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Daily Briefs

17 August 2022, Wednesday I Vol 3, No.185

PPP raises concern over government’s decision on petrol hike

16 August 2022, Tuesday I Vol 3, No.184

Government set to dispatch letter of intent to IMF

12 August 2022, Friday I Vol 3, No.183

National Assembly hold Minority Convention for the first time

11 August 2022, Thursday I Vol 3, No.182

Raid on Gill's driver's house 'legal,' says ICT police


Photo : Dawn

17 August 2022, Wednesday I Vol 3, No.185

PPP raises concern over government’s decision on petrol hike



Elahi challenging ECP’s domain to hear intra-party polls case, two police officers providing security to polio workers being killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
PPP raises concern over government’s decision on petrol hike
On 16 August, Asif Ali Zardari expressed his concern over the federal government’s decision to increase the price of petroleum products by Rs 6.72 for the next fortnight, saying that “consultation on such decisions” was important. Zardari said that PPP and other coalition parties had joined the government to give relief to the people, calling it “our top priority”. Miftah Ismail, in a series of tweets earlier today, said that the government had not imposed new taxes on petroleum products and the changes had been accorded to purchasing by the Pakistan State Oil. (“ Zardari expresses concern over Shehbaz govt’s decision to raise petrol prices,” Dawn,17 August 2022)

Senate committee expressed concern over PNSC crisis
On 16 August, the Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs expressed concern over the administrative crisis in the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC), triggered by the refusal of the former chairman to hand over charge to his successor, on the basis of a stay order. The committee meeting, presided over by Senator Rubina Khalid, was informed that Shehbaz Sharif had appointed Rear Admiral Jawad Ahmed as the chairman of the PNSC on 5 August and the new chairman went to the PNSC headquarters the same day to take charge. However, the former chairman of the state-owned entity, Mr. Rizwan Ahmed, refused to vacate the office on the grounds that he had obtained a stay order from the Sindh High Court. The committee said that non-compliance with the prime minister’s order was a criminal offense, and the chairperson of the committee directed the Ministry of Maritime Affairs to take stern action against Mr. Ahmed and curtail his financial and administrative powers. (Kalbe Ali, “Senate panel expresses concern over crisis in Pakistan National Shipping Corporation,” Dawn, 17 August 2022)

Elahi challenges ECP’s domain to hear intra-party polls case
On 16 August, Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi challenged the jurisdiction of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in deciding the intra-party elections of his party, the PML-Q. Elahi’s counsel contended the PML-Q was without a leadership since the ECP’s decision. A five-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja had heard the petition against the removal of PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain from his post as well as the holding of the intra-party polls. (“Elahi challenges ECP’s domain to hear intra-party polls case,” The Express Tribune, 17 August 2022)

Shahzad Akbar to be placed on no-fly list
On 16 August, the federal cabinet consented to place the names of two of Imran Khan’s close aides Mirza Shahzad Akbar and Ziaul Mustafa Naseem on the no-fly list over their alleged involvement in a financial scam, at the request of the National Accountability Bureau. On the recommendations of the Ministry of Interior, the cabinet approved the inclusion of 10 persons on the Exit Control List, removal of 22 persons from ECL, and grant of one-time permission to three persons. Both Akbar and Naseem are presently in the UK. As per practice, if a person whose name is placed on ECL is abroad, he is arrested on his return and handed over to the relevant law enforcement agency. (Syed Irfan Raza, “Ex-PM’s adviser Shahzad Akbar placed on no-fly list,” Dawn 17 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Two police officers on polio duty killed in Tank
On 16 August, two police officers providing security to polio workers were killed after “unknown terrorists” opened fire on them in Tank, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Following the incident, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said, “Police force has been rendering unmatched sacrifices against terrorism,” the report quoted the prime minister as saying, adding that he expressed the commitment to eliminate the “menace of terrorism.” (“2 police officers on polio security martyred by firing in KP’s Tank,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Thousands protest in Lower Dir against lawlessness
On 16 August, thousands of people protested the non-arrest of the culprits behind the attack at PTI MPA Liaqat Ali Khan in Timargara, Lower Dir. They accused the government of inaction in the face of increasing lawlessness and said that police failed to arrest the culprits behind the attack despite the passage of 12 days. A complete shutter-down was also observed across the district on this occasion. (Syed Amjad Ali Shah, “Thousands protest in Lower Dir against lawlessness,” The Express Tribune, 17 August 2022)

Balochistan: Cabinet decides to set up commission for missing persons
On 16 August, the cabinet decided to constitute a high-powered parliamentary commission on the issue of missing persons. The body will be headed by the home minister and include two members each from the government and the opposition and the summary of the commission should be submitted to the Chief Minister. The provincial cabinet reviewed the situation in the wake of the devastating rains and floods. An official of the Board of Revenue informed the cabinet about the human and financial losses caused by floods in the province. The cabinet ordered the completion of surveys about losses caused by the floods and rains so that relief and rehabilitation work could begin soon. (Saleem Shahid, “Balochistan cabinet okays commission on missing persons,” Dawn, 17 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Flow of remittance slows down to a five month low
On 16 August, the Central Bank reported that the flow of remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis slowed down to a five-month low at USD 2.52 billion in July of the current fiscal year mainly due to the lesser number of working days in the month. Remittances slowed down to USD 2.52 billion in July compared to USD 2.76 billion in June. The inflows decelerated 7.75 per cent compared to the same month of last year, as the extended holidays in the Middle East due to Eid, Hajj, and Umrah seasons during July kept their business centers closed including the money senders. (Salman Siddiqui, “Remittances dip to 5-month low,” Dawn, 17 August 2022)

ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Pakistan likely to be water scarce by 2025, says Climate Change minister
On 17 August, The News International reported that Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman claimed that Pakistan is the eighth most-affected country by the climate change globally and likely to be water scarce by 2025. She added that the country is also in the grip of food, climate, water, population and environmental crisis. Further, she highlighted that Pakistan had faced 152 extreme events in the last two decades with constant shifts in rainfall patterns, intensity and frequency. She added, This is unprecedented and we need to prioritise adaptation action beyond mitigation and work in these sectors will reduce our vulnerability to climate change.” (Pakistan to be water scarce by 2025: Sherry” The News International, 17 August 2022)

JUDICIARY
CJP asks Sindh govt to explain factors determining constituencies
On 16 August, while hearing a petition, filed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and others, Chief Justice Bandial observed that the difference in population of some union committees was more than 100%. A three-member bench, headed by the chief justice and including Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha A Malik, took up the MQM-P leaders’ petition against the Sindh government, pertaining to the delimitation of constituencies for the local body elections in the province. He added that everything was not proportionate to the population in Pakistan as the largest province in terms of area had the least population. Justice Malik asked about the basis on which the Sindh government had made the delimitation of constituencies. (“CJP asks Sindh govt to explain factors determining constituencies,” The Express Tribune, 17 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
COAS gets UAE’s highest civil award
On 16 August, UAE President Mohammad bin Zayed bestowed his country’s highest civil award, “Order of Zayed,” on COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa. King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, President Xi Jinping of China, former US President George Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, other major global and GCC leaders have received the coveted award. (“COAS gets UAE’s highest civil award,” The News International, 17 August 2022)

Pakistan may seek 15-year LNG deal with Qatar
On 17 August, The News International reported that Pakistan may seek a 15-year LNG contract with Qatar on a G2G (government to government) basis — two cargoes in a month with a reopening price clause after 11 years. Pakistan was also likely to offload PIA shares to hand over the management of the national flag carrier either to Qatar or the UAE on a G2G basis. Apart from it, the Islamabad airport was also proposed to be handed over to any of the two countries. In addition, there is a proposal to sell out two RLNG-based power plants, Haveli Bahadur Shah and Balloki. The 1,223 MW Balloki combined-cycle gas-fired power plant has over 61 per cent efficiency. Under the proposal, the buyers will be responsible to provide LNG to both the power plants, but they will have to pay for using the infrastructure of LNG terminals and pipelines. (Kalid Mustafa, “Pakistan may seek 15-year LNG deal with Qatar,” The News International, 17 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Federal cabinet today discussed in detail the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change. The stakes for affirmative action could not be higher for us, as Pakistan is among the top 10 countries exposed to climate change. The challenges are massive & require urgent attention."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

"Central govt debt has risen by more than Rs 4000 billion in just 4 months. Highest rate of rise ever. But no headlines in papers that used to make a living sensationalising numbers during PTI's time. Thats the power of advertising."
-Hammad Azhar 

"In Pakistan, there is no alternative without the struggle for real freedom. Even after seventy-five years, the basic civil rights are not achieved. Elections are only for show. The elected people are dummies. They are stagnant in the dark."
-CH Fawad Hussain

Also read...

Zahid Hussain, A dangerous dead end
Dawn, 17 August 2022
It is a very serious situation with no political solution in sight. Political uncertainty makes it harder to stabilise the economy. Even early elections are not going to resolve the political crisis in this atmosphere of confrontation. It is an extremely unfortunately position for a county that has just celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence.

Rashid Amjad, Against heavy odds
Dawn, 17 August 2022
A real strength of the economy which, sadly, remains exploited and neglected, are women — despite some significant progress since the 1980s with the rise of an active women’s rights movement. Together with its youth bulge, Pakistan’s women could propel the economy to a higher, more sustainable and equitable growth path if given the opportunity to realise their full potential.

Editorial, No end to hostility
Dawn, 17 August 2022
The question is: can people and the country’s fragile economy afford another political crisis due to the Punjab-centre confrontation? It is time for all parties to rise above such petty tactics and hostilities for political gains and pull the country back from the brink.

Editorial, New banknote
Dawn, 17 August 2022
Having crossed the 75-year milestone, it is important for the country to stay rooted but be progressive in its aspirations and cognisant of the hopes of its youthful population, especially its women. This commemorative banknote fittingly captures that spirit through its thoughtful design.

Editorial, Climate concerns
The Express Tribune, 17 August 2022
As for the other impacts, a recent UN report estimated Pakistan’s annual climate change-related economic losses as high as $26 billion a year, with fears that losses would increase until concrete action is taken. This makes Pakistan, in economic terms, the most at-risk country in South Asia, and among the most at-risk in the world if we exclude tiny island nations.

Editorial, Pakistan’s feat
The Express Tribune, 17 August 2022
The launch ceremony on the eve of Independence Day prided itself in saying that the product has the capacity and potential to become a sought-after export commodity. This achievement underscores the fact that there is no dearth of potential, and the tangibles especially among the youth can be buoyed by just ensuring the right environment.

Editorial, Perils of warfare
The Express Tribune, 17 August 2022
It’s time for Washington to read between the lines, and step back from the brink. There is a lot to interact with China, and animosity would be the last thing. At a time when the global economy is literally banking on mass production and investment, which obviously comes from China, provoking Beijing in a war is a self-centred and myopic approach. Let Taiwan be on its own.

Editorial, Petrol and politics
The News International, 17 August 2022
Keeping fossil fuel prices linked with international prices has also had the desirable impact of dampening demand at the pump, helping Pakistan save precious foreign exchange at a crucial time. This is precisely the policy posture necessitated by the IMF-sponsored economic reform programme. Here's hoping the Fund’s executive board, due to meet in a week or so, has no problem greenlighting the restoration of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Pakistan needs to keep its head above water.

 

"After 75 years of our existence, Pakistan is struggling with a weak economy, low literacy, poor education system with about 20 million out-of-school children, and mostly corrupt leadership. Our judicial system is among the weakest in the world… Clearly a complete break with past strategies for socio-economic development is needed if we are to prosper in this new knowledge driven world."

-An opinion in The News International on ‘Timely revival



Photo : Dawn

16 August 2022, Tuesday I Vol 3, No.184

Government set to dispatch letter of intent to IMF



Sindh government launching a week-long anti-polio campaign to inoculate over 9.9 million children, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly accepting adjournment motion over lawlessness in Swat and Malakand Division

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
ECONOMY
Government set to dispatch letter of intent to IMF
On 16 August, The News International reported that Islamabad has made a fresh request to the Fund staff for making some slight changes in it. Now the mini budget will be unveiled through the promulgation of the Presidential Ordinance to fetch additional taxes. Pakistan has also made a request to the IMF for augmenting the EFF programme by USD one billion, increasing it from the existing USD six billion to USD seven billion and also jacked up the timeframe from September 2022 to June 2023. The signed LoI will be circulated among the board members for reviving the stalled Fund program 15 days prior to holding the IMF’s Executive Board meeting on 28 August. (Mehtab Haider, “Govt to send LoI to IMF today,” The News International, 16 August 2022)

Net public debt and liabilities increase up to USD 300 billion
On 15 August, the State Bank of Pakistan released year-on-year financial indicators and shows that Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities reached PKR 59.7 trillion by June 30, compared to PKR 47.844 trillion in FY21. The year-on-year growth in debt and liabilities was 24.8 per cent in FY22, compared to a growth of just 7.3 per cent in FY21. The net debt and liabilities now stand at 89.2 per cent of the GDP. Total debt and liability servicing rose to USD 27 billion in FY22 compared to USD 22.84 billion in FY21. Pakistan had to pay USD 15.071 billion as external debt servicing in FY22, compared to USD 13.424 billion in the previous fiscal year. It increased by 21.6 per cent in FY22, compared to 2.5 per cent in FY21. The central government’s gross domestic debt (without external debt) was USD 155 billion by June 30, FY22, against USD 131.325 billion by the end of June FY21. The general government’s external debt rose to USD 86.134 billion in FY22 compared to USD 82.5 billion in FY21. The bifurcation shows that interest accounted for about 25 per cent of the principal amount of debt. (Shahid Iqbal, “Pakistan’s debt burden up Rs11.8tr in FY22,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

INTERNAL
Hearing fixed for the PTI plea in funding case
On 16 August, PTI‘s application against the ECP decision in the prohibited funding case was fixed for hearing in Islamabad High Court today. PTI has challenged the commission's decision in the high court on the basis of the fact-finding report in the case. The petition has requested that the proceedings on the report be suspended and the show cause notice issued by the commission should be suspended as well. (“PTI plea in funding case fixed for hearing,” The Express Tribune, 16 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Sindh: Government launches week-long anti-polio campaign to inoculate over 9.9 million children
On 15 August, the Sindh government launched a launched a week-long anti-polio campaign to inoculate over 9.9 million children under five. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah formally launched the drive at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH). The campaign is scheduled to be held until 21 August in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions and then extended to Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, and Larkana divisions. (Tahir Siddiqui, “Week-long drive to vaccinate 9.9m children against polio begins in Sindh,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

Sindh: LG law is ‘discriminatory’ says MQM
On 15 August, MQM told the Supreme Court that section 10 (1) of the SLGA, 2013 was discriminatory as it deprived the party of any opportunity to have its own mayor to serve Karachi and other cities of the province. Representing MQM, Barrister Dr. Farogh Naseem argued before the top court that through section 10(1) of the SLGA, the Sindh government had violated the Supreme Court’s 2014 directions in which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was empowered to delimit local government constituencies under Article 140-A, 218 and 222 of the Constitution and the federal, Sindh and Punjab governments were asked to make laws to enable the ECP to delimit constituencies of local governments. Headed by Umar Ata Bandial, the Supreme Court bench also comprising Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Ayesha Malik, had taken up a set of petitions filed by MQM, PTI, and others against the SLGA .(Nasir Iqbal, “MQM terms Sindh LG law ‘discriminatory’,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:  Landmine blast injures Khar tehsil Chairman
On 15 August, Khar tehsil council chairman Haji Said Badshah was injured along with his two companions in a landmine explosion in tehsil at about 9:30 am. Police said that the vehicle of Badshah was hit by a landmine planted along the roadside and is under investigation to find the elements behind the attack. A team of medical workers immediately reached the area and shifted all the injured to the district headquarters hospital in Khar for treatment after providing first aid to them. The officials were told by the doctors that the condition of the wounded persons was stable. (Anwarullah Khan, “Khar tehsil chairman among three injured in landmine blast,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

