Pak Urdu Media Digest, June 15, 2022

NEWS

  1. An important meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is underway in Germany. The Pakistani delegation is led by Minister of State for External Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar. Sources said decisions taken at the plenary session of the Financial Action Task Force will be announced on 17th June. There is a strong possibility of Pakistan being removed from the gray list as evidence on implementation of 32 of the 34 point FATF action plan was submitted. (Nawai Waqt, Daily Express, Ummat)
  2. A meeting of the Central Executive Committee and provincial office bearers of Jamiat Ulema e Islam was held in Islamabad. Maulana Fazal Ur Rahman presided. Federal ministers (of JUI) gave an account of their work. They said the circumstances are very difficult but they are doing their best to improve the performance of their departments. JUI leaders told the meeting that the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has their full cooperation and suggested that the government should give preference to control rising inflation and this give some relief to the people. (Dunya Daily)
  3. More than 31% educated youth and more than 1 lakh engineers are unemployed in Pakistan, according to Wealth Pak Report. It said with the CPEC Special Economic Zones coming up the job opportunities would increase and there is a need to educate youths in various skills and crafts. (Asas)
  4. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Government has claimed to complete 481 projects by 30th June and another 556 schemes in the next year. It criticized the PDM Government at the center for cutting the FATA budget by Rs.300bn. (Aaj)
  5. During the last financial year, 80% of the development budget of Sindh province could not be utilized due to fear of arrests and inquiries by the NAB at the behest of the PTI Federal government. Local officers were intimidated by the NAB; they were unwilling to sign any file related to development works. (Jang)
  6. For the first time in the history of Charsadda, women protested against Sui gas and load shedding. (Daily Pakistan)
  7. Federal Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel said that a polio campaign is underway in South Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This is the third polio campaign after the outbreak of polio in North Waziristan. We are working tirelessly to make the vaccine accessible to all children. Parents must vaccinate their children against polio. According to the Health Secretary, the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including North and South Waziristan, DI Khan, Bannu, Tank, and Lakki Marwat have a high risk of polio virus. (Ummat, Daily Express, Nawai Waqt, Daily Jinnah)
  8. Jinnah Hospital in Kabul, managed by the Pak-Afghan Cooperation Forum, was handed over to the Afghan government yesterday. In a spirit of goodwill, a month’s salary of about 52,000 US dollars was given to the hospital staff. Ambassador Mansoor Ahmad Khan and Afghan Health Minister Qalandar Imdad were present at the function. (Nawai Waqt, Daily Express)
  9. New US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Bloom has said that he is fully prepared to restore America -Pak bilateral relations. He said that dialogue with all stakeholders of Pakistani society is necessary to dispel negative feelings and misconceptions about the United States. Bloom denied allegations that a US official was involved in the recent change of government in Pakistan. (Nawai Waqt, Daily Jinnah, Ummat)
  10. The first ship carrying palm oil for Pakistan will leave Indonesia today. According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had a telephone conversation with Indonesian President Joko Widodo four days ago. A Pakistani delegation visited Jakarta on Sharif’s directions and held productive talks with the officials of the Indonesian Ministry of Commerce. (Daily Jinnah, Ummat)
  11. Pakistan Ulema Council supports dialogue with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), tribal leaders, and state institutions said Council Chairman, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi while addressing Paigham Pakistan Conference. He added that negotiations with the TTP are a step toward peace. No agreement is going to be reached without the religious and political parties of Pakistan in the loop. (Nawai Waqt, Ummat)

COLUMNS

  1. What is politics? It is nothing but tensions arising from power-struggle over control on means of livelihood. Hence, we need debates on them so that we get more local and global feedback on related aspects. Financial experts say IMF is acting like a hunter. Because of IMF’s tough terms and conditions, no final decision has been taken by Pakistan on new loan deals with Saudi, China and UAE. On other hand, PML(N) is admitting for the first time that one of reasons for the energy crisis was maladministration in the past. The PML-N says that Pakistan is facing several financial challenges ahead and we need to make several efforts to minimize the impact of these challenges. Be it awareness campaigns or through other ways, the government needs to put before people all that is needs to be known on economy-related challenges, hardships and the tough times ahead. (Kawish, Dr. Ayub Sheikh, June 14)
  2. Issues like hunger, poverty, water shortage, lawlessness and unemployment have added up to make life a big misery in Sindh. The government keeping in view agricultural-related scenarios across the country, should introduce a better water distribution system here. Water shortage has often led to mal-administration and water thefts too and major sufferers are people in tail end areas. (Kawish, Dr. Samina Wahid, June 14)
  3. Is the government not aware of the fact that diesel and petrol prices are already beyond peoples’ purchasing capacity? If petrol levy too is raised, it will make petrol cost Rs.300 per liter. People can ill-afford it. According to my understanding, the government’s estimates about inflation, FBR revenue, non-tax revenue and growth rate projections, are far from ground realities. Government is avoiding telling facts as to from where it will get its revenue, and from where it will get funds for development. Lot more can be written on the budget, but in post-budget press briefings, the finance minister has hinted that the IMF would not be happy with the budget presented and hence it might necessitate few changes in budget. Who knows what is government’s next action plan and where it wants to make changes and which areas it wants to leave untouched? (Ibrat, Anjum Farooq)

