Tag Archives: Belt

Last Bike The new 145mm Cinto All-mountain bike is Handcrafted in Germany | Instant News


Germany’s Last Motor added a fourth model to their impressive lineup today, called Belt. The new frame will accept 29 ” or mixed wheels, with a single-axle 145mm rear suspension moving through a pair of flexible fixed carbon seats behind the 160 to 170mm forks.

The CNC single alloy carbon frame and rocker will be made in Germany, and buyers can opt for a custom paint job for a little extra cash or keep the carbon look with a clear finish. À la carte frames sell for € 3,999, and range from € 4,368 and up with a variety of stock shocks, or € 5,078 with BC Intend Hover special edition shocks (shown).

Before we dig into the details, note that this is the first bike we’ve seen with a downtube storage compartment after Specialized and Trek added it to many of their bikes. Hopefully this is the start of a rapid trend. The Cinto storage cover is a CNC alloy guard that attaches magnetically to the frame, with bolts for the water bottle in all four frame sizes.

The Cinto frame uses a flexible chain that keeps replacing the rear axle, reducing weight and eliminating typically problematic hardware positioning. To provide maximum flexibility to the chain, the rear brake caliper is attached to the chain stop.

The new frame will use the SRAM universal shifting hanger for easy replacement, a comfortable 73mm bottom bracket and a removable ISCG tab so people who don’t want a chain guide can save weight. Lastly, the internal cable routing is all tube-in-tube to keep everything mute, and the frame comes with a five year warranty.

In the geometry table, the range measurements across the four sizes are 442, 464, 495, and 528mm with the 431mm chain fixed at the two smaller sizes, and the ride balance of 437mm and 443mm remaining at the two larger sizes. The head tube angle is a reasonable 65 °, conforming to what they call an all-mountain ride, and an effective seat tube angle of 77 ° will help the bike climb all those mountains. Super short seat tube, starting at 385 mm to accommodate dropper travel and short inseams.

The Cinto’s suspension leverage curve provides a 29% progressivity, so the rider can choose his preferred coil or air-sprung shock. The anti-squat on Cinto is specific to four frame sizes, to take into account the center of gravity of the moving rider along with the size of the frame.

Click to Last Bike for additional information.

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Pakistan promotes the Belt and Road port for Central Asian trade | Instant News


KARACHI – Pakistan is offering access to Gwadar port, a strategic component in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to landlocked Central Asian countries in hopes of stimulating activity at the idle facility.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan recently met Abdulaziz Kamilov, Uzbekistan’s foreign minister, to sign bilateral agreements on preferential trade, transit procedures, customs cooperation and visa issuance.

In November 2018, the government of Uzbekistan initiated a proposal for a rail corridor through Afghanistan to gain access to Pakistani ports. Uzbekistan is landlocked, and until recently relied on the Iranian port of Banda Abbas, located 850 km west of Gwadar, to handle its foreign trade.

According to Uzbek media, a 600 km long line has been proposed to connect Termez in Uzbekistan with Peshawar in Pakistan. It will connect with the $ 6.8 billion Main Line 1 project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, (CPEC), BRI’s flagship project.

The proposed line will be built in five years and is expected to reduce the cost of transporting goods between Central Asia and Pakistan by about a third, according to the Uzbek report.

China Economic Net, a Chinese state business newspaper, reported that Uzbekistan is also considering a second route through China to access Pakistani ports.

“Uzbekistan is a great match for BRI in Pakistan because of its important location for a logistics hub in Central Asia,” Lukasz Przybyszewski, a West Asia analyst for the Asian Research Center at the Warsaw Academy of War Studies, told Nikkei Asia.

“Harmonization of development between the two countries may be difficult, but in the end the economic convergence induced by BRI will maintain this relationship,” he said.

Przybyszewski described linking Gwadar to Central Asia as an organic extension of the BRI, and as an attempt to unlock the economic potential of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

“The key to the success of BRI is to encourage participating countries to improve interconnection and intermodal logistics,” he said.

Analysts say Pakistan’s move is intended to increase trade movements through Gwadar, and make it the center of attention at CPEC.

