians and labourers.

The company has already submitted its proposals to the Board of Investment in Islamabad, he noted.

Ambassador Noor Jadmani, speaking on the occasion, greatly appreciated the initiative from Yamaha Motorcycle Company and briefed Takashi on the investment friendly policies of the present democratic government of Pakistan.

The Pakistan envoy also informed privileges, facilities and tax concessions offered in Exclusive Japanese Special Economic Zone being established in Pakistan.

He thanked and encouraged the Japanese to make investment in Pakistan in a big way and assured government’s complete support, assistance and patronage in this respect, according to Iftikhar Babar, Economic Minister in Pakistan Embassy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Swine flu milder then earlier Estimates !

WASHINGTON - The death rate from the pandemic H1N1 swine flu is likely lower than earlier estimates, an expert in infectious diseases said on Wednesday.

New estimates suggest that the death rate compares to a moderate year of seasonal influenza, said Dr. Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University.

"It's mildest in kids. That's one of the really good pieces of news in this pandemic," Lipsitch told a meeting of flu experts being held by the U.S. Institute of Medicine.

"Barring any changes in the virus, I think we can say we are in a category 1 pandemic. This has not become clear until fairly recently."

The Pandemic Severity Index set by the U.S. government has five categories of pandemic, with a category 1 being comparable to a seasonal flu epidemic.

Seasonal flu has a death rate of less than 0.1 percent — but still manages to kill 250,000 to 500,000 people globally every year.

A category 5 pandemic would compare to the 1918 flu pandemic, which had an estimated death rate of 2 percent or more, and would kill tens of million of people.

Lipsitch took information from around the world on how many people had reported they had influenza-like illness, which may or may not actually be influenza; government reports of actual hospitalizations and confirmed deaths.

He came up with a range of mortality from swine flu, from 0.007 percent to 0.045 percent.

Either way, having new information about how many people were infected and did not become severely ill or die makes the pandemic look very mild, he said.

"The news is certainly better than it was in May and even better than it was at the beginning of August," Lipsitch said.

H1N1 swine flu was declared a pandemic in June after flashing around the world in six weeks. Experts all said a true death rate would not be clear for weeks because it is impossible to test every patient and because people with mild cases may never be diagnosed.

This lack of information made the epidemics in various countries and cities look worse at first than they actually were, Lipsitch said. People sick enough to be hospitalized are almost always tested first.

"Yes, there's been hype, but I don't think it's been an outrageous amount of hype," Lipsitch said.

Seasonal flu is usually far worse among the elderly, who make up 90 percent of the deaths every year. In contrast, this flu is attacking younger adults and older children, but they are not dying of it at the same rate as the elderly, Lipsitch said.

US map and rate of Infections on MSNBC :

World map and rate of Infections on MSNBC :

17,000 Chinese workers from the Three Gorges Dam Project would build Daimer-Bhasha dam in Pakistan

China to help build the Daimer-Basha dam after World Bank's refusal to fund the project. It would be constructed near Chilas, on the border of the North Western Frontier Province and Gilgit-Baltistan autonomous region.

Pakistan is considering another big dam project the Diamer-Bhasha Dam on the Indus River in northern Pakistan comes with an astounding price tag of over US$8.5 billion. The 200-square-kilometer reservoir would flood 100 kilometers of the Karakoram highway.

The project, after an eight-year construction period, would provide 4500 MW of electricity for the national grid, but it would not address the far more pressing issue that half of Pakistan's population (around 80 million people) have no electricity access whatsoever. Diamer-Bhasha is a costly project that would only benefit industries and wealthy Pakistanis.

Officials from the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan have revealed that China will most likely fund the bulk of project costs, as well as provide 17,000 workers from the Three Gorges Dam Project. It is also likely that a Chinese company will be in charge of construction, as one source from WAPDA noted that China's policy is to take responsibility for the construction of any dam project that it finances. The poor environmental and social record of China's global dam industry doubly raises concerns that impacts that would result from the Diamer-Bhasha dam might not be adequately assessed or mitigated.

The carvings that will be destroyed by the reservoir represent the great cultural flourishing and exchange of the Indus Valley region's portion of the Silk Road. The project is located in a mountainous, earthquake-prone area and there are many engineering challenges, including relocating 100 kilometers of the Karakorum highway. These factors contribute to the project's hefty price tag.

Pakistan Government Approval :

The Executive Committee of Pakistan's National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Thursday formally approved the construction of Bhasha Diamir Dam at a cost of Rs 894 billion (US$10.758396 billion).

The meeting presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin also approved 25 other development projects. Later addressing a joint news conference, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the project to be completed in eight to ten years will generate four thousand five hundred megawatt electricity.

Work of land acquisition will start within three months while construction work on the project will begun in October next year. The Information Minister said the concerned provincial agencies and departments have been asked to remove all obstacles to complete Diamir Bhasha Dam project on priority basis. Qamar Zaman Kaira assured the people of Northern Areas that affectees of the Dam will be compensated without delay.

Preference will be given to local skilled persons for employment in the project.

The Minister said the cost of Diamer-Basha dam is Rs 894 billion with generation capacity of 4500 MW electricity. "This would prove to be a lifeline project for the country and would meet agricultural as well as power requirements of our energy starved country," he added. The Minister congratulated the entire nation including people of Northern Areas on the approval of this mega project of national importance which would usher in a new era of socio-economic prosperity in the country.

Minister for Water and Power, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Secretary Information, Ashfaq Ahmad Gondal and higher officials of concerned ministries were present on the occasion. Kaira said in the meeting total 44 projects costing Rs. 1200 billion were presented before the ECNEC for approval, out of which 26 were accorded approval. The remaining projects would be considered and approved during the next meeting scheduled to be held within next two weeks, he added.

Giving further information about the Diamer-Basha Dam, Information Minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira said the credit of approval goes to the present democratic government which has not only approved the project but also allocated funds for its implementation.

He said Rs. 15 billion have already been allocated in the current budget for the land acquisition and compensation to the affectees of the area. Kaira, who is also holding a portfolio of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, appreciated the cooperation and sacrifices of people of Areas during the process of approval of project.

Not a single voice was raised from the people of Northern Areas against this project and I assure them that their genuine demands regarding compensation and settlement would be addressed on a priority basis," he said while responding to a question. The Minister further assured them that first their problems would be resolved and then the work on the project would be started, adding that the priority would be given to the local people in term of employment.

Speaking on the occasion, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the Dam will have the capacity to store 6.4 million acre water for irrigation purposes. It will irrigate additional three million acres of land and it will also help stop sediments to Tarbela Dam. He said the civil work on the project is expected to be started in October next year while work on land acquisition would be started within next three months. It would also generate 19 billion unit electricity at the rate of Rs.2.90 unit.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

India matches Pakistan in violence against Women !

India and Pakistan continue to laugh at each at their statistics on violence against women, child molestation and child kidnappings. Intead of forming a common task force to fight these common enemies they are involved in constant mud slinging.

Sanity should prevail and they should hit a common ground and start a plan to stop these acts of violence. Someone needs to play knock knock at Arundati Roy, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Ansar Burney and Asma Jehangir so we can atleast start as a team ?

Pakistan echos India's statistics and Bangladesh should not be any any differant. In India violence against women has also increased, according to national statistics. Between 2003 and 2007, rape cases rose by more than 30 percent, kidnapping or abduction cases rose by more than 50 percent, while torture and molestation also jumped sharply.

Pakistan : Statistics compiled by a leading women’s rights NGO show that as many as 7,733 cases of violence against women were reported by the print media in Pakistan in 2008. Murders (19.60%) and honour killings (6.10%) combined made up over a quarter of the reported cases, i.e. a total of 1,988 Pakistani women were killed. Another 22.79 per cent of the incidents were kidnappings/abductions.

Punjab, Pakistan had the highest number of overall reported cases, 4,360, in accordance with its position as the province with the largest population. Sindh, however, had the most known honour killings, 220, despite having a much smaller population.

As the morning commuter train rattled down the track, Chinu Sharma, an office worker, enjoyed the absence of men. Some of them pinch and grope women on trains, or shout insults and catcalls, she said. Her friend Vandana Rohile agreed and widened her eyes in mock imitation.

“Sometimes they just stare at you,” said Ms. Rohile, 27.

Up and down the jostling train, women repeated the same theme: As millions of women have poured into the Indian work force over the last decade, they have met with different obstacles in a tradition-bound, patriarchal culture, but few are more annoying than the basic task of getting to work.

The problems of taunting and harassment, known as eve teasing, are so persistent that in recent months the government has decided to simply remove men altogether. In a pilot program, eight new commuter trains exclusively for female passengers have been introduced in India’s four largest cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta.

The trains are known as Ladies Specials, and on one recent round trip in which a male reporter got permission to board, the women commuting between the industrial town of Palwal and New Delhi were very pleased.

“It’s so nice here,” said a teacher, Kiran Khas, who has commuted by train for 17 years. Ms. Khas said the regular trains were thronged with vegetable sellers, pickpockets, beggars and lots of men. “Here on this train,” she said, as if describing a miracle, “you can board anywhere and sit freely.”

India would seem to be a country where women have shattered the glass ceiling. The country’s most powerful politician, Sonia Gandhi, president of the Congress Party, is a woman. The country’s current president, a somewhat ceremonial position, is a woman. So are the foreign secretary and the chief minister of the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, and the new minister of railways. India’s Constitution guarantees equal rights for women, while Indian law stipulates equal pay and punishment for sexual harassment.

But the reality is very different for the average working woman, many analysts say.

