Pak Urdu Media Digest, May 19

NEWS   

  1. Unidentified persons have fired on the vehicle of Intelligence Bureau officials’ vehicle at Sarki Gate in Peshawar killing one and leaving two others injured.  Residential quarters for IB officials are located at Sarki Gate.  Miscreants fired when the officials were returning home, according to police. (Sindh Express)
  2. Karachi police shot dead two persons including Jeay Sindh Quami Mahaz (JSQM) central leader, Allah Dino Rahmon, and one of his aides, Nawab Rahmon while another person escaped. The police sources said Allah Dino was the mastermind of the Saddar blast.  Both are said to have connection with Sindh Revolution Army. JSQM Chairman, termed these killings as brazen acts of police terror, and demanded a judicial inquiry. He said Allah Dino was a political person and had no connection with any terror group, let there be judicial inquiry in these killings.  In a related development, JSQM activists took out protest rallies at Mirpur Bilore. (Sindh Express)
  3. The Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court has extended the anticipatory bail of former Home Minister Shaikh Rasheed up to 6th June. Cases against him are registered in nine cities including Faisalabad. Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Attock. Police have already arrested his nephew Shaikh Rashid Shafiq. (Intekhab Daily)
  4. The administration of Karachi University has declared that the presence of foreign delegations at the campus is a big threat to its safety and has started to cancel all previously scheduled international programmes. Under present circumstances, scheduled conferences on engineering, science and technology cannot be held because the lives of the foreign delegates will be in danger. Registrar Professor Maqsood Ansari issued a letter declaring that an international conference scheduled for the last week of July is postponed till further announcement. (Intekhab Daily)
  5. A protest demonstration was held in front of the Quetta Press Club against the arrest of Noor Jehan from Turbat by the Counter-Terrorist Department. Women in large numbers participated in the protest led by Mama Qadeer. Many Baloch leaders addressed the protesters. They said the government agencies first forcefully arrested our youths and made them disappear without a trace and after some time their tortured and mutilated bodies were found far from their homes. Now they are arresting our women also. They demanded that Noor Jehan should be released immediately. “Otherwise, we will be forced to take some strong steps”.  (Intekhab Daily)
  6. Leader of the ‘Give Rights’ campaign and provincial General Secretary of Jamaat e Islami, Balochistan, Hidayat Ur Rahman Baloch has announced that the Give Rights campaign will take part in the civic election. “All our political opponents have united against us. But by the grace of God, we will win. Our success will be the victory of the poor and harassed people. Balochistan is always treated step-motherly. The people were always shown golden dreams before the election and neglected after that”. He said that Jamaat e Islami will get back the rights of the Baloch people, which were always denied to them. The present government is also encouraging corruption and nepotism. “Balochistan is number one in selling and purchasing assembly members. It has to be stopped and only we can do it”. (Intekhab Daily)
  7. JUI in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will stage a power show in Peshawar on 21 May against the Jewish agents, Imran Khan and the local PTI Government. The party alleged that the PTI people tarnished the sanctity of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina during PM Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to the shrine.  Muslim can tolerate anything but not the insult to and humiliation of the beloved Prophet.  “PTI should be made to accept its crime”. (Aeen, Aaj)
  8. Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Chief Akhtar Mengal said that we have no understanding with the federal government over pulling down the Abdul Quddus Bizenjo government in Balochistan. He added that most members who had signed the no-trust motion against the CM are the aspirants of the CM Post. “If they approach us, we will ask them whom they want to bring by removing the current Chief Minister”. (Qudrat)
  9. National Democratic Party (NDP) Central Spokesperson said that there have been grave human rights violations in Balochistan and Baloch students studying across Pakistan are made targets and tortured. NDP supports agitations against the injustice to the Baloch community.  “Any unconstitutional and illegal act by authorities and forces would see resistance from the Baloch community”. (Qudrat)
  10. Tall claims made by PM Shahbaz Sharif that load shedding would end from 1st May are empty rhetoric since many areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are facing very long hours of load shedding and all business are in doldrums. (Asas)
  11.  Due to extreme heat in Sindh, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) has demanded the postponement of local body elections. The party’s Provincial Secretary, General Rashid Mehmood Soomro has written a letter making out a case for poll postponement, according to private TV.  The first phase of local elections is scheduled from June 26, covering   14 districts s of Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Abad and Mirpur Khas division. Results were to be declared on 30th June. (Daily Express, Ummat)
  12. Chairman of Jamaat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq said that the interpretation of Article 63A by the Supreme Court is a big step towards strengthening democracy in the country. Political parties should abide by the spirit of the decision.   Rule of law and the constitution must be established to get the country out of the current crisis. (Ummat, Daily Express)
  13. The Interior Ministry has moved the apex court against the April 28 direction of Islamabad High Court to set up a commission on missing persons in Balochistan. The High Court has exceeded its powers, the Ministry contended.  (Daily Express, Nawai Waqt)

