Pak Urdu

Pak Urdu Media Digest, Feb 16, 2023

13 Min
<strong>Pak Urdu Media Digest, Feb 16, 2023</strong>


  1. The black sheep working in the counter terrorism department (CTD) were caught red handed in the crackdown by Rangers in Jacobabad. Three officials, one of them of ASI rank have been arrested for smuggling of weapons into Sindh and Balochistan. According to Rangers, one car going from Sibi (Balochistan) to Khairpur (Sindh) was intercepted and rocket launchers, three cannons, 16 magazines, other weapons and explosive material were recovered. The arrested persons are identified as Sultan Chachar, ASI, Sibi, Jehangir Shah, and car driver, Nadeem Taniyo. They have been handed over to Jacoabad’s Sadar Police station, which registered a case.  According to police, these weapons were being taken to Kandhkot (Sindh) resident, Ali Hassan Chachar. (Jasarat, Pahenji Akhbar, Feb.15)
  2. Sindh United Party has started a protest march from Sukkur led by its President Syed Zain Shah. They are protesting against inflation, unemployment, and growing lawlessness. Rehabilitation of flood affected people is also one of their Sindh. The march will reach Karachi after 33 days. It started from Sukkur’s Hemu Kalani Chowk. (Sindh Express)
  3.  The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National Assembly has demanded an apology from Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, for insulting Pashtun culture. Akram spoke at the UN while ticking off Pashtun culture; he has sense said sorry on twitter.  The Senate committee chair said that Akram’s speech reflected his negative thinking on Pashtun culture.  Just apologizing on Twitter is not acceptable.  (Jasarat)
  4. FIA Cyber Crime (Karachi) has arrested one more person involved in promoting obscene content on social media. The accused was involved in promoting the blasphemous content in WhatsApp groups based on blasphemy of Allah, Prophethood, blasphemy against the companions of the Prophet and the family members of the Prophet. (Jasarat)
  5. In Mustang district of Balochistan, unknown persons shot dead a well-known physician, Sheikh Abdul Baqi; the accused managed to escape. No organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Two years ago, the doctor’s house was attacked with a hand grenade. (Jasarat)  
  6. Former finance minister and economist Dr. Hafeez Pasha said even if an agreement is reached with the IMF, Pakistan will not be able to get out of its financial crisis. (Jang)
  7. Two Chinese nationals have been taken into custody for roaming in the city of Hyderabad without permission. Kotri Site Police took them into custody for roaming around the city without security, which is a security risk. (Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  8. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Amjad Khan Niazi met with Commander of US Naval Forces (Central Command) Vice Admiral Bird Cooper. Issues of mutual interest, regional maritime security and bilateral naval cooperation were discussed. Both sides reiterated their determination to further promote naval and defense relations. (Nawai Waqt, Daily Jinnah, Daily Express)
  9. Rating agency Moody’s has warned that the average rate of inflation in Pakistan may peak to 33% this year. Despite the IMF’s financial assistance, Pakistan’s economy will not recover overnight, for which long-term planning is required. Katrina L, Moody’s senior economic analyst told Reuters that the reason for the increase in inflation in Pakistan is the strict conditions of the IMF. (Nawai Waqt, Daily Express, Ummat)
  10. The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Noor Alam Khan vehemently opposed the supplementary finance bill  saying  he will never vote  in its support “ even if I have to lose my seat”. Speaking on the floor of National Assembly, he said: Till today I have never seen any step taken for the benefit of the poor people. The prices of eatable items have risen incredibly, and even medicines are 170 percent more costly. The officers are provided free 1300 units of electricity while the poor have to pay for it. He said that in Pakistan tax is collected from the people but facilities are not provided to them. Raising the price of electricity will be an atrocity. Catch those who take bribes. Control the FBR officers. He said that he will never become a part of this finance bill. (Intekhab Daily)
  11. The patrolling team of the fisheries department has seized an illegal trawler with its crew in the sea near Gwadar. And confiscated the catch. A case is filed against the trawler owner and crew. It is the second operation of the fisheries department in two days. The Director General of the Fisheries Department Mir Saif Ullah Khaitran said we are taking strong action against illegal fishing in the sea of Gwadar. We will not leave even a single illegal trawler. We are working on a war footing. (Intekhab Daily)
  12. The Baloch Solidarity Committee has staged a demonstration in Karachi against forced disappearance of Rahim Zehri, Rashida Zehri, and Zaman Baloch. The protesters were demanding an immediate investigation of their disappearance. Many people joined the protest, and raised their voices against the atrocities in Balochistan. The protesters said forced disappearance is going on for two decades; while previously it was limited to males, now even women and children have also become the targets of the security forces. Many of them are killed after their disappearance. Action is never taken against the security personnel for these illegal and unconstitutional activities. (Intekhab Daily)
