Daily Briefs

Photo : Al Jazeera

23 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.86

On the abduction of a Journalist in Islamabad

On the abduction of a Journalist in Islamabad - criticisms from the Court to Media

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
On the abduction of a Journalist in Islamabad 

All-round criticisms from the Court to Media
On 21 July, Senior journalist Matiullah Jan was abducted in broad daylight in front of a school. Mr Jan who is a vocal critic of the establishment and currently in news over the Isa case had been picked by men wearing police uniforms (and others in plainclothes). This incident is an attempt to intimidate and harass journalists- which has become a trend in the country. (“Fear of silence”The News International, 23 July 2020). As there are accusations of divide-and-rule strategy, being deployed to weaken the voice of journalism.
There is also a theory that he was taken away on account of personal enmity. (“Journalist’s abduction”Dawn, 23 July 2020)

Matiullah was picked up a day before his appearance in Supreme Court to answer his contempt charges. On the related judgement, the supreme court had granted two-week time to Matiullah Jan to engage with his counsel and submit his reply regarding his tweets. The Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has said, ‘every citizen has the right to a fair trial as the Constitution gives full right for one’s private life’. (“State has to demonstrate press is free: IHC”Dawn, 23 July 2020). The court had also asked Inspector General of Police Islamabad to submit a comprehensive report before the next hearing.

The Supreme Court also took suo-motu notice on the abduction and said, such incidents are unacceptable, and that the government needs to explain. The investigation would be held transparently and diligently. On 22 July, Islamabad High Court while deciding habeas corpus petition of Shahid Akbar Abbasi observed that nothing impedes the freedom of expression and free speech more than such fear or perception, removing the perception becomes a duty of the state. The court has also slammed the police for the kidnapping saying the entire state was responsible for the incident. (“Playing with law won’t be allowed”The News International, 23 July 2020)

In Brief
Bilawal calls for the dissolution of NAB
Pakistan Peoples’ Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has stated that there is no justification left for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to continue to exist following the Supreme Court verdict which raised questions regarding the body’s working. Further, stated “I have always said that NAB is being used for political engineering and now the Supreme Court has also vindicated my stance. NAB should be closed” adding “If the NAB chairman has any shame then he should resign and go home.” Further, Bilawal challenged the NAB’s impartiality, stating that if the Supreme Court’s judgment is to be implemented then all the Advisors and Special Assistants to the Prime Minister, besides making arrests in the foreign funding case, BRT project, Malam Jabba and other cases will also have to be arrested. (No justification for NAB to exist after SC verdict: Bilawal, ” The Nation, 23 July 2020)

Gurdwara restored to Sikhs in Quetta
On 22 July, the Balochistan government handed over the 200-year-old Siri Guru Singh Gurdwara to the Sikh community. This gurdwara is located on Masjid Road has been used as APWA Government High Girls School for 73 years. The provincial parliamentary secretary and Adviser to the Chief Minister on Minority Affairs stated: “Restoring gurdwara as a place of worship for the Sikh community is a historical decision of the Balochistan government.” Further, Chairman of the Sikh Community Committee in Balochistan joyfully expressed the restoration of the gurdwara described it as a “gift from the Balochistan government to the Sikh community living in the province”. Further, officials in the education department confirmed that the education of students would not be affected. (Saleem Shahid, “73 years on, gurdwara restored to Sikhs in Quetta,” Dawn, 23 July 2020)

Islamabad will need to play its cards right to protect national interests on the highly treacherous international chessboard: Editorial 
An editorial in the Dawn titled “Changing dynamics” states that given the geopolitical changes in the neighbourhood, the country’s foreign policy must plan to take political and economic advantage of this emerging scenario. Further, the editorial lays down the dynamics between China-US-Iran relations and the budding role Pakistan can play with Iran and China considering the shared borders. Further, the editorial states that to take advantage of regional developments, Pakistan will need some deft diplomacy, adding that regional integration would help the country and its neighbours economically and politically if properly planned. Further, it states that Pakistan must make clear to the US that while they value its relationship with America, Islamabad cannot isolate itself regionally by alienating neighbours with whom Washington does not approve of, suggesting that India should also weigh its options. (“Changing dynamics,” Dawn, 23 July 2020)

Federal Government moves IHC seeking counsel for Jadhav
On 23 July, the federal government moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the appointment of state counsel for Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav, in order to implement the verdict of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding his conviction. According to the Dawn, the petition was filed by the government through the law and justice secretary after the agent of India’s intelligence agency and the Indian government avoided the preparation made available to them by the federation for filing a review petition against his death sentence. Afterwards, the petition requested the court to “appoint any suitable” counsel for Jadhav. (Malik Asad, “Govt moves IHC seeking counsel for Indian spy,” Dawn, 23 July 2020)

Islamabad-based foreign correspondents visit PoK 
On 22 July, a group of foreign correspondents based in Islamabad visited Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to gain first-hand knowledge about the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) amid the “unrelenting and unprovoked” ceasefire violations. According to News International, the media persons visited the Chirikot sector in Haveli district and were shown the areas across the LoC from where Indian troops were intentionally targeting civilians in this region. Further, the locals are to have interreacted with the correspondents, “condemn India’s desperate attempts.” (Tariq Naqash, “AJK people tell foreign journalists tales of pain caused by Indian firing,” Dawn, 23 July 2020)


"After the Supreme Court verdict, NAB is left with no justification to continue working; therefore it should be disbanded and its chairman should resign from his office...I’ve always been saying that NAB is being used for political engineering and now the Supreme Court has confirmed this"

-  Bilawal Bhutto on the National Accountability Bureau (Dawn)


Other Daily Briefs

08 August 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.100

National Assembly clears two FATF bills, but blocks one.

07 August 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.99

Govt decides to lift restrictions as COVID cases decline

06 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.98

Pakistan's continuing Kashmir frenzy

05 August 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.97

Pakistan's new Map of J&K

04 August 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.96

Kashmir obsession in Pakistan

31 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.94

Two FATF bills passed in the National Assembly

30 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.93

Religiosity in Pakistan: From Creeping to now Galloping

29 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.92

Opposition parties attempt to come together

28 July 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.91

Pakistan's internal debate on Kulbhushan Jadav

26 July 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.89

Pakistan This Week

23 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.86

On the abduction of a Journalist in Islamabad

19 July 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.82

Pakistan This Week

17 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.80

The licences are not fake but only dubious

16 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.79

On building Diamer-Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan

15 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.78

On Af-Pak Transit Trade

12 July 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No. 75

Pakistan This Week

11 July 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.74

FATF action plan to be completed at the earliest: Shaikh

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

Pakistan This Week

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