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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

11 November 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.181

Army takes action against the officials from the ISI and Rangers



The COAS action on the Karachi Incident, the MNA's concerns about the CPEC Authority, and the Speaker's cancellation of the security briefing amid opposition’s boycott.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
The “Karachi Incident”
Army takes action against the officials from the ISI and Rangers
 
On 10 November, the Pakistan Army announced the removal of officers from the ISI and Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, after finding them acting “overzealously” in the alleged kidnapping of the Sindh IG which had caused a “misunderstanding between two institutions.” The development comes after General Bajwa promised to look into the matter following complaints from the opposition and police officers’ request for long leave in protest against the alleged kidnapping of the Sindh IG last month. (Imran Ayub, “ISI, Rangers men removed over IG issue,” Dawn, 11 November 2020)

Quotable
“They [ISI and Rangers officers] were indeed experienced enough to have acted more prudently and could have avoided creating an unwarranted situation that led to misunderstanding between the two state institutions. Based on the recommendations of the Court of Inquiry, it has been decided to remove the concerned officers from their current assignments for further departmental proceedings and disposal at GHQ,” read the ISPR statement according to the Dawn.

Bilawal hails ‘step to fortify institutions prestige’, Nawaz termed the inquiry report a “cover-up"
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari welcomed the action taken by the army chief against the perpetrators of the Karachi incident. In this regard, he said, “this step will fortify the prestige of institutions,” adding, “such processes should continue for the sake of democracy as this step will fortify the prestige of institutions. This is just the beginning; this process must continue for the sake of democracy.”
On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif in a tweet termed the report as a “cover-up”, saying, “Inquiry report on Karachi incident is a cover-up scapegoating juniors & shielding the real culprits. Report ‘Rejected’.” (“COAS action on Karachi incident: Bilawal accepts, Nawaz rejects,” The News International, 11 November 2020)

Security institutions must disengage from civilian affairs says an editorial 
An editorial in the Dawn although critical of the incident says the probe has at least had some consequences for the perpetrators. However, concerning the report, it states that this should not be the end of the matter. Junior officers, however zealous, would not act on their own initiative without a green signal from higher-ups. The editorial points out that the near-catastrophic fallout of this episode shows the threats of this chain of command being disturbed. The editorial says that the military has unnecessarily been dragged into an ugly political fracas, one in which its reputation could have done without. The editorial recommends that security institutions should disengage from civilian affairs. (“‘Karachi incident’,” Dawn, 11 November 2020)

 

On the CPEC Authority Bill 
MNA asks tough questions in the Parliament: Are we dummies?

Image Source: Dawn

On 10 October, following the government’s statement that the CPEC authority had no Chairman, Members of the National Assembly sought explanations from the Ministry of Planning and Development. 

MNA asks “Are we dummies? What kind of law making are we doing?”
MNA Syed Agha Rafiullah raised questions about the legality of the Authority as the CPEC Ordinance had lapsed in May 2020. Seeking a written clarification from the Planning Ministry on the issue, he asked “Are we dummies? What kind of law making are we doing?” Other MNAs raised similar questions to which the Planning and Development Secretary Mathar Rana responded that there is no Chairman for the Authority. 
Further, the NA Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Special Initiatives enquired about the status of the incumbent and asked whether he was enjoying any perks. After confirming with CPEC Authority officers, the Secretary denied any perks for the incumbent. 

No MoU signed on behalf of CPEC Authority, says Rana
Keeping in mind the lapse of the Ordinance, the Standing Committee members also asked if any MoU was signed on behalf of the CPEC Authority. While confirming that no MoU was signed, Rana assured he would take up the matter with the minister. Further, he said the CEO post of the CPEC Authority will be scrapped and the chairman will lead the CPEC under the CPEC Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Standing Committee members requested time to study the bill and it has been deferred to another date. (Khaleeq Kiani, “No CPEC Authority Chairman at present, NA panel told,” Dawn, 11 November 2020)

 

Speaker cancels security briefing amid opposition’s boycott
Qaiser accused of constantly suppressing opposition’s voice

Image Source: Dawn

On 10 November, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser cancelled the parliamentary leaders’ briefing by military officials on the current issues of national security after the opposition parties decided not to attend it. The National Assembly Secretariat through a tweet announced the decision to cancel the meeting officially without mentioning any reason. This is the second time in six weeks that the speaker had to cancel a meeting of the parliamentary leaders.

The opposition’s decision to boycott the meeting was announced by information secretary of the PDM who said, “The constituent parties of the PDM will not attend the parliamentary leaders’ meeting that has been convened on Nov 11. The decision has been made by PDM president Maulana Fazlur Rehman after consultation with all the component parties of the alliance.” Further, the secretary also accused Qaiser of being biased and “suppressing the opposition’s voice in the National Assembly.” However, a spokesman for the speaker rejected the opposition’s allegations and termed them “factually incorrect.” (Amir Wasim, “Speaker cancels security briefing after opposition’s boycott,” Dawn, 11 November 2020)