  13.  Due to gas crisis and POL shortages in the country, the Sindh Government has demanded a new agreement on natural resources between the Federation and the Provinces. Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh stated that the gas distribution agreement should be renewed. He added that the petroleum company in Sindh will work to find shale gas. (Urdu Point)
  14. Another girl who was playing an online game on her mobile phone was allegedly kidnapped in Shah Faisal Colony area of Karachi. The police registered a case on the complaint of the parents. (Urdu Point)
  15. Syed Akbar Shah, Secretary General of the Medical Association has stated that drugs for cancer, stomach, Thalassemia, dialysis, fever, headache, diabetes and other diseases are fast disappearing in the market place.  The pharmaceutical companies are taking advantage of the compulsion of people by selling medicines at high prices. (Urdu Point)
  16. Even six months after the floods, no comprehensive plan has been prepared for the rehabilitation of flood victims in Balochistan, says a report. (Urdu Point)


  1. The suicide of a student in a private school at Hyderabad highlights the fact that educational institutions have become money making places than places to teach. The student jumped from two-storied school building. Why such conditions were created in the school that a child took drastic decisions like ending his life in the school itself? The school authorities did not even call for an ambulance and the body reached the hospital in an auto-rickshaw. We can also ask questions as to why there were no first aid arrangements too at this multi-storied school building where hundreds of students go every day. This matter needs to be looked into in depth so that there are no more such tragedies. (Pahenji Akhbar Edit, Feb.15)
  2. Major reason for our deteriorating conditions is harsh terms and conditions on loans being taken from global agencies or even from friendly countries. Keeping in view such a dismal scenario, the global rating agency has cut down Pakistan rating down to triple C. Loans can get us temporary relief, but they bring a big burden for the country and for people. Our economic conditions will not look up till we step up our exports.  Need of the hour is that all parties, in the opposition and the ruling camp sit together to   work out right strategies to steer the country out of current crisis. (Kawish Edit, Feb.15)
  3. Peoples’ purchasing power is already down; the steep hikes proposed in the mini-budget will only aggravate the conditions.  Though people are being told that prices of essentials like wheat, rice, milk and pulses are not being touched in the mini-budget, the fact remains that prices of these essentials had gone up even before presentation of finance bill 2023. All this might help government get next installment of loan from IMF, but it will be the common man who will feel extremely affected at end of the day. The lower strata of society will get more impacted and that is perhaps one reason that the government has allocated Rs.40 billion more for Benazir Income Support Program so that people can be pacified and be kept away from causing anything backlash.  The salaried class and middle-class sections have been totally neglected. It is these sections of society who in fact run country and they are perhaps the only sections paying taxes. Presentation of mini-budget will affect them too. Presentation of mini-budget might do good or bad to the government, but Imran Khan’s politics will surely get a boost. (Ibrat Edit)
  4. People are being subjected to more and more hardships as the IMF keeps dictating its terms. Our rulers should beware of the fury of people who can rise anytime against the government. The presentation of mini-budget will grossly add to people’s inconveniences. (Edits – Sindh Express, Aeen, Azadi, Dunya)
  5.  A major cause of our economic problems is the culture of tax evasion. The cigarette industry is a good example, which, according to a report is causing a loss of one trillion rupees to the national exchequer annually. (Edit Jang)
  6. The international rating agency “Fitch” issued the negative CCC to Pakistan. Earlier this rating was CCC positive. The downgrade is attributed to our depleting forex reserves, which will remain low for now. According to Fitch, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are likely to increase marginally by the end of the fiscal year. Until December last year, that is, just two months ago, our foreign exchange reserves were 10.8 billion dollars. They suddenly fall down and now only 3.09 billion dollars is left. According to the Governor State Bank, Pakistan has to pay 33 billion dollars in foreign debt installments during the current fiscal. If foreign exchange reserves are to be relied upon for this too, it can be well guessed what nature of our default will be. Even now, no country, including our long-time friendly countries, is ready to trust us and the ongoing political instability has become so dire that there is no hope for a good future. Undoubtedly, these are great challenges for us. If our political leaders do not show their senses, then the bankruptcy of our economy and society is not a distant thing. (Edit, Nawai Waqt)
  7.  The Senate witnessed an uproar over the reported remarks of the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandyal that only one Prime Minister of the country was declared honest.  If the CJP remarks are being circulated on social media in a wrong tone and tenor, the apex court registrar should have taken immediate action and corrected the impression. Nowadays, more than half of the news comes from social media. So much so, everyone should be very careful and take timely action to correct the wrong impression wherever necessary. (Daily Pakistan Edit)


