Daily Briefs

Photo : Dawn

28 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.61

Pakistan This Week

The PTM accepted the dialogue offer from the government, the report on PK 8303 was released, Imran Khan made a statement in the Parliament on Osama bin Laden as a martyr and the Supreme Court heavily criticised the State on COVID response

PR Daily Brief | D. Suba Chandran

The US State Department Annual Report on Terrorism: Pakistan continues to serve "as a safe haven for certain regionally focused terrorist groups”

The annual report of the US Department of State on Terrorism presents a mixed case on what Pakistan has achieved in fighting terrorism.
First, the report was critical on Pakistan’s efforts to curb the activities of terrorist groups fighting in Pakistan’s neighbourhood. The report makes two specific points on Pakistan’s efforts relating to the same. First, Pakistan “allowed groups targeting Afghanistan, including the Afghan Taliban and affiliated HQN, as well as groups targeting India, including LeT and its affiliated front organizations, and JeM, to operate from its territory.” Second, Pakistan “took modest steps in 2019 to counter terror financing and to restrain some India-focused militant groups following the February attack on a security convoy in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir claimed by Pakistan-based JeM.”
The report’s conclusion is:  “Islamabad has yet to take decisive actions against Indian- and Afghanistan-focused militants who would undermine their operational capability.”
Second, the report, however, is appreciative of Pakistan's role in helping the US regarding the Afghan Taliban. The report says: “The Pakistani government also played a constructive role in U.S.-Taliban talks in 2019.”
Finally, the report on Pakistan’s response to fulfilling the FATF requirements. According to the report, “Pakistan made some progress toward meeting the action plan requirements for the FATF, allowing it to avoid being blacklisted, but did not complete all action plan items.  In early 2019, Pakistan issued, inter alia, a statutory regulatory ordinance directing the immediate implementation of sanctions against individuals and entities designated under UNSCR 1267.  In October 2019, APG published a Mutual Evaluation Report that reviewed Pakistan's compliance with FATF standards and the effectiveness of Pakistan's AML/CFT system.”

The rift within the PTI
Following the interview of the federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, the debate over the infighting within the PTI was raging within the party and outside it. The interview to the Voice of America, now available at the Youtube, have kickstarted the latest round of debate over the fault lines within the PTI. While Fawad Chaudhry is being blamed for his interview, there is no denying the fact about the PTI infighting.
The earlier debate, during the recent week, was over the exit of Jahangir Tareen. According to Fawad Chaudhry, the difference within the PTI amongst Tareen, Asad Umar and Qureshi were strong, leading to multiple groups.
According to reports from Pakistani media, Asad Umar, the former Finance Minister was removed from his position because of Tareen. And now, Umar has got Tareen out.
The differences within the PTI has a long history and would amplify its growth, from a single leader (Imran Khan) who could not win a single election in his early career, to where he and his party is today. The PTI was not built in a single day, and not by Imran Khan alone. There was help from outside, especially the Deep State. While there was a core within the PTI leadership, that stayed with Imran from the beginning, the rest of them came to him at the last stage before the 2018 elections. Some of them have been asked to go by the Deep State, and some found it an option when they realized the newfound background support to the PTI. So a group of leaders, who joined the PTI on the even of 2018 elections did so, not because they believed the party or in Imran Khan, but they saw what was written on the electoral wall.
Then came the debate about the “electable” in which Imran gave tickets knowing their background. But the primary criteria was whether he or she would get Imran a seat. As an ambitious leader, who wanted to form the government following the 2018 elections, he allocated seats who will win than who were loyal to the party and him.
There was bound to be a difference between those who were staying with Imran from the beginning, and those who joined during 2016-18.
Then came the third wave, post-elections and post-government formation. The introduction of the Specialists – either on Imran's own conviction, or suggested by the Deep State, has been a major cause of friction between the elected leaders and the selected ones. Those in the first two categories are united in opposition to the third.
The fourth – the bureaucrats. One of the primary problems for the PTI in Punjab is over the power enjoyed by the bureaucrats than the elected leaders of the PTI or the party members. The latter want to have more powers, and want to be seen as the power centres, and distribute the developmental funds through them.
Finally, the coalition members, another reason for the PTI's heartburn in Punjab. The PML-Q led by the Chaudhrys demand a huge pound of PTI flesh for their support to the federal government and more importantly, the PTI government in Punjab province. 
So, will the party split? No. From Jahangir Tareen to Asad Umar – they would know they do not have a future outside the PTI and Imran Khan. Leaders like Shah Mehmood Qureshi (Foreign Minister) and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad (Railway Minister) have served under different Prime Ministers and affiliated with different parties; on their own, they may not rise any further than what they are.

Also in the News, during the week...

