Pak Urdu

Pak Urdu Media Digest- Aug 17, 2023

14 Min
Pak Urdu Media Digest- Aug 17, 2023

NEWS: An angry mob has set fire to several churches in Jaranwala, Punjab, in reaction to an accusation that a Christian man has committed blasphemy. Police have registered a case under blasphemy provisions while the situation in the city is tense. According to the FIR, two Christian men are accused of uttering insulting words about the Prophet in the cinema square of Jaranwala while also desecrating the Quran. It has been stated in the FIR that when the police reached the square, they found pages of the Quran on which insulting words were written in red pen. The accused had fled from the spot by then.  An angry mob gathered outside the local church after the incident. And started vandalizing the church and later set it on fire. Many people in the mob also ransacked the Assistant Commissioner’s office. There are also reports that members of the Christian community living in the area have left their homes. Inspector General Punjab Police Usman Anwar told the media that the police is trying to negotiate with the protesters. He said that there is one big church in the area besides two or three smaller churches. In the videos circulating on social media, a person is seen urging people to come out of their homes through the mosque’s loudspeaker. In another video, a local police officer is trying to convince the agitators that the accused will be arrested and action will be taken according to law. But the angry crowd is demanding immediate punishment. Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi condemning the Jaranwala incident, said if there is blasphemy, there is a law for it. In a video statement, he said that providing protection to minorities is the responsibility of the state.  Those who damage the churches and desecrate the cross should be brought to law. The head of the National Council of Churches of Pakistan, Dr. Azad Marshall, also strongly condemned the incident. In his reaction on the ‘X’ platform (formerly Twitter), he said “While I am writing these words, our churches and properties are being burnt in Jaranwala. The Bible has been desecrated and Christians have been persecuted. Christian citizens have been falsely accused of desecrating the Quran. We appeal for the immediate intervention of the justice institutions”.    Caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar has ordered action against the people involved in the Jaranwala incident.   He also instructed strict action against those involved in violence. He added that strict action will be taken against those who violated the law and targeted minorities. Former Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif also demanded action against those involved. Jaranwala is a tehsil of Faisalabad, the third largest city in Pakistan. In 2009, a similar incident took place in Gujra Tehsil of Toba Tek Singh district. At that time, seven Christians were killed and many houses of Christians were burnt by angry people on the charge of blasphemy. (Urdu Voice of America)

  • A Hindu citizen has been arrested on charges of blasphemy in Rahim Yar Khan. The authorities have shifted the family members of the accused to a safe place. The incident of alleged blasphemy took place in village Chak No. 75 P West of Rahim Yar Khan district. The name of the accused is Akbar Ram, against whom a case has been registered and sent to jail on judicial remand. According to the details, on August 11, the police received information that an incident of blasphemy has allegedly taken place in Chak No. 75 P Gharbi of Rahim Yar Khan. A Hindu boy was accused of allegedly sending derogatory messages about Muslim holy places on his mobile phone. It is recorded in the FIR that the news of the Hindu boy’s alleged blasphemy soon spread in the village, on which the local people became enraged. Police sources say that the incident of alleged blasphemy had taken place between two friends. According to preliminary investigation, both the accused and the plaintiff are close friends who often discuss religion. The Hindu boy used to talk to his Muslim friend about Islam on WhatsApp. The investigation shows that the WhatsApp conversation used to incite people against the Hindu boy by calling it blasphemy, which angered the local people. Spokesperson Rahim Yar Khan Police said that further investigation is going on. The law-and-order situation in the district is under control. According to police spokesperson Rahim Yar Khan Saif Ali, as soon as the information was received, the police reached the scene and took the Hindu accused into custody, and reached the police station. Meanwhile, angry people gathered outside the police station and tried to attack the accused. But the police took timely action and dispersed the crowd. After the arrest of the accused, the police got information that angry people had also surrounded his house. The police feared that the family members of the accused might be harmed, so they were shifted to a safe place. It should be noted that a large number of Hindus are living in Rahim Yar Khan. This is not the first incident of blasphemy in Rahim Yar Khan. Earlier, in 2021, the Bhong Mandir was set on fire and vandalized by agitators. (Urdu Voice of America, Nawaiwaqt)