According to the MyShipTracking website, only six cargo ships stopped at Gwadar last year, while 80 ships were processed via Bandar Abbas during the same period.

Gwadar has been the target of a security threat that has prompted the government to start building barbed wire fences around the port. It was halted in December after strong local protests.

James M. Dorsey, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, believes that Gwadar needs more than just a basic CPEC investment to succeed. “The port could be successful if there were offers in the form of foreign investment, security and proper infrastructure that were missing from Gwadar,” he told the Nikkei.

Jeremy Garlick, assistant professor of international relations at the University of Economics in Prague, also highlighted the shortcomings of Gwadars. “Gwadar is little used, with a low volume of stuff,” he told the Nikkei. “Unless there is a new burst of activity on the Chinese side, Gwadar will look like a white elephant.”

Pakistan hopes promoting its port of Gwadar to Central Asian countries will revive its near-idle facilities. © Reuters

Garlick believes that Gwadar can succeed if it is repositioned as a regional port. “The use of Gwadar for trade transit with Afghanistan and Central Asia is more realistic compared to Xinjiang,” he said, noting that it needs substantial investment in transport, infrastructure and security. The question now is how much Pakistan can persuade China to invest in linking Gwadar with Central Asia.

The Afghanistan corridor linking Gwadar with Central Asia will have an impact on Iran’s economic interests, which are already burdened by Western sanctions. Experts believe, however, that Iran will defend its interests for trade.

BRI will develop multiple routes and logistics centers, including Chabahar, a seaport 200 km east of Gwadar in southeast Iran which is connected to the North-South Transport Corridor. The 7,200 km corridor is a network of ships, railways and highways for moving goods between India, Russia and Europe via Iran and the Caucasus between the Black and Caspian Seas.

“The Iranian rail line in the North-South Transport Corridor will gradually complement the BRI when it is completed,” said Przybyszewski.

Dorsey noted that Uzbekistan is not bound to use the Gwadar route exclusively – if it is built: “Uzbeks can use Bandar Abbas and Gwadar depending on the needs and choices of shippers involved in the Uzbek economy.”

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A view of the Monday trip, motorists encouraged to stay off the roads | Instant News



A view of Monday’s trip, motorists encouraged to stay off the roads | RiverBender.com.



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Pakistani militants against the Belt and Road are targeted in Afghanistan | Instant News


ISLAMABAD – Members of a Pakistani militant group that attacks projects under China’s Belt and Road Initiative are being killed in Afghanistan by Pakistani security forces in growing numbers.

According to Kiyaa Baloch, a journalist covering the insurgency in Pakistan’s large Balochistan province, the intensification of Pakistan’s military operations against the Baloch separatist group first began in 2004.Since then, many Baloch families have fled across the border to Afghanistan, where locals consider them to be refugees.

In recent months, many Pakistani militants have died in Afghanistan, mostly in Kandahar province, which borders Balochistan.

On December 20, a son of Hazrat Gul, a Baloch leader, was kidnapped in Nimroz province; five days later his bullet-ridden body was found. The Balochistan Post, a pro-militant Urdu-language website, reports that Gul has provided shelter to Baloch men fleeing military operations in Balochistan. There were incidents on December 10 and 19 in which two members of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) and two others from another militant group were killed in the Kandahar area.

The Baloch separatist group has been alarmed by the increasing killings of their members and sympathizers. Brahumdagh Bugti, leader of the BRP, issued a statement on December 20 claiming that “Baloch refugees” were attacked in Afghanistan by Pakistani security agencies. He said international human rights bodies should pay attention.

Aslam Baloch, a key commander of the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), was killed in December 2018 by a suicide bomber in Aino Mina, a major city in Kandahar. Since then, Baloch militants and their families in Afghanistan, especially in Kandahar, have been frequently attacked, according to sources close to Baloch militants and tribal elders there.

Under Baloch, the BLA established a special unit that carried out suicide attacks against Chinese interests, including the BRI-backed project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. CPEC is BRI’s mainstay of relationships worth more than $ 50 billion in infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

Baloch masterminded attacks in 2018 on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and on buses carrying Chinese engineers in Balochistan’s Dalbandin region.

