Pak Urdu Media Digest, July 6, 2022

NEWS

  • Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq has criticised that the rulers have deprived the people of their right to live. The parties in the ruling coalition are clubs of landlords, Wadera and corrupt capitalists.  The rulers always traded the country for their own benefit and hurt the people. Inflation, unemployment, and load shedding have deprived people of their peaceful sleep. Haq said this while campaigning in the byelection from constituency, PP-170. He sought vote to the forthcoming by-election for the implementation of Islamic system of banking. (Jasarat- Dunya Daily)
  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman and former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has strongly rejected speculations that he is leaving PTI. He said that all such reports are baseless. Rumors are being spread that I am angry with Imran Khan. It is not true. My opponents are just wasting their time by spreading such canards. (Jasarat)
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to reduce the customs duty to the minimum to increase bilateral trade.  Both countries also agreed to keep the Chaman border open for 24 hours. These decisions were taken in a meeting of top officers of both countries. They have decided to ask their respective governments to open a second border point for traders.  (Intekhab Daily) 
  • A delegation from different chambers of Afghanistan arrived in Chaman on a one-day visit. On arrival in Pakistan, the delegation was received by senior leader of Chaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry Haji Jalat Khan Achakzai and others. Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce will hold a joint meeting for the first time in 72 years at Chaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (Jasarat)
  • China has announced trade and investment plans for Afghanistan. Addressing a press conference along with the acting Taliban Minister of Disaster Management, Chinese Ambassador Wang Yu announced USD 8 million in aid. The money is being given for the relief of June 22 earthquake victims. “We have long-term plans to rebuild Afghanistan, in which trade, investment and agriculture will be a priority,” he said. (Jasarat)
  • The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Enforced Disappearances and Missing Persons has reiterated its commitment to resolve the issue of missing persons as soon as possible. It held its second meeting with Federal Minister for Law and Justice, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar in chair. Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Sabzwari, and senior Interior Ministry officials attended. Former Senator Farhatullah Babar was special invitee for the meeting.  (Jasarat)
  • The commander of banned Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) involved in the attack on Chinese teachers at Karachi University has been arrested. The arrest was made from Hawke’s Bay yesterday, announced Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon at a press meet. Flanked by Administrator Karachi Murtaza Wahab, and Rangers officers, he said the mastermind of the suicide attack has been identified. “He entered Pakistan from a neighboring country”, the minister stated.  About the arrested terrorist, Wahab said he was the commander of BLF’s sleeper cell in Karachi. “He used to recce at various places on the orders of his organization’s commander Khalil Baloch.” During interrogation, the arrested terrorist revealed that he had recced important installations, which were also his target. He also revealed that the mastermind of the Karachi University suicide attack was Zaib, adding that he lived with the family of suicide bomber woman in Delhi Colony, Karachi. After the attack, the terrorist fled to Balochistan on the orders of the BLF commander. Sharjeel Memon said that one more person was present with the woman in the Karachi University blast. In all four persons were involved in the explosion, and they have been identified. The investigation is at an early stage. So he does not want to name the country from which the accused came. “Our neighboring countries are supporting terrorists. They want foreign investment not to come to our country,” he claimed and added that they want to make Pakistan an unsafe country for investment by affecting projects like CPEC. (Jasarat, Jang, Dunya Daily, Daily Express, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • Rizwan Marwat, the main accused in Kashmir Council Mega Corruption Scandal, has been arrested. He had floated fake schemes worth crores of rupees.  Many of these schemes are now non-functional; there are no records in Kashmir Council. (Siasat)
  • Majlis-e-Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) has asked the Gilgit-Baltistan Government to release 13 youth, who were arrested after a scuffle with the Rangers in 2005. Despite several assurances about their release, they are still being held. “If our demand is not taken seriously there would be more protests across Gilgit-Baltistan”, MWM Chief Agha Ali Rizvi warned. (Baad-e-Shimal, Daily K2)
  • Around 250 schools are not functioning in Pasheen and over 700 teachers are absent from duty. Many schools do not have benches, and the students are forced to sit on the ground. (Qudrat) 
