Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

27 May 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.27

Pakistan attempts to form an OIC envoys group on Islamaphobia inside the UN, with India in mind. But

Pakistan, OIC and India; Imran and Qureshi tweets on India; Locust threats; PK-8303 crash investigation

PR Daily Brief | PR Team


Pakistan attempts to form an OIC envoys group on Islamaphobia inside the UN, with India in mind. But fails, as UAE and the Maldives thwart the idea
According to a Dawn news story, “The United Arab Emirates and the Maldives together thwarted a Pakistani attempt to set up an informal group of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) envoys at the United Nations on Islamophobia.” (Dawn, 27 May 2020)

According to Dawn, Amb Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, told the OIC envoys that “Islamophobia in India had become more pronounced during the Covid-19 pandemic.” Cautioning that the OIC should not be deceived by India, he was reported to have proposed an OIC envoys group on Islamophobia.

The Maldivian envoy was against “singling out of India” and would factually incorrect to accuse Delhi of Islamophobia. She also was reported to have said that such an attempt would be detrimental to religious harmony in South Asia. On the other hand, the UAE envoy, who was the chair, rejected Pakistan’s proposal for an informal group on Islam­ophobia.

Amb Munir Akram replaced Amb Maleeha Lodhi as the Permanent Representative in the UN in October 2019. When he took over, his promise was:  “At the United Nations, Pakistan’s central endeavour will be to uphold the security and dignity of our country and to promote legitimate struggle of people of Jammu and Kashmir for ‘Azadi’ and self-determination, while alerting the world to India’s threats against Pakistan.” (“New envoy to UN vows to advance Kashmir cause,” Dawn, 4 November 2019).

He has a hawkish position on J&K and Indo-Pak relations. Some of his columns in Dawn, on J&K, India, Modi and Bilateral relations would reflect his position:
Pakistan’s Kashmir strategyDawn, 1 September 2019
Genocide, war or peace?Dawn, 17 March 2019
Foreign policy agenda 2019Dawn, 23 December 2018

But, the attempt to have an OIC body on Kashmir is not only to do with Amb Munir Akram. This has been a part of Pakistan’s strategy to get the OIC publicly pull down India on J&K. Despite Pakistan being a part of the OIC and India not being a part of, Islamabad is unable to get its inputs across to the other OIC members, because of India’s successful foreign policy and the relationship between India and individual OIC countries.

Pakistan’s attempts to get an OIC group against India and J&K is a part of a larger strategy to internationalize J&K and bring global intervention to force India to talk to Pakistan on J&K. Unfortunately for Pakistan, India under the BJP government has resisted both – to talk to Pakistan, and to yield to the international pressure on J&K.

Pakistan will continue to raise J&K at the international forums and demonize the present government, for that would also go well with the domestic audience.

Pakistan is unlikely to stop pushing for internationalization of J&K within the OIC or outside it.


In Brief

Opposition Party demands surveillance on the spending of CRF
The Opposition party questions the usage of funds received by the government as a relief to fight the pandemic. As funds for Pakistan flow from the US and through donations to Prime Minister Corona Relief Fund (CRF) reached four billion rupees, doubts have arisen whether they are spent towards the daily-wage workers and the poor society or used for political gain. The opposition party has criticised the lack of transparency in the distribution of relief and called for a system to monitor government spending.
(Amir Wasim, “PM’s Corona Relief Fund crosses Rs4bn mark,” Dawn, 27 May 2020)

Pakistan decides to suspend the medical trial of hydroxychloroquine
The Special Assistant to Prime Minister announced that upon WHO’s report, the government has asked its Drug Regulatory Authority to pause the trials of chloroquine as a treatment to Covid-19. The trials will be allowed back only upon knowing if the medicine can be a cure.
(Ikram Junaidi, “Govt considers resuming lockdown amid SOPs violations,” Dawn,  27 May 2020)

