Pak Urdu Media Digest, July 28, 2022

 Editorials:

  1. Like it or not, Supreme Court orders on the Punjab assembly chief minister will have to be accepted. It is the role of the judiciary to decide disputes in light of the constitution and laws of the land. But, political issues are to be sorted out amongst political parties. If political parties still refuse to settle disputes even after Supreme Court decision on Punjab, then   crisis will never get resolved and will only keep rising further weakening our economy and inviting more crises in country. (Pahenji Akhbar Edit, July 27)
  2. After the Supreme Court’s decision on 26th July about the election of Punjab’s Chief Minister, it was hoped that the political uncertainty in the province will end. But the reaction of the ruling parties to the judgement shows that their behavior will drag the country towards more political instability. It was indicated by the slowing down of the business in the stock market and the value of the dollar touching 237 rupees. The circumstances of the country demand that the judgement should be accepted without a qualm. In developed countries, such judgments are accepted gracefully and neither the ruling party nor the opposition objects to them. But the situation is quite different in our country. Our power-hungry politicians don’t believe in democratic norms. Every day the economy is going down but our politicians have decided that they will not change their behavior. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  3. Political tensions are on rise in the country. People are afraid that if the political crisis remains unresolved, the country can get unstable. It can affect law and order situation with political protests and politicians attacking one another in protest meetings. Economy and energy issues also can get worse. If governments keep changing frequently, then global trust on Pakistan will further get eroded leaving the most weakening influence on our economy. And major loser in all this will be the common man. Hence, political, non-political elements and key institutions need to give it a thought that instead of taking every issue to courts and prolonging matters there, we should learn to develop the habit of taking everything in our stride, be it defeat or success and be ready for sacrifice in larger interests of people and to help country get respite from crises upon country. (Kawish Edit, July 27)
  4. PML-N’s Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah is criticized for talking about Governor’s Rule in Punjab after the Supreme Court’s verdict ousting Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and installing Pervez Ilahi in his place. Pakistan is already going through difficult times and in such a serious situation creating more troubles is not at all wise and in favor of the nation. Both, the ruling side and the Opposition, PML-N and PTI should have patience; instead of creating chaos for vested interests, they must keep the national interests on top. The current situation demands political harmony and not hatred. Not accepting the court ruling would serve no good to anyone. A governor’s rule is applicable only if there is some real emergency but there is nothing that serious at all in Punjab and therefore talks about governor’s rule are absolutely rubbish. (Edits – Aeen, Qudrat, Jehan Pakistan, Nai Baat, Daily Pakistan)
  5. Before our hungry men start becoming angry men, rulers will have to take note of conditions around the country. Government’s priority should be to address basic issues of inflation and make essentials within peoples’ reach. Government should also give attention especially to those who have suffered maximum in recent rains, who are made homeless and whose crops are affected in rains. If the plight of these people is ignored, simmering anger   will explode one day in the form of lava which will do no good to either rulers or to PTI. We should see to it that we do not reach that point of no return. Reconciliation is the best option to escape current disturbing conditions. If political parties are not prepared to sit together, then powers that be, the establishment, should play a role   for the larger of good of the country. If this is not done, then we all will suffer irreparable losses. (Ibrat Edit)
  6. Pakistan is currently going through a difficult situation. Disagreement in political parties has turned into enmity. Every politician talks about democracy but is reluctant to act according to democratic requirements. Democracy requires consultation and dialogue. The supremacy and efficacy of a democratic system as compared to a dictatorship   is also due to the fact that it conducts national affairs with mutual consultation. The opinion of an individual does not have the status of an order, but it can be said that it is unfortunate that despite being fully conscious and aware of this fact, the leaders of our political parties are at odds with each other to such an extent that they are even not ready to sit at the same table. Party, group, and personal interests have prevailed over collective and national interests. This is the reason why no politician seems to be serious and concerned about the crisis-ridden country. The situation requires collective efforts and this can only be done through broad dialogue. The President of the Country has expressed his willingness to facilitate such a dialogue, while Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Chairman Sirajul-Haq has also offered to host the dialogue.  It is certain that the Grand Dialogue will not resolve the tangled issues. In view of the interest of the country and the nation, all the political leaders will have to put their personal   interests behind so that the nation can come out of   uncertainty. (Editor Nawai Waqt)
