Pak Urdu Media Digest, Aug 03, 2022

NEWS

  • Saudi Arabia has welcomed the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s killing. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Ayman al-Zawahiri was one of the terrorists who led terrorist attacks in the United States and Saudi Arabia. Ayman al-Zawahiri killed thousands of innocent people, including Saudi citizens. (Jasarat, Jang)
  • Tribal people are not at all happy even after three years of merger of FATA with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; they are not satisfied with the measures and policies adopted by the governments. Many tribes prefer Jirga over judiciary for settling their issues. Anti-merger elements are trying to convince tribes that merger was a mistake and the results are in front. Government has forgotten the promises made to the people of FATA before merger and those who used to take credit for this merger are now silent. A former special force of FATA is complaining that the government has not fulfilled its promises. The educated and politically active people had thought that merger would bring them into national stream but it has proved wrong for now. (Aeen)
  • After a unanimous verdict of the Election Commission against PTI in the foreign funding case, moral pressure will increase on ECP for immediate verdict on PML-N and PPP cases, else it will hurt the image of ECP, and PTI charge of bias against EC will strengthen. PTI has no problem on any platform as there is no decision about the disqualification of PTI in the ECP verdict. (Jehan Pakistan)
  • Federal minister Mian Javed Latif of PML-N said that foreign funding was given to Imran Khan and PTI to sabotage CPEC. Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif said that the historic decision of the Election Commission proved that Imran Khan is a foreign-funded agent who destroyed the country’s economy under a well-thought-out plan. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Jinnah, Ummat, Daily Express)
  • PDM leader, Maulana Fazal Ur Rahman, has said EC judgement in the PTI funding case has confirmed the stand he had taken in 2010. The judgment proved that PTI is working against national interests and is receiving foreign funds for that. The EC proved Imran Khan an international thief, money launderer, liar and corrupt. Now the government should immediately disqualify Imran Khan for life and take steps to ban PTI. The spokesman of PDM Hafiz Hamdullah said that the decision of the EC is a charge sheet against PTI and Imran Khan. (Dunya Daily)
  • The Chief of Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan, TLP, Hafiz Saad Husain Rizvi has said that Imran Khan is leniently treated in the foreign funding case. A criminal has to be punished but the Election Commission has only warned him. Issuing show cause notice is not a punishment. Speaking to the journalists in Lahore he said that Imran Khan was never an honest and reliable person in the past and not even today. We never accept anything said by Imran Khan. TLP will never form any electoral alliance with any political party. We will contest the election with its identity. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has reacted to the Election Commission’s decision in the PTI funding case. He said that it is such a decision that will not create any crisis in the country. The EC decision will be blown away by the Supreme Court in its very first hearing. Sheikh Rasheed said that now is not the time to ban political parties, like in the past; in such a case people can take power to make decisions into their own hands. He claimed that Nawaz Sharif took money from Osama bin Laden and added that in a situation when the country is suffering from the worst economic conditions, it is not in the service of the country to screw up the popular leader of the country. (Jang)
  • Public Accounts Committee chief, Noor Alam Khan, who had left PTI to support PDM, has come down heavily on the Finance Minister Miftah Ismael for price rise. ‘You better quit government and sell toffees’ he told the minister. He said the finance minister should have reduced the price of diesel instead of petrol because it is used by the farmers and transporters. If diesel is costly then farming will be costly, transport will be costly and so everything will become costly. He said that the farmer has to use costly fuel for his tractor and tube well and the rich can use cheap fuel for their car. Noor Alam said that Miftah has no sense of priority. He should start selling toffees. (Ausaf Daily)