Balochistan: ANP alleges province being pushed into fire, demands judicial probe into police shooting in Harnai
On 15 August, Awami National Party (ANP), a coalition partner in the Balochistan Awami Party-led provincial government, and some opposition members demanded formation of a judicial commission, headed by a senior judge of the high court, to probe into alleged killing of an ANP activist. It is pertinent to mention that neither the local police, nor the Balochistan government, nor the military have addressed the alleged incident and the subsequent protest. ANP parliamentary alleged that police and local administration were not registering an FIR against those who fired on the protesters. (Saleem Shahid, “Demand for judicial probe into Harnai shooting,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Assembly accepts adjournment motion over lawlessness in Swat and Malakand Division
On 15 August, an adjournment motion on the ‘deteriorating’ law and order situation in Swat and other districts of Malakand division and tribal districts for general discussion was jointly tabled by MPAs of the opposition MMA. It added that a wave of lawlessness had swept through the region and, after repeated incidents of targeted killings, some armed men held officials of the law-enforcement agencies, including a deputy superintendent of police, hostage in Swat. (“KP Assembly admits opposition’s motion for debate on Malakand ‘lawlessness’,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

ON MILITARY
Discussion over the appointment of next chief of Pakistan’s Army
On 16 August, Dawn reported that a senior PML-N member has stated that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif could initiate discussions on the appointment by the end of August and finalise the decision by mid-September. According to Dawn, four of the six top Lt-Gens at the time of Gen Bajwa’s retirement will be from the same batch, while a fifth is senior to almost the entire lot. (Baqir Sajjad Syed, “Who will be the next army chief?,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
US and Pakistan officials discuss options got COAS visit to Washington
On 16 August, while speaking to diplomatic sources, Dawn reported that the United States and Pakistani officials are considering various options for COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa to visit the United States in late August or early September. Previously, COAS Gen Bajwa urged the US to assist Pakistan in securing an early disbursement of funds from the IMF. Additionally, he spoke with US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. (Anwar Iqbal, “US, Pakistan discuss options for Gen Bajwa’s visit to DC,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

UAE to join hands with Pakistan in setting up Plasma Farming Facilities
On 16 August, Dawn reported that the Ministry of National Health Services in a landmark development discussed the development of the plasma farming facilities (PFF) with the UAE. A UAE mission, which is on a visit to Pakistan, aims to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of PFF in Pakistan based on WHO standards as the blood services in the country are mostly provided by hospitals’ blood banks with no functional separation of the plasma processes into production and utilization. It was a significant development as Pakistan does not have even a single PFF despite the fact that there are a few hundred thousand patients suffering from an immunodeficiency disorder. After the visit, the team will furnish a feasibility report for the execution of the project, and later on, plasma fractionation establishment shall be considered. (Ikram Junaidi, “UAE to help Pakistan set up plasma farming facilities,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

ON FATF
FATF team to arrive in Pakistan for ‘on-site’ visit in September
On 16 August, The Express Tribune reported that a team of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is expected to visit Pakistan in September to conduct “on-site” visit. During the visit the team would verify the steps taken by Pakistan to curb money laundering and terror financing before it finally exits the watchdog’s grey list. (Kamran Yousuf, “FATF team due next month for ‘on-site’ visit,” The Express Tribune, 16 August 2022)

ON GILGIT-BALTISTAN
Mehdi Shah to be appointed as the Gilgit- Baltistan governor
On 15 August, President Dr. Arif approved the appointment of Syed Mehdi Shah as the Gilgit-Baltistan governor, through a statement, the Presidency said the appointment of Syed Mehdi Shah was made under Section 33(3) of the Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 on the advice of the prime minister. As the party finalized the name of Mr. Shah, Prime Minister Sharif sent a summary to President Alvi for the appointment. He was elected as the first chief minister of GB from 2010 to 2014 when the post was created under the GB Self-Governance Order 2009 during the PPP regime. (Jamil Nagri, “Mehdi Shah appointed GB governor,” Dawn, 16 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"What can be more cruel than that oil is becoming cheap in the world market and Shahbaz Sharif government has made oil expensive once again. This increase in the price of oil is unacceptable for common Pakistanis. don't take."
-Hamid Mir, Journalist

"If someone is accused of contravening law of the land or violating Constitution then he must be given a fair trial to defend himself so court can decide & give justice. To first abduct then cut fir & torture Shahbaz Gill (his body shows severe marks of torture)."
-Shireen Mazari

"IThe Queen of Liars' Candy Crush Champion inaugurated the recording of Liaquat Ali Khan three years after his martyrdom, and gauged his knowledge and intellect."
-CH Fawad Hussain

Also read...

Arifa Noor, Question of age
Dawn, 16 August 2022
The PDM (especially the PML-N) has to get its act together. The message aside, it is losing the war of the medium. Its image, its culture and consequently its message are suffering in comparison with a party which is seen as the party of the youth and offers a compatible culture and image. Why are the rest not moving ahead and, instead, clinging on to the ways of the 1990s? Dare anyone ask this question?

Editorial, Shared goals
Dawn, 16 August 2022
There are people in both camps who remain obstinate in their refusal to engage with the other. Till such immaturity holds sway, there is little hope for sense to prevail. It is high time that all parties realise that negotiation on the economy does not need to be held hostage to political rivalries.

Editorial, Making amends?
Dawn, 16 August 2022
Sovereignty must always be guarded, but dragging foreign countries into domestic political affairs is a bad idea. Mr Khan has his eyes set on Islamabad and he knows that if he is re-elected and returns to PM House, he will have to repair relations with the US. The only question is that from now till election day, will Mr Khan stick to this narrative, or again change course?

Editorial, Economic ‘growth’ in 75 years
The Express Tribune, 16 August 2022
As for taking pride in becoming one of the world’s largest economies, this is only because of our unmanageable population growth. Our GDP-per-capita is actually among the lowest in the world. Per capita GDP for the world has grown over 30-fold since the 1950s, which means we actually trail the world. For this, all of our leaders since independence should hang their heads in shame.

Editorial, Building an economy
The News International, 16 August 2022
We have already seen the havoc populist policies can wreak on a struggling economy. Let there not be a constant repeat of this. Sooner or later, all must realize that economic progress on solid grounds is tightly linked with the constitutional supremacy of democracy and rule of law. We cannot go on any further while begging and borrowing from others.

Editorial, Judiciary on trial
The Express Tribune, 16 August 2022
Next general elections in Pakistan are just around the corner. It is time for the new government at the Centre and in the Provinces to make merit the cornerstone of governance and allow the judges to step back and do what they do best.

Editorial, Celebratory firing
The Express Tribune, 16 August 2022
A general consensus must be reached among the masses that celebratory firing not only leads to innocent deaths but the loud bang of gunfire affects frail senior citizens who seek shelter in their homes during such occasions.

Politics of delimitation
The News International, 16 August 2022
In a notification issued in December 2021, the Sindh government gave a green signal for the delimitation of constituencies in Karachi Division… Since delimitation of constituencies of the local government is the part of the process of organizing and holding elections, the ECP should have the power to carry it out. Even if it is accepted that it’s the jurisdiction and responsibility of a provincial government to carry out delimitation, there are certain principles that need to be followed effectively.

Editorial, Sound of silence
The News International, 16 August 2022
By 2030, Pakistan’s population is expected to cross 285 million; it doesn’t have the resources to cater to this population growth rate and yet infant and maternal mortality rates – healthcare concepts that should ideally be easily talked about – become an uphill task in the face of a conservative society that views population planning with inherent scepticism. Instead of celebrating our heroes, we make them controversial, cloaking everything under an arbitrary value system that belies logic.

Editorial, Astroturf removal
The Express Tribune, 16 August 2022
Hockey, the national sport of Pakistan, has been in a free fall for decades. The national team struggles to compete even in major tournaments due to lack of travel and expense funds. This is indeed an injustice on those who put their lives at stake to play for the country, and for sports in general in Pakistan.

 

"In doing so, Pakistan’s young will be at the forefront of economic and social transformation. This is guaranteed not because there is any sign of creative life in the Pakistani state, but because there isn’t. Starved of fairness, equal opportunity and capable governance, young Pakistanis are going to build the ecosystem they need from scratch. Either that, or they will tear down the whole thing. As a believer, I am betting on the former."

-An opinion in The News International on ‘Towards a glorious centenary



Photo : The Express Tribune

12 August 2022, Friday I Vol 3, No.183

National Assembly hold Minority Convention for the first time



PPP calling for reviewing the seven-year-old National Action Plan, SBP’s forex reserves to falling to a three-year low, US Ambassador Blome says that Washington shares Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of a Pakistan at peace

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
National Assembly hold Minority Convention for the first time
On 11 August, a minority convention was held in the National Assembly to commemorate the speech of Muhammad Ali Jinnah regarding the freedom and equality of minorities in the then constituent assembly on 11 August 1947. This was the first meeting of its kind in Pakistan’s parliamentary history. During the meeting, a unanimous resolution was passed for the rights of minorities, in which all the representatives of the all minority communities declared parliament as the centre of their hopes. Meanwhile, NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf announced that the minority convention would be held on 11 August every year. (“NA hosts ‘Minority Convention’ to uphold their rights,” Dawn, 12 August 2022)

We will celebrate Pakistan's “real freedom” on 13 August, says Imran Khan
On 11 August, Imran Khan stated that during the rally on 13 August Pakistan's “real freedom” will be celebrated. Further, while addressing the convention of the minority community he said, “If there is no justice in a society, that society cannot develop. There is no justice in the animal society … the powerful rule, but there is justice in human society and justice means implementing human rights.” Additionally, he assured the minority community that “we will protect the rights of the minorities in Pakistan, as we are the protectors of the rights of the minority community.” (“Imran says he will show how to achieve ‘real freedom’ on 13th,” The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022)

PPP calls for reviewing the seven-year-old National Action Plan
On 11 August, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani while speaking to Dawn called for revisiting the policy of engagement with the TTP and review of the seven-year-old National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism. Further, he suggested that the new NAP should be prepared by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) having representation of all stakeholders. Further, while speaking on the increased terrorist attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa he said, “These attacks suggest the need to revisit NAP as also the policy of engagement with the TTP as it also no longer seems to have a unified command.” (Amir Wasim, “Raza Rabbani for revisiting policy of engagement with Tehreek-i-Taliban,” Dawn, 12 August 2022)

Meanwhile, The Express Tribune reported that the government is preparing a ‘contingency plan’ to deal with the resurgence of the TTP. Additionally, according to The News International, the TTP has established a check-post on the Balasoor Top besides moving in other areas of Matta tehsil of Swat district. (“Govt cobbles up plan to tackle TTP resurgence,” The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022; “TTP militants set up ‘checkpost’ in Swat,” The News International, 12 August 2022)

Politicians are required to respect the national institutions, says Asif
On 11 August, Khawaja Asif while addressing the soft launch ceremony of the 11th International Defense Exhibition and Seminar -2022, said that “leaders of all political parties were required to respect the national security institutions, warning that if anyone showed disrespect, he would definitely face the law.” According to Asif, the motto of IDEAS-2022 ‘Arms for Peace’ highlighted “our commitment to the international community for peace and harmony”. He added: “Besides meeting the domestic requirements our defense products are now gaining market shares at the international level as well.” (“Asif says politicians required to respect national institutions,” The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Qasim Suri avoids FIA notice and gets court stops action against the ex-speaker
On 12 August, Dawn reported that Qasim Suri challenged the call-up notice issued to him by the FIA. In its ongoing probe into the case, the Peshawar High Court restrained the FIA from taking any action against the former National Assembly speaker. The bench directed the court’s office to fix for hearing in the last week of August the petition that requested the court to set aside a notice issued by the FIA to Qasim to appear before an inquiry officer in connection with the probe into two bank accounts managed by the former speaker from 2018 till 2013 as the PTI provincial head. The petitioner wants the inquiry to be declared illegal and based on mala fide. (Malik Asad, “Court stops action against ex-speaker, Suri ‘ignores’ FIA notice,” Dawn 12 August 2022)

Punjab: Criticism over removing Astroturf in Lahore’s National Stadium
On 11 August, Former hockey Olympian Manzoorul Hasan Senior said that the Punjab government’s decision of removing the Astroturf from the National Hockey Stadium for the PTI public rally was described as a great loss of hockey. It is the biggest hockey stadium in Asia and has hosted several momentous tournaments such as the World Cup. He questioned Sports Minister Malik Masood’s claim that the turf was being replaced and now it would be installed in Sargodha and that it had to be changed by the Buzdar government because it was already quite old. He further stated that the decision to change the turf had already been taken by the previous government so it was not being replaced owing to the public rally. (Mohammad Yaqoob, “Punjab takes the flak for removal of Lahore's National Stadium AstroTurf,” Dawn, 12 August 2022)

JUDICIARY
ARU and FBR officials to face action for Justice Isa’s case
On 12 August, The Express Tribune reported that the government has decided to take action against heads and officials of the Asset Recovery Unit and the Federal Board of Revenue for misusing their authority in the Justice Isa case. The cabinet has formed a ministerial committee to fix responsibility on the ARU and the FBR heads and officials. They exceeded or misused their authority in the case and present its recommendations to it in two weeks. The law and justice minister will be the convener of the body. The members also demanded that Mirza Shahzad Akbar, the then adviser on accountability, as well as the officials of the ARU and FBR, should be held accountable. (Zafar Bhutta, “Justice Isa case haunts ARU, FBR officials,” The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Forex reserves to fall near three-year low
 On 11 August, data from the central bank showed that SBP foreign currency reserves fell to their lowest level in almost three years at USD  7.83 billion as of 5 August from USD 8.385 billion a week earlier on debt payments. Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves fell by USD 648 million or 4.6 per cent to USD 13.561 billion and those of commercial banks dropped 1.6 per cent to USD 5.730 billion. The central bank in a statement said that the debt repayments are expected to moderate during the next three weeks of this month as the reduction in the reverse was due to the external debt payments. (“SBP’s forex reserves fall to near 3-year low of $7.4bn,” The News International, 12 August 2022)

New taxation programs worth Rs 15 billion ahead IMF meeting
On 12 August, Dawn reported that the government has decided to introduce new taxation measures worth Rs15 billion in the next few days as part of the agreement with the IMF to revive a loan program. The new measures are expected to be taken ahead of the IMF board meeting scheduled for 24 August, which among others will approve the release of a USD 1.17 billion tranche for Pakistan as part of the extended fund facility. The IMF board meeting is planned for late August once adequate financing assurances are confirmed, by imposing taxes on the products. (Mubarak Zeb Khan, “Govt mulls Rs15bn new taxes ahead of IMF meeting,” Dawn, 12 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
US shares Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of a Pakistan at peace, says US Ambassador
On 11 August, US Ambassador Donald Blome during his visit to the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said that the US shares Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of a Pakistan at peace with itself and its neighbours, a Pakistan of religious tolerance, economic prosperity and social inclusion. Further, he said, “This year marks 75 years of bilateral relations between the United States and Pakistan. The United States values our long-standing cooperation with Pakistan and has always viewed a strong, prosperous, and democratic Pakistan as critical to the US interests.”  (“US values long-term ties with Pakistan: Blome,” The News International, 12 August 2022)

PM Shehbaz meets with newly-appointed EU Ambassador to Pakistan
On 11 August, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met with the newly-arrived envoy of the European Union to Pakistan, Dr Riina Kionka. During the meeting he expressed hope that the GSP Plus scheme, would continue beyond 2023, stating, “With current GSP Plus scheme mutually beneficial, trading ties between Pakistan and EU should be enhanced. Pakistan will continue to be part of the arrangement beyond 2023.” Further, he said, “Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with the EU as well as its historically close and cooperative bilateral ties with EU member states.” (Syed Irfan Raza, “PM Shehbaz hopes for GSP Plus status to continue beyond 2023,” Dawn, 12 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Signing of Trade in Goods Agreement between Pakistan & Turkey today will open up vistas of opportunities. This Agreement will be pivotal in achieving the initial trade target of $5 billion. There is an unlimited potential for bilateral trade. Let the world know we mean business."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

"There is absolutely no truth in Imran Khan's conversation with American Ambassador Bloom through telephone/video link etc. This is part of a planned campaign of slander against Imran Khan by the imported government who is politically afraid of him. We expect many such false claims and "proofs" will come."
-Shireen Mazari

"I don't have enough words to condemn the torture of Shahbaz Gul, the marks of torture on Shahbaz's body are the testimony of this story of cruelty, now that the remand has been rejected, Shahbaz is not being sent to jail, but is still in Munshikha. Yes, now a new conspiracy is being thought."
-CH Fawad Hussain

Also read...

