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Daily Briefs


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17 December 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.207

Imran Khan reiterates his support for the Afghan talks



Imran Khan reiterates support for the Afghan talks, willing to sacrifice the Sindh government says Bilawal, and survey says 35 per cent preferring Chinese vaccine

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
Imran Khan reiterates his support for the Afghan talks
Reducing tension not the responsibility of Taliban alone, says FM Qureshi

On 16 December, in a telephonic conversation, PM Imran Khan and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani discussed the progress of the ongoing intra-Afghan talks and enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries. PM Khan reiterated Pakistan’s support for the ‘Afghan-led and Afghan-owned’ negotiations aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. Further, emphasised Islamabad’s outreach to all Afghan stakeholders who are part of its facilitative efforts to ensure progress towards an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement. He also reiterated the need both sided to take measures for reduction in the violence leading to a ceasefire. (“PM speaks to Ghani, backs Afghan-led dialogue,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)

Taliban’s Political Commission meets FM Qureshi
On the same day, FM Qureshi held a meeting with the Taliban’s Political Commission (TPC) delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. After he met with the delegation while emphasising on the “seriousness of Taliban” he said, “Taliban are convinced that continued conflict is not in their interest. I could clearly see from the conversation their inclination towards peace and seriousness. It was very encouraging to see that,” adding, “Reduction in violence is not visible. We desire reduction in violence leading to ceasefire, but responsibility for not doing so is not alone on the Taliban. All sides have to play their role.” Further, he stressed on the role of the international community in reconstruction and economic development of Afghanistan.

TCP appreciates Pakistan’s facilitative role
After the meeting, the Foreign Office stated that the TPC delegation appreciated Pakistan’s facilitative role in the Afghan peace process and shared its perspective on various aspects of the intra-afghan negotiations. This meeting comes as the TPC delegation is visiting Pakistan from 16-18 December on the invitation of Pakistan as part of the country’s efforts to all Afghan stakeholders for a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict. Further, the Taliban delegation is to meet with PM Khan today. (“Reducing tension not responsibility of Taliban only: Shah Mehmood Qureshi,” The News International, 17 December 2020)

 

“All of us, including me, have decided to resign” says Bilawal 
Ready to sacrifice Sindh govt for removal of the PTI government in the Centre

Image Source: Dawn

On 16 December, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stated, “All of us, including me, have decided to resign,” Bilawal told reporters on Wednesday. He said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will devise a strategy to use the ‘atom bomb’ of resignations and long march against the incumbent government.” Further, he reiterated the PDM’s demand for PM Imran Khan’s resignation, adding that the opposition would plan in a way that the country is not destabilised.

The opposition wants to restore democracy in the country
Bilawal also added, “We know the workings of resistance and negotiations both,” he continued. “But now that we have launched a movement and are demanding Imran Khan’s resignation, the time for a national dialogue has expired.” However, he said, that talks were important in a democratic system adding, “We want to restore democracy in the country.”

Bilawal and Maryam exchanged views about the Senate elections 
Meanwhile, Bilawal in a telephonic conversation with Maryam Nawaz exchanged views about the Senate elections and the strategy of the PDM’s pledging that no unconstitutional means would be allowed to replicate the general elections of 2018 model in the Senate. Additionally, they decided that the PPP and PLM-N should formulate a joint strategy from PDM platform concerning Senate elections. Further, they discussed the current political situation following the PDM mobilisation through massive public meetings.

Rehman asks ECP to take notice of the PTI's decision to hold early Senate elections
Maulana Fazlur Rehman while referring to the decision of holding early Senate elections by PTI government, said that PTI government was a group of “mentally deranged people.” He demanded that the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) should take immediate notice of this decision by “illiterate people sitting in the cabinet of this illegitimate government” and should initiate action. (“Ready to forgo Sindh govt: Bilawal,” The News International, 17 December 2020)

 

Survey says 35 per cent preferring Chinese vaccine
56 per cent of Pakistanis want the opposition to postpone rallies 

Image Source: The Daily Times

According to The News International, a survey conducted by the Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR) stated that 56 per cent want the opposition to postpone their public rallies given the threat of coronavirus. On the other hand, 23 per cent said the opposition must go ahead with its rallies.

