Daily Briefs

Photo : The News

27 December 2019, Friday

“PM takes Saudi FM into confidence on IOK, anti-Muslim law”: The News

Government seeks the Supreme Court to review its verdict on extending the tenure of Gen Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff; Lahore High Court gives permission to a PPP at Liaquat Bagh to remember Benazir Bhutto

PR Daily Brief | D. Suba Chandran

27 December, Friday

In the News

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, was in Pakistan. Dawn reported Prime Minister Imran Khan telling him that "the Muslim population in India was suffering at the hands of extremist Modi government in the worst manner" and highlighting him "in detail the worst situation in the IOK, India's discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC)"

Issues in the background

Did the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia visit Pakistan for a day to listen to Imran Khan complaining about India and the situation in J&K?  In a meeting that was attended by Ambassador of Saudi Arabia, Foreign Secretary and the Director-General of the ISI, would India be the primary focus?

Perhaps, that is what the government wanted to feed to the media, and the latter published the same.

Just before the visit of the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia a few weeks earlier, on the eve of the summit organized by Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur. Pakistan was to take part in the Malaysian summit, which was led by countries outside Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Muslim World.

Pakistan was pressurized by Saudi Arabia not to take part in the summit; Imran Khan had to cancel Pakistan's participation in the last minute. The fact that he did not send anyone from the foreign ministry or others highlight, where Pakistan stands on the point.

Many within Pakistan criticized Islamabad's position on the summit.

Second, Pakistan would have complained to the visiting foreign minister about what is happening in India. However, unfortunately for Islamabad, there are no takers of Pakistan's position in Riyadh, as India's relations with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC countries are on a solid footing.

While the Malaysian Prime Minister has voiced a strong opinion about India and J&K during the last few weeks, none of the big States from the Middle East have done so. It should be painful for Islamabad to know its allies (if not the masters) are not standing up with Pakistan on India.

The text of the press release, posted below, would highlight where Saudi Arabia stands on India and J&K, and how Pakistan it trying to keep the focus, perhaps for a local audience.

“The Foreign Minister dilated in detail on the situation in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) in the aftermath of India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019. He also highlighted the Indian Government’s actions with regard to CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act 2019) and NRC (National Register of Citizens) and the systematic targeting of minorities in India, particularly Muslims. The Foreign Minister thanked the Kingdom’s support in OIC Contact Group on Jammu & Kashmir.

Prince Faisal underscored the importance that Saudi Arabia attaches to its fraternal and strategic relationship with Pakistan. He conveyed the Saudi leadership’s deep appreciation for the role played by Pakistan in maintaining regional peace and stability. Adding that Saudi Arabia was committed to a strong, prosperous and successful Pakistan, he reaffirmed the commitment of Saudi leadership in cementing ties with Pakistan in all fields. The two Foreign Ministers discussed OIC’s role in the advancement of the cause of Kashmir.” Source: http://mofa.gov.pk/foreign-ministers-meeting-with-saudi-foreign-minister-prince-faisal-bin-farhan-al-saud/


Also in the News:

Government seeks the Supreme Court to review its verdict on extending the tenure of Gen Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff

Almost after a month that a three member bench of the Supreme Court gave a verdict on the extension of the tenure of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, the government formally submitted a petition to review the verdict. The original verdict of the Supreme Court said: “The current appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as COAS shall be subject to the said legislation and shall continue for a period of six months from today, whereafter the new legislation shall determine his tenure and other terms and conditions of service.”

Instead of discussing the issue in the Parliament and passing a new legislation, the fact that the government has decided to seek for a review – after a month – highlights the issues involved. It includes whether the political opposition is on the same page and whether the military would like the extension to be discussed in the Parliament.


Lahore High Court gives permission to a PPP at Liaquat Bagh to remember Benazir Bhutto

The district administration was directed by a bench of the Lahore High Court to allow the PPP to hold a rally at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, and also provide necessary facilities and security for the same. Earlier, the local administration refused the PPP to hold the rally, highlighting security threats to Bilawal Bhutto, the leader of the PPP.

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in the same place, while addressing a public rally in 2007.


Who will be arrested next from the PML-N

Following the arrest of Ahsan Iqbal, former interior minister and a strong critic of Imran Khan, the News has published a story on who could be arrested next from the PML-N. According to the newspaper, the “list includes the names of Khawaja Asif, Maryium Aurangzaib, Javed Latif, Rana Tanvir, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Attaullah Tarrar, Uzma Bukhari, Khurram Dastgir and Mohsin Ranjha.”


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