Pak Urdu

Pak Urdu Media Digest, Mar 27, 2023

15 Min
<strong>Pak Urdu Media Digest, Mar 27, 2023</strong>


  1.  Poor people have been living a life of starvation over the years while the ruling and elite classes have enjoying a life of luxuries and have been stashing funds abroad. Major reason for this state of affairs is political and economic   instability in the country. Now also we are caught in strange political turns and twists. Two assemblies (KPK and Punjab) stand dissolved. The judiciary wants polls there in three months’ time while the Election Commission says it is not possible to hold polls there due to risk of terror attacks and other security factors. Hence, all polls are to be held only in October. Right now, it is not just political parties but even institutions seem to be fighting amongst themselves. This can only add to the atmosphere of uncertainties in country and hence need of hour is all parties and institutions should sit together to discuss the issues and work out a road map to bring political and economic stability so that the poor get some relief  in their day- to- day life. (Ibrat Edit)
  2. The flour crisis will get worse  if the authorities cannot find a way out. Already people are now paying heavy price with their lives for getting flour. They  walk long distances and stand in queues for hours with the hope that they will get subsidized flour. The flour queues are witnessing stampede which are resulting in several causalities including death. This reflects poorly on the state of governance in the country. It also highlights a lack of seriousness on part of authorities in ensuring proper distribution of cheap flour. (Edits – Sindh Express, Dunya)
  3. This is Ramadan time. Inflation is raging high in the country. Price of fruits have gone up steeply prompting calls for boycott of fruit markets. If the people unite and follow the boycott call, it will definitely help to tame inflation. The government, on its part, will do well to enforce the official prices of essential commodities. It will be a good idea if the government sets up a up a complaint camp with a magistrate empowered to take action on the spot. (Jinnah Edit, Daily Islam Edit)
  4. The flour price blues and the political crisis have affected the government’s performance. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced free wheat flour scheme for the month of Ramadan. But the scheme is hit by poor planning. And resulted in some causalities in two or four areas.  Officials of the provincial government and the district administration can control the situation by being a little more active. Well, there will be problems due to the trade mafia but it is not appropriate to see this good work of the government narrowly.   Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Siraj ul Haq has criticized that death is being sold in the waiting lines (for flour). He also ticked off the PDM as a burden on the nation. The words of the head of Jamaat-e-Islami seem to have weight, but there is no issue that cheap flour distribution is a well -intentioned plan.  The deaths that had occurred so far were due to the failure to control the stampede. People can stand in line and wait for their turn, but they wonder as to who could guarantee that they, standing in the queue from morning to evening, will get free flour. One person was killed in a stampede in Charsadda. Yesterday there were two deaths in Manzargarh and Bhakkar. If the situation continues like this, how concerned officials can prove themselves innocent in this tragedy. (Edit, Daily Khabrain)
  5. The Geneva Donors Conference was held some two and half months ago. But not much aid has been forthcoming as yet to rehabilitate the 3.3 crore plus flood affected people. As per a careful analysis, the total flood damage is estimated at more than $16 bn.  The International community   agreed to support Pakistan by giving $ 10 bn over a period of three years. But Pakistan is facing delays in getting the promised aid funds   Pakistan is suffering from climate disasters because of the lifestyle of developed countries that include discharge of greenhouse gases due to which the atmospheric temperature is rising causing glaciers to melt. The developed countries are well aware of this reality. Pakistan does not have even 1% share in this climate damaging process. As the UN Secretary General observed the developed world supporting Pakistan for climate disasters is not a charity; it is their responsibility. The international community will do well therefore not to delay the delivery of their pledges made at the Geneva meet. (Jang Edit)
  6. IMF Director of Communications Julie Kozack has conceded that Pakistan is facing major challenges such as inflation, low growth rate, and forex shortage.  More talks have been held between IMF and the Sharif government at the official level for a bail out loan. IMF wants Pakistan to restore confidence in its resolve to implement economic reforms. This is not withstanding the steps taken by Pakistan to address IMF concerns. Clearly, the IMF is creating problems for Pakistan under the guise of further economic reforms. (Edit Nawa-i-Waqt)
