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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

09 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.72

Kulbushan Jadav refuses to file a review petition, says Pakistan



Kulbushan Jadav refuses to file a review petition, says Pakistan, The effort to build a temple in Islamabad comes to a halt

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus

Khulbhushan Jadav refuses to file a review petition in IHC, says, Pakistani officials
On 8 July, during a press conference in Islamabad, Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry and Additional Attorney General Ahmed Irfan said that Kulbhushan Jadhav has refused to appeal to the Islamabad High Court to upend his military court conviction and death sentence, despite the offer to do so; and instead has chosen to apply for a mercy petition. (“Indian spy Jadhav refused to file review petition in IHC despite Pakistan's offer, officials say,” Dawn, 8 July 2020) Pakistan FO says the mercy petition is not connected with the review or reconsideration plea and is a separate process.

The Indian government calling Pakistan’s claim a “farce”, said the Pakistani military has coerced Jadhav against filing the review petition and is creating a “mirage of compliance with the ICJ judgment”. (“India sees Pakistan farce in Kulbhushan Jadhav 'not filing plea',” Deccan Chronicle, 9 July 2020) (“Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav given fresh opportunity by Pakistan to file review petition,” The News International, 9 July 2020)

What the officials said
Pakistan’s officials said that proof of Indian state terrorism was provided to the global community by Pakistan multiple times; reminded that Pakistan had complied with the 2019 International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict in the Jadhav case; and recalled that the state had allowed the accused’s wife and mother to meet him. (“Kulbhushan Jadhav's wife, mother meet Indian spy in Islamabad,” Dawn, 17 July 2019) 

Reminding that Pakistan had twice granted consular access to Jadhav, the AAG and DG said the government has again offered to do the same and arrange Jadhav’s meeting with his wife and father. They said Pakistani government hopes to see a positive response from India. Dawn claims that the Pakistani government has further invited India to appeal for a review and reconsideration petition to the IHC against Jadhav’s conviction. (“India told to move IHC in Jadhav case,” Dawn, 9 July 2020) (“Kulbhushan offered to file review petition against sentence,” The News International,9 July 2020) 

Legal Context
Previously, on 20 May, Pakistan’s government promulgated an ordinance allowing Jadhav, his barrister and the Indian government to file a review petition within 60 days (before 20 July) in the IHC. Subsequently, India requested the appointment of an Indian lawyer to represent Jadhav. However, citing that only a lawyer who holds license of the respective court (in this case IHC) would be allowed to represent the accused, Pakistan rejected India’s request. An Indian lawyer could, however, assist Jadhav’s counsel. (“Kulbushan allowed to challenge conviction: FO,” The Nation, 9 July 2020) 


Halting the construction of the Hindu Temple in Islamabad
The deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood Khan said, ‘the plot was allotted in January 2017 measuring 3.89 kanals and was later given to Hindu Punchayat in 2018 for the construction of the first Hindu temple in the H-9/2 sector, Islamabad. The construction was supposed to be funded with, ‘the allocated fund for maintenance and rehabilitation of religious sites for minorities”. Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved a grant of Rs 100 million for the construction (“PM approves grant for construction of Hindu temple in Islamabad”Dawn, 27 June 2020)   

Petitions filed against allotment and construction
However, there has been petitions against the construction and allotment. The petitioners questioned the allotment of the plot in regard to the city’s master plan. Also, the petitioners stated, the construction in the capital as a violation of Article 2-A of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 and projected it as wasting public money.

The Court verdict
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Aamer Farooq discarded the three identical petitions filed against the construction. The court referred “the objection has no basis inasmuch as designated plots are not provided in the Master Plan rather a broad outline of areas for various purposes is given”. Court also considered the fact that the place allotted requires approval from the Capital Development Authority (CDA). (“IHC disposes of pleas against Hindu temple construction”, Dawn, 08 July 2020)

Shireen Mazari Minister for Human Rights said, “that it was "unacceptable" to deprive minorities of their places of worship and the rights granted to them under the Constitution”, condemning the violence and atrocities faced by Muslims. (“Real issue funding, not construction of Hindu temple: Noorul Haq Qadari”, Dawn, 09 July 2020)