Faisal Siddiqi, Judicial Commission controversy
Dawn, 12 August 2022
The future of the judiciary lies in the hands of our present Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, and the future chief justice of Pakistan Justice Qazi Faez Isa. I cannot think of two better CJPs to lead this institution if only their judicial legacy, and not their immediate power positions, is the focus of their attention.

Editorial, Militancy redux
Dawn, 12 August 2022
There have been increasing reports over the past month about them establishing their presence in the area. But that begs the question why, of all the TTP chapters, are only militants from the Swat chapter evidently returning home? What are the terms of the ceasefire that the Pakistani state has agreed with them? Have they been allowed to return without laying down their arms, contrary to what had been publicly stated?

Editorial, Rising militancy
The News International, 12 August 2022
From Nek Mohammad to several other deals, we have seen how the TTP has not abided by any agreements in the past. It is important for Pakistan to now set some ground rules and then approach any such negotiations. With a political and economic crisis on the one hand and the hydra of terrorism rearing its head again on the other, any attemps atdealing with the TTP must be formed via consensus and a well-thought-out plan. Pakistan cannot afford such a security nightmare at this time.

Editorial, Distorting history
Dawn, 12 August 2022
Partition should definitely be discussed, but by unbiased scholars of repute from both countries, not by semi-literate fire-breathing ideologues that seek to use history as a tool to forward their divisive agendas, and capture a few votes.

Syed Mohammad Ali, Cooption and elite capture
The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022
The cooption of identity politics may somewhat alter what power looks like, but not what power is, what it aims to achieve, and how. We in Pakistan must pay more heed to this phenomenon of elite capture, and how the manipulation and cooption of socio-political movements continues to enable the perpetuation of glaring inequalities within our midst.

Editorial, Money in politics
The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022
Strongly enforced spending caps can be problematic in bigger constituencies and areas with higher advertising costs, but they are still probably the easiest place to start. Donor transparency is another area which needs to be investigated. This could be done through a public database which parties and candidates must regularly update with every political donation received and details of how funds are spent.

Dr Pervez Tahir, Budget speeches FY1949/2023
The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022
As Pakistan became independent in the fifth month of FY48 (April-March), the first budget speech related to FY49. It resonates considerably with the FY2023 speech, except for the deficit.

Editorial, Economic hope-line
The Express Tribune, 12 August 2022
It’s time for Pakistan to walk a tightrope, and ensure that the burden that has piled up on the masses is lessened. With inflation at over 22% amidst a battered rupee, a lot of microeconomic homework is needed. While the tranche from IMF and commercial loans from friendly states might bail us out of the exigency situation, the country is in dire need of a sustainable economic policy, coupled with political stability. The scale of spending against income is up for a litmus test.

 


"Political confrontation has already cost a lot to the country. Its effects were recently seen in the stock market, which usually responds in panic to such uncertainty. It is clear that powerful quarters do not want elections this year as economic stability will take some time."

-An opinion in The News international on ‘End the confrontation



Photo : Dawn

11 August 2022, Thursday I Vol 3, No.182

Raid on Gill's driver's house 'legal,' says ICT police



TTP claiming that it was not involved in Dir lawmaker attack, COAS Gen Bajwa arriving in UK for an official visit, Sindh Assembly failing to meet for 100 working days for the first time and rupee gaining Rs 4.9 in Interbank

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL
Raid on Gill's driver's house 'legal,' says ICT police
On 10 August, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) stated that the raid conducted on PTI Shahbaz Gill’s driver’s house was ‘legal.’ The police claimed that they were collecting “all evidence” related to the case. They said, “Wherever legal action is required, the police will do its job," adding that the scope of this particular case could be extended to other provinces beyond Islamabad. Further, they said that legal action would be taken against those who were found “concealing evidence or erasing evidence.”

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi said that he advised the PTI leadership to disassociate itself from the anti-army statement given by Shahbaz Gill adding, “I have given a statement against Shahbaz Gill’s tirade against Pakistan Army, which is an important national institution, and asked him whether he had gone out of his senses.” (“ICT police says raid on Gill's driver's house 'legal',” The Express Tribune, 11 August 2022; Mansoor Malik, “Elahi advises PTI to distance itself from Gill’s remarks,” The Express Tribune, 11 August 2022)

TTP claims not involved in Dir lawmaker attack
On 10 August, the TTP denied involvement in the recent armed attack on PTI MPA Malik Liaquat Ali Khan. Additionally, the TTP ‘strongly’ condemned the attack and was carrying out an investigation to check whether any of its members were involved in it. (“TTP claims not involved in Dir lawmaker attack,” The News International, 11 August 2022)

Qasim Suri gets notice to appear before FIA over Fund’s probe
On 10 August, FIA summoned Qasim Khan Suri among four other PTI leaders to appear in person before the agency today in a case about the ECP in a prohibited funding case. The financial watchdog pointed out that Rs5.3 million were withdrawn from the PTI accounts in the aforementioned three years out of the total deposited Rs5.5m in the same period. The agency said, "The bank account where the money was transferred is registered in the name of Qasim Khan Suri and three other PTI leaders. “Replying to the notice Suri responded that none of their leaders will appear before the FIA as the Islamabad High court has already declared such notices unconstitutional.” He added the money was deposited into the official account of the PTI from 2011 to 2013 and the funds were used for party affairs. (Ghalib Nihad, “FIA summons PTI's Qasim Suri, other leaders in funds probe,” Dawn, 11 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: One killed in grenade and bomb attacks in Khuzdar and Noshki areas
On 10 August, one person was killed and 10 others were injured in grenade and bomb attacks in Khuzdar and Noshki areas in Balochistan. According to the police, unknown motorcyclists targeted a stall selling Pakistani flags and other decoration items in Khuzdar while an improvised explosive device planted in a vehicle was used in Anam-Bostan road in Noshki. (“One killed, 10 injured in grenade, bomb attacks in Khuzdar and Noshki,” Dawn, 11 August 2022)

Sindh: Assembly fails to meet for 100 working days for the first time
On 11 August, Dawn reported that the Sindh Assembly for the first time in the past many years met only less than 100 working days in the current parliamentary years. The Rules of Procedure stated that “the house shall meet for not less than one hundred working days in each parliamentary year”, it remained in session for just 71 days in the current parliamentary year ending on 12 August. The Sindh Assembly did not observe the timings of sittings from 10 am to 2 pm as per the assembly rules. Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that the assembly could not meet for 100 days as per assembly rules mainly due to devastating rains of monsoon season, though monsoon rain started on 4 July. (Tahir Siddiqui, “For first time, Sindh PA fails to meet for 100 days in parliamentary year,” Dawn, 11 August 2022)
 
Sindh: 130 villages submerged after the rise in the Indus River
On 11 August, Dawn reported about 130 villages came under water and standing crops worth millions of rupees were destroyed in the riverine area after rising in the Indus river across many districts of Sindh. The district administration and irrigation department had made joint efforts and started patrolling along the dyke while flood-fighting material and machinery were made available. Officials said that water would start receding in the river in the districts within two or three days and it did not pose any harm to embankments. (“130 villages in Sindh's riverine area come under water after rise in Indus level,” Dawn, 11 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Militant search still in process in Swat Mountains
On 10 August, police said that a search operation was being conducted in different areas to arrest the militants who opened fire at a police party two days ago in the mountainous area bordering Swat and Dir districts. Following the incident, the district police, counterterrorism department, and Elite Force reached the spot and extended the search operation to adjoining areas. A video being circulated on social media purportedly shows a man claiming to be a Taliban militant interviewing DSP Khan and two officers, who as per unverified claims, belonged to Pakistan Army. (Fasal Khaliq, Haleem Asad, “Search for militants in Swat’s mountains continues,” Dawn, 11 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
COAS Gen Bajwa arrives in UK for official visit
On 10 August, the ISPR said that COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in the United Kingdom on an official visit. During the visit, the army chief would attend the passing out parade at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, as the chief guest and also meet with the military leadership of the UK. (“COAS Gen Bajwa arrives in UK,” The Express Tribune, 11 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Rupee gains Rs 4.9 in Interbank, says FAP
On 11 August, the rupee which has been consistently recovering after falling to a record low last month continued its upward momentum. It gained Rs 4.91 to reach Rs 217 against the dollar in the interbank market, according to FAP. Malik Bostan attributed the rupee’s continued recovery to several factors, including the expected release of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tranche by August 19 to 24 which he said had created confidence among investors and ended the crisis the market was facing. He further said that oil prices had dropped internationally and imports had been reduced due to the government’s measures, all of which had positively affected the exchange rate. (Talqeen Zubairi, “Rupee continues upward momentum, gains Rs4.9 in interbank,” Dawn, 11 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"In the last four months, the entire nation has seen how Imran Niazi has used such epithets against the leadership of the Pakistan Army. His social media trolls have run hateful trends against the forces. Will the families of the martyrs forget all this? Niazis can fool themselves, not the nation."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

"Imran Niazi uses people like tissue paper for his purposes. If he has courage, he should accept the responsibility of Shahbaz Gul's statement that Shahbaz Gul gave this statement on my request. In exchange for foreign funding, the agenda of enemies. It is a conspiracy to spread political and administrative anarchy in Pakistan."
-Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning and Development

"Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave a historic address to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 11 August 1947. Jinnah had defined in this speech what kind of Pakistan he wanted to make. He laid the foundation of a Pakistan in which majority and minority have equal rights."
-Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change

Also read...

Zahid Hussain, Return to the dark ages
Dawn, 11 August 2022
It’s apparent that the TTP is being protected by the Haqqani faction of the Afghan Taliban. The initial euphoria among a section of the Pakistani ruling elite after the Taliban took Kabul last year should have vanished with the spillover effects of the conservative regime in the country.

Shahid Mehmood, Pakistan’s economic potential
Dawn, 11 August 2022
The good aspect though is that the above can be achieved with little government intervention. Although the history of economic management in this country is stacked squarely against such a happenstance, let’s hope for its sake that things take a turn for the better.

Editorial, Khorasani’s killing
Dawn, 11 August 2022
So far the TTP has remained quiet about the fate of negotiations. There was a statement from the terrorist group eulogising Omar Khalid Khorasani’s so-called ‘services’ to the ‘cause’, but nothing about the status of the talks. Certainly, if the more hard-line group within the TTP prevails, we can assume talks will most likely break down.

Editorial, Gross overreaction
Dawn, 11 August 2022
The government has already done considerable damage to itself with its indelicate handling of the situation. It would be well-advised to step back and desist from setting a precedent that it may be made to rue one day.

Editorial, Money in politics
The Express Tribune, 11 August 2022
The same would also apply to private groups and individuals financing political campaigns. Criminal penalties, as long as they are fairly applied, would be more than enough to change the face of Pakistani electioneering, certainly making it cleaner and, hopefully, a little more representative.

Editorial, Gill’s arrest
The Express Tribune, 11 August 2022
Soaring cost of living and plummeting employment stare us right in our face, and have been compounded with an irresistible rise in oil and energy prices. To add misery are the monsoon floods which have devastated standing crops. It’s time to collectively address these public issues, and not to indulge in pricking political balloons.

The strange case of Imran Khan
The News International, 11 August 2022
Imran Khan is then protected by a mysterious phenomenon. How long he can live with this and survive in the political scenario of Pakistan is unclear. But for now, despite all the knowledge of his political naivete and his lack of ability to run the country, he remains a figure to be reckoned with and could be a force on the political playing field in the coming years, unless recent moves are to be broadened.

 


"Forget India, forget PML-N or those who play the shenanigans in the shadows; the real and the most serious threat that Pakistan faces, and which is also a national security threat, is the threat of climate change...However, it seems that the truth is the ultimate poison in Pakistan. Whatever it combines with, words or numbers, the result is a sorry state."

-An opinion in The Express Tribune ‘Words and truth are poison together



Photo : Dawn

9 August 2022, Tuesday I Vol 3, No.181

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Four soldiers killed in North Waziristan suicide attack



TLP planning to hold Nazriya-e-Pakistan march from Liaquat Bagh till Faizabad Interchange, China contributing 97 per cent of imports from nine regional countries of Pakistan and Lt Gen Faiz Hameed being appointed Bahawalpur corps commander

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
PROVINCES
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Four soldiers killed in North Waziristan suicide attack
On 9 August, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that four soldiers were killed in a suicide blast at a military convoy in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  According to the ISPR, intelligence agencies have begun investigations to find out details about the suicide bomber who carried out the attack and his handlers and facilitators. (Naveed Siddiqui, “4 soldiers martyred in North Waziristan suicide attack: ISPR,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

Punjab: PTI’s participation in by-polls gets questioned by Gilani
On 8 August, Yousuf Raza Gilani while attending the mourning processions in Multan raised questions against PTI participation in the National assembly by-election. He said, “Since PTI MNAs are not participating in the assembly session after submitting their resignations, they have no right to contest the by-election.” He further said people would vote for a candidate having the ability to represent them in the National Assembly instead of a candidate whose party was boycotting the assembly after submitting resignations. (“Yousuf Raza Gilani questions PTI participation in by-poll,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

Balochistan: Tightened security deployed in the capital during Muharram
On 8 August, Quetta’s DIG Syed Fida Hussain Shah while addressing a press conference stated that 8,000 security personnel, including 2,000 Frontier Corps and Levies personnel, had been deployed in the provincial capital while Pakistan Army would be on standby during the Muharram 10 procession. Besides, helicopters will provide aerial surveillance and mobile service will remain suspended throughout the day. DIG Shah said routes of the procession had been sealed and foolproof security arrangements had been made despite the absence of Muharram-related threats. He also urged the organizers of the processions and congregations to ensure the implementation of SOPs issued by the Balochistan government for Muharram. (Saleem Shahid, “8,000 officials deployed for Ashura security in Quetta,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Delay in Dasu Hydro Power Project to cost up to USD 500 million
On 08 August, a Water and Power Development Authority official informed The News International that WAPDA hydroelectric company has sought an extension in COD (commercial operation date) for three years till 2026-27 from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in its petition with the regulator. An officials said, “The project was approved in 2014 with a cost of Rs586 billion. The World Bank has also provided funding, which is equal to 20 per cent of the total cost. Now under the new scenario, the cost overrun during three years is feared to increase by Rs100 billion. This will cause an increase in the cost of the project to almost Rs686 billion.” (Khalid Mustafa, “Rs100bn cost overrun likely to hit Dasu hydropower project,” The News International, 09 August 2022)

INTERNAL
Taliban confirms TTP leader’s killing in Afghanistan
On 8 August, Taliban spokesman Muhamamad Khorasani confirmed the killing of senior Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Omar Khalid Khorasani and two others in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, TTP officials urged the Taliban government in Afghanistan to investigate the incident and unearth “spies” who could be responsible for the death of senior TTP leaders. (Tahir Khan, “Senior TTP leader Omar Khalid Khorasani killed in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesperson confirms,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