Imran Khan calls Osama bin Laden a martyr in Parliament. While addressing the Parliament, Imran Khan on 26 June made a controversial statement that was criticized by the Opposition on Osama bin Laden. He was quoted to have stated that the US came to Abbottabad and martyred Osama bin Laden heaping humiliation on Pakistan.
Imran promises to raise the Kashmir issue at the global level on 5 August. In a meeting held in Muzafarabad, the Prime Minister of Pakistan stated: “There will be a movement across the globe on 5 August and afterwards to remind the world community of what's happening in Indian occupied Kashmir…We will make full preparations before 5 August with the involvement of Pakistanis and Kashmiris living anywhere across the globe.”
Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmad criticizes the State for failing to provide basic facilities to its citizens. In suo motu case on the measures taken by the federal and provincial governments to address the COVID-19, the Chief Justice, heading a five-judge Supreme Court bench asked, “why sho­uld people listen to the government in the absence of basic amenities like water, health, education, employment and now 18-hour-long loadshedding when factories are closed.”
Pakistan wants to extradite Altaf Hussain from the United Kingdom. The previous week, one of the Anti-Terrorism Courts in Pakistan has convicted three from the MQM with a life sentence for murdering Imran Farooq, another MQM leader. The latter was killed in London in 2010. The ATC could make the decision based on the testimony from the British police in the court in Pakistan.
On Monday, Imran Khan repeated his position on the lockdown, making it clear that it was not his idea. He was quoted to have stated: “I’d have never endorsed lockdown had provinces asked.”

Pakistan is ready to reopen Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, says Shah Mahmood Qureshi. In a tweet, he wrote: "As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, conveying to the Indian side our readiness to reopen the corridor on 29 June 2020, the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh."
Following the report on the crash of Pakistan Airlines PK 8303, the government decides to take action on pilots with dubious licences. According to a report in Dawn, due to fake degrees, 648 Pakistan International Airlines employees had been dismissed from service since 2006, that included 119 cabin crew, 16 cockpit crew, 98 were employees of the engineering department and 415 of general administration.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the number of COVID-19 cases has been declining every day during the last few days, despite 4,000 to 5,000 cases being reported daily.


" As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, conveying to the Indian side our readiness to reopen the corridor on 29 June 2020, the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh"

- Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan (In a tweet) 

Other Daily Briefs

08 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.71

Return of Lal Masjid Maulana

07 July 2020, Tuesday , Vol 1, No.70

Female Literacy in the Pashtun tribal regions

06 July 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.69

The problem with Pakistan Railways

02 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.65

The Curious case of "Minus One" Formula in Pakistan

30 June 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.63

BLA claims the attack on Stock Exchange in Karachi

28 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.61

Pakistan This Week

27 June 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.60

PTM accepts the dialogue offer, but wants CBMs

24 June 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.57

Reviewing Pakistan's Space Programme

23 June 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.56

Imran Khan says he was against the idea of lockdown

21 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.54

Pakistan This Week

20 June 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.53

Budgets presented in KP, and in Gilgit-Baltistan

19 June 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.52

PTI tries to get the BNP back into coalition,

18 June 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.51

Baloch partner of the PTI government leaves the coalition

15 June 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.48

The PTI government invites the PTM for a dialogue

14 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.47

Pakistan This Week

13 June 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.46, Special Brief

Pakistan Budget 2020-21: The First Cut

12 June 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.44, Special Brief

Pakistan’s Economic Survey 2019-20

07 June 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.38

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05 June 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.36

Highest COVID Spike

04 June 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.35

Imran receives a briefing at the ISI HQ

03 June 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.34

Covid cases spike and Lahore becomes the epicentre

01 June 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.32

Drivers of Karachi Violence

30 May 2020, Saturday, No 1, No.30

Gwadar port ready for the Afghan goods

29 May 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.29

Pakistan remembers 28 May Nuclear Tests

24 May 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.24

Pakistan This Week

22 May 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.22

The missing girls of Pakistan

21 May 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.21

Locusts threaten Pakistan's food security

17 May 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No 17

Pakistan This Week

15 May 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.15

Disregard for SOPs peaks Covid-19 cases

14 May 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No 14

Violence in Afghanistan and the Media in Pakistan

12 May 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No 12

Smart Lockdown, SOPs vs Social Realities

9 May 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No 9

Record COVID-19 spike in a single day;

6 April 2020, Monday

Punjab: Surge in Covid-19 cases

2 April 2020, Thursday

Centre extends lockdown to 14th April

25 March 2020, Sunday 

Multiparty conference blames Imran Khan

24 March 2020, Tuesday 

Curfew last option: Imran Khan

21 March 2020, Saturday

Pakistan fights CoronaVirus

5 March 2020, Thursday

26.5 per cent drop in trade deficit

27 January 2020, Monday 

PTI's Punjab problem

27 January 2020, Monday 

For the PTI, all is not well inside Punjab

25 January 2020, Saturday

Pakistan successfully tests Ghaznavi 

16 January 2020, Thursday

PTI's coalition conundrum enlarges

25 November 2019, Wednesday

Terrorism declines in Balochistan during 2019

07 November 2019, Thursday

Azadi march and sit-in

04 November 2019, Monday

Pakistan rejects India's new J&K map

29 October 2019, Tuesday 

Karachi signs a MoU with Qingdao