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Photo : Dawn

20 January 2022, Thursday I Vol 3, No. 17

Justice Ayesha Malik’s appointment to Supreme Court approved by a parliamentary committee



BLA claims responsibility for a bomb blast that derailed a train in Balochistan, SHC orders government to set up a task force on enforced disappearance and Federal government asked to stop urea smuggling to Afghanistan and COAS met Chinese envoy

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
POLITICS
National Assembly adjourned again due to lack of quorum
On 29 January, the National Assembly was adjourned due to a lack of quorum for the third consecutive day. The came after PML-N MNA ordered a headcount and adjourned the sitting till Friday morning after finding the house not in order due to lack of quorum. Dawn citing a report according to the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency stated that the quorum has become a chronic problem for the NA, stating that 24 out of the 79 total sittings were adjourned due to lack of quorum during the third parliamentary year ended in August 2020. (“National Assembly adjourned due to lack of quorum for third day,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

PTI asks ECP to expedite PPP and PML(N) accounts scrutiny
On 19 January Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib urged the election commission to reconstitute the committee scrutinizing bank accounts of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He said that PTI track was accountable and everything was in public domain but the opposition parties were (also) guilty in foreign funding. (“ECP asked to expedite PPP, PML-N accounts scrutiny,” The Express Tribune, 20 January 2022)

Balochistan agriculture minister requests Federal government to stop urea smuggling to Afghanistan
On 19 January, Mir Asadullah Baloch, agri minister of Balochistan along with agriculture secretary said Urea was being smuggled to Afghanistan through Balochistan. He added that 80 per cent of population in Balochistan is dependent on agriculture and the federal government must take action against smugglers. The crises of new governance in Afghanistan has disrupted industries in Afghanistan which makes it more profitable for smugglers to sell at a higher price. (Saleem Shahid, “Centre asked to stop urea smuggling to Afghanistan,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Punjab: Government proposes LG polls first phase on 15 May
On 20 January, Dawn reported that the Punjab Local Government minister Mahmoodur Rasheed stated that the Punjab government was ready to hold the local government elections and conveyed its readiness to the Election Commission of Pakistan. The government has proposed that the ECP hold local government elections in two phases beginning from 15 May. (Mansoor Malik, “Punjab proposes LG polls first phase on May 15,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

Balochistan: Six injured after bomb blast derails Jaffar Express
On 19 January, six passengers were injured after a bomb blast at a railway track near Sibi derailed four bogies of Jaffar Express. The banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the bombing. Meanwhile, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo condemned the bomb blast and stated that the elements involved in the terrorist act would not be spared. (Saleem Shahid, “Six passengers injured as bomb blast derails Jaffar Express,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

Balochistan: Local court in Rawalpindi awards death sentence to a woman
On 19 January a woman convicted of blasphemy, inciting hate speech and insulting religious beliefs was awarded a death sentence for her blasphemous act when she had shared controversial content to a friend on WhatsApp. She was awarded a fine and prison term sentence separately for crimes other than blasphemy. (“Woman awarded death in online blasphemy case,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

INTERNAL
Sarina Isa raised complains over law minister and PM’s aid to NAB
On 20 January, Dawn reported that Sarina Isa in a two-page letter to the chairman and the prosecutor general of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) complained that the government had recently amended the Income Tax Ordinance (ITO) through the Finance (Supplementary) Bill simply to protect “top elected functionaries” from any criminal proceedings for disclosing personal tax information about her. In the letter she named law minister Anwar Mansoor, the chief of Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) and prime minister’s adviser Mirza Shahzad Akbar, and Federal Board of Revenue chairman Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed. Meanwhile, in response Naseem and Akbar said that the received the letter in which “as usual” levelled “baseless, fake and mala fide allegations” against them. They added, “We are of the considered view that we have enough tolerated the nonsensical allegations by the lady and those behind her, and have decided to issue an appropriate defamation notice and take them to the court of law for loss and damage to our reputation, which has, inter alia, been occasioned through the letter in question.” (Nasir Iqbal, “Sarina Isa seeks NAB action against minister, PM’s aide,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

Affidavit meant to ‘set record straight,’ says Rana Shamim
On 20 January, Former Gilgit-Baltistan chief judge Rana Mohammad Shamim disclosed he had decided to write an affidavit to ‘set the record straight' and requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to seek a counter-affidavit from former chief justice Saqib Nisar. He said, “It is also of utmost importance that the veracity of the facts mentioned in the affidavit is to be confirmed through a thorough inquiry. It is also extremely important for just outcome that a counter affidavit by the former chief justice Saqib Nisar is also produced before the inquiry and the respondent is given an opportunity of cross examination.” (“GB ex-judge Rana Shamim claims affidavit meant to ‘set record straight’,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

Civil officers suspended responsible for Murree tragedy
On 19 January Punjab chief minster Usman Buzdar held a press conference and sponsored the findings of the inquiry committee he said that 15 officials were suspended and disciplinary action was recommended against them. Mr Buzdar said, “I have fulfilled my promise of holding a fair and transparent inquiry into the Murree tragedy and taking action against all those whose negligence led to the death of 23 people who were compelled to confine themselves in their vehicles as heavy snow fell on the night of Jan 7,”. (Mansoor Malik, “Murree tragedy: Pindi commissioner, CPO among 15 officials suspended,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

Incumbent attorney general not keen on finishing his term
On 19 January Khalid Javed Khan conveyed to PM that he may be relieved from his responsibilities as attorney general from February 2022. Khalid Javed has been a go-to person for ruling government for his mature and sane legal interpretation has cited domestic reasons for non-continuation of tenure. Khalid Javed Khan had even distanced himself for representing the government in the presidential reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa, citing a "conflict of interest". Khalid had also warned the government to not indulge and be abusive towards ECP for its stand on electronic voting machine. (Ansar Abbasi, “Attorney general wants to quit,” The News International, 20 January 2022)

JUDICIARY
Justice Ayesha Malik’s appointment to Supreme Court approved by a parliamentary committee
On 19 January, the Parliamentary Committee on appointment of judges approved the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court. Following the parliamentary committee meeting, Chairperson Senator Farooq H. Naek stated that Justice Malik’s elevation was approved unanimously, adding that the committee did not compromise on seniority rules. He also stated that since Justice Malik would be the first woman judge in the Supreme Court and also has a reputation for competence and integrity, the committee had voted in her favour. (Malik Asad, “Parliamentary panel approves Justice Ayesha Malik’s appointment to Supreme Court,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

SHC orders government to set up a task force on enforced disappearance
On 19 January, the Sindh High Court directed the provincial authorities to constitute an enforced disappearance task force for missing persons. The court mandated that the task force must have officers not below the rank of DSP in every district of the metropolis for the recovery of missing persons. Additionally, the court express dissatisfaction over reports filed by police in missing persons’ cases, adding that only stereotype reports were being filed in the cases without any substantial progress. (Ishaq Tanoli, “Sindh govt ordered to set up task force on enforced disappearance,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

ECONOMY
First half of FY 2022 sees fiscal deficit rise by 29 per cent
On 19 January, the national daily The Express Tribune based on its sources reported that the fiscal deficit for the July-December 2021 had reached USD 10.8 billion ( at the recent exchange rates). The size is equal to 3.3 per cent of the GDP. This development comes in the backdrop of decreased spending on public sector development programs. Of the expenditures, 40 per cent of those were used for debt repayments. (Shahbaz Rana, “Income-expense gap widens to Rs1.8tr,” The Express Tribune, 20 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
Chinese envoy meets COAS at Army HQ
On 19 January Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong discussed aspects of CPEC. Regional security and newer avenues of bilateral cooperation. ISPR released a statement which said, Mr Rong was satisfied with “progress on CPEC and reaffirmed the need for timely completion of the remaining projects.” On the same day Czech envoy met PAF chief Zaheer Ahmad Babar Sidhu at PAF HQ. (“COAS, Chinese envoy discuss CPEC, regional security,” Dawn, 20 January 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

“Polio is a purely human health problem and scholars have always played a very positive role in countering it. Even today, with this ongoing campaign, we appeal to the people to play their role in safeguarding the healthy future of children and protecting them from this contagious disease.”
-Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, President of JUI-F

“Pakistan Film Week is kicking off at Dubai Expo from today. Eleven Pakistani films will be screened in Pakistan Enclosure from March 21 to 26. This year will be the year of revival of Pakistan Cinema. This year PTV's Film Division has been established. Which will make ten films in the public-private sector”
-Ch Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting

“According to The Economist, Pakistan ranks third in the world in terms of inflation. After The Economist's report, people are asking the government whether Pakistan is still the cheapest country in the region. The whole world is saying that inflation is rising in Pakistan but the federal government is not ready to accept it.”
- Senator Sherry Rehman, PPP Parliamentary leader

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn on “Too great a divide” provides a bleak predicament on reconciliation of ruling and opposition parties. In the light of Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s remarks on engaging opposition on electoral and judicial reforms, the author writes “his words will prove to be mere rhetoric unless they are backed by confidence-building measures to create an environment of mutual trust.”

An editorial in Dawn titled “Military inductees” brings light to a noteworthy Senate debate by the opposition; which questioned the PTI on increasing “militarisation of civil institutions.”

An editorial in Dawn titled “Suu Kyi charges” highlights Myanmar’s ruling junta’s efforts to “spin a complicated legal web around Aung San Suu Kyi” in order to keep her away from civil politics. The author, however, suggests that in order to bring peace and development, “sustained democracy” is the way forward.

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Increasing telecom tax” stresses on how “people with limited income” will bear the brunt of new taxes under mini-budget.

An editorial in The Express Tribune believes that “Decentralisation of more administrative units and creation of new provinces is indispensable in a rapidly devolving world, referring to “Saraiki province.”

An editorial in The Express Tribune on “Extradition treaty with UK” emphasizes PTI’s continued negotiations with the British since 2019. On top of PTI’s mind is to ultimately repatriate former PM Nawaz Sharif, nevertheless “there is reason to believe that talks are not as advanced as Pakistani authorities would suggest”, the author writes.  

An editorial in The News International on “Terror attacks” in Islamabad carried out by TTP on 17 January 2021. It reiterates that the “recent terror attacks in Islamabad and in the rest of the country show that extremist and militant outfits of various brands are not to be taken lightly in the hope of a reconciliation.”

An editorial in The News International on Adiala report, disclosed “the culture of lawlessness” prevalent at the Rawalpindi’s Central Jail. Be it inequal treatment of prisoners parallel to their financial status, or political influence, or sudden postings and transfers of junior staff by the higher authorities fitting their needs- reveals the state of lawlessness.

An opinion on “The other security threats” appreciates the NSP for bringing in the scope for resolving security threats and has established symbiotic relationship between traditional and non-traditional threats affecting Pakistan.

An opinion in Dawn written by Nighat Dad titled, “New law, new hope” on the recent amendment to the Act of 2010 on the Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill, writes “the bill is a welcome and historic development for all women, men and transgender communities in the country.”

An opinion in The Express Tribune written by Imtiaz Gul questions on “how can Pakistan ensure its water security in the presence of an elaborate NSP that has marginally touched on the issue?”

 

“Matters may not be as extreme at present as they were then, but there are still a significant number of military inductees in civilian posts, a situation at odds with a democracy and bound to create disgruntlement among civilian officers qualified for these positions.”

-An editorial in Dawn on “Military inductees”



Photo : Dawn

19 January 2022, Wednesday I Vol 3, No. 16

Bilawal offers conditional possibility of working with the PDM



ECP decision to declassify key documents in PTI foreign funding case, Government reaches out to Opposition amid criticism over bills, IHC asks AG to prosecute officials responsible for the abduction of citizens, and Pakistan,

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
POLITICS
Bilawal offers conditional possibility of working with the PDM
On 18 January, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari praising the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for considering the option of a no-trust move against the government said, “If they (PDM) are ready to withdraw their stance on the issue of en-mass resignations and consider my proposal of bringing a no-confidence motion, then certainly there is a possibility that we can work together.” He said, “My demand from the first day was to bring a no-confidence motion against this government,” adding, “The government should be dislodged through democratic means.” (Amir Wasim, “Bilawal sees probability of opposition parties working together,” Dawn, 19 January 2022) (“Bilawal offers conditional reconciliation with PDM,” The Express Tribune, 19 January 2022)

Information minister says government willing to cooperate and work together with opposition
On 18 January, during a press briefing information and broadcasting minister extended an olive branch to opposition parties and said “We want to engage the opposition on important national issues like electoral and judicial reforms and the appointment of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman.” He also clarified the government position on naval sailing club case and urea shortage country in the country. (Syed Irfan Raza, “Govt extends olive branch to opposition amid uproar over bills,” Dawn, 19 January 2022)

ECP orders declassification of key documents in PTI foreign funding case
On 18 January, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ordered for the declassification of all critical documents linked to the PTI’s foreign funding case. The documents bring made public will include, “(1) list of all bank accounts maintained by PTI anywhere in Pakistan from 2009 to 2013, with date-wise details of transactions, (2) Country-wise list of all fund transfer to the PTI accounts from abroad from 2009 to 2013 separately for each financial year, including names/particulars of remitters, and (3) monthly bank statements of all the accounts maintained/operated by PTI in Pakistan and abroad for each financial year i.e. 2009 to 2013.”

Additionally, the ECP has rejects PTI’s plea to keep its funding record secret, stating, “we are astonished as to how we can pass such an order when report submitted before us has become a public document. Therefore, being not convincing, application stands rejected.” (Iftikhar A. Khan, “ECP declassifies key documents in PTI foreign funding case,” Dawn, 19 January 2022) (“ECP rejects PTI’s plea to keep its funding record secret,” The Express Tribune, 19 January 2022)

PTI MNA apologies apologises to ECP for offensive remarks
On 18 January, the PTI MNA Jamshed Iqbal Cheema during the hearing of his contempt notice by the ECP stated that he has high regard for the election commission, adding, “I apologise if my words offended the ECP.” Meanwhile, the ECP reserved its decision on the notice and adjourned the hearing till 1 February. (“Cheema apologises to ECP for offensive remarks,” The Express Tribune, 18 January 2022)

Maryam refutes the claim of cracks within PML(N)
 On 18 January, after attending her appeals against her wrong conviction by NAB in Avenfield she said “Instead of following his example and borrowing the boots from him, they [PTI leaders] spent winter nights in the heated bedrooms of their official residences, maintained on public expense while tourists were dying in the snow.” She said that the government was trying to divert attention to politics to avoid the heat of incompetence of the government in dealing with tragedies. (Malik Asad, “Maryam trashes claim of cracks in PML-N ranks,” Dawn, 19 January 2022)

INTERNAL
“This is not a matter of petty theft or dacoity, this purely is an act of terrorism,” says Interior Ministry
 On 18 January, following the attack of a police party in Islamabad, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed warned that this was a signal that terrorism had come to Islamabad, saying, “This is not a matter of petty theft or dacoity, this purely is an act of terrorism.” Meanwhile, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the shootout that took place in Karachi Company police precincts in Sector G-8 in which one policeman was killed. (Munawer Azeem, “Terror has come to the capital, interior minister fears,” Dawn, 19 January 2022)

JUDICIARY
Missing persons’ commission failed to cope with the menace of enforced disappearances, says IHC
On 18 January, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) observed that the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances had failed to cope with the menace of enforced disappearances as well as recover the missing persons. In this regard, the court asked the Attorney General (AGP) to take steps to prosecute officials responsible for abducting citizens. Additionally, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked the AGP to suggest measures to end the impunity. (“IHC asks AG to prosecute officials responsible for abduction of citizens,” Dawn, 19 January 2022)

ECONOMY
Pakistan to launch Sukuk bonds worth over USD 1 billion
On 18 January, Pakistan Global Sukuk Programme Company a special purpose vehicle of the government of Pakistan declared a seven-year dollar-denominated internal Islamic product valued at over USD 1 billion. The joint lead managers and book runners — Dubai Islamic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank — have already started the process of marketing the bond and expected to begin book-building for the transaction. PGSPC will pledge the bond back by motorway projects and the issuance is in consonance with IMF approval to continue with EFF program with Pakistan. (Khaleeq Kiani, “Pakistan kicks off process for Sukuk bond launch,” Dawn, 19 January 2022)

Pakistan received 20 per cent higher FDI in July-December 2021
On 18 January, SBP released its half-yearly of trade and economics statistics. The report noted that net FDI stood at USD 1.05 billion compared to USD 879.9 billion of the previous year. China was the highest contributor of FDI and invested USD 306 million followed by the USA, Hong Kong, The Netherlands and Singapore. However, sector-wise the FDI was only lower in the coal sector and thermal power compared to the previous financial year, other sectors such as the oil and gas sector, financial business and IT recorded higher FDI. (Shahid Iqbal, “Foreign direct investment increases 20pc in July-December,” Dawn, 19 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
Pakistan and UK agree to finalise agreement on repatriation of convicted criminals
On 18 January, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed met with UK High Commissioner Christian Turner in Islamabad during which the two sides agreed to finalise and sign agreements for repatriation of convicted citizens and criminals. Additionally, they agreed that bilateral agreements would help further strengthen cooperation between the two countries. Further, Rashid stated that Pakistan and the United Kingdom have long-standing ties and “we attach immense importance to our relations.” (“Pakistan, UK agree to ink pact on repatriation of convicted criminals,” The Express Tribune, 19 January 2022)

FM receives telephone from UAE counterpart to discuss Abu Dhabi terror attack
On 18 January Foreign Office released a statement based on the latest telephonic conversation between Pakistan foreign minister and his Abu Dhabi counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan about Pakistan condemnation of the terrorist attack in which three people died, one of which was a Pakistani national. The foreign office spokesperson said “Pakistan and UAE have excellent fraternal ties. The two foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening and deepening bilateral relations further,”. (Kamrani Yousaf, “Pakistan, UAE FMs discuss Abu Dhabi terror attack,” Dawn, 19 January 2022)

Pakistan compensates Chinese national who died in terrorist attack at Dasu Dam
On 18 January Pakistan paid compensations ranging from USD 4.6 million to USD 20.3 billion to the 36 Chinese national who had died and got injured in the suicide attack on the bus which was carrying them. This is the second compensation Pakistan has paid to foreign nationals who lost their lives due to unforeseen circumstances. This week Pakistan paid compensation to the family of Sri Lankan national who was lynched in Sialkot. The move is speculated to remove irritants in bilateral relations between Pakistan and China. (Shahbaz Rana, “Pakistan to pay Dasu attack Chinese victims,” The Express Tribune, 19 January)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"PTI’s manifesto promises the creation of a separate province for the people of South Punjab. Irrespective of political affiliation, the national interest requires unity on a Constitutional amendment. As VC of PTI, I invite opposition leaders to join us in making this a reality."
-Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister

"For countries, going to the IMF is like an individual going to an emergency room in a hospital. If someone has to keep going to ER frequently, there is an untreated underlying condition that needs treatment."
-Husain Haqqani, Director of Hudson Institute

“It is incomprehensible to conduct general elections through EVM without experience. Nowhere in the world have elections been held without pilot testing. You are already accused of managing elections through RTS. It is the constitutional responsibility of the government to review the objections of the Election Commission and the opposition parties.”
-Senator Sherry Rehman, PPP Parliamentary Leader

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “UAE targeted” highlights the deteriorating situation after Houthi rebels conducted UAE strikes. “The fact is that unless the Yemen quagmire is addressed in a holistic manner and a peaceful resolution is found, this deadly cycle of attacks and counter-attacks will continue”, says the author.

