Pak Urdu Media Digest, May 10, 2022

A selection of news and views from May 10 Pak Urdu dailies

NEWS

Three Friendly Nations, China, Saudi Arabia and UAE have refused to provide immediate big relief to Pakistan. This has reduced Shehbaz Sharif Government’s optionsto save Pakistan from going bankrupt. (Aeen)

Chairman, Pakistan Ulema Council, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, has asked PTI leader Shirin Mazari to withdraw her letter to the United Nation. Addressing a press conference, he said Imran Khan should consider the behavior of himself and his colleagues. He further added that they have US passports and said that the US was conspiring against them. (Daily Jinnah, Ummat, Nawaiwaqt)

Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal held a review meeting with the heads of Chinese companies working on CPEC, which was attended by Secretaries of all Ministries.  Chinese investors gave him a briefing on the status of various works. Iqbal said slowing down CPEC projects is a national crime. He ordered a fortnightly review of CPEC projects. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Jinnah, Ummat)

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has decided to reform the bureaucracy, and has approved the formation of the High-Power Committee. It will be headed by former senior bureaucrat Nasir Mahmood Khosa. (Urdu Point)

On the call of Khyber Union of Journalists (KHUJ), a protest was staged outside Peshawar Press Club condemning intimidation and harassment of journalists. Union President Nasir Hussain, Peshawar Press Club President M Riaz, Union General Secretary Imran Yousafzai, senior journalist Zia ul Haq and a large number of journalists participated. They demanded that the journalists should not be dragged into a political battle. And asked the Government to stop putting pressure on journalists through institutions. (Urdu Point)

Anti-Narcotics Force Intelligence and ANF Balochistan recovered 1.382 tons of narcotics in Qila Saifullah district. (Urdu Point)

Brother of senior BNP leader Musa Baloch was shot dead by unidentified motorcyclists on Qambrani Road in Quetta. Leaders and workers of the Balochistan National Party staged a sit-in protest at Munir Mengal Chowk. They however dispersed peacefully after officials intervened. (Jasarat)

COLUMNS

Arif Bahar, Jasarat

The troubled situation in Sri Lanka and Pakistan raises the question of whether China is a reliable partner. When China decided on the Belt and Road project, it was clear that the United States would not tolerate the project.  On its part, China couldn’t plan about how to save the countries wishing to participate in the Belt and Road project from the political, military, and economic wrath of the United States.   Now the situation is that CPEC’s huge investment is unable to provide immediate support to the economy in Pakistan. As a result, the United States seems to be gaining ground in countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Afghanistan that wanted to break free from its clutches. Afghanistan fought for 17 years and got rid of the United States, but the world under the influence of the United States is not recognizing the Taliban regime, and the IMF is not ready to help them. Under these circumstances, the Afghan people will rise against the Taliban government due to economic difficulties and thus an alternative force will emerge which will inevitably support the US and thus the Afghans will return to where they started their journey. Therefore, it is being said China’s traditional prudent and slow policy has made the US job easier. The ultimate goal will be China itself after tightening the noose around China’s close allies in the Belt and Road projects.   The world’s 15 largest economies include Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, France, Italy, Canada, South Korea, and Russia are with the US. Only China and Russia are on this side of the list. Russia and China together are not in a position to compete economically with the United States and its allies. Russia is already trapped in Ukraine. Taiwan’s trap is ready for China. After the situation in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the countries wanting to actively participate in the Belt and Road project are shocked. (Arif Bahar in Jasarat)

Hussain Azad   in Sindh Exp

Sindh is right now feeling a strong need for political change. This realization is the result of the fact that feudal and elite sections have been dominating the political scenario since long. Because of this state of affairs, Sindh youth, enlightened, social and political activists amongst Sindh people have started feeling uneasy.  Sindh youth will have to set new priorities in their lives giving top most priority to bring political change in Sindh.  This is not a big task especially as we are living in times of social and electronic media.  The need of hour is Sindh youth steps out for betterment of Sindh society. You can do it in many ways. If you are a teacher, you can change your students’ mindset and during elections, you can do this by voting against sardars (kabila sardars) and feudal sections and by supporting issues of Sindh nationalists and progressive forces against corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.  We can have different ways and also differences during elections, but during elections we can have one point agenda: A big no to elites and feudal during elections. (Hussain Azad   in Sindh Exp)

Latif Jamaal in Kawish, May 9

In 2014, PTI’s agitations saw politics mixed with religion with slogans of “Azadi” and with support of religious parties that agitation went on for 126 days. Parties like PPP known for their secular and liberal background also played nationalist card in the Sindh and mixed religion with politics in Punjab; in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa it presented itself as a party that can unite all four provinces. When Benazir was still around, PPP had used religious slogans like “Yah Allah, Yah Rasool, Benazir Beqasoor”. Benazir was known to be secular and liberal but she too could not keep herself away from the world of religious beliefs. This holds good also for Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif.  This conflict between religion and politics has been going on since the formation of the country. Religion today is the last refuge in power politics. The prevailing scenario suggests very clearly that country continues to be run as per old and anti-people policies of Ayub Khan regime times and political parties do not hesitate to raise any language and any slogan for sake of personal/ political gains. (Latif Jamaal in Kawish, May 9)   

