Pak Urdu Media Digest, July 7, 2022

NEWS

  • China has said it is ready to further strengthen economic and trade cooperation with Pakistan to achieve mutually beneficial results.  At his regular press briefing in Beijing, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Xiao Lijian said that China and Pakistan are ever-lasting strategic partners and there is broad and deep cooperation between them in all fields. He was commenting on the statement of Pakistan government’s recent remarks that   more facilities for Chinese investors would be offered in the coming days to further strengthen the long-standing friendship between the two countries. (Jasarat)
  • Gilgit-Baltistan Minister Raja Zakaria said that the Pak Army should release all the persons held in the 2005 Rangers case as “they have already been given bail by the civil courts”. Anjuman-e-Imamia women and children are continuing protests in Skardu. He added that Gilgit-Baltistan is already having many problems.   Pak Army is also responsible for resolving the problems in Gilgit-Baltistan. (Baad-e-Shimal)
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  • Gilgit-Baltistan government has convinced the Anjuman-e-Imamia to end their protest for the release of 13 held in the 2005 Rangers Cases. They are lodged in the Gilgit District Jail. The government has agreed to provide the prisoners with all medical and health facilities and will ensure their release as soon as possible. (Daily K2)
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  • Pak Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PAJCCI) has welcomed improvement in bilateral trade between two neighbours. It said that in just 24 hours more than 817 trucks crossed the border. (Aeen)
  • Pak-Afghan Highway has been opened for traffic with sacrificial Sheep for Eid coming to Pakistan through Khyber. (Aeen)
  • Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said that supremacy of law would be ensured in the province at any cost. He welcomed AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan premiers’ decision to construct Balochistan House in their states. (Qudrat)
  • PML-N is divided on the issue that who will look after the economy of the country, Ishaq Dar or Miftah Ismael? After Dar’s return from London, the party leadership will make the choice. Federal Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique is eagerly waiting for the return of Ishaq Dar from London while Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Khawaja Asif are in favour of Miftah Ismael. In a statement Saad Rafique was all praise for Ishaq Dar. He said that Dar is a visionary, expert and honest. Without him our team will be incomplete. While Khawaja Asif and Shahid Khaqan said that knowledge of Miftah Ismael about the economy is beyond comparison. (Ausaf Daily) 
  • Former Federal Minister Murad Saeed has claimed that the present government is a guest for just a few days. Talking with the media in Islamabad he said that the government changed as a result of an American conspiracy and when journalists started questioning the regime then cases were filed against them and they were threatened. These journalists had exposed the American conspiracy. If a person asks a question to the government about the conspiracy, then he is a traitor. At present every Pakistani is a journalist. This government will be going within a few days. Then we will ask questions from those, who are filing cases against us. Within a few months, they had destroyed the economy.  The prices of petroleum products have doubled. People are committing suicide. (Ausaf Daily)
  • Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered an inquiry into the delay of the Gwadar Break Water Project. It is surprising why the PTI government neglected the project even after a grant of 445 million dollars and a simple loan of 484 million dollars. He said that all the projects connected with energy or infrastructure were delayed by the PTI government for which we are suffering now. Gwadar being a part of CPEC has political, economic and strategical importance. He said that it is our collective responsibility to turn the backwardness of Balochistan into prosperity. He said that for the elimination of extremism from the country we have to pay attention to the development of Balochistan. (Intekhab Daily, Daily Express, Daily Jinnah)
  • Convener of Pashtun Qaumi Jirga, Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai, has said that Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Qila Abdullah, Pishin and many other areas were badly affected by the recent heavy rains and floods. The Provincial government and provincial Disaster Management Authority should immediately visit the affected areas, estimate the losses and pay compensation to the flood victims. Talking with Mir Zia Ullah Langue and top officers of PDMA he said that in Qila Saifullah alone thousand acres of crops and fruits have been destroyed and around 15 people have died. People are living under the sky without a roof and the government has not started relief work for them. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The Chief of Jamaat e Islami Sirajul Haq has said the common man is facing more problems due to the social terrorism of the coalition government.   Addressing a party meeting in Mansura he said that inflation, unemployment and corruption have reached unbelievable heights. We will intensify our protest after Eid. (Dunya Daily)
  • Chief of Jamaat e Islami (Karachi) Hafiz Naeem Ur Rahman has said that MQM had always deceived the people of Karachi. Even PTI could not do anything for Karachi. PPP is ruling over Sindh for more than 14 years, but for it, Karachi is just a means of earning for its luxuries. He said that all present and former provincial and federal governments and political parties are responsible for the present condition of Karachi. We will continue our struggle for the restoration of the legal rights of the people of Karachi. (Dunya Daily)
  • Kohat Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Roshan Mehsud has banned the setting up of illegal cattle markets and collection of sacrificial hides by banned organizations, across the district under Section 144 of the Criminal Code. (Urdu Point)
  • At the call of the central leaders of All Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Workers Union, WAPDA employees across the country have launched protests and rallies against the proposed privatization of WAPDA. They went on strike in all major and minor cities accusing political interference in their work. The striking workers staged a protest in front of Peshawar Press Club voicing concern over insecurity and severe staff shortages. (Daily Pakistan)
  • A local court in Rawalpindi has declared that all the provisions of the FIA in the case registered against TV anchor Imran Riaz Khan are illegal. No public prosecutor appeared in court on the occasion. The investigating officer verbally requested that Imran Riaz be sent to jail on judicial remand.  (Nawaiwaqt, Ummat)
  • The Lahore High Court has ordered the release of Haleem Adil Sheikh, leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly ruling that his arrest is illegal.    The court said that anti-corruption had not submitted any letter of arrest and therefore Haleem Adil Sheikh should be released.  (Ummat, Daily Jinnah, Daily Express)
  • Taliban leader Mullah Hibautullah Akhundzada said in his Eid message said that Afghan soil will not be allowed to be used for attacks against other countries, but the international community should not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. He also said that they are abiding by the peace agreement reached with the United States in February 2020. We want good relations with all countries and they should also recognize our government. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express, Ummat)
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and ISPR reviewed the plan to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the establishment of Pakistan. Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb and Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar decided that the Diamond Jubilee celebrations would be made a memorable occasion for the promotion of national unity. All the cultures of the country and all the colors of the federation of Pakistan will be included in the celebrations. Full participation of youth in Independence Day celebrations and competitions will be ensured. (Nawaiwaqt)