TLP to hold Nazriya-e-Pakistan march from Liaquat Bagh till Faizabad Interchange
On 9 August, The Express Tribune reported that the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has announced that it will hold the Nazriya-e-Pakistan march from Liaquat Bagh till Faizabad Interchange on 13 August. According to TLP leader Pir Inayatul Haq Shah stated that they had given an application to the Islamabad administration more than a month ago seeking permission to hold the conference at the Parade Ground, however, the additional deputy commissioner and the AC has denied permission citing sanctity associated with the month of Muharram. (“TLP to hold Nazriya-e-Pakistan march on Aug 13,” The Express Tribune, 9 August 2022)

PML-N raises disqualification for Imran Khan in Toshkhana Reference
On 8 August, Rana Sanaullah while talking to reporters stated that PML-N is confident that Imran Khan is going to be disqualified in the Toshakhana reference as he has not declared in his assets the amount he received from the sale of state gifts. He further said, “A standard has been set by disqualifying Nawaz Sharif for not receiving salary from his son’s company. If he can be disqualified over it then Imran Khan is certain to face the same fate for not declaring millions of rupees in his assets that he got after selling the Toshakhana gifts.” Last week, the government filed a reference with the ECP seeking disqualification of Khan from holding public office for allegedly acquiring gifts from the Toshakhana state repository. (Zulqernain Tahir, “PML-N certain of Imran’s disqualification in Toshakhana reference,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
Army gets appreciation from Bill Gates for Polio drive support
On 8 August, ISPR in a statement said Bill Gates in a conversation with General Bajwa appreciated the Pakistan Army for supporting the national polio drive and ensuring proper reach and coverage of polio campaigns, particularly through the involvement of community leaders. The statement said that matters related to healthcare particularly Pakistan’s commitment to comprehensive polio eradication were discussed. COAS appreciated Gates and his foundation’s efforts towards this noble cause and assured him of continued full cooperation for polio-free Pakistan. (“Bill Gates lauds Army for supporting polio drive,” The Express Tribune, 9 August 2022)

ECONOMY
China contributes 97 per cent of imports from nine regional countries of Pakistan
On 8 August, State Bank of Pakistan released data on trade balance. The country’s exports to Afghanistan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives account for a small amount of USD 4.590 billion, just 14.43 per cent of Pakistan’s total global exports of USD 31.79 billion in FY22. Whereas, imports from these countries edged up to USD 17.814 billion in FY22 against USD 13.826 billion over the corresponding period last year, an increase of 28.84 per cent. The bulk of the regional exports share, which accounts for 60.58 per cent, is with China while the remaining is for eight countries. As far as imports, imports from China grew 30.03 per cent to USD 17.296 billion during the period under review against USD 13.301 billion over the last year. The bulk of 97.09 per cent imports is coming from China alone while the remaining imports are from other eight countries. As a result of huge imports, Pakistan’s trade deficit with the region expanded during the period under review. (Mubarak Zeb Khan, “Trade deficit with neighbours widens in FY22,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

ON MILITARY
Lt Gen Faiz Hameed appointed Bahawalpur corps commander: ISPR
On 8 August, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) a press release announced that Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed has been appointed the Bahawalpur corps commander. Previously, he was serving as the Peshawar corps commander after being appointed to the office in October 2021. He had previously served in the ISI as the head of internal security and comes from the army’s Baloch Regiment. His appointment had come at a very crucial time when both external and internal security challenges seemed to be growing. In its press release, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) named Lt Gen Sardar Hassan Azhar Hayat as the new Peshawar corps commander. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and appointed as the military secretary in 2020. (“Lt Gen Faiz Hameed appointed Bahawalpur corps commander: ISPR,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

ON ENERGY
OGRA suggests to government to initiate gas sector reforms

On 8 August, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has asked the government to immediately create a National Gas Transmission Company (NGTC) classified as a “strategic asset” to begin with gas sector reforms and open up the gas market for competition and facilitate bridging a massive demand-supply gap currently facing the country. According to data, supply of natural gas in Pakistan half to that of the demand. In a presentation to government, OGRA discussed challenges to reforms and country’s perceived investment risk, overall economic conditions, and zero private sector participation in midstream and downstream. OGRA has highlighted that optimum capacity utilisation of infrastructure was an important element of gas sector reforms and a third party access (TPA) regime was already in place for the gas pipeline network, but “Sui companies’ fear of losing customers is a bottleneck.” The World Bank (WB) backed gas-sector reforms that envisage the dismantling of two gas utilities; Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Ltd (SNGPL) and Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL), into at least five public-sector companies. There would then be at least five fresh licences that include a transmission operator and four distribution companies, each having provincial boundaries as their sales areas to supply only domestic gas to residential consumers with the approval of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) after provinces reach consensus. (Khaleeq Kiani, “Govt asked to begin gas reforms, set up transmission firm,” Dawn, 9 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"The whole nation including me is saddened and saddened by the martyrdom of 4 soldiers in a suicide attack in Mir Ali, North Waziristan. We pray to Allah Almighty to accept the sacrifices of these martyrs for the defense and peace of the country and grant patience to their survivors. The martyrs are the crown of our heads."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

"ARY off screen by this civilian dictatorship Imported govt and now Shahbaz Gill "arrested" or abducted from Bani Gala chowk. So it is clear a critical word and no arrest warrant u will be taken away! This is the grand design of US regime change conspiracy & its abettors."
-Shireen Mazari

"At a time when terrorists are regrouping, the government and security agencies are focusing on missions like "How to stop Imran Khan?" As a result, after the economy, law and order is also under serious threat. Condemning terrorism is not suppressing terrorism."
-Ch Fawad Hussain

Also read...

Arifa Noor, Whack-a-mole
Dawn, 9 August 2022
It is worth asking if the PDM will actually achieve what it wants from the changes to NAB, except in the here and now. Its only other net gain has been to cement the perception it removed the PTI government to save its own skin. Whether they will be able to breathe easy for long is another matter altogether.

Dr Niaz Murtaza, The nation at 75
Dawn, 9 August 2022
Since the 1980s, the middle class has made a return to politics but via extremist and populist parties like MQM, TLP and PTI. A move to middle-class politics is seen globally as the main path to improved politics and progress. But in Pakistan, it has actually made politics worse and given extremist and populist rather than mass politics.

Editorial, Beyond the pale
Dawn, 9 August 2022
Mr Khan’s relentless vilification of the opposition in language that ill behoves a national leader has contributed much to the polarisation that manifests itself in the vitriol spewed on social media. When such ugliness is unleashed, everyone at some point suffers the fallout.

Editorial, Celebrate the athlete
Dawn, 9 August 2022
It’s high time Pakistan’s sports authorities realised how elite athletes should be treated. Officials should also let go of the age-old practice of taking the credit…The truth is that Arshad has proved himself worthy of all that. It’s time that athletes like him are celebrated for their achievements.

Editorial, Arshad’s gold
The News International, 9 August 2022
Our athletes like Arshad, Nooh and wrestler Inam Butt have shown that they are among the world’s best and can help end Pakistan’s medal drought in the Olympics. All we need is to fully invest in them and other promising sportspersons. Over the years, we have hardly seen the state take an interest in Pakistani athletes – until any of the athletes brings home a medal.

Mashhood Hassan Azam Awan, Judicial reforms
The News International, 9 August 2022
All court rooms must be connected via the internet and video link to other such courts across the country and even foreign embassies or consulate generals. It will help expedite the disposal of cases which get adjourned due to the unavailability of counsel or witnesses.

Rayan Naseer, Financial crisis
The News International, 9 August 2022
The future depends entirely on whether all stakeholders in Pakistan’s economic landscape, including the business community and political parties, are willing to put aside their differences and come up with a national economic policy that must be implemented regardless of which party comes to power. This will help ensure continuity, restore the confidence of foreign donors and investors, and bring some semblance of hope to a populace in distress.

Shazia Anwer Cheema, Forthcoming energy crisis in Pakistan
The Express Tribune, 9 August 2022
Pakistan is already faced with multidimensional issues because of a lack of storage facilities, no planning, depleting foreign exchange reserves, and the absence of broad-based alternative energy sources… Energy, food, and security will remain in the shadows until they become a ghost and stand right in front of us to receive due attention.

 


"The eighth judicial conference of 2018 (Islamabad Declaration 2018) and the Pakistan Vision 2025 have also addressed this issue and are a positive step in the right direction. This will not only vacate the judiciary of complex and time-consuming litigation but also restore the trust and confidence of businesses in the country."

-An opinion in The News International on ‘Arbitration awards and speedy justice



Photo : Dawn

8 August 2022, Monday I Vol 3, No.180

TTP’s top commander Omar Khalid Khorasani killed in Afghanistan



Fafen calls on parliament and political parties to strengthen the regulations on political finance to curtail the role of money in elections, Pakistan’s trade with ASEAN reaching USD 11 billion in 2022

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
INTERNAL 
TTP’s top commander Omar Khalid Khorasani killed in Afghanistan
On 8 August, The Express Tribune reported that a vehicle carrying senior commanders of the TTP, including Omar Khalid Khorasani was targeted by an explosive device in eastern Afghanistan. According to a source, “A vehicle reportedly carrying TTP Mohmand chief Omar Khalid Khorasani, aka Abdul Wali Mohmand, Mufti Hassan and Hafiz Dawlat Khan, was targeted in Sharki village, near Margha, in Bermal district of Paktika province.” Meanwhile, TTP has not yet confirmed these killings.  (Shahabullah Yousafzai, “TTP’s top commander Omar Khalid Khorasani reportedly killed in Paktika blast,” The Express Tribune, 8 August 2022)

Role of money to be regulated by Fafen
On 7 August, The Free and Fair Election Network called upon parliament and political parties to strengthen the regulations on political finance to curtail the role of money in elections. It noted that unchecked use of money in electoral exercises practically deprived the majority of the population of exercising their right to contest elections. In a statement, it asked the parliamentary parties and those outside the Parliament to develop a consensus on critical electoral reforms, including those required to regulate the use of money in elections.It also recommended strengthening the legal framework to regulate expenses incurred during an election by contesting candidates and political parties alike, and timely scrutiny of assets and liabilities submitted by the members of parliament and provincial assemblies.(Iftikhar A.Khan, “Fafen seeks reforms to regulate role of money in politics,”Dawn,8August 2022)

Imran Khan announces a 'counter-fascism' strategy on 13 August against the governement
 On 7 August, Imran Khan said that in order to counter the 'fascist' government led by coalition parties, he will announce a strategy to “counter this fascism” during a rally at Islamabad’s Parade Ground on August 13. The decision to organize what Mr. Khan termed ‘Azadi March’ a day before Independence Day was taken by the PTI leadership on 6 August (Ikram Junaidi, “Imran to spell out ‘counter-fascism’ strategy on Aug 13,”Dawn,8 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Protests laid off for 24 hours by North Waziristan
On 7 August, The elders from the settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa approached the Jirga of the Uthmanzai tribe and requested them to end their three-week-long protest against the incidence of targeted killing and to reopen the roads and bazaars. Dozens of loaded vehicles had been stranded on the highway. Trade with Afghanistan via Ghulam Khan Border crossing has also been halted due to the closure of roads in the district. The elders, in accordance with the Pakhtun traditions, also presented sheep to the Jirga as Nanawati, which is a way of seeking reconciliation or mediation. According to the local traditions, Nanawati is always accepted. Officials said that the tribe had accepted the Nanawati and postponed their strike for the next 24 hours. (“North Waziristan tribe puts off protest for 24 hours,” Dawn, 8 August 2022)

Balochistan: Reko Diq Deal gets questioned by Economic Forum President
On 7 August, Balochistan Economic Forum President, Sardar Shoukat Popalzai expressed reservations over the recently signed agreement on Reko Diq between the Balochistan government and Barrick Gold Corporation, saying serious concerns needed to be addressed before implementing the project.He said “More and more voices were now being raised against the compromise solution with the investor and calling for autonomy and mineral rights. Corruption and malpractice in awarding contracts, shares in the income beyond royalties and shares of locals in revenue were also the issues that have hampered projects in the past.” He added that Pakistan had suffered international embarrassment due to the six billion USD penalty imposed on the country for the Reko Diq case. (“Questions raised over Reko Diq deal,” Dawn, 8 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Pakistan’s trade with ASEAN reaches USD 11 billion in 2022
On 7 August, the Chairman ASEAN Committee Islamabad (ACI) Ambassador Nguyen Tien Phong stated that Pakistan’s trade with ASEAN had reached approximately USD 11 billion in the fiscal year 2022. Further, the chairman highlighted that the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) carried huge economic potential, adding that the paradigm shift from geo-politics to geo-economics in Pakistan would enable the country’s economy to reach milestones. (“Pakistan’s trade with ASEAN topped $11b in 2022,” The Express Tribune, 8 August 2022)

Pakistan to bridge external financing gap of USD four billion, says SBP
On 7 August, Acting Governor SBP Dr Murtaza Syed stated that Pakistan will soon bridge its external financing gap of USD four billion with the help of friendly countries under the IMF condition in the face of huge pressure on foreign currency reserves. Further, he stated that inflation would persist in a higher range for the next 11 to 12 months, so the central bank was seeking an inflation target in the range of 18-20 per cent on an average for the current fiscal year 2022-23. (“Pakistan to soon bridge external financing gap of $4 billion: SBP,” The Express Tribune, 8 August 2022)

ON INDIA
Pakistan rejects India’s statement on OIC
On 7 August, the Foreign Office rejected India’s comments made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding a statement of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The FO spokesperson said, “No amount of repetition would turn a falsehood into truth. In the interest of justice as well as durable peace and security in South Asia, India must honour its commitment to the Kashmiris and to the world community by faithfully implementing the UNSC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute.” (“FO rejects New Delhi’s ‘ludicrous comments’ on OIC stance,” Dawn, 8 August 2022)

ON SPORTS
First Gold bagged by Arshad Nadeem in Commonwealth
On 8 August, Dawn reported Pakistan’s first javelin gold by Arshad Nadeem in Birmingham Commonwealth Games. This is Pakistan’s first athletics medal at the games since 1966 and the first javelin gold for the country, it was Pakistan’s second gold in Birmingham. Arshad’s first effort was 86.61 metres.He launched a mark of 90 meters in the penultimate round, becoming only the second Asian to cross the mark after Taiwan’s Chao-Tsun Cheng 91.36 meters. He also broke the Games record of 88.75m by South African Marius Corbett that stood since 1998. (“Arshad Nadeem tears record books to win javelin gold at CWG,” Dawn ,8 August 2022)
 

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"The ongoing hateful media campaign against Pakistan's forces in general and the victims of the helicopter crash in particular is highly condemnable and intolerable. The manner in which the leadership of Tehreek-e-Insaaf and its affiliated media and social media have been adopted is tantamount to weakening Pakistan's defense."
-Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman

"The social media campaign of mocking the sacrifices of our martyrs and maligning them is not only shameful but also terrifying. This is the result of the arrogant and hypocritical political ideology that it poisons the young minds and promotes bad civilization. Finally, in which direction is our society going? We desperately need self-responsibility."
-Shehbaz Sharif 

"Hamza Shehbaz, accused of 24 billion rupees, escaped to London, but five teams of FIA were set up to investigate 20 million rupees. Shehbaz Sharif and company consider the nation as fools. Prepare for the coming stage of real freedom struggle."
-Ch Fawad Hussain

Also read...

Huma Yusuf, Climate discourse
Dawn, 8 August 2022
A holistic approach to climate literacy is missing…Pakistan’s challenge will be to develop myriad education and awareness initiatives to target different constituencies based on how they are likely to be affected. These initiatives must be inclusive, region-specific, and focused on adaptation and resilience.

