Pak Urdu Media Digest, June 28, 2022

NEWS

  • Members of the ruling coalition parties clashed in the National Assembly. According to ARY TV news, the allied party members held that the PTI government was better than the present government. Khalid Magsi of Balochistan Awami Party said that previously we were regularly contacting each other for the change of the government but now PML N and PPP don’t discuss any matter with us. They are neglecting us. The purpose of change of the government shown to us was quite different from what we are observing today. Another member of the National Assembly had harsh exchanges with Khawaja Asif over neglecting Gwadar. He said that the PTI government had given us billions of rupees for development projects. ‘It was better than you. Not a single ally is happy with the present government’. (Ausaf Daily)
  • Jamiat Ulema e Islam (F) has started the ‘Zardari Hatao, Sindh Bachao’ (Remove Zardari, Save Sindh) campaign in Sindh. Alleging mismanagement, cheating and manipulation in the first phase of civic elections, JUI (F) leader, Rashid Mehmood Soomro said “We reject this election”. He had 19 voters in my home but their names were not mentioned in the voters’ list. Our workers were tortured. 2 FIR of terrorism were registered against our workers. After inflicting injuries to our workers and filing FIRs against them we have to reconsider our alliance with the federal government. We are announcing the campaign ‘Zardari Hatao, Sindh Bachao’. He added that Maulana Fazal Ur Rahman is aware of the complete situation. (Ausaf Daily)
  • MQM has threatened to withdraw its recent agreements with PPP raising grave concerns over rigging in the Sindh local bodies polls.  Results in areas where MQM candidates have won have been kept in abeyance. Articulating the MQM anger, party senior and former mayor, Wasim Akhtar said “This is too much”. He went on to say: “We are quiet because of recent agreements with PPP. If the PPP does not want to respect these agreements, MQM too will come out on roads. He said MQM must get seats in Sukkur and Mirpur Khas. He said if MQM is not listened to on issue of delimitation of wards and also on issue of voters’ list, MQM would not allow elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions. (Sindh Express)
  • The Federal Government has decided to restore the role of Balochistan in the implementation of the National Action Plan. It was said that provincial civil security departments should have been given special training for NAP but unfortunately it was not done at the level of Balochistan due to negligence of the previous PTI Government. (Qudrat)
  • ANP Provincial President and Balochistan Assembly Member Asgar Khan Achakzai said that an end to tribal disputes would help development of Pashtunkhwa. Small enmities have turned into wars and hence ending all such disputes is essential. (Qudrat)
  • Deputy Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Liaquat Baloch has said that the coalition government led by Shahbaz Sharif, instead of giving a plan of action in the light of the decision of the Federal Shariah Court, to abolish the interest-based system, has hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims by hiding behind SBP and interest-based banks. The government has made the people angry, but the wrath of Allah will be very deadly. The federal government should immediately stop the petitions filed in the Supreme Court. The entire nation appeals to the Supreme Court to reject the petitions which are contrary to the ruling of the Sharia Court. (Jasarat)
  • Chief of Jamaat e Islami Karachi Hafiz Naeem Ur Rahman has alleged that attempts were made to hijack the electoral process in Sindh civic elections, and violence claimed two lives. The situation shows the failure of the Sindh government, Election Commission and law enforcement agencies. The scene may repeat on 24th July when polls take place in Hyderabad and Karachi. Addressing a press conference Hafiz Naeem Ur Rahman said that candidates and political parties are being stopped from participating in the electoral process. The Sindh government is misusing its power and resources and trying to influence the election by illegal means. (Dunya Daily)
  • Majlis-e-Ahrar leaders have said that there will be a strong movement against the interest-based and Jewish economy. Majlis-e-Ahrar will continue to strive till the end for the implementation of Allah’s system in the land of Islam. Banks that want to keep the interest rate and the Jewish economy afloat should be boycotted. (Jasarat)
  • President of the Tanzeem Ul Madaris Ahl e Sunnat Pakistan, Mufti Muneeb Ur Rahman has asked the Shehbaz government to prove its sincerity by taking practical steps to curb the menace of the interest-based economy. The government and national financial institutions should form a roadmap to implement the judgement of the Shariat Court instead of going to apex court. We are at the same point where we were in 1992. How long you will run the nation in circles. The judgement of the Shariat Court is very clear. Instead of accepting and implementing, preparations are being made to reverse it. The government can consult religious and financial institutions for implementing it. We are ready to cooperate. (Intekhab Daily)
  • Mari Petroleum Company has discovered new oil and gas reserves in Bannu West Block of North Waziristan. A statement issued by Mari Petroleum Company said   initially 25 million cubic feet of gas will be available daily and gradually the output will increase to 50 million cubic feet.  Crude oil production will be 300 barrels a day. (Jasarat)