  • The Chief of Jamaat e Islami Sindh Hussain Mehanti has criticised that that the criminal insensitivity of the government and incompetence of the administration has turned Karachi into a heap of garbage just after a normal spell of rains. A competitive and honest government can solve the problems of the people of Karachi and can control the dictatorship of K-Electric. Electioneering for the civic polls, he claimed that only JI can change the fate of Karachi. He asked the people to vote for the JI candidates. (Dunya Daily)
  • The spokesman of the Baloch Students Organization has said that harassing, threatening and intimidating political workers is not something new in Gwadar. ‘It is going on from the time political activities started in the port city. They want to kill the voice of the people to gain some privileges and concessions from the government. But we will not allow them to be successful. We are becoming stronger after facing each brutal attack. We want to make it clear that we are not against any person or party. We are working for the prosperity of the Baloch community without any discrimination. We will not turn back from our demands under any circumstances’, the BSO spokesman said in a statement. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Similar to other areas of Malakand region, Matta Tehsil of Swat also observed a shut down on the call of Swat Trade Federation against inflation and load shedding. All businesses except food and medical stores remained closed. (Daily Pakistan)
  • The Election Commission issued notice to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz Sharif on the charge of violating the code of conduct for the by-elections. This followed his announcement of 100 units of free electricity under the Roshan Gharana Program.  (Daily Express, Daily Jinnah, Ummat)
  • Commander of Turkish Land Forces General Musa Aveser met Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ. They discussed defense and security cooperation between the two countries.  And agreed to further improve military relations, especially in the areas of training and counter-terrorism.  The visiting General commended the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express, Daily Jinnah, Ummat)

EDITORIALS

  • Pakistan has 19 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves that are verified. It means Pakistan has 12 times more gas than it needs. It is time Pakistan steps up gas production instead of importing and thus comes to grips with the energy crisis. (Edit Jasarat)
  • Punjab Chief Minister has announced 100 units of free electricity; the decision pops up the question: Can we afford to give free power to people, more so since we are not a financially well -off country. In the Indian side of Punjab they are giving 300 units of free power. Hence, this can happen here too but we have to see if Hamza Sharif is doing this with an eye on the forthcoming by-elections. Sindh chief minister in particular should be inspired to offer a similar freebie because poverty is widespread across Sindh. (Ibrat, Edit) 
  • Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz announced to provide free electricity to consumers using up to 100 units of electricity per month from 1st July across the province under the Roshan Gharana program. The Punjab government will pay the electricity supplier. One hundred billion rupees have been earmarked for providing free electricity to 55 million consumers of 4.4 – 9 million households in the province. At the same time, plans are being made to provide free solar panels to the low-income group so that they can get permanent relief from electricity bills. This move by Punjab Chief Minister is definitely a relief for the very poor families. Other provinces of Pakistan need to make similar decisions. Since the electricity rates have gone up drastically and the provision of 100 units of free electricity would be tantamount to providing relief to the poor families of Punjab. The previous government spent billions of rupees on food harbors and shelters for poor. It would have been better if the same amount had been used to provide relief to the households using 100 to 200 units of electricity would give great relief. It is very important to activate power generation projects so that all industries and domestic consumers get uninterrupted power. Only when industries run will the wheels of the economy turn. With the increase in business activities, income of the people increases, and the government also gets revenue in the form of taxes. The current rise in power tariffs and other prices is due to rising global crude oil prices. Russia -Ukraine war is another contributory factor, which is affecting the economies of many countries. This problem is temporary for Pakistan. As oil prices fall, so will the prices of petroleum products in Pakistan, after which groceries, especially flour and other commodities, will become cheaper. Finally, the federal and provincial governments should formulate a comprehensive strategy to provide basic services to people. The issue is not politics, but public relief. All the provincial governments should sit together and find a solution to the people’s problems with foresight. (Edits- Daily Express, Daily Pakistan, Jehan Pakistan, Naibaat)
  • There are reports of kidnappings, street crime, theft of vehicles, and other crimes across Sindh, especially in the northern parts of the province but we find the police force busy in giving security cover to candidates contesting the civic polls forgetting their primary duty which is maintenance of law-and-order. The Sindh government and Sindh police IG should pay attention to growing lawlessness and ensure that the police, apart from performing protocol-related jobs, maintain law and order so that people can move around freely and safely.” (Pahenji, Edit, July 5)