Neda Mulji, Misplaced priorities
Dawn, 8 August 2022
Many higher education institutes function without a cohesive plan for monitoring effort, goal achievement and overall student experience. Those that have plans in place have not been able to sustain them beyond the initial phase. Students are at the heart of the learning environment, yet we haven’t learnt to give them a student-centred environment that can prioritise their academic needs and well-being.

Editorial, An unseemly dispute
Dawn, 8 August 2022
Over the years, the apex court through a series of orders and judgements concentrated the power to steer the commission’s proceedings in the person of the CJP. As friction over recent appointments to the Supreme Court illustrates, that dominant role has become untenable. Chief Justice Bandial must lend an ear to his fraternity.

Editorial, Polio nightmare
Dawn, 8 August 2022
It is extremely unfortunate that the battle against polio and the future of children at home and abroad has become collateral damage in the political bullfights going on in the country, a concern also expressed in the IMB report. When will those wielding power in the country realise that continued political instability is disastrous for any nation’s health?

Maleeha Lodhi, A crisis of trust?
Dawn, 8 August 2022
Trust can be rebuilt if political leaders learn to rise above themselves and give primacy to public concerns over partisan interests. If they also accept that opponents are not enemies to be vilified and vanquished but rivals in political competition. Confidence in institutions too can be built if constitutional restraints and rules are observed in deeds, not just words.

Umair Javed, Unsustainable trajectory
Dawn, 8 August 2022
What is becoming apparent, though, is that this model is increasingly unsustainable — both in terms of people actually buying into it when inflation wipes away basic subsistence, let alone any dreams of the future; and politically — with the occasional crumbs and the frequent coercion being sufficient to keep them in line.
 
Daud Khan, The need to prioritise agricultural development
The Express Tribune, 8 August 2022
Agriculture, particularly small holder agriculture, is the only way we can make progress on national development goals. The government must give due attention both to the reform agenda as well as to design, and above all to the implementation of projects and programs.

Editorial, Accumulated waste
The Express Tribune, 8 August 2022
With the growing threat of climate change, provincial authorities must work with the municipal administration to tackle solid waste management issues. Citizens must also realise their responsibility and dispose of garbage in designated areas to avoid creating landfill sites in residential areas.

Editorial, The ballot roulette
The Express Tribune, 8 August 2022
The experiment to hold bye-polls on nine seats will be an exercise in jeopardy, and lead to more political polarisation as well as creeping instability. The economic chips are already down and a sense of civic unrest is in the air. It is incumbent upon political forces to call it a day and rework a conciliation for resourcing to ballot collectively.

Editorial, Opportunistic politics
The Express Tribune, 8 August 2022
Any doubts that the PML-N is going to sit back and relax are also a misreading since the party has already hinted at legislation that could allow Mian Nawaz Sharif to return to Pakistan without legal trouble. At the end of it all, electoral politics in the country seems to be just a ruse to either show up a political rival or to get out of a legal pickle. The people win nothing in the face of ‘power shows’ and political opportunism.

 


"The first thing that the government can do is introduce measures to stop market manipulation and unjustified profiteering. The people are living on the edge and are really angry at the government. They are angry because they feel abandoned in these hard times."

-An opinion in The News International on ‘Hard times



Photo : Dawn

6 August 2022, Saturday I Vol 3, No.179

ECP issues notice to Imran Khan, fixes hearing for 23 August



ECP suspending PML-Q intra-party polls, ECP redrawing constituencies for next elections and PBS data showing that inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) increased by 0.82 per cent from the previous week

PR Daily Brief |

In Brief
ON PTI FUNDING CASE
ECP issues notice to Imran Khan, fixes hearing for 23 August
On 5 August, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued notices Imran Khan and summoned him on 23 August with regard to the prohibited funding case, Dawn.com reported.  According to the ECP, the case titled “Notice to Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in terms of Rule 6 of Political Parties Rules 2006, in compliance of judgement by the commission dated Aug 2 in case title Akbar Sher Babar” has been fixed for hearing on 23 August. Additionally, the ECP also issued a notice to Imran Khan with regard to his disqualification on 16 August. (Malik Asad, “ECP summons Imran over funding case, disqualification,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

FIA constitutes five-member team to oversee PTI funding probe
On 5 August, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) constituted a five-member team to supervise the inquiry teams of FIA’s respective zones investigating matter related to the ECP’s order in the PTI’s prohibited funding case. The monitoring team would be headed by FIA director Mohammad Athar Waheed and would be responsible for coordination with and guidance to the respective inquiry teams in each zone. (Malik Asad, “FIA constitutes team to oversee PTI funding probe,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

Opposition asks Imran Khan to name the “neutrals”
On 5 August, the ruling coalition asked Imran Khan to name the “neutrals” who gave him guarantees over Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja’s appointment. PML-N’s Malik Ahmed Khan and PPP’s Saeed Ghani at separate meetings said, “We demand of you to name the neutrals.” Malik said, “Did Gen Qamar say this to you? And if yes, please have some audacity … have some courage … say it. If Gen Faiz Hameed said this, please take his name and say it.” He added, “where did the neutrals come in? If you, or any member of your party, has the courage, come forward and name them. Also, tell us who do you call neutral – is it the army chief or the DG ISI or the institution”? (“PML-N, PPP ask Imran to name ‘neutrals’,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

INTERNAL
PML-Q intra-party polls suspended by ECP
On 5 August, a four-member bench of the ECP, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, on a plea filed by PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, restrained the party from holding intra-party polls and adjourned the hearing till August 16. Speaking to reporters after the ECP hearing, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Shujaat’s son, maintained that an “illegal” attempt was made to remove the party president. As the intra-party tussle continued, Shujaat, flanked by Cheema, had held a news conference in Lahore, wherein he termed the reports of rifts within the party “false narratives”, and called for a reunion of the party. (“ECP suspends PML-Q intra-party polls,” The Express Tribune, 6 August 2022)

 ECP redraws constituencies for next elections
On 5 August, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) published the final list of 266 constituencies of the National Assembly and 593 constituencies of the four provincial assemblies for the future general elections, based on the Sixth Population and Housing Census, 2017. The list created 266 general seats for National Assembly; 593 for four provincial assemblies. Accordingly, Punjab had been allocated 141 National Assembly and 297 provincial assembly seats. Sindh has 61 and 130 seats, respectively, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been allocated 45 and 115 general seats, respectively, and Balochistan got 16 and 51 seats, respectively. There would be three general seats for Islamabad in the National Assembly. (“ECP redraws constituencies for next elections,” The Express Tribune, 6 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Punjab: PM Shehbaz Sharif visits flood affected areas in south Punjab
On 5 August, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited flood-hit areas in south Punjab including Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur. During his visit, he was briefed about the ongoing relief and rehabilitation work in the two areas, including food supply, drinking water and basic health facilities to the displaced people staying at temporary shelters. Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz called for a joint survey by federal and provincial governments to assess the damages.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman issued warning of more rain after the federal cabinet declared a “monsoon emergency.” She said, “According to the Pakistan Met Department, the country will experience more rains in the coming week. Islamabad, Kashmir, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh will receive heavy rainfall from August 6 till 9.” (Tariq Saeed Birmani, “PM Shehbaz visits flood-hit areas in south Punjab,” Dawn, 6 August 2022; Jamal Shahid, “Monsoon emergency in place as minister warns of more rains from today,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

Balochistan: Child Marriage Bill stuck halfway for eight years
On 6 August, Dawn reported the pending Child marriage Bill, in Balochistan Assembly for the last eight years in draft state for cabinet approval. A consultation held in collaboration with the Education Youth Empowerment Society, Blue Veins, and Girls Not Brides, decided that a committee comprising all stakeholders would be formed to initiate dialogue with the heads of political parties on the issue of child marriage and reach a consensus on the age limit. The participants expressed serious concern over the negative attitude of religious parties and some other quarters regarding the child marriage bill. Female legislators said that while women MPAs made all possible efforts to reach a consensus on the age limit and persuaded the male MPAs to support the child marriage bill, they faced strong opposition from the religious parties’ legislators on the issue of the age limit. (“Balochistan’s child marriage bill in limbo for eight years,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)
 
Punjab: Protest against dynasty politics of Shah Mahmood Qureshi by PTI
On 5 August, PTI workers held a protest demonstration in Multan against Shah Mehmood Qureshi for giving a party ticket to his daughter Meher Bano Qureshi as a candidate for the by-election in NA-157. The constituency is considered a stronghold and home seat of Shah Mahmood Qureshi. A large number of PTI workers lodged a protest outside the ECP office in Multan against Mr. Qureshi and his family for promoting dynastic politics in the party. They said Shah Mehmood Qureshi had fielded his son Zain in PP-217 Multan and now he had given the ticket to his daughter making them agitate against the family. (Imran Gabol, “By-poll in NA-157: PTI workers protest candidature of Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s daughter,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Sensitive price index seeing increasing trend on a weekly basis
On 5 August, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed that  inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Index (SPI) increased by 0.82 per cent from the previous week, mainly due to a slight increase in perishable food products. Last week, a 3.68pc increase was noted in the SPI, which was the highest since the change of the base year for measuring the SPI. The year-on-year increase in the SPI was 38.63pc, the highest ever recorded. This is the highest increase recorded on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. (“Weekly inflation continues to rise,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

Cash margins on imports reversed by SBP
On 5 August, SBP reversed the cash margins on imports from 100 per cent to 25 per cent and in some cases to zero, showing the strength of confidence of the policymakers hoping for a better outcome of negotiations with the IMF and friendly countries. The current government, which just a few days ago was facing a serious threat of a country’s default on external payments, took the daring step of reducing the cash margin to the lowest level. The claims of the finance minister played a key role in bringing down the dollar value in the currency market, and the speculative part of the exchange rate vanished in a single session as the dollar lost over Rs9 two days ago. (Shahid Iqbal, “SBP reverses cash margins on imports,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
COAS reaches out to UAE, Saudi Arabia for bailout package
On 5 August, DG ISPR confirmed that Gen Bajwa, the chief of army staff (COAS), received a telephone call from UAE President. Pakistan is in talks with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and China to provide the necessary funding. When Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif travelled to Saudi Arabia in April, he returned empty-handed as Riyadh had not given any firm assurance. The reason the army chief had to play a role stemmed from the fact that other countries perhaps were not ready to accept the assurances of the civilian leadership. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are particularly working in tandem with the IMF and other Western countries on financial assistance for Pakistan. (Kamran Yousaf, “COAS reaches out to UAE, Saudi Arabia for bailout package, Dawn, 6 August 2022)

JUDICIARY
Factions in the judiciary to be avoided by amending JCP rules
On 5 August, Senior JCP member Akhtar Hussain wrote a letter to the CJP stating that the issue would not have cropped up if the meeting had not been ‘abruptly terminated’ and a formal vote and final decision were recorded in the minutes at its end. While emphasizing that the fierce and evident division that cropped up within the judicial institution was not in the national interest, Mr. Hussain highlighted that the only solution to avoid factionalism, which was unfortunately prevailing, was to amend the JCP rules and frame more objective, transparent and measurable criteria and processes for the nomination and appointment of judges. He further said that it was necessary to consult all commission members before deciding to release the audio recordings to relax the rules. (Nasir Iqbal, “Changes in JCP rules urged to avoid ‘factions’ in judiciary,” Dawn, 6 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Imported govt has no int credibility despite US regime change conspiracy & powerful handlers. CrimeMinister returned from KSA & UAE with begging bowl empty so COAS doing needful directly as he did with US! PDM brought in only 4 NROs.WHY? Just to counter IK's Absolutely Not to US."
-Shireen Mazari

"Inflation continues to haunt the people at 39%. The imported used to protest when the SPI was 17% in march. They have proved to be anti people and came to power only to fix NAB and Electoral process to their advantage. Please accept,you can't handle the economy,so call elections."
-Shaukat Tarin

"There is no question of Pakistan's land being used in Afghanistan's drone attack, the question is whether Pakistan's airspace was allowed to be used or not. The repeated statement that Pakistan's land has not been used is unclear. The relevant ministries will have to issue a formal statement."
-Ch Fawad Hussain

Also read...

Reema Omer, Paterfamilias?
 Dawn, 6 August 2022
The most striking flaw in the SC opinion is that it considers initiation an “act of mere procedure.” The truth could not be more different. Control over initiation has resulted in the CJP acting as a gatekeeper to the Supreme Court, with the power to block the appointment of deserving judges by refusing to recommend their names.

Muhammad Waqar Rana, Judging the process
The News International, 6 August 2022
The appointment and removal procedure of judges requires serious review and reconsideration. Not only the judiciary but other branches of the government should also be taken on board as the real stakeholders here are the people of Pakistan. Numerical strength in the Commission may have momentary winners but it will terminally affect the institution of the judiciary that must be protected and saved as it is the last guarantee for rule of law, rights and constitution.

Editorial, Economic restructuring
Dawn, 6 August 2022
We will not be out of the woods unless we decide to deal with such structural imbalances as very low agricultural and industrial productivity, an unsustainable tax-to-GDP ratio of just above 9pc, poor documentation of the economy, wasteful public sector expenditure, inefficient state-owned businesses and the exclusion of the vast majority of people from the financial system. Sadly, the government has so far shown no signs of addressing these issues.

Editorial, Extinction risks
Dawn, 6 August 2022
In a country like Pakistan — which is only just starting to wake up to the breathtaking diversity of its natural endowments — the findings of the analysis are unlikely to cause much of a stir, except perhaps in the small community of enthusiasts, scientists and researchers studying biodiversity in the country.

Riaz Riazuddin, Our exchange rate woes
Dawn, 6 August 2022
The only prudent course of act­ion for the federal government is to announce a date for general election free from generals and other non-constitutional influences. A credible interim go­­vernment will go a long way in reducing political un­­certainty and pave the way to establish the democr­atic writ of Pakistan’s citizens. This is the only option to lessen exchange rate and other economic woes.

Season of discontent
The Express Tribune, 6 August 2022
Apart from providing instant relief to the distressed, what is needed is an inbuilt mechanism to respond to such calamities. Provision of eatables, bedding and clothing in devastated far-flung areas should take precedence over mere pronouncements of cash disbursals, which in many cases end up in scams. Rehabilitating the catastrophic localities should follow-suit on a war-footing basis.

Rida Tahir, The state and the disappeared
The News International, 6 August 2022
Pakistan must affirm its commitment to end enforced disappearances by ratifying the ICAED. Further, all disappeared persons must be immediately released. Missing persons who have been detained as a result of allegedly committing recognizable crimes must be brought before a court as all citizens are granted the right to a fair trial (Article 10-A of the constitution of Pakistan). Lastly, the government of Pakistan must investigate and prosecute those who are responsible for carrying out enforced disappearances.

Editorial, Defanging NAB
The News International, 6 August 2022
While FIA, the SBP and other bodies are there to keep a check on some forms of financial corruption, perhaps what is really needed is not a toothless accountability mechanism but one that is so robust as to not be swayed by political considerations, or vindictive justice or petty witch-hunts. An accountability body can only be effective if it is seen as non-partisan and scrupulous. But the government and its political actors too wear the same heavy crown.

 

"Reforms are long overdue. If elite formation in the society continues to be exclusive, arbitrary and the common man lives his life as a player in the snakes and ladders game the whole project is doomed. What is the point of being a gatekeeper if there is no gate to keep or the Valhalla behind to protect? Shape up or ship out. The time for change has come."