Since India began economic reforms in the early 1990s, women have entered the urban work force, initially as government office workers, but now increasingly as employees in the booming services sector or in professional jobs. Over all, the number of working women has roughly doubled in 15 years.

But violence against women has also increased, according to national statistics. Between 2003 and 2007, rape cases rose by more than 30 percent, kidnapping or abduction cases rose by more than 50 percent, while torture and molestation also jumped sharply.

Mala Bhandari, who runs an organization focused on women and children, said the influx of women into the workplace had eroded the traditional separation between public space (the workplace) and private space (the home). “Now that women have started occupying public spaces, issues will always arise,” she said. “And the first issue is security.”

India’s newspapers are filled with accounts of the frictions wrought by so much social change.

Last week, a husband in Noida was brought in by the police and accused of beating his wife because she had cut her hair in a Western style. In June, four colleges in Kanpur tried to bar female students from wearing blue jeans, saying that they were “indecent” and that they contributed to rising cases of sexual harassment. After protests from female students, state officials ordered the colleges to drop the restriction.

For many years, women traveling by train sat with men, until crowding and security concerns prompted the railroad to reserve two compartments per train for women. But with trains badly overcrowded, men would break into cars for women and claim seats. Mumbai started operating two women-only trains in 1992, yet the program was never expanded. Then, with complaints rising from female passengers, Mamata Banerjee, the new minister of railways, announced the eight new Ladies Specials trains.

“It speaks of their coming of age and assertiveness,” said Mukesh Nigam, a high-ranking railway official.

Many men are not thrilled. Several female passengers said eve teasing was worse here in northern India than elsewhere in the country. As the Ladies Special idled on Track 7 at the station in Palwal, a few men glared from the platform. The Ladies Special was far less crowded, with clean, padded benches and electric fans, compared with the dirty, darkened train on Track 6 filled with sullen men. Vandals sometimes write profanities on the Ladies Special, or worse.

“The local boys will come and use the bathroom on the train,” said Meena Kumari, one of the female ticket collectors in flowing blue saris who patrol the train along with female security officers. “They do it out of contempt. They do not want the train to run.”

As the train began moving, one woman sat meditating. Nearby, an accountant read a Hindu prayer book, while college students gossiped a few rows away.

“If you go to work, then you are independent, you earn some money and can help the family,” said Archana Gahlot, 25. “And if something happens to the marriage, you have something.”

“Even on this train,” Ms. Gahlot continued, “men sometimes board and try to harass the women. Sometimes they openly say, ‘Please close the Ladies Special.’

“Maybe they think the government is helping out women and not men,” she added.

The eight new trains represent a tiny fraction of the nation’s commuter trains. Only one Ladies Special serves New Delhi, though the Railway Ministry has announced future Ladies Special service. Dr. Ranjari Kumari, director of the Center for Social Research, said the service was a politically astute move, if not a long-term solution.

“You really need to make every train as safe as the Ladies Specials,” Dr. Kumari said.

Men are hardly the only ones unnerved by the changing role of women in Indian society. Namita Sharma, 39, remembers that her mother advised her to become a teacher to balance between work and family; instead, she chose a career in fashion. Now that Ms. Sharma has a 14-year-old daughter with ideas of her own, she worries about crime.

“She has her own point of view, and I have my own point of view for her,” she said, smiling. “Let’s see who wins. She talks of independence. I am independent.”

But, she added, “Let’s talk of a secure kind of independence.”

Then the train stopped, and Ms. Sharma stood up. Asked what more the government could do for women, she laughed.

“Oh my God, it is a long list,” she said. “But I’m sorry, this is my station.”

Israelis, Palestinians present peace blueprint

About time !

TEL AVIV, Israel – Jerusalem divided by a series of fences, trenches and walls. The West Bank and Gaza linked by a sunken highway. Palestinians and Israelis trading land that would require 100,000 Jewish settlers to move.
These proposals are part of a 424-page blueprint for Mideast peace presented Tuesday — the most detailed description yet of what an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal could look like.
The plan was released as a new U.S. diplomatic effort was under way to restart peace talks and ahead of meetings next week at the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Created by teams of Israeli and Palestinian experts and former negotiators, the blueprint is meant to show it's still possible to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite many setbacks, said those involved in the drafting.
"If you want to resolve the conflict, here is the recipe," said Gadi Baltiansky, a leader of the Israeli team.
The core of the plan is a Palestinian state in nearly 98 percent of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip and the Arab-populated areas of Jerusalem. By going into the tiniest details, it highlights the staggering challenges and expense of implementing any peace deal.
The blueprint was presented Tuesday by Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli peace negotiator, and by Baltiansky, who served as an aide to former prime minister Ehud Barak.
The Palestinian participants kept a low profile. The most senior, Yasser Abed Rabbo, now a high-ranking aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, declined comment and did not attend the plan's unveiling in Tel Aviv.
Israeli officials said the Palestinians planned their own presentation later, but it appeared the Palestinians also wanted to avoid giving the impression their government endorses the plan. Israeli government officials also declined comment.
The blueprint highlights how complex and expensive peace will be.
It had to resort to flow charts to describe a multilayered bureaucracy of thousands of international troops and monitors who would serve as referees. The partition of Jerusalem would require building border terminals inside the city and dividing a major thoroughfare between the two states.
A sunken four-lane highway with bridges and tunnels would be built through Israel to link the West Bank and Gaza, administered by the Palestinians but under Israeli sovereignty. Israeli motorists would have to carry tracking devices on designated transit routes through Palestine to make sure they didn't go astray.
The document builds on the 50-page outline of a peace deal published in 2003 by the same group, known as the Geneva Initiative. It is also close to the terms of a failed agreement suggested in late 2000 by then-President Bill Clinton.
The blueprint goes into detail on issues that were only dealt with in broad strokes in the earlier efforts.
For example, the 2003 plan said the West Bank and Gaza, which flank Israel, should be connected by a corridor running through the Jewish state. The expanded proposal describes a sunken four-lane highway with bridges and tunnels; it would also give the Palestinians the option of adding train tracks, underground fuel pipes and communications cables.
The partition of Jerusalem required perhaps the most creativity.
Earlier efforts called for Jewish neighborhoods to join Israel and Arab ones to become part of Palestine. However, traditionally Arab east Jerusalem has become a patchwork of Jewish and Arab neighborhoods since Israel captured it in the 1967 Mideast war and moved nearly 200,000 Israelis there.
As a result, the border on the blueprint snakes around neighborhoods, divvying them between Israel and Palestine. A major thoroughfare that bisects the city would become a binational road, with Israeli and Palestinian motorists divided by a series of fences, trenches, walls and greenery.
A pedestrian overpass in the downtown area, near the famed American Colony Hotel, would link the Palestinian part of Jerusalem with the Israeli sector, passing through a border checkpoint.
Huge multilevel border terminals would be built in the northern and southern areas of the city, and planners included detailed architectural drawings of the crossings.
Both sides would have access to the walled Old City with its major religious shrines, but from separate gates. The border puts the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, in Israel, while the Palestinians would get the adjacent Al Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest shrine.
The document does not have a detailed chapter on the fate of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants, one of the toughest issues facing peacemakers. The Palestinian team leader, Nidal Foqaha, said the issue was still too sensitive.
The security annex was the most difficult to put together, Baltiansky said. He said the involvement of senior former Israeli military officials ensured the document addresses Israel's security concerns.
Israel fears Palestinian militants would overrun the West Bank after a withdrawal and launch rockets at Israel. Gaza was seized by Hamas in 2007, two years after Israel's withdrawal, and militants there have fired thousands of rockets into southern Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants a future Palestinian state to be demilitarized, and the security annex lists weapons the Palestinian security forces would be banned from having, including tanks, artillery, rockets, heavy machine guns and weapons of mass destruction.
The plan also stipulates that an Israeli infantry battalion of 800 soldiers would remain in the Jordan Valley, on the West Bank's border with Jordan, for three years after all other Israeli troops have left the Palestinian territory.
"When Netanyahu speaks about a non-militarized Palestine, in this book we write exactly what it means," Baltiansky said. "We translate it into a detailed reality."
The manual is being presented to Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as top diplomats in the U.S., Europe and Egypt in hopes they will use it as a reference once peace talks resume, organizers said.

$150 Million Gift to Children's Aims to Revolutionize Surgery

D.C. Philanthropist Arranges Abu Dhabi Largess

In one of the largest philanthropic donations ever made to a U.S. pediatric hospital, Children's National Medical Center will receive $150 million from the government of Abu Dhabi -- a gift that the hospital hopes to use to dramatically change pediatric surgery.

The donation, which will be announced Wednesday morning, has the potential to transform Children's Hospital, enabling it to hire more than 100 surgeons, researchers and staff members over the next few years, hospital officials said. Its arrival amid a recession has created palpable excitement at the Northwest Washington hospital, which treats thousands of children and performs 15,000 surgeries each year.

Edwin K. Zechman Jr., president and chief executive of Children's, said the money could revolutionize not just his hospital, but also the entire field of pediatric surgery. "Pediatric surgery could look 100 percent different in five to 10 years," he said.

The money comes from the government of Abu Dhabi, one of the United Arab Emirates. The Persian Gulf country has given large sums to Johns Hopkins Medicine and other U.S. institutions. But the gift was arranged by Joseph E. Robert Jr., a prominent Washington philanthropist with deep ties to Children's and personal connections to wealthy members of the UAE's royal family.

Doctors at what will be called the Sheik Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation will collaborate across disciplines to improve surgery for children. That could mean advances such as using genetic research to personalize surgeries and pain management, bringing imaging technology directly into the operating room to guide procedures with greater precision, using nanoparticles to target tumors and, in some cases, eliminating the need for surgery altogether.