  7. Sindh government is demolishing villages around Karachi citing the reason that these villages are illegal. These are villages where people have been living over centuries. On one hand, foreigners are being accommodated and given ownership rights, including to Afghans and Pathans from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It is PPP ruling Sindh and it is their government taking such decisions against natives/Sindh people. People living in Karachi villages have been demanding regularization of their localities over the years, but the Sindh government has done nothing to address the demands. On the contrary, the Sindh government has started a demolition drive. We think these drives   are illegal. It must stop and whatever villages have been demolished so far, villagers of such villages should be compensated. Also, instead of giving permanent ownership rights to outsiders and foreigners, these rights are given to Sindh natives so that they can live better lives. Or else, they will keep protesting. (Sindh Express Edit)
  8. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the global economic growth rate is going to fall to 3.2%, which can make the economy of every country uncertain. The State Bank of Pakistan has estimated the GDP growth in the country at 3 to 4 percent and economists have confirmed its concerns. This means that the target of 5% growth rate set by the present government in the budget documents will not be met. Pakistan’s economy is currently facing many challenges. Among them, increasing trade deficit, increasing import bill, increasing foreign debt payments and political uncertainty touching dangerous levels are the most important. It is said that the government will have to import 30 lakh tons of wheat due to the non-fulfillment of the production target. More loans have to be taken to pay off external debts. (Edit Jang)

NEWS

  1. Leader of Pakistan Sunni Tehreek Mohammed Sarwat Aijaz Qadri has said that a democracy where people don’t get justice and their rights is called dictatorial democracy. He said that the supremacy of the constitution and law should be assured. The Finance Minister is responsible for the unstable economy, the rising value of the dollar and defective policies. Adding sales tax to the electricity bills is cruelty. We support the demand of the traders that the Finance Minister should resign. The rulers should move among people to see what kind of life they are living. (Dunya Daily)
  2. Sindh Chief of Jamaat e Islami, Maulana Mohammed Husain Mahanti, has said that the performance of the PDM government for the last 100 days is very disappointing. The falling economy and rising value of the dollar are the results of the wrong policies and an interest-based economy. People are drowning in the flood and rains, and poor men are worried about their two meals but the rulers are busy in playing the game of power. We can’t hope for any good from these rulers. He said that the country can’t come out of these crises unless it is released from the slavery of America and the interest-based economy. (Dunya, Jasarat)
  3. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has favoured early elections, according to a private TV. He has asked the senior leaders of his party to leave the government. He discussed this topic many times with Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other top leaders of the PDM. He has said that continuing in the government will create more problems instead of solving them. According to the sources, Asif Zardari and Maulana Fazal Ur Rahman are against leaving the government. But the recent verdict of the Supreme Court declaring Pervez Ilahi the Chief Minister of Punjab may force them to change their minds. (Intekhab Daily)
  4. Federal Minister Javed Latif of PML-N has denied reports of imposing governor raj in Punjab. He said that those who have read the constitution or know something about it are well aware that imposing governor raj was difficult in the past but after the 18th amendment it has become nearly impossible. He said that nobody is thinking about imposing governor raj in Punjab. We don’t want it. Just one day ago another member of PML-N and federal Home Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan had said that imposing governor raj will be discussed in the cabinet meeting. He had said that if his entry is banned in Punjab then it will be the starting point for governor raj in Punjab. (Ausaf Daily)