-An opinion in The Express Tribune on ‘A word to the gatekeepers



Photo : Dawn

5 August 2022, Friday I Vol 3, No.178

PTI withdraws case against CEC



PTI's decision to move Supreme Court to empower LG system ahead of 28 August polls, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister meeing with US ambassador and the government's plan to control imports for the next three months

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
ON PTI FUNDING CASE
PTI withdraws case against CEC; Red Zone sealed to stop protesters from gathering outside ECP
On 4 August, the PTI withdrew a reference against Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in view of adding evidence and highlight further legal aspects. While announcing the decision, Fawad Chaudhry said that the reference would be filed again after adding more evidence against the CEC, including amendments to the initial verdict and subsequent addition.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan accused the ruling coalition of using the ECP to control the “people of Pakistan.” He said, “They [the incumbent government] bought the loyalties of our people then they used money in an attempt to break our party and after suffering a shock defeat in Punjab by-elections despite rigging attempts, they are now trying to control the people through the ECP.”

On 4 August, authorities partially sealed the Red to stop members of the PTI from coming out on streets and protesting in front of ECP office. While speaking to Dawn, police officials stated that the area was sealed after an alert from the Special Branch of police stated that activists and leaders of PTI would stage a protest in front of ECP. (Malik Asad, “PTI withdraws case against CEC ‘to add more evidence’,” Dawn, 5 August 2022; Munawer Azeem, “Red Zone sealed to stop PTI workers from gathering outside ECP,” Dawn, 5 August 2022; “Imran says ECP being used to control masses,” The Express Tribune, 4 August 2022)

IHC issues notice to speaker and ECP over PTI resignation
On 4 August, the Islamabad High Court issued notices to the NA speaker, its secretary, and the ECP on a petition filed by the PTI against acceptance of its lawmaker’s resignations. The PTI argued that the resignations of all its 123 MNAs had been accepted months ago and the present speaker had no “lawful authority or jurisdiction” to verify the resignations as the former deputy speaker had already approved them. During the hearing, PTI’s counsel Faisal Chaudhry submitted the copy of Mr. Suri’s approval of resignation to the IHC acting chief justice. The party requested the court to direct the speaker to accept all resignations at once. (Malik Asad, Imran Gabol, “Notices to NA speaker, ECP over PTI resignations,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

INTERNAL
NAB passed amidst opposition protests
On 4 August, The National Accountability (Second Amendment) Act 2022 was passed through the Senate after Shahadat Awan moved the motion amid strong protests by the opposition parties who termed the legislation an attempt to turn the NAB into a “toothless” organization.  The motion was opposed as the coalition government wanted to save its leadership by restricting NAB. PTI leader Syed Shibli Faraz said the motion was passed by a government facing serious corruption charges with 60 per cent of its cabinet members on bail. The protest continued and the opposition senators stood up in their seats after a voice vote that allowed the house to consider the bill. They chanted slogans, ripped up copies of the agenda, and gathered around the speaker’s podium to register their disapproval. Subsequently, the opposition members walked out of the house before the bill was passed. (Iftikhar A Khan, “NAB bill passed amid PTI uproar,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

Hamza to see Nawaz Sharif to explain by-elections failure
On 4 August, Hamza Shahbaz arrived in London to ‘give an explanation’ to Nawaz Sharif about the party’s humiliating defeat in the crucial by-polls in Punjab at the hands of PTI. Nawaz Sharif had been told at a party meeting about ‘reasons’ for PML-N’s defeat, he wanted to have an ‘in-person explanation’ in this regard. He was supposed to give explanations for poor coordination with Maryam Nawaz as he had not taken her lawmakers to his cabinet and followed Nawaz’s instructions when he was the chief minister. (Zulqernain Tahir, “Hamza off to London to ‘explain away Punjab by-polls drubbing’,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: Grenade attack hurt 14 and claim one life
On 4 August, unknown motorcyclists hurled the grenade at the stalls selling national flags and other decoration items in connection with the upcoming Independence Day. The grenade exploded near the stalls, killing one man and injuring 14 others. (Saleem Shahid, “One killed, 14 hurt in Quetta grenade blast,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Army sepoy and terrorist killed in North Waziristan IBO
On 4 August, security forces conducted an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in general area Miran Shah, North Waziristan district, on the reported presence of terrorists in which a sepoy of the Pakistan Army was killed in an exchange of fire with terrorists. According to the ISPR, the terrorist remained actively involved in terror activities against the security forces. On July 23, the security forces apprehended a high-profile terrorist commander and killed three others in two separate IBOs in different areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkwa’s North Waziristan district. (“Army sepoy martyred, terrorist killed in North Waziristan IBO,” The Express Tribune, 5 August 2022)

Sindh: PTI to move Supreme Court to empower LG system ahead of 28 August polls
On 4 August, The PTI challenged before the Supreme Court, the 6 July Sindh High Court verdict of refusing to delay the local government elections and sought immediate compliance of the apex court’s 1 February directions regarding an empowered local government system before 28 August as the second phase LG elections are scheduled to be held on 28 August. The petition argued that the scheme of Article 140-A  of the Constitution and the 1 February judgment of the apex court necessitated a prior and meaningful devolution of political, administrative, and financial powers to local governments before elections were held. The petition, moved jointly by Rabia Azfar Nizami and Sidra Imran, cited the Sindh government and ECP as respondents. (Nasir Iqbal, “PTI moves SC for empowered LG system ahead of Aug 28 polls in Sindh,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister meets with US ambassador
On 4 August, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in a meeting with the US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome expressed his gratitude to the US for the cooperation extended to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. CM Khan said, “The KP government and people highly value the US cooperation being extended in various fields.” Further, during the meeting the two sides discussed US cooperation with Pakistan on economics development, commerce, educational partnerships, and investments that have helped the region and its people. (“US ambassador meets KP CM,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

Pakistan rejects reports of airspace being used by a US drone strike
On 4 August, the Foreign Office spokesperson rejected reports that Pakistan’s airspace had been used by a US drone strike in Kabul killing al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. The spokesperson said, “I would refer you to the statement that we have issued (earlier) on this incident, and that is our stated position. There is no evidence of this action having been undertaken using Pakistan’s airspace, so this is something that I can add to that.” (Mariana Baabar, “No Pak airspace used for US drone strike in Kabul: FO,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Government to control imports for the next three months, says Finance Minister
On 5 August, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail stated that the government would control imports for the next three months. He said, “I will not allow imports to increase for three months and, in the meantime, we will come up with a policy. I understand that growth will be reduced for a bit but I have no other choice.” Further, he said, “When there was pressure, we imported a lot of oil and gas. At this time, we have [stock of] 30 days for diesel and petrol. We have furnace oil [supply] for six months. We are very comfortable in terms of our energy security and energy supply, and other obligations. We will control imports for the next four months.” (“Govt to limit imports for next 3 months: Miftah Ismail,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)

PKR appreciates against USD on import restrictions and positive sentiment around IMF deal
On 4 August, the local unit was traded at 224 after gaining 2.15 during intraday trade. It appreciated 2.65 per USD or 1.17 per cent against the dollar to close at 226.15. July trade numbers reduced pressure on the rupee, improving the outlook for the country’s fragile current account balance. The country’s trade deficit also fell 47 per cent month-on-month to USD 2.6 billion in July, driven by a drop in imports. Total imports dropped to USD 4.9 billion in July 2022 from USD 7.9 billion in the previous month, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics reported. (Riaz Andy, “PKR to Dollar: Rupee appreciates further as Pakistan slowly recovers from currency crisis,” The News International, 5 August 2022)

Restrictions imposed on supplementary grants for tighter fiscal controls
On 4 August, the Ministry of Finance in an office memorandum to all the government ministries, divisions and related departments explained the extreme conditions to be fulfilled by the principal accounting officers (PAOs) of all ministries and divisions before seeking supplementary allocations. For ensuring tight fiscal control, the government has put restrictions on technical supplementary grants (TSGs) in the first quarter and imposed a ban on supplementary expenditure, both for developmental and current expenditure, throughout the current fiscal year, except in extreme and exceptional cases. (Khaleeq Kiani, “Govt puts tighter fiscal controls in place,” Dawn, 05 August 2022)

JUDICIARY
‘Anti- Institution’ drive gets questioned by SC
On 4 August, a two-bench Supreme Court bench took up the petition of violation of fundamental rights violation against PTI leadership for an alleged hate campaign targeting armed forces,, the Supreme Court and the ECP. The court asked the council to convince it that the present matter was an issue of public importance and that it could intervene under Article 184(3) against the private persons on the grounds of public interest. The court observed that it could invoke Article 204 whenever it deemed appropriate by initiating notice and taking action. The petition argued that it was in public knowledge that after his ouster as Imran Khan had been issuing provocative, derogatory statements in his interviews, at political rallies, and on social media which harms the good reputation of the national institutions. (Nasir Iqbal, “SC questions plea over ‘anti-institution’ drive,” Dawn, 5 August 2022)
 
ON GILGIT-BALTISTAN
JIT formed and security tightened after sectarian violence on 30 July
On 4 August, police tightened security arrangements in Gilgit amid tension in the city after violence claimed two lives and left 22 people injured last week. FIR had been registered under anti-terrorism law and raids were under way to arrest the remaining suspects. Pillion riding on motorcycles has been banned in Gilgit and 4G mobile internet will remain suspended till Ashura. Home Secretary Iqbal Hussain Khan said all Muharram processions across Gilgit-Baltistan were being monitored. (Jamil Nagri, “Security tightened in Gilgit,” Dawn, 05 August 2022)

ON INDIA
PM Shehbaz accuses India of using "unbridled force" in Jammu and Kashmir
On 5 August, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif via Twitter accused India of using "unbridled force" in Jammu and Kashmir. He said, "Today marks the third sombre anniversary of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019 aimed at changing the internationally recognised disputed status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and altering the demographic structure of the occupied territory,"  adding, "The Jammu & Kashmir dispute has been a battle of hope against overwhelming odds, of courage against fear & of sacrifice against tyranny. Today, we pay rich tributes to all the martyrs of IIOJK for their ultimate sacrifice & to their families for their resolve & courage." Meanwhile, Pakistanis observed the "Yaum-e-Istehsal" across the country in retaliation to the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian constitution on 5 August 2019. (“Youm-e-Istehsal Kashmir: PM Shehbaz condemns India's use of 'unbridled force' in IIOJK,” Dawn, 5 August 2022; “In support of Kashmiris Pakistan observes Yaum-e-Istehsal today,” The News International, 5 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Over the decades, Imran Niazi has decieved people in the name of honesty, transparency & accountability. The foreign funding verdict has busted his claims & showed him for what he actually is: a con man. The coalition government will take the verdict to its logical conclusion."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

"Tehreek-e-Insaaf should demand the resignation of Imran Khan instead of asking for the resignation of the Election Commissioner, who has defiled the Jamaat to fill his pockets with illegal money. But he asked for money from outside."
-Maryam Nawaz Sharif 

"Don't worry about the action against Candy Crush Champion Tehreek-e-Insaaf, there is nothing left in it, soon the inquiry about the concessions given to the cigarette industry by you and your husband will be started. As much as proving Nawaz Sharif to be honest."
-Ch Fawad Hussain

Also read...

 Shahzad Chaudhry, When equivalence inflicts its own cost
The Express Tribune, 5 August 2022
The Constitution must be the touchstone for this transitory period even if it partially conforms to the structures laid out in it. The military-legal system should support such transitional arrangement as a one-time measure under most challenging socio-economic and security environment.

Editorial, PTI in the dock
The News International, 5 August 2022
At the end of the day, the ballot box – and not a court of law – should be giving the ultimate verdict. This may be lost on all political actors though, who in the frenzy to become the new blue-eyed darlings of the system seem to have forgotten even recent history.

Faisal Bari, Life is a struggle
Dawn, 5 August 2022
Maintaining price stability is, in many ways, even more important than growth. Especially in situations where the state does not offer any safety net or services to the vulnerable. The situation, even for lower middle income-level earners, is very precarious right now. It is hard to see how we are going to get out of this one.

Zafar U. Ahmed, Economic governance framework
Dawn, 5 August 2022
Unstable governments with circumscribed authority cannot overcome interest groups. How far such a governance framework can be agreed upon and then implemented will determine the long-term economic viability of the country. A strong and prosperous country reflects upon its citizens as well as state institutions.

Editorial, Gutting NAB
Dawn, 5 August 2022
The haste with which the government is proceeding is giving strength to criticism that it is only interested in protecting its leaders’ interests. This cannot be condoned. If it does not want NAB around, so be it; but the government must share alternative plans for how it will put an end to the corruption endemic in our state apparatus.

Editorial, More conditions, what?
The Express Tribune, 5 August 2022
What political and geo-strategic cost it will entail is anybody’s guess, specifically keeping in view the upheavals in the region. Pakistan’s economic format is down and out, and it necessitates drastic measures to rehabilitate it into normal breathing space. Loans and conditionalities, coupled with ad-hocism, have pushed it at the cliff.

Editorial, Rupee recovery
The Express Tribune, 5 August 2022
Still, bringing the overall deficit under control is in itself an achievement, as the previous PTI government seemed unable to control it, even before fuel prices skyrocketed. While an ideal situation would have seen exports rise, ever so slightly, at this point, balancing the books remains the priority.

Shaheer M Ashraf, Unravelling the Kashmir knot
The Express Tribune, 5 August 2022
Pakistan must re-evaluate its Kashmir policy by attempting to de-escalate tensions with India and normalise relations. While this may not be possible in the short term due to India’s contemporary political landscape, it is a course of action that must be pursued when the time is right. Military involvement on both sides of the border should be decreased.

Editorial, Plastic menace
Dawn, 5 August 2022
Moreover, Pakistan has a serious solid waste management problem; as per UN figures, plastic consists of nearly 9pc of municipal solid waste. It makes sense then to recycle waste…In Sindh’s case, the federal minister for climate change should ensure her party, which rules the province, enforces the ban, while a national plan to fight plastic pollution is the need of the times.

 


"It is not just the forever wars that major political parties appear unwilling and unable to confront. They are just as unwilling to challenge the many different forms of capitalist ‘development’ that explain the ever-worsening environmental crises."

