Pak Urdu Media Digest, June 23, 2022

NEWS

  • Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed three new special assistants. They are Shah Awais Noorani, Dr Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan and Zafaruddin Mehmood. Their work allocation will be announced later. With this induction, the number of special assistants to PM has increased to 11. (Jasarat)
  • In an interview, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that Imran government would have not fallen if the military establishment did not want it. The establishment is a player in Pakistan’s Politics, how can it be neutral? The army and judiciary are political players in Pakistani politics, not apolitical. There is a large section in Pakistan that wants many changes. An English newspaper campaigned for relations with India and Israel. These kinds of campaigns are run with great effort. There are lobbies and many countries run such campaigns. The position of Najam Sethi and Hussain Haqqani is known to all. (Jang)
  • Addressing a seminar yesterday, former Federal Minister for Human Rights Shirin Mazari said that the agenda of America is to break or weaken Pakistan. The US bought media and government members to change the regime in Iran. The same approach was adopted in Pakistan. (Jang)
  • Senior Vice President of PML-N Shahid Khaqan, who is also a former Prime Minister has made a strong pitch for abolition of NAB, saying that it had caused a loss of billions of rupees to the country. Today NAB is the most corrupt institution of the country. Not any other institution has as many corrupt officers as NAB has. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad Shahid Khaqan said that during the last 22 years NAB was successful in punishing only one politician, Nawaz Sharif. The law of the nation asks to keep a financial record of 7 years, but NAB demands to see a record of 35 years. Why not Imran Khan show the record of his assets. What is his source of income? (Dunya Daily)
  • Citizens and traders of Karachi are continuously protesting against the non-supply of power and water. The protestors have jammed traffic at many places.  The infuriated traders hit the road shouting slogans against the government. They complained that their business has turned to nearly zero because of the absence of power for the entire day. Water is not available for days because pumps can’t be operated without electricity. Petrol is costly and as a result they run generators.  We will be forced to pull down out shutters if the government fails to handle the situation.  (Dunya Daily)
  • National Party chief Doctor Abdul Malik Baloch, who is a former Chief Minister of Balochistan has said that at present Pakistan is under the grip of a grave political crisis. Poverty and unemployment are rising unchecked. Living has become a trial for the common man. In so far Balochistan is considered, the province is politically unstable, law-and-order situation is worsening day-by-day and human rights are being grossly violated. Youth are made to disappear forcefully. The government is interfering in educational institutions. Balochistan needs some changes. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced the schedule for the postponed local body elections in Musa Khel, Mastung, Jaffarabad, Dakia and Zhob. Local Body elections would also be held in Quetta, Lasbela and other districts. Nominations will open on July 6 and polling will be held on August 28. (Urdu Point, Qudrat)
  • Jamaat-e-Islami Balochistan Ameer Maulana Abdul Haq Hashmi stated that Establishment and political parties are not sincere in serving the people. Honesty, hard work, sincerity and loyalty are required on the political, social and societal fronts. By handing over the economy to the IMF, the rulers trapped the nation in the mire of permanent slavery. (Urdu Point)
  • Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has asked the federal government to provide electricity to his province as per its allocated quota. Due to load shedding agriculture is at the verge of complete disaster and land owners are facing heavy fiscal losses. (Qudrat)
  • Balochistan Jamaat-e-Islami Vice Chief Bashir Ahmad Mandai has appealed for people’s support to the ‘Give Rights to People’ campaign and its leader Maulana Hidayat ur Rahman saying that the Maulana alone will ensure resolution of unending problems. He added that Balochistan has been kept oppressed under a conspiracy by the establishment and lawmakers. (Qudrat)
  • Pakistan Sarzameen Party (PSP) Provincial President Imtiyaz Tanoli demanded a ban on the that Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). He said TLP members attacked PSP Chief Mustafa Kamal and other leaders in Karachi and thereby TLP has posed a security threat to the nation. We could give a jaw breaking response to TLP but our party Chief, who was injured in the attack, stopped us from any aggression to maintain peace. Tanoli expressed grief over the death of PSP activist Saifuddin in the attack and demanded stern action against TLP alleging that its only agenda is to spread fear and anarchy in the nation. (Aaj)
  • Federal Finance Minister Muftah Ismail said that the Chinese consortium of banks has signed a 2.3 billion dollars loan facility yesterday. The money will be received in Pakistan in a couple of days. He thanked the Chinese government for providing the loan. He said that this would improve the country’s foreign exchange reserves. (Daily Express, Ummat, Nawaiwaqt)
  • Chairman of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Sirajul-Haq said that the economy of the country is on a ventilator and the entire political system is in ICU. The people became sandwiched in the fight for the interests of the three ruling parties. Personal interests take precedence over national interests in decisions made inside and outside Parliament. Like the PTI, the PDM-PPP coalition government is laying the rubble of failure on the former rulers. It has been proved that the three major parties have no strategy to take the country out of the economic, constitutional, and political crisis.   (Ummat, Daily Jinnah)