  5. The government is preparing to sell power plants for USD 2 billion. Preparations are underway to sell Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki RLNG Power Plant; both the power plants will be given to a Gulf country. Preparations are also being made to sell the shares of three oil and gas companies including OGDCL. It has been reported that the government decided to bring an ordinance for a government-to-government deal. The ordinance can be brought after the meeting of the National Assembly. (Jasarat)
  6. The Islamic Nazryati/Ideological Council and Ulema have called insulting the Holy Prophet, his Companions, and family members of the Prophet (Ahl-e-Bait) as a serious crime; they recommended that the perpetrators be given the harshest punishments. Repression in the name of enforcing Islam, armed action against the state, violence and disorder will also be considered sedition. No person has the right to call the members of the government, military or other security agencies infidels. Federal Minister of Religious Affairs Mufti Abdul Shakoor, Chairman Islamic Ideological Council Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Chairman Pakistan Ulama Council Maulana Mufti Abdul Rahim and others participated in the congregation. They stressed on unity and said that freedom of expression is subordinate to Islam and the laws of the country; so no program should be run on the media that causes communal hatred and undermines the Islamic identity of Pakistan. (Jasarat)
  7. Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Qaiser Rasheed has said that the laws in force in the tribal districts including Malakand division will not be revoked in any case, for the strengthening of the judicial system in the tribal districts; thousands of kanals of land has been provided for constructing judicial buildings, which will be sufficient for the next hundred years.  (Jasarat)
  8. A meeting of PTI’s political committee was held in Islamabad under the chairmanship of Imran Khan, in which it was decided that the aggressive strategy against the federal government would be accelerated. (Jang)
  9. The Balochistan government has decided to set up a judicial commission to investigate deaths in Ziarat operation. The   commission will consist of High Court judges, and the Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court will nominate the judges. With the approval of the Chief Minister, a letter has been sent to the Registrar of Balochistan High Court for setting up of the judicial commission to find out whether the persons killed during the Ziarat operation were in custody. (Jang)
  10. Speaking in the National Assembly, MNA Mohsin Dawar said that there has been a lot of damage due to rain in the districts of Balochistan, Sindh and KPK. He also said law and order situation in the areas is bad. Turning to the negotiations with the Taliban, he said they cannot come back with weapons. The TTP had martyred four of our colleagues, while in the last 24 hours, four to five people have been targeted. North Waziristan, South Waziristan and the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been handed over to the Taliban. (Jang)
  11. Buka Khel, Mumand Khel and Jani Khel Tribes have decided in a grand jirga to block the work on gas pipeline to Punjab from Waziristan. They said people of Waziristan have the first right on the gas produced in the region.  “We will not allow anyone to snatch our rights”. (Aeen)
  12. The Afghan Qaumi Movement has criticized authorities for no action on missing persons despite protests by children, women and relatives on the streets.  Baloch and Pashtun   leaders are being targeted every alternate day and governments are sitting with deaf ears. If this is not stopped soon there would be civil war in Pakistan like the one that destroyed Afghanistan. (Qudrat)
  13. A big progress has been made in Gwadar Free Zone and exports would start from next year and all the products would be free from all types of taxes and custom duty for the next two decades. (Qudrat)
  14. Leader of Muslim League (N) and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has supported early elections. Sources have stated that Nawaz Sharif discussed the option of leaving the Government at the Center with the senior leaders.  According to sources, Nawaz Sharif advised that staying in the Government for more time will create more problems instead of solving them.  Asif Zardari, Maulana Fazalur Rehman and other PDM leaders, have so far opposed the idea of leaving power, but with the decision of the Supreme Court to make Parvez Elahi the Chief Minister of Punjab, the possibility of early polls is being seen. (Daily Pakistan)
  15. Remittances from Pakistanis working in Kuwait have been recorded at 8.5% on annual basis during the last financial year. According to the statistics released by the State Bank in this regard, Pakistanis working in Kuwait sent 934.4 million dollars in foreign exchange to the country in the fiscal year 2022, which is 8.5 percent more than the fiscal year 2021. (Daily Express)
  16. The federal government decided to withdraw the review appeal made against Justice Qazi Faiz Isa filed during the reign of Imran Khan. A federal cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, discussed political and economic situation of the country.  The interior minister said that a sub-committee of the cabinet has been set up to take action against those who made false references against Qazi Faiz Isa. (Ummat)