  • It has been decided to repatriate PML-N leader and former federal finance minister Ishaq Dar and he is likely to be made finance minister again. Private TV quoted sources as saying that Ishaq Dar is likely to arrive in Pakistan in the second week of July. Sources said that he will first take oath as a senator, after which he will take over the portfolio of Federal Finance Minister. (Ummat, Daily Jinnah, Nawai Waqt)
  • There is possibility that the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz leader Ishaq Dar will return home in July. After oath of senator, he will take over as Finance Minister. (Jehan Pakistan, Daily Pakistan)
  • Families and relatives of the missing students have announced a dharna at CPEC highway on 28th June to protest against the non-recovery of the missing persons. The ‘Give rights’ campaign and civil society of Turbat have announced support to the dharna.  (Intekhab Daily)
  • Jamaat-e-Islami Youth Kohat protested at the Press Club against the killing of North Waziristan President of their party, Asadullah Dawar. (Daily Pakistan)
  • The Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) has conducted an intelligence-based operation in Punjab and arrested 11 operatives of banned organizations. Hand grenades, weapons, and cash were recovered from them. (Daily Express, Daily Jinnah)
  • China has said that Pakistan is the most important member of the Friendship Group of the Global Development Initiative. At a briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Xiao Lichan said Pak-China cooperation in the field of development would bring tangible benefits to the people of the region and the region. China will continue to work with Pakistan to advance the global development agenda. (Jasarat) 
  • Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has approved the import of high-quality coal from Afghanistan in rupees instead of dollars to save the country’s precious foreign exchange.   (Ummat)
  • Citizens came out to the streets in different areas of Karachi protesting against unannounced and prolonged power outages. Angry people blocked roads, causing traffic jams. (Daily Express, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz Sharif has decided to launch a drive to prevent adulterated food and sale of substandard medicines. Hamza set the deadline of October to the Agriculture, Food and Drug Authority to complete the project, which has been pending for three and a half years. Hamza Shahbaz said that delays in the procurement of machinery and equipment would not be tolerated.   (Nawai Waqt, Daily Jinnah) 

EDITORIALS

  • We think all languages in the country must survive. Languages are not just a medium of communication but are part of our culture. They are connected with our civilizations too. The UN has accepted the principle that everybody has right to learn in his/her language. Such learning helps social uplift. But, 40 percent of the people in the world do not learn their own languages. It is a matter of much regret that our own national languages in Pakistan are being ill-treated. Hence, whatever opportunities and facilities are being given for promotion of Urdu language at every level, should be given to our other national languages too for their promotion. They should be introduced at school level. Mother tongue should be made a medium of instruction. No language be discriminated against and be not belittled so that our coming generations can be well connected with civilization. (Sindh Express Edit)
  • The civic polls held in Sindh yesterday have popped up several questions. Why did the Sindh government and the Election Commission fail to stop disturbances during polling? How is it that there were complaints from almost every polling booth? The authorities concerned need to go into reasons for these disturbances and take strict action against the perpetrators so that the next phase of polling goes off smoothly and peacefully. Police too, without taking any sides, should play their role impartially to maintain law-and-order.  Legal action must be taken against candidates or anyone else found guilty irrespective of any party affiliation.  (Edits – Pahenji Akhbar, Kawish, June 27)
  • According to unofficial results of the first phase of local body elections in Sindh, PPP is the winner, the Grand Democratic Alliance is runner up, and the JUI-F is at the third place. Two people were killed and dozens injured in riots and shootings in several areas on the eve of polling and there were reports of abduction of polling staff in Kandhkot. PTI, MQM, Sindh United Party, Grand Democratic Alliance, JUI-F, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pak Sarzamin Party and Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen have rejected the results, accusing the PPP of rigging. (Edit Jang)
  • It is indeed a good development that civic polls are being held after about six years. It is in the interest of people and in the interest of provinces that power is transferred to grass roots levels because it is local area representatives who know about their areas and their needs more than members in provincial or national assembly.  We expect the provincial government to cooperate with local representatives in keeping cities clean and also in developmental works there so that our society registers progress. However we strongly condemn disturbances and clashes witnessed on the polling day (Edits – Ibrat, Nai Baat)
