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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

29 October 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.171

"We gave India a bloody nose and it's still hurting" says DG ISPR



The press meeting of the DG-ISPR explaining Pakistan's response to the Balakot attack; PPP's call to the President's resignation following Supreme Court's statement on Justice Isa's reference; and Dawn's warning on the recent attack in Peshawar

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
"We gave India a bloody nose and it's still hurting" says DG ISPR:
Refutes an earlier statement in the National Assembly by a PML-N MNA

Major General Babar Iftikhar, Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations today (Thursday) held an exclusive press conference to explain Pakistan's position regarding what happened after Balakot strike by India. According to the Express Tribune, "He said the presser was being conducted to "correct the record" and addressed the events of February 27, when Pakistan shot down two aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF), a day after the botched Balakot airstrikes.." ("DG ISPR calls political statement about Abhinandan release an attempt to ‘distort history’, The Express Tribune, 29 October 2020)

The News said the following, as a background to his press release: He spoke to media hours after a controversial statement was issued by PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq the previous day, who said the Indian pilot was released under pressure by the Imran Khan-led government from fear of an Indian attack.  "This, in my opinion, is not acceptable to any Pakistani," he said. "Such a negative narrative will have direct consequences on Pakistan's national security and the enemy is taking full advantage of this in the information domain." ("DG ISPR press conference: Linking Abhinandan's release to anything other than a mature response 'misleading'," The News, 29 October 2020)


According to Dawn, he said: "A statement was given yesterday which tried to distort the history of issues associated with national security." Dawn further quoted him saying that following the Pulwama attack India "showed aggression against Pakistan in violation of all international laws on February 26, 2019, in which not only did it face defeat but was humiliated around the world...Pakistani armed forces' alert and timely response foiled the enemy's designs. The enemy planes that had come to drop the explosives on the Pakistani people escaped while dropping their payload on empty mountains in panic after seeing our Shaheens." ("'We gave them a bloody nose and it is still hurting': DG ISPR on Abhinandan episode," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

Dawn further quoted him: "Pakistan responded to India in broad daylight after announcing it. Not only did we give an appropriate reply, but also shot down two enemy war planes [and] Wing Commander Abhinandan was captured...During these actions, the enemy became so frightened that it shot down its own helicopter and troops in a state of panic. [...] This victory not only exposed India's hollow claims of power before the world but made the entire Pakistani nation proud."

He further said: "Being a responsible state, the Government of Pakistan in order to give peace another chance decided to release Indian prisoner of war Wing Commander Abhinandan...I make to make it clear once again for the sake of record that Pakistan first showed its capability and resolve and this decision was taken keeping in view all warfare options from a position of strength. Pakistan's leadership and the armed forces were fully prepared to deal with any situation." ("'We gave them a bloody nose and it is still hurting': DG ISPR on Abhinandan episode," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

 

 
 
"Militants are regrouping," says Dawn Editorial
Pakistanis reminded that their children are not safe in their places of learning
Image Source: Dawn

 

An editorial in the Dawn critical of the IED blast in Peshawar earlier this week states that this attack has brought an end to the comparatively long period without high casualty terrorist attacks in the country, adding that once again the people of Pakistan have been reminded that their children are not safe in their places of learning. The editorial states that it is now clear that militants are regrouping and perhaps evolving further into a better-trained outfit. Arguing that with media report stating that this attack was caused by a sophisticated time bomb that "does not bear the signature of usual suspects like the TTP" and that it could be the work of a new and well-trained group. Further, it states that signs have been there for the past several months, with deadly terrorist attacks as well as intelligence-based operations regularly taking place in the tribal districts.

Further, drawing parallels to the 2014 Army Public School attack, the editorial states the innocent blood spilt in Peshawar illustrates how tenuous is the peace secured after so many years of bloodshed, adding that the country cannot afford to take its eye off what is a clear and current danger. ("Peshawar blast," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

At least 8 killed, more than 110 injured in the blast 

On 27 October, at least eight people were killed and over 110 injured, after an explosive device in a bag detonated inside a madrassa in Peshawar's Dir Colony. Police sources disclosed that around 40-50 children were present inside the madrassa when the bomb went off. The SP City Peshawar stated that an unidentified man entered the madrassa in the morning and left a suspicious bag in the premises, adding that the bag is believed to have had an IED device that went off when the children started filling in the seminary. Further, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) reported that five kilograms of explosives were used. 