"Wow!" said Richard Redett, director of pediatric plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, marveling at the size of the donation and the targeting of one specialty. "This kind of gift almost never happens."

The gift, to be paid over five years, will dedicate $60 million to research and programs, $40 million to improving research facilities, $25 million for a surgical institute endowment and $25 million for other needs at the medical center. The hospital will add $100 million to $120 million of its money for doctors' salaries, new operating theaters and other expenses, bringing the amount committed to the project to more than $250 million.

The scope and ambition of the plan are the brainchild of Robert, 57, a major donor to Children's who is battling brain cancer. About a decade ago, Robert's son underwent a nearly 10-hour surgery at Children's to rebuild his chest wall. The complicated procedure, performed by Kurt Newman, was amazingly successful, Robert said. His son, now 29 and a student at American University, was strong enough to serve in the Marines.

Robert, who has made a fortune in real estate investment and asset management and has given away a fortune to local charities, donated $25 million to Children's and led a fundraising campaign for a new surgical center, which is named after him.

About four years ago, he invited Newman, Zechman and others to his home for breakfast and asked them how to turn the hospital into the premiere pediatric surgical center in the world.

"I said to Kurt specifically: 'Forget everything you've known and been taught and used in terms of the way an operating room is set up and people work together. Take a clean sheet of paper . . . think in the future perfect tense. What's it going to look like in 10 years or 30 years, and how do we speed up to get there faster?' "

Newman, senior vice president of the surgical center, said his first ideas "were pretty lame." He thought of hiring the best people. But Robert kept pushing him and others to come up with something that could transform pediatric surgery.

At one meeting, Julia Finkel, a pediatric anesthesiologist, startled everyone when she stood and demanded a dramatic overhaul of the way doctors measure and treat pain.

"She said, 'I don't want to walk into any more rooms where the children are crying and the parents are full of anxiety,' " recalled Pam King Sams, executive vice president and chief development officer of the Children's Hospital Foundation. "We need to eliminate it. And we can eliminate it."

Pain is difficult to gauge in any patient, but it's especially difficult in infants and children. Managing pain is tricky, too, because the dosing in children is far more precise than in adults. Infants seem to process pain differently, and narcotics and other treatments have different effects on people.

But by drawing on experts, Newman said, they can attack that in new ways. Finkel and others have been developing a device that measures pain. And once they can measure pain effectively, they can develop drugs to target it more effectively.

"I see that as one of the biggest potential breakthroughs here," Newman said. "I think it's achievable within the next five to 10 years" to have a hospital where pain is not inevitable. "We can eliminate that, wipe that out."

"Boy, I haven't heard anyone talk about eliminating pain," Redett said. "I've heard a lot of people talking about easing pain and suffering in health care. I don't know if that's an attainable goal or not," especially within a short time frame.

Newman still has a piece of paper on which he and Robert diagrammed some of the changes they could make to deliver care more effectively and collaborate across specialties. Robert loved the idea -- and after a presentation from Newman and others, he sent them back to draw up a detailed business plan.

Robert turned to Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whom he had met about five years ago on a business trip when the crown prince held a dinner in Abu Dhabi for executives working on national security. They hit it off, became friends and now go on hunting trips together.

Robert pitched the idea of the surgical innovation center at the prince's home one night while they were watching TV and eating dinner.

The Abu Dhabi leader did not consent to an interview -- he has rarely spoken with Western media, a spokesman said. But Robert said the idea appealed to him immediately because he could see that it could have a major effect on children's treatment and that it could happen quickly.

"What really impressed us about Children's was their vision of a significant leap forward and rethinking pediatric care," said Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE's ambassador to the United States. "This isn't going toward buildings, to bricks and mortar and a big sign on a building -- it's going toward research in pediatric care."

The gift was made in honor of the prince's father, the late Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who founded the UAE. In addition to creating the Sheik Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, the medical center will name its campus the Sheik Zayed Campus for Advanced Pediatric Medicine at Children's National Medical Center.

Children's is also working toward a partnership to build and operate a pediatric hospital in Abu Dhabi.

For Robert, the gift represents a triumph. Recently he received a diagnosis of the same type of brain cancer that afflicted Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). After giving away millions and raising millions more for charity, he compares his current philanthropic efforts to playing basketball at an arcade.

"I'm trying to get as many scores, put the ball through the hoop as many times as I can with the limited time I have left," he said.

At the hospital Wednesday, when the ambassador, the executives and the doctors gather to talk about how much the institute will change pediatric medicine, Robert said he will be thinking, "What needs to get done next?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Massive Investments in Gulf countries !

Following Dubai economic success all countries in the Gulf are investing in massive industrialization and infrastructure projects - Nuclear plants, artificial islands, petro-chemical plants, new Islamic Banking are all in the works.

The UAE is on its way to award a 41 billion dollar contract to build nuclear power plants saying that the decision between the three rival bidders was too close to call, an Abu Dhabi daily said Monday. A French group led by Areva, Electricite de France, GDF Suez and Total is competing against a Japanese-American alliance of Hitachi and General Electric, and a Korean-American consortium comprising Korea Electric Power, Samsung, Hyundai and US firm Westinghouse.

The Arab world's second-largest economy, the United Arab Emirates is seeking to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons for power generation and to boost its image as an environmentally friendly country.

US President Barack Obama approved a civilian nuclear deal with the UAE in May.

Saudi Arabia :
Saudi Arabia: Barclays Bank plans to set up a private banking operation in Saudi Arabia to tap the market for wealthy individuals in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia is 'massive in terms of percentage of GDP of the Middle East, massive in terms of number of wealthy individuals, you absolutely have to be a player there if your aspirations are to be top of the league', according to Soha Nashaat, chief executive for Barclays private banking arm in the Middle East and North Africa. 'People are now more concerned on missing out on the market rebound than they are about the downside risk,' she added.

Kuwait :
Kuwait signs $2.65bn electricity agreement to boost power capacity. Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water and GE Energy yesterday announced the signing of a turnkey contract that will help address the growing demand for power in the State of Kuwait.

Kuwait is building a $8 billion 615,000 b/d oil refinery at al-Zour. This refinery will be one of the world largest.

Qatar :
Qatar holds the world's third largest natural gas reserves. Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corporation inaugurted the largest operating liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facilities in the world.

This follows the start-up of the Qatargas 2 Train 4 in the second quarter of 2009. Each is designed with the capacity to produce 7.8 million tons per year, approximately 50 percent larger than any other global liquefaction facility currently operating outside of Qatar.

The biggest gas field in the world is located in the sea between Qatar and Iran. Qatar is expanding its fleet of ships to 40 to deliver liquified natural gas to countries around the world.

World largest gas exporters to form a cartel : Russian export monopoly Gazprom, Iran's National Oil Company and Qatar Liquefied Gas Company would hold 30 per cent each in a venture to export gas around the world. Another 10 per cent stake will be reserved for the most likely clients in China or South Korea.

Watch Qatar development :

Bahrain :
The breathtaking $1 billion Amwaj Islands – a group of man-made islands reclaimed from the crystal clear blue waters off the northernmost coast of Muharraq island in the Kingdom of Bahrain - is the flagship project of Ossis Property Developers B.S.C (c). The development covers an area of some 30 million square feet, is within easy access of the heart of Bahrain’s capital - Manama, and combines residential neighbourhoods, commercial districts and spectacular leisure resorts.

LuLu Island is one of the pioneering real estate development projects in Bahrain at the heart of Manama . This man made island is a partnership between the Government of Bahrain and The Mouawad Group Inc. For Real Estate Development. 39 Residential Buildings with a total of 1217 apartments, 1 Residential Icon Tower, 49 Chalets, 65 Villas, all overlooking private lagoons, a sea water enormous natural pool, 300 room 5-star Hotel with a private Marina & Yacht Club and a Spa Village, An Aquarium, A Medical Center, A Shopping Mall, A Multi Function Exhbition Center.

Monday, September 14, 2009

China to build more Nuclear Reactors in Pakistan !

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari completed his first state trip to Beijing on Oct. 17, signing a raft of new agreements with a nation he had hailed in Islamabad four days earlier as "the future of the world." China and Pakistan tied up at least 11 deals on trade and economic cooperation, infrastructure projects, agriculture, mining rights and telecommunications; they now aim to double bilateral trade, which currently stands at around $7 billion, by 2011.

The two countries have a long-standing, all-weather relationship, forged over decades of mutual animosity toward neighboring India, with whom they separately have fought wars. But Zardari's visit comes at a pivotal moment. His fledgling democracy is not only threatened by terrorism, but is also teetering toward bankruptcy. Spiraling inflation, now at 25%, has eaten into Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves at a rate of $1 billion a month and the country risks defaulting on debt repayment loans. These fiscal headaches have been compounded by a flare-up in tensions with its most vital ally, the U.S., which recently launched raids against terrorist targets in Pakistan's remote tribal areas without notifying Islamabad — actions that have triggered a firestorm of protest and clouded relations with Washington.

Enter China. With nearly $2 trillion amassed in foreign currency holdings, China's government had the largesse this week to grant Zardari an immediate soft loan of upwards of $1 billion, according to a report in the Financial Times. "As a long friend of Pakistan, China understands it is facing some financial difficulties," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang at a briefing with journalists on Oct. 16. Other new measures include the increase of access Pakistani goods will have in China's markets as well as agreements to launch special economic zones within Pakistan with tax incentives for Chinese companies.

