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May 19, 2015

Pakistan military says its spies will cooperate with Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – After years of antagonism and accusations, spy agencies in Pakistan and Afghanistan will now share information, the Pakistani military said, in another sign frosty relations between the neighbours may be gradually thawing.

Improved ties are key to tackling stubborn Taliban insurgencies on both sides of the border but there is a long legacy of suspicion to overcome.

May 12, 2015

Pakistan says plans to privatise three power companies next year

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan plans to privatise three of its top-performing power distribution companies next year, officials said Tuesday, part of a wider programme of privatisations aimed at improving the Pakistani economy.

Privatising the power companies will not be a simple process. The government sells electricity for less than it costs to produce it. Because subsidies go unpaid, companies cannot buy fuel. That so-called “circular debt” is more than $6 billion, or two percent of GDP.

May 5, 2015

Texas gunman had happy childhood in Pakistan but struggled in U.S.

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Nadir Soofi, a gunman shot dead after opening fire at a Texas exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, was a popular schoolboy in Pakistan but struggled to adjust to the United States after moving there as a teen, friends said on Tuesday.

Soofi’s story appeared to trace a familiar arc for some Western Islamists – disappointment, alienation, and a search for belonging that ended with the embrace of militancy.

Apr 30, 2015

Pakistan pins hopes on gas imports, but snags slow progress

ISLAMABAD, April 30 (Reuters) – Pakistan plans to install
new gas import terminals and pipelines to underpin an economic
revival linked to $46 billion in Chinese deals, but its
ambitions are being undermined by poor planning, price
uncertainty and security concerns, industry experts said.

The government wants to increase imports to fuel industry
expansion and reduce daily blackouts. It also aims to boost
domestic gas production in the long term.

Apr 19, 2015

Chinese president to launch economic corridor link in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Chinese president Xi Jinping is due in Pakistan on Monday where he will launch $46 billion in projects linking the old allies, a figure that far exceeds U.S. spending in Pakistan and underscores China’s projection of power in Asia.

The infrastructure and energy projects are aimed at establishing a Pakistan-China Economic Corridor between Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and China’s western Xinjiang region.

Apr 16, 2015

Chinese president to visit Pakistan, hammer out $46-billion deal

ISLAMABAD, April 16 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping
will launch energy and infrastructure projects worth $46 billion
on a visit to Pakistan next week as China cements links with its
old ally and generates opportunities for firms hit by slack
growth at home.

Also being finalised is a long-discussed plan to sell
Pakistan eight Chinese submarines. The deal, worth between $4
billion and $5 billion, according to media reports, may be among
those signed on the trip.

Apr 11, 2015

Pakistan to raise more than $1 billion via Habib Bank sale

KARACHI, Pakistan, April 11 (Reuters) – Pakistan will raise
more than $1 billion by selling its entire stake in Habib Bank
Limited, a government official said Saturday, a deal that will
be the country’s biggest privatisation so far.

The government will sell its 42.5 percent stake in
Pakistan’s biggest bank at 168 rupees (about $1.68) per share
after a successful book-building exercise last week, Mohammad
Zubair, the chairman of the Privatisation Commission, said.

Apr 9, 2015

Iran minister meets Pakistan military chief amid Yemen dilemma

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Pakistan’s powerful military chief Thursday, as the Pakistan government wrestled with a dilemma over how to respond to a request from Saudi Arabia for Pakistani troops to fight in Yemen.

Zarif was winding up a two-day trip during which he was expected to urge Pakistan to reject the Saudi request for troops, planes and naval support for a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-allied Houthi fighters in Yemen.

Apr 8, 2015

Pakistan and U.S. close in on $1 billion helicopter, weapons deal

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan and the United States moved closer to a billion dollar defense deal this week, after U.S. authorities notified Congress of a proposal to supply helicopters and missiles to sharpen up Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts.

U.S. ally Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people, is fighting a Taliban insurgency in its northwest, a separatist insurgency along its Iranian border in the west, and has a heavily militarized and disputed border with arch rival India in the east.

Apr 8, 2015

Iran’s foreign minister due in Pakistan to discuss Yemen

ISLAMABAD, April 8 (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif was due in Pakistan on Wednesday and is
likely to urge it to reject a request to join a Saudi-led
campaign against Iran-allied Houthi forces in Yemen.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called on Tuesday for
Iran to get involved in talks on security in Yemen as parliament
debated whether Pakistan should join the Saudi-led operation.

    • About Katharine

      "Katharine Houreld has lived in Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya and spent nine years reporting from Africa before joining Reuters as the Afghanistan/Pakistan correspondent in 2012."
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