  • In a social media post, Faisalabad Police said Jaranwala blasphemy accused Raja Aamir Saleem and Rocky Masih were booked. A case has been registered at City Police Station, Jaranwala. Protesters should refrain from vandalism and provocation. However, the angry protestors attacked the Christian population. The angry protestors set fire to a church and also targeted the Christian colony and government buildings. Assistant Commissioner Jaranwala Shaukat Masih Kofouri   said: “Between 8 am and 9 am, we got information that angry protesters have reached Christian Colony and started burning the settlement. Vandalism is being done and the belongings of the citizens are being thrown out by breaking their homes”. Higher authorities, taking strict notice of all the incidents, shifted Assistant Commissioner Jaranwala Shaukat Masih Kofouri, and gave his charge to Rana Aurangzeb Tandlianwala.   Imran Bhatti, pastor of Jaranwala Tehsil, said United Presbyterian Church, Allied Foundation Church, and Shahroon Wala Church located in Isa Nagri have been vandalised apart from    apart from Salvation Army Church. His own house was also demolished by the mob. (Nawaiwaqt)
  • Analyst Shahzeb Khanzada says minorities do not consider themselves safe in this country since their homes and places of worship are being attacked in the name of Islam.” The heartbreaking incident that happened in Punjab against Christian Community is extremely condemnable. It has sent a negative image of Pakistan across the globe”.               Analyst Shahzad Iqbal said that Pakistan should consider attacks on minorities as the attack on the state itself. “We talk about barbarism against minorities in India but our society is no different. Hate never flourishes any society on its own; we must have somewhere allowed some fanatic groups to spread hatred; we would have supported one group sometime and another group sometime. The anger state is showing on 9th May incidents, should be more over such heinous acts. If someone commits the heinous act of burning the Holy Qur’an, then our hearts hurt. Similarly, if we harm their places of worship, their hearts will also be hurt”.                Umar Cheema said that if the charge of blasphemy in Jaranwala was true even then the police should have taken action. “Here, people take such matters into their own hands, and the state remains a silent spectator. If such incidents are mentioned in any international report on human rights, we boldly say that minorities are free in Pakistan, and many people take the false resort of blasphemy for personal revenge. The state does not seem serious in dealing with such incidents of extremism. There are laws in our country but they are not implemented. The role of religious scholars against extremism is the most important”.               Mehmal Sarfaraz said that the number of minorities in the country is decreasing due to the unsafe environment for them in Pakistan. “The question is whether the state will react to the Jaranwala incident as it did to the incidents of May 9. The sanctity of religious places of worship is greater than any government buildings. All stakeholders must make a common plan of action to deal with such incidents. The state should commit to punishing the perpetrators.”               Irshad Bhatti said that the attack on the Christians and the church in Jaranwala is a tragedy. “We talk about this incident for a few days and then forget it. The government also gives usual lame statements. If the people involved in the 9th May incidents can be brought out from under the earth, an equally strong response will have to be given against religious extremists”. (Jang)
  • The Election Commission of Pakistan has failed to take any final decision with regard to new constituencies of national and provincial assemblies. The ECP meeting was adjourned without any conclusion but to mull over the issue further. (Jang)
  • PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif has called the party senior leaders and legal team to London for consultations on his home return and upcoming general elections. This week Shahbaz Sharif along with former federal PML-N ministers and the legal team will leave for London. Sources said their discussions will also focus on poll alliances.  (Roznama Intekhab, Daily Kashmir Express, Daily Khabrain)
  • Former Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah is confident that Nawaz Sharif will be acquitted by the courts. A guarantee has been given in this regard, he said without elaborating while speaking in the Express-News program, and added that there is zero risk for Nawaz Sharif while it is difficult for Imran Khan to get relief from the courts. Imran Khan is suffering the consequences of what he had done. Rana Sanaullah said that everyone will get ample opportunity to run political campaigns in the general elections, but the people involved in the events of May 9 will not be allowed to participate in the elections. (Qudrat Daily)
