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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

23 October 2020, Friday I Vol 1, No.166

Pakistan's Gender Gap



The gender gap in Pakistan in more than 16 districts; the FATF decision to keep Pakistan in the grey list until February 2021, updates on "Karachi incident" and responses to the Hekmatyar's visit.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
Pakistan's Gender Gap:
ECP data reveals nine districts accounting for a gender gap of over three million; 16 districts have a gender gap of over 200,000 

 

On 22 October, the district-wise data of voters released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) revealed that nine districts account for a gap of over three million between male and female voters with around one-fourth of the total difference of 12.41 million between the two sets of voters. Further, it cited that 16 districts have a gender gap of over 200,000 of which Punjab's Lahore and Faisalabad accounted for a gap of over one million voters. Of the 16 districts, 14 were from Punjab and one each from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. (Iftikhar A. Khan, "Nine districts account for over 3m voter gender gap," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

Many districts which had high gender gap in 2018 have narrowed down
In Faisalabad, the gap stands at 461,207 which previously stood at 507,920 in 2018.

In Gujranwala district, the gap stands at 361,530 from 373,920 in 2018.

In Sheikhupura, has shown an improvement in terms of reducing the gender gap, the gap between them is 0.256 million from 0.271 million in 2018.

In Sialkot district, the gap has been reduced to 252,990.

In Sargodha, the gap has declined from 0.245 million to 0.208 million.

Districts which have recorded a widening in the gender gap 
In Rahimyar Khan, the gap has widened from 0.313 million in 2018 to 0.351 million now.

In Karachi (West), the difference is a little over 3 million (300,323) previously the gap was 333,105 in 2018.

In Kasur district, the gap has gone up from 0.262 million in 2018 to 0.271 million now.  

In Peshawar, the gap has widened from 0.245 million in 2018 to 0.261 million now.

In Muzaffargarh, the gap has increased from 0.229 million in 2018 to 0.243 million.

In Bahawalnagar district, the gap has widened from 0.208 million in 2018 to 0.23 million now.

In Bahawalpur district, the gap increased from 0.207 million in 2018 to 0.218 million now.

In Multan, the gap went up from 0.218 million in 2018 to 0.221million now.

In Vehari, there was a gap of 0.204 million in 2018 which has increased to 0.214 million now.

In Okara, the gap increased from 0.208 million in 2018 to 0.212 million now.

The proportion of women voters  
The district-wise data of voters shown that only 24 districts across the country where the proportion of women voters is more than 45 per cent. The data also showed that Chakwal has the distinction of having the highest proportion of women voters, with 49 per cent.

Rawalpindi, Attock and Jhelum have 48 per cent, female voters.

Khushab (Punjab), Haripur (KP), and Sohbatpur and Washuk (Balochistan) have 47 per cent women on their voter lists.

Mianwali, Multan, Gujrat, Sargodha, Bhakkar (Punjab), Karachi (Central), Karachi (East), Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Unser Kot, Tando Allahyar, Matiari (Sindh), Jaffarabad, Kharan (Balochistan) and Abbottabad (KP) have 46 per cent female voters.

None of the districts in Sindh has over 46 per cent women voters.

North Waziristan (KP) and Kohlu (Balochistan) have only 38 per cent women voters.

In South Waziristan and Mohmand, only 39 per cent of the voters are women

Killa Abdullah district in Balochistan has the lowest proportion of female voters, with 36 per cent.

 
Pakistan to remain in Grey List till February 2021
FO rejects the claims over Saudi Arabia voting against Pakistan at the FATF meeting
Image Source: Dawn

 

According to the FATF President Marcus Pleyer Pakistan has complied with 21 out of 27 points of action; as a result, the FATF has decided to keep Pakistan on its 'grey list' until February 2021. According to a statement from the FATF: "To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items. As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 2021." ("To remain on grey list: FATF urges Pakistan to complete action plan by Feb 2021," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

According to a breaking news from Dawn, the FATF wants Pakistan to work on the following four areas:

  • demonstrating that law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of terror financing activity, which target designated persons and entities, and those who act on the behalf/direction of the designated persons or entities
  • demonstrating that terror financing prosecutions result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions
  • demonstrating effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists and those acting for or on their behalf; preventing the raising and moving of funds including in relation to non-profit organisations; identifying and freezing assets; and prohibiting access to funds and financial services
  • demonstrating enforcement against violation of terror financing sanctions, including in relation to NPOs, of administrative and criminal penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement cases. ("To remain on grey list: FATF urges Pakistan to complete action plan by Feb 2021," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

Earlier, one of the federal minsiters (Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar) tweeted: "“Pakistan has achieved impressive progress on its FATF action plan. 21 out of 27 action items now stand cleared. Remaining 6 rated as partially complete. Within a year, we progressed from 5/27 to 21/27 completed items. FATF acknowledged that any blacklisting is off the table now.”

