Pak Urdu Media Digest, Aug 4, 2022

NEWS

  • Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that the drone that targeted al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was not flown from Pakistan. (Jang)
  • The killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri is an internal matter of Afghanistan, and no role has been played by Pakistan, said an official source, and strongly denied rumors that the US drone attack was mounted from Pakistan. Sources further said that the US has many other options in the region but this drone did not fly from Pakistan. Pentagon also did not use our country’s airspace (Daily Express, Daily Jinnah, Ummat, Nawaiwaqt)
  • Former Interior Minister and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed has said that he sees the situation deteriorating till August 15. The country is going towards civil war, and emergency. (Jasarat)
  • The PTI leader Usman Dar has demanded that the volume 10 of the investigation against the Sharif family in the Panama documents case should be thrown open to the public. This volume was a part of the investigation report but was classified. Dar recalled that the head of the JIT team Wajid Zia had requested the Supreme Court not to make the Volume 10 public under any circumstances. The SC accepted the request. What is hidden in this volume? After the EC verdict in the PTI funding case, people are demanding to open volume 10, he said. (Ausaf Daily)
  • At a meeting of PDM and ruling coalition parties, two members of the National Assembly objected to making a reference against the PTI and Imran Khan to the Supreme Court in the PTI funding case.  According to private TV Channel, ARY, the two members said that such a reference will create several complications. If the PTI is banned then all PTI members in the federal and provincial governments including those who had supported PDM will have to vacate their seats. But it will not be possible to hold by-polls for so many seats throughout the country. And it would plunge the country into a political crisis. These contentions were rejected by the majority at the meeting, who insisted that sending the reference to the Supreme Court is important at the present juncture. (Ausaf Daily)
  • Commenting on the EC verdict in PTI funding case, the PTI Chairman Imran Khan has said, “I have never seen such a foolish judgement in my life”. He said that PTI cadres will stage protests peacefully in front of poll body office.  “We have not done anything illegal. The law for banning foreign donations was implemented in 2017, while we had received the donations in 2012. So, the funding was not against the law”. He said that the EC should also ask political parties -PML N and PPP as to how they have collected funds. (Ausaf Daily)
  • Head of PML-N, Nawaz Sharif has asked the leaders of the ruling coalition parties to send a reference against PTI to the Supreme Court within the next 48 hours. According to the sources, Nawaz suggested that the SC should be requested to set up a full bench to hear the reference. Those creating instability at the behest of anti-national elements should not be shown any leniency. He said that Imran Khan is directly involved in the rollback of CPEC and “selling” Kashmir. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The Special Central Court of Lahore has ordered that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his son Hamza Sharif should personally appear at the next hearing of the money laundering case. The court also ordered to confiscate properties of Salman Sharif, also a son of PM. The properties to be seized his agricultural land of 200 canals, his shares in 13 companies and his two bank accounts. Salman is also asked to appear personally at the next hearing which is fixed for 7th September. (Dunya Daily)
  • Divisional President of Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Hafiz Ali Asghar Naqshbandi has said that the Independence Day of Pakistan will be celebrated in a grand manner at the national level. No sacrifice will be spared for the security of the country. Independence Day celebrations educate the new generation about the history and sacrifices. He said that Pakistan is the only country, after the State of Madina, which has come into existence on the basis of Kalima Tayyaba. Pakistan Sunni Tehreek is trying to implement Nizam Mustafa in the country.  Hafiz asked the federal and provincial governments to extend a helping hand to the flood and rain ravaged people in Balochistan. They should not be left alone in their hour of distress. The flood victims of Balochistan are waiting for the government and welfare organizations for assistance.  (Jasarat)
  • On the direction of the Sindh United Party Center, a protest was held in front of the Mirpurkhas Press Club against the police attack on Karachi’s Ghazi Goth and to demand the expulsion of Afghans from Sindh.  The protesters shouted slogans against Karachi Police, Sindh government and Afghans. Addressing the protestors, Manzoor Memon, Lala Azhar, Akram Thebo, Muhammad Khan Marri, and others said that the Sindhis are being turned into a minority by the attack on the ancient Ghazi Goth. The government of Sindh has given a free hand to Afghans. The protestors demanded that all foreigners, including Afghans, should be immediately expelled from the Sindh. (Jasarat)
  • Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Pakistan convener Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has said that the residents of Karachi have always supported MQM representatives in the elections. “If we are not counted correctly in the census, we will come out on the streets. (Jang)
  • All Parties People’s Rights Forum is continuing its protest against the AJK Government’s inaction on its demands.  It decided to observe a complete strike in Poonch Division on 6th August. (Kashmir Dharti)
  • Ulema of different religious sects in Gilgit have appealed to people to maintain peace, and to not fall prey to rumors. (Baad-e-Shimal)
  • The Awami National Party has decided to summon a Pakhtun Qaumi Aman Jirga on the 16th of August to discuss law and order situation in the region. The party’s Provincial President, Aimal Wali Khan, informed the media that the Jirga will be held at Bacha Khan Center, Peshawar. Political leaders, opinion makers, lawyers, traders, and journalists will be invited amongst others. The agenda will include TTP dialogue, targeted killings, missing persons and extortion rackets. (Intekhab Daily, Aeen)
  • Legal luminary Jameel Agha Advocate filed a writ in the Balochistan High Court on the delay in providing relief to flood victims in Balochistan. The monsoon season has resulted in massive loss of life and property, but due to the lack of effective relief effort on the part of the Government, the victims are suffering severe hardships. This is resulting in a human tragedy. (Urdu Point)
  • Disproving the perception of using war-torn Afghanistan as its proxy state, Pakistan has contributed 1 billion dollars to rebuild hospitals, schools, and roads, according to the state-run news agency, APP. Since September 2021, more than 14,945 tons of humanitarian aid have been sent to Afghanistan through 694 trucks and four C-130 planes under the arrangements of the Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum. Afghanistan’s second-largest Jinnah Hospital with a capacity of 200 beds was also opened in Kabul three years ago at a cost of over 24 million dollars as part of Pakistan’s contribution to reconstruction and development efforts of its western neighbour. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express)
  •  Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor has been posted as Corps Commander Quetta. According to the ISPR, he succeeds Lt. Gen. Sarfraz Ali Shaheed who died in a chopper crash on 1st August while on flood relief operation mission in Balochistan’s Lasbela. (Daily Express, Daily Jinnah, Ummat, Nawaiwaqt)

