Pak Urdu Media Digest, Aug 2, 2022

News

  • According to the Public Relations Department of the Pakistan Army, ISPR, a ceremony was organized at GHQ to mark the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the chief guest.  Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong attended the event along with officials of the Chinese Embassy.  The Ambassador thanked the Army Chief for hosting the event. On this occasion, ambassador Nong Rong said that Pakistan and China have brotherly relations and both countries are strategic partners. He said that the China-Pakistan Joint Cooperation Committee meeting was held recently, which is a new development in bilateral relations. A new set-up was created to promote China-Pakistan military cooperation. This system will prove to be an important platform for promoting military communications. Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that the roots of the relations between the two countries are deep, PLA and Pak Army are brothers, and both countries will continue to work for the protection of mutual interests. (Jasarat)
  • Awami National Party has accused the Ministers and other leaders of ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of paying extortion to the Taliban (TTP). Taking the floor of the assembly yesterday, ANP leader Sardar Hussain Babak said that the Taliban has reorganized, and opened its units in in all districts of the province. “Tehreek-e-Insaf members are paying the Taliban”, he said. (Jang)
  • Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid has given a free hand to the police to maintain law and order in the state during Muharram. He asserted that no political or religious pressure is acceptable. “If needed laws will be amended to maintain peace”. He warned that any one taking law into their hands would be made a symbol of disgrace. “People spreading rumors and hate on social media will not be spared”. (Baad-e-Shimal, Daily K2)
  • Former Balochistan chief minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch of the National Party said the Federal government wants only resources of Balochistan but has no concern with the problems of people. He added the center will have to change its mindset. People of Gwadar have made a lot of sacrifices and we respect their hardships. (Qudrat)
  • The traders have announced a nation-wide strike to protest against the sales tax on the electricity bill. And resolved not to pay the electricity bills with added sales tax. The President of the Central Organization of Traders of Pakistan, Mohammed Kashif Chaudhary and other leaders told a press conference in Islamabad that a tax of 3000 to 20,000 rupees is added to the electricity bill of even closed shops and shop with zero-meter readings. Whenever the electricity tariff is increased, the added sales tax is also hiked. A medium or small trader can’t pay such hefty bills. The government should roll back the sales tax on power bills.  (Islam Daily)
  • The Financial Times journalist, Simon Clark, who broke the news about foreign funding of PTI, said that the donors for the charity matches were not aware that their money is going to PTI instead of any charity. Speaking to Geo News, he said that he has proofs with him that negate the affidavit of Arif Naqvi and the stand of PTI.   “I am investigating about Arif Naqvi for the past four and a half years. He  is involved in many irregular financial activities”. Clark added: “In my 22 years of journalistic life I have never seen such a situation in any company. Funds were collected for the construction of a hospital but were used for other works”. (Islam Daily)
  • The Election Commission of Pakistan has given its verdict in the illegal funding case of the PTI. It found that the PTI had received illegal funding. A three-member bench of the Election Commission headed by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja pronounced the unanimous judgement in the eight-year-old case.  Announcing the verdict, Sikandar Sultan said 34 foreign donations were received by PTI from America, Australia and UAE. Some American businessmen had also donated. 13 unknown accounts were discovered. Hiding accounts from the Chief EC is a crime. The form submitted by Imran Khan was wrong. The foreign funding case was filed by a founder member of PTI Akbar Sher Babar in 2014. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Former Home Minister Shaikh Rasheed in a tweet said reducing the price of f petrol by 3 rupees and increasing the price of diesel by 9 rupees is like playing a joke with the nation. The rulers are living a luxurious life but for the common man even just survival has become difficult. Shaikh Rasheed challenged the members of the ruling coalition parties to speak in public instead of PDM fora. “If you have guts then instead of speaking in the meetings of the PDM talk in public meetings”.  He said that every month 200 factories are closing down, while crime has increased by 100 percent. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The management of state-owned Pakistan Steel has dismissed the officer who had pointed out the theft of 10 billion rupees from the company.   According to Express News, Engineer Abdur Rehman as the Exxion CMD Security had prepared a report of theft of material worth 10 billion rupees. He even identified the officers involved in the theft and recommended a FIA probe against them.  But the management charged him with theft and misconduct. And dismissed him. (Daily Express)
