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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

01 December 2020, Tuesday I Vol 1, No.195

PDM stages another power show in Multan



The PDM power show in Multan, the election of PTI's Khalid Khan as chief minister of GB, and the relocation of Pakistan's lonely elephant to Cambodia.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
PDM stages another power show in Multan 
Promise to hold a bigger show in Lahore next week

On 30 November, PDM held its fifth rally at Multan's Ghanta Ghar Chowk. This came after the numerous differences between the city administration and opposition workers over holding a public event amid the surging COVID-19 cases in the country. According to the News International, the government gave in after creating lots of hurdles by placing containers on all the routes leading to the public meeting venue, while making dozens of arrests and booking hundreds of political activists. Further, Punjab Inspector-General of Police (IGP) ordered against preventing the PDM leaders from proceeding with their rallies in the Multan city and ordered for the removal of all barriers in the way of the opposition workers. (“Govt gives in after creating hurdles, making arrests: PDM holds rally in Multan,” The News International, 1 December 2020)

Stop it if you can: Maulana Fazlur Rehman
While addressing the rally, Rehman said they would not sit idle until the prime minister quit. Further, he reiterated that the government had come to power through a rigged election and destroyed the country’s economy, besides giving it a failed foreign policy and compromising on the Kashmir issue. He also said, “Now we are going to organise protests across the country on Friday and Sunday. Stop it if you can. We want to move forward carefully to return the right of vote to the nation and to restore the dignity of vote. Don’t take our gentleness for our weakness. Don’t underestimate us, we can go beyond this. We also want strengthening of establishment, but if the establishment weakens us, we will not let it do this.” (“PDM holds Multan rally against all odds,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)

Resign, before the difficulties for you and your masters’ increase: Maryam 
Maryam Nawaz said, that PM Imran Khan should resign before the PDM announced its future strategy, saying, “Resign, before the difficulties for you and your masters increase. Resign, before the PDM takes any decision.” She also accused the government of “throwing occupied Kashmir in [Indian PM] Modi's lap” and said that a campaign was being run for Pakistan to accept Israel as a state. Further, she said that she will continue to fight for the public's rights “even if I have to go to jail.”

Selected will have to go now: Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari
While attending the rally on behalf of her brother, Aseefa, said that the public has given its verdict and the “selected will have to go now.” She added, “I have come among you today at a time when my brother, your brother, Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is suffering from coronavirus. I hope that just like you supported the mother of democracy and the daughter of the east, you will support Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on PDM's platform. And I promise that I will support Chairman Bilawal and you at every step.” (“'Selected will have to go now,' says Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari at political debut in Multan,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)

 

GB Assembly elects PTIs Khalid Khan as chief minister 
PPPs Amjad Hussain elected as leader of the opposition

Image Source: The Nation

On 30 November, Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly elected Khalid Khurshid Khan of the PTI as chief minister and PPP’s Amjad Hussain as leader of the opposition. Khan, who was fielded by the PTI-Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen alliance secured 22 votes while Hussain who was a candidate of the opposition parties nine votes.

Khan promises to solve being faced by the people GB
Khan promised to ensure measure to solve the issues being faced by GB people. He said health, education and other sectors would be solved on a priority basis. Further, he said that GB’s merger with rest of Pakistan would be a historic move, adding that the PTI was taking this step. He also promised to make sure all resources would be utilised to boost tourism around the year instead of a few months. He also promised judicial, agriculture reforms, and women empowerment.

Hussain promises to continue fighting against every anti-people move of the government
Hussain said he would continue to resist against every anti-people move of the government. Further, he reiterated that the GB elections were rigged as the Centre committed every possible rigging to defeat the PPP in the region. (“PTI’s Khalid elected chief minister of GB,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)

 

Pakistan's lonely elephant Kaavan reaches Cambodia 
Years of campaigning pays off

Image Source: Dawn

On 30 November, Pakistan's lonely elephant Kaavan arrived in Cambodia by cargo plane to start a new life at a wildlife sanctuary in Oddar Meanchey province which already hosts three female elephants. Animal rescue organisation Four Paws said that Kaavan still had another 90-minute drive and would arrive at the sanctuary after nightfall, thus he is to be in daylight on 1 December (today). On his arrival, Cambodia’s deputy environment minister said, “Cambodia is pleased to welcome Kaavan. No longer will he be 'the world's loneliest elephant'.” His relocation came after years of campaigning by animal rights activists and singer Cher who advocated for him to be rescued from grim conditions with no companion. (“No longer 'world's loneliest elephant': Kaavan's journey from Islamabad to Cambodia in pictures,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)