  • Head of Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Muhammad Sarwat Ijaz Qadri has said that standing up to falsehood and giving rights to the oppressed is a virtue or Hussainiat. Extremists are enemies of peace and agents of anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan forces. In the land of Saints- Sindh, nobody will be allowed to spread sectarianism. They will not tolerate blasphemy of companions of the Prophet. (Jasarat)
  • On the appeal of the Hyderabad Union of Journalists against increasing abuses, injustices and police brutality against journalists in Badin, journalists from across Badin district took out a protest rally and demonstrated at Badin Press Club. Protestors said police brutality has reached its peak in his district of Sindh, instead of providing protection to journalists, the police are targeting them. (Jasarat)
  • The federal government is considering auction of 5 to 10 MHz spectrum to get 150 to 300 million dollars for the national exchequer. The government is also considering to auction the remaining spectrum in the 2100 band at the final base price of 5 to 10 MHz range. The spectrum should be auctioned after completing the required procedures to the PTA. (Jang)
  • The People’s Rights Forum has given 5th August deadline to the government for addressing problems of people and All Parties People’s Rights Forum is getting support from all sides. It was said that if the government failed to take action massive protests would start from 6th August again. (Kashmir Dharti, Siasat)
  • Secretary Presidential Affairs Syed Asif Shah said that there are no opportunities for any government jobs in AJK. He added that AJK’s entire budget is Rs.163.5 billion out of which 83% is kept for non-developmental works. (Kashmir Dharti)
  • Increasing cases of kidnapping of children in Quetta is a matter of grave concern and parents are in real worry about their children after a video of a kidnapper on motorcycle went viral. (Baa Khabar)
  •  Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, said that China is willing to continue supporting Pakistan in advancing the development model according to ground realities. Our two countries are bound in the bond of eternal friendship. He said China and Pakistan are strategic allies who have stood by each other in every difficult time. (Nawaiwaqt, Ummat)

Editorials

  • The killing of al-Qaeda leader and Osama bin Laden’s successor, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a US drone attack on Sunday morning is like closing a sensational chapter in the international history of global terrorism. President Joe Biden has confirmed that Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in an American drone attack, saying that he was involved in actions against Americans for decades, including the 9/11 attacks. However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Taliban government described the drone attack as a clear violation of international norms and the Doha Agreement between Taliban and the US, and as a repetition of the failed experiments of the past twenty years. Such actions are against the interests of America, Afghanistan and the region. This position of the Taliban spokesman cannot be called as contradictory to the facts.  Air or drone strikes within the borders of a country without the permission of the legitimate government are tantamount to challenging its sovereignty and certainly against international law; United States has also faced criticism for this behavior in the past.  However, the theory of Jihad introduced by Ayman al-Zawahiri and his predecessor Bin Laden to declare suicide attacks and deadly acts in the form of bombings against the unjust actions of world powers is not a correct interpretation of Islamic teachings either.  Resolving differences in a fair manner with understanding and goodwill is the only way to establish lasting peace in the world. (Edit Jang)
  • The PTI funding case is eight years old. The EC reserved its judgement on June 21. And pronounced the verdict finally on Tuesday. The case was filed by PTI founder -member Akbar Sher Babar on December 14, 2011. The EC has decided that Imran Khan’s affidavit regarding prohibited funds is false. He has hidden several accounts which is a clear violation of the law of the land.  What emerges from the case is that PTI took funds from 351 foreign companies, including 34 US citizens. The biggest name among them is Arif Naqvi, who is the owner of Abraaj Group. (Edits- Jasarat, Dunya, Pakistan, Naibaat)
