Pak Urdu Media Digest, Aug 5, 2022

 NEWS

  •  Demanding transparent elections, former Prime Minister Imran Khan said he is ready to talk to the ruling alliance if the poll dates are set. He claimed that Shahbaz Sharif and Zardari are not announcing elections because “they are apprehensive of defeat”. They are not worried about the country. They just want to protect their booty. They have billions of rupees in foreign banks. Their children are getting education in foreign countries. Their properties and business are in foreign countries. They don’t have to worry about anything.  (Ausaf Daily)
  • Federal Home Minister Rana Sana Ullah has said if PTI ruled Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies are dissolved, he would announce the dissolution of the National assembly. In a TV show, he said that if PTI dissolves their two assemblies today, we will dissolve the National Assembly tomorrow. “I assure you there will not be by-polls but a general election”, he declared. PPP leader Latif Khosa endorsed Rana Sana statement saying, “Let PTI dissolve the KP and Punjab Assemblies today. We will dissolve the National Assembly tomorrow”. (Ausaf Daily)
  • PTI leader Asad Umar has accused the Election Commission of working as a subsidiary of PDM. Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad he said that the EC judgement on the prohibited funding case against PTI seems to be a result of a conspiracy. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Nawaz Sharif has given a deadline of 17th August to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take important decisions. According to PML-N sources, after 17 August he will address the nation by video link from London, and will announce the date of his return. According to the sources he asked Shehbaz to hand over party reins to Mariam Nawaz. (Intekhab Daily)
  • PML-N chief, Nawaz Sharif has entrusted party’s anti-Imran campaign to his daughter, Mariam Nawaz. He also asked her to lead the party’s charge in the foreign funding case. Following this, Mariam Nawaz has become active. And has directed party leaders and workers to become more aggressive, and raise the ‘prohibited’ funding case at all forums on a daily basis. They have also been asked to highlight the flip-side of Imran regime. Intensify the campaign on social media, Mariam Nawa told the PML N caders.   (Ausaf Daily)
  • Jamaat-e-Islami Chairman Siraj-ul-Haq said that the Islamic system could not be implemented in the country for seven decades. This is the reason why the enemy is successful in dividing Pakistan. Even today we are slaves of IMF. The cause of poverty and hunger in the country is the lack of justice. Instead of lending to others, we are begging the world. PDM and PTI are abusing each other. The fight of the rulers is not for the people but for personal gain. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Jinnah, Urdu Point, Ummat)
  • Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi has decided to field daughter Meherbano Qureshi as PTI candidate in the ensuing by-poll from NA-157. The seat has fallen vacated by his son Zain Qureshi. (Urdu Point)
  • Unknown persons attacked a stall selling national flags in Quetta with a grenade, as a result of which one person was killed and 14 were injured.  The police confirmed that the grenade attack. (Daily Express, Nawaiwaqt)
  • A blast was reported at a dumping ground triggering panic at Kotri (Sindh); the explosion also claimed one life. The blast was powerful and the body of the victim tossed into the air and fell on a tree. According to initial investigations, the youth belonged to a terror group. He has been identified as Allah Bux Khokhar, a 22-year-old son of a police officer, Maula Bux Kokhar, who is posted at Kotri Site Police station. Police believe that the youth must be on his way to do some terror attack when his bomb exploded. Police sources said bomb was locally made and was fitted with explosives, and a remote device. Maula Bux Khokhar, father of slain youth, has been suspended though he was on a three -day leave at his native place, Daddu. He has since been taken into custody for interrogation. Police sources also said security will now be stepped up in view of Moharram. Police said it looks bomb was connected to some remotely controlled device. (Sindh Exp) 
  • According to the ISPR, the security forces conducted an operation in Miran Shah area of North Waziristan and killed a terrorist. A 30-year-old soldier was also killed in the exchange of fire.  (Jasarat, Khabrain)
  • During the first seven months of this year, 47 suspects were killed in encounters in Karachi. As many as 756 suspects were arrested. (Jang)
  • Grand Jirga has carried out the demarcation of Tohar Ban border between Diamer and Kohistan. Representatives of the two regions were present. The border row had claimed four lives eight years ago. Lot of properties was destroyed as well. (Daily K2)
  •  Quetta’s Eastern by-pass area has become a den of drug peddlers. There is open sale and purchase of narcotics. (Qudrat)
  • Miscreants blew up 18” diameter gas pipeline with explosives in Mach area of Bolan District.  (Qudrat)        
  • People of Mohmand have been protesting against power outages for a week in front of the press club in Ghalanai headquarters. (Daily Pakistan)
  • After successful negotiations between the government and traders, the fixed tax on electricity bills has been deferred for one year.  This was announced by Federal Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail and Federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir. (Daily Express, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • The Taliban has said they are investigating the US   claim of death of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone attack.  Sohail Shaheen, Taliban’s designated representative to the United Nations based in Doha, told reporters that the Afghan government and leadership are not aware of what the US is claiming, nor have they found any trace of it. He said that investigations are on to find out the truth of the claim. He added that the results of the investigation will be shared publicly. (Ummat, Daily Jinnah, Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express)