EDITORIALS

  • All Pakistan Paper Merchant Association, Pakistan Association of Printing Graphic Art Industry (PAPGAI), and other organizations associated with the paper industry, along with the country’s leading economist Dr. Qaiser Bengali, have warned that due to the paper crisis, books will not be available to students in the new academic year starting August. There is a severe paper crisis in the country; paper prices are skyrocketing; paper price is increasing day by day due to which publishers are not able to determine the price of books; due to this, textbook boards of Sindh, Punjab and KP will not be able to print textbooks. While the cause of the paper crisis is global inflation, the current paper crisis in Pakistan is also due to the wrong policies of the governments and the monopoly of the local paper industries. (Edit Jasarat)
  • Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismael has said that IMF has approved our budget and the uncertainty will be over soon. But the IMF nod came with some new conditions that demand an increase in the tax on salaried persons and tax revenues. The government has to accept the conditions because it has no options. But it can be imagined how it will increase inflation and decrease the already dwindling buying power of people. The power crisis and load shedding will affect industrial production and reduce exports, and increase unemployment. Our economy is based on getting loans to pay back previous loans. For a stable and self-reliant economy, we have to get rid of this chain of loans and form some long-lasting and effective economic policies. (Edit-Dunya Daily, Edit-Ausaf Daily, Edit-Islam Daily)
  • Armed clashes in Karachi by-polls, rigging in NA-75 Sialkot and Chief Election Commissioner’s letter to Army Chief seeking security cover for upcoming elections are a matter of concern. Since 1970s violence has marred elections. Post 1977 election, the Opposition launched a movement against alleged rigging. It culminated in the fall of the Government, and led to martial law in the country.   Now after the NA-240 by-election was rocked by violence, the EC has demanded deployment of forces for upcoming election in Punjab. EC should make sure that forces take support of civil administrations   for maintaining peace. Military officials should not be allowed to enter polling stations. (Nai Baat Edit22nd June)
  • Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says he will take more difficult decisions to get the country out of its present difficulties but has not outlined the difficult decisions he will be taking even as his government reportedly opened negotiations with the IMF for a bailout package. One tough decision is letting the private sector run city bus services by issuing route permits. People will prefer such services if it is affordable and convenient.  This will lead to reduced fuel consumption and also check the chaotic traffic. Likewise, more resources to schools, colleges universities and hospitals is a tough decision but it will help improve the quality of education system and health services in the country.  Has the budget in the field of education and health been increased year by year at the same rate as the population has increased? The answer is a resounding no. These are the areas that have been neglected down the years. And it in turn increased the difficulties of common man. (Daily Pakistan Edit)
  • Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Salman had offered during the Imran regime to make USD20 billion investment in Pakistan with the condition that it should be kept out of political and bureaucratic influence or intervention. The Pakistan Government should go back to Saudi Arabia and seek that investment with folded hands. Likewise, better cooperation with Iran and Russia in energy and oil sectors would do good to our beleaguered economy. Pakistan has a bounty of natural resources but sincere and honest exploration effort is needed to put Pakistan on a higher growth trajectory.  Tough decisions are need for sure but simultaneously needed is relief to the common man. (Edits – Aeen, Asas, Daily K2, Aaj, Jasarat, Daily Pakistan)
  • Monsoon has set in the country; the environment minister has also warned that the cities could experience the 2010-like flooding. Hence, this calls for advance steps to prevent flooding. The irrigation department too should monitor the condition of all embankments on the Indus.  Any cracks seen anywhere should be set right without any loss of time. Arrangements must be in place to shift people to safer places, if required during heavy rains. (Kawish, Edit, June 22)  
  • Like in Larkana, wherever Aids cases are reported, AIDS Centres should be setup and an awareness campaign launched against the dreaded disease; strict action should also be taken against those dealing in or selling spurious medicines. (Sindh Exp. Edit) 

