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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

07 April 2021, Wednesday I Vol 2, No.97

Pakistan-Russia talks mark the beginning of ‘a new era’ says, Qureshi



The divide within the Opposition, Qureshi's statement on the Russian Foreign Minister's upcoming visit, and the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
Pakistan-Russia talks mark the beginning of ‘a new era’ says, Qureshi
Delegation-level talks held with Russian counterpart at Foreign Office

On 7 April, FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Foreign Office (FO). FM Lavrov, who is in Islamabad on a two-day visit – the first by a Russian foreign minister in nine years is also set to meet the political and military leadership as well. During his visit, he is scheduled to hold wide-ranging talks with his Pakistani counterpart, with the issue of Afghanistan high on the agenda.
Post the meeting, FM Qureshi said, “Building multi-dimensional relations with Russia is a key priority for Pakistan and we believe a strong relationship contributes to regional stability and global security.” Further, FM Lavrov thanked FM Qureshi for the warm welcome and reiterated his commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including the promotion of bilateral economic, trade and defence cooperation. (Naveed Siddiqui, “FM Qureshi holds delegation-level talks with Russian counterpart at Foreign Office,” Dawn, 7 April 2021)

Beginning of ‘a new era’ with Russia
FM Qureshi termed the meeting as the beginning of ‘a new era’ with Russia, he said, “This visit, that has taken place a decade later, is significant. We hope that Russia will play a role in bringing peace to the region.” Further, the next meeting of Pakistan-Russia cooperation is set to be held in Moscow, after both sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the intergovernmental commission at the earliest for the promotion of economic relations. (“Pakistan-Russia talks mark the beginning of ‘a new era’: Qureshi,” The Express Tribune, 7 April 2021)

 

ANP quits the PDM over show cause notice
PML-N senators ask Sanjrani to treat them as an independent group
Image Source: Dawn

On 6 April, the Awami National Party (ANP) formally announced that it was withdrawing from PDM. Ameer Haider Hoti, the party’s leader stated that stating that the alliance had been “hijacked by some political parties” for their own interests. This decision came after the PDM issued show-cause notices to both the ANP and PPP leadership for seeking support from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) for securing the position of Senate leader of the opposition for PPP’s Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Further, Hoti said, “No one, except for ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, can send us a show-cause notice,” adding “The PPP raised objections to the PML-N candidate [Azam Nazeer Tarar] but the PDM refused to address these concerns. We supported the PPP’s candidate [Gilani]. However, the PDM instead of trying to resolve these differences issued show-cause notices.” Further, he stated “The way PDM acted was wrong. We cannot accept the imposition of the agenda of two-three parties on the entire alliance. In this situation, we cannot go along with the alliance,” adding, “The show-cause is an attempt to dent the political goodwill of the ANP.” (“ANP quits PDM, says alliance 'hijacked' by some parties,” Dawn, 7 April 2021) (“ANP parts ways with PDM over show-cause notice row,” The Express Tribune, 7 April 2021)

Meanwhile, PML-N senators ask Sanjrani to see them as an independent group
On the same day, PML-N senators met with Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and asked him to treat them as “independent opposition.” As per the official handout by the Senate Secretariat, the PML-N delegation, headed by Azam Nazeer Tarar, informed the Senate chairman that their group comprised 27 senators and that they should be consulted separately at the time of formation of the standing and functional committees of the house. (“PML-N senators ask Sanjrani to treat them as independent group,” Dawn, 7 April 2021)

 

IMF predicts a 1.5 per cent growth rate for Pakistan
WB forecasts a growth rate of 1.3 per cent

Image Source: The Nation

On 6 April, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted an economic growth rate of 1.5 per cent for Pakistan, coupled with a higher rate of inflation and rising unemployment, during the current fiscal year. Further, going forward the IMF has projected economic growth rate recovering to 4 per cent of GDP next year (FY2022) and 5pc by 2026. This projection is in sharp contrast to the revised 3 per cent GDP growth forecast made by the State Bank of Pakistan. (“IMF forecasts 1.5pc growth rate for Pakistan,” Dawn, 7 April 2021)

Meanwhile, the World Bank in its in its flagship report, ‘Pakistan Development Update-Navigating in Uncertain Times’ released on 6 April said the country had been showing signs of a fragile economic recovery with a gradual resumption of economic dynamism and was expected to achieve a growth rate of 1.3 per cent and strengthen to an average of 2.7 per cent in FY23. (“WB puts Pakistan growth rate at 1.3pc,” Dawn, 7 April 2021)


In Brief
INTERNAL
PTI lawmakers show support to Jahangir Tareen
On 7 April (today), PTI lawmakers in Punjab displayed a show of support for Jahangir Tareen, when he and his son Ali Tareen, appeared at a banking court. A PTI MNA opined that Imran Khan may not have won the vote of confidence without Jahangir. Dismissing claims that he was parting ways from the PTI and that he met Asif Zardari, Jahangir said, "For the past year, after the sugar inquiry commission, these things have been happening against me. I have remained silent for one year. What more proof do you need of my loyalty?" However, he said he was expecting justice from the PTI and asked the party,  “I was a friend. Why are you pushing me to become an enemy?" (“PTI Punjab lawmakers appear in court alongside Tareen in show of support,” Dawn, 7 April 2021)