An editorial in Dawn titled “New province debate” has garnered support for the creation of a new province in south Punjab. The major political parties are already divided on the issue, while PTI and PML-N bewildered behavior is quite understandable, PPP is very supportive of the idea.

An editorial in Dawn raises concern over the spread of Omicron in Karachi. Karachi lately has been contributing 66 per cent of the total cases being reported in the country, “the situation in the city is especially precarious”, says the writer.

An editorial in The Express Tribune “Scourge of Child labor” expresses regret for 3.3 million children who are coerced to work in their early childhood. The writer believes even after state institutions have worked to tackle the problem through constitutional amendments, it is “obviously hamstrung by its limited funds and official manpower at its disposal to fully and practically eradicate the scourge.”

An editorial in The Express Tribune on “World Bank growth forecast” emphasizes WB unchanged prediction of 3.4 per cent growth. However, that figure is much below the government's already low prediction of 4.8 percent. It's also one of the lowest in South Asia, and considerably below the worldwide growth rate of 4.1 percent overall and 4.6 percent for developing economies predicted by the World Bank.

An opinion in The Express Tribune stresses on “building a self-sustaining and dynamic economy, however, is no easy challenge” says Talat Masood on “National Security Policy- a perspective.”

An opinion in The Express Tribune on “Kazakhstan in the grey zone”, the author says “when the news about unrest in Kazakhstan hit the headlines, it drew the attention of common Pakistanis.”

An opinion in Dawn on “Vicious cycle of politics” written by Zahid Hussain believes that as general elections are approaching, “the political atmosphere has become more pernicious.” Why? Simply because the season of conspiracy theories has begun.

An opinion in Dawn written by Rafia Zakaria focuses on how the pandemic has worsened the mental health of people across countries. She writes, “In Pakistan, those with issues related to anxiety and depression already suffer from the lack of available mental health treatment; and those who have developed these issues during the pandemic have no chance whatsoever to avail them.”

An opinion in The News International highlights PM Imran Khan’s recent statements on wanting to play to bridge the gap between the US and China. The author believes that there is “a lack of understanding of the current complexities of US-China relations and an inflated self-image of Pakistan’s diplomatic stature in the prevailing international environment.” Rather it must focus on “maintaining good relations with both”, says the writer.

 

“Not surprisingly, the security establishment remains the final arbiter of power as the squabbling political forces vie with one another to earn its blessings. Interestingly, the entire political discourse revolves around whose side the establishment is on.”

-An opinion in Dawn on “Vicious cycle of politics”



Photo : Dawn

18 January 2022, Tuesday I Vol 3, No. 15

President formally appoints Justice Umar Ata Bandial as next chief judge



ECP suspends 150 lawmakers’ membership for not filing asset details, PM Khan’s conversation with President Putin, PTI, PPP back south Punjab province bill and CPEC phase-II to be much broader in scope, says envoy

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
President formally appoints Justice Umar Ata Bandial as next chief judge
On 17 January, President Arif Alvi formally appointed Justice Umar Ata Bandial, as Pakistan’s next chief judge. According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice, “In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 175(3) read with Article 177 of the Constitution, the president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to appoint Mr Justice Umar Ata Bandial, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court, as chief justice of Pakistan with effect [from] Feb 2, 2022.” (Nasir Iqbal, “Umar Ata Bandial formally named country’s next top judge,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

ECP suspends 150 lawmakers’ membership for not filing asset details
On 17 January, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released a list of MNAs, senators and MPAs of the four provincial assemblies who failed to file their statements of assets and liabilities for the fiscal year that ended on 30 June 2021. A total of 150 legislators’ membership was suspended by the ECP for not filing their statements of their assets. (Kalbe Ali, “150 lawmakers lose membership for not filing asset details,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

Compliance report sought on demolition of illegal navy building by IHC
On 17 January, Islamabad High Court ordered the cabinet secretary division to file a compliance report on the recent judgements given by IHC. The judgement by IHC ordered the navy sailing club to be razed within three weeks as the club lied on the embankment of Rawal lake and also declared another building illegally occupied on Simly Dam road. IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah also ordered criminal proceedings against the former naval chief for inaugurating the sailing club which lied within the limits of Shakarparian National Park. (Malik Asad, “IHC seeks compliance report over ‘illegal’ navy buildings,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

Bill for creation of South Punjab province introduced in Senate
On 17 January, a private member bill seeking creation of south Punjab province was introduced by Rana Mehmoodul Hasan of PML(N), it received political support from both major parties, PTI and PPP in the senate. There was another bill introduced on the same day by PPP senator Farooq H. Naek to introduce parliaments role in appointment of judges, to bring a right to appeal in suo-moto cases taken up by judiciary and to bring in a rule of seniority in appointment and elevation of judges in SC. (Iftikhar A Khan, “PTI, PPP back south Punjab province bill,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

Investigating body probing Murree tragedy may not submit its findings on time
On 17 January, sources close to the committee shared that the probe report may miss the Monday deadline as it needed for time for coming out with recommendations. The committee had done extensive quizzing and collected records from different departments while also interviewing survivors and victims of the tragedy. (Imran Asghar, “Murree tragedy inquiry report faces delay,” The Express Tribune, 18 January 2022)

Sialkot lynched victim’s family receives grant
On 18 January, Dawn reported that family of Priyantha Kumara, who was lynched on blasphemy charges in Sialkot received grants from Rajco Industries and the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Rajco Industries has sent Rs17.6 million as financial aid and SCCI raised usd 100,000 as financial assistance for the family. (“Lynching victim’s wife receives aid,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

POLITICS
PM is hypocritical and exploiting religion for self-interests, says Shehbaz Sharif
On 17 January, opposition leader in the national assembly and PML(N) president Shehbaz Sharif took to twitter to attack the PM. He said “Really concerned with the way Prime Minister is using religion as a cover-up for the massive governance & economic breakdown the country has suffered in decades due to his policies. Such a self-serving approach will wreak greater damage upon the polity than is being understood.” (“PM using religion to cover up failures, says Shehbaz,” The News International, 18 January 2022)

Will reverse the SBP bill if brought to power, says Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
On 17 January, PML(N) senior vice president and former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that ruling government had undermined parliamentary rules to pass SBP amendment bills among others. HE added that SBP bill would make the governor very powerful and autonomous and PML(N) would reverse the impact of the bill by bringing another ordinance to safeguard country’s economic sovereignty. (Amir Wasim, “PML-N will reverse SBP bill after coming to power: ex-PM Shahid Khaqan,” Dawn, 18 January)

PROVINCES
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Development budget of the merged tribal areas has been doubled since 2018, says PM Khan
On 17 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the development budget of the merged tribal areas has been doubled since 2018, claiming that the government increased the development budget from Rs24 billion in 2018 to Rs54 billion this year. Additionally, he stated that the development of merged areas was one of the PTI government’s foremost priorities. (“Merged districts’ budget doubled since 2018: PM Imran,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Two children killed in grenade explosion in Swat
On 17 January, two children were killed while another was injured in a grenade explosion in Kala Kallay area of Kabal tehsil in Swat. According to the police, “The children had found the grenade near their house and put it into the fireplace inside their house, causing it to explode, leaving the two brothers dead and injuring the third.” (“Grenade explosion kills two children in Swat,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

Balochistan: A report on ‘Revisiting massacre of Hazara miners’
On 18 January, Dawn in a report titled ‘Revisiting massacre of Hazara miners’ highlights the plight of the Hazara community since the 2020 killing of coal miners in Mach. Dawn quoting a Hazara coal mine contractor stated that over the past several years many Hazaras have left the Mach coal town, stating, “The killing of four Hazaras in Mach at the end of its bazaar in 2013 triggered their migration towards Quetta.” (Muhammad Akbar Notezai, “Revisiting massacre of Hazara miners,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

ECONOMY
Government set to review the executive power of Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP)
On 17 January, PM Imran Khan nodded for the presentation of a summary of the scope of work of federal auditors. The attorney general had opined that AGP office work is to be remain limited to the audit of accounts and not venture into the performance of government enterprises like the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) which sign MoUs with regard to payment to independent power producers. The AGP in reply has refused to accept the advice citing constitutional violations if done so. (Shahbaz Rana, “Govt to clip wings of Auditor General,” The Express Tribune, 18 January 2022).
 
EXTERNAL
PM Khan speaks with President Putin; reassures interest for gas project  
On 17 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan on in a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin reassured him of Pakistan’s commitment to collaborate with Russia on the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project. According to a statement from the PMO’s office, “The prime minister underscored that Pakistan’s bilateral relationship with Russia was on an upward trajectory, with an increased focus on trade and economic ties and energy cooperation. He reiterated the government’s resolve for early realisation of the Pakistan Stream Gas Pipeline Project.” (Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Pakistan keen to work on gas project, PM Imran assures Putin,” Dawn, 18 January 2022)

ON CPEC
Pakistan envoy to China terms CPEC phase II as much broader
On 17 January, Pakistan ambassador to China Moinul Haque in an interview termed the phase II of the CPEC as much broader in scope and its focused-on relocation of industries, agricultural modernization, cooperation in S&T and job creation. He added that Gwadar free trade zone would help in promoting futher regional connectivity. He said that two countries agreed to welcome and encourage high-quality investments from third party participation. (“CPEC phase-II much broader,” The Express Tribune, 18 January 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

“With the appointment of Justice Umar Ata Bandial as Chief Justice, a very important period has begun for the judiciary. This year, five judges are to be appointed in the Supreme Court and several dozen in the High Court. Justice can change.”
-Ch Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting

“Really concerned with the way Prime Minister is using religion as a cover-up for the massive governance & economic breakdown the country has suffered in decades due to his policies. Such a self-serving approach will wreak greater damage upon the polity than is being understood.”
-Shehbaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly.

“Just spoke to President Putin primarily to express my appreciation for his emphatic statement that freedom of speech could not be a pretext to abuse our Prophet PBUH. He is the first Western leader to show empathy & sensitivity to Muslim sentiment for their beloved Prophet PBUH”
-Prime Minister Imran Khan

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “The establishment pivot” highlights the recent meeting of members of PML-N with ‘some important' people after strained relations between PTI and the establishment. On contrary, author writes, “After more than seven decades as an independent nation envisioned as a democracy by its founding father, it is a sad reality that the power matrix continues to revolve around the establishment.”

An editorial in Dawn on constant inflow of remittances, emphasizes the strong increase in remittances from Pakistanis residing abroad continues to defy expectations. Dawn reported “Remittances increased by 11.3 percent to an all-time high of $15.8 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year through December, according to new State Bank figures.

An editorial in Dawn titled “China-Iran deal” upholds the recent long-term bilateral agreement among the two countries. The author claims “it is also a powerful symbolic gesture between the two states designed to send a signal to the US-led Western bloc.” However, the author warns Iran to “tread carefully in the game of bloc politics.”

An opinion written by Arifa Noor, brings the attention of the reader to the latest National Human Development Report on Pakistan. The report says, “the Human Development Index of the richest 20pc of Pakistanis is similar to the average in China and Egypt while the poorest 20pc have an HDI which is lower than Ethiopia and comparable to Chad.

An opinion in Dawn titled “National Security” written by Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, discusses the implementation strategy of National Security Policy. He also raises important questions on its periodical review of progress, centralised monitoring, civil and military leadership nexus and the playout of grassroot governance.

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Synagogue attack” expresses disappointment as there was “nocondemnation of the incident by the Pakistani government”. The incident is connection with “hours-long hostage situation at a synagogue in Texas.”

An opinion in The News International titled “IMF prescriptions” revolves around the question “how many IMF programmes do we need before realising that their short-sighted prescriptions are not going to solve any of our fundamental economic problems?”

 

“After more than seven decades as an independent nation envisioned as a democracy by its founding father, it is a sad reality that the power matrix continues to revolve around the establishment.”

-An editorial in Dawn on “The establishment pivot”



Photo : Dawn

17 January 2022, Monday I Vol 3, No. 14

A Senate Standing Committee to scrutinise foreign visits of PM and former leader



NSA to visit Afghanistan, Pakistan Navy Ship Alamgir visited Tanzania as part of the overseas deployment in Africa and Federal minister vows relief package for Gadani workers

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
A Senate Standing Committee to scrutinise foreign visits of PM and former leader
On 17 January, Dawn reported that the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs will meet on 19 January to scrutinise foreign visits of Prime Minister Imran Khan and former rulers of the country. Additionally, the committee would also be taking up the issue of over 9,000 Pakistanis who are in prisons of 73 different countries. (Amir Wasim, “Senate panel to scrutinise foreign visits of PM, former rulers on 19th,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

Increase in power and petrol prices is ‘economic murder’ of people, says Bilawal
On 16 January, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on the increase of Rs4 in power tariff, prices of petroleum products had now been raised by more than Rs3 per litre stated that this was “economic murder” of the people committed by the PTI government. Further, he said that the PPP’s long march was aimed at saving people from inflation and economic crisis, stating, “Inflation and unemployment must end; it had become all the more necessary to get rid of the present government.” (“Increase in power, petrol prices is ‘economic murder’ of people: Bilawal,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

PM Khan would complete his constitutional tenure, says Interior Minister
On 16 January, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan would complete his constitutional tenure, ruling out the chances of in-house change in the National Assembly. He said, “There is no threat to the PTI government from the opposition’s long marches,” adding that if the opposition tabled a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, it would face the same destiny as it did in the passing of the finance bill. (“Sheikh Rashid rules out in-house change in National Assembly,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

NRA biggest initiatives to turn Pakistan into Madina-like state, says PM Khan
On 17 January, Dawn reported that Prime Minister Imran Khan in an article he had written for various newspapers under the caption “Spirit of Riyasat-i-Madina: Transforming Pakistan” stated, “In the light of our ideals, we have embarked on the road to the welfare state with some great initiatives. Despite tight financial means, we allocated unprecedented amount of money to our initiatives such as the Ehsaas Programme which was a social safety and poverty alleviation programme necessary for the vulnerable groups in society,” adding, “This was one of our key initiatives towards building a state that cares about the welfare of our citizens.” (“Rule of law is immediate challenge, says PM Imran,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

Dates for Islamabad LG polls yet to be announced
On 17 January, Dawn reported that the authorities are yet to announced the dates for holding local government election in Islamabad even though a year has passed since the last local government completed its tenure. Since the last Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) ceased to exist on 15 February 2021, the government has not passed the Local Government Act 2021 passed by Parliament. Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Ali Nawaz Awan stated that the government would hold the elections in May. (Kashif Abbasi, “One year after end of previous term, Islamabad awaits LG polls,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

PEMRA and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at loggerheads over 5 newly sanctioned posts
On 10 January, the administrative body of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting censured PEMRA for bypassing the rules for creating 5 new top-level posts which would destabilize the financial calculation of budgeting for ministry. In response to the letter from the ministry, PEMRA replied that it generates its own revenue and it had the authority to create post for autonomous bodies. (Malik Asad, “Information Ministry, Pemra at odds over creation of ‘unsanctioned’ top posts,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