The survey which was participated by over 1,500 respondents and carried out between 2-14 December, revealed that 56 per cent respondents appreciated PM Khan for handling the pandemic, while 31 per cent respondents said his performance on the issue was non-satisfactory. Further, 56 per cent said they are willing to administer the coronavirus vaccine, with 35 per cent preferring Chinese vaccine, 14 per cent wanted local vaccine. However, 34 per cent said they did not need a vaccine.("56% Pakistanis want opposition to postpone rallies: survey," The News International, 17 December 2020)


In Brief
INTERNAL
At 105 deaths in a day, Pakistan sees second highest daily COVID-19 death toll
On 16 December, the SAPM on health said Pakistan recorded 105 COVID-19 deaths, the second-highest daily toll till date. With this, the total death coronavirus death toll stood at 9010. The SAPM warned that the virus had infected areas previously unaffected and was spreading at a rate similar to that in June. In June, Pakistan witnessed the highest daily death toll, 124 deaths. He emphasised on the increasing burden on hospitals and urged the public to adhere to all SOPs. (Ikram Junaidi, “Pakistan sees second highest death toll in a day from virus,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)

Editorial pushes for stepping up security systems in Karachi 
An editorial in Dawn, citing a recent attempted bomb blast and an attack on the Rangers in Karachi, says the growth of militant networks should be checked. The editorial appreciates the efforts of the administration so far in bringing peace to Karachi, which was otherwise a hub of religious, sectarian and ethnic militancy. It pushes for enhanced intelligence operations and increased security systems to prevent further attacks. It highlights the vibrant political culture of Sindh and says that any grievance with the state should be raised through democratic means, not terrorism and targeting innocents. (“Karachi insecurity,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)

UN releases HDI 2020, Pakistan ranks 154th
On 15 December, the UN released its Human Development Index (HDI) 2020; Pakistan ranks 154th out of the 189 countries. This year, the Index included two more factors because of the pandemic - the carbon dioxide emissions of a country and its material footprint. From South Asia, India ranked 131, “Bangladesh 133, Sri Lanka 72, Maldives 95, Nepal 142, and Bhutan 129.” (“Pakistan ranked 154th on HDI 2020,” The Express Tribune, 16 December 2020)

ECONOMY
SBP data shows dip in November’s FDI figures 
On 16 December, the State Bank of Pakistan said net FDI turned negative at $16 million in November. This was the first downturn in the figures in the last 25 months. The SBP data showed that FDI decreased by 17 per cent to USD 717 million during the July-November period. The figure stood at USD 864.4 million during the same period for the last FY. Further, China remained the biggest investor in the current FY because of the CPEC projects and sector wise, the power sector attracted the largest investments at USD 269 million. (Fayaz Hussain, “November sees negative FDI,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)

EXTERNAL
Pakistan repays USD one billion loan instalment to Saudi Arabia
On 16 December, an official from the foreign ministry said that Pakistan had repaid USD one billion to Saudi Arabia as a second instalment of a USD three billion soft loan. The official said Pakistan has borrowed a commercial loan from China to repay the last instalment of USD one billion in January 2021. According to analysts, it is unusual of Saudi Arabia to pressurise for the repayment. They attribute the sudden urgency from Riyadh to the increasingly strained relations with Islamabad. (“Pakistan returns $1bn of S. Arabia’s soft loan,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)

FM Qureshi to visit UAE today
On 17 December (today), FM Qureshi will visit the UAE amid the speculations on the recent visa suspensions. According to Dawn, the FM is likely to discuss bilateral cooperation, areas of mutual and regional interest, trade etc. He will also be interacting with the Pakistani diaspora as UAE is “home to the second-largest Pakistani community abroad.” (Kashif Abbasi, “FM leaves for UAE today,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)