Beyond this, Zardari's strengthening of ties with Beijing sends a clear signal to the U.S. On Oct. 8, Washington concluded a landmark nuclear energy deal with India — a pact that upset both Beijing and Islamabad, in part because it enabled India to skirt international regulations regarding the purchase of nuclear fuel, something the U.S. has ruled out offering Pakistan. Su Hao, professor of Asia-Pacific studies at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, says China's foreign policy establishment is "highly concerned about the U.S.-India contract, because it was a unilateral decision by the U.S."

A burgeoning Sino-Pakistani alliance may check what many in Islamabad and Beijing fear to be a solidifying Indo-U.S. consensus in the region. Though no official statement from either government was made, Pakistan's ambassador to Beijing, Masood Khan, told The Nation, a Pakistani daily, that obtaining nuclear reactors and fuel for civilian nuclear technology would be the "main item" in talks with Beijing this week. Apart from being Pakistan's main conventional arms supplier, China has played an integral part in building Pakistan's nuclear weapons industry. In turn, Islamabad allowed the Chinese to build a deep-sea facility in Gwadar, a $250 million project that, once completed, will give Beijing an immensely strategic listening post on the Persian Gulf.

Still, a geopolitical Cold War is not at hand. The fate of Pakistan's government remains tightly bound to the White House, and China's booming trade with India is exponentially more lucrative than its transactions with Pakistan. Zardari's trip this week, though, is a sign of the many poles springing up in the multi-polar 21st century.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

US in Direct talks with Provincial Governments in Pakistan for development Projects !

Amidst fears of a massive profit taking 'Sugar shortage scam' by the Sugar Mill owners -read politicians- and suspected involvement of the Sindh Government in massive land grabbing scams in Karachi the US is keeping the Zardari Government at arms length.

US has decided to give aid directly to specific projects and work through the provincial governments in Pakistan. Following Holbrooks visit to Pakistan the Governor Sindh and Karachi Mayor arrived in the US this week for project specific talks with the US.

The United States made it absolutely clear on Friday, days before President Asif Ali Zardari is to meet President Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in New York, that bulk of the money it will provide under the Kerry-Lugar Bill will not go directly to the PPP government but to specific projects and purposes for which it is intended.

This statement was made at a State Department briefing by Jacob J Lew, US Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources, who returned to Washington on Friday morning from a trip to Iraq, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.Lew spoke specifically about the “anxiousness” in Pakistan that money should flow through the government but he almost threw cold water on these hopes.

It was the latest indication that the US government was still grappling with the issue of a huge trust deficit and would not feel comfortable with aid money getting into the hands of the PPP government despite efforts in Washington to repair and whitewash the image of PPP leaders.

Jacob Lew told the briefing: “On the question of aid, there, as any of you who have seen the press releases put out would know, they’re very much anxious to have as much of the assistance as possible flow directly to the Pakistani government.

“We made clear that we’re looking at a variety of approaches, that we certainly intend to be supportive of Pakistani ministries where the programmes are ready to accept that support effectively, but that we also needed to look at the provincial level and to work with the traditional NGO community, and it wouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach.”

In a blunt statement, Lew said: “The key to us was that for each of the undertakings that we agreed upon, and they had to be things that were mutually attractive from the point of view of the Pakistani government and the US government, we had to choose a method of funding that was most likely to produce results efficiently and effectively, and that the money needed to go to the purposes for which it was intended.”

The official made it obvious that instead of providing aid to the government to spend wherever it liked, they would look at the ministry projects which are ready on a case to case basis and also provide direct aid to provinces and NGOs. That is what he meant by saying that “it would not be a one-size-fits-all approach.”

The US is talking directly to provincial governments and other organisations working inside Pakistan to come up with specific projects.A top level delegation of the MQM, headed by Governor of Sindh Ishratul Ebad and Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal, arrived in Washington on Saturday to talk directly to the State Department and other government agencies for projects in Karachi and Sindh. The visit apparently fits into the US policy of direct contacts for disbursing aid.

MQM Visit to the US :

The visit of MQM leaders has been specially authorised by the MQM secretariat in London and sources in London told The News that the channels of the Pakistan government, including the embassy, had not been used to arrange these meetings. The Pakistan embassy comments on the possibility that the embassy may have been ignored for these direct MQM contacts with US officials were not immediately available.

Jacob Lew also spoke about his visit to Pakistan in general. “We focused on a number of issues. I think, as you all know, with the Kerry-Lugar programme being worked through now in Congress and the budget process working through, in terms of the appropriations, we’re ready to take the next step and put a detailed programme out there that really goes and specifies what forms of assistance will be provided.

“In the conversations we had with the Pakistani officials ñ we met with Prime Minister Gilani, we met with Finance Minister Tarin ñ they are very much focused on not just the amount of assistance in Kerry-Lugar, but the fact that it’s a multi-year commitment. They see it as an extremely important statement from the United States that weíre thinking in multi-year terms and thinking about a programme that has integrity over a period of time.

“We had detailed discussions following up on the secretary’s interest and the issue that Ambassador Holbrooke raised when he was there recently, of an energy relationship with Pakistan, how we could work together using the assistance that we’re providing to help Pakistan address what is one of its core economic issues. We raised also the fact that itís not just a question of assistance on projects, but that Pakistan had to take some very hard steps to reform its electric utility sector in order for there to be the real opportunity for sustainable progress. I was pleased that both in the conversation with the prime minister and with the finance minister, they heard that message and they responded very positively.

The US secretary also talked about his visit to the NWFP and said there was a “great deal of interest there, much as we heard at the federal level, in having US assistance provide a basis for partnership at ñ for provincial development. ìThere also seemed to be a fair amount of capacity at the provincial level. It was ñ we were impressed that the chief minister had a very good sense of his budget, his needs, and his limitations. And you had the sense that there was the capacity to partner quite effectively.”

Lew said he also met NGO and international organisation officials on the ground and asked a lot of questions about what they saw as being the next steps.“And thereís obviously two things that theyíre focusing on. One is kind of getting the first round of IDPs back home and safe for the winter. But they also are aware that with ongoing military activities, there could be new IDPs. So theyíre kind of working on coming to some kind of closure on the current experience while knowing that there may be more ahead.

“They were all focusing on the need for ongoing food and clothing support. It was not clear, frankly, the scope of damage to be repaired. Apart from the reports we got about schools and police stations, one didnít have the sense that there had been the ability to do the detailed assessment. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are supposed to complete an assessment even this week. So we will work together as we go through that.

“I guess the conclusion that I drew from the days we spent were that the government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan have really done an extraordinary job in dealing with millions of displaced people in a way that, from the brief time we spent there, seemed to have left considerable feeling of ñ that people had been taken care of in very difficult circumstances. And it doesnít mean that there arenít problems. There certainly are still problems. But it ñ the notion of people taking tens of people into their homes, their small homes, on very modest incomes, it just ñ people-to-people ñ gave you great respect for the outpouring of help that came from just regular people,” he said.

10,000 Chinese Engineers working in Pakistan !

China increasing participation in Pakistan uplift projects

The number of Chinese engineers based in Pakistan have surged to 10,000 this year from 3,000 in 2008 working on 120 projects in different sectors of the economy. China has been increasing its involvement in projects in Pakistan by planning more activities for the future.

China is involved in a 750-kilometer railway linking the two countries from Havelian to the 4,730-meter high Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan, the area which has been elevated to the status of province recently. Havelian is linked with the rest of the rail network in Pakistan and the Chinese will lay track within its territory up to Khunjerab.

Analysts said that China is increasingly interesting in investing in Gilgit-Baltistan and in Pakistan's south-west where China is already involved in large development projects including Gwadar port, 7000 MW Bunji Dam in Gilgit-Baltistan, Lahore Mass Transit Bus System and Chashma Nuclear Plants I and II, JF-17 fighter jet to name a few.

A proposed Pakistan-China energy and trade corridor involving gas and oil pipelines and a rail link would start in Gwadar and enter China's Xinjiang region after running through the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

China's determination to maintain its interest in Pakistan was underlined recently by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Lou Zhaohui who told the media in Islamabad that "We are committed to complete all the projects on which Chinese are working."

Friday, September 11, 2009

China to Build Bunji Dam in Baltistan-Gilgit !

Bunji dam will be built in Shina Speaking Astore District of Baltistan-Gilgit. Astore is one of the six districts of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The district contains the Astore Valley and is bounded to the west by Diamer District (from which is was separated in 2004), to the north by Gilgit District, to the east by Skardu District and to the south by North-West Frontier Province, Neelum District of Azad Kashmir.

Pakistan and China have signed a memorandum of understanding for construction of Bunji dam in Northern Areas that will produce 7000 megawatt power.

The agreement was signed by Saleem Mandviwala on behalf of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power and Yang’an, Chairman of China’s Three Gorges Project Corporation. The ceremony was also attended by President Asif Ali Zardari, who is currently visiting China.

Earlier, addressing a business forum in Zhejiang, President Zardari offered transit facility to Chinese companies, saying Pakistan’s ports would benefit Chinese firms by giving them easy access to outside world. He sought Chinese assistance in hydel, thermal and solar power generation and invited Chinese companies to carry out feasibility studies.

“We need solar power for individual housing units and I want the Chinese to carry out study in Pakistan,” 
Zardari said.

President of the institute Li Yueming said the corporation has carried out studies of a couple of medium-sized dams in Azad Kashmir. It has built over 100 such dams around the world — Africa, South America and Turkey.

In a related development Pakistan and China have signed a $1 billion accord to construct 12 dams in Pakistan in all the four provinces.

A Chinese import/export bank would furnish $700 million loans, while the remaining $300 million would be taken care of by the Planning Commission (PC).

