Daily Briefs

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

Return of Lal Masjid Maulana

The new controversy relating to Lal Masjid Maulana, High Court verdict on the construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad, an analysis suggesting that Tipu's tiger should go to Pakistan, Pakistan-Afghanistan-China trilateral meeting

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief

The Islamabad standoff with the Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Aziz
On 7 July, the standoff between the former cleric Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz and Islamabad capital city administration continued. As authorities considered various ways to deal with the situation, the Ministry of Interior convened a high-level meeting after Maulana Aziz and his wife Umme Hasaan occupied Jamia Fareedia’s administration office on 6 July night. Aziz had led the morning prayers after removing the seminary’s principal, Maulana Abdul Ghaffar. Participants, ICT administration representatives, officials of MoI and IG Islamabad say the meeting has decided to engage in dialogue with Maulana Aziz before considering other options including vacating the seminary forcefully. (“Standoff between Maulana Aziz, Islamabad admin continues,” The Nation, 8 July 2020)
IHC disposed petition against Hindu temple
On 07 July, Islamabad High Court disposed of the three petition filed against the construction of the Hindu temple. The court noted, “the objection has no basis as the designated plot is not provided in the master plan”. Justice Aamer Farooq dismissed objection over the allotment of the temple’s plot. The construction requires approval from the Capital Development Authority. (“IHC disposes of pleas against Hindu temple construction”, Dawn, 08 July 2020)
Being the Muslim successor state after colonial India Tipu's tiger should come to Pakistan, argues an analysis
Rafia Zakaria writes about Robertson’s initiative that urges US and British museums to return pilfered objects from around the globe; and the alleged ‘secret’ tour. The British and Americans, despite being aware, have felt the need to provide a counter-narrative to the allegations. The article speaks in large of Tipu sultan’s ‘tiger’, a unique wooden creation that was a symbol of his strong resistance to the British. The item was looted amongst other articles and riches soon after the death of Tipu in the battlefield of Seringapatam in 1799. Rafia argues that “the iconic tiger should come to Pakistan, which, being the Muslim successor state after colonial India, should have a right to it.” She further raises a worry that the Tiger would disappear from the public eye as it would be appropriated by PML-N, as its symbol has been. (“The fate of Tipu’s TigerDawn, 8 July 2020)
UN Aid control says, rise in death rate in Pakistan 
The UN AID control programme has published an update which states, ‘the HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific have declined slightly with reduction in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. But cases have risen in Pakistan and the Philippines’. The report also talks about the AIDS-related mortality rate, Needle-syringe programme and Opioid substitution therapy. In Pakistan, the rise in the AIDS death rate due to failed treatment or late diagnosis. (“AIDS-related deaths on the rise in Pakistan”, Dawn, 08 July 2020) 
Air Marshall Arshad Malik to continue as PIA's Chief Executive Officer  
On 07 July, Federal cabinet approved the appointment of Air Marshall Arshad Malik, to continue as Pakistan International Airline Chief executive officer on secondment basis from 12 July. (“Arshad Malik to continue as PIA chief after retirement from PAF on 12”Dawn, 08 uly 2020)
Politics and Crime in Pakistan: Analysis by Zahid Hussain
The editorial states that the three Joint Investigation Team reports are ‘more political gamesmanship than to address the crime and justice-involved’. He brings in notice the role of Zulfikar Mirza, ex-provincial home Minister, states the criminalisation of Politics in the country and how these reports are used against the rivals in political power game. On 07 July, Sindh government had questioned the ‘authenticity’ of dubbed original JIT report by PTI. (“Politics of JITs”, Dawn, 08 July 2020) (“Centre, Sindh trade charges over JIT report”, Dawn, 08 July 2020)
Dark-side of the city: Karachi
The Baldia factory and Uzair Baloch JIT report, confirmed suspicions pertain, to 11 September 2012 tragedy and Uzaih Balch, who is known as ‘kingpin of Lyari gang warfare’. Also, the report  gave an idea of the situation in Karachi when MQM was in full force, intimidating law enforcement officials and media. The editorial states, ‘the state is indifferent to its duty to protect the people if that goes counter to its own interest’. It also raises concerns over the ‘long-term effect of sinister games’ by the state. (“Crime in Karachi”, Dawn, 08 July 2020)
Elections in Gilgit Baltistan: An analysis says it will be challenging