EDITORIALS

  • A three-member BNP delegation met the PM Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday and demanded action to recover missing persons. They made it clear to the PM that they would not back down on their demand and sought a legislation as soon as possible. on it soon; Shahbaz assured the delegation that a bill would be prepared and brought to the National Assembly after consultation.  Missing persons is the most burning issue in Balochistan. According to Habib Tahir Advocate, Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Balochistan Chapter, some affected families have alleged that they were threatened of dire consequences if they will report about their missing relatives.  (Edit Jang)
  • Political and Army leadership have agreed on talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) under the ambit of constitution. The Government has demanded that TTP should dissolve its organization and start following Pakistan’s constitution. The Government also rejected the TTP demand to revoke the merger of FATA with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan expects support from Afghanistan in this case because Pakistan sacrificed a lot for peace in Afghanistan. There is no doubt that Peace is the best weapon and answer to all conflicts but Pakistan will have to remain alert and not compromise over national security at any cost. Pak Army and people of Pakistan have given exemplary sacrifices for peace and it should not be let go for someone’s ill interests. Former prime minister Imran Khan was not invited for the high-level security meeting held under the aegis of National Assembly Secretariat.  It was not a good decision. (Edits – Aeen, Qudrat) 
  • The meeting of the National Security Committee of the Parliament was to be chaired by the Speaker of the National Assembly, but Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf was not present due to ill-health. Therefore, the meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Apart from the leaders of parliamentary parties, leaders of national political parties were also invited to attend the meeting, including Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Sirajul Haq, and head of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, Maulana Fazlur Rehman. PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari was invited but he did not come. Former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was not invited and he did not attend.  The meeting was briefed by ISI chief General Nadeem Anjum and Corps Commander Peshawar General Faiz Hameed. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa answered the questions.   PM and the Army Chief met separately before the session. According to a statement issued by the PMO, it has been decided to set up a parliamentary committee to supervise the talks with TTP.  Negotiations with the TTP have begun with the facilitation of the Afghan government.  The Army leadership is in favour of the talks. Since there is no structure of “organized terrorism” left in Pakistan, it is appropriate to bring the remnants of the banned TTP into the national mainstream through dialogue, according to the Army.  In order to thwart conspiracies, it is necessary for Pakistan that have a dialogue with the remnant elements. (Edits- Jasarat, Daily Pakistan, Jehan Pakistan, Nawaiwaqt)
  • Big salute to the people of Mathi in Sindh who have nabbed the hunters of rare species of local deer.  Will the Sindh government and Wildlife department wake up and take some effective action against the influential hunters? Will the hunters be released after a first information report is filed like always? (Pahenji, Edit, July 6)    
  • It is a historical fact that for the last 74 years the Pakistani rupee is continuously falling against the dollar. Only during this year, the dollar has increased by 47 rupees. Finance Minister Miftah Ismael has assured us that within a week after the agreement with IMF, the situation will change for the better. But it should not be considered a permanent solution. We have to accept that our directionless economic policies are responsible for the dire economic conditions. The imbalance between exports and imports wipes away our foreign reserves and we try to balance it by taking loans. We need practical steps to correct the foundation of our economic system. Otherwise, the chain of loans will never break. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  • Clean drinking water is not available in Multan and its surrounding areas. Low groundwater levels are compounding water troubles. Leakage of sewage pipes has pushed arsenic levels in the available water. The ruling coalition in Punjab should immediately provide funds for the provision of clean drinking water in Multan. And monitor the fund utilization for good results. (Daily Pakistan Edit)