Pakistan condemns US sanctions on Turkey
On 16 December, the Foreign Office denounced the US sanctions on Turkey, and urged the two countries to adopt “dialogue and diplomacy instead of coercion.” The US had imposed sanctions on Turkey for the purchase of the S-400 defence system from Russia and testing it in October. (“FO denounces US sanctions on Turkey,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)

PAKISTAN’S WORLD VIEW
Biden has to address the trust deficit among Republicans, says editorial
An editorial in Dawn, citing the recent election turmoil led by the Trump campaign, says it is troubling to witness an American president “disseminating falsehoods.” The editorial says that though the claims of electoral fraud are “nothing but a fishing expedition,” there could be serious consequences of the same. The editorial appreciates Biden’s response: “I will be a president for all Americans. I will work just as hard for those of you who didn’t vote for me as I will for those who did.” It highlights that Biden has a challenge ahead of him - to bridge the trust deficit among the Republican votes. (“Biden’s victory,” Dawn, 17 December 2020)


"The government must not be complacent about the fact that the laws it has been making in the form of ordinances, violating established conventions while bypassing parliament, will be treated as tainted or substandard legislation. Such laws betray a streak of
sadism in the lawmakers’ mindset that cannot be permitted in any civilised society.”
- An opinion in Dawn on 'Give parliament its due'

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26 February 2021, Friday I Vol 2, No.57

FATF to keep Pakistan on 'grey list' till June

24 February 2021, Wednesday I Vol 2, No.55

Pakistan, Sri Lanka discuss trade cooperation and regional security

23 February 2021, Tuesday I Vol 2, No.54

Military dismisses rumours about appointing new ISI chief

22 February 2021, Monday I Vol 2, No.53

By-elections turn controversial and violent

19 February 2021, Friday I Vol 2, No.50

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18 February 2021, Thursday I Vol 2, No.49

SC pushes for proportional representation in Senate

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Remittances cross USD two billion for seventh consecutive month

15 February 2021, Monday I Vol 2, No.46

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13 February 2021, Saturday I Vol 2, No.44

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12 February 2021, Friday I Vol 2, No.43

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Legal fraternity extends support to lawyers; condemns CDA

9 February 2021, Tuesday I Vol 2, No.40

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Pakistan begins nationwide vaccination drive

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Government passes CPEC Authority bill

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Supreme Court orders release of Omar Sheikh

28 January 2021, Thursday I Vol 2, No.28

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27 January 2021, Wednesday I Vol 2, No.27

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25 January 2021, Monday I Vol 2, No.25

Government, opposition to meet today

23 January 2021, Saturday I Vol 2, No.23

Oppositions demands new head for Broadsheet inquiry committee

22 January 2021, Friday I Vol 2, No.22

ECP rejects open hearing of cases

21 January 2021, Thursday I Vol 2, No.21

Pakistan conducts another test of Shaheen-III

20 January 2021, Wednesday I Vol 2, No.20

PDM holds protests outside the ECP

19 January 2021, Tuesday I Vol 2, No.19

Cabinet constitutes committee to probe Broadsheet scandal

18 January 2021, Monday I Vol 2, No.18

PDM to discuss ECP protests plan today

16 January 2021, Saturday I Vol 2, No.16

Vaccines will be procured in first quarter, says SAPM

15 January 2021, Friday I Vol 2, No.15

Govt permits PDM to stage protest outside the ECP office

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PTI blames agents in foreign funding case

13 January 2021, Wednesday I Vol 2, No.13

Broadsheet revelations vindicate struggle against elite, says PM

11 January 2021, Monday I Vol 2, No.11

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09 January 2021, Saturday I Vol 2, No.9

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08 January 2021, Friday I Vol 2, No.08

Pakistan successfully tests Multi-Launch Rocket System: ISPR

07 January 2021, Thursday I Vol 2, No.07

PM promises to visit mourning Hazaras in Quetta

06 January 2021, Wednesday I Vol 2, No.06

Supreme Court directs ETPB to rebuild Hindu Shrine in KP

05 January 2021, Tuesday I Vol 2, No.05

Hazara mourners refuse to bury Mach victims

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Govt approves the 6th National Census-2017

