Pak Urdu Media Digest, June 24, 2022

NEWS

  • During the hearing of the missing persons case in the Islamabad High Court, Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that the missing persons commission has failed to fulfill its responsibility. Enforced disappearance is a serious crime and a violation of fundamental rights of the Constitution, the court cannot turn a blind eye. (Jang)
  • Government Contractors Association has staged a protest demonstration in support of their demand for hike in their tender rates, The Association President Ahmadzai Atmanzai Wazir addressing the protesters stated that prices of construction materials and daily wages of the labour has made it extremely difficult to continue work on government project at old rates. The Government should fix the market rate for ongoing projects. Former District Councilor Haleemzada Khan Wazir, former District Councilor Hazrat Amir, Haji Akbar Ali Khan, Haji Noor Zadeen, Sabur Ali Shah, Gul Naz Ali and others also spoke. (Urdu Point)
  • A girl from Skardu has gone missing from Islamabad for the past three days and though the Police has nabbed kidnappers but so far, the girl has not been recovered. Balti community warned of protests if the girl is not recovered immediately. (Baad-e-Shimal)
  • Government has decided to open women police stations in Gwadar, Turbat and Nasirabad to provide protection and security to women. (Qudrat)
  • The 300MW Gwadar Power Plant will be completed by next year. The administration has stated that problems like water shortage would be resolved by next year. (Asas)   
  • After Peshawar University the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa text board is also in the grip of a financial crisis. The textbooks for the academic year 2022-23 could not be printed. According to an estimate, 5 billion rupees are needed to print the textbooks, while the textboard has only 3 billion rupees. The education department has however refused to provide additional funds. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Former governor of Sindh Imran Ismael has alleged that the Sindh police is kidnapping their civic election candidates. So, our fight is not with only PPP but with the police and election commission who have turned into our opponents, he said in a social media post. How can we hope for transparent elections when the police are involved in kidnapping the candidates, he lamented. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Balochistan unit of the Jamiat Ulema e Islam (Nazryati) has brought out a rally   against inflation. Addressing he rally, its provincial Chief Maulana Abdul Qadir Loni asked the government to reject the brutal IMF conditions. Both he and other JuI leaders demanded some relief to the people from inflation. They also criticized PDM for ditching the people after getting power. The PDM had promised to reduce inflation but they sucked the blood of the people by heavily increasing the prices of petroleum products three times in just three weeks. (Intekhab Daily)
  • President of the National Party and former Chief Minister of Balochistan Doctor Abdul Malik Baloch has rejected the provincial budget and said that it is nothing but jugglery of words.  He said that the present government is neither elected by the people nor is interested in the welfare of the people. He alleged that in Balochistan fake governments were always used to work against the interests of the people. He said that the issue of missing persons has become a very serious problem. The number of missing persons is increasing day by day. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association has demanded a 20 to 25 per cent increase in the prices of medicines. It also sought exemption from 17 percent sales tax. The spokesperson of the Association said that the prices of raw materials have increased by 40 percent and the manufacturing of 40 medicines stopped because the prices of the medicines were not increased. If the situation continues there will be a shortage of life-saving drugs in the market. The Association announced that if the sales tax is not withdrawn by the 30th of June, more than 700 pharma companies will stop manufacturing medicines. (Dunya Daily)
  • Pakistan Navy ship Taimur was commissioned at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in China. Commodore Rashid Mahmood Sheikh, Chief of Pakistan Navy Mission in China, attended the ceremony as chief guest. PNS Timur is the second of four Types 054 frigates to be built for the Pakistan Navy. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Jinnah, Daily Express)
  • The country’s foreign exchange reserves have further declined, the SBP said in a statement. The forex reserves were down by 732.6 million dollars in the week ended 17th June. According to the SBP, the total reserves now are 14.21 billion dollars. Reserves of SBP decreased by 747.6 million dollars to 8.23 billion dollars while reserves of commercial banks increased by 1.50 million dollars to 5.97 billion dollars. (Nawaiwaqt, Ummat)