  • PTI has approached the Lahore High Court seeking ‘removal’ of Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif and his cabinet on the ground that they were facing a money laundering case. The petition was filed by PTI leaders Andalib Abbas and Hassan Niazi. Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, and the Election Commission were made parties to the petition among others. (Ummat)
  •  Jamiat Ulema Islam (Ideological) Balochistan Amir Maulana Abdul Qadir Loni and other leaders said they are tired of hearing the claims of taking Balochistan on the path of development. The Federal Government has not given Balochistan the rights and powers of its coastal resources and minerals.  65% of the province is deprived of clean drinking water, 70% are deprived of education and 38% of facilities like electricity even now. (Urdu Point)
  • Jahangir Khan Tareen has indicated to his close associates his plan to float his own political party, reliable sources said. Work on the manifesto of the new party is in final stages.  It will be named “Awami Tehreek-e-Insaaf”, the sources stated adding that majority of Tareen’s close political associates wanted him to enroll Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, former Governor of Punjab, Ishaq Khakwani and others.  All members of Tareen group will be part of the new Awami Tehreek-e-Insaaf. (Daily Pakistan)

Editorials

  • Violence and deaths after scuffle between two groups in Gilgit was a result of hurting religious sentiments and hate campaign on social media. Muharram is a month of solace and not violence and hence people of both sects should express solace for each other instead of aggression. Whatever happened in Gilgit is not at all appreciable or acceptable and it is the responsibility of the people and the administration to ensure that such incidents should not happen. It is good that Ulema and influential people from both Shia and Sunni sects intervened timely and prevented the situation from snowballing.  On its part the Administration also took prompt action to bring things under control. (Edits – Baad-e-Shimal, Daily K2)
  • In its obsession with power politics, PTI seems to be forgetting that the conditions country is passing through today. Economy is in doldrums and inflation is at its peak. Balochistan and other provinces are reeling under rain havoc. Institutions are becoming more and more controversial these days. PTI is doing everything possible to tarnish the image of the election commission and all this is being done to get “clean chit” in party funding case. PTI and its leaders should keep this basic fact in mind that everything comes after the nation and its interests. Politics and democracy can survive and get stronger only if constitutional institutions are around, active and strong enough. (Kawish, Edit, August 1)  
  •  Maulana Fazlur Rehman has blamed Imran Khan government for destroying country’s economy and accused Imran Khan of derailing CPEC despite the fact that CPEC was only hope for Pakistan to come out of influence of America and IMF. We believe it is time that PDM rulers tell the nation truthfully. Also tell people in clear terms that they cannot do anything that can bring any relief in peoples’ day to day lives. If current rulers too are tied somewhere (Establishment) like the Imran Khan government was, then there is no hope of any relief anytime in future from this government too. (Sindh Exp. Edit) 
  • The Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Pakistan issued a joint statement declaring that the economic conditions of the country are better and that the present crisis is temporary. Frankly   most claims made in the statement are part of the government’s efforts to save the reputation of the country.  The joint statement announced plans to borrow four billion dollars more to bolster foreign exchange reserves. Further loans would have been of some use if the IMF loans had already been received. The State Bank is also following the orders of foreign institutions instead of regulating the economic indicators. (Edit Jasarat)
  • Economic recovery has become the most important issue in Pakistan. The IMF board will meet in the third week of August and the pressure on the local currency is fuelling speculation that Pakistan could face default. Pakistan agreed to tough conditions for reviving the IMF program, ending subsidies on petroleum products, and increasing tariffs and taxes on electricity and gas. These measures have badly affected the common man but the delay in disbursement of funds by the IMF has put financial institutions in trouble. The value of the rupee has reached the lowest level in history and one dollar has become 240 rupees. Pakistan signed a staff-level agreement with the IMF earlier this month, but delays in the disbursement of funds are hurting the country’s economy, while the political crisis is growing. In his desire to give tough times to his opponents, Imran Khan greatly increased the political tension and instability in the country. We cannot deny the fact that the present government is making great efforts to restore the confidence of the investors. Pakistan is grappling with limited sources of income and increasing expenditure. Foreign exchange reserves are rapidly depleting. In such a situation, if any problem comes to Pakistan, not only the government but also the people will be severely affected. The example of Sri Lanka is enough to show how dangerous these problems can become.  