Dr. Musrat Khwaja in Kawish, May 9

With passage of time, those who had brought Imran Khan in power had started realizing that he was indulging in acts of vendetta against political opponents, and that he started frowning on those who had brought him to corridors of power as evident from delay in issuing orders for new ISI chief. Imran Khan did not stop there. When the establishment said it would be neutral during conflict between the Opposition and PTI government, he went on to say, “Only animals can stay neutral”. The criticism against the judiciary, army and other institutions reached social media too. And, ultimately, Imran Khan came out with much talked about American conspiracy theory to oust his government. Till day, Imran Khan continues with his campaigns against institutions indirectly threatening that he be put back in power. He wants to come back in power before November so that he can appoint the army chief of his choice. Apart from targeting institutions, he is playing religious card too. Whatever his party activists have done at the Saudi Masjid has dealt a big blow to Imran Khan’s image. Hopefully those who had brought Imran Khan to PM post will take lessons of not bringing Imran-like leaders at high places in future, such leaders leave country isolated globally and create disturbances at home by targeting own institutions which ultimately results in derailment of economy. (Dr. Musrat Khwaja in Kawish, May 9)     

Kanwar Dilshad   in Ibrat

The way Imran Khan has been giving calls to people for the Long March in Islamabad is not at all in the national interests. Sheikh Rashid says that if matters are not resolved by May 31, there can be more chaos and mess and ultimately the situation can get out of control. The civil unrest and political confrontations have already spread to the streets and hence this Long March to Islamabad can be more dangerous for the country as a whole. I do not see this Long March playing any decisive role in fixing the election schedule. This schedule (for elections) is decided in consultations amongst the federal government, election commission and all four provincial governments. This schedule can be released within 90 days after caretaker set-up takes over. (Kanwar Dilshad   in Ibrat) 

Aijaz Ali   in Ibrat

The prevailing scenario, indicating more and more instability ahead, suggests bloody revolution in times to come. The opposition parties of yesterday are back in power and are busy making cases against Imran Khan and his aides. Both sides are leaving no stone unturned in exposing, humiliating, insulting and defaming each other. Entire country is literally reduced to being a big “fish market”. If the situation is not controlled, we are heading for darker days and harsher times ahead. The new rulers, instead of working in footsteps of outgoing PTI government, must deliver because country cannot withstand any more mishaps/disturbances. (Aijaz Ali   in Ibrat)  

Ali Zahid in Kawish, May 9

PTI leadership, from Imran Khan to Imran Ismail has no soft corner for Sindh and Sindh interests. There is a vast distance between what the PTI leadership thinks about Sindh and what Sindh people expect. By now it is clear that PTI leaders have no heart for Sindh people. That is perhaps the reason why Sindh people too have no feelings or attraction to this party. PTI’s lack of interest in Sindh and its people came to fore clearly when PTI was in power in Islamabad. Hence, if any political or nationalist party or group wants to go for any alliance with PTI in Sindh with the hope of defeating PPP in coming general and civic elections, that party or group is only living with wishful thinking. (Ali Zahid in Kawish, May 9)  

EDITORIALS

The ISPR in a statement said the Army shouldn’t be dragged into politics but there was a time when Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Asif Zardari, Khawaja Asif et al spoke against the army; they also appeared about to launch a campaign against the army. At that time, they were accused of being Indian agent, friends of Modi etc. But the situation has changed now; in just four years, these same people are making statements in favor of the army and institutions while the social media accounts of those who have been expelled from the government are busy proving that the army and national institutions, judiciary and election commission are enemies and traitors. (Edits in Jasarat, Jang)

Just hours after the Pakistan Army spokesman held a press conference and warned for the second time in less than a month that the Army shouldn’t be dragged into politics, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has hinted at taking legal action against Imran Khan for his Abbottabad speech.   PTI leader has the right to demand early elections, he can campaign peacefully, but targeting national institutions and trying to divide them is in no way in the national interest. Not even in his own interest either. National institutions shouldn’t be criticized; there should be no promotion of the agenda of rivals of Pakistan. (Edits in Daily Pakistan, Jehan Pakistan & Naibaat)                        

Shahbaz Sharif has blamed former PM Imran Khan for upsetting the Chinese government by doing a forensic audit of the CPEC works. CPEC is considered a game-changer for Pakistan but it is under trouble. Moreover, recent terror attack on Chinese teachers at the Karachi University has also upset China. Beijing is really concerned about the safety and security of its citizens in Pakistan. It is a matter of grave concern to Pakistan as well because if our relations with China are severed, we will be in deep trouble. So much so, we should take all measures to ensure better and stronger relations with China and review our foreign policy for better international relations. (Edit in Asas)

Water is becoming a big concern for farmers and for people at large. Canals and water courses have started running dry.  We call upon the federal government and IRSA in particular to ensure Sindh gets its share of water and resolve the issue once for all. This should be done without any delay.  Also, whatever water is received in Sindh is not distributed equitably. Irregularities at local level must be addressed immediately. There are reports that influential feudal section people use Influential and feudal sections with political connections get water with help of irrigation staff at the cost of small farmers. Sindh government must intervene to ensure small farmers get water. (Edit in Kawish, Ibrat, May 9)   

                                      ……………….