  • The Canadian High Commissioner in Islamabad was summoned by the Foreign Office to protest the ‘ridiculous’ and ‘irresponsible’ statement made by Canadian MP Tom Ketch against Pakistan and the military leadership. A letter of protest was also sent to the Canadian High Commissioner stating that the statement was against diplomatic etiquette and was highly irresponsible. (Nawaiwaqt)
  • Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council said that Pakistan is grateful to Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for facilitating Pakistani pilgrims through the Road to Mecca project. He was talking to the media after reviewing the arrangements at Islamabad International Airport; he interacted with the pilgrims and listened to their problems. (Ummat, Daily Jinnah, Daily Express)
  • Russian Consul General Andrey Viktorovich Fedorov has expressed ignorance about the PTI government’s oil purchase agreement with his country.  In an interview, he, however, expressed his desire to establish trade and economic cooperation with Pakistan. He said the two countries could also benefit from various sectors including oil, gas, agriculture, medical, and surgical. “We consider Pakistan as a friend and also expect Pakistan to consider Russia as a friendly country”. (Daily Jinnah, Daily Express, Ummat)

EDITORIALS

  • The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had played a major role in the dangerous wave of terrorism that erupted in Pakistan as a result of Pak’s involvement in the US-led war in Afghanistan. TTP wanted to separate the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from Pakistan and create a separate religious state where they could enforce the Islam of their ideology and will. Apart from Waziristan and other tribal areas, the group carried out sabotage operations and destruction in Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and other small and large cities of Pakistan. Its headquarters was in Afghanistan, from where its terrorists would sneak into Pakistan, carry out suicide attacks, kill people and return to Afghanistan, Pakistan’s brave armed forces ended this group by sacrificing precious lives through Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fassad.  However, the situation at present is that there is no organizational network or structure of TTP anywhere in Pakistan. But they come from Afghanistan, carry out operations, and run away. Over the past few weeks, the TTP leadership has begun peace talks with Pakistan, facilitated by the Afghan Taliban government. Against this backdrop, a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was held on Wednesday with the participation of political and military leaders. A statement was issued after the meeting, according to which the national security agencies briefed on the overall security situation in the country and the threats posed at the internal and external levels of the country. Participants were taken into confidence on the talks with the TTP. (Edits-Jang, Jasarat, Daily Pakistan, Jehan Pakistan)
  • A mother and her daughter were murdered in a village of Neelum District. The body of the mother was recovered after three days; the body of her 18 months old girl is yet to be found. As per the woman’s family, their daughter and granddaughter were killed by her in-laws. This situation is a big shame to our society. Such incidents are generally reported on social media but mainstream media, like the society, is not that free as it is said.  People like chieftains, waderas, nawabs, maliks, and Chaudhrys, commit such dreaded crimes but the society is helpless before them. Such crimes and injustice by powerful peoples are given protection under the guise of protecting state honor.  How long would this continue and when the oppressed will get justice. The authorities should take serious action in such cases else the poor will keep mincing in the mill. (Siasat Edit)
  • First phase of civic polls will take place in Sindh two days later and we cannot rule out law and order issues during these polls. Several polling stations have already been identified as sensitive and it has also been decided to post Rangers at these polling stations. If the first phase goes off peacefully, subsequent phases too will go off well without any disturbances. However, authorities need to take note of kabila clashes, karo-kari (honour killings) and clashes on petty matters, and haul the guilty to leave a strong message to the law-breakers. We look up to PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto, to make his party men committed enough to ensure law and order across Sindh. We also expect the Sindh chief minister to take note of offences taking place at lower level and take action against offenders to leave behind effective message that authorities mean business. This will also help remove sense of unrest otherwise thick in air. (Ibrat, Edit, June 23)   