The State goes to the CII
Minister for Religious Affair, Noor-ul-Haq Qadari said they will approach the Council of Islamic Ideology for comment and guidance stating the concerns ‘for using public money or not’ for the construction of the temple. He also said, “there was "no the question" about its construction. There is no need to debate on the rights of minorities as they are protected by the PTI government. The party's manifesto calls for removing all obstructions in the implementation of constitutional provisions regarding the rights of minorities." (“IHC reserves verdict on petitions against the construction of temple”, Dawn, 07 July 2020)

Deputy Attorney general said, that under the Pakistan constitution Article 20, everyone is allowed ‘the freedom to profess their religion’. He also said, “no funding had yet been disbursed by the federal government for the purpose of temple’s construction”. Tehreek-i-NIfaz Jafaria (TNFJ) chief Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi and patron-in-chief of the Supreme Shia Ulema Board said “Islam was spread through tolerance and wisdom, and not extremism. The Hindu temple in Islamabad should not be made controversial,”.

Whereas the Capital Development Authority said the construction had been hindered as the layout plan was not approved. They argued that “the land was allotted for the establishment of a temple community center and cremation to the Islamabad Hindu Panchayat on Dec 26, 2017” (“Religious intolerance”, Dawn, 06 July 2020)


In Brief
INTERNAL
Mirza Iftikharuddin pleads with SC for pardon in Justice Isa case
On 8 July, Rawalpindi-based cleric Mirza Iftikharuddin submitted a letter in which he requested the Supreme Court (SC) pleading to accept his apology and acquit him from the charges of contempt over his derogatory and scandalous speech against the judiciary. Further, the cleric assured the court that such an act would not be repeated in the future. The accused was charged for his derogatory and scandalous speech against the judiciary, which went viral on social media. (“Cleric pleads with SC for pardon in Isa case,” Dawn, 9 July 2020)

PPP to launch a movement for the creation of Seraiki province
While addressing a press conference PPP Deputy Parliamentary leader in Punjab Assembly Syed Ali Haider Gilani announced that they would be launching an agitation for the creation of Seraiki province once the issue of the pandemic settles down. Further, the minister stated that Seraiki nationalists would be invited to join the movement for the protection of their national rights and identity, along with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who would also participate in the movement. Further, he added that the PPP is ready to fight for the people of South Punjab. (“PPP to launch movement for Seraiki province,” The News International, 9 July 2020)

Payment of Rs 770 million made to Bugti’s grandsons amid NAB probe
Payment of over Rs770 million was made to late Nawab Akbar Bugti’s three grandsons in connection with its rent of the Uch gas field in Balochistan for which an inquiry is still pending regarding the disposal with the Quetta chapter of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) into the acquisition of land. Further, an issue noticed by the NAB to the Oil & Gas Development Corporation Limited (OGDCL) managing director, stated that the anti-corruption watchdog has received a complaint regarding corruption and corrupt practices in the acquisition of land by the OGDCL for Uch gas field and asked the OGDCL chief to provide the total area of land requested for acquisition by OGDCL and other details. (Tariq Butt, “Hefty rent paid to Bugti’s grandsons amid pending NAB probe,” The News International, 9 July 2020)

Formation of the Sugar Reforms Committee indicated the government’s intention to eliminate informality in the sugar market: Editorial 
An editorial in the Dawn titled “Sugar industry reform” states that the decision of the federal government to form the Sugar Reform Committee shows that the government is keen of eliminating the informality that exits in the sugar markets. Though the government has not yet shared the mandate for the committee, the reforms body has already been tasked with the formulation of a long-term strategy for the regulating and documenting the sugar business, without waiting for the outcome of the court battle. However, the editorial concludes by stating that no sugar-sector reform effort will succeed unless the government decides to remove itself from the value chain to ensure competitive market practices by shifting from price controls towards a liberal trade regime. (“Sugar industry reform,” Dawn, 9 July 2020)