  • After the change of the Government in Islamabad and Lahore, there was an impression that the popularity of PTI was declining and the vote bank of the coalition parties in the Government is likely to increase, but the results of the by-elections present a different picture. As far as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is concerned, the graph of PTI is the same; there has been no decrease in the public acceptance of PTI. A similar trend in the second round of Local Body elections shows that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is still PTI stronghold. (Daily Pakistan Edit)
  • Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has indicated that the role of the provinces in the National Action Plan will be restored. He said that during the last four years the role of the provinces was ignored, which increased the threat to national security. He added that national security is the common responsibility of the center and provinces. Better cooperation between the center and provinces is needed undoubtedly in matters security. (Edits – Dunya Daily, Qudrat, Jehan Pakistan)
  • Lahore students dropping out of schools has crossed 30 thousand and it is said that if prices of text books and stationeries are not decreased the number of dropouts would cross 1 million by August. Experts aver that if children are not given subsidies on school items the number of dropouts would cross 2 million soon. The Federal Education Minister Rana Tanvir Hussein said that we are facing challenges like inaccurate numbers of children out of schools and improper training of teachers. However, the educational projects in cooperation with the World Bank should be implemented seriously and sincerely to improve the situation. (Asas Edit)
  • Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Saudi Arabia yesterday and met with Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.    Crown Prince presented the King Abdul Aziz Medal to the General for his important role in strengthening defense ties between the two countries.  The Army Chief also met with Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman and Chief of General Staff General Fayyaz bin Hamid. It was agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the areas of joint training, air defense, counter-terrorism, communications, and information. Peace and stability in the region and the security situation were discussed.   The highest honor of the kingdom to the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan is an acknowledgment of Pakistan’s God-given military capabilities for the defense of the homeland which is also a matter of pride for Pakistan and its people. This growing spirit of the Muslim Brotherhood between the two countries could be a good omen for the entire Muslim world. (Edit Nawai Waqt)

COLUMNS

  • Almost half of Sindh witnessed violent civic polls yesterday. Is all this violence justified in a democratic set-up? If all this is happening in what we call democratic set-up, what is dictatorship? This culture of violence in elections started from Karachi; now it might not be present in Karachi. It was seen in some cities of Sindh where we had never imagined that Sindh’s ruling party would indulge in irregularities and rule of law and election commission would be conspicuous by their absence. And, yet, PPP often claims that they have made sacrifices for democracy in the country! What was witnessed during polling yesterday, that is violence is not at all part of Sindh culture. There is no single report which says it is all ok in any part of Sindh. The pictures clearly tell that political culture was mauled and trampled upon mercilessly in the name of democracy. Will we accept the results of these polls despite substantial video footage available showing rogue sons of waderas misbehaving with women at polling booths? The video footage also throws enough light on all not being well even in outside polling stations. Surprisingly, there was no policeman and no Ranger anywhere when all lawlessness was being perpetrated inside booths and outside.  There was none to stop clashes. How many more injured and bodies would the election commission need to be satisfied about the charge that all was not well during polling yesterday? Has the election commission any sense of remorse about lawlessness during polling yesterday? (Pahenji Akhbar, Aijaz Mungi, June 27)
  • The civic polls were held in 14 districts in the first phase yesterday. We witnessed clashes at all places from Kashmor to Tharparkar and till going to press, there were over 100 injured and two dead. It looks PPP did all that was possible to win these polls and on polling day, used police also in its pursuit of winning these polls. We do not know as to why law keeping machinery refused to discharge duty and said no to the election commission. They /law keeping machinery said they would however attend to any call from election commission staff as and where there is any problem. The results of civic polls will only strengthen the tribal system. The way PPP has planned to take over Sindh’s civic bodies it seems Sindh is caught in some fascist set-up. There are reports that wherever PPP was doubtful about winning, such booths witnessed big clashes. Booths were captured, electorates were injured and all results at such booths were changed forcibly at gun-point. People in Sindh now understand the PPP’s intentions. Sindh will not be “Paris” but with PPP in civic bodies, Sindh will be more like maun-jo-daro (symbolic of under-developed ancient past) in the next five years. Sindh’s cities and interiors will get more under-developed in next five years. PPP might be rejoicing today’s triumphs in civic polls not knowing as to how history will remember the PPP. (Pahenji Akhbar, Inam Bhati, June 27)