AIIB loans Pakistan to mitigate COVID-19 recovery
The Asian Infrastructure Investments Bank (AIIB) and the Asian Development Bank has provided a budgetary support of 500 million dollars for the ‘COVID19 Crisis Recovery Facility’. The program was financed to effectively manage the coronavirus outbreak and to patch the immediate social and economic damages. AIIB said it’s financing under the “COVID19 Active Response and Expenditure Support” program to Pakistan and the loan is likely to end by December 2021. (“$500m AIIB loan to mitigate COVID19 impact,” Dawn, 27 May 2020)

Former Senator and trade Union reject the inquiry commission on air crash

The former chairman of the Senate along with the National labour council, and other trade unions urged the federal government to reconstitute the inquiry commission on the PIA plane crash as it excludes the representatives from the PALPA pilot association. While accusations were raising on the irresponsibility of the officers and the carelessness of the government in appointing staffs following the plane crash, the trade unions point out the history of inquiry commissions on air crash as sordid. They rejected the inquiry commission set up by the federal governments saying that they are the inquiry of one’s own peer, Air Force Officers and it as a challenge for justice. (“Rabbani, trade unions reject PIA plane crash inquiry the commission,” The News, 27 May 2020)

Imran Khan’s foreign policy vision: “Engage Africa”

Pakistan said it would embark a new path-breaking initiative towards Africa “Engage Africa” on the 57th anniversary of the African Union. The Foreign Ministry said that according to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s foreign policy vision Pakistan aims to strengthen political and diplomatic linkages further deeper and broaden mutually beneficial trade and economic ties and expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges in the African continent. The ministry also spoke about the history of friendly relations between Africa and Pakistan, and comments on the growth of the African free trade Union as the largest trade Union and takes pride in peace missions working on Africa’s conflict zones to establish peace. (“Pakistan committed to ‘Engage Pakistan’,” The News, 27 May 2020)

Imran tweets on India as a regional threat

Prime Minister Imran Khan accuses the ruling party in India for following an expansionist policy like the Nazi’s lebensraum which threatens regional peace in South Asia. He highlights the border issues with China and Nepal, controversy with Bangladesh in the citizenship act, and the false flag off operations with Pakistan as the reasons for tension in the region and blames the Modi led BJP government in India for the actions committed. Also, in his tweets, he claims that the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir are treated as second class citizens in India. (“India’s expansionist policies now threatening neighbours: PM Imran,” The Express Tribune, 27 May 2020)

Pakistan Foreign Minister’s three tweets on India
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister tweeted on Tuesday (28 May) that Pakistan will not stay silent on the Islamophobic behaviour of the ruling party in India. He claims that the Indian Muslims were stripped off of their nationalities, livelihood, and demography. He alarms the International communities like UN and OIC_OCI to not let to another “Gujarat” happen under Modi’s rule and calls for collective action against the anti-Muslim violence in India in his consecutive three tweets on the same day. (“Pakistan will not stand by and let another Gujrat happen: Qureshi,” The Express Tribune, 27 May 2020, )

NDMA decodes the locust attacks and takes control measures in Pakistan

The chairman of the National disaster management authority (NDMA) stated that locust attacks were not fled from another place but were native. He gave two reasons behind the locust attacks. First, it was the favourable climate conditions in Balochistan that made the locusts remain in the region. Secondly, there were not enough entomologists in the plant production departments in the provinces. So far NDMA has deployed 5000 army personnel in the anti-locust operation and plans to conduct heavy operation with the help of the military in unpopulated areas.
(Kalbe Ali, “Flooding, locust threats loom over Pakistan, says NDMA chief,” Dawn, 27 May 2020)  


"The Hindutva Supremacist Modi Govt with its arrogant expansionist policies, akin to Nazi's Lebensraum (Living Space), is becoming a threat to India's neighbours. Bangladesh through Citizenship Act, border disputes with Nepal & China, & Pak threatened with false flag operation"
Imran Khan, in a tweet

"Pakistan will not stay silent, allowing the fascist Modi government to round up Muslims to be beaten & killed. To have their nationalities stripped, their livelihoods robbed, their demography changed and their future insecure"
- Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a tweet


In Focus and In Brief sections are prepared by Lakshmi V Menon, Abigail Miriam Fernandez, A Padmashree and P Harini Sha.

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