  •  What was the compulsion for foreign companies to donate to Imran Khan and his PTI? We also would like to add here as to what were the objectives behind bringing Imran Khan to power corridors? We will get replies to questions like these and more once full-fledged investigations begin in the case. The matter should not stop with only seizure of PTI’s controversial funds. We must go into depth of matter because ever since PTI came to power, the country’s decline picked up speed. Loans kept rising and the political mess got murkier and deeper. Hence, this case needs to be looked into from all related sides. (Ibrat, Edit)  
  • The federal government keeps feeding people with big hopes and keeps giving assurances and but people continue to reel under inflation that is now touching 24.9 per cent.  It is not enough if the finance minister or any federal minister says that he is ashamed of the current scenario in the country. Instead of feeling ashamed, rulers should start addressing peoples’ issues on war-footing so that they do not have to make such statements. The rulers should recall what they had said on taking over. They had said elite and the rich in the country would bear the burden of tough IMF conditions, and peoples’ day- to – day essentials would not be taxed much. Yet essentials are getting costlier with each passing day. Instead of pursuing policies of taking loans to repay loans, something concrete needs to be done to keep financial crises at bay. This will also help country progress and people too will heave sigh of relief. (Kawish, Edit, Aug.2)   
  • According to the report of the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the rate of inflation was 24.9% last month (July), which broke the 14-year record of inflation. In just one month, vegetable prices increased by 25%, edible oil by 8%, tea by 9%, and pulses by 14%, while prices of other essential commodities also saw a noticeable increase. Electricity rates were increased by 39% in one month. By increasing the prices of electricity, gas, and petroleum products regularly, arrangements are being made to kill the common man. Dollar smuggling and dollar mafia can also be the reason for its high flight. The agreements made with the IMF on strict terms have also made public life difficult. The sad thing is that   people are being promised good days and while they are being attacked in the name of electricity, gas, and taxes. If the government really sympathizes with the people, it should immediately arrange for real relief by reducing the prices of essential commodities. Otherwise, it may face a severe public backlash in the general elections. (Edit, Nawaiwaqt)
  • At the time of the establishment of Pakistan, 5000 cubic meters of water was available for each Pakistani, which is now less than 1000 cubic meters. In the next few years, the per capita water supply is threatened to down to 750 cubic meters. With this Pakistan will join the countries with a severe shortage of water.  Around the world, principles of nature are now being used to store water instead of building dams. Dams built at a cost of trillions of rupees lose their usefulness in just 10 to 20 years. This is what happened to us with Tarbela Dam. The only alternative to this problem is better water management based on natural methods. The example of Israel is in front of us; it has no dam, but it has become the world leader in agriculture, growing vegetables in the desert and selling as far as Europe and the Middle East. Hydrologists say that at the rate our population is growing, we need a dam the size of Tarbela every 10 years. Apart from water policies, we also need federal and provincial water commissions to ensure effective management and control of water resources at all levels. Apart from this, we have to promote the efficient use of water in our farms, cities, and industries. But first, we need to take the first steps to build new dams to store the excess monsoon water, urgently and on a war footing. (Edit, Daily Express)

Columns

  • Now, foreign funding case will be challenged in the Supreme Court. There is a section of experts who are of the view that approaching the apex court will not help Imran Khan and his party. People need to know that this matter is registered also in the UK and USA. Soon demands will be made for Imran Khan’s arrest. How long can the Pakistan government protect internationally wanted man? Money laundering is being seen as serious offence in international courts these days. (Ibrat, Pir Makram A.) 