Minister and institutions condemn the attack 

While condemning the attack, PM Imran Khan said, "I want to assure my nation we will ensure the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack are brought to justice as soon as possible." Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari called it a "cowardly act by terrorists," adding, "our fight against terrorists and their extremist ideologies has to be won decisively — we have no option." Further, MNA Mohsin Dawar condemned the blast, stating, "neither our schools nor madressahs are safe," adding, "We have been warning against the regrouping of terrorists in our areas. All terrorist networks need to be dismantled fully." Further, the attack was also condemned by Unicef, which said that "schools must never be targeted." ("At least 8 killed, more than 110 injured in blast at madressah in Peshawar," Dawn, 28 October 2020)

 
Justice Isa case: PPP takes on President Alvi
SC postpones Justice Isa case hearing 
Image Source: Dawn

 

On 28 October, the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of a set of review petitions on the presidential reference against Justice Isa. The next hearing will be held by a 10-judge bench in the week beginning from 16 November. The Court decided to adjourn the case after four bar associations requested the case be heard by the 10-judge full court instead of the current seven-judge bench. The associations also requested the bench to place the matter before Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed. 

However, the seven-judge bench wanted to hear the review petitions before Justice Faisal Arab, reached superannuation age on Nov 4. Justice Bandial said the composition of the 10-judge bench would change after the retirement of Justice Arab. (Nasir Iqbal, "SC puts off Isa case as bars want full court to hear review pleas," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

PPP asks President Alvi to resign over Justice Isa case 

On 28 October, the PPP charge-sheeted President Arif Alvi over "alleged continued violations of the Constitution and asked him to resign voluntarily." The statement comes after the release of SC judgment in the Justice Isa case. PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said the presidential reference was an act which "attacked the independence of the judiciary" and a "failed attempt to disrepute the judiciary." He reiterated the SC's criticism of Alvi's move and highlighted the flaws in the presidential reference as pointed out by the Court. Referring to the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) Ordinance and the nullification of the president's notification regarding the constitution of the National Finance Commission, he pointed out that Alvi had violated the Constitution earlier as well, Further, Rabbani said he hoped the PDM would adopt a strategy to demand Alvi's resignation. He said the president's resignation has been added to the PDM's list of demands which includes Imran Khan's resignation and removal of the PTI government. (Amir Wasim, "PPP urges Alvi to step down voluntarily," Dawn, 29 October 2020)


In Brief
ON MEDIA FREEDOM
Pakistan ranked at the 9th position among countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free: CPJ
On 28 October, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its report title 'Getting Away with Murder' ranked Pakistan in the 9th position among countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free, according to the Global Impunity Index. The report pointed out to Pakistan and other countries where "corruption, weak institutions, and lack of political will to pursue robust investigations into the killings of journalists are all factors behind impunity in Pakistan, Mexico and the Philippines." Further, it said, in the last 10 years, as many as 15 journalists have been murdered in Pakistan and none of the cases, killers have been brought to justice. (Elana Beiser, "Getting Away with Murder," Committee to Protect Journalists, 28 October 2020)

Further, the report while addressing the unsettling legal development this year of the Sindh High Court which overturned the murder convictions of four men accused in the 2002 killing of Daniel Pearl stated, "In Pakistan, a surprise legal development this year – while not directly affecting the 2020 Impunity Index – showed that even murder cases that were long thought to be resolved can be upended," while quoted the CPJ's Executive Director Joel Simon that freeing them "would be a devastating setback for justice that would also send a dangerous message to jihadi militants in Pakistan and around the world, who have systematically targeted journalists in the 18 years since Pearl was killed." ("Pakistan among countries where killers of journalists go unpunished, says CPJ," The News International, 29 October 2020)

The impunity. Attackers getaway. All the time.
While the journalists who have been targeted either lost their lives or exiled and simply disappeared, the attackers have neither been identified nor there has been a serious investigation on the attacks, has been the case from Daniel Pearl to Anwar Jan Khetiran, All the above case studies would underline what happened to the attackers during the last decade. The print media in Pakistan has been writing on this culture of impunity in its editorials and analyses. But in vain. Further, although there is exposure today, it is not sufficient enough to deter those who target the media. ("Media under siege: Who is targeting the journalists? And why?Pakistan Reader, 28 July 2020)