  17. Under the leadership of Mufti Taqi Usmani, a well-known religious scholar among Pakistani scholars met the Afghan Interim Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund in Kabul. Afghan Minister of Education, Chief Justice, and other senior officials also participated in the meeting. During the meeting, bilateral relations were discussed in detail. A delegation of Pakistani religious and tribal leaders arrived in Kabul from Islamabad on 25th July. (Ummat, Nawai Waqt, Daily Jinnah)
  18. In view of the situation caused by rains and floods in Balochistan, all political parties have agreed to postpone local body elections by four months. According to a reliable source, Chief Minister Balochistan made telephonic contacts with Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Mahmood Khan Achakzai to take them into confidence about the current flood situation. He informed them about the damage and relief operations. (Daily Express, Daily Jinnah, Nawai Waqt)
  19. Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that having signed the program with the IMF, we have avoided default but still have to be vigilant. Addressing a seminar   in Islamabad, he said that the inflow of dollars increased due to the government’s priority. He added that all IMF pre-conditions have been fulfilled and the Executive Board of the IMF will meet next month to take a call on package for Pakistan. (Daily Express, Nawai Waqt, Ummat, Daily Jinnah
  20. The anti-corruption authorities transferred the arrested PTI leader   Haleem Adil Shaikh to Karachi’s Aziz Bhatti police station for further investigation.  He was detained when he   arrived at the anti-corruption Jamshoro office for his trial. (Daily Express, Nawai Waqt, Ummat)

Columns:

  1. There are three major areas accounting for the crisis after crisis in the country and they are: political parties, establishment and judiciary. There are times when the judiciary, acting on doctrine of necessity, has empowered establishment to such a horrifying level that establishment goes to the extent of amending the very constitution. The great courts have settled   political disputes; killings too have taken place via court orders. For the first time we are witnessing a three-judge bench refusing the request for a full bench to hear the Punjab assembly matter. Now that the Punjab chief ministerial issue is still in dispute, we see more repeated confrontations between political parties and other institutions exposing people to more inconvenience. The tragedy with our poor country and meek people is that though these three political parties, establishment and judiciary claim doing a lot for people their actions of these three speak otherwise.  (Pahenji Akhbar, Mumtaz Mungi, July 27)
  2. Pakistan economy is indebted to the extent of 249 billion dollars, on account of internal and external loans. In the next three years, external loan of about 24 billion dollars is to be repaid. The Government of Pakistan is in talks with the IMF for new loans. Pakistan has raised these loans on 22 occasions and loans are rising instead of declining. Since the country is running short of foreign reserves, there is an urgent need of 42 billion dollars to set right deficits in the budget and foreign trade. Foreign loans have proved to be very tough on the economy. So much so, our economy has now become “addict” of raising loans. Continuing dependence on loans and 64 billion dollar Chinese loan which began as 47 billion dollar loan in 2014, have proved to be a big burden on the economy. Lot of claims about betterment in the economy and job creations from CPEC have proved to be absurd and nothing concrete has happened on ground. Depreciating the Pakistan rupee is resulting in more burdens of foreign loans. We had a similar scenario in 2018. IMF, China, Saudi and UAE had come to Pakistan’s help. Pakistan debts have gone up by 65 billion dollars between 2016 and 2021. In 2021 alone, Pakistan raised 15 billion dollars. The main issue now is about our ability to pay interest on these foreign loans. Half of tax revenue goes in repayment of loans and payment of interests. Economy is on the way to bankruptcy. Crisis on the loan front is a big alarm bell for Pakistan. We will have to set things right and cut down expenditure keeping in mind our financial status. (Kawish, Dr. Ahmad Nawaz H, July 27)
  3. We still fail to understand the actual reasons behind the formation of Pakistan. We have glorious past with excellent and famous personalities including Sir Gangaram, Sardar Bhagat Singh, Jagan Nath Mandal and Jagan Nath Azad amongst other tall personalities. We have forgotten them all only because of our prejudices and biases. There is no mention — not a single word about non-Muslims in our education syllabus. We are going to celebrate 75th year of independence on August 14 this year. On this day, we need to give a thought as to what are the reasons that we keep going backward each passing year and countries that have come up after the formation of Pakistan are emerging as strong economies. (Ibrat, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Wankwani)
