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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

23 November 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.189

PDM calls for the end of PTI’s “puppet rule”



PDM calls for end of PTI’s “puppet rule”, an opinion on the plight of working women, and an editorial on providing security to minority communities.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
PDM calls for the end of PTI’s “puppet rule”
Imran Khan warns of imposing complete lockdown
 

On 22 November, during the opposition’s Peshawar rally, the Pak­istan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders sought an end to the incumbent PTI government’s ‘puppet rule’ and warned against government actions and policies which they claim were based on a ‘stolen mandate’. They also accused the PTI of hollowing out Pakistan.

Peshawar witnessed a massive turnout of general public
Despite the ban on public gatherings, the pandemic warnings, and security predictions of the rally being prone to terrorist attacks, Peshawar witnessed a massive turnout of the general public and political activists at the opposition’s rally. Further, marchers belonging to nearly 12 political parties poured into the rally venue despite the security warning from the KP government that quoted fresh intelligence reports as saying the “rally is prone to possible acts of terrorism.”

Time for the ‘selected government’ of Imran Khan to go says Bilawal
In his address, Bilawal Bhutto said it was time for the ‘selected government’ of Imran Khan to go. He also said, “We will hold accountable the puppet government and their selectors as well,” adding that corruption could not be rooted out until the law of the land applied equally to “judges, generals and politicians” of Pakistan. Further, terming PM Khan as a ‘puppet’ he added that he was also supporter and facilitator of militants.

PDM has declared war against the puppet rulers in Islamabad: Rehman
Addressing the rally, Maulana Fazlur Rehman declared PM Khan as Pakistan’s Mikhail Gorbachev, stating that his actions and policies would hollow out Pakistan, making it vulnerable to disintegration. Further, he said, “PDM has declared war against the puppet rulers in Islamabad,” adding, “We will not afford them the escape route of an NRO. We know who overtly stole the people’s mandate in the 2018 elections. We also know who did it covertly.”

Quotable
“Amid much pomp and show, the occasion eviden­ced a rare bonhomie among political parties of diverse hues — religious, nationalists and federalists — much like those in Gujranwala, Karachi and Quetta before it. However, what set it apart was the show of strength from the Awami National Party (ANP) that along with the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl jointly hosted the event,” says Dawn. (“‘Puppet rule’ must come to an end, says PDM,” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

Imran warns against complete lockdown if rallies continue
Meanwhile, PM Khan said the government would be forced to impose a complete lockdown if the opposition did not stop from holding public gatherings at a time when the country was battling the impact of COVID-19. In a tweet, he said, “In (Pakistan), the PDM by continuing with Jalsas (public gatherings) is deliberately endangering lives and livelihoods (because) if cases continue to rise at the rate we are seeing, we will be compelled to go into complete lockdown & PDM will be responsible for consequences.” (“Imran warns of total lockdown if rallies continue,” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

 

On Gender: Selective justice is no justice at all, says opinion 
Rights protection and relief should not depend on social media reactions

Image Source: Pakistan Reader

An opinion in the Dawn critical of the plight of women in Pakistan says that women’s protection has become increasingly dependent on the level of publicity an incident receives. In this regard, the opinion says that rights protection and relief should not depend on social media reactions.

The problem is two-tiered: legal loopholes and on-ground practicalities
The opinion asks that although established mechanisms exist, female employees still have to work in and endure unsafe sexist environments. Why?
To this, the opinion highlights two issues. First, the legal loopholes. The Ombudsperson’s Office, to start an inquiry into an organisation’s failure to implement the anti-harassment law, depends on complaints made by employees. However, there is no penalty for non-compliance. Thus, may organisation have ignored such laws, thereby limiting the ombudsperson’s capacity to take affirmative action. Another loophole is the lack of vital data accumulation regarding harassment at the workplace thus creating space for suppression and abuse.
Second, on-ground practicalities. The opinion state that most social media reactions to being harassed include victim-blaming and character assassination. This in turn leads to families imposing further restrictions on their working female relatives, as a result, the number of women choose not to come forward with their complaint. Further, practical hurdles such as the accessibility of the office act as a deterrent for women facing harassment at the workplace.