In Brief
INTERNAL
Imran Khan calls for a special division to oversee border management
On 30 November, Imran Khan ordered the formation of a special division to oversee border management systems. He said the special division must be supervised by an Additional Secretary from the Interior Ministry. He emphasised that border security is a necessity “to promote trade, especially with Afghanistan.” Some federal ministers, SAPM Moeed Yusuf and ISI Director General attended the meeting; it was highlighted that there was no central body to monitor border management. The meeting also told Imran that there was a “dire need to collect information at one place about people entering the country through land, air and sea routes.” (Syed Irfan Raza, “PM orders special body to oversee border management,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)

Opinion outlines why lockdowns may not resolve the second wave of COVID-19
An opinion in Dawn criticises the political narratives surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic; political parties criticise one another for the surge in cases. The author traces Pakistan’s response to the pandemic through the months, from a complete lockdown to relaxations as the health systems did not give in to the pressure. She lists out reasons why lockdowns may not be the solution amid the second wave: “provincial governments are perhaps more averse to a lockdown because of the impact on the economy,” and the public may not adhere to severe restrictions again because of the fatigue. She highlights that this is the time to listen to health experts; but these voices are lost in the political noise because Pakistan has realised that “the cost to society and healthcare is not unbearable.” (Arifa Noor, “Eight months of a pandemic,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)

PROVINCES
Four killed by unidentified assailants in North Waziristan
On 30 November, four tribal elders were shot dead by unidentified armed men near the Mir Ali Bazaar in North Waziristan. The four deceased were in a car when the gunmen ambushed them and opened fire. The police launched a security operation but were unable to trace the assailants. (“Four tribal elders shot dead in Waziristan,” The News International, 1 December 2020)

EXTERNAL
Pakistan calls for cooperation and knowledge sharing to address COVID-19 at the SCO meet
On 30 November, Pakistan’s Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs attended the 19th Council of Heads of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO-CHG) meeting hosted by India. The Parliamentary Secretary emphasised on the role of SCO in helping Pakistan achieve regional peace. She said it was important to cooperate, collaborate and share knowledge to address the Covid-19 pandemic. She also highlighted the increased extremism and racism resulting from Neo-Nazism and Islamophobia. Further, she condemned “state terrorism inflicted upon people living under foreign occupation in disputed territories.” (Iftikhar A Khan, “Pakistan attends SCO meeting hosted by India,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)

Pakistan signs MoU with China on defence cooperation
On 30 November, Pakistan and China signed an MoU to increase defence cooperation between the two countries. The Minister of National Defence of China met COAS Qamar Bajwa at the GHQ before signing the MoU; they discussed regional security, enhanced bilateral defence collaboration and other matters of mutual interest. Further, the minister appreciated Pakistan for providing security for the CPEC projects. (“MoU signed with China to enhance defence ties,” Dawn, 1 December 2020)

PAKISTAN’S WORLD VIEW
Opinion criticises the international community’s silence on Iran assassination incident
An opinion in The News International says the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has raised concerns across Middle East; this is the second high-profile assassination in recent times; the first one being the assassination of General Soleimani. The author says the assassination comes after the “reported” meeting between officials of Saudi Arabia, Israel and the USA. The author, critical of the silence of the international community, says bodies including the UN and EU are concerned about keeping Iran from making a retaliatory move than “taking notice of this illegal assassination.” He urges Iran to “reign in its proxies, preventing them from taking any retaliatory actions,” as it can have dire consequences. He says Iran should present its problems before the international community and should outline solutions to the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, and the Shia-Sunni divide. (Abdul Sattar, “Provocations in the Middle East,” The News International, 1 December 2020)

ON INDIA
OIC resolution on Kashmir, a big win for Pakistan, says editorial
An editorial in The Express Tribune talks about the “OIC resolution” which is “in favour of the people of the disputed region [Kashmir] and in line with Pakistan’s position.” The editorial calls the resolution a win. According to the editorial, the resolution rejects “India’s flurry of illegal moves” in Kashmir and has demanded to “ cancel the domicile certificates issued to non-Kashmiris, withdraw amendments to landownership laws, and refrain from other legal attempts to change the area’s Muslim majority, and indeed, Kashmiri majority status.” It urges Pakistan to continue drawing attention to “India’s abuses in the region.” It says Pakistan must call on world leaders to help Kashmiris “get their right to self-determination.” (“OIC resolution on Kashmir,” The Express Tribune, 30 November 2020)

 
 


"Now we will be face to face in Lahore on December 13, which will prove the last nail [in the government’s coffin], from where we will chase them to Islamabad. Until he [prime minister] leaves the country, neither we nor the masses will sit idle.”
-PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman

 

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