  • PML-N senior, and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the big reason that cost Nawaz Sharif his government was not giving extension to the then COAS Gen. (Retd.) Raheel Sharif. In an interview, he said “We made many commitments to Gen. Raheel including service extension, but when promises were not kept, problems started”.  Dawn Leaks came and so the Panama Leaks which eventually cost Nawaz Sharif his government, he added. (Jang)
  • The Supreme Court Bar Association has moved the Supreme Court demanding elections in 90 days and challenging the Council of Common Interests (CCI) decision of approving the new Census. It termed as illegal the presence of interim chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at the CCI meeting that approved the census.   The Bar body also contended that calling a CCI meeting one week before the dissolution of the National Assembly to approve the new Census was with a motive to delay scheduled elections. If the Supreme Court doesn’t intervene in the matter, general elections would not be held in the stipulated 90 days’ time and Pakistan will be pushed into one more constitutional crisis. (Jang)
  • Anti-terrorism wing of FIA has registered a case against Chairman PTI for missing cipher. The JIT investigating the cipher case will conduct the investigation. It may be recalled that Imran’s former Principal Secretary Azam Khan had recorded his statement regarding the cipher that it was a deliberate conspiracy. It should be noted that during a rally in March last year, the then Prime Minister Imran Khan took out a letter from his pocket and claimed that the opposition’s no-confidence motion against him was the result of a foreign conspiracy against his foreign policy, and alleged that funds were sent from abroad to remove him from power. (Jasarat)
  • The anti-terrorism court (ATC) of Lahore has ordered the initiation of proceedings to declare Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders Hamad Azhar, Khalid Gujjar, and Zubair Khan Niazi as wanted criminals. The order was issued while hearing the case of burning police vehicles outside Zaman Park. It should be remembered that on March 15, when the Islamabad Police team reached Zaman Park to arrest PTI Chairman Imran Khan, the PTI supporters clashed with the police. Clashes between the police and PTI workers continued for 11 hours and even the Punjab Police and Rangers troops who came to help the police failed to break the resistance. During the clashes, 30 police personnel were injured while several police vehicles were destroyed by petrol bombs thrown by PTI supporters, and one water cannon was set on fire. (Dawn Daily)
  • Police have declared 282 accused in the Jinnah House attack case as most wanted criminals. They include 22 leaders including former PTI members of National and Provincial Assembly. Amongst them are Mian Aslam Iqbal, Murad Saeed, Andalib Abbas, Ahmed Niazi, Farrukh Habib, Zubair Niazi, Ali Amin Gandapur and Hammad Azhar among others. The police say that the accused were repeatedly summoned to appear for questioning but they did not come.  (Daily Khabrain, Daily Dharti, Daily Kashmir Express)
  • The Police have termed 268 activists of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as proclaimed offenders for 9th May vandalism and violence. They are not responding to police summons and are absconding. 22 big leaders of the PTI have also been declared proclaimed offenders. (Jang)
  • The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has started probing four major corruption scandals. According to FIA, an inquiry has been started against banks for opening LCs at more than the interbank rate of the dollar. The FIA has also started an inquiry into the alleged embezzlement of 18 lakh bags and distribution of bad quality of flour in the free flour scheme.  The other probes cover corruption in the purchase of land for motorway, alleged misuse of aid to flood victims in Sanghar and Dadu. (Roznama Intekhab)
  • Around four dozen important political figures including many powerful provincial ministers and bureaucrats working on important positions have been put on the Sindh immigration and stop list, sources said. The list was submitted to the FIA on 10th August after which a senior bureaucrat was stopped from leaving the country. It is learnt that the PPP leadership and some important provincial ministers are in great distress since the list has been given to the FIA. An officer, who figures on the list claimed that things have since been settled and therefore this undeclared watch list has become meaningless. The Deputy Director Immigration Bashir Sumroo declined comment saying that no such thing is in his knowledge. (Jang)
  • On call of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) will stage a protest on Friday against the murder of Sukkur Journalist Jan Muhammad Meher. KUJ President Aijaz Ahmad and others criticised that the Sukkur Police is still unsuccessful in nabbing the real killer. The KUJ also condemned the registration of a fake case against National Press Club Treasurer and Journalist Kamran Shahid in Sukkur’s Abad Police Station. (Jang)
