Pak Urdu

Pak Urdu Media Digest, Feb 7, 2023

14 Min
Pak Urdu Media Digest, Feb 7, 2023


China’s mega railway project is likely to be stalled (in Pakistan) due to high debt factor. The government will approach Beijing for a 40percent trimming in the cost, says Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. Bloomberg quotes Rafique as saying that his ministry will take approval from the federal cabinet and then talk to China. The two countries had agreed in November to upgrade the 1,163-mile track from Karachi to Peshawar. The railway minister said that how will we repay such a huge debt.  (Jang)

  • Saudi Arabia has closed its embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul due to security concerns. According to a foreign news agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia in a statement said that the closure was due to the fear of a possible attack by Daesh. Afghan media quoting Saudi said that Daesh was planning to target the Saudi embassy with a car bomb. Diplomats and employees of the Saudi embassy have been shifted to Islamabad. (Jasarat, Jang, Nawaiwaqt, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • After Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates also closed its embassy in Kabul. According to foreign media, UAE is the second Gulf country to close its embassy in the Afghan capital. It should be noted that since the Taliban came to power, there have been a series of bomb blasts. ISIS claimed responsibility for many of these bombings. At least two civilians were injured in a car bomb blast on Pashtunistan Road in Kabul yesterday. The blast was caused by an explosive device planted in a security vehicle near the presidential palace. (Nawaiwaqt, Ummat)
  • Head of Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Muhammad Sarwat Ijaz Qadri has said that terrorists cannot scare them and that they would fight terrorism till the last breath. The facilitators of terrorists should be brought to book, wherever they are, Merciless action should be taken against the terrorists. No mercy should be shown to the enemies of humanity. The entire nation is united to get rid of terrorism. The fabric of terrorists is linked with the forces hostile to the country and Islam. (Jasarat)
  • Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb has said that the All-Party Conference (APC) called by Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif on the issue of terrorism would be held in Islamabad on 9th February instead of the 7th. In a statement on Twitter on Monday, she said that the meeting would work out a joint strategy to combat terrorism. The National Action Plan will also be reviewed. (Nawaiwaqt, Ummat, Daily Express)  
  • Chief of Jamaat e Islami Sirajul Haq warned the Federal and Provincial governments that if they can’t maintain law and order they should go home. The PDM government should put a comprehensive plan in the APC meeting on the 9th for controlling lawlessness. Addressing a press conference in Peshawar he said that the people of Peshawar are very angry after the bomb blast in the police lines mosque. This anger may spread throughout the entire country. The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are living in constant fear. for the last two months. The reign of fear has spread. After evening somebody else rules the Southern districts. (Dunya Daily)
  • The Federal Government has decided to change the inspector general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to sources, IG Gilgit-Baltistan Mohammad Saeed Wazir is likely to be appointed IG Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. (Urdu Point)  
  • Supply of more than 100 MW of electricity from Iran to Gwadar will start in a few days. The   29 km long transmission line has been successfully tested. The completion of the project will improve the electricity supply in Makran and Gwadar divisions. The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) said that it completed the project within the stipulated period as per the instructions of the Prime Minister and the energy minister. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Jinnah, Daily Express)
  • Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai says that preventing girls from getting an education is the culture of the Taliban, not the Pashtuns. ‘As a Pakistani and a Muslim, I strongly disagree with the statement Ambassador Munir Akram made at the UN. He tried to blame the Taliban’s inhumane treatment of women on the Pashtun culture while the Taliban alone is responsible for the violation of women’s rights in Afghanistan under their control. (Nawaiwaqt)
  • Noted British publication, The Financial Times, has sounded alarm bell on Pakistan. “Nuclear power Pakistan is taking hard steps to save itself from default,” the daily wrote and listed the ills afflicting the Pak scrip. The report noted that Pakistan economy suffered a severe setback due to floods, heavy rains, and a power breakdown last month. China, IMF, the Paris club, and other agencies should speed up the process of granting loans to the beleaguered nation, the daily said. (Intekhab Daily)  