The upcoming election could be challenging, first with the COVID-19, second, the youth that has been critical about the federal government. The five-year termed of the PML-N chief Minister ended on 24 June. The administration in Gilgit Baltistan is divided into GB Legislative Assembly and GB Council, as per Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-governance order of 2009. The five-year tenure of Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman of PML-N ended with criticism and blames for taking a coercive measure against human rights and political activists. (“Elections in Gilgit Baltistan”, Dawn, 08 July 2020) 
Cabinet satisfied with PTI’s pandemic handling, says Minister
During a media briefing on 7 July, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, said Pakistan was amongst the least Covid-19 affected countries; the cabinet had expressed satisfaction in PTI’s handling of the pandemic; and lauded the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) efforts and role as a model institution. (“Pakistan sees decline in virus cases,” The Nation, 8 July 2020)
Meeting between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan
On 7 July, the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue’s third round was convened virtually. As the Afghan peace process entered a critical phase, Beijing and Islamabad while calling for a humanitarian ceasefire and violence reduction, appreciated the Ghani government’s and related stakeholders’ efforts in expediting prisoners’ exchange in order to commence intra-Afghan negotiations.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office has said that “the 'Afghan-led, Afghan-owned' peace reconciliation process, the launch of intra-Afghan negotiations at an early date, the preservation of the gains since 2001” would have China and Pakistan’s support to ensure “early restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan”. The three nations decided to improve security cooperation and counter terrorism to combat terror networks and forces including the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement”. Also, Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to enhance bilateral relations. (“Pakistan, China hail Afghan govt efforts for peace process,” The News International, 8 July 2020) 
Afridi to Voice against India in Kashmir 
In an oath-taking ceremony, Shehryar Khan Afridi the chairman of the Special Parliamentary committee on Kashmir stated, ‘India will fail to bring the demographic changes in the Jammu and Kashmir’. Bringing the death of George Floyd in the picture, he asked people across, ‘to raise voice against the Indian atrocities against the people of Kashmir’. He also said, as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strategy for removing media focus from India’s defeat in Ladakh’, the Indian forces have been killing/attacking population along Line of Control.. (“Bid to change held Kashmir demography will fail: Afridi”,Dawn, 08 July 2020) 
IAF is using Srinagar’s airbase to plan retaliatory attacks on China
The article says that J&K capital Srinagar’s air base has become “nerve centre” for hostile activities and a massive logistical exercise by the Indian Air Force (IAF) with Chinese border in eastern Ladakh, in an attempt to respond to the killing of 20 soldiers by China. It is ideal and well-suited for quick induction of army and paramilitary forces. The article says that although the mutual disengagement process is ongoing, “there is no visible sign of end to the standoff”. Both sides are on high alert. (“For massive actions against China: Srinagar’s air base being used by IAF as nerve centre,” The News International, 8 July 2020)
India is the peace destroyer: Opinion Article
The article talks about India-Nepal relations, India’s building of a road-link in “Kalapani in Nepali territory”; and India’s disputes with its neighbours while hailing China-Nepal bilateral relations and Chinese premiere Xi Jingping’s visit to Nepal. The article also criticizes India’s Army Chief General M.M. Naravane for shifting the blame onto China. The author Waqar Ahmed also criticizes New Delhi’s mindset of China and Pakistan being peace disruptors to India, “who is blameless”. Ahmed says New Delhi must step up its diplomatic game to avoid spiraling of these issues. He also says that India is warning Nepal that in China’s orbit, Nepal would lose its autonomy. (“Why can’t India live peacefully with neighbours?,” The News International, 8 July 2020)
Ladakh India’s new problem
The article calls India’s presence in Kashmir “naked foreign occupation”; calls “the Indian assertion that the revocation of Article 370 was its internal affair” a lie; calls Indian claims of “cyber terrorism, national security and propagation of fake news throughout the valley” fake; says the medical reports of the 20 Jawans who were killed by China were an attempt to save themselves from embarrassment; and says India’s democracy has become a joke. The article concluded on a note that while the Kashmir issue persists, the Ladakh crisis has gotten India vexed. (“The Kashmir-Ladakh issue unsettles India,” The News International, 8 July 2020)


"The three sides (Pakistan, Afghanistan and China) urged for an orderly, responsible and condition-based withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan to avoid potential terrorist resurgence."

-  Joint Communique, Third round of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Vice Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue (Dawn)

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