PTI starts the information war on PML(N)
On 16 January, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry claimed that there were internal rifts within PML (N) and the top four Sharifs (Shahbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Nawaz Sharif and Hamza Shahbaz Sharif) were set to leave out the top posts of PML(N). He said, “If a party leadership is away, leaders of the other opposition parties start expressing their fear that the former might be striving for a ‘deal’,”. PML(N) leader Rana Sanaullah countered the claims as mere speculations and claimed PTI was scared of its declining popularity and was making stories for gaining traction due to upcoming elections. (Mansoor Malik, “PML-N’s top four sought to replace Nawaz, claims Fawad Chaudhry,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: Gadani shipyard to receive relief package from the government
On 16 January, while speaking to a delegation of local industrialists led by the Pakistan Shipbreakers Association (PSA) federal minister for planning, development and special initiatives Asad Umar vowed to speak to PM on the economic development of Balochistan and providing new employment opportunities. He also hinted at setting up of special economic zone to utilise the capacity of Gadani ship scrapping yard and establish steel and other allied industry while also using raw materials from ship scrapping for providing cheap material for housing scheme for the same people. (“Umar vows relief package for Gadani workers,” The Express Tribune, 17 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
PNS Alamgir visits Tanzania as part of ‘Engage Africa’ policy
On 16 January, the Pakistan Navy Ship visited Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as part of the overseas deployment in Africa and established a free medical camp as a goodwill gesture from the people of Pakistan. The ship established a fee medical camp and provided medical treatment, consultations and medicines to over 2,500 patients. The training officer and Chief of Medical Services Tanzanian People Defence Force discussed matters of mutual interests and committed to enhancing bilateral ties. (“PNS Alamgir visits Tanzania,” Dawn, 17 January 2022)

Pakistan NSA to visit Afghanistan in urgency of humanitarian crises
On 17 January, The Express Tribune reported that on the instruction of PM Imran Khan national security advisor, Dr Moeed Yusuf is set to visit Afghanistan. From the issues of food scarcity to stabilising economic scarcity and border disputes are set to be discussed. The visit comes amid the UN warning of impeding humanitarian crises in the country and this is the second high-level visit by Pakistan since the August takeover of the Taliban. (Kamrani Yousaf, “NSA set to visit Afghanistan to assess humanitarian situation,” The Express Tribune, 17 January 2022

 

Pakistan on Twitter

KP Board of Investment have outdone themselves; MoUs worth $8 bln investment signed at Dubai Expo, including several in the tourism sector. The onus is now on us to further improve the investment climate ecosystem, a commitment we will not shy away from.
-Taimur Khan Jhagra, Finance & Health Minister, Pakhtunkhwa

Laying the foundation of the world's greatest civilization, take a look at the guiding principles laid down for the state of Madinah by our Holy Prophet! As a nation and state, in order to realize our potential, we in Pakistan today must strive to adapt ourselves to these principles.
-Prime Minister Imran Khan

“The government wants to talk to the political parties. We want electoral reform, reform of the judiciary and accountability system. This is not possible without opposition.
-Ch Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn talks about Pakistan's “freshly unveiled National Security Policy (NSP)”. The author here has appreciated the NSP’s attempt to incorporate both traditional and non-traditional security threats as well as its addition to existing state policy’s toolkit. However, the possible test for the nation, the author states, is the issue of trade with India and its wider acceptance by the political opposition in the country.

An editorial in Dawn titled “Bold decisions” highlights IHC’s order to demolish two Pakistan Navy’s projects on encroached lands. The author considers these decisions to be “bold and historic decisions as they hold powerful entities accountable for abusing their authority and violating land use laws

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Lifeline inflows” puts forward the significant role of remittances in Pakistan’s economy. The author claims that Pakistanis living abroad are a valuable resource and the large inflow of remittances from them is the backbone of economic revival.

An opinion in The Express Tribune written by PM Imran Khan emphasizes on why the establishment of Rahmatul Lil ‘Alamin Authority (NRA) is necessary. Imran Khan writes, the most urgent of all challenges facing our country right now is the struggle to establish the rule of law”. Hence, in order to invoke the spirit of the covenant of Madina based on important principles such as “unity, justice and rule of law, moral and ethical foundation, inclusion of all humans in progress and prosperity and finally the quest for knowledge” has to be reiterated.

An opinion in Dawn written by Maleeha Lodhi on “Evading responsibility” in connection to the Murree tragedy; questions “if all negative developments are someone else’s fault, what is the government there for?

An opinion in Dawn titled “Battle over the bottle” upholds the disastrous implication of the “government’s proposal of making infant formula milk and other baby food expensive.” This implies that the numbers of malnourished children can shoot up. Nevertheless, the author provides interesting analysis on tackling malnutrition in Pakistan.

 

“It is a sorry reflection of the authorities’ inability or lack of willingness to implement court orders that ruffle elite feathers. The IHC directive to demolish the navy projects is a test case for the Islamabad administration to prove if a ‘naya’ Pakistan is at all possible.”

-An editorial in Dawn on “Bold decisions”



Photo : Dawn

15 January 2022, Saturday I Vol 3, No. 13

National Security Policy that identified economic security as the core element



Nine-member special medical board to examine Nawaz’s medical reports, national Assembly passes amended anti-harassment bill, remittances above two billion mark for a seventh straight month and Pakistan assumes G77 chair

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
National Security Policy identifies economic security as the core element
On 14 January, a public version of the National Security Policy (NSP) 2022-2026 was unveiled by Prime Minister Imran Khan terming it as “all-encompassing and multi-dimensiona.”. The policy states, “Pakistan’s vital national security interests are best served by placing economic security as the core element of national security. The country’s security imperatives in the next decade will be driven by the need to realise its economic potential while ensuring national cohesion, territorial integrity, internal security, and citizen welfare.” The policy brought out the concept of ‘comprehensive national security’ comprising economic, human, and traditional security for the “safety, security, dignity, and prosperity” of the people. Additionally, the policy said, “Pakistan’s future lies in embracing change and breaking the inertia of status-quo in a world that is undergoing fundamental transformation,” emphasizing on a refocusing of diplomatic efforts for engagement with the outside world under “new realities.” (Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Security policy places economy front and centre,” Dawn, 15 January 2022)

Senate observes revolting conduct of opposition members
On 14 January, opposition members in Senate claimed that government policies are inciting people to revolt. Leader of Opposition in Senate, Yusuf Raza Gilani remarked on price hikes and said “Increases every month can’t be tolerated by the people. Indeed, they are being incited for agitation,”. The barbs were exchanged from both the sides. (Iftikhar A Khan, “Mini-budget, power tariff prompt bad blood in Senate,” Dawn, 15 January 2022)

An amended anti-harassment bill passed by National Assembly
On 14 January, the National Assembly passed the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Amendment Bill 2022 as amended by the Senate. The Ministry of Human Rights said that the bill was drafted by the Ministry of Human Rights to help increased participation of women in the workforce and to remove gaps in the protection against harassment law in Pakistan. (“National Assembly passes amended anti-harassment bill,” Dawn, 15 January 2022)

Nine-member special medical board to examine Nawaz’s medical reports
On 14 January, a nine-member special medical board was constituted by the specialised healthcare and medical education department to examine the documents submitted as medical reports of Nawaz Sharif by his physician Dr David Lawrence. The board was created on the instructions of the federal cabinet to examine the reports submitted by Sharif’s physician to obtains opinion on the patient’s physical condition and his capability to travel to Pakistan. (“Board formed to examine Nawaz’s medical reports,” Dawn, 15 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: One terrorist killed in IBO in North Waziristan
On 14 January, one terrorist was killed and two others were apprehended by security forces during an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Miranshah, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), “Army troops initiated a prompt response and effectively engaged the terrorists’ location,” adding, “Weapons and ammunition were also recovered from the terrorists.” (“One terrorist killed, two others held in North Waziristan IBO,” The Express Tribune, 15 January 2022)

ECONOMY
Roshan Digital Accounts bring year on year upsurge in remittances
On 14 January, SBP shared the data for remittances and the data reflected a month on month increase of 2.5 per cent while for year-on-year comparison the increase was of 3.4 per cent. For the month December highest remittances came from Saudi Arabia, followed by UAE, UK and USA. For the first half of FY 2022 (July-December) the remittances stood at net USD 15.8 billion. (“Remittances above $2bn mark for seventh straight month,” Dawn, 15 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
Government request to open donation account for Afghanistan refused by SBP
On 14 January, the SBP had returned the request from the government in directing banks to facilitate the opening of bank account which would receive donations from across Pakistan for relief measures in Afghanistan. The SBP warned that such a step might be unnecessarily scrutinized by FATF. The refusal can be understood in terms of recently brought up SBP amendment bills that empower the SBP governor. (Shahbaz Rana, “SBP refuses to open Afghanistan Relief Fund,” The Express Tribune, 15 January 2022

Pakistan to vouch for the cause of developing nations as it assumes the chair of G77
On 14 January, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his inaugural speech mentioned that Pakistan was a founding member of G77 and it stands for debt restructuring in developing nations. He added that the pandemic had disproportionately affected the developing countries and there needs to be coordinated efforts to deal with economic downturn and climate change. (Anwar Iqbal, “FM Qureshi urges importance of debt restructuring as Pakistan assumes G77 chair,” Dawn, 15 January 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

Without eff delivery system, PTI can copy-paste ideas from PML-N docs & create fancy policies, but as the last 3 yrs show, it failed miserably to deliver even a semblance of decent result. Only PML-N has shown the competence, commitment & capacity to deliver in last two decades.
-Ahsan Iqbal, Sec Gen PML-N

Hi PTI patriots. Hope all is well. Look who is pointing finger towards your leadership? He said “Members who occupy the first three rows in the house are the main culprits of the chaos in the country, so put their names on ECL and Pakistan will survive,”
-Hamid Mir, Journalist

We reject the summary of Rs 5-6 increase in prices of petroleum products. If the Prime Minister is sympathetic to the people, then reject the OGRA summary. Poor people are desperate for a two-time bread because of soaring inflation. Inflation is rising every 15 days due to increase in petrol prices.
-SherryRehman. Parliamentary Leader PPP

Also read...

An editorial in The News International on the Mini-Budget passed in the National Assembly states that the government has tried to make it seem that the withdrawal of some tax exemptions are adjustable, and that these were not taxes, however, taxes imposed will directly or indirectly hit the country’s people.

Similarly, an editorial in Dawn states that Islamabad will not be able to exit the IMF in the medium term even after completion of the current programme because ruling elites refuse to learn from the past, adopt a frugal lifestyle that suits poor countries like ours and pay taxes.

An editorial in The News International states that the problem is that these much-needed reforms are coming at a time of severe economic instability when most people cannot risk or even afford the burden of significant new taxes.

An editorial in The Express Tribune on Murree Incident states that is a grim reminder that the country lacks a proactive strategy to deal with natural disasters.

An editorial in The Express Tribune on containing HIV states that the governments at the Centre and in Sindh should have worked together to create a tracking and testing mechanism to determine the severity and contain the outbreak.

Fahd Husain in an opinion in Dawn states that PTI has been struggling with its internal wrangling for years, however, never did anyone point a finger at the leader himself until now.

Pervez Hoodbhoy in an opinion in Dawn argues that unless Pakistanis learn to value the works of non-Muslims, science in Pakistan shall remain dead.

 

Can the ECP, instead of just acting as a post office, take the trouble of scrutinising even a small, randomly selected sample of audited annual statements of accounts submitted by political parties…This, of course, requires a political finance wing at the ECP staffed with qualified chartered accountants experienced in matters relating to political finance.

-An opinion in Dawn on ‘Scrutiny and beyond’
 



Photo : Dawn

14 January 2022, Friday I Vol 3, No. 12

Mini-Budget passed through National Assembly



ECP informed that more legislations are needed before EVMs can be used, Bilawal promises to achieve the goal of the long march, and a report on how climate change has caused USD 3.8 billion loss for Pakistan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
ECONOMY
Mini budget bill, SBP amendment among others rushed through Parliament
On 13 January, PTI led coalition government managed to pass the Finance Supplementary bill and SBP amendment bill among 16 bills amid uproar in Parliament. The sitting session extended till late night and main opposition leaders from PPP and PML(N) were present for most of the time. (Mubarak Zeb Khan, “Mini-budget among 16 bills bulldozed through National Assembly,” Dawn, 14 January 2022)

Opposition in unison over criticizing the mini-budget bill
On 13 January the opposition cried foul for the economic policies of the government and poor people will continue to be strangled. PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif warned that “The lives of the people have become unbearable. The mini-budget will create a storm of inflation,”. PPP senators while speaking to the media said that the country was gradually handed over to the IMF. (“Opposition protests against ‘mini-budget, inflation’,” The Express Tribune, 14 January 2022)

INTERNAL
ECP informed that more legislation would be required before EVMs and Internet-based voting are introduced
On 13 January, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary during a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja gave a brief of the findings of three committees that had been formed to implement legislation on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and internet-based voting. The ECP was informed that further legislation would be required before EVMs and Internet-based voting for overseas Pakistanis could be introduced. Meanwhile, CEC Raja gave permission to start the process of tendering for procurement of EVMs for these pilot projects. (Iftikhar A. Khan, “More legislation needed before EVMs may be used, ECP told,” Dawn, 14 January 2021)

Pervez Khattak confront PM on centers neglect of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
On 14 January, Dawn reported that Defence Minister Pervez Khattak confronted Prime Minister Imran Khan about neglecting of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by the Centre. He said, “Imran Khan is my leader and prime minister and I did not tell him that I will not vote for him if gas connections are not given to the people of KP.” (Syed Irfan Raza, “Pervez Khattak confronts PM Imran at parliamentary party meeting,” Dawn, 14 January 2021)

Long march to would weigh heavily on the PTI government, says Bilawal
On 13 January, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari promised that the PPP’s long march on Islamabad in February would weigh heavily on the PTI government. He said that the long march against “this incompetent government” would start from the Mazar-e-Quaid and culminate in Islamabad to achieve its objectives, adding, “The PPP will play the role of real opposition for the solution of the problems of the people. The PPP will expose the incompetent government of the PTI and send it home,” stating, “The country is facing a serious crisis and only the PPP will steer it out of the crisis.” (Hafeez Tunio, “Bilawal promises to achieve goal of long march,” Dawn, 14 January 2021)

CCI approves conduct of seventh census
On 14 January, Dawn reported that the Council of Common Interests (CCI) during its 49th meeting approved the conduct of the Seventh Population and Housing Census and the establishment of the census monitoring committee. Additionally, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the frequency of CCI meetings could be increased as per the demands of the provinces. (Syed Irfan Raza, “Pervez Khattak confronts PM Imran at parliamentary party meeting,” Dawn, 14 January 2021)

Governance not being handled in the spirit it was supposed to be, says CJP
On 13 January, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed stated that the governance in the country had become too complicated and was not being handled in the spirit it was supposed to be. He said, “The capacity to enforce rights of the citizens is not growing [and] as a result the hapless people of this country are facing typical problems and their fundamental rights are being violated with impunity.” He added that as a result courts are being burdened with petitions on petty issues. (Nasir Iqbal, “Governance not being handled in the right spirit: CJP,” Dawn, 14 January 2021)

EXTERNAL
Pakistan may consider allowing Chinese manufacturers to relocate production facilities in Pakistan
On 13 January, Khalid Mansoor, special assistant to the prime minister on CPEC mentioned that two-three Chinese investors had approached him about possible relocation of their manufacturing units to Pakistan, which would entail training and upskilling of Pakistani youths. Mr Mansoor shared that Pakistan is looking to ‘scalability’ in indigenous coal production which will be used for the generation of power, fertiliser and would bring down the cost of fuel. Pakistan imports 18 million tons of coal every year. (Kazim Alam, “Chinese manufacturers mull relocating units to Pakistan: Khalid Mansoor,” Dawn, 14 January 2022)

ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Investment in sustainable climate-resilient and inclusive infrastructure needed: PSX chairman
On 12 January speaking at “The Future Summit – What’s Coming Next” Shamshad Akhtar, PSX chairman stated that climate change has been causing an average economic loss of about half a percentage point, or USD 3.8 billion, a year to Pakistan for the past two decades. From fundamental amendments in policy, mainstreaming and integrating sustainability, a robust financing framework for resource mobilization and effectively managing crisis prevention were the main objectives for transition to zero carbon emission with emphasis on long term growth. (Salman Siddiqui, “Climate change causes $3.8b loss,” The Express Tribune, 14 January 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

“Yesterday was a dark day in the parliamentary history of Pakistan in which the government imposed a mini-budget on the people who were already in the throes of inflation. The people will never forgive the PTI for making their lives miserable and the time is not far when the nation will reject the PTI forever with the power of their vote.”
-Shehbaz Sharif, leader of the Opposition in National Assembly 

“How unfortunate that Bill on National Metrology Institute of Pakistan was pending since 1997. It was successfully passed after almost 24 years! Extremely grateful to everyone who supported this.”
-Senator Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister for Science & Technology

“The increase of Rs 4.30 per unit in the price of electricity is reprehensible. They are receiving 'incompetence adjustment' not 'fuel adjustment'. An additional Rs 35 billion will be charged to consumers from the increase. Billions of rupees are being looted from consumers every month by burning electricity bills while standing on the container itself.”
-Senator Sherry Rehman, PPP Parliamentary Leader

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “PDM’s new tack” shows the re-positioning of the PDM’s earlier stance. Previously, the PDM’s position, which was based on withdrawing from the legislature in order to topple the PTI government. However, it appears that the PDM has now agreed with the PPP that an internal change is the best way to combat the administration.