The controversy over whether Saudi Arabia voted against Pakistan
On 23 October, the Foreign Office rejected media reports claiming that Saudi Arabia had voted against Pakistan in the ongoing plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as "false and baseless," termed the report "a malicious propaganda." A FO spokesperson went on to state that, "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong fraternal ties and the two countries have always cooperated with each other on all matters of bilateral, regional and international importance," while explaining that Pakistan greatly valued its relations with Saudi Arabia.

On 21 October, reports alleging that Saudi Arabia had voted against Pakistan in the FATF plenary were doing the rounds on social media.

FATF to decide today whether or not Islamabad will remain on the grey list
The FATF is to decide whether or not Pakistan would remain on its list of 'jurisdictions under increased monitoring' commonly known as the 'grey list' today. The three-day virtual plenary session of FATF, which started on 21 October during this session is to review Pakistan's progress on the 27-point action plan for addressing the deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing regimes. Further, the Pakistani officials are hoping for a positive outcome, given the recent legislation on counter-terror financing and money laundering which was passed by parliament. ("FO rejects report that S. Arabia voted against Pakistan," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

 
On the 'Karachi incident'
Controversies, claims and counterclaims
Image Source: Dawn

On 22 October, PML-N information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb called for PM Imran Khan's resignation after the CCTV footage of "law-enforcers breaking into Maryam Nawaz's hotel room and violating her privacy was made public". Stating that Pakistanis deserved to know the "reasons behind this high-handed hooliganism and intrusion into privacy in violation of the constitution", she said PML-N and PDM would strive to bring down those responsible. Marriyum also demanded the names of those visible in the footage. Previously, PML-N leader and former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi pinned down the responsibility of the incident on PM Khan. He explained that institutions like the Inter-Services Intelligence and Pakistan Rangers were directed by the prime minister.

Marriyum calls PM shameless and lawless
Ms Aurangzeb's statement said: "This footage is an irrefutable proof of Imran's shamelessness, lawlessness and political vengeance… This is Imran's true horrible face which has no regard for the respect and dignity of mothers, daughters and sisters of the nation… The privacy of a woman was violated without even any arrest warrant for her. Imran should be ashamed of himself and must resign." ("War of words over Safdar's arrest in Karachi intensifies," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

Federal minister strongly rejects Sindh CM's claims

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz "strongly rejected" Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah's claim that the latter was threatened by a federal minister with the Sindh government's ousting if an FIR against the PML-N leader Captain (retd) Safdar for defiling the sanctity of Quaid-i-Azam Mazar was not registered. "I condemn this lie and strongly reject it," said Faraz at a press conference. "The video footage of the incident shows Safdar sitting in the police car very comfortably," he said, emphasising that there was "no element of force in the arrest". ("Conflicting claims about IGP Sindh's 'abduction'," The News International, 23 October 2020)

Another controversy
The forcible intrusion of a man into the PML-N VP Maryam Nawaz's room in a Karachi hotel has sparked a controversy including claims and counterclaims by the opposition and the incumbent government. She asked, "What is the mafia? What is state above the state? This is all visible to everyone." ("Controversies abound about men in plainclothes: Who broke into Maryam's hotel room to arrest Safdar," The News International, 23 October 2020)

Meanwhile…
A Daily Times editorial calls the Karachi incident a "field day" for the opposition as it further reinforced their narrative of "a state above the state" by setting "yet another example of the government trying to sabotage the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)". ("Banana republic?," Daily Times, 23 October 2020)

 


 

In Brief
INTERNAL 
Daniel Pearl case hearing adjourned for four weeks
On 22 October, the SC adjourned the hearing of Daniel Pearl's family's appeal against Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh's acquittal. The Court adjourned the hearing for four weeks citing the absence of government lawyer Farooq Naek and at the request of Sheikh's defence lawyer. However, Pearl's family's lawyer said he was surprised by the adjournment. Meanwhile, Sheikh will remain in custody because the government feels his acquittal will endanger the public. ("SC adjourns Pearl murder case for four weeks," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

NAB to approve fresh reference against Nawaz and others
On 22 October, NAB Executive Board Chairman said the NAB will file a fresh reference against Nawaz Sharif for illegally purchasing 73 vehicles for foreign dignitaries. He also approved fresh references against other politicians, government officers, media persons, including officials like former DG IB Aftab Sultan, former foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry etc. He said eradication of corruption in Pakistan is NAB's priority. He said, so far, the NAB had recovered Rs.466 billion from the corrupt elements and deposited it into the national exchequer. (Asim Yasin, "NAB to file fresh reference against Nawaz Sharif," The News International, 23 October 2020)