EDITORIALS

  • President Joe Biden has confirmed that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a US drone strike in Kabul. Two missiles were fired at a house. No Afghan citizen was killed in the attack. According to the US administration, Ayman al-Zawahiri was present in Kabul’s safe house along with his family. After Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in the balcony where he was seated, his family members were moved out. On the one hand, the United States has signed the Doha Agreement with the Taliban to end terrorism and restore peace and order in the region, and on the other hand, drone attacks are not only fueling terrorism in the region but also violating international laws and peace agreements. Repeating the failed experience of the 20-year military operation is not in the interest of Afghanistan, the region, and the US itself. If the US can attack any independent country in self-defense by justifying that the terrorists are there and are a threat to US security, if every country is going to attack other countries based on this assumption, how can law and order be guaranteed? All countries, including the United States, can guarantee the peace and order of the planet only by observing international laws. After the American withdrawal from Kabul, law and order has been restored in this region. Therefore, the United States should avoid any action that may threaten the peace and order of the region again. (Edit, Nawaiwaqt)
  • The Election Commission’s findings against PTI in foreign funding case can result in the PTI getting disqualified. It will be a misfortune if any party gets disqualified. But political parties also should see to it that they do not violate election commission’s laws, rules and regulations. Whatever is happening or going to happen, is not good for PTI; it is an alarm bell but for all political parties. (Pahenji, Edit, Aug.3) 
  • After the EC verdict in the PTI funding case, the government has decided to file a reference in Supreme Court for disqualifying former Prime Minister Imran Khan and banning his party, PTI. This was decided yesterday in a meeting chaired by Prime Minster Shahbaz Sharif. A decision was also taken to put the names of Imran Khan and other PTI leaders on ECL. Federal ministers Rana Sana Ullah and Maryam Aurangzeb also said in a press conference that government will take strong action against PTI. In a related development, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary has claimed that they had completed their homework for ‘sending back’ the Sharif government. At a time when the country is in the grip of severe economic problems, these statements from the government and the opposition are increasing the political tension and bitterness. Many parts of the country are suffering from floods and rains. People are living a hellish life but our political leadership is busy in personal fights. (Edits-Daily Dunya, Jehan Pakistan)
  • As long as we do not make efforts to be self-reliant, as long as we do not cut down our expenditure and increase productivity, we will continue facing economic meltdown and depreciation of our rupee. It is time we framed policies that help us come out of the debt-traps and help us live life with pride and head held high. (Ibrat, Edit)  
  • We welcome the Sindh government’s decision to provide compensation to people affected in recent rains. We will also like say that the proposed relief should reach affected people. Experience tells that relief often does not reach these people.  Hence, authorities need to ensure that these amounts reach people for whom they are meant.  (Sindh Exp, Edit)  
  • The police have reportedly staged an encounter in Multan district. Such extra-judicial actions may further intensify the public backlash. The Government and concerned institutions should seriously consider the situation. It is true that lawbreakers sometimes attack the police in such a way as to target them. There is no choice but the details of every such incident should come before the people so that their anger cannot be diverted towards the law enforcers. (Daily Pakistan Edit)

COLUMNS

  • The most important part of Election Commission’s findings is in para 46, which says funds raised (by PTI) are not in accordance with Imran Khan’s statements and also are against laws. It notes that party accounts are not tallying. Hence, this para gives rise to questions if the party chairman is “above board”. It would be no surprise if PPP and PML -N now go to courts saying that Imran Khan is not honest and is a liar and hence he be disqualified as parliament member. It is likely that other parties’ funds also might be probed now. If PPP, PML(N) and JUI are free from any irregularity, then PTI’s days are numbered. But, if any one of them (PPP, ML-N and JUI) is also guilty of any irregularity (in matters of foreign funds), then for the first time Imran Khan will be seen sitting for talks with these “robbers and thieves” pleading for a patch-up. (Dr. Ayub Sheikh in Kawish) 
  • The verdict in the foreign funding case is given after a long wait. The decision, as expected, went against Imran Khan. His PTI received prohibited funds from 34 foreign citizens including US-based Indian businesswoman Romita Shetty, and 351 foreign companies. In all 13 accounts were kept secret from Election Commission. In short, there are many points on which Imran Khan can be disqualified from contesting elections. And the government is making preparations to follow up the case. But it is only the legal aspect.  What about the social aspect? The people and followers of the PTI and Imran Khan will not accept the EC ruling. Their logic is simple. Consider this. Present rulers are facing many cases of corruption and other charges of illegal activities; many of them were arrested and are out on bail. If there is no bar on them to contest elections, and rule, why should a person. who does not have a single case against him and is most popular be disqualified.     (Saud Usmani in Dunya Daily)
  • Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has contacted US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman by telephone and asked her to use her influence with the IMF to release the installment of the loan to Pakistan. General Bajwa also reportedly spoke on phone with some military officials in the US CENTCOM. The General’s personal intervention to hasten the IMF loan instilments shows the degree of deterioration in the fiscal situation. (Arif Bahar, Jasarat) ###