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Threatening debt crisis” highlights the findings of the World Economic forum report. According to the report, in Pakistan, “the debt issue continues to pose the greatest threat to stability, outweighing inflation, climate change, and poor cybersecurity.”

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled, “Help save Afghans” emphasizes international aid organisations are doing an admirable job of supplying basic necessities and ensuring that two square meals are accessible every day. The editorial also acknowledges the recent lion’s share contribution of US worth USD 308 million to Afghanistan.

An editorial in The News International titled, “Destination IMF” brings out indecisive and non-strategic views of PTI on its own economy. The editorial points that the PTI government is 2018 has been plagued by “to go or not to go to the IMF.” Therefore, the author writes “it is once again displaying a complete lack of understanding of the challenges Pakistan has been facing.”

An opinion in Dawn written by Zubeida Mustafa, titled, “Women’s view” rightly identifies that “the female perspective is missing in patriarchal societies.” Additionally, she calls for an increase in the representation of women in all professions as it finds a healthy balance of opinions in the society.

An opinion in Dawn titled, “An economic collapse?” the author, Shahid Mehmood, provides an interesting analysis of how Pakistan’s economy is “travelling in a circle, without trying to understand why.”

An opinion in Dawn written by Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, titled, “Scrutiny and beyond” poses an important question, i.e., “has the experience of dealing with the foreign funding case made the ECP any wiser?”

 

“What is of concern to me is the lack of recognition of the fact that there is a woman’s point of view on every issue relevant to women that cannot and should not be disregarded. It injects a healthy balance into the discourse on all matters.”

-An  opinion in Dawn on “Women’s view”

 



Photo : Dawn

13 January 2022, Thursday I Vol 3, No. 11

PDM to discuss option of no-confidence on 25 January



PM Khan visits ISI HQ, government to push mini-budget through National Assembly and opposition's criticism and Taliban's statement that Afghan territory will not be used against Pakistan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
PDM to discuss option of no-confidence on 25 January
On 12 January, Maulana Fazlur Rehman stated that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has convened a meeting of the heads of component parties of the alliance on 25 January to discuss “options” including tabling of a no-confidence motion against the PTI government. He said, “We are considering options which can be used to immediately send this government packing,” adding, “We appeal to the allies of the government to think in the larger interest of the country and to save the country and the poor people.” Similarly, Shehbaz Sharif said, “Yes, I have talked to Hazrat (Maulana Fazl) about it and it has been decided that this (option of tabling a no-confidence motion) will be a part of the agenda of the upcoming PDM meeting. The decision in this regard will be made after a thorough consultation.” (Amir Wasim, “PDM meeting on 25th to discuss no-confidence option,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

PM Khan visits ISI HQ
On 12 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan along with some cabinet ministers and Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa visited the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). According to a statement released after the visit said, “A comprehensive briefing followed by discussion on national security and regional dynamics with focus on ongoing situation in Afghanistan was given.” This was PM Khan’s first session since the new director-general, Lt Gen Nadeem Nadeem Anjum took over. (“PM Imran orders crackdown against urea hoarders,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

Murree probe committee reveals that snow clearing vehicles parked at Sunny Bank
On 12 January, members of the probe committee on their visit to Murree were informed that of the 29 snow-moving heavy vehicles available, 20 of them were parked at Sunny Bank when a snowstorm hit the hill station. Additionally, they were told that drivers and staff deployed to man the vehicles were also not on duty at the time of the blizzard. (Aamir Yasin, “Snow clearing vehicles parked at Sunny Bank during blizzard, Murree probe learns,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

Bashir Memon has exposed the government on the fake case against Shehbaz Sharif, says PML-N
On 12 January, PML-N Punjab information secretary Azma Bokhari said, “Bashir Memon has exposed the government on the fake case against Shehbaz Sharif,” adding that the FIA was being used for political engineering arguing that this effort would fail like that of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). She added, “The Imran Khan government wants escape from the foreign funding case that is why it is targeting Shehbaz Sharif.” (“Bashir Memon discloses FIA’s fake case against Shehbaz: PML-N,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

Supreme Court rejects plea in Iftikhar Chaudhry manhandling case
On 12 January, the Supreme Court rejected pleas moved by former chief commissioner Khalid Pervaiz and Deputy Commissioner (DC) Chaudhry Mohammad Ali, allegedly involved in manhandling former chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry on 13 March 2007. The chief justice observed that if this plea was accepted, the administration would never allow the judges of the superior courts to move out of their residence. (Nasir Iqbal, “SC rejects ex-commissioner, DC’s pleas in Iftikhar Chaudhry manhandling case,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

Attorney general asks Punjab government to form board on Nawaz’s health
On 12 January, the attorney general’s office in a letter addressed to Punjab Home Secretary said, : “In order to initiate the process of verification in the light of the Nov 16, 2019 Lahore High Court order, the government of Punjab is requested to constitute a medical board/committee to examine the documents submitted as medical reports on behalf of the petitioner and Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif so that expert medical opinion regarding the physical condition of Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and his ability to travel back to Pakistan is made available.” (Nasir Iqbal, “AG asks Punjab to form board on Nawaz’s health,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

PM Khan rejects statements on shortage of urea in the country
On 12 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan which chairing a meeting to review the supply and demand situation of fertiliser called for stern action against those involved in profiteering and hoarding fertiliser. He also rejected the impression that there was a shortage of urea in the country. Meanwhile, the issue was raised in the National Assembly, where Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari declared that Pakistan was facing a urea crisis stating, “If urea is being smuggled, then the PTI government is responsible. The allegation on Sindh is a lie.” (“PM Imran orders crackdown against urea hoarders,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

ECONOMY
Government to push mini-budget through National Assembly
On 13 January, the government is scheduled to move its Finance (Supplementary) Bill 202, generally known as the mini-budge, through National Assembly with the aim to ensure its sixth review of the USD six billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) gets cleared by IMF, allowing for the disbursement of about USD one billion tranche. Meanwhile, the opposition has positioned itself both inside and outside the National Assembly to assert pressure in blocking the government’s bill. Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari criticising the PTI government said that it was bringing a "tsunami of taxes" through the mini-budget and maintained that “the ‘PTI-IMF’ budget would create difficulties for the poor segments of the society.” (“Govt all set to bulldoze mini-budget through NA,” The Express Tribune, 13 January 2022)  (“Govt bringing 'tsunami of taxes' through mini-budget, says Bilawal in NA speech,” Dawn, 13 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
Afghan territory will not be used against Pakistan, says Taliban government representative
On 12 January, a Taliban government representative while speaking at a webinar organised by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) said. “Afghan territory will never be allowed to be used by any other country against Pakistan or any other country.”. Further, the representative said, “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan possesses all the requisites for its recognition by the international community for a fresh start in the region and internationally.” (“Taliban regime fit for international recognition: says envoys,” The Express Tribune, 13 January 2022)

 
 
Pakistan on Twitter

“Yesterday, the Prime Minister visited the ISI Headquarters. The Army Chief, DG ISI, and his team gave a detailed briefing to the Prime Minister on the changing situation in Afghanistan. Our goal is to ensure stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan has done a lot for that. Yes, today the world is getting closer to Pakistan's point of view”
-Ch Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan

“Many PTI members are preparing to revolt against their party before the next National Assembly elections because Imran Khan has done a marvelous job of discrediting the word change in just three years of his government. It has become a mockery and an insult.”
-Hamid Mir, Journalist 

“We welcome the move by the UN following the assistance announced at the OIC Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Pakistan's efforts. I urge the international community to stop the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan where people have been the victims of 40 years of war.”
-PM Imran Khan

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “Debt crisis risk” reports the current state of economy in Pakistan. Pakistan's financial issue has been named the greatest danger confronting the country in a new World Economic Forum report. The author argues that “the country's ruling class — politicians, civil and military bureaucracy; have squandered so much money that we now need to borrow more money to not only operate the country but also to repay our debts.”

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Upbeat Baqir” highlights the recent interview of SBP Governor Reza Baqir. Mr. Baqir stated that there is an adequate financial buffer to manage these external account challenges, but that they will naturally diminish as global commodities prices normalize. However, the author claims it to be “painted a picture so rosy he might have been mistaken for a florist rather than an economist.”

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “An organic state policy” emphasizes the new National Security Policy is a “leap forward”. According to the reports, PM Imran Khan will officially release the policy, which aims to “broaden horizons in socio-economic, environmental, diplomatic and domestic reforms- hence the new policy seems to be organic to the core.”

An editorial in The News International titled “Monal verdict” discusses the Islamabad High Court’s consecutive landmark verdict on encroached lands. With the closing of Islamabad’s Monal restaurant, the court has also shut down of Margalla Greens Golf Club as well.

An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Curious case of harassment” in connection to alleged harassment of a girl by the accused Usman Mirza took a fatal U-turn; when the girl said she didn’t recognize the accused persons in the viral video on 11 January 2022. Though the reasons behind the statements are unknown, the legal experts have reiterated to take this case forward.

 

“The profligacy of the country’s ruling elite — politicians, civil and military bureaucracy, and the business community — has brought the country to a stage where we have to borrow more money to not only run the state but also to pay back the past debt.”

-An editorial in Dawn on “Debt crisis risk”



Photo : Dawn

12 January 2022, Wednesday I Vol 3, No. 10

Will have to approach IMF again if there is no rise in exports, says PM



Zardari rules out the possibility of PPP re-joining PDM, FM Qureshi visit to Spain, TikTok third most downloaded app in Pakistan despite ban, 246th Corps Commanders’ Conference and World Bank forecasts 3.4 per cent growth for Pakistan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
ECONOMY
PM stresses on either boosting country’s economy or IMF syndrome
On 11 January while addressing the inaugural ceremony of 14th International Chambers Summit 2022 organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PM stressed on boosting exports and tax collection. PM stated his stand on mini-budget that it was necessary to document the economy and increasing tax coverage. (“Will have to approach IMF again if no rise in exports: PM Imran,” Dawn, 12 January 2022)

SBP governor liable for aligning with growth objectives of the country: Finance Minister
On January 11 the finance minister during a press conference with media stated that the SBP governor could be fired and that aspect is part of the SBP amendment bill being passed in the national assembly. He said the government would appoint eight members of SBP’s executive board while giving the SBP the autonomy for devising monetary and exchange rate policies. (“SBP head to be fired if doesn’t help govt achieve growth, says Tarin,” The News International, 12 January 2022)

PML-N registers note of dissent to National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue
On 11 January, PML-N MNA Ahsan Iqbal in his dissent note stated that leasing out sovereignty of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was equivalent to loosing out the government’s monetary policy role. His tweet of the dissent note stated that “the central bank should enjoy reasonable autonomy to carry out its monetary policy role effectively but it should not be made a parallel empire within the state.” (Khaleeq Kiani, “PML-N submits note of dissent on SBP law,” Dawn, 12 January 2022)

Coalition partners to align with opposition to scrutinize mini-budget
On 11 January, the National Assembly began its general debate on Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021. The coalition partner of PTI, MQM-P was active in supporting the demands of the opposition in seeking government rationale in increasing taxes and reducing subsidies. MQM legislator, Kishwar Zehra stated that “Public revenge is very horrible. If we are your allies and friends, then we will definitely advise you how to save yourself from it. This mini-budget is heavier than the previous budget (presented last year).” (Amir Wasim, “PTI allies join chorus of complaint against mini-budget,” Dawn, 12 January 2022)

Pakistan to grow at 3.4 per cent for FY 21-22, says World Bank
On January 11, the World Bank in its Global Economic Prospects report 2022 posited that the developing part of the world will take longer time to full output recovery of pre-pandemic trends. The forecasted growth is lower than the government projection of 4.8 per cent. (Shahbaz Rana, “World Bank forecasts 3.4% growth,” The Express Tribune, 12 January 2022)

INTERNAL
Zardari rules out possibility of PPP re-joining PDM
On 11 January, Asif Ali Zardari maintained that the PPP would not re-joining the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). Additionally, on the possibility of an in-house change,he said, “God willing, it will be better,” adding that the PTI government has been incompetent from day one and the time has proven it stating, “The government is incapable of doing anything for people.” Meanwhile, the PPP extended a formal invitation to the National Democratic Movement and Mohsin Dawar to participate in the PPP march to Islamabad on 27 February. (Asim Yasin, “PPP not to rejoin PDM: Zardari,” The News International, 12 January 2021)

TikTok third most downloaded app in Pakistan despite ban
On 12 January, The News International reported that data compiled by Mobile Insights Strategist Craig Chapple of SensorTower showed that the TikTok was downloaded 26.5 million times in Pakistan in 2021. This makes the app the third most downloaded app even though was blocked in the country for almost five months due to “immoral and indecent” content. (Wasif Shakil, “Despite months-long ban in 2021, TikTok ranked third most downloaded app in Pakistan,” The News International, 12 January 2021)

Blind dolphin rescued in Dadu canal
On 11 January, a team of the provincial wildlife department rescued another blind dolphin that had reportedly gone astray from the Indus River into the Dadu canal. This was the third of five blind dolphins that had gone astray from the Indus River. Previously, two of them were rescued from the Mirzapur section of the canal. (“Another blind dolphin rescued in Dadu canal,” Dawn, 12 January 2021)

Opposition in Senate blames government for ‘criminal negligence in handling Murree incident
On 11 January, the opposition in the Senate criticised the government for ‘criminal negligence in handling the events in Murree. They demanded the formation of a judicial or parliamentary commission to investigate those responsible for failure to prevent the tragedy. Senator Sherry Rehman said, “The shocking reality is that this incident was completely preventable had the government that was taking pride in enhanced tourism taken safety measures that are integral to every tourist destination in the world.” (Iftikhar A. Khan, “Opposition in Senate slams govt for ‘criminal negligence’ in handling Murree tragedy,” Dawn, 12 January 2021)

COAS Bajwa satisfied with operational preparedness of army’s formations
On January 11 during 246th Corps Commanders’ Conference at the General Headquarters, COAS reviewed security preparations with a focus on border management and internal security. The COAS emphasized on continuing with mission-oriented training on emerging threats and challenges. (“Security reviewed in commanders conference,” Dawn, 12 January 2022)

Grand jirga settles boundary dispute between Thor and Harban tribes of GB and KP
On 11 January, a grand jirga constituted by the district administrations of Kohistan and Diamer settled the boundary dispute between Thor and Harban tribes of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Wapda Chairman said, “It is a great occasion that the pre-partition issue has finally been settled. Various judicial commissions and high-powered committees couldn’t end this major dispute, which finally a grand national jirga assisted by Wapda and other departments concerned succeeded in getting resolved.” (“Boundary dispute between KP, GB tribes resolved,” Dawn, 12 January 2021)

EXTERNAL
FM Qureshi meets with President of Spain’s Congress of Deputies
On 11 January, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met President of Spain’s Congress of Deputies Meritxell Batet in Spain. During the meeting, he discussed issues including Pakistan’s progress on the FATF action plan and Afghanistan’s situation. Additionally, he stated that Spain is Pakistan’s important partner in the European Union, adding that Pakistan wished to strengthen cooperation in multiple spheres. (“FM Qureshi discusses FATF, Afghan situation with Spanish leadership,” The Express Tribune, 12 January 2021)

 
Pakistan on Twitter

“Historic dev & good news on Diamer Bhasha Dam. Grand Jirga of Diamer & Upper Kohistan elders have settled decade-old Thor & Harban tribes' dispute. This will allow smooth & timely completion of Dam as well as pave way for settlement of boundary dispute between GB & KP”
-Prime Minister Imran Khan

“Imran Khan has often claimed that a country borrows a lot only if its leaders are corrupt. In the last three years, he’s broken all previous records on borrowing ($40 billion). Now, his opponents are accusing he has surrendered the financial sovereignty of Pakistan to the IMF.”
-Hamid Mir, Journalist at Washington Post 

“The price of wheat in the open market has reached Rs. 2600 per quintal which has never happened before in the history of the country. The people are now getting a 15 kg bag of flour for more than Rs. 1150. The wheat crisis has been on the rise for the past several months but the government is fast asleep. Until 2013, flour was Rs 35 per kg”
-Senator Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary leader PPP

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “Shameful blame game” expresses regret on how the entire Murree tragedy has turned into a political drama, witnessed in the National Assembly on Monday. The author argues “If everyone from the country’s chief executive to the opposition leader agrees that the tragedy was avoidable but for the lack of preparedness of the authorities concerned, it is hard to grasp the logic behind the rejection of the demand for a judicial inquiry.”

 An editorial in Dawn titled “Russia- West Talks” highlights the recent talks between Moscow and NATO about the situation in Ukraine. The author writes, “the West wants to expand further into what were once Soviet states and satellites, while Russia, which is the successor state of the USSR, wants the US and Western Europe to stay out of its near abroad” and this is the bone of contention.

