Pak Urdu Media Digest, May 27.

NEWS

  • According to Afghan media, Sohail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, said in an interview that Indian diplomats would be provided full security if India reopens its embassy in Kabul. It is the government’s responsibility to provide full protection to all foreign diplomats.   (Jang)
  • Making AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces of Pakistan is unacceptable, said speakers at   a conference on ‘Hamara Kashmir Hamara Pakistan’ organized by Pakistan Institute for Conflict & Security Studies and University of Poonch. Muslim Conference Chief Sardar Atiq Khan, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Saad Khattak, Altaf Butt, Irshad Mehmood, Prof. Dr. Adnan Idris, Prof. Dr. Abdul Rauf, Dr. Imtiyaz Hussein, Dr. Mujahid Geelani and others addressed the conference held in Rawalakot.  (Kashmir Dharti)
  • Pakhtunkhwa Awami Milli Party leaders said that the Pashtun Afghan community is living a miserable life and Pakistani people are even failing to provide food to their children twice a day. (Qudrat)
  • Former federal minister Asad Umar has tweeted on hike in petrol and diesel prices. The Shehbaz government must have realised that the domestic prices were increasing due to international factors. When we told them this, they did not believe us.  Now would the PDM people will take out an Inflation March against Shahbaz Sharif?  (Intekhab Daily)
  • PTI Chairman Imran Khan has given a six-day ultimatum to announce the date of the election but Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has told clearly that only National Assembly would decide when to hold the election. Shahbaz Sharif warned Imran Khan that he should not be under the wrong impression that he can blackmail the government. You can dictate in your home but not in this House. If you want to talk about elections, sit in the house and talk. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The provincial Chief of Jamiat Ulema e Islam, Maulana Abdul Wasai, who is also the Federal Minister for Housing, has said that ruling alliance can’t be intimidated by the threats of Imran Khan. The federal government will announce the date of the election, not Imran Khan. Government cannot announce the date of an election before electoral reforms. Long March was a total failure. Imran Khan is hell-bent on destroying the economy of the country. Only the present government can bail out the country.  (Intekhab Daily)
  • The spokesman of PDM, Maulana Hafiz Hamdullah, who is also the leader of Jamiat Ulema e Islam, has said that the Fisadi (riotous) March of Fisad (riot) Khan has bitterly flopped. He had claimed to bring 20 lakh people but could not bring even a few thousand. The nation has rejected the long march of the U-turn expert. Those who had entered Islamabad were not protesting peacefully but indulged in arson and looting. They burned public and government property. Will the court take action against Imran Khan since he had violated the court orders that his protest should be a  peaceful demonstration. (Intekhab Daily)
  • The Punjab government has fired 30 law officers belonging to PTI and PML-Q and appointed 29 lawyers of PML-N in their place.   (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Jinnah)
  • The Naval Chief visited Command and Staff College in Quetta. He addressed the participants in an ongoing course. The Naval Chief appreciated the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces for the protection of the beloved homeland. The Naval Chief said that coordination between the forces was essential for modern military operations. (Nawaiwaqt, Daily Jinnah, Ummat)
  •  No-confidence motion against Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo could failed even before it was introduced in the assembly.   The sponsors could not muster requisite support for their motion. Acting Speaker Sardar Babar Musa Khel was in the chair. (Daily Express, Ummat, Daily Jinnah)   

COLUMNS

  •  Imran Khan is literally playing with peoples’ power. Being a good bowler in his cricketing days, today he is throwing bouncers on State actors. Pakistan’s political parties have now got scared of his aggressive “bowling” politics. His own supporters are upset and his opponents are surprised at his ways. (Aijaz Mungi in Sindh Exp) 
  • Yesterday was a depressing day for PTI. Imran Khan should realize that he cannot get results he wants only with crowds from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He should have led the Long March from Lahore. That could have seen more people and party activists from Punjab accompany him to Islamabad and it could have left an impact on the government and also on institutions. Imran Khan perhaps feared arrest and hence chose to lead from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and thus unknowingly also drew a line between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other provinces. Imran Khan also should keep in mind that PTI is already a divided house now. Going to jails add to the honors of politicians. The more politicians try to escape arrest and jail, the more they will keep getting away from masses; this in short means heading to political wilderness. (Ali Zahid in Kawish, May 26)   
  • There is no doubt that PML (N) has been in touch with the establishment for a long time now. It is this proximity between them that resulted in a no-confidence motion against the Imran Khan government. If the establishment gives up on the new Shahbaz-led government now, it will be an invitation to the worst crisis. It will weaken the establishment more. Hence, establishment has taken a calculated decision to stand by Shahbaz government. As noted, journalist, Najam Sethi rightly said, the establishment has no permanent foes or friends. National interest is what matter to the establishment. (Shahbaz S in Kawish, May 26)   
  • From what we are witnessing in country today, it looks current fight for power is between two establishments (two factions in country’s establishment). We do not know who will be the ultimate winner in this power race but it seems people are going to be ultimate winners from this fight. (Idrees Lagari in Pahenji, May 26)   
  • Before announcing long marches or dharna, the PTI leadership should give some directives to their activists as to how to make their protests successful. If they had done this, yesterday’s atmosphere could not have been unsavory. The Sindh government also should not stop protests because protests are the rights of every political party. Karachi is a big city where if its highway is kept closed, the entire traffic system goes haywire. This is what was seen yesterday. Police had put up barricades on roads leading to Nimaish Chaurangi and people were asked to take alternate roads; but because the main highway was kept shut, there were traffic jams on all roads and people were put to inconvenience. PTI had made tall claims that their teeming numbers would turn out for the March. The claim turned out to be just an empty boast, and on top of that whosoever succeeded in reaching they had unleashed their anger and frustration on police and media persons.  When stone pelting started, initially no one realized from where stones the came and who was their target. Later it was seen that activists in the convoy had brought stones. Since the Police were on alert, and Rangers also were on deployment, PTI activists were scared since morning itself. On top of it their provincial and divisional leaders was seen only on social media till yesterday evening; none of them was seen on the site till evening and hence only a handful of activists could reach the highway but they too were taken away by police in their /police vans. Though PTI had announced dharna at Numaish Chowrangi Highway at 3 p.m. majority of PTI leaders including PTI members in the provincial assembly, members of national assembly from Karachi, PTI Sindh chief and even Karachi division leaders were not seen on the road. Till evening there were rumors that PTI Sindh unit chief and Karachi division head have been arrested and taken to some undisclosed place. (Shahid Mirani  in Pahenji,  May 26) 
  • PTI leader Imran Khan took the path of disobedience to the constitution and law after the fall of his government and took over the presidency from the President and Governor of Punjab. Isn’t it a moment of reflection that the Supreme Court has overturned the steps taken by the Shehbaz government to stop bloody clashes in the name of PTI’s independence march and sit-in protests. Imran Khan and his party members were allowed to come to Islamabad without any hindrance after they had promised to abide by the law. Sadly, after reaching Islamabad, the assurance was thrown to the winds. As the PTI activists  indulged in arson and stoning,  the rule of law and the administration of justice went into hiding, it seemed. (Saeed Aasi in – Nawaiwaqt)