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Pakistan asks UN to forcefully condemn the attack on UNMOGIP

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Qureshi's UAE visit

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Imran Khan reiterates his support for the Afghan talks

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PTI rejects ultimatum for PM’s resignation

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Cabinet Reshuffle: Portfolios of three ministers changed

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PM asks the opposition to rethink conducting rallies 

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FM Qureshi meets with Hekmatyar

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Pakistan's pre-conditions for a dialogue with India

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Maulana Adil Khan laid to rest in Karachi

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21 September 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.138

Nawaz Sharif goes on an offensive and talks about

19 September 2020, Saturday I Vol 1, No.137

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18 September 2020, Friday I Vol 1, No.136

Pakistan’s Persisting Polio Problem:

17 September 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.135

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16 September 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.134

A non-bailable arrest warrant for Nawaz Sharif:

15 September 2020, Tuesday I Vol 1, No.133

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Pakistan and the SCO

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Accountability Court declares Nawaz Sharif as an absconder

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On Karachi, PPP and PTI divide comes to open

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Kashmir in the UN and Pakistan

02 September, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.122

Court directs Nawaz Sharif to appear before the court

01 September, Tuesday I Vol 1, No.121

Rains and Floods continue to haunt Pakistan

27 August 2020, Thursday I Vol 1, No.117

An article speculates the Opposition’s options and strategies

26 August 2020, Wednesday I Vol 1, No.116

"General Bajwa stabilized Pak-Saudi ties"

24 August 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.114

Pakistan, China and J&K

22 August 2020, Saturday I Vol 1, No.113

Pakistan and China pledge to safeguard common interests

20 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.111

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PTI's two-year report card

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Pakistan's Palestine Dilemma

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Pakistan at 73: Celebrating the Independence Day

13 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.105

COAS Gen Bajwa to visit Saudi Arabia soon

12 August 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.104

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The FATF divides within Pakistan

09 August 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No.101

Pakistan This Week

08 August 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.100

National Assembly clears two FATF bills, but blocks one.

07 August 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.99

Govt decides to lift restrictions as COVID cases decline

06 August 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.98

Pakistan's continuing Kashmir frenzy

05 August 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.97

Pakistan's new Map of J&K

04 August 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.96

Kashmir obsession in Pakistan

31 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.94

Two FATF bills passed in the National Assembly

30 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.93

Religiosity in Pakistan: From Creeping to now Galloping

29 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.92

Opposition parties attempt to come together

28 July 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.91

Pakistan's internal debate on Kulbhushan Jadav

26 July 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.89

Pakistan This Week

23 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.86

On the abduction of a Journalist in Islamabad

19 July 2020, Sunday I Vol 1, No.82

Pakistan This Week

17 July 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.80

The licences are not fake but only dubious

16 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.79

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

On Af-Pak Transit Trade

12 July 2020, Sunday, Vol 1, No. 75

Pakistan This Week

11 July 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.74

FATF action plan to be completed at the earliest: Shaikh

08 July 2020, Wednesday, Vol 1, No.71

Return of Lal Masjid Maulana

07 July 2020, Tuesday , Vol 1, No.70

Female Literacy in the Pashtun tribal regions

06 July 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.69

The problem with Pakistan Railways

02 July 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.65

The Curious case of "Minus One" Formula in Pakistan

30 June 2020, Tuesday, Vol 1, No.63

BLA claims the attack on Stock Exchange in Karachi

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

Pakistan This Week

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

Pakistan This Week

20 June 2020, Saturday, Vol 1, No.53

Budgets presented in KP, and in Gilgit-Baltistan

19 June 2020, Friday, Vol 1, No.52

PTI tries to get the BNP back into coalition,

18 June 2020, Thursday, Vol 1, No.51

Baloch partner of the PTI government leaves the coalition

15 June 2020, Monday, Vol 1, No.48

The PTI government invites the PTM for a dialogue

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

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Highest COVID Spike

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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;