  • The mishap with a military helicopter killing Quetta core commander and others is big news. Everyone wants to know how it happened. This is very sensitive issue and hence so much hue and cry are only natural. Balochistan is under focus today because of heavy rains and flood havoc. Making matters worse comes this military chopper crash. The day this helicopter mishap took place a big significant incident took place in Afghanistan. That incident hit headlines in foreign media and the person breaking out that news was none but the American President himself saying Al Qaeda chief Al Zawahiri was killed in a drone attack. Though it cannot compensate for America’s big losses in Afghanistan over the years, it must have come as a big morale booster for America. The Afghan Taliban government has raised protests and also said this attack is a violation of the Doha pact. On this very day, the Election Commission has come out with its findings in the PTI foreign funding case. This matter is no less important and sensitive than the Panama case. This case and the EC’s findings are sure to be a big headache for PTI and Imran because Pakistan’s laws want any political leader to be honest and above any doubts (of financial irregularities). Whatever happened to Nawaz Sharif can happen also to Imran Khan. (Sindh Exp. Omar Qazi)  
  • Recent Balal Kaka case in Sindh worked like a trigger.  Sindh was already simmering with deep-rooted resentment on the Afghan refugee issue. But it was not common Pushto but illegally staying Afghan refugees who have been bothering Sindh and also becoming the reason for political movements. We have some Sindhi-Pathans too in Sindh. By now, they consider themselves more Sindhis because it suits their interests. The interests of Afghans, be they political, social or economic, are different from Sindhis’ interests. Today Sindh has become multi-ethnicity province and Pathans’ stay is no issue. Those who saw the Balal Kaka issue as Sindhi-Pathan feud were mistaken in treating this incident as Sindhi-Pathan confrontation. Even some amongst Sindhis began demanding that Pathans be sent out of Sindh. There are Pathans who have been living in Sindh over decades. The main grievance of Sindh relates to Afghans. They stay in lakhs across Sindh. Some of them are refugees. Some of them were accommodated by our government some time back but they have lost any reason to continue any longer in Sindh. We, that is Sindhis, have played hosts to Afghans over the years, but it is time Afghans go back to their country. We know none will like to leave a place like Karachi and go to the barren lands of Afghanistan.   Sindh demography is under threat if Afghans settle here. The Sindhis will be reduced to a minority if the Afghan influx is not checked. Most of the Afghans heading to Pakistan often want to settle in Karachi and that is the reason their numbers keep rising in Karachi. Because of reasons like lack of education or their religious beliefs, Afghans’ population is rising faster than that of others in Karachi. It is time that Sindh and federal governments become serious about this issue and deport illegally staying Afghans back to their country. Any delay in addressing the issue can aggravate the matter. (Pahenji, Sajjad Jatoi, August 2)   
  • The situation is very grim in the country today. Lines are drawn and it can be seen too. On one side, we have key personalities of institutions who have not learnt any lessons from experiments being done for 70 years; they seem bent on making some new experiment. On the other side we have some individuals in institutions who want to set things right now. The rift is wide enough now. No one is prepared to trust the others. Scenario is getting grimmer and more and more out of control with each passing day. The sad part is that some individuals think they are indispensable for the country and they only know the solution to all that ails the country. The politicians will have to come forward and read out the constitution to all institutions. That constitution has laid down guidelines for every institution. Hence, if all institutions have to abide by the constitution, they need to stop interfering in others’ functioning. The rulers need to be given powers and not just chairs to sit in. If we do not have to go by constitution then we need, to say, to quote BAP leader, Khalid Magsi, (referring to establishment), “Come forward and take over, why waste our time, then only you will come to know what it means to run a country”. (Kawish, Ibrahim Kumbhar, Aug.2)     
  • Nikkei Asia reported that General Bajwa appealed to the White House and the Ministry of Finance to urge the IMF to immediately release the USD1.2 billion tranche of the “Loan Program”. The credibility of the current Pakistani Government is not high; its political writ is also limited to Islamabad.   This Government is also facing constant pressure from Imran Khan. That is why observers here (in the US) say that the real power rests with General Bajwa, who is 61 -years old and is retiring in November (2022) after a three-year extension. The Nikkei report also states that this is the reason why the IMF has given only “staff level” approval for this USD1.2 billion loan to Pakistan; this tranche will be released once the lending board gives its final approval. Imran Khan keeps saying, “I myself went to the army commander and also sent my finance minister Shaukat Tareen and gave a message that if the no-confidence motion succeeds and the Government is changed, it will cause a lot of damage to the country. The example of Sri Lanka was in front of us and we were fourth in the list of countries that are on the brink of bankruptcy, but still those who could have played a role in the change of Government did not react.”  According to Hussain Haqqani, who was Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, the call by General Bajwa (to the US leadership) is a sad fact but influential circles of the world believe that the final authority in Pakistan rests only with the Chief of the Army. The IMF program is being delayed because of Pakistan’s track record of not fulfilling its commitments.  (Lt. Col Retired Ghulam Jilani Khan in Daily Pakistan, 1st & 2nd August) ###