 An editorial in Dawn titled “When in jail…” brings to the limelight, the discriminatory criminal justice system adopted for the “political elites” and the common man. Following the end of Shahrukh Jatoi’s long stay at a private hospital, he is now moved back to the prison. Though convicted of the murder of a university student, the system has done very little to treat him as a criminal, given his luxury stay at a private hospital for eight long months- with access to extra perks.

 An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Exit of TTP terrorist” has raised a number of questions after the death of Khalid Balti alias Khorasani, a notorious mastermind behind the 2014 terrorist attack. It's disputed whether he was murdered in a confrontation with the Afghan Taliban, who were also on the hunt for disaffected individuals, or if he was killed in the war-torn country's clashes.

 An editorial in The Express Tribune titled “Suu Kyi’s conviction” highlights the recent incident, where “a Myanmar court has convicted democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi of three criminal charges, which will keep her behind bars for at least four years.”

 

“It (Shahrukh Jatoi’s luxurious stay) says much about the state of justice in a society where convicted felons, guilty of crimes as grave as murder, live in the lap of luxury while the poor run from pillar to post to get the courts to hear their cases.”

-An editorial in Dawn on “When in jail..”

 


Photo : Dawn

11 January 2022, Tuesday I Vol 3, No. 9

“Civil-military relations are unprecedented these days,” says PM Khan



COAS meets with Saudi Arabia’s Military Adviser, FM Qureshi meets with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and the IMF reciprocates with renegotiating the loan program on government request of postponing the review meeting for EFF

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
“Civil-military relations are unprecedented these days,” says PM Khan
On 10 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that the PTI government’s relationship with the military was ‘exceptional’ claiming “civil-military relations are unprecedented these days.” Further, he stated that the opposition’s narrative regarding a rift between the government and the military was ‘dead and buried.’ (Syed Irfan Raza, “Opposition narrative of civil-military rift ‘dead and buried’: PM Imran,” Dawn, 11 January 2021)

Opposition demands judicial inquiry into Murree incident
On 10 January, the opposition demanded a judicial inquiry into the deaths caused by a snowstorm in Murree hills. Shehbaz Sharif said, “We will not agree on less than formation of a judicial commission to probe into the deaths of 23 tourists who were stranded in their vehicles during snowfall in Murree,” adding, “Prime Minister should quit if his government could not handle rush in Murree and avert the human disaster,” Similarly, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said, “I will also request you to use your good offices to form the judicial commission.” (Muhammad Anis, “NA echoes with blame game on Murree deaths; Shehbaz, Balawal ask PM to quit,” The News International, 11 January 2021)

Senior TTP leader killed in Afghanistan, says senior security official
On 11 January, Dawn reported that a senior security official confirmed that Khalid Balti alias Mohammad Khurasani, senior leader of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was killed in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. However, details of his killing are not clear. Khurasani who was the spokesperson for the group was involved in several attacks in Pakistan. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Taliban government denied the killing saying, “I do not confirm these reports. They are not true. No such incident has taken place on this (Afghan) side.” (“Senior TTP leader Khurasani killed in Afghanistan's Nangarhar: sources,” Dawn, 11 January 2021)

PTI foreign funding report by scrutiny panel conceals documents and bank statement
On 10 January, it was noted in the scrutiny panel’s report that the report does not include eight volumes of the documents and bank statements requisitioned through the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The committee decision to hide the funding details of PTI is in violation with ECP order of treating the records of a party as a public document. (Iftikhar A Khan, “Scrutiny panel report conceals crucial PTI documents, bank account details,” Dawn, 11 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Punjab: Five-member committee begins probe into Murree tragedy
On 10 January, a five-member committee set up by the Punjab government began its probe into the causes and lapses that led to the death of 22 tourists during a snowstorm in Murree hills. The committee is being led by the Additional Chief Secretary Home and assisted by provincial government secretaries, Additional Inspector General of Punjab Police. The committee has been commissioned with completing its report and determine responsibility within seven days. (“Committee on Murree tragedy starts probe,” Dawn, 11 January 2021)

ECONOMY
IMF reciprocates with renegotiating the loan program on government request of postponing the review meeting for EFF
On 10 January, the finance minister revealed that IMF could impose new conditions if the government couldn’t pass the Supplementary (Finance) Bill 2021 before the review meeting which has been postponed at the request of the government. In the Senate Standing Committee, Shaukat Tareen mentioned that government does not have much time and has to get the bills passed to satisfy IMF’s conditions. (Shahbaz Rana, “IMF seeks to renegotiate loan programme,” The Express Tribune, 11 January 2022)

Government aims to reduce power debt by USD 2.3 billion
On 10 January, National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Power secretary testified that due to recent adjustment in base tariff and readjustment in subsidy slabs given to power consumers. The current circular power debt (at the exchange rate of December 2020) stood at USD 13.2 billion. The committee was apprised that rates for illegal payments for various routine services in power companies had increased in recent years. (“Govt plans to bring circular debt down to Rs1.88tr by June,” Dawn, 11 January 2022) 

EXTERNAL
COAS meets with Saudi Arabia’s Military Adviser
On 10 January, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa met with Saudi Arabia’s Military Adviser to Minister of Defence Major General Talal Abdullah Al-Otaibi. During the meeting, he emphasised on the need for swiftly devising an institutional mechanism for channelling humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Additionally, they also discussed matters related to to mutual interest, regional security situation and bilateral defence relations between the two countries. (“COAS for channelising aid to Afghanistan,” The News International, 11 January 2021)

FM Qureshi meets with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca
On 10 January, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca in Islamabad. During the meeting, Qureshi discussed bilateral matters, the situation in Afghanistan and the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. Further, he appreciated Romania’s support to Pakistan in obtaining the GSP-plus status and stated that Pakistan desired to establish broad-based and result-oriented relations with Romania. (“FM Qureshi discusses Afghan, Kashmir issues with Romanian PM,” Dawn, 11 January 2021)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

“The private sector's Rs 1.138 billion credits of tech in 2021 is the highest in the last 10 years. This is a clear indication of the strong growth momentum in the economy with the growing confidence and investment of the private sector.”
-Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan 

“Govt bulldozed SBP Bill through Nat’l Assembly Fin Standing Comm but got 3 changes accepted. 1) Gov & Dep Gov to be Pakistani nationals only. 2) 2 yrs ban after job on work with any institution with whom negotiate or regulate. 3) Gov to appear before NA Fin Standing Comm when req”
-Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary General PML-N 

“In Senate Finance Committee today we voted out the imposition of tax on bread, naan, sheermal, roti. The Soviet Union collapsed after serial bread lines, among other things. Don’t punish the poor. People need to see some financial relief in their household budgets on basic items.”
-Sherry Rehman, Parliamentary leader PPP

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “New LNG terminal” highlights PTI’s hurried decision to initiate a new LNG terminal, regardless of two terminals already being on ground. The recent gas shortages in the country have already affected PTI’s fate in the Local body elections and such a hurried move by the ministry of energy can only be conceived to protect its image in the eyes of the public. The writer claims, “that it (energy ministry) wasn’t able to bring in enough LNG to fully utilize the capacity of the existing two terminals speaks volumes about lack of planning.” 

An editorial in Dawn titled “Trust deficit” explains the consequences of citizens losing trust in its state and institutions. A recent incident in Karachi, where Rangers raided a lawyer’s residence and his son was arrested on drug possession charges. Due to lack of faith, this episode became a topic of contention between the state agency, the courts, and the legal community

An editorial in Dawn Titled “Textbook’s embezzlement” unfolds an incident from South Punjab, where a member of the Basic Education Community Schools was found selling the course books for grades from one to three at a scrap shop this academic year. The author says, “Be it the existence of ghost schools, hiring of teachers, utilization of funds and resources, plagiarism in Ph.D. papers or cheating in exams — all these problems point towards administrative, financial and ethical malfeasance by education officials.” 

An editorial in the Express Tribune titled “Urea procurement” calls for a “broad policy parameter to stock food grains.” With Pakistan's huge surplus and growing area under cultivation, a urea shortage is looming. However, the government’s decision to import high amounts of urea from China is well accepted by the people. 

An opinion in The News International titled “A clown show” represents Murree's tragedy which was “the result of simultaneous failures at many levels of government.” The author has criticized the PTI government on the grounds of the party promising big, then failing to achieve, and finally blaming others for being responsible for the incident.  

An editorial in The News International titled “Crypto-fraud” suggests, because the Pakistani digital world has become a haven for all kinds of crooks and fraudsters, something the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) should investigate right now if only to build a framework to govern such internet sites and avoid prospective scams.”

 

“Corruption does not always involve the exchange of undue favors or funds: negligence and apathy by the authorities is also one of its manifestations. Effective governance and utilization of resources are key to a robust education system in any country.”

-An editorial in Dawn on “Textbooks embezzlements”

 

 


Photo : Dawn

10 January 2022, Monday I Vol 3, No. 8

Over 500 families rescued in Murree



PPP’s plans to hold tractor rallies across Pakistan to protest urea shortage, Mini-budget on agenda as National Assembly session begins and NSA Moeed statement that Pakistan is not part of any camp politics

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
Over 500 families rescued in Murree
On 9 January, the Punjab police stated that over 500 families were rescued and taken to safety in the last 24 hours in Murree. This come after 23 tourists had died after being stranded in their vehicles during a snowstorm. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar formed a five-member committee to investigate the causes and lapses that led to the death of the tourists. Further, he stated that Murree would be given the status of a district and senior officers would be posted there to such incident do not happen again. (“Over 500 families rescued in Murree as road cleared,” The Express Tribune, 10 January 2021) (Aamir Yasin, “Body set up to probe Murree deaths after outcry,” Dawn, 10 January 2021)

SAPM urges nation to stand against extremism
On 9 January, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony Allama Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Sunday called on the nation to stand against extremism and said that the government believes in resolving issues through dialogue. (“Pakistani nation must stand against extremism: SAPM,” The Express Tribune, 10 January 2021)

Young Pakistanis have appetite for leading IT revolution in Pakistan, says President Alvi
On 9 January, President Dr Arif Alvi while attending a webinar stated that Pakistan is changing and is at the jumping board of digital transformation. He added that mega revolutions were taking place in four key areas: first in computing, processing of data and analysis of the artificial intelligence; second, in the energy sector and these were linked with biology; and finally in the 3D manufacturing, including virtual reality, blockchain, internet data, mobile computing, internet and social networking. (Syed Irfan Raza, “President Alvi urges youths to take benefits of IT-related world market,” Dawn, 10 January 2022)

PTI foreign funding not a threat to its existence
On 9 January, the ECP scrutiny panel’s report cited the various judgment of the past including relevant judgements of the Supreme Court in the Hanif Abbasi and Benazir Bhutto cases, which distinguishes foreign funding and funds received from prohibited sources. If the case against PTI is proved, at max ECP will confiscate the additional funding which has crossed the ceiling of money a party can garner from foreign sources. (“Forfeiture of funds only threat staring PTI in the face,” Dawn, 10 January 2022)

PPP to organize tractor rally against urea shortage in the country
On 9 January, PPP chairman sought consultations from provincial offices of the party for holding the rallies at the Bilawal House. The PPP will stage ‘tractor rallies’ from January 21 across Pakistan. The meeting demanded a new local government system for Punjab, like the one being introduced in Sindh for “empowering the public representatives”. (“PPP plans tractor rallies across Pakistan to protest urea shortage,” Dawn, 10 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: Attack on tribal elder’s convoy leaves three dead
On 10 January, Dawn reported that three people were killed and five others were injured in an attack in Sibi on 8 January after armed men opened fire on Nawabzada Baro Khan Barozai’s convoy. According to the police, the cause of the firing could be an old feud. (Ali Jan Mangi, “Three killed in attack on tribal elder’s convoy,” Dawn, 10 January 2021)

Balochistan: IS terrorists shot dead by CTD in Quetta
On 10 January, Dawn reported that the counterterrorism department (CTD) got a tip-off about the suspected movement of IS terrorists in the eastern bypass area of Quetta on 8 January. Things recovered by the CTD included an improvised explosive device, three submachine guns with 200 rounds, two 9mm pistols with 47 rounds, a hand grenade and two motorcycles. (Saleem Shahid, “Six Islamic State men killed in Quetta: CTD,” Dawn, 10 January 2022)

ECONOMY
Mini budget among others to be debated and passed in National Assembly
On 10 January, the government will introduce the Finance (Supplementary) Bill also called mini-budget, a money bill that is aimed to net additional revenues to the GDP, there is withdrawal of sales tax exemptions. Along with the finance bill, the SBP Amendment Bill has been sent to the house committee concerned for a report. (Kashif Abbasi, “Mini-budget on agenda as National Assembly session begins today,” Dawn, 10 January 2022)

IMF postpones the review meeting for EFF for Pakistan
On 9 January, IMF’s Resident Chief in Pakistan, Esther Perez Ruiz said, "The Board meeting for consideration and eventual approval of the 6th Review under the EFF is being postponed at the request of the authorities. The new date is yet to be determined."As the two critical bills are to be discussed in National Assembly, the government needs the approval of both houses for passage of SBP Amendment bill and Finance (Supplementary) Bill may pass easily but the SBP bill would expect stiff opposition in the NA. (Mehtab Haider, “Sixth Review postponed after Pak request: IMF,” The News International, 10 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
“We want the US, Europe and Russia and other countries to come and invest in Pakistan,” says NSA
On 9 January, National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf stated that Pakistan was not part of any camps saying, “We want the US, Europe and Russia and other countries to come and invest in Pakistan,” adding that the country had no better friend than China. Further, he stated that Pakistan was a nuclear country without which “there will be no compromise on national security and the present government has always made decisions keeping in view the national interest.” Additionally, he claimed that the purpose of building national security was economic development, protection of common man and defence of borders, adding, “The civil and military leadership [of the country] are on the same page on this issue.” (“We’re not part of camp politics: NSA ,” The Express Tribune, 10 January 2021)

Pakistan sees TTP as a “test case” for Taliban government, says official
On 9 January, an official while speaking to The Express Tribune stated, “We are telling the Taliban leadership to consider the TTP as a test case,” adding, “If the Taliban can't address concerns of Pakistan then who would trust them and their promise of cutting ties to al Qaeda and other such groups.” Further, the official said, “It will be damaging for the Afghan Taliban if they fail to take into account Pakistan's concerns,” adding, “A global community, particularly the West will ask look they can't even satisfy Pakistan so how come they would address terror concerns of other countries.” (Kamran Yousaf “Pakistan asks Afghan Taliban to take TTP ‘as test case’,” The Express Tribune, 9 January 2021)

ON AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan’s future depends on Pakistan ties, western aid, says USIP reports
On 10 January, Dawn reported that two reports published by the US Institute of Peace (USIP) stated that humanitarian aid alone cannot prevent an economic collapse in Afghanistan. Further, the reports stated “a positive relationship with Pakistan could go a long way in fostering stability and development,” however, what that the “opposite is a much likelier outcome, given the deeply held grievances on both sides.” (Anwar Iqbal, “Afghanistan’s future hinges on Pakistan ties, western aid: reports,” Dawn, 10 January 2021)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Farmers are scrambling to find urea fertilizer and are forced to buy at exorbitant prices on the black market. Despite government claims, the crisis has persisted for several weeks. Lack of urea will affect our agriculture and farmers' income. Promises from this government are not fulfilled, but there are claims that they do not end."
- Shehbaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly

"Three days ago, the Meteorological Department had forecast heavy snowfall not only in Murree, Galya, and Kagan, etc. but also warned the citizens to be cautious due to fear of closure of link roads in these districts, but the provincial or federal government warned the citizens not to stop the tourists. Take precautionary measures."
- Saleem Safi, Journalist

'The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him."
- Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary Gen of PML-N

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled "Cryptocurrency scam" discusses the interests of Pakistan in investing in Cryptocurrency. Binance, currently the most prominent global crypto exchange app, is alleged to have been responsible for scamming Pakistani investors. However, the author writes, "the absence of an umbrella federal legal framework under which they can develop crypto regulation" is the cause of concern. Due to lack of legislation or policies, tracking the illegal money entering and exiting the country might be a disaster for Pakistan is meeting its requirements of the FATF. 

An editorial in Dawn titled "IHC verdict" is a milestone judgment against "illegal land grabbling by both powerful mafias as well government organizations." Although it is located in a protected national park area, the navy's construction of the club near Rawal Lake is an example of brazen abuse of authority that various municipal agencies have questioned. Nevertheless, "the Islamabad High Court has done a commendable job of enforcing the law against individuals who have previously thought themselves above it."

An editorial in The News International highlights the Local government issues, which are persistent across all the provinces in Pakistan. The writer considers the recent draft law proposed by PTI on Punjab Local Government Act. However, the bone of contention is that PTI has advised two-tier councils for urban areas, whereas the "opposition is demanding at least four-tier system. Finally, the author says, "The opposition must come up with its suggestions in writing so that they graduate from a culture of conversation to a culture of composition. The governing party must consider alternative proposals before passing any laws in this regard."