During the 44 months of the previous government, the productive sector, including agriculture, had been affected the most. Our largest and most important export sector, textiles, was the worst hit as cotton production declined by nearly 60%. Importing mobile phones from foreign countries has taken a toll on Pakistan’s economy. Mobile phones worth about 1.5 billion dollars were imported last year. Pakistani people are very fond of tea and this is the reason why Pakistan has become the largest importer of tea leaves.  At this juncture, Pakistan is in great need of dollars so that our country can get rid of its economic woes. This country is ours. We have to save it. (Edit, Daily Express)
  • Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) reports that despite the announcement of an indefinite ceasefire by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), militant attacks had increased in July as compared to June. Hence it is necessary to keep a special watch on cross-border terrorism and in this regard, the strictest safety measures should be ensured. (Daily Pakistan Edit)
  • Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the flood-affected areas of Balochistan and inspected the relief work. He pointed out negligence in some places. The Chief Minister accompanied him. If the CM had visited flood-hit areas earlier then there would have been no need for the PM’s visit. But it is a tradition in our country that somebody from outside has to visit the province to remind the local leaders about the problems and difficulties of the local people. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  • Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education department of Punjab has dismissed three employees including two doctors of the Lahore general hospital who had illegally transplanted kidneys.  However, there is still no information about any legal action against them. Illegal kidney transplants have been reported in the past too.  Ringleader of the racket has been arrested several times but he was released every time due to influence. (Edit Jang)

Columns

  • The two dates of August 14 and 15 are of great importance because on these dates two independent states were born in the Indian subcontinent, which are known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and India respectively. If the two countries are compared impartially, the difference will become clear. On the one hand, the practice of politics for the sake of the state continues, on the other hand, the continuation of politics for the sake of the state is established. Our situation is that the lust for power is not ending due to which the country became divided even though the nation was one i.e., only Muslims. Yet, we have not learned any lesson from history. As a result, our geography itself has changed. Democracy across the border has recently donned a new change. We mean the change, that took place there in the form of an extraordinary change in the chair of the presidency. Draupadi Murmu, the new lady president, belongs to an Adivasi i.e., tribal family, and is not a well-educated and well-known figure, whereas, in the past, the post was held by stalwarts like Dr. Rajendra Prashad, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, and noted scientist Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.  Draupadi Murmu was born in Upperbeda, a small Santhal village in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. It cannot be denied that her election to the post of President of the Republic has presented a new scenario of Indian democracy to the world. As far as her education and career are concerned, she is a graduate. She had worked in Odisha’s Secretariat for a few days. Before joining politics, she was a school teacher. Her life was devastated by the death of her two sons and her husband, but she did not give up. The people of her area call her Mai. The locals tell many stories about her. She is very emotional but steadfast in her decision, stubborn, independent; don’t think of her as a rubber stamp. She is a simple woman with limited needs. When she became the governor of Jharkhand, she refused to sign a bill saying it was against the interests of the tribals. (Shakeel Farooqui – Daily Express)
  • There is a debate within PDM constituents on whether they should stay in office till the term of the present National Assembly ends next year or whether they should opt for early polls. Though Fazlur Rehman has said in his recent press conference that the government will stay in office till polls scheduled next year, Nawaz Sharif and some others are of the view that the government should go for early polls. This section favoring early polls seems to have realized the current economic crisis is beyond the government’s capacity to resolve and that the crisis will only erode whatever little popularity is being enjoyed by PDM leaders. There is another section in PDM saying that government should stay in office till its term end. Otherwise surrender (to PTI demand for snap polls) at this stage will be a big political damage to PDM parties, beyond their capacity. (Ibrat, Nafees Siddiqui) 