Editorials

  • The leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have been bad mouthing the Chief Election Commissioner, CEC, Sikandar Sultan Raja in the wake of foreign funding case; they are accusing the poll body of favouring Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Government in order to harm PTI. The Party has since moved the Supreme Court asking that the CEC be removed. The government is also running down the PTI and Imran Khan. It is sad that while the nation is in great distress, political parties are working for their vested interests and everyone seems to be stoking political fire. It is not possible to find a solution to this problem if both sides continue this insanity. (Edits – Aeen, Qudrat)        
  • Speaking in Dera Ismael Khan yesterday, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said, “We say we are free, but what kind of freedom is this when we are economic slaves of the IMF? What we have given to the country during the last 72 years? Other countries are far ahead of us by working on the principles of Islam, honesty, unity and hard work”. These are very important and valid questions but being the head of the country, he is in a better position to answer them. It is not a secret that if we are sincere about the progress of our country we have to work honestly and unitedly. We have to rise above our personal interests and think about national interests. Progress is not possible if we go on blaming others for our mistakes. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  • Wheat bags worth Rs.1.66 billion have been stolen from government warehouses across 11 districts of Sindh. The government has set up committees to probe such scams in the past. The officials found involved in scams are suspended or dismissed but they are soon back at the jobs by either fixing up things or under-table dealings. We demand strict legal action in the wheat scam so that none dares such acts in future”. (Kawish, Edit, Aug.4)   
  • Analysts say, the situation has improved significantly after the announcement of the board meeting by the IMF. The Army Chief also appealed to the United States to facilitate IMF loan. After receiving the IMF tranche, the dollar may fall below 200 rupees. The upset in the by-election of Punjab created a situation of political instability in the country. But now there is certainty and people are feeling that there will be no immediate elections. The steps taken by the government to improve the economy have the potential to improve the growth rate, but many more difficult decisions need to be taken to get the economy back on its feet. A number of policy initiatives and management decisions are also required to move the country’s economy from a low-value chain to high-value chain. This government should work out a comprehensive strategy with the Opposition to pay off old loans, interest on them, and interest on interest. If capital is needed on an emergency basis to run the economy, one should rely on China and friendly Islamic countries on a purely temporary basis. At present, the political division is so deep that the Opposition and the government are not ready to sit together. There is a need to put the economy above politics.   (Edit, Daily Express)
  • Interior Minister has clarified that the US drone that killed Al-Qaeda’s Chief al-Zawahiri did not take off from Pakistan and that it did not use the Pak air space. Despite the clarification some elements have spread negative propaganda to sabotage Pak- Afghan relationships. With the presence of mind, conspiracy of such elements should be curbed. (Jehan Pakistan Edit)
  • Security in Gilgit has become a matter of concern during Muharram. People should understand that peace is the key to development and if there is no peace there would be no development but problems would increase further. Hence everyone should take the responsibility of ensuring peace everywhere and all times. The law enforcement agencies should keep a strict vigil on miscreants and law breakers and deal with them with iron hands. (Baad-e-Shimal Edit)