  • We think the Election Commission’s apprehensions about law-and-order during the Sindh civic polls are justified. Sindh police might not be able to acquit well; anyhow people have lost any confidence in Sindh police. Government will have to take strict measures to maintain law and order at polling stations; on its part, the Election Commission too will have to make arrangements for basic needs like required furniture, drinking water and washroom facilities at the polling booths. (Kawish, Edit, June 23)   
  • On what basis talks with the TTP were held? If these talks anyhow help the government, it is all right, but if there are possibilities that these talks will do harm instead of any good, then we have to be very cautious. One other question that is likely to come up in peoples’ minds at this juncture can be: Why talks with those who have brought the country to its current poor shape? How can all the losses and humiliations suffered so far can be compensated? Also, there can be questions that if talks can be held with TTP, then why no talks can be held with the separatists, who harm national interests with external help? Why no attempt to bring them separatists back into national mainstream? Also, when we hold talks with TTP, who will give guarantee that TTP will not sow seeds of terrorism again in our society? How can they be expected to give up their old habits of playing with peoples’ lives? People need replies to these questions to set aside deep –rooted fears and concerns about TTP. (Ibrat, Edit) 
  • We doubt if locals will get any benefit from the new gas and oil deposits found in Tando Allihyar. It is Sindh people who should have the first right on all mineral deposits found in Sindh. These people should not be deprived of this right. It is provinces who should be given rights over mineral deposits found now or in future. This will improve economic conditions of provinces and also their people.  (Sindh Exp., Edit)
  • The biggest problem faced by Pakistan today is economic crisis; the government is using all its resources to come to grips with the problem. Political stability is the key to solving all these problems of unemployment, law and order et al. Political stability depends on both internal and external factors. Externally, we are facing difficulties due to the hostile policy of the United States and India, on the one hand, we have reservations on some issues with the neighboring country Afghanistan. The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and a dozen other similar armed groups are attacking Pakistan’s security and carrying out subversive activities in different parts of the country; due to this terrorism has become a major problem in Pakistan. These terrorist organizations are taking refuge in Afghanistan. Pakistan is currently on the grey list by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for alleged acts of terrorism and alleged financing of banned organizations. Therefore, it is necessary to proceed with caution in this matter and keep in view the ground realities. The Prime Minister has assured in the meeting of the National Security Committee that the talks with the banned organization are being held within the ambit of the Constitution and any decision in this regard will be subject to the approval of Parliament. (Edit, Nawaiwaqt)

COLUMNS

  • The current president of the FATF has openly admitted that Pakistan has fulfilled all the conditions set by his organization to exit the grey list. It means that there are no obstacles. However, a formal decision will be taken at the October meeting; by then FATF investigative team would have visited Pakistan and presented its ground report. That is why the Minister of State for External Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, has said that we are one step away from success, and it is too early to celebrate the victory. But this one step is not less than a river which seems easy to cross but is not. Countries (US, UK, Israel and India) that have put Pakistan on the grey list do not want Pakistan to be free from this trap. India desires to propel Pakistan to the black list. It has been successful to the extent that Pakistan could not get out of the grey list. India has the support of the United States. The US wants to keep its grip on Pakistan tight through FATF just as it wants to clutch at Pakistan’s neck through IMF. Both these institutions are practically acting as agents of global colonialism and their sole purpose is to deprive the Muslim countries of their independence and sovereignty.   Now the decision on Pakistan will be taken by the next president of FATF who will be appointed soon. The new president-elect is said to be a Singaporean, but in fact, he is an Indian national who will head the FATF.  The composition of the investigation team that will visit Pakistan before the next FATF meeting will reveal what would be its attitude towards Pakistan. (Matin Fikri, Jasarat)