  7. The delay in IMF releasing its loan Pakistan raises the question as to whether the global lender is waiting for the arrival of a favorite ruler?  Everyone knows that international financial institutions intervene in all countries, big and small, through their programmes. Unfortunately for the people in Pakistan,  civilian rulers and military dictators always bow before the international institutions. The Government should immediately  say good-bye to the IMF since it is clear that they do not want to give a new loan to PDM. (Jasarat Edit)
  8. Benazir Bhutto had called democracy the best revenge and this has been proved true time and again on every occasion. As poll temperature is on the rise, PTI Chairman Imran Khan staged a rally at Minar, Lahore. And his speech there has drawn sharp reaction from the Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb and Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. Rallies are not barometer of political power. This is not the time for processions either. Since they  are getting time till October for their ballot battle, the ruling alliance and the Opposition parties  should put forth their plans before the public.. (Jinnah Edit)


  • PTI leader, and a former finance minister Asad Umar has said that  the coming week will prove to be the most important for the country’s history. Addressing a press conference in Lahore, he said that Imran Khan is riding on the nerves of the rulers, and that the rulers did not hold elections for fear of defeat. (Ausaf)
  •  A former MQM -London, activist Ali Akbar was arrested and he confessed to his involvement in the murder of cleric Maulana Abdul Qayyum, police said adding that his accomplice Tanweer was also nabbed. DIG East Maqqadas Haider told a press conference that  the accused were arrested with the help of sensitive agencies. The police also recovered the weapon used in the targeted killing of the Maulana. (Ausaf)
  • Ahl e Sunnat w Al-Jamaat leader, Zulfiqar Ali Tariqi Qadri,  has said  that the Sharif government is working to save its power while the Opposition PTI is working to increase its vote bank and snatch back the power. No one is worried about the country and the people. The country is handed over to the IMF. The country is rich in natural resources but we are begging for help. It means that the rulers don’t have any policy to run the government.  People are   suffering unbearable inflation even during Ramzan. He suggested that politicians should provide food to the poor for Sehri and Iftar instead of spending lakhs of rupees on public meetings. (Qudrat)
  • The ban on trade at Panjgur on the Pak-Iran border has made thousands of people jobless. Many of them are starving. People living near the border depend on cross-border trade, which has been closed for the last 20 days.  Panjgur has a population of about 8 lakhs and 70 percent of them depend on cross-border trade. Markets are desolated because people don’t have money to buy. The prices of gas cylinders and petroleum products have gone up. (Qudrat Daily)
  • Hundreds of schools in the Nasir Abad district in Balochistan have no buildings. Students are taught the three Rs under the open sky. The students  don’t have basic facilities, like drinking water, and a washroom. At one place the school is run in a thatched hut constructed by teachers. For the last 20 years, it does not have a building. This situation exposes the claims of the government. (Qudrat Daily)
  • Inflation, unemployment, political instability, family disputes, and financial problems are reasons for the increasing number of mental patients in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Every year this number is increasing by 10 to 50 percent. Both men and women are victims of mental diseases. Daily 200 to 300 persons are being examined in different hospitals for mental health. (Aeen Daily)
  • Pak-Iran gas line project has been stalled due to the sanctions on Iran by America. But if the project is not completed within the prescribed time Pakistan would have to pay a penalty of 18 billion dollars. Pakistan has decided to up the issue with American authorities.  The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has also directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the matter with the American authorities. Iran and Pakistan had signed the deal in June 2009, under which Iran agreed to supply gas from 750 MMCFD to 1000 MMCFD through pipeline. However, due to international sanctions on Iran and American pressure, Pakistan could not issue a tender for the construction of the gas pipeline, nor could arrange funds for this important project. (Pakistan Daily/ Daily Intekhab)