In Brief
ON GILGIT-BALTISTAN
PPP, PML-N, PTI throw allegation at each other in GB election rallies
With the election campaign across Gilgit-Baltistan is in full swing, Bilawal, Maryam and Federal Minister Murad Saeed have continued to address rallies in different parts of the region. Addressing a public meeting Maryam said that attempts were being made to steal votes, adding, “People should get rid of the worst rulers. This government has committed injustice with GB people.” Similarly, Bilawal said that Imran Khan took U-turns and went back on all his promises adding, “He will do this again.” Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Zulfi Bukhari has come to run election campaigns for PTI candidates. While rejected the allegations about pre-poll rigging, he said that Bilawal and Maryam feared defeat. Further, he said that the PTI would form the government in GB. (“PPP, PML-N, PTI trade allegations in GB election rallies,” Dawn, 11 November 2020)

Survey shows that the PTI is ahead of PPP, PML-N in GB polls
Two surveys conducted by Gallup Pakistan and Pulse Consultant have put PTI ahead of the PPP, while the PML-N has been placed at the third position. The surveys have shown that the upcoming elections in Gilgit-Baltistan will be very closely contested between the PTI and PPP. The surveys show that PM Imran Khan is the most popular leader in GB followed by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. Further, around 30 per cent of voters believe elections will be transparent and free of rigging. About the provincial status, the Gallup survey shows that 66 per cent of the locals are in favour of converting GB into a province, 28 per cent were against it. (“PTI ahead of PPP, PML-N in GB polls: surveys,” The News International, 11 November 2020)

330 candidates to contests for 33-member GB Assembly
330 candidates are set to contest for the 33-member Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly. These candidates would either be representing one of the 14 officially registered and recognised political parties of Gilgit-Baltistan or would be pitching themselves an independent candidate. Further, more than 700,000 voters will be exercising their right of franchise to elect 24 candidates in general elections, where leaders of all top national political parties are currently busy delivering fiery speeches against each other and making pledges and promises ahead of the polls. (Sabir Shah, “330 candidates to vie for 33-member GB Assembly on 15th,” The News International, 11 November 2020)

ON INDIA
Dawn editorial wants India “to seriously consider reopening the corridor”
An editorial in the Dawn critical of India’s stance on the Kartarpur Corridor states that politics and rigidity on the Indian side have ensured that the dream of this ‘peace corridor’ remains unfulfilled. Further, the editorial states that it appears that India’s concerns are less about health and safety amid the pandemic and more about maintaining a confrontational posture with Pakistan. In this regard, it states that once the pandemic subsides, both states must work on giving easier access to religious visitors from across the border, adding that this would help play a role in reducing levels of mistrust and hatred through people-to-people contact. (“Pilgrimage politics,” Dawn, 11 November 2020)

EXTERNAL
Foreign Office issues statement on Nagorno-Karabakh agreement 
On 10 November, the Foreign Office issued a statement welcoming the Russia-brokered agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The statement said Pakistan had always "supported the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute" in accordance with UNSC resolutions.” (“Pakistan hails Russian-brokered deal to end military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh region,” The Express Tribune, 11 November 2020)

Iran’s FM arrives for a two-day visit
On 11 November, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived in Islamabad on a two-day visit. The FO said that this visit would help deepen deepening bilateral cooperation and developing a better understanding of each other’s perspective on regional issues. The FM is accompanied by senior officials, including Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan. This is Mr Zarif’s fourth visit to Pakistan over the last two and a half years. (Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Iran’s FM arrives in Islamabad on two-day visit,” Dawn, 11 November 2020)

PAKISTAN’S WORLD VIEW
Editorial hopes Biden will bridge gaps with countries once close to the US
An editorial in The News International outlines the various foreign policy challenges ahead for President-elect Biden. According to the editorial, the main challenges lay in Iran, Latin America, the Paris Climate Treaty. It highlights the isolationist policies and indifference of Trump to countries once close to the US. It says, “It is likely that Biden will go back to these and set a new order in which the US is linked in a better fashion to other nations it once had extremely close ties with.” Next, the editorial highlights another problem - the UN funding. Recently, the UN said it would have to cut down salaries of its workers as Trump had cut off $300 million once paid to it. It says while countries like Saudi Arabia were able to bridge the gap in funding in 2019, they may not be able to do the same this year due to the pandemic. Therefore, it uges Biden to examine these problems. (“Building bridges,” The News International, 11 November 2020)

Pakistan will have to balance between US and China, says opinion article
An opinion article in The Express Tribune highlights the “damaging” aspects of Trump’s presidency on the national level and the foreign policy level. The author says Trump’s withdrawal from the WHO and withholding of funds from global organisations reflected his contempt towards them. He expects that Biden will “restore the dignity and effectiveness of these world bodies and resume funding” to them. Further, the author says “South Asia would remain a theatre of major power rivalry” between the US and China. He says Pakistan will have to incorporate a functional relationship with the US while maintaining close relations with China. (Talat Masood, “The impact of US elections,” The Express Tribune, 11 November 2020)

 


"The military has unnecessarily been dragged into an ugly political fracas, one that its reputation could well have done without. Security institutions must disengage from civilian affairs; therein lies the path of least controversy.”
-Editorial on the 'Karachi Incident', Dawn

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Maulana Fazlur calls for a PDM meeting

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28 October 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.170

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Pakistan and the SCO

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Pakistan This Week

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

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BLA claims the attack on Stock Exchange in Karachi

28 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.61

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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

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PTI tries to get the BNP back into coalition,

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Baloch partner of the PTI government leaves the coalition

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The PTI government invites the PTM for a dialogue

14 June 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.47

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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;