Pak Urdu Media Digest, May 24

NEWS

  • PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has called on Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami. And discussed the current political situation in the country. Both agreed that Imran Khan’s ambitions will not be allowed to succeed at any cost while the coalition government will work to get the country out of trouble. (Jasarat)
  • Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had a telephone conversation. The General inquired about the health of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz. According to details released on Twitter by the Saudi Foreign Ministry, Bajwa conveyed good wishes to the Saudi Crown, and prayed for the health of King Salman. Both discussed Pak-Saudi relations. Cooperation between the two armies was also discussed. (Jasarat- Jang- Daily Express, Nawaiwaqt, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • PML-N and its allies have decided to hold the next general election after completing the government term and reviving the economy. They also resolved that they will not bow under any pressure for an early election. On 25th May there will be a meeting of all parties under the chairmanship of Shahbaz Sharif to decide the next course of action. About Imran’s dharna in Islamabad after a Long March, the ruling allies said that the law will take its own course. (Ausaf Daily)
  • According to media reports, a big Chinese company H K Sons has stopped working in Gwadar. The company was exporting copper, aluminium and iron to China. It was the biggest investor in Gwadar. The company was also importing machinery from Europe and other countries for different projects. It was working on four projects in Balochistan where it was recycling copper, aluminium and plastic and exporting the recycled products to China. At present the company is facing difficulties in recycling and importing machinery. The company had sent its staff back to China. But the government sources have not confirmed the news. (Intekhab Daily) 
  •  Jamiat Ulema e Islam leader, Maulana Hafiz Hamdullah, who is also the central spokesman of the PDM, has said that in the name of Long March Imran Khan is inciting people to violence. Imran Khan’s vision is destructive for Pakistan. We will not let him destroy the country for his lust for power. He crushed the economy of the country and now he wants to start a civil war. Imran Khan can neither demand nor dictate on the question of next poll. The government, Election Commission and the court will not bow under his pressure. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The Sindh Minister for Irrigation Jam Khan Shoro has criticised that the Tarbela dam has reached dead level as a result of IRSA opening Chashma Jhelum and Taunsa Panjnad (CJ and TP) link canals. IRSA went ahead despite strong objections from Sindh province and with the help of Balochistan, opened CJ and TP link canals. and brought Tarbela Dam to dead level.  Such illegal and unjust decisions of IRSA officials will have a very negative impact on Sindh province. (Jasarat)
  • The Sindh High Court issued orders directing IRSA to provide to the Sindh its share of water. A two-judge bench also directed IRSA and Secretary, Irrigation, to file their reply by July 20. (Ibrat)  
  • After controversy on Punjab Governor, appointment of Sindh Governor has also become a matter of discord between the PM and the President. Shehbaz had sent a proposal to the President on appointment of MQM’s Nasreen Khalil as new Sindh Governor. But the President has taken no action so far. The proposal was put up in the second week of May.  Informed sources aver that President Alvi has been raising objections or dilly-dallying on each and every matter sent to him from the PMO. (Sindh Exp.)  
  • National Party Senator Tahir Bizenjo said that Baloch women arrested on suspicion after Karachi university terror attack should also get justice like in the PTI leader Mazari’s case. He criticised that many Baloch women have been arrested and kept in a camp without any facilities.  (Qudrat)
  • Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri has said he will not support for Imran Khan’s long march to Islamabad. He said that the PTI Government did nothing for the Model Town affected people during its three and a half years in power. Qadri has asked his cadres to stay out of PTI’s long march. (Aaj) 
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  • The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) decided to take action under Section 63A against the dissidents if they do not withdraw their no trust motion against the Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo. According to the party spokesperson, a meeting was held on 22nd May under the chairmanship of Bizenjo in which 16 elected members of the party assembly participated. (Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • Dozens of consignment networks have become active across the country after the federal government banned the import of luxury goods. The operators of the network are specializing in watches, shampoos, cosmetics, jams, jellies, and other such foreign items from Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, and other advanced markets. (Ummat)
  • According to a statement issued by ISPR, terrorists opened fire on a military check post in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. Two soldiers were martyred in the exchange of fire. Security forces have launched a manhunt for the attackers. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express, Daily Jinnah, Jasarat, Jang)

