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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

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

BLA claims the attack on Stock Exchange in Karachi



BLA attack on the Stock exchange in Karachi and Pakistan's response blaming India.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
PSX ATTACK
“The symbolism of the target cannot be missed”: Editorial
An editorial in the Dawn titled “PSX attack,” comments on the return of urban terrorism with the attack on the Pakistan Stock Exchange by Baloch separatist militants. While looking into the attack the editorial points out the symbolism of the target, stating that the PSX represents the beating heart of economic activity in the country’s commercial capital, and is located in an area where the State Bank of Pakistan, the Central Police Office, and other major public and private institutions are based. Thus, the message sent across by the hostile actors is that the country’s economic nerve centre is vulnerable. Further, the editorial states that given the increasing number of bombings and other acts of terrorism that has been increasing in the city is clear these attacks have been aimed at destabilising the metropolis. The editorial concluded by stating that the security forces must remain alert and step up intelligence-gathering activities to prevent the plans of subversive elements, further, adding that if separatists and political militants have joined forces, then the state must adjust its counterterrorism policy accordingly. (“PSX attack,” Dawn, 30 June 2020)

Foreign Minister blames India for the terror attack on the stock exchange building
The Foreign Minister has blamed the incident on India for obstructing peace in the region and said that the clues lead to activating of sleeper cells by India in Pakistan. He appreciated the response of police in killing the involved terrorists and also stated that as Pakistan maintains peace, India is getting exposed for its human rights violations. According to him “As we are opening the Kartarpur Corridor, India is making attempts to disrupt law and order situation in Pakistan” (Shafqat Ali, “All clues lead to India: FM,” The Nation, 30 June 2020)

Pak Rangers Chief blames RAW for the attack on PSX
On 29 June, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) came under attack. In the abortive assault, four militants were killed and one police officer and three guards were martyred. In the attack for which the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility through social media, three attackers from Kech were identified. However, the Director-General of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, Major General Omer Ahmed Bukhari blamed Indian spy agency RAW and sleeper cells for the attack. The chief of the paramilitary forces said the attack reflected RAW’s “frustration” over concord in Pakistan’s financial hub and stated such an attack would have been impossible without foreign assistance. (“Heroism at PSX as deadly attack thwarted,” Dawn, 30 June 2020)

INTERNAL
SC does not entertain Sindh’s request
On 29 June, the three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam refused to accommodate Sindh provincial government’s plea to suspend Sindh High Court’s (SHC) April 2 verdict that upended Ahmed Omer Saeed Sheikh conviction for the alleged kidnapping and killing of the WSJ journalist Daniel Pearl. The bench noted that the absence of any fixed stay application. Subsequently, the bench postponed further proceedings till 21 July. (“SC refuses to entertain Sindh govt request in Pearl case,” Dawn, 30 June 2020)

PM Khan hears PTI lawmakers’ grievances
Pakistan’s PM and chief of PTI Imran Khan attempted to appease “disgruntled” National Assembly members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) by promising redressal. Mr Khan met with around 20 PTI MNAs before passing the 2020-21 federal budget. Noteworthily, 13 MNAs from Sindh’s capital Karachi expressed reservations and grievances. Common grievances/complaints were lack of opportunities to meet with the PM, lack of opinion in governmental affairs, and unavailability of basic amenities and facilities in their corresponding areas. Meanwhile, a DawnOpinion article by Arifa Noor makes doomsday predictions of the ruling PTI coalition government at the Center. Noor mentions that this time the apocalyptic rumours and prophecies were made by “the party’s own men (and not the women)”. In the article, she argues that even if the PM decides to change PTI’s party culture, internal rivalries and bickering shall persist; thus crumbling PTI from within. (“Imran hears out disgruntled PTI lawmakers,” Dawn, 30 June 2020) (“Story of an end foretold,” Dawn, 30 June 2020)

COVID-19
COVID-19 death graph on a decline in Punjab
There has been a steady decline in the COVID-19 deaths in the last five days with the fatalities dropping to eight in the last 24 hours in Punjab. The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) issued a report on 29 June in which recorded that the highest number of 86 deaths in a single day was recorded on 25 June, and since then the number has consistently decreased with 27 fatalities each on 26 and 27 June, and 17 deaths on 28 and 29 June. However, the number of new cases continues to fluctuate, with 74,778 confirmed cases and an addition of 576 new infections in the province as of 29 June. (Amer Malik, “Punjab: COVID-19 death graph on the decline in last 5 days,” The News International, 30 June 2020)

EXTERNAL
Vietnam orders suspension of all Pakistani pilots
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has ordered the suspension of all Pakistani pilots working in the country after concerns over the usage of ‘dubious' licences were raised. Further, the head of the CVVA stated that the suspension of these pilots will be in effect until further notice, adding that the authority is coordinating with Pakistani authorities to review the pilots’ profiles. Vietnam had licensed 27 Pakistani pilots, of which 12 of them were still active, while the other 15 pilots’ contracts expired or were inactive due to the pandemic. (Agencies, “Dubious licences: Vietnam grounds Pakistani pilots,” The News International, 30 June 2020)

ON INDIA
The need for India to rethink its position in Indo-Pacific strategy
The proposal of the Indo-Pacific strategy of the US seems to promise a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) with sovereignty, independence, peaceful resolution of the disputes, fair trade and due following of the international norms. Being prepared for the future conflict through joint force, alliance and partnerships will help to win the conflict but it is significant for India to see their position and take away from the conflict situation. Two opposing reasons make it ambiguous for India to join the strategy, firstly it is the definition of the Indo-Pacific region. For the US, it is from their west coast till the Indian west coast but for India, it sees the Indian ocean region that includes the east coast of Africa to Australia. Secondly, the interests in the greater Middle East along with the strategic environment India faces at the north and west with China and Pakistan. It will be a serious challenge for the Indian military at Siachen and Ladakh. Therefore, for a country like India to preserve its economy, maintain cooperation and to stand its hegemony in the region it is recommendable that to function parallel than to be part of the joint force as this seems more like a move to counter the rise of China by the US. As far as the US, it has gone too far to overtake China in terms of economy and military and faces a huge shortage of resources. It must relook into the Indo-Pacific strategy more intensely to achieve what it desires. (Imran Malik, “US Indo-Pacific strategy and India,” The Nation, 30 June 2020)

Grant of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiri residents
The non-resident population in Kashmir have been granted domicile certificates by the Indian government. This will allow the people to get citizenship rights, residency and government jobs but it has created fear among the people as in the divide between the Muslims and Hindu, the Muslim population is greater in percentage and this act seems to reverse it. So far 96.4 per cent of the Muslim population has been issued certificates. (“Kashmir becoming another Palestine’ as residents fear demographic shift,” The Nation, 30 June 2020)

 


"What happened in Mumbai, they wanted to do the same [in Karachi]; they wanted to spread uncertainty. We have no doubt this was done by India. My cabinet and its ministers know that all our agencies were on high alert. Our agencies preempted at least four major attempts of terrorism and two of them were around Islamabad...We were fully prepared ... this was a huge win for us."

- Imran Khan (Dawn)

 

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

 
Also read...
PTI-PTM Dialogue
An olive branch to the PTM: Will the PTI heed to the Pashtun rights movement?
By Abigail Miriam Fernandez
Click here to read
Pakistan This Week
The Split within the PTI and the US State Department’s Annual Report on Terrorism
By D. Suba Chandran
Click here to read

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