  1. Four-day Pak-US military talks have started in Washington. Today is the third day and tomorrow will be the last day. This is the second round of these talks. The first round was held in Pakistan two years ago in January 2021. A gap of two years seems to be a long gap in negotiations of this level, but since the agenda of these talks covered strategic military topics, this long gap should not be given immediate or much importance nor should it be a subject of much doubt. The Pakistani team is headed by Lt. Gen. Mohammad Saeed, who is the Chief of General Staff of the Pakistan Army. This post is considered the most important post after the Army Chief. These negotiations are taking place at the US Ministry of Defense (Pentagon) and the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Defense is participating in it with his delegation. Three aspects of this visit must be kept in mind. First, these talks cover mostly strategic defense topics. Pak-US bilateral political relations have been put aside. It is a heavyweight military delegation that includes a Lieutenant General, two Major Generals, two Brigadiers and officers of the Air Force and Navy, but no civilian political figure. Secondly, it is being emphasized to call this visit a bilateral strategic visit. Military experts know that strategic topics are of strategic importance, with implications that span regional and international affairs. And thirdly, since these talks are being held after fresh political tensions between Pakistan and US, the entire backlog that has accumulated over the past two or three years will be discussed and perhaps cleared. And the decisions that will be taken keeping in view the current political environment of Pakistan will be of utmost importance in view of Pakistan’s faltering economy. America is a country that is aware of the internal and external conditions of all countries of the world. If the IMF has not approved giving only one billion dollars to Pakistan so far, this heavy Pakistani military delegation will not guarantee to accept the required conditions imposed by the IMF; until then, bilateral military strategic cooperation will remain just a dream. (Lt. Colonel Retired Ghulam Jilani Khan in Daily Pakistan 15th February)
  2. The PDM government has made no mistake as the PM and others keep saying that they failed to realize the gravity of conditions. Nor has PML-N made any sacrifice as it claims. ML(N)claims that without its sacrifices, the scenario would have been still worse and the economy in more shambles. Let us not take these statements at their face value because there were veterans in the PDM alliance who very well knew as to what they were taking over from the PTI flop government after ousting Imran in a vote of confidence motion. PDM leaders knew rough and tough times ahead on the takeover from PTI. The way scenario is developing it is getting very clear day after day that a deal has been struck between PDM parties and establishment that after ousting PTI government, establishment will support parties in PDM government and would stand with them behind the curtain so that parties can make their political future strong enough and also take tough decisions on saving country from bankruptcy. Decisions like the arrest of Sheikh Rashid and plans of moving against former finance minister, Shaukat Tareen are sort of beginning of tougher times ahead for the Opposition PTI. Our ruling class has not learnt how to win over political opponents in a democratic manner, nor has our ruling class learnt how to stabilize politics and the economy democratically. Conditions are very bad on the economic front but a much worse scenario is in the making on the political front. We keep forgetting basics that a good economy is the end result of strong and stable political conditions in the country. But, when very political conditions are in pitiable shape and political class keeps doing deal after deal for the sake of power, we can very well imagine as to what we will get to see on country’s political horizon in times to come. (Mumtaz Mungi in Pahenji Akhbar, Feb.15)
  3. Amongst several issues being confronted in the country today, economic meltdown and return of terror top the list. But, neither the ruling side nor parties in the opposition know how to face these issues. What is making matters worse is that parties are busy fighting for power. Our so-called revolutionary parties hardly understand what the economy is and how to resolve economic issues. Government of the day blames the earlier government of PTI for wrong policies leading to the current economic crisis; it also blames the return of terror in the country to the soft corner the PTI government had unto Taliban. PTI on the other hand is blaming the KPK government for return of terror. With crisis hitting country one after another and parties hardly understanding how to get rid of these crises, people, instead of coming out on the roads in a show of anger at the state of affairs, continue with old habits of tolerating quietly   and saying customary “thanks” for whatever (little) they are getting. (Assar Imam   in Sindh Express)