COLUMNS

  • Being on the grey list cost Pakistan’s economy billions of dollars. International financial institutions and investors are afraid to do business with the countries on the grey list.  The FATF is a global organization formed at the initiative of the G7 countries (US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan), with the aim of monitoring and imposing economic sanctions on countries, which do not co-operate in global efforts against terrorism and continue to help terrorists financially. The FATF is one of the US weapons by which it seeks to regulate the world in its own way and in its own interest in the name of international counter-terrorism. In its definition, all countries are terrorists who work against American interests. All Islamic movements and personalities are terrorists, whether it is Egypt’s Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Jamaat-e-Islamia, Algeria’s FIS, or Pakistan’s Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa supporting the Mujahideen in Kashmir. The world order is nothing but subjugating Islamic   countries.  Military operations are also carried out for this purpose. So are the FATF punitive measures. (Alif, Jasarat)
  • If you want to survive then follow the IMF diktats. Otherwise, you will be deprived of your two meals a day. This is the economic mantra of our intellectual politicians for the last 75 years. Life is becoming harder every day. But if anyone objects, he is told: “We have only two options. First, the common man’s life becomes harder but he survives. Second, he can’t survive. We have selected the first one”. This is no more than political and mental bankruptcy. The IMF says Pakistan must do more. Abolishing subsidy is not enough for it. A levy of 50 rupees per liter should also be imposed on petrol! What more do we have to suffer. The fact is Pakistan never had a viable economic policy. It was always dependent on foreign aid. We are an agricultural country, but we never developed our agriculture sector to the extent that we can export our agroproducts. On the contrary, we are importing wheat and other agro-items. (Dunya Daily-Khursheed Nadeem)
  • Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says there is no connection between steep hike in petrol prices and IMF’s loan terms. But this is what the finance minister Muftah Ismail has been saying.   Either the finance minister is telling lies or our accidental PM, Shahbaz, is telling lies. One of them is surely telling lies. I think the finance minister is not telling lies. Finance minister is no businessman or capitalist. He is a professional expert and would not tell lies like our political leaders do. Finance minister has also boldly warned that in next few days there will be steeper hikes in prices of petrol, gas and that power tariffs will zoom because the IMF is not ready to give any concessions to Pakistan. Turning to imminent civic polls in Sindh, reports suggest PPP is scared of defeat and hence is getting opponents kidnapped with help of government machinery including police; PPP is also said to be trying to put pressure on its Opponents to withdraw from the fray. The Sindh police is functioning like paid servants of Sindh government’s bigwigs, and other influential people connected with PPP. The Police also keeps harassing poor and weak people going by the Sindh United Party’s posts on social media and its advertisements. This only means we have “dictators” in Sindh under the garb of democrats. (Sindh Exp, Dastgir Bhati) 
  • Personal attacks against one another by politicians has brought the country to the current unenviable situation. All political leaders keep blaming and criticizing one another for the poor state of the economy. All are now debating as to whom to approach and what to do to bring the economy back on track and save the country from bankruptcy. Imran Khan ruled for about four years with big promises. He might claim that his government had given subsidies on petrol and electricity, but he cannot claim that he broke the tradition of taking loans. No party has any agricultural and industrial program. The height of shamelessness is that all parties in government and even in Opposition say that we should bring in foreign power companies including ones from China to end our power woes. Though Shehbaz Sharif claims to be the founder of good governance, he has no concrete plan and just keeps saying that all need to work together. He has not submitted any draft either. The PPP’s big slogans of roti, kapda and makaan are irrelevant today. PPP has been ruling Sindh for 14 years by now, but Sindh is far from any good governance. PPP talks a lot about socialism, but the party is totally in the grip of feudals and capitalists. Country’s socio-political scenario keeps taking turns from bad to worse and the basic reason for such a state of affairs is the type of politics being played in the country. Politics today is devoid of any ideology, principles or plan of action for the future. Right now politics in Pakistan stand for blame games. How long this state of affairs will continue? What will happen to our State and our people? (Pahenji, Mumtaz Mungi, June 22)  
  • It is unfortunate that Pakistan remained an ally of the world powers in the global war on terror. The world powers withdrew from this war but Pakistan remained so entangled in this war that it became insecure while making the world safer. Ironically, Pakistan had to fight alone to rid itself off terrorists. Our forces, intelligence agencies, and state agencies have worked together to rid the country of terrorists. The countries that Pakistan has been helping have started creating problems instead of supporting us. Pakistan has been entangled in various ways and has continued to face sanctions. Even in this difficult time, Pakistan’s operations against terrorists continued. The situation today is that Pakistan’s borders are being secured. Even internally, every citizen today feels safe. This great achievement was achieved due to the sacrifices of our soldiers, Rangers, intelligence agencies, and police. Now this journey of peace is entering the next stage. The journey to get out of the FATF grey list is a link in the same chain. Today there is a noise of political and economic instability everywhere. Of course, these are big problems and they need to be solved but the biggest problem is lasting peace. Economic stability is impossible without economic activity and a peaceful environment is important for business. If peace prevails economic activities will accelerate, if the economy improves political stability will be facilitated. According to a statement issued by the National Security Committee of the Parliament, the sacrifices of the Pakistani nation and forces have restored state functioning and peace. The last line of the NSC declaration is more encouraging. Thousands of lives have been sacrificed to restore peace. Now we have to move towards smart security. It is important to move forward with modern monitoring systems. All political parties should play a role in maintaining law and order and co-operate with law enforcement agencies. (Mohammed Akram Choudhary – Nawaiwaqt)

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