Chinese authorities say Beijing paying close attention to Kashmir situation

Prime Minister Imran Khan leads the Pakistani side during the delegation level talks in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Oct. 9, 2019. (PID)
Updated 09 October 2019

Chinese authorities say Beijing paying close attention to Kashmir situation

  • As Prime Minister Khan concludes his visit, the two countries praise bilateral defense cooperation, agree to strengthen it further
  • The second CPEC phase will promote industrial and socio-economic development in Pakistan, says joint statement

ISLAMABAD: China is paying close attention to the situation in Kashmir and wants a peaceful resolution of the dispute between the two South Asian nuclear-armed nations, said a Pakistan-China joint press statement on Wednesday while providing details of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s two-day visit to Beijing.
The Pakistani leader left for Islamabad after concluding his visit to China where he was invited by his counterpart Li Keqiang. During his stay in Beijing, the prime minister also met President Xi Jinping and interacted with Chinese business community.
According to the joint statement, leaders of the two countries agreed “that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in the common interest of all parties.”
“Parties need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” it added.
The Pakistani delegation also underscored that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a transformational project. The two countries agreed that the second CPEC phase would promote industrial and socio-economic development in the South Asian state.
Pakistani officials told the Chinese authorities that the Gwadar Port had been given various facilities since the government wanted to make it the region’s trade and logistical hub.
The two sides also expressed determination to speedily execute CPEC projects to make the corridor a high-quality demonstration for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
China and Pakistan also reviewed the “excellent” bilateral defense cooperation and agreed to strengthen it further “in the areas of military exercises, training cooperation, personnel exchanges, and equipment and technology cooperation.”
The two countries reaffirmed their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and called on all countries to strengthen international cooperation on counterterrorism.
China appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices in countering terrorism, asking “the international community to objectively recognize Pakistan’s contributions to regional peace and security through its success in fight against terrorism.”
The two sides also underlined that educational links between them were becoming stronger.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked Chinese leadership for providing opportunities to Pakistani students to study in China. He hoped that those students will play an important role in further deepening historic and deep-rooted ties between the two iron brothers,” the statement added.


Tuned in: Pakistani twins ride the wave of Ertugrul’s success with local soundtrack

Updated 43 min 45 sec ago

Tuned in: Pakistani twins ride the wave of Ertugrul’s success with local soundtrack

  • Musician brothers say reaction to the cover version has been a ‘breakthrough’ experience
  • Work gets millions of views, retweets by Turkish deputy minister, global bloggers

KARACHI: It’s got a ring to it.
Or so say fans and followers of 26-year-old Pakistani musician brothers, Leo Twins, after the duo created a cover version of Turkish drama Diriliş: Ertuğrul’s original soundtrack.
“We were actually asked by our fans to create a cover version of the original soundtrack in the comments section of our channel. So, it’s an amazing feeling to know that it’s being loved so much,” Sharoon Leo, one of the twins, said during an exclusive interview with Arab News.
It’s the cover track which accompanies the roll credits for Ertugrul Ghazi, the Urdu-dubbed version of the drama series which is based on the history of the Muslim Oghuz Turks from the 13th century, and was released on state-run PTV on April 25 after Prime Minister Imran Khan said it would “help the youth learn about Islamic values and history.”
Since being released on video-sharing platform Youtube three weeks ago, the soundtrack has already garnered 5.1 million views.
Sharoon told Arab News that while recreating the cover was a challenge – owing to the popularity of the OST conceptualized by Jenerik Müziği – they’ve tried to retain its “Middle-Eastern feel” as much as possible.
“We always try to do our covers differently from the originals,” Sharoon said talking about their cover versions of HBO’s popular series, Game of Thrones, and Pakistani drama Mere Pass Tum Ho.
“There was an instrument in the original track which we thought could best be replaced with the rubab. We also enhanced the violin, which was not very obvious initially,” he explained.

A screengrab from the music video of the track 'Hum Zalmi' featuring Leo Twins.

While Sharoon plays the violin and cello, his twin, Haroon works with other instruments such as the guitar, rubab, tabla, piano, cajon, ukulele, mandolin, darbuka, and more.
Together, they set up Leo Twins, a namesake of their zodiac sign, in their birthplace of Rawalpindi in 2012.
Sharoon credits their success to their “real teacher in music,” Ustad Idrees Ahmed Khan, explaining how a simple gesture of kindness on his part set the tone for their triumphant rise.
“One day, we saw a guitar and violin at a shop, but did not have enough money to buy them. So, we sold our new mobiles and paid for the instruments. Ustaad Idrees Ahmed Khan, who used to give music lessons at the shop, was observing us the whole time, and asked if we would like to learn music from him for free. He said it was because he saw a passion in us for music, which was rare those days, especially in our generation,” Sharoon said.
That was eight years ago, and while they’ve had several hits and misses through the years, they got their first big break in 2015, after featuring alongside music giants, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam, as part of their team on Nescafe Basement’s Season 3.
However, nothing compares to the accolades they’ve received for the Ertugrul cover, Sharoon said, with the soundtrack being retweeted by Turkish Deputy Minister Ali Shaheen and several other bloggers in Turkey.
“It has attracted a very different audience. We have been doing covers to pay tribute to our legendary artists for several years now and could only gather 45,000 subscribers. Still, after we uploaded the Ertugrul Ghazi soundtrack, the number of subscribers has crossed 243K. This soundtrack has given us a new breakthrough,” he said.