  4. Now that the Supreme Court has set aside the demand for a full bench to hear the Punjab assembly case, it has led to deterioration of the political crisis. The alliance government in Islamabad has also said it ignores orders of three judge bench verdict in favor of Pervez Ilahi as Punjab Chief Minister. Political uncertainties will now take the country more and more towards a state of bankruptcy. This atmosphere can affect expectations of help from the IMF and other friendly countries. I think orders are expected soon in foreign funding case against Imran Khan and all records of Imran Khan’s interviews and records are also being collected and a case is also being made about Imran Khan’s disrespect to election commission. The institutions are under pressure now due to political uncertainties and state of instability in the country. The remarks being made by some of PML-N leaders can also jeopardize the current system posing a threat to the government of the day. (Ibrat, Kanwar Dilshad)
  5. Asif Ali Zardari’s quietly going out of country to Dubai at this stage has triggered doubts about hidden nexus with PTI and establishment. Everyone knows that Bilawal cannot take any decision on his own. Another notable observation is three judges’ order on the Punjab chief minister dispute has only aggravated problems instead of resolving the dispute. At this time, Zardari should have been with his allies PML-N, JUI-F and others in Pakistan. In the PDM government’s meeting held on Wednesday along with constitutional and legal experts, one thing came out that in order to stop Pervez Elahi from taking over as Punjab chief minister, the federal government can impose governor’s rule in Punjab. And, in case President Arif Alvi does not sign the PM’s orders for Governor Rule in Punjab, then parliament and senate are competent to do so. Otherwise too, parliament is empowered to impose Governor Rule for maximum two months and it can be extended to six months and these six months should be enough to expose Imran Khan’s misdeeds. During this period, judges’ authority also can be curtailed through constitutional amendments so that judges stop interfering with work of assemblies and parliament. Political parties in PDM should see to it that in future they make appointment of judges on merit for good of all and also for better and merit-based delivery of justice. (Sindh Express, Dastgir Bhati)
  6. The fight that we are seeing today between parliament and judiciary is in fact a fight between two factions of the establishment. In 2018, Imran Khan’s help was sought to remove the PML-N government of Nawaz Sharif and in 2022 help of the PML-N was taken to replace the PTI and Imran Khan government. This conveys the basic fact that our politicians are still not politically mature and could not understand that they helped the establishment achieve its agenda on both occasions in 2018 and in 2022. Political parties are always ready to play into the hands of the establishment. One faction in the establishment is helping the PDM and other is supporting Imran Khan. This internal feud in the establishment will continue till appointment of new army chief later this year. Right now, there is a big fight to take over Punjab and hence a lot of developments are taking place in courts and parliament. The worst part is that people are just kept busy with TV debates on political development.  Nobody seems to be bothered as to where we are heading on the economy front. When every institution is out against another institution in country, then who can stop Pakistan from becoming another “Sri Lanka”? (Sindh Express, Assar Imam)
  7. PTI chief Imran Khan will spend a busy   day in Lahore today. Mainly the purpose of his visit to Lahore is to form the Punjab Cabinet. He will take the final decision after taking the allies into confidence. Although this is a coalition government, PTI will get the maximum number of ministries. So there is a need to be very careful while choosing the ministers.  If Imran Khan repeats the mistake of 2018, Punjab will suffer a lot as long as his government lasts. Now, if this aspect is ignored in the formation of the Punjab Cabinet, PTI will suffer the most. There is also a question of whether PTI will dissolve the assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In fact, Imran Khan is walking on the path of government formation keeping the announcement of general elections in front. They will constantly put pressure on the federal government, increase pressure on them every day and force them to announce general elections. What happened in Parliament yesterday cannot be remembered in good words. There is no doubt that Parliament is also crossing the limits. If institutions are taught to remain within limits, then this principle also applies to Parliament. If the Parliament has supremacy, other institutions are also important. We have to move forward and the way to do this is to move forward with consensus for the peaceful conduct of general elections. Peace is most important and necessary. (Akram Choudhary – Nawai Waqt) ####