Sources say WAPDA had prepared a feasibility report, according to which 650,000 acres of land would be brought under irrigation. An MOU has been signed in this regard between WAPDA and Axiom Bank (import/export) of China.

When contacted, Chairman WAPDA Shakeel Durrani said the Axiom Bank would provide $700 million, while the remaining $300 would be furnished by Government of Pakistan.

The work on the construction of the 12 dams is said to commence during the current year.

Astore District :
Astore lies about the massive base of Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest peak in the world. To the south of the Nanga Parbat massif lies Rama Valley, which is home to Rama Lake, with basic facilities for visitors. It has a hotel called the PTDC, constructed by the government of Pakistan. Astore valley is a unique area for tourists to visit, surrounded by the high peaks of the far western Himalaya. Nearby the two river junction the village Louze, papular for apples,aprikot, cherry and other fruits especially the wild almond oil. Louze a small village with litresy rate of about 95%, the only biggest power house for electricity supply up to 1000 kW to whole district approx since 1987, nearby Louse a peaks include Nanga Parbat, Shaigiri, Rupal Peak, Chongra Peak and Laila Peak (Rupal Valley). Astore Valley ascends from the Indus River Valley near Jaglot, Pakistan. Deosai plains are the highest plateau in himalayas and are most picturesque with a bowl shapped lake ,wild flowers,and a habitat of brown bear.The easiest route from Astore is via,Gorikot,Gudai,Chilum and then a track leads to this area with little steep hike.Its been declared a Natural park ,a special status to preserve its fora and fauna.

Installed Capacity MW 7100
Annual Energy (GWh) 24000
Design Discharge m3/sec 1900
Design Head M 428
Tunnel Length KM 8.5
Height of Dam M 200

Musharraf coming back as PML-Q Head !

Looks like the next Pakistani election will be 3 sided battle. PPP, PML-Q and PML-N.
Small parties the MQM, ANP, JUI-F can be the 4th front !

LONDON: Former President Pervez Musharraf has decided to formally join politics and will start his political activities in the month of December.

The former military dictator had attained some important records before leaving the presidency which he has in his custody, said sources close to Musharraf.

The record is said to have agreements made before the departure of PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia, before signing NRO with the late Benazir Bhutto, telephone tapes of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto regarding their returns and other relevant material.

The former president could expose all the facts and figures if PPP and PML-N push him towards the wall, said the sources.

On the other hand, the top leadership of the PPP has reportedly communicated to Musharraf that the party has no intention to take any action what so ever against him.

Pervez Musharraf is planning to use the platform of PML for his political activities and efforts are underway in this regard.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Uqaab : Pakistan develops indigenous Drone !

Pakistan causes a buzz with its own UAV ! Uqaab , Jasoos, Bazz and Ababeel UAV or drones developed by Pakistan ! Private Pakistani company develops unique hand-launched mini-rocket UAV, called Firefly !

The Pakistan Army recently tested an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called Uqaab. The presence of Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on the occasion shows how seriously the Pakistani military is taking the UAV concept in the modern day battlefield. While no specifications for the new UAV were issued, the high-profile presence of senior army officers on the occasion and the publicity that followed it made it clear that the new UAV was apparently a breakthrough over what the country had earlier produced in this field. “The flight data collected indicates that all design parameters have been successfully validated,” a statement issued on the occasion said, adding: “The performance of the UAV Uqaab can be compared to any of modern state-of-the-art UAV in its category. The successful flight test is a reflection of Pakistan’s technical prowess in the field of UAV technology.”There are several companies in Pakistan that are involved in UAV production.

One Pakistani firm, Integrated Dynamics of Pakistan, has made a unique hand-launched mini-rocket UAV, called Firefly. It is a high-speed, short-range observation system that can fly for eight seconds and costs around $3,000.

Another UAV made by the same firm is called Desert Hawk, which has an endurance of two hours.Recent reports have revealed that Pakistan is also acquiring two types of UAV from Europe.

These are a German EMT LUNA short-range battlefield reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition UAV and Italian Galileo Avionica’s Falco tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV).On the other hand, Turkey and Pakistan are also working on UAVs. In this regard, a letter of intent was signed between the TAI and the Air Weapons Complex (AWC) in 2007, under which the TAI would provide electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility tests of a flight control system and communication interface units for UAVs.

There is little doubt that UAVs are becoming increasingly important day by day. The US is the leader in UAV technology, followed by Israel and the European countries. However, the gap between the Americans and other nations in the technology is enormous and could not be met any time soon. While UAVs that can fly for up to 60 hours have been developed, the Americans are working on a UAV that would be maintenance-free and have an endurance of up to five years, giving them an unlimited advantage in terms of reconnaissance. At the moment, however, one of the most advanced UAVs is the 12,110kg Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk that has a range of more than 22,000 kilometres.The Predator is yet another UAV that is being extensively used for combat and reconnaissance missions on the Pak-Afghan border and in Iraq. One report recently revealed that the US has 163 UAV programmes in operation, compared to 50 by France, 31 by Israel and 25 by Pakistan.Nevertheless, the journey to produce high-quality unmanned air vehicles is not going to be easy for Pakistan as it involves several daunting challenges.

First, it is essential that UAVs should have a very high operational reliability for the mission for which they are developed. One area in this respect is a good engine, which probably is the most difficult aspect in the designing of a UAV. Designers have to make sure that the engine can support the airframe, does not quit when it is most needed and does not give the UAV away. The engines should have low vibration and, therefore, a low signature.It should be able to support long-endurance missions over the target.Another area of operational reliability for a UAV comes from its airframe, which should be able to support the mission in all types of conditions, especially rough weather.

A different but a mammoth challenge comes in the shape of a UAV’s capability for precision-flying in terms of altitude and flight path so as not to compromise the mission. This, however, is not an easy task. The designers would have to make sure that the UAV can fly over the target for long durations and in adverse weather during day and night. An additional area would be the mating of the equipment on board, especially high-resolution cameras, the sensors.

As it is, UAVs are being developed for both military and civilian use. For example, UAVs are being used in dangerous situations like flying over active volcanoes, near hurricanes and tornadoes, regions of high radioactivity, over the poles and deserts, for fire-fighting, observation of civil disturbances and natural disasters. The result is that the UAV market is expanding at a fast pace, especially in the military sector, and is expected to reach around $15 billion by 2010. The issue of UAVs, regrettably, has also been used by the Americans to justify their attack on Iraq, duping their lawmakers and the UN. In 2002, US Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed that the Iraqis had transported their advanced UAVs to ships in the Atlantic Ocean to launch biological- and chemical-weapon attacks on the US East Coast. Iraq, meanwhile, did not have any UAVs, only a few outdated training drones. However, in December 2002, in the first-ever, though asymmetrical, dogfight, an Iraqi MiG-25 using a missile downed a US Predator.

While the armed forces have been using UAVson the border with India, the country also requires UAVs to monitor the movement of unwanted elements on its western borders, especially during the night. Also, UAVs would be greatly helpful in tracking the movement of smugglers and insurgents in Balochistan. On the other hand, the Indians, who have been concentrating on acquiring Israeli UAVs in the face of their not-so-successful indigenous programme, have been using them on the Pakistani borders. In June 2002, Pakistan shot down an Israeli-built Searcher Mark-II, which was on an Indian Air Force mission. It goes without saying that in the present geo-strategic situation, Pakistan needs to have its own fleet of modern unmanned aerial vehicles to which the future of the skies belongs

Integrated Dynamics Develops Drones in Pakistan :

Looking at the facility from outside, no one would guess what goes on within the 90,000-square-foot research facility of Integrated Dynamics (ID), a privately owned company in Karachi. There are no signboards indicating that ID is in the business of developing drone technology for military and civilian use.

Surprisingly, there isn’t even an army of security guards manning the complex as one would expect upon entering the gate. A lonesome gate keeper lets us in without a fuss. Even more startling is the ease with which R.S. Khan, ID's chief executive, states that ‘drone technology has existed in Pakistan for the last 20 years.’ Khan, who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics, is quick to clarify that his company has ‘never been asked to develop a drone which has an armed implication.’ Instead, ID develops advanced Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle (UAV) systems capable of reconnaissance missions as well as target decoys for anti-aircraft missiles. His customers, he says, include the armed forces of the country as well as foreign buyers from the US, Australia, Spain, Italy and France.

Although he may not have been asked to develop an armed drone, Khan, who previously worked as a consultant for Pakistan’s aerospace agency Suparco, points out: ‘If we consider the fact that drone development has been taking place in Pakistan for the last 20 years, I think the technology for flying long-range autonomous missions has existed for at least 10-12 years.’ Given Khan's estimations about local drone development, it is unclear why Pakistan is asking the US to handover its armed drone technology, especially that of the infamous Predator. President Asif Ali Zardari recently told the British daily Independent that the US should give Pakistan the ‘weapons, drones and missiles that will allow us to take care of’ the militant threat in the tribal areas.' ‘If you ask anyone in Pakistan involved in the business of making unmanned UAVs whether something similar to the Predator drone aircraft can be made, the answer would be yes,' explains Khan. 'I won’t say we can make it overnight or by tomorrow. But I won’t say either that it is a matter of decades. I would say that, if given the task, we can make such aircrafts in a few years.' As a technologist, Khan is hesitant to speculate as to why the Pakistan government or armed forces are not investing in home-made technology. 'I think you need to ask the policy makers that.

UAVs in Pakistan :
There are several public sector companies involved in developing UAVs in Pakistan, including the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), Air Weapons Complex (AWC) and National Development Complex (NDC).