  • The IMF has put two more hard conditions for its bailout package and this has resulted in a deadlock in the talks. According to new conditions the defence budget must be curtailed by 600 billion rupees. And the different accounts of the defence should be converted into a single account. The IMF has also asked for the immediate privatization of two Punjab power plants and one steel mill. And a privatization plan should be submitted to the IMF. It has also insisted on its demand to increase the GST to 18 percent. Subsidies on exports should be removed. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has demanded privatization of Haveli Bahadur Shah and Baloki power plants by June. The global lender also insists that the steel mills should be privatized immediately. Both power plants are located in Punjab. (Urdu Point)
  • The pharmaceutical companies announced that they would stop production of the medicine after a week. The leader of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association said that raw materials have become more expensive due to the expensive dollar, while electricity and gas have also become too costly. So, it is not possible to produce and supply medicine at the current prices. (Urdu Point)
  • Radio Pakistan (RP) is in a financial crisis of Radio Pakistan, the Standing Committee of the Senate for Information was told.  “We don’t have money to pay the pensioners next month,” DG Radio told the meeting. “If the government doesn’t help us. the crisis will become more serious”. Federal Secretary of information told the Standing Committee that the government gives 4.5 billion rupees to Pakistan Radio while the it needs 6.5 billion rupees annually to meet its expenses.  Radio Pakistan must raise the remaining amount by itself. The Standing Committee has formed a sub-committee to look into the matters of RP and PTV. It is headed by Senator Irfan Siddiqui. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Former chairman NAB Javed Iqbal is heading the Commission on Missing Persons. The present government wants to ease him out of the post but he continues nevertheless. Last July the Public Accounts Committee asked the Prime Minister to axe Iqbal but nothing happened. When contacted, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the government was ready to remove Javed Iqbal, but Javed Iqbal requested that he be allowed to work in the post till December 2022. Rana further said that Javed Iqbal had promised that he would leave the post but he is still there. The interior minister claimed that now Javed Iqbal wants to retain the job by using his connections and relations in the institutions. (Jang)  
  • All claims of the Balochistan government about its education system have proved to be false. More than 100 government schools are closed in Las Bela and Hub districts due to the shortage of teachers. According to reports for many years new recruitments are not made in the education department, which created a shortage of teachers. People of Las Bela and Hub districts have appealed to Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus, Chief Secretary of Balochistan, and Education Secretary to quickly recruit new teachers and reopen closed schools. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Benazir Income Support Program is Pakistan’s largest social safety network. It provides financial assistance to more than 50 lakh poor and deserving women. However, many questions have been raised about its transparency. Either the aid does not reach the deserving women or the beneficiaries have to give a part of the aid to the biometric staff, agents and other such persons. (Urdu Point)
  • A case has been registered against a police officer who had tortured a beggar woman at Sukkur. He had reportedly hit a woman beggar in her burqa.  The incident happened when two women beggars were fighting on Minara Road. Police rushed to separate them.    When one of the women did not obey the police, the police officer slapped her, and tried to drag her along with her burqa. When the video of the incident came to light, SSP Sukhar Singhar Malik immediately suspended the said police officer and ordered an investigation. (Daily Pakistan)


  • “All acts of terrorism including suicide attacks in Pakistan are absolutely haram, anti-Islamic, and anti-humanitarian.”  This categorical declaration of the convention of Ahle-Sunnat Ulema is an eye-opener for all those armed organizations who encourage the youth for suicide attacks in Pakistan that this act of martyrdom is an act in the name of Allah and an entry into Paradise. Undoubtedly, it is the duty of the Ulema to clarify the mistake of the people who treat terrorist acts as jihad. (Edit in Jang)