An editorial in the Express Tribune titled "Pakistan, GCC horizon" emphasizes the potential boons and bane of the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue (2022-26). The author says, "while the foundations of this first formalized valve of inter-active métier lay in a common faith, economic interdependence, and political compatibility, as well as a relevant geo-strategic goal, it is believed that it will go a long way toward ushering stability and prosperity in the region."

An editorial in Dawn on "Taliban's choices" stresses how Afghanistan has become a haven of religious extremist organizations due to decades of anarchy, foreign involvement, and internal warfare. But today, the Afghan Taliban is striving to be internationally recognized; however, "it's confronted with a plain truth." The author questions, "if they (Taliban) are willing to take firm action against foreign terrorist groups in Afghanistan working actively against neighboring states?

 

 

These illegal practices (of land grabbing) are so deeply entrenched within our system and are so well protected by powerful elements within the state that very few have dared challenge them. It is, therefore, heartening to see the courts upholding the majesty of the law over those who need to respect it the most.

- An editorial in Dawn on "IHC verdict."



Photo : Dawn

8 January 2022, Saturday I Vol 3, No. 7

NSA briefs Senate Defence Committee on the National Security Policy



PM Khan says that the present government’s three years are an economic success story, PM seeks report from Balochistan's CM on rain damage and over USD three billion received through the Roshan Digital Accounts till the end of December 2021

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
NSA briefs Senate Defence Committee on the National Security Policy
On 7 January, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf briefed the Senate Defence Committee on the National Security Policy. According to a press release issued by the Senate Secretariat, “Over the last seven years, an inter-governmental consultation process was undertaken with federal ministries, provincial governments and all other stakeholders. Consultations were also held with academics, university students, independent policy experts and other members of civil society.” During the briefing, NSA Moeed said, “It also examines opportunities and challenges in a fluid global environment and prioritises policy actions for implementation. Impor­tantly, it contains an annual review when a new government comes into place to ensure policy continuity and build flexibility on national security issues.”  (Kashif Abbasi, “Senate panel holds in-camera session on security policy briefing,” Dawn, 8 January 2022)

Minister informs Senate about process for first-ever digital census
On 7 January, the Senate was informed that the process for the first-ever digital census has begun. In this regard, field operations will be carried out from 1-31 August which would be preceded by a pilot census to be conducted from 15 May to 15 June 15. Further, Minister of State for Parlia­mentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan said Rs16.884 billion had been spent on the national census in 2017. (Iftikhar A. Khan, “Process for first-ever digital census has begun, Senate told,” Dawn, 8 January 2022)

Four Pakistanis journalist among 55 killed last year, says UN Report
On 8 January, Dawn reported that according to data collected by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Orga­nisation (Unesco), 55 journalists and media professionals were killed in 2021, of which four were Pakistanis. The data showed that in Pakistan, 85 journalists have been killed since 1993, including four killed in 2021. (Anwar Iqbal, “55 journalists, four Pakistanis among them, killed last year,” Dawn, 8 January 2022)

The present government’s three years are an economic success story, says PM Khan
On 7 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan while chairing a meeting of the Macroeconomic Advisory Group stated that despite the worst balance of payments crisis in 2018, economic problems due to Covid-19, high commodity prices in the international market and direct and indirect impact of a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, “Pakistan is expected to achieve over 4% economic growth – which is a major success.” He added, “Since we inherited a huge circular debt, anti-exports policies, unstable financial conditions, less-competitive business environment and policies of lower incentives for private sector, the present government’s three years are an economic success story.” (“Govt’s three years are an economic success story: PM,” The Express Tribune, 8 January 2022)

IHC differs former G-B judge’s indictment
On 7 January, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) deferred indictment in the contempt of court case against former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan Rana Shamim and other accused until 20 January. This came after the court was hearing about an affidavit that was published in the newspaper that accused former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar of influencing a case against ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz. (“Former G-B judge’s indictment deferred,” The Express Tribune, 8 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: PM seeks report from CM on rain damage
On 7 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo for a report on the damage caused by recent rains. Additionally, he also directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to provide immediate relief to those affected in Gwadar and Turbat and directed the authorities concerned to provide assistance to those affected due to rains in Balochistan. (Amir Wasim, “PM Imran seeks report on rain damage in Balochistan,” Dawn, 8 January 2022)

ECONOMY
Over USD three billion received through the Roshan Digital Accounts till the end of December 2021
On 7 January, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported that Pakistan has received over USD 3.160 billion through the Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) till the end of December 2021. However, it reported that the Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs) attracted the major inflows which amounted to USD 2.149 billion. (“$3.16bn received through Roshan Digital Accounts till Dec 2021,” Dawn, 8 January 2022

Inflation increases as a result of high food prices
On 7 January, data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) showed that inflation measured through the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) posted an increase of 0.08 per cent for the week ended on 6 January due to the sharp increase in the prices of essential food and non-food items. (“Sharp increase in food prices pushes inflation up,” Dawn, 8 January 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

“Where do you pin the responsibility of these deaths? Where was the government all the while? What arrangements did it make to deal with such an influx? Incompetence is fast turning into criminality. Prior arrangements & round the clock supervision were the normal SOPs in the past”
-Shehbaz Sharif, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly
 
“International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) resolves safety concerns of Pakistan Civil Aviation. The historic achievement of the country’s aviation regulator. Fed. Min Ghulam S Khan and DG PCAA Khaqan Murtaza declared this a historic milestone for Pakistan and lauded efforts of entire regulatory term behind this success.”
-Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority

Profits of listed businesses grew 59% year on year for the first 9 months, despite Covid challenges. This shows our economy is witnessing strong growth & creating jobs. I am hopeful that businesses & employers will share these gains with their workforces
-Prime Minister Imran Khan

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “Debating Seniority” underlines the friction caused by the recent nomination of Justice Ayesha A. Malik to the Supreme Court. On the one hand, she has been hailed for the groundbreaking verdict on abolishing the two-finger ‘virginity’ test and others. However, in contrast, Justice Malik’s nomination is understood as an “out-of-turn promotion” by the judicial community.

An editorial in Dawn titled “Aviation relief” highlights that after a year of extensive examination and audit, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has cleared the Civil Aviation Authority of key safety concerns, which is good news for the country's ailing aviation industry. Year-long scrutiny was “in the wake of the tragic Karachi plane crash in May 2020 and subsequent statements from the aviation minister that over 30pc of Pakistani pilots had dubious flying licenses,” says the writer.

An editorial in the Express Tribune titled “Door-to-door vaccination” applauds the recent efforts taken by provincial governments to fight against the virus. In light of increasing cases of the Omicron strain of the disease in Sindh, the provincial administration has decided to undertake a door-to-door vaccination campaign for coronavirus protection. The decision was made in part because the immunization rate among women was judged to be inadequate.

An editorial in The News International titled “Uncertainties galore” voices out the continuous uncertainties faced by Pakistan. The author identifies the country is currently plagued by four significant uncertainties; on FATF, controversial mini-budget, political climate- including PDM’s long march, PTI’s foreign funding and finally, inconsistent economic policies.

An editorial in Dawn titled “Unvaccinated Djokovic” emphasizes Novak Djokovic's fate at the Australian Open, which is expected to be decided by a COURT hearing against the Australian government on Monday. The author writes, “Djokovic should set an example for others to follow but his views on vaccination are providing anti-vaxxers with the ammunition they need.”

 

It is only by establishing in clear terms what qualifies a judge for a higher position, and how one judge is more qualified than the other, that controversies will disappear and nominations such as Justice Malik’s can be celebrated without reservations.
- An editorial in Dawn on “Debating Seniority”



Photo : Dawn

7 January 2022, Friday I Vol 3, No. 6

JCP approves Justice Ayesha Malik’s nomination to Supreme Court



PPP announces long march in February, PM Imran says that decision on extension for COAS can wait and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior and Accountability ask FIA to play an effective role ahead of FATF meeting

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
PPP announces long march in February
On  6 January, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari announced that PPP would start its long march on Islamabad against the PTI government on 27 February. He said, “The deteriorating economic conditions have worried people, who are fed up of the incompetent and inept rulers and want to get rid of them at the earliest. Therefore, we have decided to launch a long march against the government from Feb 27. It will start from Mazar-i-Quaid (mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi).” (Amjad Mahmood, “PPP’s long march begins on Feb 27: Bilawal,” Dawn, 7 January 2022)

JCP approves Justice Ayesha Malik’s nomination to Supreme Court
On 6 January, the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) approved the nomination of Lahore High Court Justice Ayesha A. Malik, the first woman judge to enter the Supreme Court. Her nomination was secured by a majority of five to four, with Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Justice Maqbool Baqar, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) representative Akhtar Hussain opposing the selection. (Nasir Iqbal, “‘Divided’ JCP okays Justice Ayesha Malik’s nomination to Supreme Court,” Dawn, 7 January 2022)

November is far away, decision about extension of COAS tenure can wait, says PM Khan
On 6 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed that he has not thought about extension in the tenure of Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, saying, “The current year has just started and November is far away. Then why there is worry about extension in the tenure of the army chief.” (Syed Irfan Raza, “Decision on extension for COAS can wait, says PM Imran,” Dawn, 7 January 2022)

Biggest failure of his government was the lack of accountability, says PM Khan
On 6 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan states that the biggest failure of his government was on the accountability front, stating that despite all the evidence, “these people [corrupt] are escaping.” Further, he went on to state that his government would complete the tenure, saying, “We will complete the five years along with our allies,” terming the next three months as “important for his government.” (“PM Imran admits failure in accountability,” The Express Tribune, 7 January 2022)

IHC resumes hearing of court case against ex-GB judge and others
On 7 January, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) resumed the hearing of a contempt of court case against former Gilgit-Baltistan chief justice Rana Shamim, Jang Group owner Mir Shakeelur Rehman and senior journalists Ansar Abbasi and Aamir Ghauri. The hearing comes in connection to an affidavit that accused former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar of trying to delay the release from prison of top PML-N leadership. (Tahir Naseer, “Rana Shamim affidavit: IHC resumes hearing contempt of court case against ex-GB judge, others,” Dawn, 7 January 2022)

PM Khan discuss the proposed role of NRA with Maulana Tariq Jameel
On 6 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Maulana Tariq Jameel to discussed the proposed role of the National Rehmatulil Alameen Authority (NRA). During the meeting, they discussed the NRA for the character-building of the youth in light of the teachings of the Seeratun Nabvi as PM Khan reiterated that “we, as a nation, can only progress by following the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH).” (“PM Imran meets Maulana Tariq Jameel, discusses NRA's role,” The Express Tribune, 7 January 2022)

ECONOMY
Government schedules National Assembly session for approval of ‘mini-budget’ for 10 January
On 6 January, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan while speaking to Dawn said that the government has planned to convene the National Assembly session for holding a debate on the finance supplementary bill for 10 January. He stated that the recommendations of the Senate on the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2021 will be discussed during the session. ("Govt to convene NA session on mini-budget on Jan 10," The Express Tribune, 6 January 2022)

Meanwhile, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance during a meeting to finalize and make recommendations in the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021 extended support on the imposition of 17 percent general sales tax on goods imported by the diplomats and diplomatic missions, however, rejecting the withdrawal of sales tax exemption on baby formula milk, donations and contraceptives under the supplementary finance bill 2021. (“Senate panel rejects some finance bill proposals,” The News International, 7 January 2022)

Comprehensive plan underway to control inflation, says Information and Broadcasting Minister
On 6 January, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain stated that there would be a comprehensive plan to control inflation in the country. He added that Pakistan’s economic indicators, including growth rate, are on an upward trajectory despite the pandemic. (“Plan under way to check inflation, says information minister,” Dawn, 7 January 2022)

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq has urged for a national dialogue to revive the country’s economy. He claimed that half of the country’s budget is spent on interest, adding, “Inflation and poverty has taken hold from house to house.” (“JI chief calls for national dialogue to revive economy,” The Express Tribune, 7 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
Pakistan to host meeting in March
On 6 January, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will be held on 22 March in Islamabad. He said, “We will celebrate our 75th Pakistan Day with our brothers and the OIC Foreign Ministers Council will attend the March 23 parade as guest.” (“Pakistan to host next OIC meeting on March 22: Qureshi,” The News International, 7 January 2022)

ON FATF
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior and Accountability ask FIA to play an effective role ahead of FATF meeting
On 6 January, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior and Accountability Shehzad Akbar urged the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to play an effective role in achieving the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) targets ahead of the meeting in March or April. An official while speaking to Dawn said, “Mr Akbar emphasised achieving the FATF targets for the upcoming APG/ plenary review in March/April, 2022. The FIA was also directed to aggressively pursue mega money laundering cases.” (Zulqernain Tahir, “Shehzad Akbar asks FIA to gird up its loins ahead of FATF meeting,” Dawn, 7 January 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Intruding into private life and tapping the phone is the essence of vulgarity and then publicity is the culmination of vulgarity. It is reprehensible and arrogant not to apologize to Maryam Nawaz for using inappropriate words when the conversation is public."
-Saleem Safi, Journalist
 
"Another major step forward for women in Pak - 1st woman judge in SC, a long-overdue appt. Congratulations to Justice Ayesha Malik who has an exemplary record as a judge of LHC. Let this be a first step for women judges being elevated to SC & there are some outstanding women judges"
-Shireen Mazari, Minister for Human Rights
 
"The gas crisis has been raging in the country since the onset of winter. Citizens have been suffering for months due to gas cuts and low pressure. The gas shortfall in the commercial center Karachi is 257 MMCF. In severe cold and rain, people do not even have gas for cooking."
-Sherry Rehman, Former Member of the National Assembly

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “Border with Afghanistan” highlights recent border fencing issues. Pakistan’s efforts to fence a 2,600 km long fence is aimed to curb both terrorism and cross-border smuggling. The author suggests that it is “important that border management is done effectively and with mutual understanding of the two countries. With the Taliban now controlling Afghanistan, it is reasonable to expect that they will not actively and deliberately try to undermine Pakistan’s interests, and would resolve misunderstandings through reasoned engagement.”

An editorial in Dawn titled “Taxing renewable energy”, in light of the new finance supplementary bill 2021, proposes a 17 percent sales tax on solar energy equipment, which goes against the prime minister's intention of boosting the number of renewables in the overall energy mix to safeguard the environment and reduce dependency on highly-priced imported fossil fuels. The author writes, “There are other avenues, both undertaxed and untaxed, from which the government can generate a lot more than what it seeks to rake in from taxing green equipment.”

An editorial in The Express Tribune voices protests happening across Kazakhstan against rising petrol costs in the oil-rich country, which has swiftly devolved into a broader public outcry against corruption, autocratic rule, and former President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhstan's government has been forced to step down as a result of mass demonstrations, and troops from Russia and other former Soviet nations will be mobilized to help "stabilize" the country.

An editorial in The News International titled “Audio leaks” expresses solidarity with journalists, who have been “facing derogatory remarks by any powerful group.” The author says, “A healthy political environment calls for freedom of expression at all levels, and more than any other entity, political parties themselves benefit from such free expression.” Additionally, the author condemns the recent incident on intruding into the private spheres of individuals and as well as the intolerance of dissent by the powerful groups.”

In an editorial in Dawn titled “Importing Urea” the author believes that “the government’s decision to import urea from China should help curb market volatility at a time when wheat farmers are facing shortages and a spike in retail prices despite record urea sales”. Through this opportunity, the government of Pakistan might have a chance to restructure the urea industry.