The PAC's Uqaab drone is in use by the Pakistan Army is being upgraded with Chinese help to carry a weapons payload. Other PAC UAVs include the Bazz and Ababeel. AWC's Bravo+ UAV is in use of the Pakistan Airforce (PAF). The PAF recently acquired an unarmed Italian drone called the Falco UAV, which is reportedly being used for surveillance and battleground assessments in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In 2008, the Pakistan Navy also reportedly completed trials of UAVs - the Austrian Schiebel Camcopter S-100 and Swedish Cybaero - from a Pakistani frigate in the Arabian Sea.

Private sector companies are also involved in the design and development of UAVs. Apart from ID in Karachi, East-West Infinity (EWI), Satuma and Global Industrial Defense Solutions (GIDS) are in the drone-making business.

The EWI's Heliquad UAV is considered a stealth design because of its small size and Whisper Watch signals intelligence package, which is capable of picking up radio and other communication signals. ID's Nishan Mk1 and TJ1000, Vision MK1 & MK2, Tornado, Border Eagle, Hornet, Hawk and Vector are also popular models employed by the armed forces for reconnaissance missions and target practice (each model varies in range and endurance). Satuma's UAVs, with similar functionalities, are called Flamingo, Jasoos and Mukhbar. For its part, the GIDS develops the Huma-1 UAV and its own version of the Uqaab.

Even though almost all UAVs in the country have been built for military applications - reconnaissance, simulations, decoy systems, remote sensing - none of them are reported to be capable of firing arms. Moreover, none of the above-mentioned facilities are involved in large-scale, mass production of UAVs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Saudi Arabia digs around Makkah and Madina without Archaeologists

In the last decade the Saudi's have allowed archaeologists to zone in on the southwestern areas of the Kingdom. But Saudis have ignored the Islamic areas of Makkah and Madina where archaeologist are most needed to preserve Islamic artifacts. It's no wonder that the largest Islamic Museum is in London.

I have been trying to build on this story for a few weeks but I am amazed at the lack of information available on archeology and the holy cities.

Saudi authorities have started an ambitious project of building an infrastructure in the cities of Makkah and Madina to accommodate millions of pilgrims that visit the holy sites every year ! But what is astonishing that they started digging and construcion of buildings all around Makkah without Archaeologists. Is all that history under all those new sky scrappers gone for ever ? What's mind boggling that 75 to a 100 new buildings are being built. This requires digging upto 75 feet for the foundations unless they are building a basement. What we have lost is lost for ever.

Strangely enough there are no Makkahologists like we have Egyptologists. None of the Saudi Universities have academics to study Makkah and Madina like we have Egyptologists. An Egyptologist is any archaeologist, historian, linguist, or art historian who specializes in Egyptology.

But in a recent development the Saudis did allow archaeologists from the US and else where to dig up the past to excavate in the southwestern region but nothing around the holy sites of Makkah and Madina.

Saudi authorities also restricted foreign archaeologists to giving technical help to Saudi teams. Starting in 2000, they began a gradual process of easing up that culminated last year with American, European and Saudi teams launching significant excavations on sites that have long gone lightly explored, if at all.

At the same time, authorities are gradually trying to acquaint the Saudi public with the idea of exploring the past, in part to eventually develop tourism. After years of being closed off, 2,000-year-old Madain Saleh is Saudi Arabia's first UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to tourists. State media now occasionally mention discoveries as well as the kingdom's little known antiquities museums.

"It's already a big change," said Christian Robin, a leading French archaeologist and a member of the College de France. He is working in the southwestern region of Najran, mentioned in the Bible by the name Raamah and once a center of Jewish and Christian kingdoms.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Obama Digs Urdu Poetry !

If you want to make high-brow small talk at one of President Barack Obama’s cocktail parties, don’t bother brushing up your Shakespeare. Try reading Urdu poetry.

As POLITICO’s Ben Smith points out in his blog, Obama showed off his intellectual flair by evoking a standard of Pakistani culture in a recent interview with Dawn, a popular English-language newspaper in Pakistan.

“‘I would love to visit. As you know, I had Pakistani roommates in college who were very close friends of mine. I went to visit them when I was still in college; was in Karachi and went to Hyderabad. Their mothers taught me to cook,’ said Mr Obama.

‘What can you cook?’

‘Oh, keema ... daal ... You name it, I can cook it. And so I have a great affinity for Pakistani culture and the great Urdu poets.’

‘You read Urdu poetry?’

‘Absolutely. So my hope is that I’m going to have an opportunity at some point to visit Pakistan,’ said Mr Obama.”

It may sound somewhat esoteric, but this ancient form of mystical and oft-times philosophical love poetry has been popular in Pakistan and parts of India for centuries. And there are a few things to know before you try to impress the poetry-lover-in-chief.

One of the most popular poets was Mirza Ghalib, whose work dates from the mid-19th century. The still-popular art form usually features the story of a lover scorned by his beloved. And there is almost never a happy ending. “Often the beloved is often a total witch,” says Gwen Kirk, a University of Texas master’s candidate in the subject of Urdu poetry. “She breaks the lover’s heart all the time; she neglects him. It’s all about the process of trying to get closer to the beloved, and it’s got a lot of Sufi and mystical elements as well.”

The ghazal is the most common form of Urdu poetry, and, like sonnets, it follows strict rules of form: four to 12 couplets with a meter and rhyme scheme. But the similarities end there. Couplets in an Urdu poem can sometimes be completely unrelated to each other, each delving into themes that range from unrequited love to the meaning of life.

Fear not if your Urdu — one of two official languages in Pakistan — is a little rusty. Obama likely reads one of the many translated compilations of the texts, according to Kirk. Or if he is a truly savvy Urdu poetry enthusiast, he may choose to listen to the poems recited or sung, as it is commonly performed in the region.

Obama’s admission that he shares an affinity with the “great Urdu poets” may get him further in the region than most think. The language and poetry are commonly associated with Pakistan’s and India’s Muslim population, according to Kirk, and it remains intensely popular in the region — poetry recitals sometimes attract gatherings of thousands of people.

“It does show a willingness to understand that part of the world,” says Kirk.

And in general, it gives Obama further credibility as a supporter of the arts. Not only is he one of three American presidents to have poetry read at their Inaugurations, but he reads the stuff, too!

Want to dig into Urdu poetry? Here’s an example of what awaits you:

To hell with all hindering walls and doors!

Love’s eye sees as feather and wing, walls and doors.

My flooded eyes blur the house

Doors and walls becoming walls and doors.

There is no shelter: my love is on her way,

They’ve gone ahead in greeting, walls and doors.

The wine of your splendor floods

Your street, intoxicating walls and doors.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Massive Power Generation Projects in Pakistan !

Managing Director Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) Tahir Basharat Cheema on Saturday said that feasibility study of Tarbela IV extension project has been completed and the development work will be started soon to generate 900 MW electricity.

Addressing a press conference, the MD PEPCO said that an estimated cost of the project is $1.2 billion while feasibility reports of 740 MW Munda Hydro power project and 840 MW Suki Kenari have also been prepared and development work on projects will start soon.

He said development work on 4,500 Diamer-Bhasha Dam will also be started in May next year with estimated cost of $ 9.8 billion while work will be started on 1,100 MW Kohala Project with estimated cost of $ 1.7 billion.

He said the government was also ready to start work on Thar Coal based project of overall capacity of 6,000 MW with estimated cost of $ 7.2 billion.

He said 225 MW Atlas Power Project will start production by end of this month while Orient power project will start in June this year to generate 225 MW.

Tahir Basharat Cheema said overall 3,060 MW electricity will be generated by end of this year which will help in improving the power situation and there will be no load shedding after 2009.

He said out of total electricity to be generated during year 2009 around 1,542 MW electricity from rental projects while 1,519 MW will be generated by independent power producers (IPPs).

He added 800 MW additional power is also likely from captive power plant.

He said the government is committed to developing indigenous resources to produce un-interrupted electricity at affordable rate to country people.

He said in year 2010 around 300 MW electricity will be generated through rehabilitation of GENCOs plants while 502 MW will be added in system in next year through hydropower in public sector.

He said 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum project will start production in 2015 alongwith other projects which are in pipeline.

Tahir Cheema said the government has fixed the target of installation of minimum 9,700 MW electricity through wind and solar energy by the year 2030.

He added 4,000 homes in over 70 remote, off-grid villages have been electrified while 300 villages in Balochistan are being electrified through alternative energy.

He said overall 7,784 villages will be electrified. He said 50 MW solar thermal power plant will also be set up in the public sector.

300 MW Nuclear plant at Chashma II project will start operation in 2010.

He said there is estimated potential of over 200 MW of electricity generation through waste in major cities of the country while current installed capacity is 35 MW.

He said the government has formulated power sector strategy to meet the country's energy needs and underpin high levels of economic growth.

He added the strategy is based on principles included affordability, energy security and financial viability with strategic approaches like involving private sector, diversifying energy mix, fostering regional approach and developing indigenous resources.

He said the company is working to address challenges like high system losses besides improving recovery campaigns particularly in selected areas

Terrorised but Resiliant Pakistan Expecting $5.627 billion Foreign Investment in 13 projects

Although Pakistan is fighting a war against terrorism but a resilient Pakistan is expecting foreign Direct Investment (fDI) of $5.627 billion in 13 projects. Besides that there has been a constant stream of investors investing in Karachi Stock Exchange. KSE is on a two year high.

According to Board of Investment, the projects expecting investment include trade, construction, steel, infrastructure, automobile, telecom, power and banking sectors.
Even though Post-Musharraf foreign investment inflows have been slow but its on an upward trend.