  • Most terror activities taking place in the country seem to be targeting the security forces. When security forces themselves are being targeted, what hopes can be pinned on them for protection of people? Whatever be tall claims of rulers, ground realities are before people to see for themselves. Opposition too does not seem to be taking any serious interest in these matters as evident from PTI’s absence from the apex committee meeting. Be the ruling sections or the ones in the Opposition, every one of them is engaged in power struggle. The PTI chief is adamant on early polls and the government is busy doing politics of vendetta. Spiralling inflation, harsh IMF terms, energy crisis, human rights’ violations and now the return of the terror wave…who will address these issues. Convening of the apex committee was the need of hour. It is not enough that rulers and political leaders make big statements on fighting terror. Quetta attack coming soon after apex committee meeting should be seen as challenge from terror elements; it is no time to only talk big. Now is the time to act. (Edit in Kawish, Feb.6)
  • Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan has given a call to court arrest and thus fill jails. This Jail Bharo campaign is in protest against what he terms as federal government’s vengeance action against PTI leaders and supporters. Imran has even justified the campaign saying that had he opted for general strike it could have affected the economy.  The fact is PTI has failed on all fronts and now also it is taking U turns to save its sinking ship. Jail Bharo is not a wise decision and will not make any betterment in the situation. Instead of continuing with protests and agitation policies the PTI leadership should cooperate with the government at this crucial juncture in the national interest. The Monster of Terrorism is once again raising its head and the PTI should further the efforts to kill this monster by attending the APC called by PDM Government. Let the law take its course instead of taking law into our hands. (Edit in Kashmir Express)
  • This paper has carried two reports of suicide, in Sindh, one on account of inflation and other on account of unemployment. Both, price rise and unemployment have started making peoples’ lives more stressful and the government instead of doing anything for relief to people is only adding to their hardships by taking IMF loans on neck-breaking terms. People have given up any hope; they just want a square meal for their families. Sadly, a handful of flour has become an unaffordable
  • The IMF is an anti-people agency and our rulers are dependent on it. Our rulers do not seem to be having any program of their own and whatever agenda is being pursued it is only anti-people. People have been left to the IMF’s mercy. Hence, we appeal to authorities to stop working on anti-people agenda. Let sinking economy be saved and people given relief”. (Sindh Exp, Edit)  
  • Pakistan has taken IMF loans as many as 22 times; nine times under PPP, four times under PML-N, once under PTI, and eight times during military rule.   But the parties in the ruling alliance are blaming PTI for all the ills of the past 75 years. It seems that IMF has realized that the two old parties are really responsible for the current situation in Pakistan. To bring out the fact in open it has imposed three hard conditions for granting the latest bail out loan. One, it will make an agreement with the PDM only when the opposition also accepts it. Two, free, fair, and transparent elections should be held in Pakistan. Three, the assets of all officers from grade 17 to 22 should be made public by a notification. The third condition shows that now the world has decided that it needs a corruption-free Pakistan. And the world has also realized that corruption can’t be rooted out without fair, free and transparent elections. The world has also realized that only a few people are ruling the country for the last 70 years and it is the root cause of all ills. By imposing these conditions, the IMF has shown that it will not give loans to a Pakistan that does not uphold the supremacy of law and the constitution. (Edit in Intekhab Daily)


  1. After the Peshawar Mosque blast, The KPK police chief Muazzam Jah Ansari must have watched the video on social media and WhatsApp in which the Afghan Minister expressed his surprise that they had not seen a suicide jacket that could cause such a huge disaster. Questions were also raised as to how the 10 kg explosive material got into the mosque and whether the attacker was already in the mosque or came later wearing a suicide jacket. The IG felt it necessary to answer all the questions as the police personnel of the province demonstrated and raised the slogan that “these unknowns are known to us all”. IG Muazzam Jah Ansari held a press conference, but could not tell that how did such a big tragedy happen in the Red Zone? The IG said that our youth should not be misled and provoked to protest. There shouldn’t be politics over the dead bodies. The IG did not say who organized the demonstration of uniformed personnel and what were its objectives. How is it possible that the subordinate officials are protesting and the IG remains on the post, this is a very scary sign. It is said that dead bodies should not be politicized. But politics over dead bodies started on the very first day when PTI put all the blame of terrorism on PDM and PDM people said that the nation is questioning who brought back the terrorists. (Muzaffar Ijaz in Jasarat)
