|China's top diplomat visits Pakistan - Terrorist attack against Norwegian Telenor|
| [24.12.2011, 09:04am, Sat. GMT]|
|One of Telenor's franchise stores in Karachi, Pakistan, was attacked Friday afternoon. China's senior diplomat Dai Bingguo arrived in Pakistan on Friday for talks. Pakistan’s relations with Norway’s key backer, the United States, have deteriorated.
Two employees were killed in presumed terrorist attack against the Norwegian Telenor shop. There were five employees in the store at the time of the attack. “The two attackers came into the store and shot two of the employees, two Pakistani men,” says Karachi police official Raja Ulfat to Norwegian National newspaper Aftenposten. |
Pakistani Police inspectors believe the attack must be characterized as a terrorist act. Aftenposten reports, “He says that the attackers looked like they belonged to the Taliban. They were wearing Afghan clothes.”
Director Pål Kvalheim, Telenor, confirmed the incident in which two people were killed and two injured. Now, Telenor will go through their security plan, he said to Aftenposten.
“China's top diplomat will meet with Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari,” Chinese Foreign Ministry representative Liu Weimin told a daily briefing.
Beijing has voiced support for Islamabad during months of worsening Pakistani-American relations, which were shaken by the U.S. incursion in May that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden near a Pakistani military base, and a cross-border attack by U.S. forces that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.
Pakistan has been trying to move closer to the Asian powerhouse, China, as ties with the United States have suffered.
China and Pakistan call each other "all-weather friends" and their close ties have been underpinned by long-standing wariness of their common neighbour, India, and a desire to counter-balance U.S. influence across the region.
China invested more than $200 million to help build the deep-sea Gwadar port on Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast, partly with a view to opening an energy and trade corridor from the Gulf, across Pakistan to western China.
China also helped Pakistan build its main nuclear power generation facility at Chashma in Punjab province. Two reactors are in operation and
two more are planned. Analysts say China agreed to expand the Chashma complex to counter a 2008 nuclear energy deal between India and the United States.
Pakistan, China ink currency swap deal
China's central bank said on Saturday that it has signed a 10-billion-yuan ($1.6 billion) currency swap deal with the State Bank of Pakistan.
The agreement will last for three years and is extendable by mutual consent, according to a statement posted on the website of the People's Bank of China(PBOC).
CIA suspends drone attacks
In an effort to mend badly frayed relations with Pakistan, the CIA has suspended drone missile strikes on gatherings of low-ranking militants believed to be involved in cross-border attacks on U.S. troops or facilities in Afghanistan, current and former U.S. officials say.