  • Prime Minister tells us that he is personally monitoring power-related issues. Yet, we are not witnessing any improvement in power supply and relief to the people. It is time authorities stop giving empty assurances and start delivering on their promises. (Kawish, Edit, July 5)  
  • It is heartening that the people of Mathi nabbed hunters of rare species of deer and hare. The hunting of rare species of deer takes place in parts of Tharparkar. What is the Wildlife department doing? It is the duty of this department to stop people from hunting deer and take legal action if their pleas go unheeded.  But they appear to act like hunters’ facilitator. That is the reason that none is scared and people take to hunting rare species as and when they so want. The hunters nabbed by the Mathi people should be dealt with as per laws of the land. On its part the Wildlife department should realize its duty. (Sindh Exp. Edit)  
  • Textile is the biggest export sector of Pakistan. Last year the textile industry’s contribution to exports was more than 14 billion dollars. Pakistan’s textiles are in demand throughout the world. Just by developing only this sector, Pakistan, like Bangladesh, can boost its exports. But, instead of paying attention to this sector and providing more facilities, gas supply has been restricted to the textile mills in Punjab due to the energy crisis. As a result some 400 textile mills have been closed down, which will translate into a loss of one-billion-dollar worth exports. It will also increase unemployment in the country. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  •  Pakistan and the United States have a long history of bilateral ties. These relations were strained due to misunderstandings on various occasions. Sometimes, the United States failed to live unto its promises to Pakistan. However, former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s accusation that the US government supported the opposition’s no-confidence motion to unseat him contributed to a new low of mistrust between the two countries. The US administration has repeatedly denied the allegations. Now US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Armen Bloom has also said Imran Khan is using the conspiracy theories to save his political reputation. Prime Minister Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif congratulated the American people and government on Independence Day of their country, and said on the social networking platform Twitter that Pakistan is keen to promote bilateral relations with the Biden administration at all levels. The current situation in Pakistan demands that good relations be established with every country, including the United States. Also, after the explanations of the National Security Committee and the US administration, Imran Khan should get out of politics of accusations and behave like a mature political leader. Otherwise, he will harm himself as well as his PTI party. (Edit, Nawaiwaqt)

Column

  • How long Imran Khan can continue with his bluff and bluster will be known soon. But one thing is clear. Early elections, which he wants, are not possible.  The country’s feeble economy would also not allow elections at this stage. Though assured of a bail out from the IMF, the Shahbaz government is still on shaky grounds for a variety of reasons. Expert view is that our unstable country might still survive but it is does not look possible for Imran to win back the confidence and trust of the people. (Sindh Exp. Adil Shahzeb, Courtesy Independent Urdu)
  • Pakistan has been taking loans from the IMF since 1956. Instead of going down, these loans are rising on a daily basis for Pakistan and its people. Current government too keeps drawing more loans blaming its predecessor for poor conditions in the country. Each government talks big and says it would not approach IMF, but it does approach the global lender thus weakening country’s independence and also affecting peoples’ welfare under harsh loan terms. Rulers have hardly any feeling and concern as to what these harsh IMF conditions translate into for common man: more and more misery in day-to-day life. (Pahenji, Prof. A. Ghumroo, July 5) 
  • Whatever Imran Khan keeps doing, or saying on social media, show that he is unhappy with those who had brought him to power, that is with the establishment. Despite what he keeps saying, he is neither called a traitor, kafir nor anti-national. But, if he were from Balochistan or more especially from Sindh, he would have surely faced cases on treason charges. Not just that by this time, he would have been behind bars. It continues to be a big secret as to why none dares to deal with him as per the laws of the land.  