COLUMNS

  • The political narratives coming from Imran Khan camp or from Imran Khan himself will do a lot of damage to the party and also to Imran Khan’s political future. He might consider himself politically sharp and very intelligent, but he is far from being a good politician. He thinks that his hardline stand against the establishment will get him power back. He thinks he can get back into corridors of power through public meetings and big statements he makes in these meetings against the establishment. He does not know that it is the establishment that decides the limit of freedom of expression. Pakistan has remained a controversial country when it comes to freedom of expression. That is the reason the why what non-controversial journalists like Ayaz Amir had said was not tolerated (by the establishment). Pakistan is not such a free country where one can speak anything and there would be none to check and question what he/she says. There is no fight between right and wrong in our country.  What we are witnessing is a battle for interests. And, hence only those safeguarding establishment’s interests will win the fight and tread on the path chosen by establishment just as Imran Khan kept doing while in power. He might again go by what establishment tells him to do if he is brought back in power. When there is no freedom in politics, politicians like Imran Khan present themselves as heroes. (Sindh Exp. Akhtar Hafeez)    
  • The tragedy with us is that though we all cry against inflation but our stands are different from each other. We are not one voice against inflation. Some of us are close to PTI, some are fans of ML (N), some love PPP and yet some others are inclined to JUI(F). I feel there is a lack of nationalism with us. We often forget national interests in our over-enthusiasm for respective political leanings. There are a lot of challenges before us. If we set ourselves right, it would not take long to set rulers right. We have only to prove that we are fighting for justice. We are neither stupid nor we without our conscience. (Ibrat, Anjum Farooq.)  
  • The sudden return of MQM leader, Babbar Gauri and his arrest at the airport on arrival from abroad seems to be part of some larger plan. At the time of seeking MQM’s support for forming a new PDM government after ousting Imran Khan, Shahbaz and Maulana Fazlur Rehman had stood guarantee that MQM would get posts including Sindh Governor and Chief Secretary. About a week ago, MQM delegation called on PM, Shahbaz, conveying their complaints that PPP was not implementing the agreement signed between PPP and MQM. The MQM delegation asked PM to make Zardari comply with the agreement. Otherwise MQM could review their support to government in Islamabad. The very next day, Shahbaz had meeting with Zardari and requested him to keep MQM in good humor and do something to satisfy MQM. Hence, I believe that if PM’s son, who was facing several corruption cases and was out on bail, could be made Punjab’s chief minister, Babbar Gauri also can get bail from courts and can be made Sindh Governor. Altaf Hussain is still not happy with former Sindh Governor, Dr. Ishraul lbad, for his betrayal. (Sindh Exp, Dastgir Bhati)    
  • These days more audios than videos exposing PTI leaders are circulating in political circles. Yesterday, Imran Khan reportedly said, “If we are pushed to wall, I will be forced to reveal all secrets before the nation. These days I am quietly keeping the larger interests of the nation in mind.” He once again held out a threat saying, “I have kept one recorded video and if anything happens to me that video will come out and will be made public and nation will come to know as to who has done what.” There is no doubt that Imran Khan must be aware of many secrets just as all politicians keep lot of secrets up their sleeves concerning their rivals. But, in Imran Khan’s case, it is not important as to what secrets he is holding up his sleeves about other politicians. We have to read between the lines in the light of how Imran Khan came into power and stayed that long in office. Hence, if all that secrets which Imran Khan is talking about indeed come out, it will make great revelations. It is perhaps because of his closely guarded secrets that Imran Khan and his party are still active and around. But things might not remain so for long as PTI can get weaker gradually. The first to fall out from the party is Shah Mahmood Quereshi followed by Fawad Chaudhary. Quereshi has recently met senior PPP leaders including Syed Khursheed Shah, Zardari and Bilawal. Though Quereshi denies any ‘quit’ plans, something is surely cooking up. We definitely see change in air but its victim is PTI itself. There are whispers that a lot of PTI activists and leaders might leave the party. In politics, there is no messiah who gives pardon and otherwise too it is said: One reaps what one sows. (Kawish, Ali Zahid, July 6)    