  • A delegation of Ulema from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa headed by Maulana Tayyeb Qureshi is visiting Kabul to meet Taliban leadership. On Tuesday the delegation met Afghanistan’s former ambassador Umar Zakhiuwal. (Express Daly)
  • The UN Special Representative for Global Education, Gordon Brown, Tuesday said that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should haul up the Taliban for denying Afghan women their basic right to education. In a statement on the 2-year Taliban rule, he said that denying Afghan girls education and restricting women’s employment are gender discrimination. It should be considered a crime against humanity and the Taliban should be prosecuted in the ICC. Gordon Brown, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010, is in contact with the ICC.   He has also put forward five proposals – prosecute Taliban in the ICC, impose bans on various personalities, send a delegation of Muslim leaders to meet the top Taliban leadership, and provide financial support for online education of Afghan girls.   (Urdu Voice of America)
  • Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI)has announced a nation-wide protest tomorrow against steep hike in petroleum products.  JeI Amir, Siraj ul Haq asked the government to roll back the price rise. A lump sum increase of 20 rupees per liter of diesel and petrol is the peak of cruelty. The poor cannot bear the burden any more. He criticised that the caretaker government is busy invalidating the previous government’s welfare initiatives, and the poor people are being targeted at the behest of the IMF. The caretaker government was expected to give relief to the oppressed people by reducing inflation but instead, petrol bombs were dropped. 98% of the people’s resources are controlled by 2% of the elite. (Dunya Daily)
  • The Khairpur Police have arrested Pir Asad Shah Jeelani, a member of the influential Pirs of Ranipur, for allegedly torturing his 10-year-old maid Fatima Furiro to death. (Tribune, The News, Daily Pakistan)
  • According to State Bank of Pakistan, the Federal Government’s debts have increased by more than 13 thousand billion in one year, while the total volume of internal and external loans has reached 60 thousand 839 billion rupees by June 30, 2023. (Urdu Point)


  • We pray that our fears and apprehensions are proved wrong, but Anwar Kakar’s appointment as caretaker PM can be the beginning of a long darker phase in the country. By appointing a person like him, who is politically weak and does not know even political basics, and is personally inefficient, it should not be difficult to make out as to who actually will run the government. The only solution lies in politicians keeping aside their egos and disputes and they should come together for larger political good in the country. But history tells us very clearly that our political class has often refused to take lessons which have resulted in big losses to politicians themselves and also to the country as a whole. It is still not too late; politicians should bridge distance amongst them and they should sit together for the larger good of the nation. Every politician and every political party should keep this in mind very clearly that they are not here to enter into corridors of power through backdoor of establishment; they should realize their actual doorway to power passes through common man and they should be in touch with them and concentrate only there. (Awami Awaz Edit, Aug.15)
  • The final decision on the names of the Caretaker Prime Minister’s Cabinet is expected to be made today, but the names that have come up so far and whose nomination is being shown tobe highly likely reinforce the impression that the Caretaker Cabinet is being protected from political influence, and it will be composed of persons having professional qualifications and experience in their respective fields. This situation will help in the neutrality of the supervisory setup and the better execution of government affairs. But only professionalism and experienced personalities are not enough; simplicity and austerity are indispensable for the supervisory government. Unnecessary expansion of the cabinet and wastage of government resources are very harmful and painful. From the performance of past governments, it is clear that the size of the cabinet does not bring any significant improvement in the government’s performance. In such a situation, when the people are facing huge increases in diesel and electricity rates and severe surge in the prices of other essentials, the caretaker government should show its solidarity with the people and adopt simplicity and minimize the government’s burden on the public exchequer. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  • Last one and half years have been very tough on the country. One government was replaced with another, and it was followed by caretaker set-up and in between we have had phrases like May 9 rioting, steep inflation and very poor state of law and order across the country. None of the issues was resolved by the outgoing PDM government and all the time was wasted in a political tug of war. People were fed with empty assurances and inflation and corruption kept rising. People neither got   affordable justice, nor did they get relief from inflation and lawlessness. Major tasks before the caretaker government should include overall betterment in the country.  The election commission and caretaker government should see to it that they hold polls in time and thus pave the way for return to the elected government. (Sindh Express Edit, Aug.16)