  • After losing over 100 lives in suicide attack in Peshawar, fundamentalism seems to be gearing up again. What else can be punishment for a country that came up in the name of religion. And, there is nothing in sight that terror attacks are coming to a halt. Everyone, from Zia right up to Bajwa, are responsible for this state of affairs. One could never ever imagine that those who were seen behind attack on army public school would be ever brought back for spreading rioting. We need to redraw national action plan keeping in mind all related aspects being experienced for 40 years, be they ideological, or social or negative fallout from State’s jehadi-related policies. If the army has to play a major role in the fight against terror, then this should be army’s responsibility and this job should not be given to police or anti-terror departments. Police job is to maintain law and order in cities and interiors. After suffering for more than four decades, it has become imperative that parliament only takes decisions about national security and foreign policies and these decisions be not taken by those who took to Talibanization due to doctrines of necessity. One basic question that needs to be replied is: Is Pakistan a religious State or a nationalist State? Though our institutions are very much modern and nationalist, the State’s ideology is Islamic. If we had to make our country an Islamic one, then why ideological differences and disputes with Iran and Afghanistan? On the one hand we are facing economic crises, and on the other hand our national security is too weak to survive with the current weak economy. We can no longer afford to get entangled in one more cold war. This is time to adapt and change from bottom to top. (Imtiaz Alam in Ibrat)
  • Pakistan has recently repaid one billion dollars of Islamic Bond on Dec.5, 2022. Other bond due for repayment is Euro Bond to be repaid on April 15,2024. By that time, the government will do something to repay it. Till now, whatever loans Pakistan has taken, it has repaid too. It seems at least for the next one and half year (till April 2024), the country might not go for default. But, yes, we in Pakistan can have a currency crisis. Our imports are too high and our exports very low. That is one big reason for the acute dollar shortage being felt in the country. Pakistan is now left with only 3.09 billion dollars foreign reserves. Pakistan is facing more and more deficit on account of imports being on a higher side. Pakistan has received one billion dollars, as first instalment of loan from the IMF and is expecting more funds/loans from China, Saudi and some other countries. Right now, Pakistan’s foreign debt is more than 130 billion dollars which is equivalent to three budgets of Pakistan. In case Pakistan’s currency crisis gets worse, it will lead to suspending imports and in that case, Pakistan will face hardships on other fronts too. If imports come to halt, even petrol availability will also be under stress. Inflation will further shoot up in case of acute shortage of essential commodities, petrol including. The most affected in such a state will be the poor. It remains to be seen as to how the government gears up to face tough times looming large over the country. (Mudasar K in The Sindh Express)
  • If Imran Khan thinks that his party activists will throng jails in reply to his call for “jail bharo” movement, then he is living with delusions. He should understand the basic difference between “jalsa” and jail. It is one thing to carry party flags, sing songs, dance to musical tunes in “Jalsa” in PTI’s meetings and go back home and start writing over a cup of tea on social media criticizing powers that be. But, going to jail is another “cup of tea”. Going to jails means undergoing and facing all sorts of unpleasantness including paying a visit to stinking jail toilets and tasting stale jail meals and in between remembering family members and crying on remembering family comforts and also missing pleasure of playing with mobiles once in jails. Only thick-skinned and people with hardened hearts can stay sane there. PTI is neither communist party, nor like the Indian National Congress and not even like Zulfikar Bhutto’s PPP. Activists of these parties used to fight jail authorities. Imran Khan is Imran Khan. When he himself cannot tolerate the severity of jail life, how can his party activists tolerate it? Imran Khan knows that his party activists are pampered people, they are used to comfortable life styles, they can give big statements