Tuesday, 9 August, 2022
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Hamid Mir, who accused ISI of trying to kill him, quits Geo TV

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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Pakistan’s budding ‘chaiwala’ turned politician, and Atif Aslam’s troubles over New York concert. 

Hamid Mir quits Geo, joins GNN

Hamid Mir, the controversial journalist famous for interviewing terrorist Osama Bin Laden, has reportedly left Geo TV and joined upcoming news channel GNN News as president, reported Pakistan Today. In a tweet by journalist Salman Hassan, he welcomed Mir on the news channel:

Mir’s exit from Geo TV comes days after he admitted in Supreme Court that the staff at the news channel was not being paid timely. Following which, the court ordered the channel to pay its employees at its earliest, reported Dawn.

Mir has interviewed many notable personalities such as Shah Rukh Khan, Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, Nelson Mandela, and has survived at least two assassination attempts. GNN is owned by Gourmet Bakers, which is Pakistan’s largest retail chain of food products.

Pakistan Twitter savours humour over bakery running a news channel

As the news of Mir joining GNN broke in Pakistan, Twitter users took it with a pinch of salt. Within hours a new trend emerged on the social media platform where people came up with their own creative renditions of hypothetical programmes that could be aired on the news channel run by food giant Gourmet Bakery.

This also served as humorous material for people who came up with imaginary names of similar news networks — like ‘Kissan Ghee News Network’ and ‘ARY Gold Refinery News Network’.

https://twitter.com/anaulhaq/status/1027940223324499973

A Twitter account also posted a group picture of the anchors hosting programmes on GNN.

Some also pointed how Gourmet has a finger in every pie, from food and beverages, to furniture and now news.

For others, the existence of GNN remains a bitter pill to swallow.

However, Pakistan Media Watch told its citizens that the full form of GNN wasn’t ‘Gourmet News Network’ but General News Network.

Pakistan may have just found its own budding Narendra Modi

From the streets of Bajaur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan may have found its own budding version of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gul Zafar Khan, a ‘chaiwala’ turned politician from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), sealed his position in the 25-July election as the Member of National Assembly (MNA) from NA-41 Bajaur constituency, reported Geo News.

Khan, who lost polls back in 2013, emerged victorious in the recent polls against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate Akhunzada Chatan and independent candidate Shahabuddin Khan, reported The Express Tribune.

Sharing his journey, he said “I come from a very humble background but with the party’s help I was able to raise the necessary funds to run in the constituency.”

Khan, who once sold tea at a tea stall, broke several stereotypes to win against all odds. He also comes with his own targets to accomplish. “My target is to bring more children into politics as first there was a restriction on politics and there was Frontier Crimes Regulation,” he said. Khan also aims to improve institutions and impart education to all.

US military programmes won’t feature Pakistani military officials

President Donald Trump’s administration has quietly started to cut off the intake of Pakistan military officials for coveted training and education programmes in US, reported Reuters.

Every year, the US arranges an exchange programme under its International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme, where officers from foreign countries are invited to attend various military schools in the US. This year 66 seats were kept aside for Pakistani soldiers.

However, according to a US State Department spokesperson, the reserved seats will be taken off due to Trump government’s effective suspension of Pakistan from US military programmes.

This is the first known impact of Trump’s decision this year to suspend security assistance to Pakistan to force the country to crack down on Islamic militants.

Atif Aslam faces wrath of Pakistanis over New York concert

Pakistani singer Atif Aslam was slammed on social media for singing his Bollywood hits at a concert in New York, reported Dawn. Some reports which got circulated across online platforms claimed it was a ‘Pakistan Independence Day Parade’ concert.

https://twitter.com/defencedotpk/status/1027147349825650688

https://twitter.com/JahanVirk/status/1027162960320495616

Twitter users were furious with Aslam for not singing patriotic songs during the parade and demanded an apology from the singer.

However, many of Aslam’s fans including singer Shafqat Amanat Ali later came forwarded to defend him. Some of them, who had attended the concert, cleared the air and stated that the function was not about Independence Day.

https://twitter.com/itsabdullah77/status/1026898911091482626

Aslam himself responded to the tweet against him and thanked his fans for standing up against the ‘fake propaganda’.

PTI announces nominees for National Assembly speaker and Punjab governor elections

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Friday announced Asad Qaiser and Senator Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar as nominees for the post of National Assembly speaker and Punjab governor respectively, reported The Express Tribune.

The nominations were announced by party vice chairman Mehmood Qureshi who said the reason for selecting Qaiser was his experience and familiarity with parliamentary practices and traditions.

Qaiser was earlier speaker in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly from 2013-18. Sarwar, on the other hand, was Punjab governor from 2013 to 2015.

The party said it wants to make the best use of Qaiser’s knowledge and experience. However, there were corruption allegations against him in 2017 by former party member Ziadullah Afridi who demanded his expulsion till he was exonerated by the court. Qaiser rubbished the allegations.

Bilawal Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party announced Syed Khurshid Shah as the opposition’s nominee for the post of National Assembly speaker.

After loss, independent candidate to donate election banners for social good

Mohammad Jibran Nasir, an independent candidate from NA-247 (Karachi South-II) and PS-111 in the recent elections, announced in a tweet Friday that he donated all the election panaflex banners for the lining of water holes in Tharparkar and Kohistan to make rain water last longer.

Nasir, a lawyer and a human rights activist, lost to Arif Alvi from NA-247 and Imran Ismail from PS-111, both PTI candidates.

The panaflex banners will be distributed by Pakistan Water Partnership and Indus Earth Trust, a Pakistan-based non-profit.


Contributors: Alind Chauhan, Anagha Deshpande, Manisha Mondal, Priyamvada Grover, Prateek Gupta, Soniya Agrawal and Rupanwita Bhattacharjee

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