40% of shares on the Pakistan Stock Exchange are owned by three Chinese companies. After four BLA militants attacked the Karachi stock exchange last June, Pakistani law enforcement officials concluded that they had been in direct telephone contact with their handlers in Kandahar during the operation. The day after the attack, the BLA headquarters in Aino Mina were bombed.

Karachi police crime scene investigation unit outside Pakistan Stock Exchange after being attacked on 29 June 2020 © Reuters

“Drug traffickers, Taliban commanders, tribal chiefs, police officials – everyone in Kandahar is involved in a booming killing industry,” Sanauallah Noorzai, a tribal elder in Kandahar, told Nikkei Asia. “Just pay and hire an assassin to kill anyone in the area.”

Interestingly, so far no one has claimed responsibility for the recent deadly attacks on Baloch militants in Afghanistan.

The escalation in violence could support Pakistan’s longstanding view that Indian-backed Baloch militants are using Afghan territory to launch attacks on Pakistan.

In November, Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, held a joint press conference with his country’s military. Qureshi claims to have evidence of India assisting Baloch militants with “terrorist” activities launched from Afghan soil targeting Chinese interests in Pakistan. New Delhi and Kabul both dismissed the allegations as “fabricated.”

Pakistan has raised the issue of Afghanistan-based Baloch militants during peace talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban. They have asked for guarantees that Baloch militants will not be able to launch future attacks from Afghanistan.

Afghan forces are responsible for security along the side of the tough and dangerous border with Pakistan. © Getty Images

“It appears that the attack on the Baloch group on Afghan soil was the result of an agreement on security cooperation and intelligence sharing between Pakistan and Afghanistan under pressure from the United States,” a former Afghan diplomat who served in Pakistan told the Nikkei on condition. anonymity. In 2019, the US added BLA to its global terrorist list, primarily at Pakistan’s request.

Last year, a number of Pakistani Taliban commanders, especially Sheikh Khalid Haqqani and Qari Saifullah Peshawari, died in Afghanistan, including in Kabul, in various ways, the Afghan diplomat said.

Pakistani Taliban leaders, like many Baloch militants, also took refuge in Kunar and Khost provinces on the Afghan border after avoiding a Pakistani military operation.

Some analysts believe that after establishing contact with the Afghan Taliban, Beijing wanted to target the Baloch group in Afghanistan. Beijing has been involved in a variety of security issues, including separating the Taliban from Muslim separatist groups in Xinjiang province and protecting Chinese investment in West Asia.

Although the Afghan Taliban has denied involvement in the December killings, analysts believe China can hire Taliban commanders to target Baloch militants.

A container truck near the city of Quetta, Pakistan. China’s Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote trade relations with West Asia and beyond. © Reuters

CNN reported on December 31 that President Donald Trump recently received unconfirmed Chinese intelligence offering payments to non-state actors in Afghanistan for attacking US soldiers.

On Monday, the head of the Afghanistan National Security Directorate told the Afghan parliament that at least ten Chinese nationals suspected of spying for Beijing were detained in December in Kabul. The agents suspected were pardoned and deported.

A security official in Islamabad said that with the recent increased cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, and work underway to fence their 900 km long common border, Baloch militants are increasingly moving their hideouts to Afghanistan.

For years, Iran and Pakistan have blamed each other for failing to eradicate the militants who have taken refuge along the border. Pakistani intelligence has been closely monitoring Baloch militant groups in Balochistan’s Panjgur, Kecch and Gwadar districts – an area on the border with Iran, the official said.

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Pakistani army prepares to gain Belt and Road authority | Instant News


KARACHI – Pakistan will pass a law that will place the supranational body overseeing the $ 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s main Belt and Road Initiative, under the control of the Pakistan Army which will also gain immense power. .

A parliamentary committee earlier this month passed the CPEC Authorities 2020 Bill despite strong opposition from some lawmakers. According to Junaid Akbar, chairman of the parliamentary committee, the bill will be submitted to parliament for a final vote in the second week of December.

The Pakistani government under Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan’s ruling party Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which are seen as aligned with military interests, have been working for months to get the bill through the committee. The proposed law seeks to restore the controversial CPEC Authority – which has been closed since the end of the presidential order in May.

