Here’s what’s happening across the border: Imran Khan’s maiden speech gets mixed reactions; Naya Pakistan still has old ministers in the cabinet
Bushra Maneka gets social media up in arms for wearing a veil
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s third wife Bushra Maneka received flak on social media for the attire she wore at the swearing-in ceremony of her husband Saturday.
Maneka was wearing a white abaya along with a white ‘niqab’ that not only covered her from head to toe but also the face. Only her hands and kohl-rimmed eyes were visible. (Her hand nails were nicely painted silver, though.)
The photo of the Pakistan’s First Couple has become a topic of online discussion.
Some citizens supported Maneka saying the attire represented her own beliefs while others condemned her stating it was unacceptable from the wife of a prime minister.
Political analyst Sameera Khan wrote that Bushra Maneka had the right to wear whatever she wanted, even though her attire presented a conservative image of Pakistan to the international community. Many disagreed with Khan’s view.
She has every right to wear what she wants but as the wife of Pakistan’s leader, she represents all Pakistani women.
When the international community sees Pakistan as a regressive state that oppresses women, this is not the greatest representation of Pakistani women. pic.twitter.com/3k1XxRRmnS
— sameera khan (@SameeraKhan) August 18, 2018
Someone messaged me asking about how I felt about Bushra Maneka's clothes
I may have a personal opinion about it, but, BIG BUT, how she dresses, what she wears if it is not imposed, is none of my business. If someone wears a skirt, strapless shirt, veil, whatever- not my business
— Shamila Ghyas (@ShamilaGhyas) August 19, 2018
Nida Kirmani, a feminist sociologist, said Maneka’s attire is no one else’s concern.
Bushra Maneka's burqa should seriously be the least of our concerns. pic.twitter.com/9M8XCEvFLF
— Nida Kirmani (@NidaKirmani) August 18, 2018
Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s maiden speech gets mixed reactions
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s maiden speech as Prime Minister on corruption, terrorism, education and environment has evoked mixed reactions on social media.
Journalist and author Hamid Mir praised Khan for addressing “common man and widows and not intellectuals and political opponents.”
Thank you @ImranKhanPTI for speaking about trees,forests,beaches and Balochistan in first speech as PM he addressed common man and widows not intellectuals and political opponents he made very big promises and it's a big challenge to implement promises
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) August 19, 2018
Journalist Mubashir Zaidi extended his wishes to the new PM for his “fight” against corruption.
Appreciating Khan’s decision of launching a plantation campaign across the country, television presenter and journalist Iqrar Ul Hassan Syed vowed to join the campaign.
Prime Minister Pakistan Imran Khan has announced to launch a government-shaped plantation campaign across the country #TeamSareAam is already on the mission and now we will work more closely with this. We will be part of any such campaign.#GreenPakistan #ShukriyaPakistan
— Iqrar ul Hassan Syed (@iqrarulhassan) August 19, 2018
Sherry Rehman, leader of opposition in Senate, however, took a potshot at Khan and tweeted, “Don’t see this fuss about official housing put in speeches”.
Don’t see this fuss about official housing put in speeches.I had four federal ministries,never moved to minister colony but stayed in my own tiny house in Islamabad.Sent all neighbours/community a letter to inform me if they were inconvenienced by media etc.They sent flowers back
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 20, 2018
Omar R. Quraishi, the media consultant to Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, called the speech “populist”.
Mosharraf Zaidi, a columnist for The News International, tweeted asking if Pakistan would stop harbouring its enemies. He also criticised Khan for not talking about foreign policy in the speech.
Imran Khan’s ‘simple’ low-budget swearing-in ceremony
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony at the President House Saturday cost the national exchequer much less than former premiers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Nawaz Sharif in 2008 and 2013 respectively, claimed a party leader.
PTI leader Andleeb Abbas claimed in a tweet that only Rs 50,000 was spent on the ceremony, whereas Rs 76,00,000 and Rs 92,00,000 were spent during Gilani and Sharif’s swearing-in ceremony in 2008 and 2013 respectively.
As given by DD (Adnan) President House figures….Oath taking expenses…
PPP – Rs 76,00,000..2008
Only a matter of being about 500% less….#PMLeadsbyexample
— Andleeb Abbas (@AndleebAbbas) August 19, 2018
Going by his promise to adopt stern measures to save public money, Khan ensured that the ceremony was a simple affair.
Academic pressure to blame for increasing number of student suicides in Pakistan
The death of four students in Chitral within a span of few days is ringing alarm bells in Pakistan regarding the mental health of youth, said a blog in The Nation.
A student named Fareed Ahmed killed himself because he was not satisfied with his grades. A similar story was reported for the other three students who earlier committed suicide. Absence of help in the form of guidance counselling or parent training has led to the rise of such incidents, said the blog.
Students in Pakistan not only have to face increasing parental expectations of high academic performance but also bear the brunt of social norms of success. If a student is not conventionally successful, the stigma attached to failure is very high. The blog said fear of failure is immense and students do not have anyone to confide in.
In the blog, Shoaib Turk, an affiliate with the education department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, suggested some solutions to this problem. According to him, teachers need to take up the responsibility of freeing students’ minds from societal pressures. Children in Pakistan need to lead a happier and healthier life and need to be free from parental control. Turk also suggested parental training so that students can confide in their parents.
First diplomatic visit of Pakistan’s new foreign minister will be to Kabul
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the newly appointed foreign minister of Pakistan, has announced that he will visit Afghanistan with a message of goodwill, reported Pakistan Today. He said the Afghan foreign minister will be called and further details will be worked on.
“Like our geographical territory, our future, our peace and stability are also dependent upon each other,” Qureshi added.
Opposition leader Senator Sherry Rehman tweeted about the visit calling Kabul “the most important capital” for Pakistan. She added it is essential that the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan improve.
Focusing on Kabul first is a good idea. We used to call it the most important capital for Pakistan. We need to improve relations with Kabul and establish a strategic partnership with Afghahistan where we start talking to each other, not at each other. https://t.co/Tt0eOB9lDE
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) August 20, 2018
Speaking about Pakistan’s India policy, Qureshi said India and Pakistan are in touch and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written a letter to him. By incorporating dialogue as a means of conflict resolution, Qureshi wants to bring a change in the foreign policy of Pakistan.
He addressed the press immediately after he was sworn in as the foreign minister this morning.
Naya Pakistan still has old ministers in the cabinet
As many as 12 out of 21 members in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s newly-formed cabinet have earlier served under former president General Pervez Musharraf, while 5 have served with the past Pakistan Peoples Party government.
Khan announced the name of the 16 ministers and 5 advisers for his cabinet on 18 August, reported Dawn.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the new foreign minister, held the same portfolio under Musharraf. Zubaida Jalal, who has been assigned the defence production portfolio, served as the education minister in Musharraf’s cabinet. Senator Farogh Naseem also served under the former president. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, the new railways minister, held the same portfolio under Musharraf.
Other named ministers who have also served terms under Musharraf include Ishrat Hussain, Tariq Bashir, Fawad Chauhdry, Ghulam S. Khan, Khalil Maqbool Siddiqui, Shafkat Mehmood, Makhdoom Bakhtiar, Abdul Razak and Amin Aslam.
The cabinet ministers will take oath Monday at the President’s house.
Contributors: Anagha Deshpande, Alind Chauhan, Manisha Mondal, Rupanwita Bhattacharjee and Soniya Agrawal.