  • We will have to accept one thing that as long as there is no change in type of our politics, there will be no change in type of our economy. It is politics that gives the economy certain status. Instead of seeing both as separate, we will have to see them together. Pakistan is already deep down with loans and more loans will only mean a more serious crisis for the country and its future. We should understand one thing. On the one hand we get loans with much difficulty from abroad, and on the other hand we support the culture of freebies through programs like Benazir Income Support. Is this the way to make our country and countrymen prosperous? This will only make our country poor and people poorer. The only way to take the country out of current tough times calls for a need to change our politics; instead of taking out loans, we should learn to better utilize our own resources. Our conditions can get better only if we learn to be self-dependent and self-reliant. We should also note that politics in the country has now got limited to the elite class. Peoples’ participation in politics is limited to raising slogans and casting votes. This has to change. As long as our poor strata do not have a say in political matters, there will be none to take care of the interests of the poor. Till the time our policies are not aimed at making our poor self-reliant and till the time our policies do not stop malpractices, till then there can be no positive influence on our economy. Free and independent politics can only usher in a robust economy. Hence, we will have to try new and modern political systems replacing current (outdated) political systems in the country. This is the only way that we can translate dreams of bringing an end to poverty in the country into a reality. The conflicts arising from disparity between poor and rich can only give rise to serious consequences. (Sindh Exp, Aijaz Mungi)  
  • Most of Sindhis are PPP voters. Sindhis often see the PPP government as their own government. The Sindh assembly has also been passing laws in favor of women. That is the reason most Sindhi women are emotionally connected with PPP. But, if Sindh government remains quiet on Sindh police beating women protestors at Abdullah Shah Ghazi village of Karachi during the demolition encroachment, it will only add to sense of alienation amongst Sindhi women, and it can have negative fallout on PPP’s politics in Sindh. I see the attack on the women protesters as an attack on me. I also strongly demand from government of the day that all illegally staying Afghans and others s be sent out of Sindh and thus protect the interests of Sindhis. (Pahenji, Rafee Malah, Aug.1)  
  • Whenever history is to be written on Balochistan, it will be written that Balochistan was destroyed not only by rains, but also by rulers’ attitude, which played no less a role in sinking Balochistan. Children’s cries were heard far and wide, rain affected people had gone atop trees for safe shelter as political leaders left them in lurch. Rainwater kept sweeping away people like forest wastes. But, sadly the (so-called national media did not look beyond the power race of Punjab. Insensitive rulers too were not moved even by viral the picture on social media of a girl child being lashed by heavy showers. Civilized countries had to mend their policies on seeing the picture of the body of a two-year Syrian child, Elan Kurdi, on the Turkish coastline. But people in our country, were hardly moved despite people getting swept away in rain waters in recent Balochistan rains. Political parties, instead of understanding and realizing peoples’ hardships, are taking the country to bigger financial chaos in their race for power. Like Balochistan, Sindh too can face heavy rains as predicted in alerts for August. Has our leadership prepared any strategies to meet with threats of heavy rain ahead in Sindh? This is an important question. But, when leaders running country are confused themselves, it is the people, who have to bear the brunt of losses arising from their confusion. (Kawish, Latif Jamal, August 1)    
  • Pakistan was created on the dead bodies of lakhs of people to form an Islamic Nation. But what is the reality? When martial law was imposed in Pakistan by Ayub Khan my late Arabic teacher had said that Nabwi Politics (politics of the prophet) had given us noble and selfless leaders like Hazrat Abu Bakar and Hazrat Umar. But this non-religious politics has given us selfish, profiteer and cruel leaders like Doltana, Mamdoot, Ghulam Mohammed, Feroz Noon and Iskandar Mirza. What he (my Arabic teacher) would have said if he had seen present political leaders. If you ask Imran Khan about Pervez Ilahi, he will tell you that Pervez is his dearest friend which is why he had removed Usman Buzdar to appoint Pervez as the Chief Minister of Punjab. If you ask the Zardari clan and Sharif brothers about each other they will tell you that in the past they were calling each other dacoit and thief and that they were ready to wipe out each other. But today the circumstances forced us to become bosom buddies. This is the nature of every politician. When they are in a party their leader is an angel and the leader of the opposite party is a devil but when they switch parties, their former party boss becomes the devil and the other one appears as an angel. This is our national character and this is the dirty politics we are suffering from.  (Dunya Daily-Hafiz Mohammed Idris) ####