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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

26 October 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.168

PDM's strong rally in Quetta



PDM's Quetta rally by the Opposition; Imran Khan's statement on Macron and Islamaphobia; and the FATF debate within Pakistan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
PDM's strong rally in Quetta:
Says PTI government's end is near

On 25 October, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) held its third rally in Quetta, claiming that the PTI government's end was near. The PDM leaders went on to declared that the people of the province with their large turnout had given a clear message to the Centre to respect their democratic freedom. The massive rally which was held at the Ayub Stadium took place despite repeated warnings by the Balochistan government that militants could target the public gathering, ban on mobile phone service, pillion riding, and a deadly blast on the outskirts of the provincial capital. (Saleem Shahid, "PDM defies all odds, vows to oust 'selected' govt," Dawn, 26 October 2020)

Nawaz blames the security establishment for the country's situation

Addressing the supporters from London via video link, Nawaz Sharif said people had come out to bring change through democratic struggle launched by the PDM. He also said the PDM had risen against "unconstitutional power that made Pakistan hollow from inside and out" saying that he named individuals "as I don't want my army to be defamed". He called upon Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to "account" for the country's current situation. Further, he went on to strongly criticised the PTI government's performance and reiterated his disqualification as a premier "over a flimsy charge" adding that he was not liked by some quarters because he was the "elected representative of the people".

Speaking against the issue of enforced disappearance: Maryam Nawaz

While addressing the rally, Maryam Nawaz raised the issue of enforced disappearances stating that "No longer will husbands and brothers go missing, people of Balochistan," adding that the time has come to change the fate of Pakistan and Balochistan. Further, she added that all the PDM leaders were raising their voice for the same cause, adding that 'respect their vote' was the same demand that the people of Gujranwala and Karachi had been raising.

Come out for a better Pakistan: Rehman

Addressing the rally, Maulana Rehman stated, "We are ready to sit with the establishment if it withdraws the support of a selected government and apologizes to the people for not respecting the mandate of the people in the general elections," adding, "PDM will not allow anyone to deprive the people of their rights." Further, he added, "This journey has started and it will continue [...] If you wish to rid yourselves of oppression, then have the courage and move forward."

The opposition is not only present together on the stage but are on a single page: Bilawal

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari went on to rejects reports of a rift in alliance stating, "To ensure that you get your right, all democratic forces are not only on one stage but on one page, and now the others would have to join them or else they will have to go home," adding, "This tyranny has to be stopped and if this continues to happen I don't think this country can survive."

Elections will be held in the country soon: Sherpao

Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao, while addressing the crowd said that people's problems had worsened during the PTI government's rule. Further, he stated, "Elections will soon be held across the country," adding, "The next government will be formed according to the wishes of the people."

Govt betrayed Sardar Akhtar Mengal: Hoti

Awami National Party (ANP) acting president Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said that the government had "betrayed" the people of Balochistan and their representative, Sardar Akhtar Mengal, adding, "Pashtuns and Balochis should unite to fight for their rights." ("In Quetta jalsa, PDM lashes out at PM Imran Khan, says govt's end is near," The News International, 26 October 2020)

 
Macron's statements encourage Islamophobia, says Imran 
FO alarmed by the justification of such acts in the name of freedom of expression
Image Source: Dawn

 

On 25 October, Imran Khan said Emmanuel Macron's criticisms of Islam were a result of his ignorance. He said that by criticising Islam instead of "terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists," Macron was encouraging polarisation and marginalisation which would lead to radicalisation. He said Macron's statements provoked his own citizens and have hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims in Europe and across the world. ("PM Imran Khan takes on French President Macron over his anti-Islam policies," The News International, 26 October 2020)

Foreign Office issues statement

The FO issued a statement condemning "the systematic resurgence of blasphemous acts of republication of caricatures of the Prophet (PBUH) and the desecration of the Holy Quran by certain irresponsible elements in some developed countries." The FO said Pakistan is alarmed by the justification of these acts in the name of freedom of expression. The FO highlighted that while implementing "anti-blasphemy and criminal laws for sensitive issues such as denial of Holocaust, the justification by a few politicians in some western countries for insulting sentiments of Muslims, was a blatant reflection of double standards which eroded their human rights credentials."

The statement also mentioned that Imran's address at the 75th UNGA session "highlighted the recent incidents of Islamophobia and urged the international community to take all necessary steps to universally outlaw wilful provocations and incitement to hate and violence."

