Pak Urdu Media Digest, May 17, 2022

Given here under are a random selection of news and news commentaries as also editorials that appeared in Pak Urdu dailies on May 17.

NEWS

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary has said that Pakistan is being pushed towards a Sri Lanka like crisis. He said that the next 24 hours are more important for the present government. Repeating the same experiment, again and again, is foolishness. The country does not need any more experiments. Shahbaz government should be sent back home and new elections should be held. If we wait for delimitation exercise to be over, the election will not be possible for more than one year. Speaking to the press outside the Supreme Court he said we need an immediate election to save the country from thieves. Rana Sana Ullah has gone mad if he is thinking of arresting Imran Khan. Nobody can live in Pakistan after arresting Imran Khan. (Dunya Daily)

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar has said that Imran Khan after leaving office is behaving as if he is the most pious and clean person. He said that Imran Khan misused his power. Farah Gogi and her husband were helped in escaping from the country. Farah Gogi ruled Punjab with the help of Bushra Bibi. He blamed that in 2019 black money of Farah Gogi was converted into white money under the amnesty scheme. Tarar said that former chief minister Usman Buzdar would be held accountable for corruption. (Islam Daily)

After meeting Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the MQM leaders in an informal conversation with the media said that their party is in favour of immediate elections and is against increase in prices of petroleum products. MQM Pakistan Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that electoral reforms can be done in a week, there are difficult situations we have to look at the state and not politics. Our political leaders have to sacrifice politics. (Ummat, Daily Express)

According to a CTD spokesperson, a female suicide bomber was arrested on a tip-off during an operation in Hoshab, (Balochistan). From her possession explosives and detonators were recovered. The woman belonged to the banned BLA Majeed Brigade. The suicide bomber wanted to target a Chinese convoy on the CPEC route. (Jasarat)

The Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department conducted 18 intelligence-based operations were conducted in different districts this week in which 18 suspected terrorists were interrogated and 4 alleged terrorists of various banned organizations were arrested. And recovered arms, explosives and other prohibited materials. The arrested terrorists were identified as Fazal Elahi, a member of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Muhammad Yasir Bashir, a member of Tehreek-e-Taliban, Abdullah Khan and Bilal Qasim. (Jasarat)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian said that Tehran-Beijing-Islamabad relations are of strategic importance. According to Iranian media, he made this observation while addressing a joint meeting of Iran’s Parliamentary Friendship Group with China and Pakistan. Mehdi Safari, Head of Economic Diplomacy Division at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, gave a briefing on the latest developments in economic relations with China and Pakistan in various fields.   (Jasarat)

Abdul Haleem Baloch, Deputy Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami District Airport, strongly condemned the action of the security forces against the Deputy Ameer the party Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch in Gwadar. He said the Maulana had held a peaceful protest in Gwadar. Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch united the people of Gwadar by staging a long sit-in. Security officials not only insulted him but also withdrew his security cover.  If anything happens to the Maulana, the security agencies and the government of Pakistan will be responsible, Abdul Haleem Baloch said. (Jasarat)

Many cities including Lahore were without power for up to 8 hours. In many parts of Lahore, the electricity was off after every half hour. According to power division sources, the country needs more than 26500 MW but it produces only 22248 MW. The intense heat has compounded matters. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the situation is even more critical with cities experiencing, the load shedding for 12 to 14 hours while in villages it is 16 to 18 hours. In tribal areas load shedding is for up to 20 hours. (Dunya Daily)

Girls High School in Dera Ismail Khan’s Sher Garh is in appalling condition and posing life threat to girl students studying there. Since 2015 the school has been without basic security arrangements. (Aeen)

Anjuman Tajran (Traders Union) Balochistan leaders said that the military authorities at Pak-Afghan Chaman Border Gate have not kept their promise so far. The authorities should take issues of the traders and their ruined business seriously and allow peaceful and respectful trade activities by fulfilling all the promises. (Qudrat)

The National Food Security Department expressed concern over the fast-increasing population in Pakistan and decreasing resources. By 2050 Pakistan’s population would reach 38 crores and shrinking resources would create food security issues. (Asas)

EDITORIALS

Among the various challenges facing the nation is a controversy over distribution of water between the Sindh and Punjab in a fair manner. Indus River System Authority (IRSA) officials have so far disagreed with the Sindh government’s complaint, but a joint team from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, after measuring water levels at the Guddu and Sukkur barrages last week, concluded that Sindh’s claim of low water flow between Taunsa downstream and Guddu upstream is correct. Now that the complaint of Sindh is proved to be valid, the federal government should immediately step in and resolve the discord. Since the alliance government in Islamabad includes the ruling parties of both Punjab and Sindh, there should be no impediment to a just solution to the problem. (Edit Jang)

