Pak Urdu Media Digest, July 4, 2022

NEWS

  • Central leaders of the Ulema Mashaiq Federation of Pakistan said that they will sacrifice everything to protect the idea of prophethood (Khatm-e-Nabuwat). For a Muslim, nothing is more important than the life of the Prophet. The leaders added that usury is a war against Allah. (Jasarat)
  • Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has issued fresh instructions to all his commanders and key officers, including ISI officials, to stay away from politics and refrain from talking to politicians. These instructions have been given in the context of propaganda against the military establishment by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan. It was said some ISI officials have been accused of manipulating politics to harm the PTI in the upcoming by-elections in Punjab. Defense sources lamented the allegations, saying that the ISI sector commander, who is being defamed by PTI leaders, had not been in Lahore for more than 15 days and was on professional duty in Islamabad. The PTI leader and former Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid had accused him of being involved in political manipulation in the upcoming Punjab by-elections. Before Yasmeen Rashid, former foreign minister and PTI deputy chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi alleged that some unseen forces were active against the PTI to influence the by-elections. Recently, PTI chairman Imran Khan had also alleged that some of his candidates had complained that they had received telephone calls from unknown numbers. He had also said that his party leaders and workers were being pressured to manipulate the by-elections. Defense sources insist that the PTI should present evidence instead of defaming the security establishment, and if even the slightest piece of evidence is provided, strict action will be taken against those responsible. Moreover, the current DG ISI is said to have decided immediately after taking office that the agency would be kept out of politics to avoid unnecessary controversy and to focus on its core responsibilities/duties. (Jang)
  • After a three-day meeting in Kabul, the Ulema pledged allegiance to the Taliban and its prominent leader. The meeting failed to address thorny issues such as the right of teenage girls to attend school.  Huda Khamosh, a human rights activist, says statements of loyalty to the Taliban are not acceptable at any gathering without the presence of women. Despite thousands of Ulema announcing their support for their hardline government, the Taliban remain an illegitimate ruler.  Report say Huda Khamosh is currently in exile in Norway (Jang)
  • The two-day talks in Doha between the United States and Afghanistan came to an end, after which a Taliban spokesman said that the focus of the talks was on frozen assets. According to sources, it was the first direct talk between the two sides in three months. Both agreed to continue further talks. US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West and Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi led their respective delegations to the meeting. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • After successful talks between Lindi Kotal Jirga and Afghan Trade Minister Moulvi Sadar Azam, the latter has agreed to export 5000 sheep to Pakistan on eve of Eid. (Aeen)
  • Women’s education status in Balochistan is very bad, says a report. Only 27% of women are educated whereas 75% of girls in school going age are out of schools. Only 42% girls reach primary schools, 26% to middle and only 9% to metric. More than 80% of girls are not reaching colleges. One reason for this debacle is unavailability of basic necessities. (Qudrat)        
  • There are indications of Shah Mahmood Quereshi returning to PPP. One PTI rebel leader tweeted that   Quereshi had a meeting with Zardari and Bilawal wherein he tendered an apology for leaving PPP and his apology has been accepted. ‘Everything is settled now and Shah Mahmood Qureshi will soon join PPP’. (Ibrat)  
  • Jiye Sindh Mahaz took out a protest rally and held dharna on the Hyderabad national highway on water shortage, influx of outsiders, inflation and anti-Sindh projects amongst other issues. The participants raised slogans and warned of a dharna and a 3 -day hunger strike in front of Karachi Press Club on August 19 if recent bills on regularization of unauthorized colonies of Afghans and other outsiders were not taken back. (Sindh Exp.) 