EDITORIALS

  1. The rising incidence of suicides in the Sindh on account of factors like poverty and ill-health is a matter of grave concern. It is a pity that despite reports of several suicides, we as a society, continue to remain un-moved. Why are we not delving deep into the reasons behind suicides? Is it not duty of government of the day in Sindh to set up commission for finding reasons for the spate of suicides, and to save precious human lives. (Pahenji Akhbar Edit, June 14)
  2. The Sindh budget can be called a balanced budget. Hopefully, funds earmarked for projects and sectors will be utilized only for the purposes they are intended and thus ensure Sindh’s development and progress. (Ibrat Edit)
  3. The plenary of the UN agency, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has begun in Berlin. In June 2018 Pakistan was included in the grey list and was given a 34-point action plan to comply with. Pakistan has acted on as many as thirty points till October last year. Two more action points were addressed by this February. The remaining two action points would have been completed by now. So it is hoped that Pakistan will be out of the grey list after the conclusion of FATF four-day session. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  4. Amir Jamaat-e-Islami (Karachi) Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman has become the voice of Karachi city. He is engaged in helping people oppressed by K Electric, Water Board, Identity Cards, Bahria Town, and host of other agencies. After his long sit-in in front of the Sindh Assembly in recent months, the Sindh government had reached an agreement with Jamaat-e-Islami. But the agreement has not been fully implemented. At a press conference on Monday, Hafiz Naeem reiterated that PPP and MQM have always robbed Karachi of its rights. The city was not given any plan by the previous central government either. Dozens of people were elected from Karachi belonging to MQM but both PTI and MQM could not give rights to Karachi. (Edit Jasarat)
  5. For the first time in Punjab’s history, budget could not be presented in the provincial Assembly, In fact the session started with a delay of several hours; the Speaker ordered the removal of a Minister who is not a member of the Assembly and summoned the Sergeant at Arms to enforce the order. Government members resisted, and the minister refused to leave. However, as the controversy escalated, the Minister himself went out in protest, saying that the budget was an issue related with the 120 million people of the province and he did not want to be a hindrance. (Edit Jang)
  6. What has happened in the budget session of the Punjab Assembly can be termed as an infamous chapter of Pakistan’s democratic and parliamentary history. The Opposition and the Government should not allow matters to get to the point where there is a deadlock. The law makers should not forget that the people have sent them to the assembly not for scoring personal points but to solve the problems of the people. (Edits – Daily Pakistan, Nai Baat, Asas)
  7. Now that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa budget 2022-23 was presented by Finance Minister Timur Saleem Jhagra, it is to be hoped that the Opposition parties will positively point out all the weaknesses of the budget, and ensure protection of the interests of the people of the border province. (Edits – Daily Pakistan, Jehan Pakistan, Aaj, Azadi Swat)
  8. The PTI government had dreamt of giving relief to the people by eliminating inflation and unemployment and resolved not to turn to the IMF at any cost. But despite such lofty claims, it prostrated on the threshold of the IMF. According to a report, PTI borrowed the most which led to the worst inflation in the country; this finally led to the overthrow of Imran Khan’s government. It is unfortunate that the IMF is reviewing our budget and is demanding further action. From this, it can be well guessed that the hands and feet of the nation have been tied and left at the mercy of the IMF and the government seems compelled to meet its every demand. There is a need to rethink our economic policies. A team of economists should be formed to formulate a workable plan to get out of the clutches of the IMF. Otherwise, it will be difficult for the rulers to enter the next election fray. (Edit Nawa-i-Waqt)

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