COLUMNS

  1. The world powers have come to the conclusion that countries that stand in the way of their interests will now be subdued through economic warfare.  The world powers have now come to the conclusion that instead of attacking and bombing the country to be destroyed, destroy its currency, destroy its economy so that no one can compete. This is the lesson to be learned from the devastation of Sri Lanka. The goal of destroying countries through economic war is achieved through institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. Pakistan economy is weakening economy and the rupee continues to depreciate steeply. There is an urgent need to come to grips with the situation. The Pakistan Army will have to play an unwritten role. Pakistan’s army is very professional, brave, talented, and rich in national security capabilities. It should come forward for the sake of national security instead of being limited to the written role. The events of the last few months and the devastation around us are teaching us a lesson-   We have to face the situation and get the country out of the current predicament. Because these conditions are our own creation. (By Akram Choudhary in Nawai Waqt)
  2. The new wave of terrorism that has started in Pakistan is characterized by the continuation of the policy of hostility by Kabul that was witnessed an even during the Taliban era. The possibility of further threats to Pakistan’s security from the Afghan border cannot be ruled out. Because the Taliban government have adopted a threatening tone vis-a-vis Pakistan.   Therefore, it is not just enough to summon the Afghan diplomat and deliver to him a formal protest letter on the tragic incidents. Top leadership of Pakistan should discuss the issue with the top Afghan brass. It should be made clear to the Taliban that if they do not have a system in place to stop the terrorists from crossing the border, then Pakistan reserves the right to   take action against the terrorists. (Dr Ibrahim Mughal   in Jasarat)
  3. We fail to understand how elections will help our economy that is surviving only on loans. We also will have to wait to see if coalition members agree on new elections.   Earlier, only people looked worried but now even rulers look much upset and are worried as to how to do face-saving. Surely new rulers succeeded in removing Imran Khan from the corridors of power; but Imran Khan continues to be a powerful and popular leader though people reeled under inflation during his rule. The rulers cannot afford the risk of taking him lightly. (Manzoor Khosa in Ibrat)
  4. The Shehbaz government itself does not seem to know as to how long it will survive in office. If there is an elected government, it has time to work out plans and to execute such plans. But, conditions with the current government are just the contrary; it has no time and it is in “now or never” mode. They will have to show results if they want to win the next polls. Or else, Imran Khan will be back in the reckoning. (Assar Imam in Sindh Express)
  5. According to reports, terrorist activities are on the rise in the border areas, especially in North Waziristan. These terrorists are said to be entering Pakistan from Afghanistan. And after ‘striking’ here, they run back to Afghanistan. Well, some terrorists get killed in police/army action but terrorist activities don’t stop. After the Taliban government was formed in Afghanistan, it was hoped that such activities will stop. It did not happen. Many terrorist organizations like TTP and ISIS have their bases in Afghanistan where they plan their activities against Pakistan. Bloch National Army which had carried out the suicide bomb explosion in the Karachi University, is working with them. It is the duty of the Taliban government to take action against these terrorists. (Agha Masood Husain in Ausaf Daily)
  6. Donald Lu is the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. He was promoted to the post last year and was given the task of showing Pakistan a mirror. Imran Khan’s biggest fault was his unprepared speech at the United Nations. The firebrand speech in English was just like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. After Mr. Bhutto, Imran Khan was the second Pakistani leader who could speak in English fluently and with command. The second fault-line was the gradual stabilization of Pakistan’s relations with Russia. The joint military exercises of the two countries, the purchase of Russian arms and cheap oil and gas were unbearable for the United States. The US wanted Imran Khan to cancel his visit to Moscow and support the West in the Ukraine war. In the OIC, Pakistan had shown a new path to the Muslim world by inviting China. If the Arab countries had followed the OIC policies that Pakistan and China had wanted, it would have been a major strategic blow to the United States. Imran Khan did not endear himself to the US with his repeated mention of the state of Medina and the establishment of the Rehmat-ul-Alameen Authority. Pakistan’s uniform education system was also a major thorn. The United States did not want Urdu-English medium schools in Pakistan. There are five Confucius Centers for Chinese in Pakistan, with thousands enrolled. In addition, a large number of Pakistani students are learning Chinese in China. Many of Pakistan’s long-term strategic projects like Diamer Bhasha Dam, Dasu Dam and ML-1 project are coming up with the Chinese help. China’s involvement in Pakistan’s defense manufacturing industry is growing. Well, the fault lines are one too many to the Americans dislike… (Lt. Col. Retd. Ghulam Jilai Khan in Daily Pakistan, 18th May)

EDITORIALS

  • Karachi once again seems to be on militants’ hit-list with two terror attacks taking place in a span of three days.  It is time we revisit our strategies against terror networks and wherever there are fault-lines we need to set them right. Because, clearly, terror elements have started re-grouping and seem to be taking advantage from political uncertainties in country.   (Edits – Pahenji Akhbar, Kawish, May 18)
  • The current government too has decided to surrender to the IMF. Talks have started in Qatar between Pakistan and IMF for the release of the fourth tranche of one billion dollars. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail had assured the IMF that he would abide by the conditions set by the previous government. (Edit in Jasarat)
  • The federal government has decided to stop imports of luxury goods and unnecessary items. It also increased duty by 100 per cent on some imported items. Both are good steps but attention should also be paid to increasing exports. Political stability is sin qua non for economic stability. In the present circumstances, it is not clear how long the present government will survive.   This political uncertainty has to be removed. (Edit-Dunya Daily, Aeen, Aaj, Daily K2)
  • The Supreme Court verdict on defections has been welcomed by PTI Chairman Imran Khan and termed it as their moral victory. Hopefully, PTI maintains its confidence in the national institutions since stability of democracy is linked to respect towards constitutional institutions. The apex court ruling will have a positive impact on national politics. (Edits – Daily Pakistan Jehan Pakistan, Qudrat)
  • Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is on a visit to the United States at the invitation of his American counterpart Blinken. This is Bilawal’s first official visit since taking over as foreign minister. He will also visit Davos.  Every government in Islamabad played its part in fostering US ties established during President General Ayub Khan reign.  The Pak-US ties turned cold under Imran Khan regime. Now the White House has welcomed the coalition government that has succeeded Imran and hinted at restoring relations between the two countries. The US invitation to the Pakistani Foreign Minister to attend an international conference is a reflection of this US policy. Bilawal visit will lead to removing misunderstandings and restoring relations between the two countries. (Edit Nawa-i-Waqt)

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