Not so lucky is journalist Ayaz Amir. On the very next day he spoke on “Regime Change”, he was beaten up while returning from a TV program in Lahore. He was humiliated, ill-treated and his clothes were torn. Ayaz Amir had only said that the country is now reduced to a big real estate centre. Now, there are a lot of whispers in political circles about the attack on Ayaz Amir. One section says PML (N) is behind the attack on Ayaz to malign Imran Khan and also to malign the establishment. Some see Imran Khan is behind this attack to bring blame on PML (N) and establishment. But another view is that neither ML (N) nor PTI is behind attack but very forces whom Ayaz had targeted in his speech, that is the establishment, are behind the attack to send a message that he does not target them (the establishment) again. And, finally. All that we have learnt during the past 75 years will do us no good. Lessons learnt over the years are: We will not get any job without making under-table payment; one cannot make any progress or promotion in profession without being too humble or submissive; no one can get into corridors of power without help of the establishment. This is a very sad state of affairs in our country. The way things are moving it looks nothing has changed even 75 years after Pakistan was carved out of British India as the home for the Muslims. (Pahenji, Sikandar Gulab Soomro, July 5)   
  • Major reason for Imran Khan’s failures was that he had kept ignoring his aides and sidelined allies. He is a victim of his arrogance, which makes him think that he is a great leader and that there is no one like him on the globe. He started considering himself as Nelson Mandela of Pakistan only because he enjoyed the establishment’s support. He had started believing that there was no threat to his PM post for at least 10 years. With regards to Shahbaz Sharif’s style of functioning, one needs to point out that be it Nawaz Sharif or Shahbaz, for them half of Pakistan is Lahore and other half is G T Road and they do not look beyond Lahore and GT Road, and that is the reason that other parties in PDM government have started wondering with what face and with what agenda they will approach their constituencies seeking votes in the next elections. Shahbaz might be trying to leave behind a message that all is well in his government, but it is not so.  (Kawish, Ibrahim Kumbhar, July 5) 
  • The current government is more than two months old by now. But, till now, it has done nothing except ushering in more inflation and adding to peoples’ misery. If things were to be run this way, then why there was government change? Far from taking side of Imran Khan, the issue at stake is growing inflation and the way peoples’ lives keep getting worse each passing day. Though government keeps saying that issues with IMF are resolved, there is delay in getting funds from IMF. Why? We often talk big about sacrifices made by a few families, be they of Sharifs, Bhuttos or even Imran Khan these days, but it is people who have been making big sacrifices from time to time. If politicians went to jails, that was because of their corruption and other charges against them; if they (politicians) have remained abroad in exile, that too was because they wanted to remain safe from legal crackdown at home. The country is in big trouble today and hardly any politician looks concerned about the country and people. They all want power, by hook or crook. We do not see anything happening in country for relief to people. (Sindh Exp, Omar Qazi)    
  • On the one side, Balochistan has been flooded by rains. A lot has been washed away by the floods. The flash floods were so severe that many people were swept away, while in many areas, rainwater infiltrated homes and made them uninhabitable. This situation is very worrying. On the one side, we are dehydrated. On the other side, we waste so much water that it is difficult to count. Has the government ever thought about how to take advantage of rainwater? How can this water be saved from being wasted? Neither can the government do anything to store water or benefit from it, nor can it prevent the devastation caused by it. Are just a few words of financial assistance and action enough for the victims enough? On the one side, there is destruction, on the other side water is wasted and our decision-makers see everything and do not learn anything. Political hatred is on the rise in the current era and no one has time to think about it. We are making fun of ourselves. Politicians make statements to demean each other, whether they succeed or not, but the country’s reputation in the outside world does fall. We have not learned a lesson from the devastation caused by the floods, nor will we do anything to save the rapidly declining mutual respect. Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan says I know whose role it is. I am silent for my nation. Khan says he is silent. Someone tell me if he is behaving as looks quiet or silent. These are the attitudes that cause the country to suffer from instability, economic instability, and the enemy to take advantage of it. In a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security chaired by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the military leadership gave a briefing on the ongoing talks with the banned TTP and the security situation in the country. Political leaders are welcome to move forward with the military leadership to resolve issues. The political and military leadership must work out a joint strategy to maintain peace and counter external threats. Talks should not come to light. Matters related to national security should be kept secret. Our misfortune is that such meetings also sacrifice for politics and try to make the meeting unnecessarily controversial. Everyone should understand that matters of national security go beyond political affiliation. (Mohammed Akram Chaudhary – Nawaiwaqt)