EDITORIALS

  • Pakistan is going through the worst economic crisis in its history. The month of June is approaching and the government has to prepare the budget for the next financial year. But the talks with the IMF in Doha have ended without a decision. Political stability is needed to deal with the economic crisis. Alas, the country is entering a new phase of political crisis. (Edit in Jasarat)
  • The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Water Resources was informed that Sindh was being deprived of 46% of its water from Taunsa and Guddu barrages. MNA Muhammad Yousuf Talpur who chaired the meeting, termed the “loss of water” in Punjab as dacoity and said the distribution of water should be in accordance with paragraph 2 of the 1991 agreement. National Assembly member Khalid Magsi said that despite the use of state-of-the-art hydrological measurement system Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), provinces, especially Punjab and Sindh, are raising doubts and objections according to their own interests. There is no doubt that Pakistan is facing water scarcity. The question is, when the whole world and the whole of Pakistan are suffering from water scarcity, should we confuse each other or try to find a quick, effective and lasting solution? Our survival will be in jeopardy if we still do not act consciously and start plans to increase water resources and make seawater usable. (Edit in Jang)
  • The National Assembly has approved a law to undo Imran era decisions on use of Electronic Voting Machines and voting rights to overseas Pakistanis. The Election Commission of Pakistan too was not happy with these PTI Govt planks, and cited 37 reasons against the feasibility of using EVMs. (edit in Daily K2)
  • Well, the PTI has decided to end its protest march and asked its workers to return home safely. This is a welcome decision. The PTI leadership has given 6 days to the Shehbaz Government to announce poll dates. Hence, it is necessary for the government to respond positively to the demand. (Edits – Aeen, Qudrat, Daily Pakistan)
  • The federal government is negotiating with the IMF for a big bail out and the IMF is putting up harsh conditions for new loans. While a bail out is essential to get out of the economic crisis, the government will do well to keep the interests of poor people upper most before committing anything to the IMF. (Edits in Aaj, Asas, Nai Baat, Jehan Pakistan)
  •  While it is not right to use force to halt political protests, no one can be allowed to make protests violent and harm government and private properties. Both the government and the Opposition should find a middle path to the present imbroglio. There can be nothing better than talks to sort out and settle issues. Use of force or violent protests would only aggravate matter. (Pahenji, Edit, May 26) 
  • Even if elections are held now, conditions in the country would not allow any new government to run smoothly. The need of the hour is joint efforts to put the economy back on track. This should also include getting people relief from inflation. Otherwise, PTI will end up as a party for dharnas and protests and people can start disliking it in light of the PTI government’s poor record in office. We would also like to urge on government to woo PTI for talks so that country can be kept safe from any more unpleasant incidents like ones witnessed yesterday. (Ibrat, Edit)  
  • PTI activists set trees afire in Islamabad. Police threw tear gas shells to disperse them. Now both sides need to decide as to how to make protests peaceful so that none suffers. Peaceful protests are possible only when they are kept free from any violence”. (Sindh Exp, Edit) 
  • The negative politics has damaged the country to a great extent and harassed the people who are tired of watching this game now. An election should be held to end this uncertainty as the opposition and some partners of the coalition government are in favour of elections. (Edit-Dunya Daily)
  • After a day of violent protests as a part of Long March, the PTI caders have gone back to their homes. Imran Khan has announced that he would come back with full force if the government did not declare the date of the election within six days. A peaceful protest is the right of PTI and the Supreme Court had permitted them to enter Islamabad. But after entering the city, the Long Marchers started burning private cars, and police vehicles, and looting shops and banks. Is it possible that after this violence and cancellation of protest within a few hours, people will again support Imran Khan for a Long March? People are tired of these political dramas. They want some relief from the rising inflation. (Edit-Islam Daily)
  • Cancelling the dharna was a rational decision of Imran Khan. The Supreme Court had permitted him to protest but forbidden a dharna. If Imran Khan had sat on dharna he would have been charged with contempt of court and would have been disqualified from Parliament like former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. Besides that, the government was using extreme force to crush the protest. It had arrested the volunteers and many leaders from their homes and was prepared for a violent confrontation. Continuation of protest would have created an ugly situation because the mob was ready for Jihad. Now the government has to take a decision about the election within six days. (Edit-Intekhab Daily)

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