Pak Urdu Media Digest, May 23

NEWS

  • Speaking in a TV programme, Federal home minister Rana Sannallah said, “We cannot go for polls in the atmosphere created by Imran Khan.” Without naming anyone but pointing to the establishment, he said, “It is not possible that they keep our hands tied and they get their jobs done. If we are stopped (from taking action) on one or another pretext, then onus falls on those who are stopping us. We have respect for the judiciary, but if we are stopped in such manners, then we cannot run the government. We are trying to bring about betterment, but we are not being allowed to do it. Imran Khan’s speech at Multan can lead to very dangerous consequences. He has shown disrespect not just to Mariam but to all women. We are not seeking help from any institution; the nation needs help. Imran Khan’s deadlines have no meaning. Country can be taken out of the crisis only if political parties and institutions work together. Or else, the crisis will stay. We never knew that after ousting Imran Khan from power, Imran Khan will be allowed to come out on roads and our hands would be tied”. (Kawish, May 21)  
  • Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Siraj-ul-Haq has said that if the government supports an interest-based economic system in the budget, they will launch a movement, and the rulers will see the stars in the day.  He will meet leaders of all parties including PML-N, PPP, PTI to build consensus against the interest-based economy. National dialogue should be started to bring the economy on Islamic lines. Haq said Jamaat-e-Islami believes that America cannot be a friend of Muslims. But the fact is that the three major political parties of Pakistan want to show loyalty to the United States as they are afraid of it. These rulers did not demand the release of Dr. Aafia from America out of fear. (Jasarat-Jang- Dunya Daily)
  • According to sources, Zardari, after meeting key personalities, held a meeting with PM Shehbaz Sharif. One faction in ML (N) is happy with the proposal for early polls; Nawaz Sharif and Mariam are not in favor of carrying on the burdens left behind by the PTI government. The sources further indicate that allies of the government are going to meet again in the next 48 hours to make a decision on early polls and how to find a way out of financial distress. Shahbaz, is in support of holding polls in time. Sources also indicate that government will take some decision in next 48 hours and Zardari will be accordingly informed. (Sindh Exp) 
  • Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said if Imran Khan thinks he can start a civil war in the country, he is fooling himself. The nation will thwart his conspiracy and will never forgive him. He said that Imran Niazi has morally corrupted the nation.  He did not create even a single job opportunity but terminated jobs of lakhs of people. All the time he was busy abusing his political opponents. (Ausaf Daily) 
  • PPP senior and federal Minister for Water Resources Sayed Khursheed Shah has said if Imran Khan wants to take out a long march, it should be peaceful. But if Imran Khan attacks the institutions, then the law will take its course.   (Intekhab Daily)
  • Rallies and demonstration were held in the coastal city of Gwadar in Balochistan on Sunday under the aegis of Give Rights to Balochistan movement against the enforced disappearance of Baloch women.  A large number of activists and citizens led by Maulana Hidayat-ur-Rehman Baloch and Hussain Wadila took out rallies carrying placards and banners and staged protests at the Jivani Chowk. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express)
  • The leader of the Baloch Yakjehti Committee Doctor Mahrang Baloch has criticized the large-scale deployment of police in Quetta. In a tweet, a protest is going on in front of the Governor House against forced disappearance of Baloch women and the arrest of Noor Jehan under false charges. She said that the police are alert to arrest the demonstrators but they have not learned the lesson from the history that violence and jails could not stop public resistance. (Intekhab Daily)
  •  Counter-Terrorism Department Punjab arrested 5 alleged terrorists of banned organizations in 22 intelligence-based operations in different districts of the province. 23 suspects were interrogated and weapons, explosives, and other contraband were recovered from them. (Daily Jinnah, Nawaiwaqt)
  •  US Special Envoy Thomas West met Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Doha, and discussed law and order in Afghanistan, girls’ education and women’s employment, and aid related issues. US special envoy told Muttaqi that   closure of girls’ secondary schools in Afghanistan and the suspension of women from jobs were being opposed at the international level.   Muttaqi said that girls’ secondary schools would be reopened after making arrangements in accordance with Islamic teachings and Afghan traditions. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Express)
  • Hafiz Mohammad Saad Hussain Rizvi of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan said Imran was not expelled by the United States but expelled by those who made him Prime Minister. We can’t talk with international touts and puppets. Addressing Nizam-e-Mustafa Conference at Hockey Stadium in Bahawalpur, he accused the Imran government of seeking to ban Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan. “Now they do not have their own government’. (Daily Express, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)
  • Faisal Khan Niazi, a PML-N dissident lawmaker from Khanewal, has resigned from the Punjab Assembly. He submitted his resignation to Speaker Pervez Elahi. Niazi said he had parted ways with PML-N long ago.  Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said the first resignation has come, and more resignations will also come. (Ummat)
  • Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) members have expressed full confidence in chief minister Abdul Quddus Bazenjo and warned of action against dissidents. On the other hand BAP senior leader and former chief minister who has moved the no-trust motion against Bazenjo said that action would be taken against BAP members under Art.63 if they did not vote  for the no trust motion. (Qudrat)