  • The recent civic polls were more of local fights than polls for local civic bodies. People from one area were seen fighting one another. To add to our concern, all that happened within booths is a matter of serious concern to us all. Just imagine if so much disorder and lawlessness are witnessed in local level polls, what could happen in the polls at provincial and national level? All that comes in the media must be a matter of concern not just for the educated and serious sections but for others too since it is as much a social issue as a national issue. This should be our basic concern. The issue at stake is our co-existence, our living together as neighbors. If we fight and break each other’s heads in local polls, how can we co-exist as good neighbors? This is not the way to maintain societies, this much disorder or violence is not witnessed even in sports where players want to score over one another. At the end of every tournament, the players show the courtesy of congratulating the winning side with smiles on their face. None hits others below the belt. If there are some principles and mutual respect for each other in sports, why not show mutual respect in local polls? The recent local body polls were a bitter experience. It was disheartening to see this much disorder and lawlessness around. Why did all this happen? It happened because politics is no longer sensitive enough. It has no feelings for people. Politics today has become big business and corruption is deep in the system. Everyone in the system wants a share of the loot.  All that was witnessed on local body poll day was a big political wound for Sindh and yet it is being proudly claimed “basic democratic set up is being stabilized through local body polls!” It is only our rulers who talk big in favor of democracy even though they keep indulging in much corruption and looting of the system. (Sindh Express, Aijaz Mungi)
  • This time the middle class and people from poor sections of society took part in the Sindh local body polls. They presented themselves as alternatives in the system. This is indication enough that people have started looking at politics as a medium for change. Those who have lost in recent local body polls should not be disheartened; instead, they should be encouraged and told that they could at least muster courage to contest and put challenge against such powerful persons /waderas /elites who were much dreaded. Hence, these entrants in the fray should take their participation in polls as their beginning. If more and more Sindh friendly forces come out, in days to come we can see more and more women too taking part in these polls and such developments will send out a clear message that there is alternative to PPP in Sindh thus belying often repeated statements that there is no alternative to PPP in Sindh. (Sindh Express, Akhtar Hafeez)
  • Federal Finance Minister Miftah Ismael has asked “Why people are shouting at me. I only taxed the wealthy”. Does he think that people accept his explanations faithfully and are satisfied by them? Every other day he brings out a new tax and says “If we don’t do it, the country will be bankrupted, international agreements are forcing us to do it, and the previous government left no option for us. We are paying for their mistakes. We are applying tax only on big industries”. Is he so naïve that he does not know who ultimately pays the tax? Which industry pays the taxes? They transfer the taxes to the consumer and ultimately the poor and common man pays the taxes. He is the biggest sufferer. Would the Finance Minister name an industry or company which pays the tax from its pocket? (Dunya Daily-Zahid Awan)
  • Two weeks ago, the drops of medicine I put in my eye every three to four hours were finished. It was not available at the shop near our house. My wife was on her way to F-Sector, Islamabad that evening to take care of a friend’s mother. There are large drug stores there. The medicine I needed was not available at those big stores. I spent a week without the medicine. I started having difficulty reading. I panicked. So I went to the pharmacy. From there I got the news that the medicine I have been using is no longer supplied. The manufacturers have declared that the drug will not be manufactured till the tax system is fixed for the sale of raw materials and after-sales. For another month, I will have to work without this medicine.  Not only eye drops I need, more than a hundred medicines are not available in the market at present. Many of these are medications that patients with heart, diabetes or high blood pressure have to use daily.   The unavailability of basic medicines and essential drugs should have been one of the most important topics in the media these days but I don’t find no mention of this in TV news. There is no such report in the new papers either giving a comprehensive account of medicine shortages. For a long time, we have been under the impression that the basic issues that the dishonest sellout media ignores are brought to the notice of the people on social media. I took a close look at my social media on Sunday. The most popular news there was about an employee of Imran Khan who was caught while allegedly installing a spy device at his house. Although Imran Khan has forgiven him and social media has gone viral on the episode. Thanks to this boom, we don’t have to worry whether medicines for heath are available in the market. (Nusrat Javed – Nawai Waqt)