  • Pakistan authorities should have asked FATF one simple straight question: If we are   satisfying all the required conditions to get out of the grey list, why wait till October? Are FATF members so ignorant that they cannot get facts and figures on Pakistan without making physical visits to the country? The FATF member-countries could have got every fact and figure through their diplomats posted in Islamabad. We might be patting each other at the prospect of Pakistan getting out of the grey list, but fact remains that FATF has disappointed us and we are humiliated. We are still not out of the grey list and we do not know if we will come out of this list in October or in February next year. People are asking in the meanwhile as to how Pakistan landed in this list? Will anyone please tell the reasons behind Pakistan’s getting into Grey List? Pakistan today is in the grip of the IMF and FATF. Hence, we cannot think of doing anything which can trigger instability in the country. One way to take the country out of the political and economic crisis is that the President gets guidance from the Supreme Court for a technocratic government in the country. And, if apex court allows it, we should have a caretaker set-up for one year. (Ibrat, Kanwar Dilshad, June 23)  
  • Even after its exit from Afghanistan, America continues to have eye on Afghanistan and without Pakistan’s help, it cannot get its interests in Afghanistan served.  American think-tanks, its writers and Senators unanimously hold that Pakistan is neither a successful nor a failed State. The American establishment also wants Pakistan to never come up or be a complete flop State. America wants to see Pakistan always struggling for its survival so that Pakistan always looks up to the IMF or World Bank for help. Now, as long as Pakistan does not learn to be self-reliant things will continue to remain in the same way as we find them today. PTI also never talked about learning to be self-dependent. (Ibrat, Mahmood Sham)
  • As and when any country engages in talks with law-breaking forces, it becomes a message to other gun-wielding /militant forces that talks can be held with them too if they get tougher. There is nothing new in talks with TTP. They were held in past too. It was also said in the past that if talks could be held with TTP, why no talks with Baloch? So far, there is no satisfactory reply to this question. Pakistan has always been very upset on the question of TTP. Now also Pakistan is scared that militancy might once again create unpleasant conditions and bring life to standstill in the country. TTP’s attacks like the one on Peshawar army public school created resentment in peoples’ minds against TTP. This bitterness can never go. And TTP has lost sympathy. That is why it is now active only at the northern front and has become a permanent headache for Pakistan. TTP is now putting some tough conditions before Pakistan and Pakistan has taken a strong stand by saying that the ultimate decision will be taken on the floor of parliament. Will such a stand help Pakistan? Or, will it be one more futile attempt? But this will at least help bring all such issues to light which hitherto remained hidden in the name of national interest or because of one or other compromise. (Sindh Exp, Aijaz Mungi) 
  • Imran Khan and his party still seem to be waiting for some miracle. But it is too late by now for any miracle to take place. This delay is seeing the rise of new political equations which keep PTI out in the cold. In the meantime, it is time all political parties give it a thought if they could ever come out of establishment’s control. If a country has not developed, it is not because of political parties’ failures. It is more because political parties are deprived of the space to take decisions they deemed fit for the country’s progress. It is the establishment that continues to dominate the show, and thus continues to decide the fate of Pakistanis. (Sindh Exp. Akhtar Hafeez)  
  • It has suddenly struck Imran Khan that passing of NAB amendment bill in the joint parliament session on June 9 meant closure of Rs.1200 billion worth corruption cases of his political opponents. Now, he wants to make an issue of this matter. While talking about Imran Khan, it is pertinent to point out that he is avoiding beat reporters ever since he quit the PM office. He does not invite them to press conferences. He fears that they might ask him inconvenient questions. He is seen inviting only his favorite and chosen few or speaks only to U-Tubers or addresses press conferences sitting before party cameras. This way   he speaks only that much and on subjects he wants. His party does not cover TV channels. If any other party would have done likewise, it would have been criticized vehemently. Most PTI leaders do not have courage enough to come face -to -face with members of public. (Pahenji, M B Soomro, June 23)   