ON COVID-19
An editorial says it is not too late to enforce the SOPs and stem the rising Covid-19 tide to prevent an all-out disaster
As fears of a second wave of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan increasing, with daily confirmed cases and hospitalisations increasing at an alarming rate an editorial in the Dawn says that the decision to enforce mask-wearing is necessary, however, it is a step that should have been taken much earlier. Further, the editorial says that it is not too late to enforce the SOPs and curb the rise of Covid-19 cases. To do this, the editorial suggests that authorities must build on the knowledge and strengths that helped them lower the curve previously and use the data available to take decisive action. Further, they must improve their messaging to the public and convey how serious the threat has become. ("Growing virus concerns," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

SC says the IG had no clue how to investigate the case
On 28 October, the Supreme Court rejected the report of the inspector general of Islamabad police on the kidnapping of senior journalist Matiullah Jan, stating that the IG had no clue how to investigate the case. A three-judge SC bench headed by CJP had ordered the IG to assign the investigation to some competent police officers or a committee of police officers and submit a comprehensive report to the court concerned. In their report, the police had stated that every institution concerned had expressed its inability to identify the kidnappers of Mr Jan. In response, the convener of the Journalist Defence Committee, told the court that police were only filling the gaps rather destroying the pieces of evidence. Further, the court has postponed the proceedings, stating that the issue would be taken up when the court would hear the case again after a month. ("IG doesn't know how to probe journalist's kidnapping, notes court," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

ON FATF
An opinion in Daily Times says Pakistan could not rectify its FATF deficiencies in 2017 because the civil and military leadership had their conflict of interests. The author says that today, though the civil and military leadership are on the same page, Pakistan is unsuccessful because they are using the "conventional approach to satisfy the world." He says lapses in Pakistan's legal mechanism like delaying legal proceedings against arrested terrorists creates "doubts in the mind of the international community" and "shows lack of determination" to address these issues. The author says, to ensure compliance the FATF requires that a "risk-based approach would be applied by the countries, competent authorities, financial institutions to identify, assess, and understand and mitigate the AML-CFT risks." He says the newly drafted legislations negate these principles. (Abdul Rauf Shakoori, "Pakistan's strategy to address FATF mandates was inadequate," The Daily Times, 29 October 2020)

ON GILGIT-BALTISTAN
PPP may regain political status if it wins GB elections
A news report in The News International says Bilawal Bhutto's active campaigning in GB has stabilised the PPP's rank and file in the area. In contrast to PML-N's Maryam Nawaz, Bilawal has given importance to the GB polls that he physically skipped the third PDM rally in Quetta on 25 October. Post-2018 general elections, PPP had become a weak party. The news report says a good result for the PPP in GB would help the party to rebuild its political status. On the other hand, PML-N's absence from the GB election campaign indicates that the party has not given much importance to the polls. ("Nov 15 GB elections: Bilawal leading poll campaign from the front," The News International, 29 October 2020)

ON INDIA
Five Indian prisoners who completed their jail terms have been released
On 28 October, the federal government informed the IHC that five Indian prisoners who completed their jail terms had been released, however cases of three more convicts who had also served their prison terms had been sent to "Review Board" to set them free. However, IHC Chief Justice observed that there was no need to refer the matter to the Review Board since the convicts must be released after completion of their respective jail terms and ordered the authorities concerned to release the three convicts as well. This came after the judge was hearing a petition of the Indian High Commission seeking the release of those eight Indian citizens who had been convicted by Pakistan's Military Courts of spying and who had completed their respective prison terms. ("Five convicted Indian spies sent back home, IHC told," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

EXTERNAL
Will not sit at ease till the elimination of all terrorists and their facilitators: COAS 
On 28 October, COAS Gen Bajwa emphasised the need for cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan as any instance of lawlessness could be catastrophic for both. Speaking at the hospital where he was inspecting the conditions of those injured in the Peshawar blast, he said Afghan refugees in Pakistan should be cautious of inimical forces trying to lure them into terrorist activities. He said Pakistan and Afghanistan had faced terrorism for the past two decades and that Pakistan would not stop terrorists and their facilitators are eliminated. ("Pakistan, Afghanistan can't afford chaos: Bajwa," Dawn, 29 October 2020)

 

 


"The signs have been there for the past several months, with deadly terrorist attacks as well as intelligence-based operations regularly taking place in the tribal districts. The innocent blood spilt in Peshawar on Tuesday illustrates how tenuous is the peace secured after so many years of bloodshed. We cannot afford to take our eye off what is a clear and present danger.”

 Dawn's editorial on the recent attack in Peshawar

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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;