A project of Al-Tawarqui Group of Saudi Arabia for steel manufacturing in Al-Tawarqui Steel Mill is also in the pipeline with an investment of $1 billion. An investment of $200 million and $21 million is in the pipeline for projects in trade, services and consumers products from M/s Metro Cash & Carry and M/s MAF Hypermarkets Pakistan (Pvt) Limited (Dubai) respectively.

An investment of $1 billion is in the pipeline by M/s Al Ghurair and the Giga Group of UAE for World Trade Centre, Gold Crest in DHA Islamabad and $450 million from M/s Pak-Gulf Construction Company (PGCL) for residential towers and hotel in the Centaurs in Islamabad.

A project of Al-Tawarqui Group of Saudi Arabia for steel manufacturing in Al-Tawarqui Steel Mill is also in the pipeline with an investment of $1 billion.
M/s Agility Logistics, Kuwait also invest $160 million in logistics centers Warehouses.
M/s Tianjin Renong Pesticide Industries Company and M/s Pak-China Chemical are planning $12 million investment in chemical sector.
China National Machinery and Equipment Import Export Corporation have a project in the pipeline for investing $450 to $500 million in Sonda-Jherruk Integrated Coal Mine & Power Plant Project.
A project of M/s Haier to invest $200 million in infrastructure development at China-Pakistan Economic Zone is also in the pipeline.
M/s King Long United Automotive Industry of China also wanted to invest $1.3 million in automobile sector.
Telenor Norway will invest $1.8 billion in telecom sector.
M/s Atlas Group would invest $250 million in power and $33 million in banking sector, according to BoI.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Karachi Circular Railway Project Approved !

The Pakistan Railways will have 60 per cent share in the corporation, Sindh government 25 per cent and the City District Government of Karachi 15 per cent. Delays had pushed KCR project cost up to $1.58 bn.

Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal has plenty to celebrate. The $1.53 billion Karachi Circular Railway Project was approved by the Federal Government.

Karachi Urban Transport Company has geared up efforts to devise the resettlement action plan of the ambitious Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project. Modification and inordinate delay had raised the project cost to $1.58 billion. Official sources said Japan’s ministry of economy, trade & industry would arrange funds for the project through the Japan Bank of International Cooperation. They said Japan had commissioned a soft loan at a nominal mark-up with a long-term payback time and a grace period of 10 years.

The system will have advanced technology to provide facilities of international standard to around 700,000 daily commuters.

“This drastic rise in the project cost is due to upgradation and time overrun to avoid cost overrunning in the end”, explains the source in the Railways. “We may end up saving some money in the end but we can’t afford running after capital.”

One of the important modifications has been added to the existing plan of reviving KCR is the elevation of the KCR tracks measuring about 20 to 22 kilometres to avoid trespassing. This split segments of elevated route will also see 11 stations being elevated.

According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has been constantly updating the blueprint of KCR revival, there are about 85 sites on the proposed KCR loop, where trespassing has become routine. This forced the planners to come up with an innovative solution of elevating 11 stations.

Authorities are trying to devise limited access to the stations on the KCR, thinking of allowing commuters to board trains only if they have the smart card or e-tickets. They have plans to fence the tracks forming the KCR loop in a bid to avoid accidents besides ensuring fast and smooth service.

The KUTC has plans to connect the airport to the KCR loop by laying out six kilometres of underground tracks very much along the pattern of the Delhi Metro. “We are also working on the interval between two trains called as headway to attract commuters”, an official said. “Headway in Delhi is six minutes”.

Another important feature of the revival of the KCR is the redesigning the 3.5-milometre track on the KCR loop, where the Karachi Urban Transport Company (KUTC) will create a tunnel, covering three stations between Gulistan-e-Jauhar to Gulshan-e-Iqbal. This is recommended keeping in view of the topography of the area, which is rocky.

Besides such remarkable changes in the project design, the KUTC officials also cited domestic and international recession responsible for the rise in project’s total cost, which was earlier estimated to be around $872 million.

According to the proponents of the project, the KCR is being revived through a development loan from Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) at a highly subsidized rate of 0.2 per cent mark-up. The loan is payable within 40 years, with an initial 10-year grace period.

Since the KCR project is JBIC-funded project, the KUTC is bound to follow the Japanese and World Bank’s guidelines for resettlements. A socio-economic survey pertinent to Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) has also been sought to collect demographic conditions of the project area.

Sources at the KUTC said a JICA team is scheduled to visit Pakistan in July to meet KUTC and other top railway and finance ministry’s officials in this regard.

The KCR went off the tracks in 1997 due to heavy losses incurred by the Pakistan Railways. Amidst chaotic and often subhuman bus services, people preferred owning their own means of transport. It led the vehicular traffic swelling manifold causing severe hardships to commuters, left at the mercy of private sector buses.

Now the KUTC has been entrusted with resurrecting the KCR along the 55-kilometre tracks as a viable travel mode within the city, where travel time on bus has shot up nearly 45 per cent in a year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pakistan Increasing Nuclear Arsenal, Missiles Range and Deployment Capability !

Pakistan is enhancing its nuclear weapon capabilities across the board by developing and deploying new nuclear-capable Cruise and Ballistic Missiles and expanding its capacity to produce fissile materials through Plutonium and Uranium for use in weapons. Pakistan is replacing its heavy uranium-based weapons with smaller, lighter plutonium-based designs that could be delivered further by ballistic missiles than its current warheads that use cruise missiles.

Pakistani missiles the Shaheen II, with its 2,000 km range. The Ghauri missile in Pakistan's arsenal has a range of 1500 km. The Hatf-III has an 800 km range.

Pakistan's Expanded Nuclear Capacity in a Nutshell :
Nuclear Weapons increased to 70 to 90.
Two new plutonium production reactors near Khushab.
Building a second chemical separation facility.
Two new Nuclear Plants 300 MW each at Chashma.
Expanding uranium hexafluoride and uranium metal are production.
Fabricating new weapons that use plutonium cores.
Development of two Nuclear capable Cruise Missile including Hatf-7 and Hatf-8.
Devleopment of Nuclear capable Ballistic missiles Shaheen, Ghauri and Gaznavi.

Fearful of its rivals Pakistan has expanded its Nuclear Arsenal. Pakistan has an estimated arsenal of about 70 –90 nuclear weapons and is busily enhancing its capabilities across the board. A new nuclear-capable ballistic
missile is being readied for deployment, and two nuclear capable
cruise missiles are under development. Two new plutonium
production reactors and a second chemical separation facility
also are under construction.

It is exceedingly difficult to estimate precisely how many nuclear
weapons Pakistan has produced, how many are deployed, and of
what types. It is equally troublesome to guess what its future plans
might be. In 1999, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency estimated
that Pakistan had between 25 and 35 nuclear warheads and projected
that it would have between 60 and 80 by 2020.1 Yet Rolf Mowatt-
Larssen, formerly the CIA’s top official on weapons of mass destruction
and the Energy Department’s director of intelligence and
counterintelligence during the Bush administration, recently noted
a more accelerated pace: “It took them roughly 10 years to double
the number of nuclear weapons from roughly 50 to 100.”

Although Pakistan’s arsenal is clearly increasing, several factors
suggest that it may not have reached 100 warheads quite yet. First,
Pakistan is thought to have produced approximately 2,000 kilograms
of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and 90 kilograms of separated
military plutonium by early 2008.3 While these amounts are
sufficient for between 80 and 130 implosion-type warheads, assuming
15–25 kilograms of HEU are used for each warhead’s solid core,
it is unlikely that all of this material has been turned into weapons.
Second, Pakistan does not have enough delivery vehicles to accommodate
that many weapons. Furthermore, since all of its missile and
aircraft types are dual-capable, only a portion of them may have a
nuclear mission. Third, beyond the fissile material it has committed
to weapons that are deployed or await deployment, Pakistan probably
keeps stocks for future use.

The precise amount of plutonium or uranium needed for a bomb
depends on two variables: the technical capabilities of the scientists
and engineers and the desired yield. The better the technical
capability, the less material is needed for a given yield, while higher
yields require more material. While we do not know the skill level
of Pakistani bomb designers, medium technical capabilities certainly
seem plausible, which would require approximately 20 kilograms
of HEU and 3 kilograms of plutonium for a warhead designed
to have a yield of 10 kilotons.4 Pakistan’s weapons have been estimated
to have yields of between 5 and 10 kilotons, judging by its few
nuclear tests. Pakistan claimed it conducted six tests on May 28 and
30, 1998, yet most experts concluded based on seismic signals that
there were only two tests. With warhead production probably well
underway, if not already completed, for the Shaheen II mediumrange
ballistic missile, and deployment of the Babur cruise missile
anticipated within the next few years, we estimate a current Pakistani
nuclear stockpile of about 70–90 warheads.

Following the example of other nations that have developed nuclear
weapons, Pakistan is improving its weapon designs, moving beyond
its first-generation nuclear weapons that relied on HEU. For at
least a decade, Pakistan has been pursuing plutonium-based designs.
Central to that effort is the 40–50-megawatt heavy water Khushab
plutonium production reactor, which was completed in 1998 and is
located at Joharabad in the Khushab district of Punjab. Six surface-toair
missile batteries surround the site to protect against air strikes. As
a sign of its confidence in its plutonium designs, Pakistan is building
two additional heavy water reactors at the Khushab site, which will
more than triple the country’s plutonium production.