Other ministers like the Planning Minister and Minister for Science and Technology have also condemned Macron's statements. (Syed Irfan Raza, "Imran accuses Macron of maligning Islam," Dawn, 26 October 2020)

Imran writes to Mark Zuckerberg, mentions CAA-NRC

Imran has written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to ban Islamophobic content just as it had banned content criticising ot questioning on the Holocaust. He said the world was witnessing similar pogroms of Muslims around the world including in India in "IIOJK." He mentioned that "anti-Muslim laws and measures such as CAA and NRC as well as targeted killings of Muslims and blaming Muslims for coronavirus are reflective of the abominable phenomenon of Islamophobia." ("PM asks Facebook to ban Islamophobic content," The News International, 26 October 2020)

 
Pakistan given 'most challenging' and 'comprehensive' FATF plan, says Azhar
Government to focus on implementation of these laws 
Image Source: The News
 

 

On 25 October, federal minister for industries and production, Hammad Azhar, said that one of the two actions plans given to Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was the "most challenging" and "comprehensive ever given to any country." Further, he stated that parliament had passed the laws not only for the last week's evaluation in the FATF's three-day plenary but also for the next year's evaluation, adding that the Islamabad was focusing on the implementation of all recently-enacted laws to come out of the grey list of the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

Previously…

On the 23 October, the FATF had announced that Pakistan would continue to remain on its grey list till February 2021 for six out of 27 unmet action plan targets on anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT). Following this decision, Azhar had termed the FATF's "consensus decision" a "diplomatic victory" for the government, stating that the FATF had hailed Pakistan's legal efforts as a "role model" for other countries to follow. (Azfar-ul-Ashfaque, "Pakistan given 'most challenging' FATF plan, says Azhar," Dawn, 26 October 2020)


 
In Brief
INTERNAL 
Justice Isa case judgement exposes the weakness of the system, says an editorial
An editorial in Dawn criticises the government for crossing "lines that are not meant to be crossed" in the Justice Isa case. It asks why and how no official could muster the courage to call out the government's illegal orders to access Justice Isa's tax records; this exposes the weakness of the system. The editorial urges that those involved in this irregularity be held accountable. It calls for a probe into the "multiple defects" that the SC referred to in its judgement on the case. Finally, referring to the SC's order to the FBR to investigate Justice Isa's family's properties and funds, it warns against turning the investigation into a witch hunt. ("Justice Isa case," Dawn, 26 October 2020)

PROVINCE 
Three killed in Quetta bomb blast
On 25 October, three people were killed and 16 injured in a bomb blast in the Hazarganji area. The blast occurred 20km from the PDM address which was held despite NACTA's warnings and the provincial government's requests to postpone the rally. According to the police, IED was planted in a motorbike. ("Three killed in motorbike blast in Quetta," Dawn, 26 October 2020)

 

 
PAKISTAN'S WORLD VIEW
Pakistan can complement China's economic revival, says opinion article
An opinion article in The Express Tribune outlines the reason behind the revival and growth of China's economy during the pandemic. First, he says Pakistan is likely to stay in China's orbit for decades. Then, he compares China with the US, both who suffered severe economic losses in the first phase of the pandemic but China was successful in containing the spread of the virus and also reviving the economy. The author refers to the China Bureau of Statistics figures which indicate that China's GDP increased at 4.9 per cent in the July-September quarter bringing it close to the six per cent rate before the Covid-19 outbreak. He says the main reason behind the revival is the consumer confidence in the country's economy. In May, China planned a "dual circulation strategy" aimed at self-reliance through domestic consumption and reduced dependence on developed countries. He says if China focuses on domestic consumption as the driver of growth, it would have to import products produced by low-priced labour and Pakistan can complement this strategy. (Shahid Javed Burki, "China is rising again," The Express Tribune, 25 October 2020)

 

 

Spare Afghan peace from the US election rhetoric, says an opinion
An opinion piece in The Express Tribune highlights the increased violence in Afghanistan after the US-Taliban peace talks started. He says the Taliban must "understand their high stakes in the country and that despite controlling a large expanse of Afghanistan, they do not represent a significant proportion of the population, which backs the national government." Further, he says the Trump administration must not use the Afghan peace rhetoric in the US presidential election and must avoid empty promises about the withdrawal of troops. However, he emphasises that the US, which has greater responsibility as it is the lead sponsor of intra-Afghan talks, should safeguard the Afghanistan dialogue from regional firebrands. (Azhar Azam, "Why Afghan peace must be spared from partisan politics," The Express Tribune, 25 October 2020)

 
 
 


"Nobody has the right to hurt the sentiments of millions of Muslims under the guise of freedom of expression.”

 Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on France

 

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