Women’s rights groups denounce PM’s remarks on sexual violence
On 7 April, Dawn reported that the Women’s Action Forum, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and several rights groups submitted a statement condemning Imran Khan’s remarks on rape. The statement said his remarks “have the effect of further traumatising and silencing survivors of sexual violence by placing the blame on them, instead of on those who carry out the crime and the system that enables rapists.” (“Rights bodies assail PM’s remarks on causes of rape,” Dawn, 7 April 2021) Previously, on 4 April, Imran Khan remarked that “sexual violence is somehow a product of ‘obscenity’ — which he described as a Western and an Indian import.” (“Controversial view,” Dawn, 7 April 2021)

Pakistan records less than 4,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time in 10 days
On 6 April, the National Command and Operation Centre noted that Pakistan had recorded less than 4,000 cases in 24 hours, for the first time in 10 days. The NCOC recorded less than 4,000 cases last on 24 March. Planning Minister Asad Umar tweeted that the drop in cases was a result of increased restrictions, broader lockdowns, and stricter enforcement of SOPs. However, he warned that because of a two weeks momentum, mortality will remain high for some time. (Ikram Junaidi, “Covid cases fall below 4,000 first time in 10 days,” Dawn, 7 April 2021)

EXTERNAL
WHO to help improve healthcare facilities in Islamabad
On 6 April, the WHO said it would ensure that necessary measures are taken to strengthen healthcare facilities in Islamabad. The development came after the WHO country director met with Director General Health Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI). The meeting outcome includes that the country director and the MCI team will visit all parts of Islamabad, including slums, to decide where the healthcare facilities need to be improved. Currently, Islamabad slums have 11 healthcare centres and two outpatient departments, which however have lately been focusing on COVID-19 only, said the MCI director general. (Ikram Junaidi, “WHO to help strengthen healthcare services in capital,” Dawn, 7 April 2021) 

FIFA suspends PFF citing hostile takeover of its headquarters in Lahore
On 7 April, FIFA cited third-party interference in the Pakistan Football Federation and suspended the latter for the same. FIFA said the decision was taken after there was a “hostile takeover of the PFF headquarters in Lahore by a group of protestors and an alleged decision by certain individuals to remove the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee of the PFF” and replace its leadership. The suspension will be lifted after the “illegitimate occupation” is lifted. (Abdul Ghaffar, “FIFA suspends PFF with immediate effect over 'third-party inference',” Dawn, 7 April 2021)

ON GILGIT-BALTISTAN
Government urged to address electricity shortage in GB
On 7 April, The News International reported that speakers at a tourism conference called on the government to provide a solution to the electricity shortage in Gilgit-Baltistan, in order to boost tourism. A journalist said GB only got two to four hours of electricity in a day, and probably less during winters. He also mentioned that the region faced lack of infrastructure and connectivity and internet-related issues. (“Tourism conference urges federal govt to resolve GB's power woes,” The News International, 7 April 2021)

 
Also read...                                                                               
An opinion in Dawn critical of PM Imran Khan’s recent remarks on rape says that it is regrettable that the he does not appear to have understood just how unsafe women in this society are. It says that the prime minister’s remarks exposed not only his lack of understanding of a terrible crime but also his misdirected notions of history, culture and the dynamics of social change. Such hidebound ideas cannot be expected to take this country forward.

An editorial in Dawn says that PM Imran Khan recent instruction to his spokespersons in to refrain from criticising the opposition is the first clear sign of a recalibration in strategy. Nevertheless, knowing the prime minister’s predilection for self-righteousness and mercurial about-turns, it is difficult to gauge whether the political rhetoric will be dialled down for long.
 



"A circus has better decision-making processes and Pakistan’s government can and must do better. The most important fact is that credible action, not narratives, win in today’s misinformation-fuelled world. Pakistani policymakers would be well-advised to pay heed to Pompliano’s advice."
-An opinion in Dawn 'Folly of narratives'

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Pakistan, Sri Lanka discuss trade cooperation and regional security

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FO claims Pakistan made progress on remaining FATF items

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Supreme Court orders release of Omar Sheikh

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

Government, opposition to meet today

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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

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PDM to discuss ECP protests plan today

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PTI blames agents in foreign funding case

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PM promises to visit mourning Hazaras in Quetta

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Supreme Court directs ETPB to rebuild Hindu Shrine in KP

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Hazara mourners refuse to bury Mach victims

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FM Qureshi meets with Hekmatyar

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Maulana Adil Khan laid to rest in Karachi

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Nawaz Sharif goes on an offensive and talks about

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

Pakistan’s Persisting Polio Problem:

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

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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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Court directs Nawaz Sharif to appear before the court

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An article speculates the Opposition’s options and strategies

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"General Bajwa stabilized Pak-Saudi ties"

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

Pakistan, China and J&K

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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;