 

“One hopes political parties understand that they can’t force or threaten real journalists into agreeing with them and that any attempt to do so will only be a further attack on democracy.”
-An editorial in The News International on “Audio leaks”



Photo : Dawn

6 January 2022, Thursday I Vol 3, No. 5

Opposition asks ECP and SC to move against PTI over foreign funding



DG ISPR's statements on deal with Nawaz Sharif, armed forces subservient institution to the government and the fencing issue, Pakistan, GCC finalises action plan for strategic dialogue

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
Opposition asks ECP and SC to move against PTI over foreign funding
On 5 January, the PML-N and PPP urged the urged the Supreme Court (SC) and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to proceed against the PTI over the ECP’s foreign funding report which they termed as a “damning indictment” of Prime Minister Imran Khan. While the PML-N believes the SC should take a suo motu action against the prime minister, the PPP is of the opinion that is primarily the responsibility of the ECP to ban the ruling party. (“Apex court, ECP urged to move against PTI over foreign funding,” Dawn, 6 January 2021)

No deal with Nawaz Sharif, and armed forces are subservient institution to the government, says DG ISPR
On 5 January,  Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar rejected the speculation over a deal between the military leadership Nawaz Sharif saying, "I will say these are baseless speculations. Ask this question from those who talk about such things," adding, "In my understanding, there is baseless speculation and I am very clear about that." Further, on the staus of the civil-military relations, he said, "I have said it time and again that armed forces are subservient institution to the Pakistan government and act as its directives and there is no more than this." (“No truth in reports of deal with Nawaz: DG ISPR,” Dawn, 5 January 2022)

PFUJ President asks for apology from PML-N leaders for abusing journalists
On 6 January, Dawn reported that Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi in a joint statement expressed serious concern over a leaked audio clip of allegedly two senior PML-N leaders in which they are using abusive language against senior journalists and anchorpersons. The PFUJ officials stated that the leaked audio was alarming as it showed the mindset of political leadership against media and independent journalists. (“PFUJ demands apology from PML-N leaders for abusing journalists,” Dawn, 6 January 2021)

Journalist body in Pakistan concerned over framing of charges against journalists
On 5 January, The Committee to Protect Journalists expressed grave concern over the Islamabad High Court (IHC)’s decision to indict Pakistani journalists Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Aamir Ghauri, and Ansar Abbasi, calling it a dangerous attack on press freedom and freedom of expression. “The Islamabad High Court’s decision to indict journalists Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Aamir Ghauri, and Ansar Abbasi is a disturbing act of retaliation for reporting a matter of public interest,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator. (“Framing charges against journalists: Order ‘a disturbing act of retaliation’: CPJ,” The News International, 6 January 2022)

Pakistan and Brazil delegation meets over to exchange learning about EVMs
On 4 January, a delegation of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) met Ambassador of Brazil to Pakistan Olyntho Vieira to learn about the Brazilian experience of using electronic voting machines (EVMs) and on internet voting. Brazil and Pakistan share electoral and demographic similarities. (“ECP delegation meets Brazilian envoy to learn about use of EVMs,” Dawn, 6 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: CM Bizenjo declare Gwadar and Kech districts calamity-hit areas
On 6 January, Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo stated that the provincial government has decided to declare Gwadar and Kech districts as calamity-hit areas. Further, he issued directives for the chief secretary to take steps concerning the matter. Additionally, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said that huge losses had occurred in Gwadar and Kech districts due to heavy rains along the Makran Coast. (“Gwadar, Kech to be declared calamity hit: CM Bizenjo,” Dawn, 6 January 2021)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Two security personnel killed during intelligence-based operations 
On January 5, DG ISPR issued a statement that security forces conducted IBO simultaneously in Tank, Dera Ismail Khan and Kot Kili village in South Waziristan during which two terrorists and two security personnel were killed. (“Two security men martyred,” Dawn, 6 January 2022)

EXTERNAL
Pakistan and GCC finalise the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue
On 5 January, during a delegation-level meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Dr Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, the two sides finalised the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue (2022-26). The plan provides for an institutional approach to deepen cooperation in various fields, including political, security, trade and investment, agricultural and food security, transportation, energy, environment, health, culture and education. (“Pakistan, GCC finalise action plan for strategic dialogue,” Dawn, 6 January 2021)

PM Khan to visit China in February
On 5 January, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Khalid Mansoor stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the removal of any hindrance to Chinese investment in Pakistan, as he prepares to visit Beijing in February. Further, Mansoor stated that PM Khan has ordered the removal of 37 regulations to ensure one-window operation for foreign investors. (“PM to visit China early next month,” The Express Tribune, 6 January 2021)

DURAND LINE
Fencing to continue as planned as blood of martyred soldiers was involved in erecting the fence, says DG ISPR
On 5 January, Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar on the fencing of the Pak-Afghan border said, "We are totally focused, and under the western border management regime, the work that is underway will be completed in some time," adding, "The blood of our martyrs was spilled in erecting this fence. It is a fence of peace. It will be completed and will remain [in place]."(“Martyrs' blood went into Pak-Afghan border fencing, will continue as planned: DG ISPR,” Dawn, 5 January 2022)

 

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"The ECC has approved the import of 1.5 million tonnes of fertilizer from China. The first shipment of 50,000 tons of fertilizer will arrive on February 10. From January, 600,000 tons of local fertilizer will also start coming in the market. Despite the high prices in the world market, our farmers will not face a shortage of fertilizers"
-Fawad Chaudhry, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting

“The first Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) freight train has arrived at Ankara. The train started its journey from Islamabad on 21 December 2021 and covered 6000 km in 13 days to reach Ankara. Currently, the train is on its way to Istanbul.”
-Azam Khan Swati, Federal Minister for Railways

“Adoption of Western econ theory & practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating a happy & contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way & present to the world an econ system based on the true Islamic concept of equality of manhood & social justice” (QAzam@SBP)
-Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary General of PML-N

Also read...

An editorial in Dawn titled “Report on PTI funds”, highlights the recent report released by the Election Commission of Pakistan on PTI’s fundings. Both PM Imran Khan and his party, who has been a constant advocate of anti-corruption have now landed in trouble. The writer says, “Though there is no explicit allegation of wrongdoing in the report, the party’s resistance during the entire case raises questions.” Moreover, PTI’s “concealed accounts and the actions of resisting accountability contradict their principles.

An editorial in Dawn emphasizes the frequent audio disclosures that reveal that the unlawful practice of tapping continues and that states have lost control over agencies that continue to monitor even those in power. The author writes, “The act of phone-tapping is illegal to the extent that it infringes upon individuals’ rights to privacy, free expression, liberty, and life. This is not acceptable in a democracy.”

An editorial in The News International on “Cyber Challenge” brings forth the challenges Pakistan is facing in terms of the rising cyber-crimes. A sudden increase in these complaints is related to issues of “protecting women’s modesty, child pornography, and cyber fraud writes the author. However, in order to curb these crimes, the author suggests that the involvement of academia and civil society can be crucial as well. Nevertheless, in the process, the author suggests that cybercrimes “must never be used to restrict legitimate legal rights of citizens to information, speech, and dissent. It would be unfortunate if something as serious as combating cybercrime were used to further restrict space for political dissent.”

An opinion in The Express Tribune written by Amma Ejaz Rafi on “Pakistan & Bangladesh: Strategic consonance” calls for closer cooperation among the countries to tackle “poverty and transnational challenges.” The author believes that if they “tune their economies in line with regional connectivity, then they can reap benefits”

An opinion in The Express Tribune on the fencing of the Pak- Afg border states that even if the fence has ‘seemingly’ lost its significance and purpose in an emerging and altered geo-strategic construct, Pakistan must stay the course cordially with Afghanistan.

 

Preserving historic buildings in cities is necessary because this strengthens the element of continuity, community, and character.
It’s an irony that officials who are tasked with protecting historic buildings themselves aid in the destruction of history”

-An opinion in The Express Tribune on “Historic buildings”

 


Photo : Dawn

5 January 2022, Wednesday I Vol 3, No. 4

PTI under-reported Rs312m funds between 2009 and 2013, says ECP Report



Justice Isa asks CJP to determine criteria for nomination to SC, Federal Cabinet meets another IMF condition for USD 1 billion loan and Taliban government says that Pak-Afghan border fencing issue will be addressed through 'diplomatic channels.'

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
PTI under-reported Rs312m funds between 2009 and 2013, says ECP Report
On 5 January, Dawn reported that in a report the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in a report confirmed that PTI received funding from foreign nationals and companies, under-reported funds and concealed dozens of its bank accounts. According to the report, the party under-reported an amount of Rs312 million over a four-year period, between FY2009-10 and FY2012-13.

Welcoming the report, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “The more our accounts are scrutinised, the more factual clarity will emerge for the nation to see how PTI is the only political party with proper donor base premised on proper political fundraising,” adding, “I look forward to seeing similar ECP scrutiny on funding of 2 other major pol parties - PPP & PMLN. This will allow nation to see difference between proper pol fundraising & extortion of money from crony capitalists & vested interests in exchange for favours at nation's expense.”

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry termed the report “inaccurate” claiming that certain transactions were counted twice. Further, he called for a public scrutiny of ‘identical’ cases against itself, PPP and PML-N so that the public knows where they all stood. (“PTI tried to keep lid on foreign accounts, reveals ECP,” Dawn, 5 January 2021) (“PM Imran welcomes ECP scrutiny of PTI's funding, says will lead to more 'factual clarity' for the nation,” Dawn, 5 January 2021)

Meanwhile, PML-N Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb demanded the immediate resignation of PM Imran Khan over the ECP’s foreign funding case report stating that he has no legal or moral grounds left to continue as the prime minister after being proven a thief by the report. (“Foreign funding case report proves PM a thief: Marriyum,” The News International, 5 January 2021)

Justice Isa asks CJP to determine criteria for nomination to judges to SC; Seniority not legal requirement, nor convention, says Women in Law Pakistan
On 4 January, Justice Qazi Faez Isa in a two-page letter advised the Chief Justice of Pakistan (JCP) to first determine the criteria for nomination of judges for appointment to the Supreme Court and then consider elevation of Justice Ayesha A. Malik of the Lahore High Court (LHC). He said, “Once the nomination and selection criteria are determined, it will help dispel misgivings that arbitrariness in the selection process holds sway.” (Nasir Iqbal, “Justice Qazi Faez Isa asks CJP to determine criteria for nomination to SC,” Dawn, 5 January 2021)

Meanwhile, the Women in Law Pakistan initiative has issued a statement on the issue stating that the idea that seniority is a legal requirement is a myth and “there is no requirement in law and Constitution to appoint the senior most judge to the Supreme Court.” Further, the initiative said that “at least 41 times judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court without them being most senior. There is, therefore, no such custom either. ‘Seniority’, is at best a mere demand of some members of the Bars at the moment and has no legal basis.” (“Justice Ayesha's SC appointment: Seniority not legal requirement, nor convention, says Women in Law Pakistan,” Dawn, 5 January 2021)

PML-N and Government at odds after another leaked audio clipping
On 4 January, in another audio clip allegedly of PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz talking to former senator Pervaiz Rashid  about journalists’ bias towards their party has drawn criticism regarding the conduct of political parties towards media organisations. Following the leak, ,” PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said, “The real crime is secretly tapping telephone calls and private conversations in violation of the constitutional right to privacy and then leaking them without consent of the people involved,” adding, “The matter must be investigated and the culprits found guilty of intrusion of privacy given exemplary punishment in accordance with the law.” Meanwhile, leader of the Senate, Dr Shahzad Waseem said, “The PML-N is known for running media campaigns against its opponents and what it had done to the late Benazir Bhutto was known to everyone,” addig, The PML-N has a vast experience of blackmailing and controlling freedom of media. The PML-N always kept the media under pressure to use it for its vested interests.” (Zulqernain Tahir, “Audio leak brings PML-N, govt face to face,” Dawn, 5 January 2021)

Senate chairman refers the issue of foreign visits to house panel
On 4 January, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani referred the issue of foreign visits of Prime Minister Imran Khan and previous leaders to the house committee for a complete review and preparing a comparative report. This comes after the house witnessed a verbal clash between the opposition and government over the issue. (“Senate chairman refers rulers’ foreign visits to house panel,” Dawn, 5 January 2021)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: Ove 300 homes damaged by rains in the coastal area
On 4 January, over 300 houses were damaged leaving hundreds of people homeless, as heavy winter rains badly affected the coastal areas of the Makran division in Balochistan. According to the Commissioner of Makran division, heavy losses were reported in different areas of Turbat, Gwadar, Pasni, Jiwani and other areas as a large number of mud houses were badly damaged by rainwater. (“Heavy rains wreak havoc in Balochistan’s coastal areas,” Dawn, 5 January 2021)

ECONOMY
Federal cabinet agrees to meet another IMF condition for USD 1 billion loan
On 4 January, the federal cabinet agreed to make details of the sovereign guarantees public, which were expected to rise to a record Rs3.2 trillion by June in efforts to meet another condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This comes as the IMF has made a list of conditions including bringing a mini-budget, giving absolute autonomy to the central bank by approving the State Bank of Pakistan amendment Bill to be met for the next loan tranche of USD 1 billion. (Shahbaz Rana “Cabinet meets another IMF condition for $1b loan,” The Express Tribune, 5 January 2021)

EXTERNAL
GCC Chief to arrive in Pakistan
On 4 January, the Foreign Office announced that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General Nayef bin Falah Al-Hajraf would visit Pakistan on 5 January to hold delegation-level talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The FO said, “The visit offers the two sides an opportunity to review mutual cooperation and take steps to foster enhanced collaboration in diverse fields, with a renewed focus on trade and economic relations between Pakistan and the GCC Member States.” (“GCC chief to visit Islamabad today,” The Express Tribune, 5 January 2021)

China appreciates enhanced cooperation with Pakistan, says the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokespersonn
On 4 January, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on the launch of the Pakistan-China Business and Investment Forum said, “China appreciates the prime minister and the Pakistani government for the importance they attached to bilateral relations and promoting trade.” Further, on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said that China was glad to see enhanced exchanges and cooperation between the two sides, stating, “We will strive to promote investment and trade to the benefit of both countries and peoples.” (“China glad at enhanced cooperation with Pakistan,” The Express Tribune, 5 January 2021

DURAND LINE
Taliban government acknowledges fencing issue says matter will be addressed via ‘diplomatic channels’
On 4 January, the Taliban government in Afghanistan taking notice of the issues related to the fencing of Pak-Afghan border said that the matter would be addressed through diplomatic channels. Taliban foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said, “Recently, a few incidents have taken place along the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan that have given rise to the need for the authorities of the two sides to address the problem,” adding that the Taliban government would address the issue through diplomatic channels. (Tahir Khan, “Pak-Afghan border fencing issue will be addressed through 'diplomatic channels': Taliban,” Dawn, 5 January 2021)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Truth has a strange way of exposing people. The Scrutiny Committee's report is a damning indictment of IK. PTI has been running away from foreign funding cases for the last 7 years, and now we know why. The façade of "Sadiq aur Ameen" has been shredded into pieces."
- Shehbaz Sharif, leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly of Pakistan

"I welcome ECP's scrutiny of PTI's funding through donations from Overseas Pakistanis. The more our accounts are scrutinized, the more factual clarity will emerge for the nation to see how PTI is the only political party with proper donor base premised on proper political fundraising."
- Prime Minister Imran Khan

"5 Jan 1949 UN Committed to right of self-determination for Kashmiris through an impartial plebiscite. Shameful reflection on UN esp UNSC that it is unable to implement its own commitment despite the growing oppression by a fascist occupation Indian govt in IIOJK"
- Shireen Mazari, Minister for Human Rights 

Also read...

An editorial in The News International titled "Taxing Matters" emphasizes the country's poor state of tax collection. Though a part of the population belonging to middle-income groups is deducted taxes at the source itself, many parliamentarians and officeholders tend not to pay or pay very little. The author iterates that the "MPs must lead by example by contributing to the government's coffers by paying the taxes they owe," and PTI must lead the action.

An editorial in Dawn titled "Shooting the messenger?" highlights the deteriorating press freedom in the country. In terms of the recent statement by the Islamabad High court wanting to "indict journalists," among others, in a case involving an affidavit filed by a former chief justice of Gilgit-Baltistan establishes an unfavorable precedent for press freedom.

An editorial in Dawn on Sindh's local government law has erupted controversy among the ruling and Opposition parties. The author writes, "This LG system has failed manifestly; therefore the PPP should not be stubborn; it should incorporate the valid suggestions of the opposition in the new law, especially as Sindh's ruling party does not have significant representation from Karachi."

An editorial in Dawn titled "Entrenched inflation" stresses the new inflation numbers released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The inflation rate in the country is at an all-time high- "a whopping annual rate of 12.3 per cent- the highest level in 22 months". Additionally, the author regrets that the government has neglected the issue and has blamed either the "flawed economic policies of the PML-N government" or the current 'global commodity boom' caused by Covid supply disruptions."

An opinion in The Express Tribune written by Talat Masood focuses on how "Muslim countries must pursue policies that demand curbing their long-term economic and political ambitions ."The author presents that most Muslim countries are highly dependent on foreign economic assistance to maintain stability in their own countries. He elaborates that these countries lag in most domains; political, economy, society, or education.

 

"People who are increasingly finding it harder to put food on the table and pay their energy, education, and health bills remain unimpressed.
Inflation is a real issue for the public. Telling them that it's not, or that it's transitory, amounts to insulting their intelligence."

- An editorial in The News International on "Taxing Matters."