Column

  • Nawaz Sharif, after becoming the PM for the second time and gaining a three-fourths majority in the National Assembly, claimed that the Pakistani people had given him a mandate of friendship with India but the claim was completely false. Had he claimed of being a friend of India during the elections, it would have been difficult for him to get a simple majority.  When he became the PM for the third time, he again sang the song of friendship with India. He then befriended Narendra Modi, invited him to his granddaughter’s wedding, and received gifts. The Kashmir issue was still simmering and India’s atrocities on Kashmiris were continuing but Nawaz Sharif’s friendship with India was not affected. Now, Shahbaz Sharif has first lifted the ban on trade with India. The ban was imposed by the Imran government The Kashmiris have termed the Shahbaz government as tantamount to sprinkling salt on their wounds but who listens to the Kashmiris? (Matin Fikri in Jasarat)
  • When there are apprehensions of anarchy around and break-up of the system of the day, PTI and its leaders cannot be supported. They can trigger only fascism. They might be talking big and might say that whatever they are doing is for larger public good but all that is farce for their own agenda. They also go to the extent of using religion as a weapon in their pursuit of their personal agenda. It is no secret as to how all that is done. Current government is capable enough of containing Imran Khan. Government will have to work out strategies to stop Imran Khan’s Long March from coming anywhere near Islamabad. It is a fact that once Imran Khan reaches anywhere near Islamabad with large crowds of supporters, conditions can turn ugly. The powers that be, that is the establishment, will have to give back-up support to the government. Impression around these days is that though the establishment has helped form a coalition government, it (establishment) is not giving any further help to the Shahbaz-led coalition government. The coalition government is repeatedly making this complaint (against establishment). (Allah Bux Rathod    in Sindh Exp) 
  • Country can no longer tolerate Imran Khan’s “heroism” or (mis)adventure. Even the world at large will not appreciate his current role. Only poll results would show as to how much people stand by him. Imran Khan is one such “hero” who seems to be cut off from ground realities. He is like a “hero” who shows no respect for the constitution, democratic traditions and even institutions. He is a “hero” who wants independence for himself but does not want to give independence to others/institutions. Our society will have to pay price for such fake heroes because it will take time for society to realizes this and by that time it will be late enough. (Akhtar Hafeez in Sindh Exp)    
  • Current government is facing multiple problems. It is deep down in crisis, not just on the economy front but also on the political front with a lot of judicial activism these days. Rise in terror attacks in Karachi are also adding to discomfort of one and half month-old Shehbaz-led government and also raising questions over political stability in Sindh. In midst of repeated terror attacks exposing poor state of law and order in a city like Karachi, Sindh CM suddenly flying to US is adding to emerging new uncertainties. Former finance minister, Hafiz Sheikh’s sudden flight from America to heat-wave hit Pakistan is also adding fuel to rumors. It is being said that Hafiz Sheikh only can understand tough terms and conditions of IMF and he only knows how to meet these tough requirements for IMF loans. This time he is not a candidate for the new finance minister post, but he can be a candidate for caretaker PM post, hence once again there are so many tales about political uncertainties ahead. (Ishaq M in Sindh Exp, May 21)    
  • Most political and other developments in the country seem to be connected one or other way with the November appointment (new army chief); this is making feeble democracy feebler in the country. PPP leader and federal minister, Syed Khursheed Shah is right when he says, “three governments running simultaneously in the country is not good omen for the country’s future. The judiciary should not interfere with administrative parts like transfers (of executives/bureaucrats). Referring to establishment, PPP leader   said, “We did favour to you by legally pulling down PTI government; it will be your (establishment)’s obligation if you (establishment) pull down our government”. (Dr. Bakhat Jamal Sheikh in Pahenji, May 22)  
  • Whatever is happening in Pakistan these days was called Arab Spring sometime back.  Beginning with tiny Tunisia in December 2010, it spread to other parts of the Arab world. But what was the end-result of these revolutions and movements in those countries? Today, all these countries are victims of instability, social discord and economic chaos. Institutions and the economy in those countries have collapsed, countries’ borders have become much more porous, and poverty and unemployment are at peak. Dreams of democracy were never realized. With ever growing interference by global forces, these countries are reduced more to the state of being colonies (of global forces).   The times we are heading for can be worse than the ones in the Arab World affected by the Arab Spring. If people in the Arab world can be victims of the crisis of identity, despite their identity and civilization that is hundreds of years’ old, our condition can be much worse as our principal crisis has always been a crisis of identity. Our establishment’s crisis of identity has always been deep enough because it has always wanted to play politics /interfere in political issues with the help of political puppets or religious fundamentalists. If establishment thinks it can succeed in addressing its agenda by weakening politicians and strengthening religious fundamentalists, then establishment is much mistaken to think on these lines. Our establishment should note that atomic powered Pakistan is the last target of a mission called Arab Spring. This is one of the major agendas of western world, especially America. Arab countries could come out of their crisis because their crisis of identity is temporary unlike in our case. Pakistan has always been living with this crisis of identity because of establishment’s continuing meddling in political affairs of country right from the beginning. (, Shahid Jatoi in Pahenji, May 22)    
  • We need to give a thought as to what kind of threats Imran Khan is exposing the country to with his hyper activism. Dollar has crossed Rs.200 mark and is still marching ahead each passing day. The burden of such ground realities is being felt more by a common man as inflation keeps rising. People are not able to afford two meals a day and yet Imran Khan is planning a Long March to Islamabad. It will only mean locking down Islamabad and spreading chaos around the country. I think the government and powers that be (that is the establishment) will have to take bold and tough decisions. Extra-ordinary situations call for equally extraordinary solutions. We have to see to it that we save the country and if need be, we should even go to the extent of banning Imran Khan’s party because of his plans to commit serious violations like going against the constitution. We have to take tough and bold decisions to save the sinking ship called country. (Kawish, Mohamad Khan Abroo, May 22) 