  • “Teeth of NAB are removed”, when they were shouting this slogan and distributing sweets there was an explosion in a market in Lahore and the electric meter of a shop burned out. The consumer went to the electric department and asked to install a new meter because Eid was near and shopping was in swing. He was told by the lowest clerk to the highest officer that new meters were not available and that a new meter be installed when we get it. Then someone suggested that you will never get a new meter by asking for it. You have to grease their palms. So, a deal was stuck for 30 thousand rupees and the meter was installed the same evening. It is not the story of one shopkeeper but every Pakistani has to pay even for his legitimate work. It is going on for decades because they are not afraid of being caught and punished because everybody is involved in corruption from top to bottom. The big reason for the removal of Imran Khan was his sincere attempts to root out corruption. Many times, he was directly and indirectly told to compromise on this issue but he refused and so he was removed. And now NAB is made ineffective.  (Dunya Daily-Munir Ahmed Baloch)
  • Two days ago, a picture went viral on social media. Najam Sethi, the most influential journalist, was sitting in a boat with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. They both were enjoying life as a basic human right. Sethi and Sharif were seen exercising this right to the fullest. After the publication of this picture, Najam Sethi told the story of Pak-US relations in his TV show. He also mentioned that our land was used as a base to encircle the Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s and thus destroy a superpower. The PTI lovers did not take Najam’s story as a mere reminder of history. They, using the two-plus-two formula, forecast that Sethi and Sharif were planning in the boat to present Pakistan as a base for pleasing the United States once again. Their leader, that is PTI supremo, Imran Khan was against such moves and declared his opposition from the floor of Parliament.  Thais angered the Biden administration. It delivered a threatening message to the Pakistani ambassador in Washington. With Imran Khan still unwilling to bow down, a no-confidence motion was tabled against him through thieves and looters sitting in our National Assembly. Imran Khan lost the majority and resigned. Now they are struggling to restore national unity.  Shahbaz Sharif is the Prime Minister of Pakistan these days. Yet, he cannot pave the way for his brother’s honorable return home. Then, how can Nawaz Sharif, deprived of the ability to return to Pakistan, decide to provide the base to the United States in Pakistan? My dull mind has not yet found the answer to this question. (Nusrat Javed – Nawaiwaqt)
  • Kharif season is just around. Though preparations have started for sowing water shortage is coming in the way. IRSA had decided some time ago that water distribution during kharif would as per three tier formula instead of the 1991 water treaty. This has surely resulted in Sindh getting less water and thus exposing the province to more hardships on the waterfront. The federal government and Punjab’s arbitrary ways as also the IRSA machinations have not only led to water shortage in Sindh, but also jeopardized the very Indus. Our rulers’ anti-nature attitudes, pro-dam inclinations, anti-Indus ways and attempts to control water out of greed for it are harming our Indus. It is duty of all enlightened souls to rise for struggle against such an act against Indus. (Kawish, Nawaz Khan Z., June 23) 
  • After visiting interiors of Sindh, especially places like Qambar, Shahdadkot and civic bodies near and far away from Larkana, I found out that one religious party is helping candidates in all possible ways for impending civic polls. Has PPP gone for any adjustment with religious parties? We know Jamait-e-Ulema Pakistan has been very active for a long time. How come this new party, Tehreek Labbaik has suddenly come up? How is it getting so many candidates? Why Sindh’s ruling party (PPP) is not putting roadblocks against the rise of this party? One simple answer that comes to my mind is: Decks are being cleared for certain religious parties for electoral politics ignoring/setting aside nationalist, progressive and pro-democracy forces. According to my understanding, some specific religious groups are being helped right from Karachi to Sindh’s interiors. In such a situation, it becomes the duty of the ruling party in Sindh to keep aside its ego and engage in dialogues with nationalist, progressive and people-friendly forces. If this is not done, the political scenario will be much changed after the imminent civic polls. We cannot rule out the possibility that several waderas/feudal class people join hands with these religious groups to contest coming civic polls. This can be detrimental to future of democracy in Sindh. (Kawish, Qazi Asif, June 23)   
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