-An opinion in Dawn on ‘The forever war



Photo : Dawn

4 August 2022, Thursday I Vol 3, No.177

“Imran Khan should be made an example of,” says PDM chief



Imran Khan claiming that the said that the “neutrals” had guaranteed that CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja was the right man for the job, Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor being appointed as the Commander XII Corps (Quetta)

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
ON PTI FUNDING CASE
“Imran Khan should be made an example of,” says PDM chief
On 3 August, the PDM coalition decided to submit a reference against Imran Khan based on Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution, following the Election Commission of Pakistan’s decision in the prohibited funding case against the party. Further, Maulana Fazlur Rehman demanded that “Imran Khan should be made an example of,” adding, “A reference should be filed against Imran Khan as he is no more Sadiq and Amin (truthful and honest).” He added that whether it is Imran Khan or Dr Arif Alvi, there should be immediate resigning because they have proven to be criminals, adding that “all the political parties had decided to initiate action” against Imran Khan and his party as they were now “proven criminals.” (Syed Irfan Raza, “Imran be made an ‘example’ of, says PDM,” Dawn, 4 August 2022)

‘Neutrals’ vouched for CEC Raja, says Imran Khan
On 3 August, Imran Khan in an interview with BBC Urdu said that the “neutrals” had guaranteed that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja was the right man for the job. He said, “We made a major mistake by accepting this man. The neutrals did not say anything but Sikandar Sultan Raja did not let EVMs [electronic voting machines] come on top of his agenda,” adding that Raja’s name came up during the deadlock for the post of the CEC during his tenure. Further, he said that the PTI would approach the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) against the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and CEC. (“‘Neutrals’ had vouched for CEC Raja: Imran,” Dawn, 4 August 2022)

Tighten security outside ECP office ahead the protests
On 4 August, shipping containers were placed ahead of the PTI’s planned protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan’s office. The PTI, which has demanded Sikandar Sultan Raja’s resignation, is scheduled to stage a protest outside the electoral office. The PTI’s protest was called in anticipation of the prohibited funding verdict. Imran Khan said only a parliamentary delegation of the PTI would go to the ECP office and convey that the party had lost confidence in the electoral body but the authorities could not take chances hence doubled the security to the place. In a statement, Islamabad SSP said that no one would be allowed to enter the Red Zone. He said that 2,000 officials from Islamabad police, Frontier Corps and Rangers had been deployed. (Shakeel Qarar, “Barricades in place, security beefed up ahead of PTI’s protest outside ECP,” Dawn, 4 August 2022)

INTERNAL
ANP protests Imran’s ‘indecent’ remarks against Pakhtuns
On 3 August, Awami National Party leaders and workers on demonstrated against PTI chairman Imran Khan for allegedly using indecent remarks against Pakhtuns. ANP spokesperson MPA Samar Haroon Bilour, former MPA Yasin Khalil, Sana Gulzar Advocate, Sher Rehman, trade leader Mujabur Rehman and large number of workers gathered in front of the Peshawar Press Club to register their protest. Bilour said Imran Khan did not know the Pakhtun culture and tradition. She also criticised PTI government for what she said turning Peshawar, known to be the city of flowers, into heaps of garbage with poor cleanliness and sanitation system. (“ANP protests Imran’s ‘indecent’ remarks against Pakhtuns,” Dawn, 4 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor appointed as the Commander XII Corps (Quetta)
On 3 August, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement said that Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor has been appointed as the Commander XII Corps (Quetta), replacing Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali, who was killed in a helicopter crash. Lt Gen Ghafoor previously served as the ISPR head. (Naveed Siddiqui, “Former DG ISPR Asif Ghafoor appointed Commander XII Corps,” Dawn, 4 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: PM visits flood hit areas ensuring rehabilitation
On 4 August, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the collective efforts by federal and provincial governments and departments were necessary to ensure the early rehabilitation of people affected by flash floods and torrential rains. He visited the flood affected regions of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and lauded the efforts of the NDMA and provincial disaster management authorities for striving to rescue and relieve the affected population. During the briefing, he was told that the floods had damaged around 11,000 households in the district and caused two deaths besides injuring seven others and has announced compensation for the same. (“PM urges joint efforts for early rehabilitation of flood-hit areas” The Express Tribune, 4 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Rupee stronger innings against the dollar brings it to 223 per USD
On 3 August, the rupee closed at 228.80 after recording its highest single-day gain against dollar in the interbank trade. The dollar had slumped 4.19 per cent against the rupee, the highest since 2 November 1998, when the greenback fell by PKR 5.10. The latest trade numbers showing a decline in import numbers also helped in appreciation of the rupee along with better sentiment on Pakistan getting closer to securing tranche from IMF. (Riaz Andy, “Dollar free fall continues, trades at Rs223 in interbank,” The News International, 4 August 2022)

JUDICIARY
Woman’s right to be “maintained” by her husband, says Supreme Court
On 3 August, the Supreme Court ruled that  a woman’s right to be “maintained” by her husband was absolute under Islamic law as long as she remains “faithful and discharges her own matrimonial obligations.” This statement was made during the hearing of an appeal moved by Haseenullah against a March 9, 2020, Peshawar High Court (PHC) ruling. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in a written judgement said, “A Muslim husband is bound to maintain his wife even if no term in this regard is agreed to between them at the time of marriage or she can maintain herself out of her own resources,” adding, “This is a male-dominated society; men since ages have always been more concerned about their rights by using religion for their own convenience, especially in matrimonial matters, but forget religion when it comes to their duty and obligation towards women.” (Nasir Iqbal, “Wife’s right to be ‘maintained’ by husband is absolute: SC,” Dawn, 4 august 2022)

EXTERNAL
Japan and Pakistan sign an agreement for Multan drainage system
On 3 August, Ambassador of Japan Wada Mitsuhiro and Mian Asad Hayaud signed an agreement under which the Japanese government will provide USD nine million to Pakistan for upgrading the mechanical system for sewerage and drainage services in Multan. The project will address urban flooding issues in Multan by upgrading the sewerage equipment to effectively maintain the sewer pipes and channels for sustainable sanitation in the region. At the signing ceremony, Parliamentary Vice-Minis­ter for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Honda Taro pledged to take efforts to strengthen the friendship between the two countries in the sectors of  sanitation,health, disaster prevention and expanding trade  and investment. (Amin Ahmed, “Japan to provide $9m for upgrading Multan drainage system,” Dawn, 4 August 2022)

China provides another SAFE deposit for an amount of over USD 2 billion
On 4 August, The News International reported that China has rolled over USD two billion loan in State Administration Foreign Exchange (SAFE) deposits for cash-strapped Pakistan’s economy amid dwindling foreign exchange reserves. So far in totality, China has rolled over a USD 4.3 billion loan, including USD 2.3 billion in commercial loans and now USD two billion in SAFE deposits, making it possible for Islamabad for bridging the external financing gap with a whopping amount of USD 35.9 billion for the current fiscal year. However, Pakistani authorities have been awaiting for confirmation from friendly countries, especially from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, and the UAE for bridging the financing gap of USD four billion identified by the IMF. (Erum Zaidi and Mehtab Haider, “China rolls over $2bn loan for a year,” The News International, 4 August 2022)

OPEC Fund signs a loan worth USD 72 million for the Mohmand dam
On 3 August, the government signed an agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development for the provision of USD 72 million to the country for the Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project. In addition to generating 1,300 megawatts of electricity, it will enhance Pakistan’s water storage capacity by 1,293-million-acre feet (MAF), provide food security buffer, supply 13.32 cubic of clean drinking water to the residents of Peshawar and create more than 6,000 direct job opportunities for the local people. In March this year, the government had secured a USD 180 million loan from IDB for the project. However, it was still seeking over USD 500 million to bridge the financing gap. IDB President Dr Muhammad Al Jasser had said back then that the bank took pride in working alongside its partners to support Pakistan in a strategic project of national importance. (“Govt secures $72m more for Mohmand Dam,” The Express Tribune, 4 August 2022)

ON SPORTS
Gold for weightlifting bagged by Nooh in CWG
On 3 August, Pakistani weightlifter Nooh breaks the CWG records for in the +109 kg weightlifting event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Nooh brought a bronze medal home from 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and before that he has been consistently winning silver and bronze medals at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships from 2015 till 2017.Nooh said, “I can say that the stakes for the Commonwealth Games are so high for me because I want all these years of hard work in 12 to 14 years of my life -- that I have put in to at least show here. I want to win the Olympics too. I would have if I was fit enough, but the bottom line is to win and make my country proud, to finally see better results.”(“Pakistani weightlifter Nooh breaks CWG records for gold,” The Express Tribune, 4 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"After the election commission's decision, instead of protesting, Imran Khan should resign from the party leadership. Imran Khan, who teaches ethics, is demanding resignation from ECP instead of resigning from the party post. Today PTI is protesting only to save its narrative."
-Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change

"After the defeat of the Non-League in the by-elections of Punjab, despite the shenanigans of the entire state machinery and the Election Commission, the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commission of Pakistan have conspired with the imported government to carry out a technical knockout against Tehreek-e-Insaf. Now the whole PDM in general elections."
-Imran Khan

"Imran Khan has not left the country even once after entering the government. Putting his name on ECL is just another stupidity. Tehreek-e-Insaf will continue to fight this fascism and the people's right to elect the government will be respected in any case."
-Ch Fawad Hussain

Also read...

Shiza Malik, Co-opting causes
Dawn, 4 July 2022
Corporations seeking to champion women’s rights can use their massive resources to develop products that are not injurious to human health and use packaging that does not pollute the planet…The responsibility of a profit-making enterprise is to pay tax and ensure fair trade and sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. Anything else is just marketing eyewash.

Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Redefining disasters
Dawn, 4 July 2022
The National Disaster Management Authority is a focal agency for implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The NDMA and its provincial counterparts will fail again and again — unless district disaster management authorities are notified and empowered to support local governments in climate-resilient development.

Editorial, To ban or not to ban?
Dawn, 4 July 2022
The party and its chairman, whose boastful narrative about their being the only entities concerned with accountability and transparency in Pakistan, now stand rudely exposed. Their opponents can use that as ammunition to build a political case to take to the public, but they must trust the democratic process to have the final say.

Editorial, Improving fundamentals
Dawn, 4 July 2022
It is unrealistic to expect the current administration to undertake economic reforms when much of its effort is focused on firefighting day-to-day problems to avoid defaulting. But once the IMF programme is in place, and other multilateral and bilateral assistance starts flowing in over the next few months, it will be time for the government to begin the real work and execute reforms for long-term, sustainable growth.

Imran Jan, No country for well-wishers
The Express Tribune, 4 July 2022
The Zardari and Sharif families stuffed the cash in bags that were outbound. Imran Khan, however, brought the money home. Secondly, the two corrupt czars mentioned above stole the foreign bound cash. Imran Khan earned the inbound money abroad. Even if the supposedly misappropriation of cash for charitable causes is taken into consideration, the money has landed in Pakistan instead of ending up in Swiss accounts.

Editorial, More conditions, what?
The Express Tribune, 4 July 2022
What political and geo-strategic cost it will entail is anybody’s guess, specifically keeping in view the upheavals in the region. Pakistan’s economic format is down and out, and it necessitates drastic measures to rehabilitate it into normal breathing space. Loans and conditionalities, coupled with ad-hocism, have pushed it at the cliff.

Ali Uzair Bhandari, Structured discretion, unstructured courts
The News International, 4 July 2022
The Supreme Court currently has over 50,000 pending cases. Within the next few weeks, the Supreme Court will have five vacancies out of 17 seats, nearly one-third of its total capacity. There are no signs of an emerging consensus that will allow these seats to be filled. But this is a stalemate our justice system can ill-afford.

Editorial, Economic buoyancy
The News International, 4 July 2022
They must spare us the usual election-year political shenanigans involving populist decisions and policy slippages and stick to the reform agenda Pakistan has signed up to. Absent a realization of the importance of the economy’s structural health on the part of our rulers, that is our only hope of charting a sustainable path to low inflation, respectable growth, and hopefully, at some point, even prosperity.

 


"Pakistan’s failure to benefit from the aforementioned organisations stems from internal political instability, a weak trade structure, and poor bilateral relations with neighbouring countries. Regional organisations help promote peace, progress, and prosperity among member states, which paves the way for socio-economic development."

-An opinion in The Express Tribune on ‘Geographical pre-eminence and regionalism



Photo : The Daily Times

2 August 2022, Tuesday I Vol 3, No.175

PTI received funding from prohibited sources, says ECP



Shujaat calls for the reunion of the PML-Q, TTP talks concluding in Kabul, KP Assembly passes a resolution for removing ECP chief passed and inflation recorded highest since the global recession in Pakistan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief
ON PTI FUNDING CASE
PTI received funding from prohibited sources, says ECP
On 2 August, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) unanimous ruled that the PTI did receive prohibited funding and issued a notice to the party. The Commission in its verdict claimed that the PTI received funds from Arif Naqvi, 34 foreign nationals and 351 foreign-based companies. Additionally, the PTI took ownership of eight accounts, kept 13 hidden and failed to mention three. The commission also found form-1 submitted by Imran Khan to be “grossly inaccurate.” Further, the commission issued a notice to the PTI seeking an explanation on why the fund should not be confiscated.

Following the verdict, Fawad Chaudhry said that most of the money was from overseas Pakistanis. He said, “I don’t understand why the PML-N, the JUI and the PPP have declared overseas Pakistanis the enemy. We consider overseas Pakistanis to be the backbone of Pakistan’s economy and will continue to rely on them for our funding,” adding that this was never a case of “foreign funding” and this had been proven with the ECP’s decision and claimed that the accounts that were supposedly undeclared were not directly linked with Imran Khan.

Previously, on 1 August, Imran Khan called for protests outside the ECP’s office in Islamabad for 4 August to demand Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja’s resignation. Further, he reiterated that during his government’s they tried their best to introduce Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) to ensure "free and transparent elections" however, "But the CEC sabotaged our hard work to secure the system of rigging for two parties (PPP and PML-N)." (Fahad Chaudhry, “Prohibited funding was taken by PTI, ECP rules,” Dawn, 2 August 2022; “Imran issues fresh call for protest outside ECP office in Islamabad on August 4,” Dawn, 2 August 2022)

POLITICS
Shujaat calls for the reunion of the PML-Q
On 1 August, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat reached out to Chaudhry Parvez Elahi asking him to put an end to differences. While addressing a press conference he stated that that “false narratives” were being spread regarding the split within the party, added that those close to Elahi issued “false” statements. Further, he explained the reasons that led to discord between him and Elahi and called for the reunion of the party that has seen a clear divide over the election of the Punjab chief minister polls. (Kalbe Ali, “Shujaat extends olive branch to Elahi,” Dawn, 2 August 2022)

INTERNAL
Another set of TTP talks concludes in Kabul
On 1 August, a 12-member Pashtun Jirga concluded another round of talks with the leaders of the TTP Kabul in a bid to resolve the issues regarding the merger of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and modalities for the return of the members. The negotiations according to the barrister Muhammad Ali did not fail but continued as meetings are still happening with the TTP and the officials. He said that “both the sides have shared their reservations and are trying to address them.”(Tahir Khan, “Pashtun Jirga concludes another round of talks with TTP in Kabul,” Dawn, 2 August 2022)

Portal launch in Pakistan by TikTok
On 1 August, TikTok launched its creator portal in Pakistan @tiktokcreatorspakistan, as a one-stop shop for educational resources on content creation for creators on its platform. The portal is a series of videos that will provide guidance, tips, and tricks to help creators maximize their in-app diversifying content creation on the platform. (Shahzia Hasan, “TikTok Creator Portal launched in Pakistan,” Dawn, 02 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Assembly passes resolution for removing ECP chief passed
On 1 August, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly passed a resolution, moved by PTI expressing serious reservations about the ECP and demanded the immediate resignation of the ECP commissioner and the members. Finance Minister Taimur Salaam Jhagra moved the resolution which was passed with a majority and there was a disruption in house proceedings as the opposition members were not allowed to speak on the merits or demerits of the resolution which was against the parliamentary norms and traditions. (“KP Assembly passes resolution for removal of ECP chief,” Dawn, 2 August 2022)

Balochistan: Flood devastation continues in many parts of the country killing dozens
On 1 August, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his anger over the non-provision of food and other facilities to the flood-affected families and ordered strict actions against the provincial administration as 27 people were reported to lose their lives in the torrential rains. Several incidents of river flooding, damaged roads, crops and public properties were reported in Gilgit and other parts of the country. During his visits to the affected area, PM Sharif affirmed that federal and provincial governments had been making all-out efforts to provide help to the affected population. (Tariq Naqash, Jamil Nagri, “Dozens more killed as flood devastation continues,” Dawn, 2 August 2022)

ECONOMY
Investor sentiment improving on long-term sovereign bonds, rupee to strengthen soon: News International Report
On 02 August, quoting a senior official, The News International reported that with the revival of the IMF programme, clouds of default hovering above the policymakers will evaporate for a short term, as Pakistan will have to generate its ability to raise non-debt creating inflows in order to avert risks of default on permanent basis. The official informed that Pakistan paid outstanding USD 40 million on account of repayment of Islamic Sukuk bond. Pakistan paid all its outstanding repayments in July 2022 and obligations in the future will be repaid on time, the official added. Pakistan’s dollar-denominated sovereign bonds have stabilised after investor sentiment improved and the local currency bounced back, changing the view the country is in danger of defaulting on its debt amid shrinking foreign reserves The official gave two reasons behind currency depreciation, first, global surge in the US dollar and second, domestic fundamentals like widening current account deficit. The financing needs stem from a current account deficit of around USD10 billion and principal repayments on external debt of around USD 24 billion. (Erum Zaidi, Mehtab Haider, “Sukuk bond: Pakistan repays $40m,” The News International, 2 August 2022)
 