If enacted, the law will shift control of the CPEC project from the ministry of planning and development run by the civilian bureaucracy to the CPEC Authority headed by retired army General Asim Saleem Bajwa. In addition, Bajwa will report directly to the prime minister instead of the ministry and replace the planning minister as co-chair of the joint Pakistan-China committee.

Even though the presidential order has ended, Bajwa continues to lead the CPEC Authority as chair, a situation that has led opposition legislators to question the legality of his position. In a briefing to the committee, the planning ministry denied having a chairperson of the CPEC Authority; they also denied that they gave Bajwa a salary or allowance.

Retired General Asim Saleem Bajwa is on the brink of gaining the power to carry out investigations into any incumbent he considers not cooperating with the CPEC Authority. © Getty Images

Outside observers say intrigue reveals a military proclaiming itself to be an attempt by the elected government to find its footing.

“Civil leadership [under Khan and PTI], who never held national power until winning the 2018 election, has struggled with public policy on multiple levels, “Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, told Nikkei Asia was seen in part as a play of military power to asserts greater influence over key projects that are believed to be more eligible for supervision.

“In Pakistan, retired military officers often stay close to their former employers, and the military can exert influence through these retirees. [officers]. So, while General Bajwa formally reports to the civilian leadership, one cannot ignore the influence his former boss will exert over his decisions and actions. “

The CPEC authority was originally formed in 2019 by a presidential order that passed through parliament, just before Prime Minister Imran Khan went to China for the third time in a year to appease China due to a lack of progress along economic corridors.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, left, greets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in October 2019, right after the presidential order creating the CPEC Authority. (Photo courtesy of Government of Pakistan)

The CPEC project came to a halt for months after Khan took power in 2018, mainly due to allegations of corruption related to the handling of the project by the previous government. There are also accusations that the deal unfairly benefits Beijing. Khan’s government is struggling to overcome twin deficits and unsustainable foreign debt. Prior to his election, the former cricketer had been a vocal critic of the corridor, citing a lack of transparency.

But with Bajwa at the helm and Khan now making CPEC the cornerstone of its development plans for Pakistan, CPEC’s power and transportation projects have begun.

Since its inception, the CPEC Authority has drawn criticism from opposition parties, notably the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party, which advocate strengthening of the existing civilian institutions involved in CPEC.

Parties allied to the bill have also raised brazen opposition to the military’s role in politics. They have organized countrywide rallies under an alliance called the Pakistan Democratic Movement, alleging that the ruling PTI had framed them in a bogus corruption case with the backing of the army.

Supporters of the Pakistani Democratic Movement raise flags as they listen to their leaders during anti-government rallies in Karachi on October 18, 2020. © Reuters

The proposed law is controversial for two reasons: It grants CPEC Authority officials impunity, rendering them responsible for the tens of billions of dollars that would be spent on corridor projects and placing them outside the purview of Pakistani courts. In addition, the bill stipulates that if a public official does not cooperate with the CPEC Authority, the chairperson will have the power to order an investigation into the incumbent.

“The lack of oversight and regulation by civilian authorities is worrisome, as it allows the CPEC Authority to operate with impunity and is not accountable to elected officials,” said Kugelman. “Some might argue that taking CPEC’s portfolio from an inexperienced civilian leadership and putting it in military hands would make CPEC policy more efficient. Maybe so, but also make CPEC policy less democratic.”

“The military wants CPEC authority when the project starts [in 2015], but the PML-N government is against it, “said Ayesha Siddiqa, a researcher at the SOAS South Asia Institute at the University of London who has written extensively on the Pakistani Army’s business interests.” They argue that authority will add to the extra bureaucracy. Now, the CPEC Authority [under the army’s control] was established to streamline the share and control of the military. “

According to the Pakistan Army’s official website, the Frontier Works Organization, the construction and engineering armed forces, “has built 3,797 km of roads” in the last 30 years, “in addition to preparing 8 completely new and upgraded airfields.”

Said Siddiqa: FWO “has a contract for road construction as part of CPEC, and has also registered an interest in copper mining. So, any mining that will be carried out under the rubric of CPEC, the FWO will benefit.”

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