ON GILGIT-BALTISTAN
GB leaders hold a rally demanding provincial status
On 22 October, religious and political parties jointly held a rally in Gilgit demanding provincial status. Members of PML-N, PPP, PTI, Jamaat-i-Islami, Islami Tehreek Pakistan also attended the rally. Participants in the rally said they wanted to dismiss the "Indian propaganda against the call for making GB the constitutional province of Pakistan and declared it interference in Pakistan's affairs." Some participants conveyed that "people of the region were Pakistanis and would continue to be Pakistanis." (Jamil Nagri, "Parties stage rally for GB's provincial status," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

ON FATF
FATF laws an infringement of fundamental rights, says opinion article 
An opinion article in The News International says the space for civil liberties under the current government is shrinking. The author makes this comment as Pakistan is being pressured by the international community during negotiations to exclude Pakistan from the FATF's grey list. Further, the author explains the 11 laws the parliament enacted or amended regarding the 40 recommendations that the FATF made to Pakistan. The author says these recommendations resulted in a new legal regime. It has increased the powers of the executive and is an infringement of the common man's fundamental rights. For example, the author says, in the United Nations (Security Council) (Amendment) Act, 2020, "persons implementing the Act have been given complete immunity from all legal proceedings, to supposedly ensure proper execution of its orders, and to achieve the object of the legislation." Citing the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Act, 2020 for increasing punishment of natural and legal persons found guilty of being involved in proscribed groups or activities, he says the unusually harsh punishments is an attempt to appease the international community at the cost of the common citizenry. Similarly, the author explains the effect of four more laws in the opinion piece. (Barrister Mohsin Nawaz Ranjha, "Reading the FATF laws - Part I," The News International, 23 October 2020)

PAKISTAN'S WORLD VIEW 
For Afghan peace, external actors must stay out, says editorial
An editorial in Dawn cites Hekmatyar's comments during an event in Islamabad which implied peace in Afghanistan could be with the withdrawal of American forces and a functional "non-aligned" government free from outside interference. The editorial says the above must be done in an orderly fashion or else Afghanistan may witness a situation similar to that of the Soviet exit from the country. The editorial reiterates that for establishing a genuine peace agreement Afghanistan's neighbours, regional powers and global actors must not interfere in the country's internal matters. ("Hekmatyar's visit," Dawn, 23 October 2020)

US-Pakistan ties have always blossomed, says opinion article
An opinion article in The News International highlights the upcoming US elections and the possible impact it could have on Pakistan. The author says Trump's presidency has polarised America as well as the world. He gives the example of shifting of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, Paris Agreement and TPP, and its trade wars. 

Regarding Pakistan, the author says, because the Trump administration has remained critical of the growing role of China in Pakistan under CPEC, it will be interesting to observe if Biden will come up with a different policy vis-a-vis the growing global role of China under the BRI and CPEC in Pakistan. Tracing the history of US-Pakistan relations starting from Truman's administration, the author concludes that bilateral relations have flourished irrespective of a Republican or a Democrat President. (Dr Murad Ali, "What suits Pakistan? - Part I," The News International, 23 October 2020)

All countries watch US elections keenly as November 3rd closes in
An opinion piece in the Daily Times explains the different factors that could favour Biden in the upcoming elections. The author says, nominating Kamala Harris for Vice President might have already titled some of the voters in his favour as she represents the Afro-American community and is a woman. He says Biden's support to the Black Lives Matter movement could also win him votes. He highlights that Trump's mismanagement of the pandemic, his disruptive foreign policy, being the antagonist of the BLM movement, cutting down on UN funds could cost him the election. He says the only thing Trump can take credit for is the Afghan peace and the Abraham Accords. But going by the survey polls, Biden leads the race. He says all countries are watching the elections to re-align their diplomatic relations with the US if Biden wins. (Abdul Rahman Malik, "Who will win US Presidential Elections 2020?The Daily Times, 23 October 2020)

The hypocrisy of Muslim-majority countries on the Uyghur issue
An opinion article in the Daily Times criticises Pakistan and other Muslim-majority countries for ignoring the human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in China's Xinjiang province. The author says while Pakistani leaders criticise mistreatment of Muslims globally, especially those in the "Indian-held Kashmir," they look the other way when it comes to China. Further, he criticises the OIC for backtracking its words on Uyghurs. He appreciates non-Muslim countries for standing up for Uyghur Muslims regardless of religion and ethnicity. For example, he mentions that the US House of Representatives voted 406-3 to declare that any goods produced in the Xinjiang province banned from being imported to the US (Jamil Mogul, "See No Evil: Turning Blind Eyes to Persecution of Uyghurs," The Daily Times, 23 October 2020)

 

 


"To date, Pakistan has made progress across all action plan items and has now largely addressed 21 of the 27 action items. As all action plan deadlines have expired, the FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by February 202.”

 President, FATF 

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