  4. The terror activities that are taking place today in the country would not have taken place if the country had not fought for Afghanistan on behalf of the USA against the Soviet Union in Zia times. Men and material required in that fight went all the way from Pakistan to Afghanistan to appease America and to fight at America’s behalf there. These terror activities have been going on over the years now. When so much is happening in the neighboring Afghanistan, how can we in Pakistan remain unaffected from all that? Our economy will get better and back on track only when our political policies are right and in our national interest. Our powers, be it establishment or political class, have yet not been able to make a final decision as to how to run the country. We have still not been clear about whom to befriend and with whom we should have relations only up to diplomatic level. When CPEC works set off in Pakistan, we started having big dreams of unprecedented huge development and progress in country, but slowly CPEC went on the sidelines. And, no elected member even talks about it today. Pakistan has once again to look up to the IMF and say yes to its harsh terms and conditions. Countries that have suffered after loans from the IMF, their history is before us all to see. Economy in such countries is in shambles and such countries have also gone bankrupt. Big protest marches taken out in such countries have also failed to do anything good in those countries. On the other hand, there is nothing in sight to suggest that any big protest will be made against rulers on the issue of steep price rise. Our people will not come out because our people believe that inflation is God-given curse. We can make out peoples such mindsets from what our finance minister keeps saying: “Pray God that the dollar rate comes down”! If the finance minister uses such language of helplessness to address economy related issues, we can very easily understand peoples’ mindsets. We need better economic policies; we need learned and visionary people to draw an economic roadmap. Such issues cannot be set right with prayers alone. It is too simplistic a solution to say that there is no way to control inflation. There are ways and ways to cut down government expenditure for running country’s affairs. The IMF had recently pointed out that 200 golf clubs are being run on government expenditure. Besides, ministers and their advisors in our big cabinet also account for hefty expenditure. The privileged class is a big economic burden on the country. This elite class includes retired and serving bureaucrats. They are so blessed and rich that generations too can make merry without doing any work. Ruling class has never made any sacrifice and always passed on the burden to common man. People have tasted PTI that took over with lot of promises of better and brighter days ahead; now people are tasting PDM too that took over power claiming to undo all that went wrong with people in the PTI times. In the midst of all this, we are forgetting one basic fact that good economy is possible only when decisions on economy are taken without any interference in and influence on government’s decision-making machinery. (Akhtar Hafeez   in Sindh Express)
  5. Pakistan’s absence at the conference of national security advisors of regional countries on Afghanistan has raised many questions. The National Security Advisor of Russia, China, India, Iran, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan participated in this conference. President of the host country, Vladimir Putin, participated in the conference. The invitation to this conference was given by Moscow’s representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov. According to Dawn newspaper, Pakistan government sources said that due to the presence of India in the conference, Pakistan avoided participation. At first, Pakistan did not publicly express this position, but later the spokesperson of the Foreign Office, Mumtaz Zahar Baloch, admitted that Pakistan did not participate in this conference because Pakistan had already expressed its support in several other forums for peace in Afghanistan. Another excuse is given as that this was a meeting of National Security Advisors and currently the post of National Security Advisor is vacant in Pakistan. Michael Kugelman, an American political analyst, told Voice of America that Pakistan could not afford to go against the US at this stage when Pakistan is facing severe pressure from the IMF and only the US can provide some relief. Pakistan’s non-participation in the Moscow conference gave India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval a chance to become king. It is possible that the Russian authorities have given Ajit Doval a chance to play open to tease Pakistan; they gave Ajit Doval an empty pitch at this important forum to hit fours and sixes. In his speech, Ajit Duval raised the issue of terrorism and opposed Pakistan and also mentioned Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Ajit Doval said that India cannot leave Afghanistan alone; India will stand by Afghanistan whenever difficult times come. Thus, this forum of regional countries was used by India against Pakistan. A similar meeting of the National Security Advisors was held in India in which Pakistan did not participate. Non-participation in the meeting held in India is an understandable matter, in the current situation when the relations between Pakistan and India have collapsed due to Kashmir, it was not appropriate for a representative of Pakistan to go to India, but the conference held in Moscow there was no justification for staying out. Perhaps the matter is something else. The impression is now taking root that Pakistan has returned to the US stance on Afghanistan. It is almost a return to the era of General Pervez Musharraf and the same scenario seems to be reviving. On the one hand, terrorism is returning, there are also talks of preparations for an operation against terrorists in Pakistan, and the United States is constantly encouraging Pakistan to carry out an operation against terrorists in Afghanistan. For the first time, US officials are pushing Pakistan’s right to retaliate inside Afghanistan in response to terrorism. There is no cold war between the Taliban government and Pakistan but coldness has definitely arisen between the two neighbours. (Arif Bahar in Jasarat)