Parliament must take necessary action to exit FATF’s “Grey-List”
The Editorial says that Pakistan’s Parliament must not procrastinate the passing and implementation of necessary laws and amendments required by the global watchdog on Anti-Terrorism Act and Anti-Money Laundering FATF. The federal and provincial governments need to change income-tax laws for non-profit organizations and trusts. The editorial says that a comprehensive process for operational, technical and legislative improvements is required for the same. (“Parliament and the FATF,” The News International,9 July 2020)

An analysis on the return of Maulana Aziz
The opinion article speaks of how Maulana Aziz reappeared and took on a seminary, which he never previously controlled when Pakistan assumed that he had finally ended the siege. It says that due to the hints of the presence of weapons within the seminary’s premises and internal strife between supporters of different clerics in the school, the development may quickly spiral into being ugly if the government does not act immediately. (“Another Siege,” The Nation,9 July 2020)

The government must reduce the widening gulf between State and Baloch youth
Syed Akhtar Ali Shah says that the government must consider the sensitivities of the Baloch youth. He says a mere tactical approach is insufficient and calls for a comprehensive strategic approach in dealing with terror attacks and sleeper cells. Syed makes a few points: first, the PSX attack was motivated by Baloch nationalism and not a religion; second, he asks what led the perpetrators to become “misguided”; third, addressing of widespread feelings of deprivation, usurpation of self-ruling rights, economic exploitation and helplessness. Syed also ropes in the issue of forced disappearances and missing persons of Baluchistan, feelings of marginalization due to inward migration and illiteracy. He says the imposition of artificial leadership is occurring due to extra-constitutional forces and political engineering. “Can the state not remove the drivers of militancy, extremism and radicalisation that are propelling the youth to take up arms for gaining rights?” Syed asks. (“Understanding the dynamics of Baloch militancy,” The Express Tribune, 9 July 2020)

EXTERNAL
Hasty American exit can pave the way for the resurgence of terrorist groups: Editorial
An editorial in the Dawn titled “American Exit” is critical President Donald Trump’s haste to ‘bring the boys back home’ strategy amid the intra- Afghan talks. The editorial states that the Afghan government and military are widely seen as incapable of running and securing the country once their Western sponsors depart and thus this hasty move from the Americans could create more problems for the country. Further, the editorial highlights the joint statement issued by Pakistan, Afghanistan and China in which they warned the US stating that their plan leaves before an intra-Afghan peace agreement would only pave the way for the resurgence of terrorist groups. Further, the editorial concluded by stating that both the Afghan government and the Taliban need to reconsider their rigid positions for the sake of their country and that the US must realise a hasty withdrawal will only add to Afghanistan’s problems. (“American Exit,” Dawn, 9 July 2020)

ON INDIA
Pakistan needs to be cautious: Sherry Rehman
Sherry Rehman says that while India and China are trying to de-escalate on the LAC, India-Pak relations are seeing no “noise reduction”. She says that considering the Modi government’s face-saving domestic attempts, Pakistan must consider five points of modulation: first, the existential threat posed by “the unprecedented grant of domicile certificates in IOK to 25,000 Indians”; second, regarding Indian claims on PoK, Islamabad must be wary of BJP’s ultra-nationalistic foreign policy and revisionism; third, the attempts by New Delhi via US interlocutors to further a “Taliban-Pakistan 'partnership'”; fourth, Pakistan must expect more resistance and hostilities in multilateral forums on CPEC; and last, normalization of harsh terminology on alleged state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan. (“Pakistan and the new great game,” The News International, 9 July 2020)

Four years since Wani’s death
Burhan Wani’s fourth death anniversary was on 8 July. Four years ago, he became synonymous to “freedom or martyrdom”. The article speaks of India as “the largest sham democracy” that ignores Kashmiris’ calls for liberation and “decolonization”. It says that protests and strikes in Pakistan and India to commemorate his martyrdom “speak volumes about Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination.” The author says that Wani’s death exposed the gruesome face of Indian armed forces and Indian state-terrorism. (“Wani’s Death Anniversary,” The Nation, 9 July 2020)

 


"Pakistan is in communication with the Indian authorities through diplomatic channels to consider filing of a review and re-consideration petition before the high court under May 20 ordinance, ‘The International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Ordinance 2020."

-  Dawn, quoting a source on Kulbushan Yadav's case (Dawn)

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