  • Many people including women were injured in a stampede during the distribution of free flour in Mardan city. The stampede happened due to mismanagement. Women protested preference to favorites and selected few. The angry mob closed the Madan Naushera Road. And stoned the police and sports complex. Police made baton charge and fired in the air to disperse the agitated crowd, resulting in a stampede, and injuries to many persons. In Abbottabad, the fasting women who had come to get the flour, started fighting among themselves. To control them police used batons.  Locals have termed the police action as barbaric and inhuman and asked the IGP of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take action against the police. (Pakistan Daily)
  • Stampede took place during free distribution of flour at the Mardan Sports Complex and many people were injured.  In protest, locals pelted stones at the police, staged a protest and blocked the Mardan -Nowshera road.  Police resorted to baton charge and firing in the air.  This resulted in more causalities. At Tank, women staged a protest on the road against the distribution of flour among a chosen few. Women staged a protest at Ranwal also. And blocked the Dera Ismail Khan Road resulting in a pileup of vehicles for long hours. (Daily Khabrain, Daily Intekhab, Kashmir Express)
  • As many as 18 aircraft used for aerial spraying have become ‘inactive’ due to negligence of the Plant Protection Department, sources said. The aerial spraying is undertaken in areas facing locust attack. One plane had crashed in Rahim Yar Khan two years ago. (Urdu Point)
  • MQM -Pakistan meeting held at Bahadurabad with Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui in chair has voiced serious concerns over the on-going census.   The meeting was told that the census staff had counted all the residents of a building as one person in many areas. It is also said that the census staff could not reach many areas.  (Urdu Point)
  • The International Consortium has proposed an investment of 26 billion dollars for the construction of two dams in Pakistan on a “build, own operate” basis, according to Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Wahla, the creator of the design of Kahuta Nuclear Power Plant, and a member of the Consortium. Together these two dams will generate 22000 MWs of electricity; they will have a storge capacity of 35-million-acre feet of water. The cost of electricity generation will be three rupees per unit.   (Jasarat)
  •  For the first time in the 76 years history of Pakistan, the government  has allowed teaching of religious texts to students of 7 minorities in minority schools. All the books would be published in Urdu and the syllabus would be first started in minority schools functioning under the Federal Education Ministry. (Express Daily)
  • Federal Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan will not go bankrupt. Speaking as a special guest at the iftar dinner organized by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce, Dar said that after the cooperation with Pakistan’s friendly countries, matters with the IMF will be settled soon. This will help to overcome the current difficulties and the economy will move towards recovery. (Daily Intekhab, Daily Khabrain)
  • Chairman Jamaat-e-Islami Siraj-ul-Haq appealed to Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial to take su motto notice of the election commission’s failure and partiality in conducting the Karachi municipal elections in a transparent manner.   Election Commission not only failed to conduct an free and fair election in the provincial capital, but also acted in a biased manner during and after the election process. He also submitted proof of rigging in twelve constituencies   and poll body bias. (Daily Intekhab, Daily Khabrain)


  •  A laborer can buy only his flour requirements from his day’s earnings. After purchasing flour, he is not left with any money to buy other essentials. All this leaves behind a clear message that there is none to control price rise. Inflation and smuggling of items like wheat are unabated. Notwithstanding a large official machinery, none appears capable of checking hoarders. Flour blues will continue as long as authorities are not harsh against elements behind this state of affairs. The strangest part is that very persons who grow wheat cannot get enough for family. (Ibrat, Manzoor Khoso, Ibrat, March 26)
  • The way PTI leaders and activists are being arrested and whisked away to undisclosed places in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Multan, Khanewal, and Bahawalpur stinks of fascism and makes mockery of ML(N)’s slogans. The unmistakable impression is that all the 13- parties in the ruling PDM government are scared of Imran Khan’s popularity. Another impression going around is that with the establishment’s support, the PDM government has succeeded in getting the ECP postpone the KPK/Punjab polls to October. The most important takeaway from the current drama is that the PDM is waiting for the retirement of President and Supreme Court Justice by the end of September. (Sindh Express, Dastgir Bhati, Mar. 26)