Photo : Dawn

4 January 2022, Tuesday I Vol 3, No. 3

Violence-related casualties increased in 2021, says report



Concerns expressed over court directives of indicting journalists in affidavit case and President Arif Alvi summons the Senate for clearing Mini-budget

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
Violence-related casualties increased in 2021, says report
On 4 January, Dawn reported that the annual security report (2021) released by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) stated that though violence-related casualties in Pakistan seemed to have accelerated dramatically in 2021. The report stated that there was an increase of 42 per cent in 2021, with 853 fatalities and 1,690 injuries directly linked to violence-related incidents being recorded. The report added that nearly 75 pe cent of all violence-related fatalities were recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. (“Pakistan saw upsurge in violence-related fatalities in 2021: report,” Dawn, 4 January 2021)

PFUJ, PBC and HRCP raise concerns over court directives of indicting journalists in affidavit case
On 3 January, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in a joint statement said, “Media reports of court directives to indict senior journalists have created concerns among the national communities of journalists, lawyers and rights activists, and their representative associations, who believe that this may create a precedent that may potentially lead to greater persecution of media by other predators of freedom of expression.” It added, “It is the considered opinion of PFUJ, the apex body of journalists in Pakistan, that reporter Ansar Abbasi merely performed his professional duties whil filing a report related to the affidavit that is in public interest,” adding, “We, along with all these stakeholders of media freedoms, feel that the potentials risks of indictment of journalists for their professional work will further exacerbate the difficulties of enforcement of fundamental rights to Freedom of Expression and right to information and potentially harm media freedoms in the country.” (“Framing journalists: PFUJ, PBC, HRCP, FN say journalists shouldn’t be punished for doing their job,” The News International, 4 January 2021)

PBC warns of boycott all court proceedings if Judicial Commission considers Justice Ayesha elevation
On 3 January, the PBC Vice-Chairman Khushdil Khan and PBC Executive Committee Chairman Muhammad Masood Chishti announced that there would be a boycott of all court proceedings, from the superior judiciary to the lower courts if the Chief Justice of Pakistan does not postpone the meeting of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan (JCP) to consider the elevation of Justice Ayesha A. Malik of the Lahore High Court (LHC) to the Supreme Court. Further, they reiterated that Justice Ayesha’s elevation violates seniority and called for reforms in appointment rules. (“Bars threaten blanket boycott if Judicial Commission considers woman judge’s elevation,” Dawn, 4 January 2021)

Bill concerning missing persons in Pakistan is on misplaced priorities: Human Rights Minister, Pakistan
On 3 January, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazar revealed that the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2021 had been passed in the national assembly after due passage from a parliamentary standing committee but perhaps yet to be discussed and approved by the Senate. Pakistan has a history of enforced disappearance from Balochistan and FATA which has crept in in other provinces of Pakistan. The ‘enforced disappearances' has been happening on the pretext of various nefarious objectives and the bill declares it a penal offence punishable by up to five years imprisonment with a fine up to PKR 500,000. (Nadir Guramani, “Missing persons bill has gone 'missing', says Shireen Mazari,” Dawn, 4 January 2022)

PM Khan issued a notice in defamation case
On 4 January, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking termination of his response in an Rs10 billion compensation case against Pakistan Muslim League-N’s (PML-N) Khawaja Asif. This came after the IHC was hearing Asif’s petition against the sessions court’s decision to remove the right of cross-examination on the prime minister’s statement. (“IHC issues notice to PM Imran in defamation case” Dawn, 4 January 2022)

PROVINCES
Sindh: JI challenges new local government law in Sindh High Court
On 3 January, the Jamaat-i-Islami challenged the recently passed Sindh Local Government Act (SLGA) 2021 in the Sindh High Court stating that the new law was in violation of various provisions of the Constitution. JI-Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman argued that any concern regarding the lack of capacity of local governments must be evaluated considering the provincial government’s own role in undermining such capacities and therefore, the obligation was with the Sindh government to restore and replenish local governments by empowering them instead of further reducing their financial autonomy. (Ishaq Tanoli, “Jamaat-i-Islami challenges new local govt law in Sindh High Court,” Dawn, 4 January 2021)

ECONOMY
President Arif Alvi summons the Senate for clearing Mini-budget
On 4 January the senate is going to convene on President’s guidance for the passage of money bill, which will enable the government to reduce/remove subsidies, the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021, which will make some amendments to amend certain laws related to taxes and duties and the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021, which aims to make SBP more sovereign and empowers role of SBP governor. (Amir Wasim, “Shaukat Tarin to lay ‘mini-budget’ in Senate today,” Dawn, 4 January 2022)

PM suggests counter inflation arguments to shed off previous regime’s performances
On 3 January, PM during a meeting remarked “We had got a devastated economy which has been improved considerably, let the opposition not exploit the situation in any way and tell the people the facts and present a factual picture before them.” He added that inflation had been controlled and will reduce further in the upcoming months. (Mumtaz Alvi, “Tell people there is no inflation: PM,” The News International, 4 January 2022)

DURAND LINE
Foreign ministers acknowledge the contentious issue of fencing on Durand Line
On 3 January Shah Mahmood Qureshi maintained that Pakistan would continue fencing the border with Pakistan and discussion about the recent action of the Taliban removing the fence was not in Pakistan’s interest. He asserted that due solution would be worked out through diplomatic channels. Meanwhile, the cabinet asked the interior ministry to bring the urea hoarders and smugglers to justice and assured the farmers that there was ample urea produced for the current year. Due to differences in global and local prices in the urea there was panic among the farmers which has been exploited by the urea dealers. (Rizwan Ghilzai, “Cabinet directs interior ministry to curb urea smuggling,” The Express Tribune, 4 January 2022) (Baqir Sajjad Sayid, “FM Qureshi concedes discord exists with Taliban over border fence,” Dawn, 4 January 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

“What will you say for him?
Yes Mr. PM!
•there is no inflation for you,
•for your Ministers &
•for your Cronies but there is hyperinflation for a citizen.
This clearly shows that how far are you from reality living & Flying in some other world.”
- Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary General of PML-N

“The Colonial State monopolized forms of violence used against the population. Post-Colonial state has outsourced certain forms of violence to mobs, terrorists and gangsters. The privatisation of violence is the salient feature of the "post-independence" era in the sub-continent.”
- Ammar Ali Jan, Member of the Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement (HKM)

“Open your eyes, look at the ground, look at the sky, look at the atmosphere The large number of women participating in the sit-in of Jamaat-e-Islami against the new local body law in front of the Sindh Assembly is sending a message that without the participation of women in the fight for rights, men cannot succeed.”
-Hamid Mir, Journalist

Also read...

An editorial in Express Tribune titled “Inflation challenge” highlights Pakistan’s deteriorating economy with IMF gaining immense dominance. The author emphasizes that “the country is gradually on a slippage mode in terms of their financial sovereignty”. Additionally, the author rightly points out that under PM Imran Khan who has been an “ardent advocate” of self-reliance and local empowerment but failing miserably.

An editorial in Dawn on “Cybercrime complaints” claims that the public’s trust in law enforcement has gradually increased due to rising complaints records. Nevertheless, the author disagrees with the claim based only on “cosmetic changes and numeric milestones.” The author proposes quality and consistent gender-sensitive training of the staff, accountability, and transparency in the processing of cybercrimes.

An editorial in The News International voices out the worries of Pakistani citizens in the year 2022. The author analyses, due to renewed pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure Pakistan's economy, citizens are concerned about where the money for the next electricity, gas, and petrol bill will come from. “Though there is a discussion of inflationary pressure reducing in 2022, the outlook is not entirely positive,” says the writer.

An editorial in the Dawn on “Maulana’s march” predicts that “the government finds itself with very few good options while the opposition appears to be gaining confidence. The period between now and the scheduled march will determine where national politics is heading.”

In an opinion in the Dawn, the author Arifa Noor gives an account of “Age of Politics”. The writer brings about an exceptional parallel between age and politics and questions “the role of youth and their political choices”.

 

“If government teachers are not turning up to teach, close the schools. When government doctors are reluctant to serve in district hospitals, shut them too.
This is the easiest remedy our governments find handy when they lack any other imaginative solution”
- An editorial in The News International on “Managing Hospitals”



Photo : Dawn

3 January 2022, Monday I Vol 3, No. 2

700 new Covid cases reported for first time since October 2021



PM terms rising corruption and sex crimes as the two main evils confronting the Muslim world, Pakistan conveys concern to Taliban over fencing incidents, Pak-China Business Investment Forum launched by PM Khan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief

INTERNAL

700 new Covid cases reported for first time since October 2021

On 3 January, Pakistan reported 708 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the first time since October 2021.  According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the positivity rate has risen to 1.55 per cent. Planning Minister Asad Umar warned that there was clear evidence of the new variant, Omicron increases in many parts of the country. (“Pakistan reports more than 700 new Covid cases for first time since October 2021,” Dawn, 3 January 2022)

PM terms rising corruption and sex crimes as the two main evils confronting the Muslim world

On 2 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan termed rising corruption and sex crimes as the two main evils confronting the Muslim world. He said, “There are two sorts of crime in society, one is corruption and the other is sex crime. Sex crime has risen sharply in our society, i.e. rape and child abuse and only one per cent of this is reported,” adding, “The other 99 per cent, I believe, society has to fight it. The same is the case with corruption… society has to make corruption unacceptable. Unfor­tunately, when you have leadership which is corrupt over time, they make corruption acceptable.” (Syed Irfan Raza, “Society must fight sex crimes, corruption itself: PM,” Dawn, 3 January 2022)

Fazlur Rehman confident about PDM's 'Mehngai' march

On 2 January, JUI chief and PDM leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman asserted that all component parties of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) were fully prepared for the 'Mehngai' march to be conducted on 23 March. Buoyed by the success in KP local government elections, the Maulana said that PTI would be defeated in the second phase of elections as well. (“PDM parties fully prepared for Mehngai march: Fazlur Rehman,” Dawn, 3 January 2022)

Around USD 1.8 billion recovered by NAB in Rawalpindi over the four years

On 2 January the anti-graft watchdog NAB  log record was made public, it had filed a record number of reference files against people who were suspect of white-collar crime. According to it, NAB Rawalpindi recovered a total of Rs314bn through plea bargain and other mode of recoveries over the last four years, with indirect recovery recorded an annual increase of 85 per cent. In 49 cases, 160 accused were arrested — an average increase of 67pc. (“Rs314bn recovered from Rawalpindi region in four years: NAB,” Dawn, 3 January 2022)

Allrounder and gentleman cricketer Mohammad Hafeez calls it a day

On 2 January, former skipper and all-rounder of Pakistani team Mohammad Hafeez announced his retirement plan from international cricket. He played for his country for 18 years and transformed as cricketer with an amazing sports ethic on ground. His fans remember him by his round the wicket spinning and a generous smile. (Imran Siddique, “'No regrets, satisfied with career': Mohammad Hafeez retires from international cricket,” Dawn, 3 January 2022)

ECONOMY

Higher imports tilts the trade deficit in negative direction

On 2 January according to provisional data, the trade deficit has doubled in Pakistan to USD 24.79 billion for the first half of the fiscal year 2021-22. Despite the remarkable growth in exports during the same half, the imports outpaced the exports indicating the rhetoric confirmation of overheating of the economy of Pakistan. (“Trade deficit doubles in July-Dec as imports soar,” Dawn, 3 January 2022)

EXTERNAL

Pakistan conveys concern to Taliban over fencing incidents

On 2 January, a senior official while speaking to The Express Tribune stated that the Pakistan has conveyed its concerns at the highest level to the interim Afghan Taliban government over the repeated incidents. The official said that Pakistan was observing "maximum restraint" to avoid any escalation in tensions. This comes after videos circulated on social media showed that Taliban soldiers at the border breaking polls using a truck. (“Concerns conveyed to Afghan Taliban on fencing incidents,” The Express Tribune, 3 January 2022)

Pak-China Business Investment Forum launched by PM Khan

On 3 January, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the Pak-China Business Investment Forum which is aimed at increasing information exchange and promoting communication between businesses between China and Pakistan. The forum consists of 18 Chinese and 19 Pakistani companies and seeks to promote sustainable investment, export industry and development of modern technology in Pakistan. (“PM Imran launches Pak-China Business Investment Forum,” Dawn, 3 January 2022)



Photo : Dawn

1 January 2022, Saturday I Vol 3, No. 1

PM brings in private health sector participation across the nation



IHC summons Rana Shamim and journalists in contempt of court, China Study Centre launched in a Women’s University in Balochistan and Government debt securities up to USD 3.4 billion traded in open market operations (OMO) by SBP in a day

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief

INTERNAL

PM brings in private health sector participation across the nation

On 31 December, the PM while launching the Health Card, which provides insurance and cost coverage for medical treatment declared that all district headquarters hospitals would be dissolved and private sector would be invited to become a stakeholder and provide quality healthcare to the people of Pakistan. (Mansoor Malik, “New system to replace district HQ hospitals, says PM Imran,” Dawn, 1 January 2022)

Prime Ministers Inspection’s Commission (PMIC) nearing investigation of Pandora paper leaks

On 31 December sources in the PMIC revealed that 80 per cent of the enquiry has been completed against the names appeared in Pandora leaks. Names from all white-collar professions in Pakistan had appeared in the list though PMIC had received names of 240 individuals. Many prominent names had been listed in the leaks including current finance minsters Shaukat Tarin. (“80pc inquiry into Pandora Papers leak complete,” Dawn, 1 January 2022)

IHC summons Rana Shamim and journalists in contempt of court 

On 28 December the Islamabad High Court declared that former chief judge of Gilgit-Baltistan and journalists like Aamer Ghauri and Ansar Abbasi had tried to influence the IHC by publishing the affidavit Rana Shamim had submitted to court. The court observed that freedom of expression freedom of expression did not apply on the cases pending in the courts. (“Rana Shamim, journalists prima facie committed contempt of court: IHC,” Dawn, 1 January 2022)

Provinces

Sindh: Controversial local government law not acceptable to Jamaat-e-Islami

On 30 December, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman declared that the JI would stage a sit in protest in front of the Sindh assembly against the problematic local government law which aims to squeeze the financial powers of local government. He further added that feudal mindset in PPP was not allowing to empowerment of local bodies. (“JI to stage sit-in against controversial LG law today,” The News International, 1 January 2022)

Punjab: Local government bodies dissolved in Punjab ahead of local body elections

On 31 December the Punjab government notified the dissolution of local governments in the province and appointed administrators in administrative capacity. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Punjab government had dissolved the local bodies constituted under the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2013 in May 2019, soon after coming to power. However, the Supreme Court ordered restoration of local government institutions in March 2021 after declaring their dissolution as unconstitutional. (Imran Gabol, “Administrators appointed: Dissolution of local govts notified,”  Dawn, 1 January 2022)

External

China Study Centre launched in a Women’s University in Balochistan

On 31 December, the governor of Balochistan formally inaugurated the China Study Center at Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University (SBKWU) while the Chinese Consul General in Karachi Mr. Li Bijian addressed the participants of the inauguration ceremony online. The governor said ‘He said ‘the establishment of China Study Center (CSC) at Women’s University is a milestone in introducing new knowledge and research to the new generation.’ (“Governor Balochistan inaugurates China Study Centre at SBKWU,” The Nation, 1 January 2022)

Economy

Economic Coordination Committee clears pending projects ranging from gas pipeline to housing

On 31 December the economic coordination committee opened floodgates of money for new and older projects. The projects include National Engineering and Scientific Commission’s (NECOP) projects in ammunition development, Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAPHDA) for revision of customer pricing and mark-up subsidy period under Tier-I of the government scheme for low-cost housing and inclusion of housing finance companies. The government also extended untargeted subsidy on five essential consumer commodities for another month. (Mubarak Zeb Khan, “ECC allows subsidy on five essential items for another month,” Dawn, 1 January 2022)

Government debt securities up to USD 3.4 billion traded in open market operations (OMO) by SBP in a day

On 31 December State Bank of Pakistan traded government debt securities with commercial bank for a period of 63 days in a single day. The third OMO in series of weeks in December accumulates to USD 19.4 billion. The ample liquidity for short term periods of OMO and decline in long term OMO is to be watched carefully. (Kazim Alam,           “SBP injects Rs604bn through 63-day OMO,” Dawn, 1 January 2022)

Editorials/ Opinion

In her opinion piece Dr Ayesha Razzaque discusses about definition of successful business stories and its confused causal relationship with dropout from educational institutes in Pakistan. The trio of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates further widens the confusion in application of policies in Pakistan’s context. And the most important question she raises is the role of universities in failing to make the education and knowledge non redundant. (Dr Ayesha Razzaque, “Myth of the dropout entrepreneur,” The News International, 1 January 2022)

In the editorial for Dawn, Fahd Hussain spins his head about the irony of celebration of a periodicity and is an air of despair and anxiety prevailing in Pakistan on the first day of the new year. The air needs to cleared of toxicity of partisanship and hatredness thereupon the healing can take place for some optimism for the new year. Mr. Hussain fears the accumulation of wounds and unexpected shedding of charade of statecraft governance. (Fahd Hussain, “Catch ’22,” Dawn,1 January 2022)

In his piece Abdullah Naveed explains about the concept of tawhid (competing discourses) as prevalent in Islamic debates under the umbrella of certainty in theology. Academic discourse on Islam predates it to pre-modern form as a more polyvalent in interpretations of religious injunctions. The fossilized form of interpretation not only damages the healthy process of interpretation but also limits the expedients in politicking. (Abdullah Naveed, “Beyond certainty: theologies of difference,” Dawn, 1 January 2022)

 

Also Read

An opinion in Dawn, writer, Ali Tauqeer Sheikh states that Pakistan has promoted itself as a role model for the rest of the globe. Nearly 200 activities are pledged by the NDC. A large number of them have explicit objectives and deadlines, necessitating rapid, if not urgent, action. This year, 2022, will likely be the most crucial in terms of determining Pakistan’s climate policy direction and momentum.

A piece in opinion page in Dawn, critically looks at the much-debated mini budget, while the bill’s negative inflationary implications cannot be emphasized, fresh fiscal measures were required to return the economy to a level of stability. These budgetary initiatives were also necessary to support the State Bank’s recent actions to limit money supply in the market and rein in inflation.

An op-ed in the The Express Tribune states various reasons behind recent terrorist attack in Quetta, the terrorist act is intended to cause economic harm to Pakistan, as it comes only days after the government announced its first-ever National Security Policy, focusing on geo-economics rather than geo-politics. The device was detonated remotely, killing four individuals and injuring several others. Since the third week of November, there have been two bomb explosions in the provincial capital. Earlier in the day, a terrorist incident occurred near a high-end hotel in the city.

 


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