  • This time’s civic polls in Sindh have brought to light that political awareness is on rise in the province. Despite the ruling party using government machinery and every kind of high-handedness, several progressive thinkers have won and the credit for their victory goes to growing awareness.  It was also seen that at some places some progressive parties who often claim to be critical of mainstream parties, had political alliances for these polls. This is not a good omen. These unexpected and unnatural alliances might have brought them temporary gains but this is nothing less than political suicide on ideological level for these progressive parties.  Though social media has worked wonders for political awareness in people, we need to work taking into consideration ground realities too. We need to have campaigns for creating public awareness, and also for promotion of progressive and nationalistic politics. In recent times, nationalist leaders and their parties have campaigned on issues concerning Sindh’s rights; their campaigns were largely successful too. Such campaigns are need of hour now. (Pahenji, Babbar Ali P. July 6)  
  • The ruling by the Federal Shariah Court on the abolition of usury has brought cheer to religious parties and Islamists across the country.  Before discussing the ruling and its aftermath, we need to understand what interest is and why it is forbidden in Shariah. Interest is called riba in Arabic, which literally means to grow, to grow, and to rise.  The Federal Shariah Court on 28th April 2022, declared all types of usury as forbidden and asked the government to abolish the usury system. All the laws and provisions that facilitate interest to be adapted to interest-free regime by 31 December 2027. The government welcomed the Sharia court ruling but it has been challenged by three private banks, and the State Bank.  It is clear in the constitution that no law can be made contrary to the Qur’an and Sunnah.  Now is the time for the government itself to clarify which financial and banking system it wants to introduce in the country. It is the responsibility of the government to make it clear to its citizens in no uncertain terms how to run the financial system so that people know where the country is being taken without any hesitation. Since Pakistan is an Islamic country, the government here should have immediately announced the abolition of interest rates and moved towards interest-free banking. We have eminent scholars like Mufti Taqi Usmani who are ready to guide us in this regard. In the current situation, every social media user has the right to raise their voice regarding anti-interest, if they can write let them write, if they can speak let them speak, in any case, be a part of this campaign and pay their dues. (Ashfaqullah Jan Dagiwal – Daily Express)
  • PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry says the PTI is ready for a grand dialogue with other parties but first the date of the election should be announced.   The first and foremost condition of dialogue is that it is unconditional, to move forward, to resolve differences, way to open closed routes, to solve problems, to bring angry people together, by trampling personal interests, you move towards any dialogue, and when it comes to grand dialogue, you have to respect the opponents by sacrificing stubbornness and ego. By the way, political parties in Pakistan do politics in the name of democracy, but there is not a single political party whose top leadership adheres to democratic attitudes. Everyone wants to be the Prime Minister through the same democratic system but the government acts like a dictator. Can there be a grand dialogue in Pakistan, or can there be a meaningful grand dialogue in Pakistan? In the current political situation, this is not possible because some political parties have strong positions. There is such hatred in political parties that they are not even willing to look at each other.  Isn’t it better for politicians to get into the habit of self-accountability first and then question others? Today, all the major institutions of the state are facing a deficit of billions of rupees annually, but no one is   talking as to how to get these institutions out of the deficit and make them profitable. No one talks about how the rulers get concessions if the institutions are facing a deficit, and no one is ready to reduce their concessions and facilities. We have decided not to do anything together, not to do anything out of personal interest, and not to do anything with anyone’s dignity. We swear all the time and remember our rivals in an inappropriate way and then think that may be that’s how success is possible.  The question is how long those who have to fix the country will continue to think like this. Can we compete with the world with these attitudes? (Mohammed Akram Choudhary – Nawaiwaqt)

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