EDITORIALS

  • PTI has announced the date of its Long March. After reaching Islamabad the Long March will turn into an indefinite sit-in (dharna). It will end only when PTI’s twin demands are met. These demands are dissolution of the assemblies and election in 90 days. On its part the ruling coalition government has announced that elections would be held after it completes its term.  In the meantime, it will focus on electoral reforms. According to media reports, people in very large numbers will reach Islamabad. The government has planned to stop people from entering the capital city. To thwart the Long March, containers are placed on roads and police in large numbers is deployed. If restraint is not observed by both parties, then the chances of a clash are very high. If the government used brute force to silence PTI the outcome may be very dangerous. The demand of PTI are political and democratic and political solutions are needed to solve these problems.  (Edits-Intekhab Daily-Baad-e-Shimal, Aeen, Qudrat, Asas, Nai Baat, Jehan Pakistan, Daily Pakistan- Pahenji, Edit, May 23)
  • If the government tries to stop Imran Khan’s Long March, it will only lead to more mess, chaos and disturbances. In that case, even people can come out in support of Imran Khan’s Long March. Hence, the government needs to refrain from doing anything that can lead to a state of tensions. It will be better if the matter is resolved with a cool head; it will be in the interest of all to take all heads of political parties including PTI and heads of institutions into confidence and convince PTI leadership to avert a state of confrontation between government and PTI. We hope PTI leadership and its cadre will keep away from violence and would record their protests confining themselves to within limitations given by authorities. If they violate, it will not only affect PTI credibility but also affect the country and people at large as they would get exposed to uncertainties. (Ibrat, Edit, Kawish, Edit, May 23)  
  • The government is mulling over reducing the working days in a week to save fuel This is a positive move as the country would save almost 2.7crores USD in forex annually. It is pertinent to point out that proper use of fuel would save more fuel even if the numbers of working days are not reduced. (Daily K2 Edit)  
  • The visit of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto to China after the change of government in Pakistan is of special significance. As a result, the coldness of recent years has ended. However, the post-US visit of the Foreign Minister to China has also given the impression that the present government of Pakistan is fully capable of maintaining a balance in the national interest in foreign relations. (Edit Jang)
  • Pakistan’s Foreign Minister is currently on a visit to China. He assured the Chinese leadership of the protection of Chinese citizens, Chinese organizations, and ongoing Chinese projects in Pakistan. On the occasion, his Chinese counterpart also reiterated the importance of strong friendship with Pakistan and the Pakistan-China joint position on various regional and global issues. Unfortunately, in the last few years, work on the CPEC projects has seen a slowdown, which needs to be accelerated. (Edit- Nawaiwaqt)

COLUMNS

  • Foreign Minister Bilawal Zardari has made his maiden visit to the United States.  The purpose was to attend a global food security conference. He also met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and other American officials. He also had a photo session with Anthony Blanken. Earlier, Bilawal Zardari had confidently reiterated that the conspiracy against Imran Khan was not hatched by the White House but by Bilawal House. In other words, he was taking full credit as also responsibility for the recent changes in the country. Earlier, Maryam Nawaz had given all these credits to Nawaz Sharif, saying that a person sitting in London had entered the house and defeated Imran’s government. Before Bilawal, former President Asif Ali Zardari had also said that if there had been any conspiracy in America, Biden would have telephoned him. When Zardari was the President of Pakistan, Joe Biden was the Vice President of the United States of America. Then, he was conferred ‘Nishan-e-Pakistan’ for his great services to democracy. Bilawal’s visit to the US will now be an important step towards getting Pakistan’s US policy back on track. Pakistan will try to renew the old covenant with the United States and fill the gaps in the wall of relations. However, giving full credit by Bilawal for the political transformation of Pakistan to Bilawal House is a burden that will be beyond its capacity. It is true that Bilawal House, Avenfield London, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and even Amir Liaquat had played a role in this political change but the crown of this victory cannot be placed on anyone’s head. (Arif Bahar in Jasarat)
  • In these days of severe economic crisis, even a single day’s delay in an unbiased and transparent investigation against those who had looted the country will be a national crime. Every single rupee should be recovered from those who had looted the public’s money and hidden it in safe havens. On the one hand, the recovery of the looted amount will greatly improve the national economy and on the other hand, it will be a warning to those who are planning to rob the country. It is not the demand of only Imran Khan but of every Pakistani’s.  (Munir Ahmed Baloch in Dunya Daily)
  • Undoubtedly Shahbaz-led government is functioning under great pressure. It facing multiple challenges.  If Shahbaz and his allies think that they cannot run the country, and issue statements like “If anyone wants to take over, let them do it”, such statements from them will look more like an invitation to non-political forces to take over. Such statements   reflect the helplessness of rulers, and the establishment can exploit the situation. Now, if we want to avert take over by the establishment then early polls are the only way- out. This will help check derailment of political processes in country and current rulers too will get respite from crisis they are deeply stuck up in now.  Nafees Siddiqui in   Ibrat) 
  • It is one thing to say that Imran Khan would bring a teeming number of supporters running into lakhs in his Long March to Islamabad, and bringing such large numbers and mobilizing them for protests is another thing especially when the heat wave is gripping the capital city. If Imran Khan succeeds in bringing even half the number of his supporters and sympathizers in his Long March, it would put enough pressure on the Shahbaz government. Any attempt to use force to halt Long March to Islamabad will be no less than adding fuel to fire. Right now, Imran Khan and his cadre/activists look highly motivated, almost to dangerous levels, and in such a state of affairs even law-keeping machinery cannot take risk of any confrontation with PTI activists, Imran Khan sympathizers and supporters. With fast changing political scenes, establishment seems to be planning some such way out that is acceptable to all. (Aijaz Mungi in Sindh Exp)
  • Those writers who are busy day and night trying to present Imran Khan as an angel, should not bring down the media’s respect. Media has its power and it should be used for the benefit of the oppressed and not for people like Imran Khan. He is a cunning and crafty politician. He is anti-people and more so anti-Sindh. Sindh youth should try to understand his/Imran Khan’s anti-America rant. Wherever he speaks in public meetings, he never utters a word about his government’s three- and half-year rule and how much he has delivered during that period. Media persons who are trying to present him as popular leader should also highlight Imran Khan’s anti-people roles. (Yameen Jatoi in Sindh Exp) 
  • PPP is not optimistic about its future role in the federal government. It fears the new government can use accountability institutions once again to make things difficult for its leaders. Hence, PPP intends to utilize the current set up to put an end to such possibilities.    According to observers, PML (N) is right now grappling with the crisis on three fronts…. economy, political management and the imminent Long March. The challenges can leave the ML (N) a much-weakened force in the times to come. (Latif Jamal in Kawish, May 23) 

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