  • The PDM government threw its inflation-bomb during its last days by hiking petroleum prices and new caretaker set-up is no different from its predecessors as evident from its hiking steeply petrol prices as its “first gift” to countrymen! Petrol will now cost Rs.17 more per liter while high speed diesel is costlier by Rs.20 per liter. The finance ministry has said in its notification that this hike is the result of petrol prices shooting up in the global market. According to experts in economy-related matters, there was already steep inflation in the country and this big rise in petrol prices will usher in a big “storm” in price- rise all around.  Instead of passing on burden to the common man, let Pakistan currency be stabilized vis-a-vis dollar and this is possible only when there is more productivity in the country.   Let terrorism and extremism be brought under control to attract more tourists to the country so that we can be self-reliant financially. If prices keep rising, then none can stop people coming out on roads. Let rulers be wise enough keeping in mind peoples’ tolerance limits. (Ibrat Edit)
  • Farmers are continuing protests at Jati in Sindh demanding water for their fields. With the irrigation department unmoved, the farmers staged a dharna yesterday in front of irrigation office at Sajjawal where farmers’ leaders said nexus between big landlords and irrigation is behind water shortage in coastal parts and warned that their agitation will continue until they get water to wet their fields. Protests also took place at Kakad, in Sindh, where fields were affected in last year’s rains and floods.  We support farmers’ demand and join them in saying that it is farmers’ right to get water for their fields.  The administration must release water into canals and water courses so that farmers can irrigate their fields and thus escape financial hardships. (Sindh Express Edit)
  • The Sindh government’s irrigation department is as much responsible as other factors for the shrinking area under agriculture in the province. Sindh does not get its water as much as it should get as per its share and on top of it Punjab keeps taking water even from flood canals during water scarcity days. Whatever little water is received that too is not judiciously distributed. Water shortage takes place because of alleged water sale by irrigation staff to growers, and this results in water not reaching tail end parts. Water courses and canals also develop cracks reflecting on inefficiency of irrigation officials. Slit formation is also taking place in canals and water courses affecting their storage capacities. Nowadays, seeds have started drying up and there is no water for farmers. This is “financial” killing and “killing” of agriculture in Sindh. Irrigation department is one of key Sindh government departments. Survival of agriculture in Sindh depends on this department and hence this department’s efficient and orderly functioning is must. (Pahenji Akhbar Edit, Aug.16)
  • To reduce the growing caseload of police stations across the country, the National Police Bureau has proposed to restore the old panchayat system. The Bureau has sent its recommendations to Ministry of Home Affairs and all IGs that the establishment of such panchayats within the police station limits should be made mandatory.  A mechanism should also be made for the training of the Panchayat members who conduct mediation. The police stations are understaffed but the case load is high. Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism has been disabled in Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.  Jirga and Panchayat system have been in existence for centuries. In Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this system is still fully functional while in Punjab and Sindh Panchayats and settle disputes. In 2017, the National Assembly approved a bill that sought to give constitutional and legal protection to the country’s informal judicial system, Jirga and Panchayat. The opposition however demanded   that the power to nominate an impartial panel be restricted to the judiciary. Social organizations also raised concerns. The panchayat system is good in its spirit. This will reduce the burden of cases on the courts, but it would be better to frame the rules and regulations of the Panchayat system to make it effective. There is no problem in cleaning a good social system from evils and continuing with good ones, but in the past, there have been such terrible and inhumane decisions of these panchayats, on which women were subjected to gang rape, and young girls had to bear the brunt of the crimes their male relatives had committed. This system will be effective only if educated people who are aware of law and human rights are appointed as Panchs. (Jang Edit)###