In anticipation of this increased plutonium production capacity,
Pakistan also is expanding its capabilities to reprocess it. The Pakistan
Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology near Rawalpindi
was Pakistan’s original pilot chemical separation facility where
plutonium from the first Khushab reactor was separated. Satellite
images show a second under-construction separation facility adjacent
to the original that could handle the plutonium produced in the
two new Khushab reactors. Work also may have resumed on a partially
built separation plant that dates from the 1970s. This plant is
located at Chasma, where Pakistan operates a 300-megawatt commercial
reactor (CHASNUPP-1) and plans to build three more, one
of which is under construction. Additionally, Pakistan is expanding
its facilities at Dera Ghazi Khan, in southern Punjab, where uranium
hexafluoride and uranium metal are produced.

All of these efforts suggest that Pakistan is preparing to increase
and enhance its nuclear forces. In particular, the new facilities provide
the Pakistani military with several options: fabricating weapons
that use plutonium cores; mixing plutonium with HEU to make composite
cores; and/or using tritium to “boost” warheads’ yield (loading
the reactors’ targets with lithium 6 will produce tritium). Absent
a successful full-scale thermonuclear test, it is premature to suggest
that Pakistan is producing two-stage thermonuclear weapons, but
the types of facilities under construction suggest that Pakistan has
decided to supplement and perhaps replace its heavy uranium-based
weapons with smaller, lighter plutonium-based designs that could be
delivered further by ballistic missiles than its current warheads and
that could be used in cruise missiles. Pakistan has repeatedly stated
that it won’t break the testing moratorium that has been in place in
South Asia since 1998, yet if its neighbor India tested a weapon, Pakistan
would likely follow suit for political and technical reasons.

Nuclear command and control:
Concern about the physical security of Pakistan’s nuclear
weapons has increased in the past few
years, particularly in light of the insurgent uprisings in the northern
parts of the country. In February 2008, Lt. Gen. Khalid Kidwai,
the director general of Pakistan’s Strategic Plans Division (SPD),
who is in charge of all aspects of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons except
field operations, acknowledged that at nuclear facilities the “state
of alertness had gone up.” “We have institutionalized the structures
[overseeing the nuclear arsenal] and introduced modern technology
so there are sufficient firewalls, safety, and security built into the
chain of command, as well as into the weapons and weapon producing
facilities.”7 Then-President Pervez Musharraf later added that
the SPD and the Army Strategic Force Command has “a strength of
between 12,000 and 15,000 people.”

U.S. officials have said there is no reason to believe that Pakistan’s
arsenal faces an imminent threat. Yet their knowledge of the
arsenal is limited, as the Pakistani government has deflected U.S.
requests for more information about the location and security of the
sites, perhaps fearful that U.S. commandos might seize them if the
nation tumbles into chaos. We do not know the status of a U.S. security-
assistance program intended to upgrade the physical protection
of some Pakistani facilities and train guards, but it is apparently
behind schedule. “We are largely relying on assurances, the same
assurances we have been hearing for years,” one senior official told
the New York Times. “The worse things get, the more strongly they
hew to the line, ‘Don’t worry, we’ve got it under control.’”

We do not know what kinds of “use-control” features Pakistan
employs on its nuclear weapons. Lieutenant General Kidwai reportedly
said in 2006, “Pakistani nuclear controls include some functional
equivalent to the two-man rule and permissive action links” used
by other nuclear weapons states.10 Furthermore, the weapons are
believed to be stored unassembled with the nuclear cores separate
from the rest of the weapon, and the weapon storage areas are some
distance from the delivery vehicles, under normal circumstances.
The precise location of the storage areas is extremely sensitive
information, but U.S. officials recently provided a general picture of
the situation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently told Congress
that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons “are widely dispersed in the
country—they are not at a central location,” and senior U.S. officials
later said that most of the arsenal was south of Islamabad.

Nuclear-capable aircraft:
The Pakistani Air Force most likely
assigns its U.S.-manufactured F-16s a nuclear mission, though it
also could use French-manufactured Mirage Vs or JF-17. JF-17 was developed by Pakistan and China after US refused to give Pakistan deliveries of F-16 in the 90's.

The Pakistani Air Force deploys its F-16s with Squadrons 9 and 11
at Sargodha Air Base, which is located 160 kilometers northwest of
Lahore. The F-16 has a refueled range of more than 1,600 kilometers,
and that range can be extended if the planes are equipped with drop
tanks. The aircraft can carry up to 5,450 kilograms externally on one
under-fuselage centerline pylon and six underwing stations. The
F-16s with nuclear missions under NATO control can each carry up
to two B61 nuclear bombs, but Pakistan’s F-16s most likely carry a
single bomb on the centerline pylon because the arsenal’s uraniumbased
weapons likely are heavier than the 343-kilogram B61.
Sargodha’s weapons storage area has igloos but lacks the extra
security features that would suggest that the base stores nuclear
weapons. The assembled nuclear bombs and/or bomb components
assigned to the F-16s stationed at the base may be kept at the large
Sargodha Weapons Storage Complex 10 kilometers south of Sargodha.
Another alternative is that, fearing a first strike by India, Pakistan
stores its weapons at operational or satellite bases west of Sargodha,
where the F-16s could disperse to pick up their bombs.

Ballistic missiles:
Pakistan has three types of operational ballistic
missiles that are considered capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.
These include the short-range ballistic missiles Ghaznavi (Hatf-
3) and Shaheen-1 (Hatf-4) and the medium-range Ghauri (Hatf-5). A
fourth missile, the Shaheen-2 (Hatf-6), may soon become operational.
The solid-fueled, single-stage Ghaznavi entered service in 2004
and can deliver a 500-kilogram payload approximately 400 kilometers.
We don’t know how many Ghaznavis Pakistan deploys or keeps
in storage. The missile is believed to be derived from the Chinese
M-11 missile, of which approximately 30 were delivered to Pakistan
in the early 1990s. The Ghaznavi is launched from a four-axle, roadmobile
transporter-erector-launcher; Pakistan deploys fewer than 50
such launchers. Some Ghaznavis might be deployed south of Sargodha
at a large weapons storage facility that has 12 missile garages. Pakistan
test-launched a Ghaznavi on February 13, 2008, from an undisclosed
location as part of the army’s annual field-training exercise.
Production of the missile appears to be complete, with the last batch
reportedly delivered to the army in April 2007.13
Pakistan’s Shaheen-1 is a reverse engineered M-9 missile originally
supplied by China. The solid-fueled, single-stage missile has been in
service since 2003, can strike targets in excess of 450 kilometers—
though some observers suggest the range is closer to 700 kilometers
—and can deliver a payload of up to 1,000 kilograms. The Shaheen-1
is carried on a four-axle, road-mobile launcher similar to the one
that carries the Ghaznavi, and like the Ghaznavi, fewer than 50 such
launchers are deployed. The army last test-launched the Shaheen-1
on January 25, 2008.

Islamabad claims that its two-stage Shaheen-2 medium-range ballistic
missile, unveiled seven years ago at the Pakistan Day parade
but still under development, has a range of 2,050 kilometers and can
carry a 1,000-kilogram payload. The missile is carried on a six-axle,
road-mobile launcher, and satellite images of the National Defense
Complex near Fatehjang appear to show 15 launchers at various
stages of being equipped with their missile erector. The army conducted
two operational readiness launches of the missile on April 19
and April 21, 2008, indicating that the Shaheen-2 is close to becoming

The 1,200-kilometer medium-range Ghauri (Hatf-5) is Pakistan’s
only liquid-fueled nuclear-capable ballistic missile. First deployed in
2003, the single-stage missile can deliver a payload of 700–1,000 kilograms.
The Ghauri might be replaced by the Shaheen-2.

Cruise missiles:
Pakistan also is developing two cruise missiles
that U.S. Air Force intelligence estimates may be nuclear capable.
The ground-launched Babur (Hatf-7) has been test-launched five
times, most recently on December 11, 2007. U.S. intelligence agencies
estimate that the missile has a range of about 320 kilometers, while
media reports frequently suggest the range is from 500 to 700 kilometers.
Pakistani officials describe the Babur as a “low-flying, terrain-
hugging missile with high maneuverability, pinpoint accuracy,
and radar-avoidance features.”14 The Babur appears to be similar to
the new Chinese DH-10 air-launched cruise missile and the Russian
AS-15. The Babur is significantly slimmer than Pakistan’s ballistic
missiles, which suggests that Pakistani engineers have made progress
in warhead miniaturization, perhaps based on a new and smaller
plutonium warhead. A submarine-launched version of the Babur,
which has been rumored to be in the work, has not yet materialized.
The air-launched Ra’ad (Hatf-8), or “Thunder,” which has the
same range as the Babur, was first test-launched on August 25, 2007
by a Mirage aircraft; a second test-launch occurred on May 8, 2008.
A Pakistani military spokesman described the Ra’ad as a low-altitude,
terrain-following missile with high maneuverability and as
equipped with “special stealth capabilities” to provide “a great strategic
standoff capability on land and at sea.”

F-16a/b 1,600 1 bomb (4,500)
mirage V 2,100 1 bomb (4,000)
JF-17 1,600 1 bomb (4500)

Ballistic missiles :
Ghaznavi (Hatf-3) ~400 conventional or nuclear (500)
Shaheen-1 (Hatf-4) 450+ conventional or nuclear (1,000)
Shaheen-2 (Hatf-6)* 2,000+ conventional or nuclear (1,000)
Ghauri (Hatf-5) 1,200+ conventional or nuclear (1,000)

Cruise missiles:
babur (Hatf-7)* 320+ conventional or nuclear
ra’ad (Hatf-8)* 320+ conventional or nuclear