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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

03 May 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No 3

Arif Wazir, a PTM leader succumbs to the injuries. His ghost will return to haunt Pakistan



Daniel Pearl’s parents challenge the Sindh High Court’s verdict in the Supreme Court; Centre and Sindh continue to differ over COVID-19

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

Editorial
Arif Wazir, a PTM leader succumbs to the injuries. His ghost will return to haunt Pakistan
Arif Wazir, one of the leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) who was attacked by unidentified people succumbed to injuries in Islamabad. He was attacked a few days earlier in front of his home in Wana in South Waziristan.

The PTM has been waging a tough battle for the rights of Pashtuns, especially the youths in the tribal belt of the KP. Unfortunately, instead of promoting them as a new and alternative voice from the tribal areas, the Deep State tried to oppress them. The media was under intense pressure from not to cover the PTM meetings and their discourse.

The militants were also against the PTM, as they were seen offering an alternative approach and also leadership. The latter – an alternative leadership, the Deep State is also apprehensive. The PTM was also very vocal in its opposition against the military operations in the tribal regions and had been demanding accountability.

So, who killed Arif Wazir?

Earlier, in 2007, Arif Wazir’s family members – including his father and uncle were killed by the militants near Wana. The Amnesty International has asked for an independent and effective investigation into Arif Wazir’s killing. It would not happen. The government would rather try to bury what had happened, as it would not want the PTM to have another martyr in the form of Arif Wazir. As Naqeebullah Mehsud’s killing in a fake encounter did in 2018.


In Focus
Daniel Pearl’s parents challenge the Sindh High Court’s verdict in the Supreme Court
Ruth and Judea Pearl, the parents of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal correspondent in Pakistan who was murdered, have filed a case in the Supreme Court, challenging the verdict of the Sindh High Court. Last month, in a landmark judgement, the Sindh High Court, overturned the acquittal of the prime accused – Omar Saeed Sheikh. Omar Sheik, a British citizen, born to Pakistani parents was earlier arrested in India for kidnapping British and American tourists in J&K in the 1990s; he was released by India as a part of the ransom against an Indian flight hijacked to Kandahar from Kathmandu.

The Sindh High Court, unfortunately, turned down the verdict against Sheikh, citing insufficient evidence.

Senior counsel Siddiqui, who has filed the case on behalf of the Pearls, said in a statement: It is a defining case for the Pakistani State and its judicial system, involving freedom of the press, the sanctity of every life, freedom from terror and the manifestation of a welcoming and safe Pakistan to the world. Rarely has any court case embodied and risked such fundamental values.”


In Brief
Centre and Sindh continue to differ over COVID-19
The public differences between the provincial and federal ministers continue on how Pakistan should fight the COVID-19. Sindh’s ministers (Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Saeed Ghani ) publicly oppose Islamabad’s policy on using the biometric. They said: “The world is discouraging the use of biometric for the time being and many countries have put a ban on the technology being used there for different services. But our leaders at the Centre are unable to understand the basic points.”

Dawn quoted Mr Ghani blaming the PTI: “It’s a proven fact that the federal government and its ministers are deliberately sabotaging the spirit of service of the Sindh government. This cannot be tolerated for long.”

On the other hand, Senator Shibli Faraz, the newly appointed Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting warned Bilawal Bhutto for undermining the atmosphere of national unity and said that the Sindh government is blaming “their own failures on the federation”.

COVID
Pakistan faces a record number of deaths on Saturday
On Saturday, Pakistan recorded 32 deaths, and 1200 plus confirmed cases on a single day. Nearly half of the deaths on Saturday came from KP, and over a quarter from Punjab. While half of the newly recorded cases on Saturday came from Sindh.  

The total number of cases as on 3 May in Pakistan has crossed 19,000. (Dawn)

90 per cent of the stranded Pakistanis are in the Gulf
According to a data, 90 per cent of the Pakistanis who are stranded abroad are in the Gulf countries – mainly UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Close to 100,000 Pakistanis are stranded abroad, out of which there are close to 70,000 in UAE and 15,000 in Saudi Arabia.

INTERNAL
“Never before has Pakistan’s media been in such deep peril,” says Dawn
In its editorial, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, in a hard-hitting note, Dawn, one of the leading dailies of Pakistan, observed: “The threat has evolved from actual physical harm, particularly common during the war against terrorism in the country, towards a more insidious form of persecution where plausible deniability enables the perpetrators to oppress the media without any consequences for themselves.” (Dawn)

Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights responds to the HRCP and says the annual report for 2019 has overlooked many milestones
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) released its annual report looking at the State of human rights in the country during 2019. The ministry in its response to the report said, though the HRCP is right in terms of citing the high number of violence against women and children, the report “does not account for the important institutional and legislative measures taken in the last year to safeguard and promote their rights.” In a hard-hitting report, that was released on 30 April, the HRCP noted, “that widespread social and economic marginalisation have left the weakest segments of society invisible and unheard.” (Dawn)

ECONOMY
Pakistan’s exports to Europe declines
According to a State Bank of Pakistan data, Pakistan’s exports to Northern Europe comprising of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and UK have fallen by 3.21 per cent in March this year, when compared to the same period last year. The UK was Pakistan’s top export destination until March this year. While its exports to southern Europe remained the same, there is an increase in Pakistan’s exports to western Europe comprising of Belgium, Netherlands and Europe have increased. Outside the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy are the next top destinations for Pakistan in Europe. (Dawn)

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