against establishment in English, he knows his activists can sing, can dance, can stay overnight in meetings, but they cannot stay in jails. Giving a call for “jail bharo” is one thing and experiencing life in jail is altogether a different experience. Take the example of big mouthed Sheikh Rashid who was in tears after just two days in jail. Fawad Chaudhry cut no better picture when in jail, and Shahbaz Gul went was extremely inconvenient on the very first day in jail. When this is the plight of PTI’s senior leaders, how will lower cadres react once in jails? Undoubtedly, Imran Khan has immense political popularity but his followers do not have stamina required to stay unmoved and unshaken during lows and highs of political journey. (Aijaz Mungi in   Pahenji, Feb.6)
  • In view of growing terror attacks and also in light of KPK Governor’s statements that election date for KPK polls would be announced in consultation and with consent of specific institutions and agencies, it is sort of indication that elections are not taking place in the country as also in KPK and Punjab assemblies soon. Both PPP and ML (N) are not ready to give up power soon. The way the PDM government is functioning these days, it gives the impression that they want to extend their stay in office on some pretext. If PPP and ML (N) had seen elections coming soon or even when scheduled later during the year, then the government would not have taken the harsh decisions that have led to hikes in prices of essentials. They seem to have got assurance from some quarters that PDM government will stay for a longer time or else they would have taken populist decisions with the eye on polls. Growing terror attacks and continuing economic crises can be cited amongst several other reasons for deferring polls. On the other hand, a new power equation is building up in the region and in the emerging new order, Pakistan might once again gain some importance. It looks like America is planning a big war against China by 2030. Pakistan is one of the allies that can help China rise in the region, economically and militarily too. Hence, whichever way Pakistan leans, it will affect the planning of global forces. In the crisis that hit Pakistan, there is an acute need for dollars. Right now, Pakistan’s exports are down. This year, we need more dollars for importing cotton to run our textile industry. In the countries where there is political and economic instability, global forces use geographic locations of such unstable countries for their national interests. This is what seems to be happening with Pakistan too. The picture will get clearer in days ahead once decision is taken on holding polls or deferring them. (Inaam Bhati in Pahenji, Feb.6)  
  • Lot much is being written on social media about the government’s economic policies or about the return of the terror wave, but no strong movement is anywhere in sight against rulers’ anti-people policies. Suicide bombers are now targeting our places of worship. Have our rulers any road map for taking the country to a brighter tomorrow? No, not at all. Our political leadership instead of making country self-dependent through revolutionary measures, has become habitual of seeking alms to run the country, which has now become a big hub of problems. It seems our people have started doing a rehearsal of living in hell. Inflation together with militancy have added up to give people nightmares. When the finance minister’s formulas started failing, he too gave up and has started looking up for divine intervention to set the economy right. On the one hand, one section of people is starving and on the other hand, life for others is as usual as evident from crowded marketplaces, huge rush in shopping malls and traffic jams on roads. Branded goods still continue to attract customers. There are still people who continue dancing to the tunes of pop songs; for them life is still a big bed of roses. Can we ever expect this section to ever rise for a revolution? Last week, there were a lot of talks and reports about the PM’s all-party meeting to discuss terror and economy related issues amongst other matters. The invitation was sent to PTI also but the party has conveyed its regret and will not be attending all party meetings. Incidentally, does our political leadership have any capacity and understanding about how to control the economy and terror elements? They are the same establishment’s pampered leaders who took help of these very jehadi groups to fight for political gains. Not just that, but more than 100 Taliban were set free a few months ago as a goodwill gesture unto them. According to a foreign media report, NATO has started recruiting jehadi groups for the Ukraine war. In other words, global forces still see jehadi groups as their asset. It is another thing as to how these “assets” are treated once their use is over. We saw what had happened to jehadi groups after they were used in the Afghan war. (Latif Jamaal   in Kawish, Feb.6)