Existing laws must be made more prominent
The opinion says that much of these practical hurdles can be minimised by, first, making the existence of this law more prominent while promoting the female perspective, thus giving women greater confidence to come forward and name their harassers. Further, the opinion concludes by stating that the severity of the situation can be observed through the resistance against establishing internal inquiry committees received in parliament, the judiciary, bar councils and political parties. However, while those in power hide behind technicalities instead of constituting committees in good faith, the opinion is critical of expecting workplaces to do the right thing. (Beenish Zia, “Silence of the working woman,” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

From the PR Archives: Women in Pakistan have broken the glass ceiling, but the social walls stand strong
While women have progressed rapidly in Pakistan, a closer look into the status of working the story does not seem to be the same. The plight of working women has been plagued with violence, harassment and discrimination with women still struggle as they continue to live in a 'Man's World'. Women continue to reach greater heights only to face the same problems that once restricted them. (“The Gender Question,” Pakistan Reader, 8 September 2020)
 

Another member of Ahmadi community killed 
Security to minority communities not a priority for the State, says  editorial

Image Source: Dawn

An editorial in the News International, critical crimes perpetrated against religious minorities say that the recent killing of another member of the Ahmadi community is another senseless killing. Further, critical of the little to no reaction to these killings shows that providing security to minority communities is not a priority for the government both at the centre and province. Further, the editorial says that although there are laws in place to address such hate-inspired and faith-based killing, the response of individuals or mobs to take vengeance on their own has become such a normal part of life in Pakistan, however, the reason people continue is that overall society tolerates it. The editorial concludes by stating that any real change in Pakistan will have to come with a change in the mindset of the people. Further, those who spread hate should not be tolerated, adding that Pakistan will only be worth living in if it respects all Pakistanis, regardless of creed. (“Rising hatred,” The News International, 23 November 2020)


In Brief
INTERNAL
Rectify misconceptions on COVID-19, invest into scientific research, says an opinion
An opinion in Dawn, critical of the public’s and politicians’ disregard for COVID-19 SOPs, outlines the way forward for Pakistan to address the second wave of the pandemic. The author says the first step is to rectify the misconception that COVID-19 is harmless; the second wave could also be treated as a national emergency. To combat disinformation, the author suggests that media discussions of ‘interminable political squabbles’ be replaced with information of the pandemic and vaccines. He says the current measures - “use of masks, hand hygiene, and physical distancing - must be made a mandatory measure for the next one or two years. He further urges to place a moratorium on public meetings and political rallies; imposition of section 144 should help. He says the current situation must be translated into an opportunity to invest more into “scientific research institutions related to basic immunological research and vaccine development.” (Zulfiqar A Bhutta, “What can we do to salvage Pakistan’s Covid-19 response?” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

Opinion highlights problems of existing provisions to address concerns in legal profession
An opinion in Dawn, citing the letter by Judge Sajida Chaudhry, holds the respective bar council accountable for the current state of affairs in the legal profession. The author says that though the bar councils are not weak or undemocratic, the provincial bar councils fail to “effectively discharge their regulatory duties including the obligations under Section 9(c)” of the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act, 1973.  This section is a provision to “determine cases of misconduct against advocates on its rolls and to order punishment in such cases.” He says one reason for lack of implementation is the two-step process that a complainant has to go through and also raises questions about “the conflict of interest and impartiality of adjudicators.” Further, he says the process is discouraging as it “seems designed not to provide justice but to frustrate any attempts to penalise a lawyer.” He, therefore, emphasises that a “process of accountability by independent and neutral adjudicators is a necessity to achieve that goal.” (Anique Malik, “A failed model,” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