A look at Sindh’s barrages and canals can tell us about the gravity of the water crisis in Sindh these days. Water courses in Sindh have dried up as there is no water in them these days. Farmers are the worst hit economically. Several cities are witnessing protests these days demanding drinking water. Is IRSA prepared to play its just role to resolve the water crisis in Sindh? IRSA was set up to resolve water disputes but this body has turned out to be an agency taking away/robbing Sindh of its water. The fields in Punjab are getting irrigated but ones in Sindh are fast turning into barren patches. The way Punjab has been keeping quiet all the while sends out a message that Punjab wants water any way, by hook or crook, be it right or not so. IRSA must see to it that during days of water shortage, all provinces must share water shortage. But if Punjab only gets water just to keep their lands irrigated, then it would mean harsher and darker days ahead for Sindh. It is time this injustice unto Sindh stops immediately. (Sindh Express Edit)

New incidents of terrorism continue in Pakistan. Last Thursday, Karachi was targeted where one person was killed and 13 others were injured while three security personnel and three innocent children were martyred in a suicide blast in the Miranshah area of Northern Areas. Unidentified men killed two members of the Sikh community in Sarband, Peshawar, on Sunday. This incident seems to be a conspiracy to discredit Pakistan all over the world and an attempt is being made to give the impression that Pakistan is by no means peaceful and insecure for minorities. While the continuation of these new acts of terrorism is a matter of concern for the government, the gaps in the security establishment also need to be seriously examined, and action plan devised to wipe out the remnants of terrorists who have made the Northern Areas their safe haven, and their facilitators who are present in different cities. Even the slightest weakness in security matters can lead to a major national tragedy. (Edit Nawai Waqt)

In the wake of suicide attack on a military vehicle in North Waziristan that claimed the lives of three young soldiers and three innocent children, there is a need to closely monitor the movement across the Pak-Afghan border and to keep a close eye on those coming from  across the border. It is more important to stop the smuggling of terrorists than to stop the smuggling. As former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said once, due to US attitude of avoidance of South Asia and Afghanistan, the region is facing terrorism. (Daily Pakistan Edit, Jehan Pakistan Edit, Naibaat Edit)

COLUMNS

It is very clear from Imran Khan wants to come back in power. He has become one such character in the country who has to be appeased /satisfied/kept in good humor and he would not accept anything less than that /less than getting back in power that too without any conditions/that too unconditionally. Now, the question is: Is Imran Khan’s growing popularity helping him or coming in his way? This is no simple question. His rising popularity has made him a big threat not only to PDM and PPP but also to the establishment. His worst political enemies would agree with the view that in his current status Imran can get his any demand fulfilled with peoples’ pressure. Government wants to study all pros and cons but Imran Khan is not giving them time enough to brood over all options open to them. For now he seems to have succeeded in bringing government to a standstill. (Aijaz Mungi   in Sindh Express,)

By speaking about threats to his life at a public meeting, Imran Khan seems to have rattled the rulers. No one in the government seems to know where the country is heading. All is not well even on foreign affairs front, be it with China, India or even with Saudi. The changes in Afghanistan have also done no good to Pakistan. Imran’s followers are no longer just or mere followers; they seem to be turning into more of a religious/committed cadre. Imran is no longer only a leader but   a political peer commanding a lot of dedicated and committed cadre/followers. Government   will have to check if it is falling to Imran’s machinations/game plans. (Aijaz Mungi in Pahenji Akhbar, May 16)

Imran Khan is refusing to accept the fact that he has lost the government. He is hopeful that he will get his lost kingdom back and teach the opposition a very hard lesson. On the other hand, the ruling coalition is regretting its decision to take the reins of the country. The public is bewildered as that who is the Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar or Ismael Miftah? Who is Prime Minister, Shahbaz Sharif or the one who is sitting in London? Where the cabinet meetings will be held in future? In Islamabad or London?  (Khalid Masood Khan in Dunya Daily)

Political and financial scenario in the country is far from satisfactory. Amongst all possible exit points, the best option before current rulers is to dissociate from power as soon as possible. But that does not look likely without consent of allies and also of those who helped them get into the power corridors. The government does not seem to be getting any support from allies or from the establishment too for bringing an end to subsidies that are being given nowadays on petrol and other items. Another option is to take bold decisions to ban imports or put heavy taxes on imports which are mostly luxury items. (Inam Bhati in Pahenji Akhbar, May 16)

To add to the current government’ woes, it is grappling with infighting amongst allies. The way differences are being reported in the media between Ishaq Dhar and present finance minister matters, Mifta Ismail, will create complications in acting on financial reforms. PTI is also exploiting the situation.  The fact of the matter is: The Government has no options which can help it to take the country out of the current economic crisis. Post-May 20 developments can pave the way for more tensions in the country. PTI can be a big nuisance for rulers this month. (Latif Jamal in Kawish, May 16)

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