Columns

  • Imran Khan is restless for power. He wants it anyhow. That is the reason he wants early polls too.  He has no interest in election reforms or any other reform. In his quest for power, he is now ready for compromise too. He has given up his liberal life-style; it is possible he has no interest in corruption. He is only keen to get that protocol which is otherwise unaffordable in a poor country like Pakistan. One can also say in praise of Imran Khan that whatever political games he has learnt, he has learnt all by himself and by now his political shrewdness and sharpness are much more than that of entire PDM leadership put together. He has earned his popularity and he could earn more name by changing political culture in the country. But, as in the past, now he is also interested in becoming PM only. Right now, the fight is between Imran Khan on one the side and the rest of the politicians on the other.  By snatching power from Imran Khan, all parties and leaders in PDM have made Imran Khan more popular…. more than what he was as PM. (Sindh Exp. Aijaz Mungi) 
  • We should not be too happy with the recent decision of the election commission against Imran Khan. He could have been out of Pakistan politics much earlier if courts had given verdicts as per laws of land. Our courts give verdicts not as per laws but as per conditions in the country. It is possible that government’s approaching court in light of EC findings might turn beneficial to Imran Khan and he might once again get cleared there are “Sadiq and Ameen”. Whatever needs to be done formally against PTI/Imran Khan, let the government of the day be allowed to do it and let Imran Khan put forth his best possible legal say in defense in foreign funding case. Any more behind-the-curtain support for Imran Khan and allowing him all kinds of freedom can prove very dangerous for the country. Rules, regulations, and laws applicable to other politicians be made applicable also to Imran Khan so that he stops complaining that laws of land are discriminatory, one for rich and elites and other set for weak and poor. (Sindh Exp. Akhtar Hafeez) 
  • Recipients of foreign fundings are just actors in the play, major beneficiaries are the ones who give these funds and their facilitators. During 2008-13, Imran Khan was a big zero in Pakistan politics. He enjoyed no political post. Why would individuals and companies in the UK, USA, Australia, Switzerland, UAE and other countries give him crores of dollars.? Also, could that foreign fundings be possible without facilitators within? PTI cannot deny having received these amounts but now the question: Is all this legal. What was this foreign funding used for? Amongst other things, it saw the holding of 123- day dharna against the PML (N) government in 2014 to weaken Nawaz government and also resulted in the Chinese President’s visit to Pakistan getting deferred by a year. All this foreign funding has come from western countries only. One can read a lot in between lines if one digs deeply with a cool head. We should not forget one fact. No one can escape accountability laws, be it Fazl ur Rehman, Imran Khan, Nawaz or Mariam, not even Zardari and Bilawal, all of their facilitators, be they State or non-State ones, all will pass through accountability, one after another. The only question is: when. (Pahenji, Jagdish Ahuja, Aug.4)    
  • One of the major reasons for dollar costing more and rupee getting depreciated is the huge demand for dollars. At one time there was a sort of panic buying of dollars as fear ran far and wide that the country might go bankrupt. Dollar is costing rupees five more in Afghanistan and hence dollars were smuggled into Afghanistan from Pakistan. Government has now taken steps to check this smuggling, and this has resulted in rupee getting a boost and the dollar rate plummeting as witnessed a day ago. The way Punjab political scenario turned volatile with unexpected win for PTI last month, only added to uncertainties and fears that bankruptcy of Pakistan was around.  The conditions in the country took a big turn once again with the election commission releasing long pending orders on PTI’s foreign funding case. Not only did the dollar and gold rates come down but the stock market too turned bullish. The PDM government has also decided to move the Supreme Court seeking disqualification of Imran Khan and banning of PTI. Whatever be their tall claims the PTI leaders are clearly upset. It is clear from their discomfort during press conferences. Political analysts see tough times ahead for PTI, on both political and legal fronts. (Kawish, Ali Zahid, Aug.4)   
  • Today everybody is talking about foreign funding, but what is foreign funding? Can we eliminate it from our lives? It is a fact that at present all of our political pillars are standing on foreign funding. IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other financial agencies give us funds to run our country. They provide funds at such a high rate and with hard conditions that the big chunk of our national income is used to pay their interests and the principal amount remains as it is. The value of the Pakistani rupee fell by 30 percent in the last few weeks. It means that a loan of 100 billion became a loan of 130 billion without borrowing a single rupee. There are many cases of foreign funding for political parties. Even religious institutions, mosques and NGOs are run on foreign funding. This is going on for a long time and it will go on. Nothing is illegal. But receiving foreign funds by PTI is illegal, it is a serious crime. Not a single political party has shown its source of income or receipts of the funding. But nobody is asking them. (Dunay Daily-Babar Awan)
  •  Russia-Ukraine war has not ended as yet but a new Cold War has been broken between the US and China over Taiwan.   This Cold War started when the US announced the visit of Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei. It was the first visit by any top US official in 25 years. The sensitivity of this visit was such that the fleets of China and America came face- to- face. Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations and the Western world is also forced to accept the One China policy. The US government does not challenge this position. We want China to find a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue by itself. At this time, the world powers need to act sensibly and both China and the US need to show flexibility. We in Pakistan need to show great foresight on the foreign front. Otherwise, the current government will also be trapped like the Imran government in deciding who to support and who not to support. (Ali Ahmed Dhalon – Daily Express) ###