Khadim Hussain Rizvi
Khadim Hussain Rizvi | @FaithMattersUK
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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Human rights minister Shireen Mazari condemns govt’s appeasement of ‘non-state actors’; Pakistan, China reinforce cooperation on CPEC.

Twitter suspends account of hardline cleric

Twitter has suspended the account of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the chief of Islamic party Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) that was at the forefront of the protests against the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Asia Bibi case, The News International reports.

A screenshot of Rizvi’s account which Twitter has suspended | @TeamLabbaik

The microblogging site has initiated this action at the request of the Pakistan government, which accused Rizvi of inciting violence and encouraging agitations against the acquittal of Asia Bibi through his tweets.

Human rights minister Shireen Mazari tweeted Saturday saying that information minister Fawad Chaudhry was told that Twitter had initially declined the government’s request to suspend Rizvi’s account.

Numerous complaints had been made on social media to get Rizvi’s Twitter account blocked for his repeated use of hate speech and using his handle to rally support for protests against Asia Bibi demanding that she be kept on the no-flying list.

Minister condemns govt’s appeasement of ‘non-state actors’

Pakistan human rights minister Shireen Mazari Sunday underlined the consequences of “appeasing non-state actors” through a Twitter message in the wake of the government’s recent agreement with the protesters agitating against the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Asia Bibi case, Dawn reports.

Maintaining that the government must “enforce rule of law”, the minister extended her support for state institutions, using the hashtag, “IStandWithSupremeCourt”.

She said she trusts PM Imran Khan’s “commitment to rule of law, constitution and defence”, including the issue of “enforced disappearances”.

Pakistan, China reinforce cooperation on CPEC

Pakistan and China have agreed to further broaden their scope of engagement and relations across sectors, chief among them has turned out to be the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative, Dawn reports.

In a joint statement issued at the end of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s China visit, the two countries said the ‘iron-brothers’ underscored “their complete consensus on the future trajectory of the CPEC”.

China and Pakistan also dispelled “the growing negative propaganda against CPEC” while underscoring their “determination to safeguard the CPEC projects from all threats”, according to the statement.

According to a report by The Nation, an official at Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said, “Pakistan and Chinese leadership discussed everything (on CPEC) and there are no issues now”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s State Television (PTV) has come under fire for a typo in the dateline of a news-clip — PTV wrote ‘Begging’ instead of ‘Beijing’, while broadcasting Imran Khan’s speech as part of his China visit, The Nation reports.

Information and broadcasting minister Fawad Chaudhry has ordered a probe on the issue.

Pakistan Media Watch, a self-acclaimed watchdog of fake news, tweeted Sunday about this claiming that two staff members had even been “taken off work immediately”.

PTV has initiated an enquiry against five of its employees for their alleged involvement in the matter. The slug that was aired for around 20 seconds was captured by many people and shared across social media platforms.

Pak govt’s pact with TLP a ‘death warrant’ for Asia Bibi, says Jemima

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first wife Jemima Goldsmith criticised the Tehreek-e-Insaf government Sunday saying it has given in to the “extremist demands to bar Asia Bibi from leaving Pakistan, after she was acquitted of blasphemy — effectively signing her death warrant”, reports The Express Tribune.

After the acquittal of Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi in the 2010 blasphemy case, there were relentless protests held across the country. As a result, the PTI government entered into a five-point pact with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to end the three-day countrywide protests. The pact bars Asia Bibi from leaving the country.

Disappointed by the government’s move, Jemima wrote on Twitter, “Not the Naya Pakistan we’d hoped for”. But, she expressed her hope saying that the federal government might have some other plans for the same cause.

Husband seeks refuge for Asia Bibi in the US 

Ashiq Masih has appealed to US President Donald Trump seeking refuge for his wife Asis Bibi, citing threats to his family members’ lives, reports The News.

In a video recorded by the British Pakistani Christian Association that is seen by Reuters, Masih said, “I am requesting the President of the United States Donald Trump to help us exit from Pakistan”.

“I also request the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to help us, I also request the Prime Minister of Canada”, he added.

The federal government’s five point pact with ultra-right Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) has barred Asia Bibi from leaving the country.

Pak-American chef gifted $50,000 cheque

Pakistan-American chef Fatima Ali appeared last week on the popular American television chat show, The Ellen Show, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres during which she was gifted $50,000 to plan a world tour, Dawn reports.

Ali, who featured in the American TV series Top Chef, shared with Ellen how she has been dealing with her terminal cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Fatima’s penchant for living life to the fullest and passion for food caught Ellen’s interest who then gifted her a cheque of $50,000 to fund her culinary journey. Fatima said at the show that her plan comprised touring the globe and dining at the best restaurants.

She was earlier diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, which her doctors said, had relapsed in September and metastised.

Interesting tweet

Pakistani writer and columnist Mohammed Hanif tweeted that his piece titled ‘Blasphemy, Pakistan’s New Religion’, which was published on the web portal of New York Times Friday, was not published in the print edition. A space was left blank on the front page and Hanif questioned this action taking NYT’s name and “its Pakistani partners” asking “Kaun log o tusi”?

Fakhr-e- Alam, the first Pakistani to circumnavigate the globe

Pakistani singer and songwriter Fakhr-e-Alam has become the first one from the country to successfully circumnavigate the globe in a single engine aircraft, reports The News.

The 42-year-old singer initiated ‘Mission Parwaz’, aiming at fulfilling his passion of covering the entire world, in one fly. Under this mission, Alam started his journey from Florida on 11 October and finished at the same point Sunday.

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