Inflation recorded highest since global recession in Pakistan: PBS
On 01 August, consumer inflation accelerated to its highest in 14 years in July on runaway food prices, stoked by eroding rupee. Consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose to 24.93 per cent in July, whereas in July 2021, it was recorded at 8.4 per cent, according to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistic. On a month-on-month basis, CPI-based inflation increased 4.3 per cent in July 2022 as compared to an increase of 6.3 per cent in the previous month, and an increase of 1.3 per cent in July 2021. Despite State Bank’s 800 basis points discount rate hike in FY22, from 7 per cent in July 2021 to 15 per cent now, inflation is skyrocketing. The central bank is once again preparing for another rate hike amid a surge in global commodity prices, rising import bills and falling currency value. Over the previous month, electricity charges increased 39.35 per cent, motor fuel 7.35 per cent, construction input items 3.18 per cent, washing soap/ detergents/ match box 2.45 per cent, cotton cloth 2.21 per cent, liquefied hydrocarbons 1.99 per cent, electrical appliances 1.48 per cent, plastic products 1.40 per cent and furniture and furnishing 1.30 per cent. (Israr Khan, “Inflation jumps to 14-year high of 24.9pc,” The News International, 2 August 2022)

JUDICIARY
Supreme Court does not interfere but extend its support in effective discharging of its duties
On 02 August, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial Monday said the Supreme Court (SC) while heading a two-member bench hearing a case pertaining to cancellation of registration of a medical student observed that the apex court will not do the work of other institutions, but will enable them to discharge its duties effectively. He said: “We have done the same during the recently held by-elections. We did not interfere in the affairs of any institution but backed them and consequently fair, free and transparent elections took place.” (“SC doesn’t interfere: CJP,” The News International, 02 August 2022)
 
PPP Senator brings bill to strengthen PC in the appointment of superior court judges
On 01 August, Senator Farooq Hamid Naek tabled a bill in the Senate that seeks a constitutional amendment to Article 175A of the Constitution, which deals with the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, high courts and the Federal Shariat Court. According to the statement of object and reasons, Naek stated that pursuant to the 18th Constitutional Amendment, appointments in the superior courts are processed through two forums: Judicial Commission (JC) and Parliamentary Committee (PC). The only new thing being recommended is ‘Initiation Committees’ for the initiation of nomination(s) for the appointment of judges of the high courts. He said that the PC members across the party lines had apprehensions that the role of the Committee and its members has been marginalized to the extent of elimination and the committee has become a mere post office. The only new thing being recommended is ‘Initiation Committees’ for the initiation of nomination(s) for the appointment of judges of the high courts. (“Senate bill seeks to amend Article 175A,” The Express Tribune, 02 August 2022)

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"Cigarette Thief Information Minister is criticizing PTI? Calculate the profit of the first billions that gave to the cigarette sellers."
-Ch Fawad Hussain

"The Election Commission's decision in the PTI foreign funding case is an indictment against Imran Khan that he submitted false affidavits and violated the Constitution of Pakistan by receiving illegal foreign funding. He has once again proved to be the most untruthful person. The nation should consider the political implications of foreign funding."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif 

"In a Western democracy, what does a party leader do if he turns out to be a liar, corrupt, and deceitful? What does Imran Niazi, who knows the West more than the West, say about this issue?"
-Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister Planning & Development

Also read...

Arifa Noor, Karma and the economy
Dawn, 2 August 2022
The political parties need to first create an internal consensus on what needs to be done to fix the economy and the price those in power will have to pay before they hold forth on charters and economic consensus. The internal criticism directed against the likes of Miftah Ismail and Hafeez Shaikh is proof enough of that.

Editorial, Ceding space to TTP
Dawn, 2 August 2022
If the TTP abides by the state’s rules of engagement, then talks may have a chance of succeeding. But the militants cannot be allowed to set the agenda, with the state meekly agreeing to all their unreasonable demands.

Editorial, Taking stock
Dawn, 2 August 2022
If the prime minister really wants to know why there isn’t enough food, water or medicine in relief camps after two months of continuous devastation, it is most likely because the provincial government and administration both either failed to heed repeated warnings of the impending disaster or chose to ignore them. The callous disregard for the suffering of the people in either case is quite apparent.

Editorial, Renewable energy plan
Dawn, 2 August 2022
The proposed plan should also incorporate strict quality control parameters for manufacturers, pass on the price benefit of local production to consumers and make cheaper financing available for rooftop solar systems.

Tahmasp R Razvi, A bench-mark
The Express Tribune, 2 August 2022
All political parties must respect the courts. Instead as members of the legislature, they should introduce laws or amend the existing laws whereby the formation of benches becomes more transparent. Unfortunately, our legislators are busy fighting each other and have forgotten their foremost duty.

Editorial, Impartial electoral body
The Express Tribune, 2 August 2022
The election body has a primitive role to play in public representation. It goes without saying that the maturity of democracy rests in an invincible and powerful election commission. As the country inches closer towards general elections, an impartial electoral body is indispensable.

Dr Ayesha Razzaque, All business as usual at the HEC
The News International, 2 August 2022
he PDM while in the opposition had said all the right things on so many problematic policies and decisions taken by the PTI government in the education sector – the SNC, the poorly thought through amendments to the HEC Ordinance, the near stagnant education budget, and a few others.

Editorial, High on inflation
The News International, 2 August 2022
The revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) should then allow Pakistan access to international financial markets and pacify domestic markets once more. His detractors may then be thankful for Dr Miftah Ismail’s steady hand at the tiller at this trying hour.

 


"The government must listen to the experts and make constructive changes before the education of more students in the new levels to be included is put into jeopardy. We will not be able to calculate the far-reaching effects of a poor educational system until much later."

-An editorial in The Nation on ‘Curriculum Changes



Photo : The News International

1 August 2022, Monday I Vol 3, No.174

The country's economic challenges are temporary, says FM



IMF to disburse the next tranche of USD 1.2 billion, ECC approving taxes up to PKR 30 billion to avoid default on oil and gas, TTP talks end inconclusively and earthquakes in Balochistan

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Brief 
ECONOMY
The country's economic challenges are temporary, says FM; IMF to disburse the next tranche of USD 1.2 billion
On 31 July, the Finance Ministry and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in a joint statement: “The formal [IMF] Board meeting to disburse the next tranche of USD 1.2 billion is expected in a couple of weeks. At the same time, macroeconomic policies—both fiscal policy and monetary policy—have been appropriately tightened to reduce demand-led pressures and rein in the current account deficit.” According to the statement, an extra USD 4 billion cushion was planned over the next 12 months. Finance Minister while responding to a question clarified that his intention was to save Pakistan from default and inflation and growth were not his main priority. The statement added that the rupee had overshot temporarily but it was expected to appreciate over the next few months. (“Country’s economic woes are ‘temporary’,” The Express Tribune, 01 August 2022)

On 01 August, Dawn quoting diplomatic sources reported that International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to start the process for releasing the seventh and eighth tranches of a $6 billion loan programme for Pakistan. The sources said Pakistan tried to get the board’s approval before the summer recess (Aug 1 to 12) and sent several officials to Washing­ton to persuade the Fund to do so. But other sources said Pakistan had been warned “not to allow the political situation to go out of hand”. The government had further been told that “street violence and protests by the opposition or a government crackdown on PTI leaders can have a negative impact on the deal”. (Anwar Iqbal, “IMF likely to begin tranche release process this week,” Dawn, 01 August 2022)

ECC approves taxes up to PKR 30 billion to avoid default on oil and gas
On 31 July, at a special meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet presided over by Finance Minister Miftah, the government decided to impose additional taxes  to avoid international default on oil and gas payments and keep the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) intact. It also approved a supplementary budget grant of PKR 30 billion for immediate payment to state-run Pakistan State Oil (PSO) facing international payment obligations of about PKR 270 billion till August 28. While the petroleum division made a pitch for total PKR 133 billion payments, the finance ministry explained that there was “no budgetary allocation in current fiscal year” for this account; therefore, financial support has to be arranged through a supplementary grant. (Khaleeq Kiani, “Rs30bn taxes to be imposed to save PSO from default,” Dawn, 01 August 2022)

EXTERNAL
Formal Consent to COAS to speak to the US on IMF
On 01 August, The News International reported General Qamar Javed Bajwa approached the US administration with the permission of Shehbaz Sharif for early disbursement of funds from the IMF. The PM and the Army chief had a discussion on the economic situation and during the same discussion, certain measures were agreed to be taken and other steps to secure the country from a crisis limitation. According to the International media report, General Bajwa telephoned Wendy Sherman and appealed to her to expedite the 1.2 billion USD by the IMF. (Ansar Abbasi,” PM Shahbaz Sharif permitted COAS to speak to US administration on IMF,” The News International, 1 August 2022)

INTERNAL
Massive Robbery of assets in PSM, demand for probe issued
On 01 August, The Express Tribune reported that the ministry of industries and production called the FIA to start an immediate probe into the revelation of assets worth Rs 10 billion being stolen from Pakistan Steel Mills in collusion with some officers in the management. They said that the main plant was not being protected from thieves, which was impossible without the security personnel's knowledge. The matter appeared mainstream as the Labor union of PSM wrote to the minister and demanded immediate action to protect the national assets from the l voters. (Kashif Hussain, “FIA tasked to probe ‘massive theft’ at ailing Steel Mills,” The Express Tribune, 1 August 2022)

PROVINCES
Balochistan: Two Earthquakes in a row strike the coast near Pasni
On 31 July, according to the National Seismic Monitoring Centre, two consecutive moderate earthquakes struck off the coast near Pasni in rain hit Balochistan. The first with 5.6 magnitude and the second with 5 magnitude at 6:42 pm and 6:52 pm casualties or infrastructural damages were reported as the area was flooding from the torrential rains and authorities makes ways to rescue thousands of people who have been left displaced due to flooding in many districts of Balochistan. (Qazi Hassan, “Consecutive earthquakes strike the coast near Pasni; no casualties reported,” Dawn, 1 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Pakistan –TTP comes to an end without results
On 01 August, The Express Tribune reported that the talks between Pakistan and TTP have reached a deadlock as the militant group has refused to budge from its demand for the reversal of the merger of erstwhile Fata with the KP Province. In the latest push, Pakistan sent a second delegation in a week to break the stalemate following the visit of the delegation of ulemas on Saturday but had a deadlock as the prospects were not clear.(Kamran Yousuf, “Taliban-brokered TTP talks end in deadlock,” The Express Tribune, 1 August 2022)

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Thai Buddhist monk and others visit the Peshawar Museum
On 31 July, a Buddhist Monk Arayawangso along with 20 followers from Thailand visited the Peshawar Museum along. Arayawangso who is going to write a book by researching the Buddhist relics in Taxila, Havelian, Swat and Peshawar said, “I want to tell the world that the smiles of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Thailand match each other.” Further, Dr Abdul Samad, the director archaeology and museums said that in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there were holy places of six religions of the world. “Like the people of Peshawar, the food of Peshawar is also of high quality.” (“Thai Buddhist monk visits Peshawar Museum,” Dawn, 1 August 2022) 

Punjab: Thirteen people cut off constable’s body parts in the name of honour
On 1 August, Dawn reported that thirteen people cut off the nose, both ears and a lip of a constable in the name of honour in the Sajjowal area of Jhang in Punjab. According to the constable’s family member, the accused had suspicion that Qasim had illicit relations with his wife. However, previously, the police station had registered a case against Constable Qasim under sections 354 (assault on woman), 384 (extortion) and 292 (pornography) of the PPC. (“Constable’s body parts cut off in name of honour in Jhang,” Dawn, 1 August 2022)              

 

Pakistan on Twitter

"The current government coalition's hatred towards overseas Pakistanis is beyond comprehension, the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis have been removed, now a campaign is being launched against Pakistanis who fund Tehreek-e-Insaf, according to us, overseas Pakistanis are for our economy. They are the bones of the spine."
-Ch Fawad Hussain

"The investigative report of the reliable international organization Financial Times is a serious indictment against Imran Niazi, which has exposed the facts of foreign funding of PTI, remittance of illegal huge amounts. The concrete facts mentioned in the report are telling that Imran Niazi is a figure of lies, contradictions and hypocrisy."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif 

"Grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its valuable support in the public health & social sector programmes. The increase in number of confirmed polio cases in KP is deeply concerning. We are implementing a special emergency plan to improve our anti-polio response.."
-Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif 

Also read...

Maleeha Lodhi, Political meltdown
Dawn, 1 August 2022
Confrontation between the coalition government and PTI and the lack of dialogue between them rules out negotiations to resolve the ongoing crisis. Both look towards the courts to settle essentially political issues and conflicts. This may not be new in the country’s chequered political history but is now occurring with a frequency that underlines the breakdown of politics amid escalating tensions.

Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Institutions crumbling?
Dawn, 1 August 2022
Pakistan had been managing its affairs in a unique fashion and the state’s overdependence on one or two state institutions over the past many years created serious issues for the growth, competence and morale of the other institutions. Serious soul-searching is required to address the grave matters.

Editorial, Musical chairs
Dawn, 1 August 2022
The recent change of government in Punjab has triggered another round of musical chairs, with the provincial bureaucracy once again being upturned based on the whims of its new political overlords.. The system must change to provide greater security of tenure to professional officers who simply want to focus on discharging their responsibilities, and to create greater disincentives and penalties to weed out civil servants who prioritise their own interests over their responsibility to the state.

Amal Hashim, Resilient or resigned?
Dawn, 1 August 2022
Karachi is by no means a pretty and aesthetic city and the increasing gap between the rich and poor is huge. However, all this is limited to hardly two to three per cent of Karachiites, and is largely concentrated in District South. The rest of the city just puts up with the grind of everyday life. It is perhaps necessary to have another word for this city rather than resilience. Without this crucial change in narrative, we will keep living in a world of make-believe.

Editorial, Old habits die hard
Dawn, 1 August 2022
The army chief’s recent foray into economic diplomacy may have been driven by concern but it nonetheless underscores his institution’s outsize footprint in all things Pakistan. What does it tell the international community about who is the sovereign power in the country?

Kamran Yousaf, Is the West punishing Pakistan because of China?
The Express Tribune, 1 August 2022
As Pakistan’s options become limited with a looming economic crisis, Western powers, through IMF, are putting pressure on Islamabad to revisit its ties with Beijing. This puts Pakistan in a tight situation. But even if Pakistan makes some adjustments under Western pressure, the country’s economic woes will be far from over.

Editorial, Terror attacks rise
The Express Tribune, 1 August 2022
TTP too must realise that radical demands are of little important when the greater threat of uncertainty looms large and both countries stand at the precipice of collapse. Terror attacks by outlawed groups and reactionary responses by the military will only cause more bleeding at a time when concerted efforts are required to strengthen the region amid a fluctuating global order.  

Editorial, Balochistan floods
The News International, 1 August 2022
Unless the government in the centre works on a reform package that includes both financial and political rights, this sense of deprivation will persist. Rain and flooding is likely to get worse in the coming years due to global climate change but it does not have to end up killing people. The least the state can do for Balochistan is to ensure better disaster management.

Editorial, Polio rising
The News International, 1 August 2022
Polio vaccinators have been putting their lives in danger as there have been dozens of attacks in which many vaccinators and their guards have lost their lives. The government needs to revisit its entire strategy for KP; if the polio issue further spirals, we will have lost years of dedicated work.

 

"We want cases to be decided and disposed of expeditiously and we want justice to not have a price. We don’t want matters to remain pending for years. We don’t care what the due process is and what formalities are. We want justice and we want it without a price tag attached to it. The biggest crimes are committed by the rich. If they can get justice, so should we."

-An opinion in The Express Tribune on ‘The orchestra of justice


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