Editorials

  • The Election Commission has issued notices to PML-N   and PTI for not holding party elections. The PML-N has become a family party and just as there are disputes in the family for inheritance, so too there are disputes in this party. There is no possibility of hereditary politics in PTI but once elections were held in this party, there was fighting. Justice Wajihuddin presented his report that the party had interfered in the election and rigged it. As a result, Justice Wajih was expelled from the party. The PPP is also a hereditary party. As there is no heir, then Zardari is made ‘Bhutto’ and politics is being conducted in the name of Bhutto. If political parties cannot bring democracy within their ranks, how can they further democracy in the country. (Edit Jasarat)
  • The government still seems to be in a state of hesitation regarding difficult but inevitable decisions to curb the hemorrhage in the national economy. (Edit Jang)
  • The Opposition and the government need to handle prevailing situation in country with far sight and cool head; or else   conditions will go beyond anybody’s control. (Pahenji, Edit, May 22) 
  • Sindh is often discriminated against when it comes to issues like water sharing. The Sindh representative hardly gets any hearing in IRSA meetings. Water needs to be released into water courses and canals in Sindh so that Sindh farmers get it for timely sowings and thus avert food shortages.  The federal government and IRSA need to realise that by stopping water to Sindh they are only playing instrumental roles in creating food shortage ahead. We can stop discrimination against Sindh in water only when an institution like IRSA shuts down. (Sindh Exp, Edit)  
  • Announcing the date for Islamabad Long March, PTI Chairman Imran Khan once again demanded elections to the National Assembly. Some partners of the ruling alliance including a group of ML-N are also favouring new elections. But the ego of the ruling party is compelling it to stick to its position. The government is unable to find out a way out of this deadlock. It is not the time for obstinacy but for reconciliation. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  • It is necessary that the government should increase salaries and pensions in order to provide some relief to people hit by high inflation. (Baad-e-Shimal Edit)
  • While the situation is very bad, the ruling alliance is confident of bringing things back on track if the government is allowed to continue and complete its tenure. The government is ready to take stern decisions but needs support from the empowered national departments which the government is lacking. Therefore, it is necessary that the government should have dialogue with the national departments and try to gain their confidence and in turn the national department should also allow the current government to take decisions. The Government is already in talks with the IMF but so far no breakthrough is possible. The government should take the nation into confidence over this issue. (Edits – Nai Baat, Aeen, Jehan Pakistan)
  • China-Pakistan relations, now in the 71st anniversary, are getting stronger with passage of time. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto again condemned the attacks on Chinese people in Pakistan and assured fool proof security to people of China in Pakistan. He also asserted that we will not allow anyone to sabotage Pakistan’s friendship with China. There is no doubt that Pakistan should keep good relations with China which is more necessary in the current situation. Pakistan is well aware that CPEC is the basis of lasting stability of the region and Sino-Pak relations. (Edits – Asas, Qudrat)