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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Legal trouble for former PM Shaukat Aziz as court issues non-bailable warrant; International golf returns to Pakistan after 11 years.

#MeToo movement making waves in Pakistan

Pakistan is witnessing its own #MeToo movement as several women have come out with their stories of sexual assault. Two high-profile and influential men — Junaid Akram and Faisal Adhi — have been named.

Journalist and TV anchor Rabia Anum started the #MeToo wave in Pakistan through her tweet posted Tuesday. She mentioned that several women have been sexually harassed by a well-known comedian and social media personality, reported Dawn.

Anum didn’t reveal the comedian’s name but alleged that he had pressurised them to stay quiet.

However, women took to social media platforms naming comedian and social media influencer Junaid Akram and accusing him of harassment and inappropriate behaviour. Many of them shared their stories as well as screenshots of their conversation with the man.

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The name of Faisal Edhi, son of late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi and chairman of Edhi Foundation, too surfaced in the movement.

Former journalist Urooj Zia’s tweeted Wednesday accusing Edhi of sexually harassing her when she was very young.

Both Akram and Edhi denied the allegations.

Accountability court issues non-bailable arrest warrant against former PM

The National Accountability Court has issued non-bailable arrest warrants against former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and another accused for their persistent absence from the court hearings in a power misuse case, reported The Express Tribune.

The National Accountability Board (NAB), Pakistan’s anti-graft body, had filed a case in the accountability court in July against Aziz and others in reference to the alleged selection of Basharat Hasan Bashir as a consultant for Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), the power division of the Ministry of Energy.

Bashir was appointed on management position (MP)-II scale salary package. However, his selection violated the MP scale policy guidelines as well as board’s regulations.

US-China trade war brings some good news for Pakistani exporters

The US-China trade war is proving to be beneficial for Pakistan’s exporters as they have begun receiving extra orders from the US, The Express Tribune reported.

Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain, president of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was addressing trainees at the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development when he made these remarks.

He was quoted as saying, “These orders could be doubled provided the government resolves the country’s liquidity problem by ensuring immediate payment of tax rebate, refund and Drawback of Local Taxes and Levies (DLTL) claims.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan government has sought the establishment of a parliamentary committee to investigate the financial decisions taken in the last decade that contributed to the country’s economic woes.

Taking initiative, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said, “I will move [a] resolution in [my] personal capacity. I have discussed it with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who also approved the idea, directing that it should be done at the earliest.”

The committee will likely see an equal representation from the government and the opposition.

Chaudhry added, “Those responsible should be treated as state criminals and handed in exemplary punishment.”

International golf returns to Pakistan, participants elated at the bright prospects

After an 11-year hiatus, international golf resumed in Pakistan Thursday as a full field of 132 players from across the world assembled at the Karachi Golf Club.

The players came together as part of the Asian Tour’s UMA CNS Open Championship and to celebrate this, birds were made to let go of the fairways apart from the ceremonies drives that had also been organised.

No major international tour visited Pakistan since 2007. The last scheduled tournament in 2008 was called off after a wave of insurgent attacks.

The 2009 terror attack by 12 gunmen on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to a stadium in Lahore saw 8 people dead and sparked grave security concerns.

Dismissing security concerns, Asian Tour event director Robert Andrew was quoted as saying, “Coming back to Pakistan is a fantastic opportunity for us.”

He acknowledged that the success of the event acts as “the starting point for future years” in terms of relations with Pakistan.

Digvijay Singh, former Asian Tour winner from India, said coming to Pakistan felt like “home” as he was “overwhelmingly welcomed here”.

He added, “Sports should bring the invisible walls down between the two countries.”

QAT chief attacks Sindh for adding to woes of drought-affected people in Thar

Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) head Ayaz Latif Palijo has accused the Sindh government, led by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), of adding to the already deplorable condition of the residents in Thar region by providing them rotten wheat in the garb of relief work, reported Dawn.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Palijo said that it was a blatant insult to Tharis and a violation of their fundamental human rights that 6 lakh people were treated as “children of lesser gods” in times of a long and acute drought.

Palijo also alleged that instead of attending to the issue of deaths of infants and livestock, and the exodus of people from Thar to canal-irrigated areas, the PPP government was busy plundering public funds leaving many to succumb to health issues like malnutrition among other challenges.

He said the government had “washed their hands of responsibility by only distributing wheat among drought-stricken people.”

The QAT chief said it was a matter of shame that 490 infant deaths were reported from the Thar region in this year alone. He urged leaders of international organisations working in Pakistan to come to their rescue by setting up relief camps for the drought-stricken people.

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