  • Jamaat-e-Islami held a protest rally against the brutal load shedding of electricity from Sachal Goth Main Gate to Marora Chowk. JI leaders demanded that the license of K Electric should be nationalized. Otherwise the people would protest on the super-highways and a sit-in will be staged on the national highway. (Jasarat)
  • Muttahida Ulema Council Pakistan organized a meeting in Lahore to support the judgement of the Federal Shariat Court against the interest system. Ulema of different religious groups participated. They unanimously condemned the banks who had filed a case in the Supreme Court against the judgement of the FSC. They asked the federal government and banks to withdraw the appeal. They said that supporting the interest-based economy is declaring a war against Allah. This system has damaged our economy to a great extent.  Our budget for paying back loans is more than our defence budget. Unemployment, poverty and inflation are increasing daily due to this menace of loans. Abolishing of interest system is necessary for pulling the country out of the economic crisis. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The Chief of Jamaat e Islami, Siraj Ul Haq, has said that the supporters of interest-based economy and corrupt rulers have made the people sacrificial lambs. We have to drop the begging bowl we are carrying for the last seven decades and adopt the way of self-reliance. He said that for the last 70 years the difficulties of the people are increasing, while the elite is enjoying all the luxuries of life. Parties changed, flags changed, slogans changed, rulers changed but the fate of the nation and people never changed. People of the country are restless. This is the curse of the interest-based economy. Allah is angry with us for using an interest-based system. (Dunya Daily)
  • A Taliban helicopter crashed in the Afghan province of Jawzjan. Three persons were killed and seven including the pilot were injured. According to foreign media, the Taliban confirmed the crash, and said that the helicopter carrying ten people crashed at Sheberghan, the capital of Jawzjan province on Thursday evening due to a technical fault. (Nawaiwaqt)

EDITORIALS

  • Even if every word of Imran Khan is considered correct, the question should be asked who used the name the establishment most.  He always referred to the Establishment while in power.  Now he is saying that the Establishment should not remain neutral. In other words, there is an attempt to drag the Establishment into politics. (Edit Jasarat)
  • While on one hand the finance minister says the government has put little levy on diesel and petrol and on other hand inflation-hit people have started protests without any call from any political party for any stir. In a way, this is a message that inflation is now beyond peoples’ tolerance. There is no item of peoples’ day to day use which has not got costlier after the PDM government took over. Levies are also now being added, gas has become costlier and there are indications its rates will be revised upwards again. When people took to using LPG because of irregular gas supply, LPG rates were raised. In such a situation, people have no alternative but to take to protests. When people see their families starving, they do not hesitate to confront any powerful force. It is time the authorities started realizing the gravity of the situation that leaves people no option but to take to roads. May be inflation is a global issue, but if government cuts down its expenditure, it can get some relief to people. (Pahenji, Edit, July3)  
  • The Sindh government passed a bill to regularize unauthorized colonies of illegally staying migrants across the province. This bill is no more than a black spot-on Sindh’s future. Sindh people had not voted PPP to power to give away lands to outsiders. This bill can harm the interests of both, Sindh people and rulers too (PPP); as this bill can reduce Sindh people to minority in Sindh. The Sindh authorities need to review this bill because PPP has once again to approach Sindh people for votes. The Sindh government should make arrangements to deport persons staying illegally in Sindh. (Kawish, Edit, July 3)   
  • The way current rulers are trying to set the economy right is not at all the right way. People are feeling more and more economically burdened. Peoples’ tolerance levels will start getting impacted if the government keeps making everything costlier in fulfillment of IMF terms and conditions for loans to Pakistan. This will compel people to come out on roads and once they start protests, it would be difficult to stop them. It is time we start bringing economic reforms and also start getting some relief to people so that they can breathe easy in daily life. (Sindh Exp, Edit)  
  • A high-level meeting at Lahore Secretariat chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Raja Sikandar Sultan discussed administrative aspects of Punjab by-elections.   This is the first time that the Chief Election Commissioner has directly chaired an administrative meeting in which only by-elections have been discussed. It shows how much importance CEC attaches to these elections. By giving clear instructions to the Chief Secretary of Punjab in this regard, the Chief Election Commissioner has made it clear transparency and peaceful atmosphere should be top most priority on the day of polling.  (Daily Pakistan Edit, Naibaat Edit)
  • Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has again repeated that the country is now out of danger of bankruptcy but to get out of this danger the government has accepted all the conditions of the IMF and increased the prices of petroleum products beyond imagination.  This danger will not leave us till we achieve political stability. The real challenge for the government is how to put the economy on track for stability. For that purpose, the government has to use the full potential of available national resources. The most important of them is the agriculture sector which is the backbone of the economy. Besides that, we have other mineral sources. We have to curtail our imports to the very essential or value-added items. The government has to stabilize it in such a way that in future no international financial agency can make us dance to its tunes. (Edit-Dunay Daily)
  • The Cabinet Division’s National Telecom and Security Board (NTISB) has issued a security alert on the websites of government departments regarding possible cyber-security. An advisory note said that all government agencies should not immediately load any new program on their websites. It should be tested for three months before that, do not open any unrelated suspicious website, message, or application. Security measures should be taken to secure the network and the monitoring system should be kept active at all times. The issuance of the above precautions and instructions in this regard is welcome. Of course, securing government websites is extremely important nationally but more important is keeping the websites of government departments up to date. Most of the websites of government departments have outdated information and these websites lose their usefulness due to untimely uploading of orders, necessary amendments, and reports. Some departments are not even accessible via email. Either their inboxes are full so new emails can’t be received or their address is incorrect. There is a need to secure as well as update the websites of government departments otherwise these sites will not be useful. This is a very important issue that needs to be addressed. (Edit, Nawaiwaqt)

COLUMNS

  • Whatever these two institutions (establishment/army and judiciary) have been doing these days, that is only adding to inconvenience and woes of common man. They both have interfered with the country’s political affairs which has resulted in extreme deterioration of political culture in the country. The damage is irreparable. They both have not done what was constitutionally to be done by them. Because they both keep interfering in political matters; politicians too find it difficult to take decisions and at times very political system gets derailed. Hence, crisis after crisis is bound to hit the country till, the establishment and the judiciary) stop interfering with political issues. Those who say the country is facing serious economic challenges are 100 per cent right, but it is common man who bears the brunt of such a poor economy while life and times for those in these two institutions remain unaffected. The salaries of judges have been raised, the establishment’s budget too has been raised; government and administration’s expenditure also remain unchanged. In a way, it will be no exaggeration to say that the culture of luxuries is intact. It is common man who is paying all taxes; but it is altogether a different issue as to how much tax is being paid by generals, judges, senators, members in assemblies and others. In short, life for common man is becoming more and more of a burden and bigger burden each passing day while others keep making merry. (Sindh Exp. Allah Bux Rathod) 
  • Our democratic system does not move without the establishment’s consent. When nothing moves and nothing works in the country without push and consent of the establishment, Imran Khan un-necessarily keeps making a big noise that there was some foreign conspiracy behind his removal from power. He knows very well that plans for his ouster were made in the country itself; but it requires courage to say openly and directly that he was removed by the establishment. It is the establishment only that will decide who is to be brought into power next; even Imran Khan’s political future will be decided by it. No party can survive long only with social media power and propaganda. The politicians should fight not amongst themselves but against establishment because that is the only way to political freedom. (Sindh Exp, Akhtar Hafeez) 
  • Now as Imran Khan is sitting idle and getting more and more irrelevant to media, former ISI chief, Zaheer Al Salaam has come out in his support and has started meeting judges, media owners and bureaucrats trying to impress upon them that Imran Khan and his party, PTI, need to be brought in power to resolve issues being faced in country. These are the statements of media person, Hamid Mir, while talking to a TV channel. It remains to be seen as to how far former ISI chief, Zaheer, succeeds in his mission, but his becoming so active in support of Imran Khan when institutions are trying to give the impression that they are neutral, it surely leads to several question marks over institutional claim of remaining neutral in country’s political milieu. Since Zaheer Al Salam has been associated with the ISI, in the past, his meetings with media owners and others trying to garner support for Imran Khan will surely do some good to Imran Khan politically. Zaheer Al Salam was good shelter for Imran Khan even when he headed ISI as is evident from PTI fearlessly holding dharnas in past at D Chowk, Islamabad for creating obstacles for the government headed by Nawaz Sharif then, and now for the PML -N led coalition government. Support for Imran Khan by one retired person (former ISI chief) will do no good to one party (ML-N) or to coalition government; such a support can prove to be detrimental to national interests too. (Awami Awaz, Sajjad B., June 30)   