PROVINCES
Four suspected militants and a soldier killed in North Waziristan

On 22 November, “four suspected militants were killed and a soldier was martyred” after militants attacked a security check post in North Waziristan. As per officials, the incident took place in Speen Wam tehsil in the Mir Ali division. (“Four ‘militants’ killed in North Waziristan,” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

EXTERNAL
Pakistani minister deletes controversial tweet against Macron
On 22 November, the federal Mini­ster for Human Rights deleted her tweet said French President Emmanuel Macron “was treating Muslims in his country like Nazis had treated Jews during World War II.” The Minister made her tweet based on an article published on “themuslimvibe.com” which said that France was “planning to issue special identity numbers to the Muslim children.” She deleted the tweet after the French Ambassador in Pakistan sent her a message informing her that the article published had been rectified. According to Dawn, by deleting the tweet, a possible diplomatic row had been averted. (Amir Wasim, “Diplomatic spat with France averted as minister deletes tweet,” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

PAKISTAN'S WORLD VIEW
All eyes on Biden for the Israel-Palestine question say an editorial
An editorial in the Dawn says that whilst the Trump administration tried its best to bury the dream of a Palestinian state forever and ensure Israel was not accused of its brutality, all eyes will be on how Joe Biden handles this subject come January. Further, the editorial states that although Biden may reverse American recognition of illegal settlements, he has stated that he will not change his predecessor’s decision on Jerusalem. Thus, this means that Palestinian hopes for justice from the new US administration will remain unaddressed. Further, the normalisation of ties between Israel and other Arab states leaves the outlook for the region grim. The editorial concludes by stating that while the Palestinians will continue to resist, their critics will wrongfully label them as ‘enemies of peace’ for rejecting inherently flawed and unjust ‘peace’ plans. (“Pompeo’s tour,” Dawn, 23 November 2020)

ON INDIA
Opinion on Doval’s strategy and way forward for Pakistan 
An opinion in The Express Tribune criticises Ajit Doval and says that he turned the reversing of the “paradigm of terror,” between India and Pakistan into an industry. The author gives an example - “If India found pain in Kashmir, she will inflict the same on Pakistan in Balochistan.” He says if possible Doval might “turn Balochistan into Kashmir if he could somehow agitate the Baloch mind to a tipping point.” However, the author says Doval “has access to only a fringe hiding away in Afghanistan and on the borders with Iran.” Further, he gives other examples of Doval’s plan - revocation of Article 370, the Indian interest in Chabahar, “teaming up splintered TTP elements” and the like. He says that Pakistan may not always have the luck of escaping with minor skirmishes and urges Pakistan to review its options to counter India. He asks diplomats to present to the FATF and UNSC the evidence of Indian “violations of UNSC Resolutions for planning, abetting and financing terror against Pakistan”and for “nurturing elements of Daesh on its soil” [India] to attack Pakistan. (Shahzad Chaudhry, “Doval’s dirty war,” The Express Tribune, 21 November 2020)

ON AFGHANISTAN
Opinion emphasises need for larger cooperation between Afghan and Pakistan leadership
An opinion in The Express Tribune, at the backdrop of Imran Khan’s visit to Kabul, says Afghanistan and Pakistan have to first resolve their trust issues. The author says in order to achieve their common agendas - dealing with issues of militants - there has to be a greater communication between the leadership of both countries. He hopes that if both countries develop a mechanism “instead of indulging in blame game,” the bilateral ties could go a long way and stabilise regional peace. He says though Biden’s Afghan strategy may not be different from Trump’s, he may “review the agreement with the Taliban with a view to extracting more concessions from the insurgent group,” thereby increasing pressure on Pakistan. Therefore, he asks Pakistan to make all-out efforts to build closer ties with Afghanistan. (Kamran Yousaf, “Pak-Afghan trust deficit,” The Express Tribune, 22 November 2020)

 


"PDM has declared war against the puppet rulers in Islamabad. We will not afford them the escape route of an NRO. We know who overtly stole the people’s mandate in the 2018 elections. We also know who did it covertly.”
-PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at the PDM rally in Peshawar

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