  • Be it rulers, be it judiciary or be it establishment or even Imran Khan, they all say the same thing that “we will not tolerate violation of constitution”. But which constitution are they talking about which they want to protect? Are they talking about constitution that includes peoples’ basic human rights? The fact of matter is: the Constitution has never been applied in our country and this has been happening from very beginning. So much so, at one time the constitution was once called a piece of “tissue paper” even by establishment. At times, even courts have been interpreting laws and constitution as per the requirements of the establishment. In other words, for powers that be, it is a child’s game to play with the constitution. Hence, which constitution is being talked about when political parties and institutions say that they would not tolerate violations of constitution? We have strange scenarios in our country. If decisions taken at election commission level or by the courts are beneficial to the government, the government calls it a constitutional decision. If the decisions are not to the liking of PTI, its leaders term such decisions as unconstitutional. This is in fact time for the country’s enlightened sections to rise and ask all those on the other side in power to explain as to what constitution is being talked about by government, judiciary, establishment, and even by PTI. The enlightened sections also need to tell them all that people have had enough of being fooled.   One thing is clear though. It is that as long as capitalism and feudalism persists, whatever is happening is no more than an eyewash and fooling people. Yes, the very same eyewash, the very same make-believe tamasha that we have been witnessing in our country.  We have semi-feudal and semi-capitalist sections in our country who claim to be custodians of working class and farmers. What a big lie! What a shame to tell such lies. How can the feudal and capitalist classes be protectors of peoples’ interests? Come, let us fight for one such constitution which helps break down age old traditions and lies so that we can see smile on the face of our people as it happens in every independent and free country. (Arshad Lagari in Sindh Express, Mar. 26)
  • The government of the day might keep blaming Imran Khan regime for peoples’ woes today. But, the common man, instead of getting into political debates, is wondering at the flour price that has shot up by three to four times. Inflation  during PDM   government is more than the inflation experienced during the past 40 years. Today is fourth “Roza” of Ramadan. The government should have  announced some relief.  Instead, the government fixed rates are at variance with the market prices.  People are literally out in search of subsidized flour. Bananas selling for Rs.160 a kg till some days ago now cost Rs.300 a dozen in the market. So are other fruits – apples at Rs.300 a kg, watermelon  at  Rs.200 a kilo. Peoples’ conditions that were never good during PTI regime have gone from bad to worse under the PDM government times. (, Mohamad Khan Aabroo in Kawish, Mar. 26)
  • Though elections have been deferred to October, there are doubts about that date too. There are whispers that government might get parliament term extended by imposing an emergency for six months and that something big might happen in the name of accountability. Nawaz Sharif also might get “justice” as Mariam says that there will be no election till justice is done to her father. Something might be done to bring down inflation too to give PDM parties a level-playing field in coming polls. Now Imran Khan is being blamed for polls not taking place before time as per second installment of Bajwa’s interview. In this interview, Bajwa said that Shehbaz was ready for resignation, even Nawaz Sharif was ready but Imran Khan did not agree. In other words, Imran Khan dug his own political grave.   Current National Assembly’s term is expiring in August, and if emergency is imposed for six months, then its term will get extended till February next year. In other words, the game is in its final phase. We will have to wait and watch out for who wins and who loses the game. (Khadim Malgani in Kawish, Mar. 26)
  • Be it Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Larkana or Nawabshah  all places find no gas early in the morning  though the government had promised that there will be no cut in supply at day break.  In so far electricity is concerned, there is no power for 8 to 10 hours in big cities too.  God alone knows what is the state of power supply in small cities and interiors. On one hand, we have heat waves, mosquito menace and fasting month of Ramadan. On the other, we have power and gas cuts and making matters worse is the big burden of price rise, administrative carelessness and failure   even during a holy month.   (Abdullah C in Ibrat)