  • Ever since civic results were declared for the first phase in Sindh’s local elections covering 14 districts, MQM leadership looks very upset and irked as evident from what its leaders have been saying in TV programs. They have threatened to come out on roads if promises made to MQM are not respected. They are perhaps hinting at taking to violent protests, gherao and dharnas. MQM leaders say under the pacts, it is MQM who will have political control over Sindh’s cities.  MQM leaders have threatened to take to other alternatives if they do not get administrative control over urban parts. MQM leaders say they will take over city politics by bringing revolution. When MQM leaders are making such threats, Urdu-speaking people, who have been opposing MQM’s anti-Sindh stand should come out now to lead Urdu-speaking population and those speaking fascist language in MQM be thrown out of MQM so that Urdu-speaking can co-exist in peace with Sindh’s original natives (Sindh people) for safe future of all in the Sindh. (Kawish, Prof. Abdullah Mallah, July 1)   
  • The bill passed hurriedly in Sindh assembly on Friday, without any debate jeopardizes Sindhis’ future because this bill gave sanction to regularize 1000 colonies of Afghans, Biharis, Bengalis, Burmese and other illegal migrants who have fled to Sindh. PPP elected member from Maleer opposed this bill strongly saying it could reduce Sindhis into minority in Sindh and illegally immigrant Afghans might get elected too from Maleer.  Illegally staying Biharis and Afghans are most often armed. Once they become citizens and get all rights under the Friday bill, there can be bloodshed in every street. Will the police be able to control them? If the chief election commissioner has given orders to deploy Rangers and Army in the next phase of civic polls in Sindh, there must be some reasons. What can we expect from our police force that cannot ensure law and order during civic polls? How can such inefficient police control the armed Afghans and Biharis? What has Zardari to lose by getting such controversial bills passed?  He will go abroad after making money from sale of lands to illegal migrants and coming generations of Sindhis will suffer in times to come.” (Sindh Exp, Dastgir Bhati, July 3)   
  • July 5 is observed every year as Black Day. Forty-three years ago, on this day in 1977, General Ziaul Haq toppled the Zulfikar Bhutto government and imposed martial law in the country.  Today, we are remembering this day, when one section of politicians is making loud demands for the army’s intervention in politics, while another section of politicians is sitting quiet! Today’s crisis is political and civilizational. The basic reason for today’s civilizational crisis is failure to give effective checks on Zia and his fascist mindset. It was not checked as much as it should have been protested against and thus checked. It reflects on the failure of pro-democracy forces, who neglected to strengthen democracy in the country. Today, though big and loud demands are being made asking for the army’s intervention in politics, we should not stop observing July 5 as Black Day. It is this tradition of observing July 5 as the Black Day will one day pave way to enthuse younger generation to make democracy strong enough in Pakistan. (Pahenji, Shahid Jatoi, July 3)
  • The gossip about the institutions is very sad. The people behind this campaign are generally of the opinion that they are wearing the cloak of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. It is the responsibility of the investigating agencies to find out and get to the bottom of the matter. It is not in the interest of the country to run this misleading campaign. There is no doubt that the decisions of the establishment are important all over the world. However, it is only in Pakistan that important personalities of political parties’ attack state institutions after the change of government. The question is who benefits from such attacks. Is confrontation with institutions in the interest of the country? I don’t think so. It is better for PTI to focus on the election campaign and work to master the electoral process. And stay away from the agenda of spreading hatred in Pakistan. On their part, the PML-N or other political parties must look at their past. All political parties should focus on solving peoples’ problems and strengthening state institutions. We have to work all the time to strengthen the national defense and maintain lasting peace in the country, to thwart the conspiracies of external enemies. The enemy keeps plotting to destroy our peace. The political leadership must move forward with the military leadership to thwart the enemy’s tactics. This is in the interest of the country.  (Mohammed Akram Choudhary – Nawaiwaqt)