New Delhi: Senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, who was banned and taken off air by TV station Geo News, has offered an apology to the country’s powerful military establishment and said he did not mean to defame the Army.
A joint statement was issued by a committee formed by the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ), the National Press Club and Mir Tuesday.
Last week, Mir, who hosted ‘Capital Talk’ on Geo TV for nearly two decades, was taken off air indefinitely after he criticised the Army in a fiery speech at a rally in support of a fellow reporter, Asad Ali Toor on 28 May. Toor was earlier beaten up by three unidentified men in his apartment in Islamabad.
Journalists and press freedom advocates in Pakistan often accuse the military and its agencies of harassing and attacking journalists. According to estimates, the period from May 2020 to April 2021 saw 148 such attacks in Pakistan.
Mir was also attacked in 2014 in Karachi, when a gunman critically wounded him. At the time, his family blamed the country’s intelligence service for the attack.
Video of a mob attempting to stop burial of Ahmadi woman goes viral
A video of a mob attempting to stop the burial of an Ahmadi woman at a graveyard in the city of Sheikhupura has gone viral on Pakistan’s social media.
In the video, a violent mob can be seen trying to stop the family from burying the woman while some members of the community dig the grave. There is no confirmation if the woman was eventually buried.
Pakistan’s Punjab province CM Usman Buzdar’s focal person Azhar Mashwani said Monday that police and other officials reached the site as soon as the incident was reported.
A Twitter user by the name of Shaan, who is a healthcare worker according to his bio, shared the video Sunday after which it went viral and has been shared over a thousand times.
Today, Mullahs & their followers attacked Ahmadis inside the graveyard, to stop the burial of an Ahmadi woman near Safdarabad Sheikhupura.💔
— Shaan (@Shanyousaf6) June 6, 2021
“My fellow Pakistanis, you speak for Palestine & you speak for Kashmir but how can you ignore this if you have a heart?” read the tweet.
Several users also criticised the violence in the video with some calling it “ethnic cleansing”.
Hello Pakistani people and celebs with Palestinian flags and wanting to go to Jihad, care to shed light on the very own ethnic cleansing happening in your own country? https://t.co/D3kKYH3Ypb
— Amna Khan (@amnaukhan) June 7, 2021
Ahmadis, who belong to the Ahmadiyya branch of Islam, regularly face religious persecution and discrimination in Pakistan, a mainly Sunni Muslim state. Ahmadis represent about 0.2 per cent of Pakistan’s 208 million population.
Kashif N. Chaudhry, activist and former chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of America, also shared the video with the caption: “Imagine the pain. Grief of a loved one passing away. And then having them attacked and disrespect this way?”
He added, “Where is the humanity? At least leave the Ahmadi dead alone.”
Imran Khan wants all his govt programmes, events conducted in Urdu
The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication in Pakistan issued a notification Monday directing that all future events and ceremonies will be conducted in the national language Urdu.
The notification states a letter from the Prime Minister’s Office, dated 3 June, which contains directions for conducting all events and ceremonies in Urdu.
“The prime minister has been pleased to desire that henceforth all the programmes events/ceremonies, arranged for the prime minister, shall be conducted in the national (Urdu) language,” the letter reads.
وزیراعظم عمران خان نے تمام تقریبات میں اردو زبان کے استعمال کی ہدایت کر دی وزیراعظم جن بھی تقریبات یا پراگراموں میں شرکت کریں ان میں اردو زبان کا استعمال کیا جائے
وزرا اور سرکاری افسران کو بھی ہدایات جاری کی جائیں گی کہ اپنا پیغام و تقاریر اپنی قومی زبان میں عوام تک پہنچائیں pic.twitter.com/aCFdYIE4qs
— Dr. Nausheen (@DrNausheenPTI) June 5, 2021
The decision to ban English at official programmes, ceremonies and other engagements was implemented with immediate effect.
Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haq was quoted in Business Recorder as saying that the change in language was “the best example of compliance with the Constitution”.
He further hoped that according to the Supreme Court’s order, Urdu will also be implemented in all federal and provincial departments soon.
Incidentally, according to the latest census in Pakistan, conducted in 2017, only 7 per cent of the population mentioned Urdu as their mother language.
Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s tomb needs Rs 100 million to avoid decay
Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s tomb in Shahdara requires conservation work that will cost around Rs 100 million, to save the monument from further decay, reports Dawn.
The Shahdara Complex of Monuments, located across the Ravi river from the Walled City of Lahore, is a historic site of several Mughal-era monuments.
According to the Directorate General of Archaeology and Tourism Department, the conservation would include decorative work at red sandstone facade, lawn development, beautification of fresco work and paintings.
Earlier, funds worth Rs 10 million were released for the fiscal year 2020-2021 and helped repair walkways, red sandstone minarets and eroded boundary wall on eastern side of the tomb.
However, the monument continues to decay due to weather conditions, woodworms, fungi, white ants, termites, flooding and more.
Emperor Jahangir was born in 1569 and ascended the throne at the age of 36. He died after ruling for 22 years, on 28 October 1627 at Rajouri in Kashmir, on his way back to Lahore.