  • There is a growing impression that whatever tactics are being used by Imran Khan, can backfire on him. How can he become PM without sanction from establishment? This we have seen in past too. Though she became PM with peoples’ support in 1988, Benazir could not stay in power for long. Conditions are more critical now compared to the ones in the past. How can power be passed on to Imran Khan if establishment is not ready even for meetings with him? Election Commission has given October 8 as the date for all polls so that all like-minded, who have come together against the government of the day, start getting away from one another. Change in judiciary later during the year will not be a good omen for Imran Khan. He and like-minded are angry because they do not want to wait that long till October for all polls. The uncertainty about who will be new chief justice is also adding to discomfort in PTI camp. The tragedy with our country is that we have never worked to set up some mediators’ group that can bring warring parties on one platform as and when required or particularly during times when all is not well in the country like at present. Often forces (read establishment), who have no first-hand experience of peoples’ likes and dislikes, still play decisive roles behind the curtain for transfer of power. It is often they, the establishment, who have been imposing their choice on the country and because of this the  country has suffered leaders like Imran Khan in recent times. (Sindh Express, Allah Bux Rathod)
  • According to climatic experts, a large amount of flood water in the three months of Pakistan rainy season is wasted by falling into the sea due to the lack of dams. This year 40-million-acre feet of water was lost to the sea. Yet, on September 30, IRSA reported an 18% water shortfall for this Rabi crops season. Indus River alone receives more than 60% of the total flood water but it uncontrolled unlike the waters of Jhelum and Chenab. Then all the pressure of flood water is below Tarbela. Kalabagh is the only place to control it. Engineer Shamsul Mulk had said that we should have done complete planning to control all flood water. If more dams were to be constructed in stages by consensus, we would not have faced the disaster of floods. The recent heavy rains wreaked havoc in Sindh and Balochistan. Had the Kalabagh Dam been built to control the water coming from the Indus River, it could have held back 4 to 5 lakh cusecs of water per day. In this way, floods could have been avoided by controlling the volume of rain water in Sindh and Balochistan including Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, and through the Indus River. There would not have been a loss of billions of dollars, and for the Rabi season, the IRSA would not have had to announce water shortage year after year. Experts warn that by 2050 the Himalayan glaciers would melt and that there would be severe floods during the rainy season. If we don’t take the right steps now, future generations will never forgive us. (Suleiman Khan, Nawa-i-Waqt)
  • Corona, Ukraine war, economic and trade sanctions and rivalries amongst the United States, Russia, China, Iran and the European Union have made inflation a challenge for the whole world  including Pakistan. Many local problems made Pakistan inflation unbearable compared to rest of the world. These include the absence of an effective accountability system at the administrative level, political crisis, import and export crisis due to forex woes, and debt servicing problems. High cost of petrol and diesel has pushed up transportation costs and became a burden on the public.  Domestically produced food products have also become dearer by up to 40% which is affecting everyone except the rich. The most affected are the people living on the poverty line and below it. The responsibility for this state of affairs squarely rests on the government. The situation can be improved by a responsive  administration at the grassroots level. Sadly, that is not the case as of now. During the month of Ramadan or other religious or national festivals, businesses around the world cuts prices by up to 50% to let everyone celebrate. Unfortunately, in our country, prices are often hiked on such occasions. Those who are rich they can afford, but the middle class and the poor remain deprived. It will take ten years for the effects of the crisis that Pakistan is currently suffering to end provided the government formulates and implements strict policies to increase exports, reduce imports, end government luxuries and stop fund leakages. Immediately, the government can provide some relief by taking a few steps in public interest and by emulating the Iran model. There in Iran, a rich person or anyone who can afford, will pay the full price of a commodity while the poor get the same item virtually free. The poor are provided coupons that are based on the man’s purchasing capacity. Once this coupon is presented at the counter government pays the price and he gets the same product that the rich bought by paying the full price.  A similar arrangement should be made here in Pakistan. (Retd Justice Manzoor Gillani in Kashmir Dharti) ###