ISLAMABAD: Government on last day of the year 2010 gave a new-year gift of massive hike in prices of petroleum products to the nation with petrol becoming expensive by a whopping Rs6.71 and diesel Rs4.25 per litre, Geo News reported Friday.
Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has issued the notification to this effect and with the beginning of new-year at 12 am, petrol will become expensive by Rs6.71 per litre; diesel price will go up by Rs4.25 a litre; Kerosene oil Rs4.04 and; Light Diesel Rs4.36 and; rate of High Octane will shoot up by 7.69 a litre.
The government has withdrawn the reduction made in petroleum levy in the previous month, sources said.
As usual, sale of petrol and diesel was suspended at many petrol pumps across the country soon after the reports of rise in prices of petroleum products aired on media.
The fresh increase in prices of petroleum products will unleash a massive spell of price spiral, further burdening the people who are already unable to bear the existing inflation.
Reacting with highest degree of ire, the common people have totally rejected the government’s move that will only unleash a new tsunami of price hike for Pakistanis.
TWO NATO soldiers were killed in separate rebel attacks in southern and western Afghanistan on the last day of 2010, NATO said, taking the death toll for foreign forces to at least 711 for the year.
An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service member “died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan today”, ISAF said in a statement.
In a separate statement, the force said that another soldier “died following an insurgent attack in western Afghanistan today”.
2010 has been by far the bloodiest year for foreign forces in the nine-year battle against the Taliban. In 2009, 521 of them died in the country.
Around 140,000 foreign troops, most of them from the US, are in Afghanistan to support the government of Hamid Karzai.It would not give further details of the incidents in which the soldiers were killed and would not reveal their nationalities, in line with its policy.
At least 711 foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan this year, according to an AFP tally based on that kept by independent website iCasualties.org.
America is often portrayed as the big dog in Pakistan’s yard: a swaggering power that makes rules, barks orders and throws its weight around. But the WikiLeaks cables highlight the understated yet insistent influence of another country with ideas about Pakistan’s future: Saudi Arabia. According to a Guardian report, in recent years, Saudi rulers have played favourites with Pakistani politicians, wielded their massive financial clout to political effect and even advocated a return to military rule. “We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants,” the Saudi ambassador to the US, Adel al Jubeir, boasted in 2007. A senior US official later bemoaned as “negative” the Saudi influence. Saudi Arabia has longstanding ties with Pakistan. In the 1980s Saudi intelligence, along with the CIA, funded the anti-Soviet “jihad” in Afghanistan. Since then the Saudis have given billions in financial aid and cut-price oil. In January 2009, Abdullah told James Jones, then the US national security adviser, that Pakistan Army was “staying out of Pakistani politics in deference to US wishes, rather than doing what it ‘should’”. Abdullah’s preference for military rule was recorded by the Saudis’ American guests, “They appear to be looking for ‘another Musharraf’ – a strong, forceful leader they know they can trust.” His views were echoed by the interior minister, who said Saudi Arabia viewed the army as its “winning horse” in Pakistan. Meanwhile, US diplomats see the Saudis as allies but also competitors for influence in Pakistan. In 2009, special envoy Richard Holbrooke warned Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef of “unimaginable” consequences for Saudi Arabia if Pakistan fell apart, especially if its nuclear weapons fell into unfriendly hands. But in Islamabad, American diplomats have sought to diminish Saudi influence by allying with another Muslim country, Turkey. After a meeting with the Turkish ambassador in May 2009, ambassador Anne Patterson noted that moderate, progressive Turkey presented a “positive role model” for Pakistan. daily times monitor
The Chinese government on Thursday broke its silence over the controversial claims made by leaked United States embassy cables, describing the WikiLeaks documents as “absurd and ridiculous”.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also called on the U.S. government to “handle the relevant issue properly,” when asked if China thought the content of the diplomatic cables should have been kept secret.
The leaked cables contain several embarrassing references to China’s diplomacy, from its officials describing ally North Korea as “a spoiled child” to accusations made by U.S. diplomats that top Chinese
leaders were involved in business deals in North Korea.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said on Thursday she would not comment on the cables, describing the content of the WikiLeaks website as “absurd and ridiculous”.
The Foreign Ministry had said on Tuesday it would not respond to any of the claims made by the cables, but stressed it did not want its relations with the U.S. “disturbed”.
The WikiLeaks website remains inaccessible in China, blocked by the system of Internet restrictions popularly known as the “Great Firewall”.
Asked if the Chinese government had made a decision to block the website, Ms. Jiang only said China’s administration of the Internet followed international practices and was “according to law”. China’s Internet, she added, was “open”.