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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

07 December 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.199

Pakistan’s surging second COVID-19 wave



Pakistan's second wave surges as the National positivity rate hits 9.71 per cent and Nawaz's statement lashing out at the establishment.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
Pakistan’s surging second COVID-19 wave
National positivity rate hits 9.71 per cent: NCOC 

On 7 December, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reported that the national positivity rate has been recorded at 9.71 per cent as COVID-19 cases across the country increases. According to Dawn, the NCOC data showed that over the last 24 hours, 3,795 cases have been reported in the country, the highest since July. Further, it showed that more than 40,000 tests were carried out daily for the past two weeks, 40 per cent of which were conducted through contact tracing. Additionally, 81 per cent of the positive cases were detected in the urban areas, where Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar and Karachi were contributing 70 per cent of coronavirus cases in the country.

4503 smart lockdowns imposed across the country
The NCOC also highlighted the measures taken by governments of provinces and federal territories to ensure the compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) between 5-12 December. Currently, 4503 smart lockdowns have been imposed in different areas across the country. (“National positivity rate hits 9.71pc as Covid-19 cases continue to rise, NCOC told,” Dawn, 7 December)

Six COVID-19 patients due to a shortage in oxygen supply
On 6 December, six patients in the Peshawar's Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) had passed away due to a shortage in oxygen supply. In this regard, the Provincial Doctors’ Association demanded that a judicial inquiry be conducted into the incident, explaining that not only COVID-19 patients but also other patients were also at risk of losing their lives due to lack of oxygen. Further, seven officials of KTH including the hospital's Medical Teaching Institution (MTI) director, were suspended. (“7 staffers suspended after low oxygen supply causes 6 deaths in Peshawar hospital,” Dawn, 7 December)

 

‘Undemocratic forces have choked freedom of expression’: Nawaz
PDM decides to go ahead with the rally despite govt warnings 

Image Source: Dawn

On 6 December, Nawaz Sharif lashed out at the establishment saying that none of the elected prime ministers has been able to complete their terms in Pakistan. He added, “Until now, none of the [elected] prime ministers have been allowed to complete their constitutional term. Every few years, democracy is attacked and martial law is imposed,” adding, “Again and again, the constitution was violated [...] those who created the country were termed traitors, popular leaders were jailed and leaders were made out to be robbers.”
Further, he said “undemocratic forces have started propaganda through social media that Nawaz Sharif's narrative is empowering enemies of the country,” adding, “These undemocratic forces have choked freedom of expression in the country, choked the poor and unemployment, have crushed them with inflation [...] these are painful things but all they are worried about is how to stop Nawaz Sharif.” (“Nawaz lashes out at ‘undemocratic forces’, says this is not the Pakistan Iqbal dreamt of,” Dawn, 7 December)

PDM leaders say they will hold the Lahore rally despite govt warning
On 7 December, the PDM leader said that they will go conduct their Lahore public meeting scheduled for 13 December despite the government warning of legal action. This statement came after heads of PDM's parties meet in Islamabad to review arrangements for the Lahore rally and to finalise a strategy for the next phase of its anti-government campaign. (“PDM leaders vow to hold Lahore rally despite govt warnings,” Dawn, 7 December)

PM Khan says he will give up his office but will not give any NRO to the opposition
Previously, PM Imran Khan said that he will give up his office but will not give any NRO to the opposition. He added that the opposition has been blackmailing the government since day one to pardon them while highlighting that the NRO given to the opposition by Gen Pervez Musharraf had had disastrous effects on the country, leading to an increase in debt liabilities. However, he reiterated the government would not stop the opposition from participating in the rally, “saying, “We will not stop them so that they can't [act] dramatic and assume the role of revolutionaries [and] try to become Joan of Ark or Che Guevara.” (“Will leave my seat, but will not give NRO: PM Imran,” Dawn, 5 December)

In Brief
INTERNAL
First all-women power run held in Karachi
On 6 December, Pakistan witnessed its first all-women five kilometre race, called the Women Power Run in Karachi. It was organised Born2Run Pakistan; around 50 women, aged from 13 to over 50 years, participated. Sohail Sardar, who had previously been a lone runner, trained them for free. He was proud that everyone finished the race. Awarding a consolation prize even to the person who finished last, Sardar said his biggest reward is seeing the participants’ enthusiasm. (Shazia Hassan, “Excitement in the air as first women-only race held in Karachi's DHA,” Dawn, 7 December)

There is confusion within the PDM leadership, says FM Qureshi
On 6 December, Foreign Minister Qureshi said the PDM lacks ideological harmony because each party in it has a different agenda. He said there is an existent confusion in the PDM over various issues, including tendering resignations from the Assembly. He said, if the PDM should instead resign together at the rally to be held on 8 December. He alleged that the PDM leaders did not attend a discussion on the COVID-19 situation and the future course of action, despite being invited to do so. (Shakeel Ahmed, “Qureshi challenges PDM over resignations issue,” Dawn, 7 December 2020)

PTI has created a vicious environment for journalists, says editorial
An editorial in Dawn, written in the backdrop of an interview of Former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Hard Talk, is critical of the government coming down heavily on journalists. After the interview, the PTI Lahore tweeted a list of mediapersons “building narratives for the corrupt.” The twitter handle also listed “brave and bold journalists fighting the war of truth and justice.” Though the tweets were deleted after a public uproar, the editorial says the tweets reflected the PTI’s stance on independent journalists. The editorial highlights that the PTI government has tried to deride any negative coverage about the government. It says that previously too, PTI has discredited several journalist accounts and labelled them as anti-state. It concludes that the PTI brought in a “vicious environment” wherein journalists cannot operate “without risking their physical safety and mental well-being.” ("Bad journos," Dawn, 7 December 2020)

EXTERNAL
Pakistan remembers Babri Masjid, urges India to protect its Muslims
On 6 December, the Foreign Office said the date is a “sad reminder” of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. The statement conveyed that the “illegitimate structure,” which has been a part of “the Hindutva-driven BJP” is a  “scar on the face of so-called ‘largest democracy’ in the world.” Further, the FO criticised the SC’s acquittal of the accused and said the judgement reflects that faith has overtaken justice in India. The FO also highlighted other developments in India and claimed them to be anti-Muslim - the CAA-NRC process, and “targeted killings of Muslims in Delhi with state complicity in February.” Therefore, the FO asked the Indian government to create a safe space for the Muslims and ensure implementation of guidelines of the UDHR,OIC and other organisations. (“Pakistan asks India to ensure protection of Muslims,” Dawn, 7 December 2020)

Pakistani team members test negative in the fifth round of testing
On 6 December, the New Zealand Cricket announced that Pakistani cricket team, isolated in Christchurch, will be free to leave quarantine on 8 December after getting an approval from the Health Ministry. The NZC tested the players five times since their arrival in New Zealand; no positive result was reported in the fifth round of testing. The team is scheduled to play the warm-up matches in Queenstown from 18 December. (“Pakistan team cleared to leave isolation in New Zealand after negative Covid tests,” Dawn, 7 December 2020)

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BLA claims the attack on Stock Exchange in Karachi

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24 June 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.57

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23 June 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.56

Imran Khan says he was against the idea of lockdown

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Baloch partner of the PTI government leaves the coalition

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Pakistan This Week

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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;