Pervez Musharraf
File image of former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf | Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Malala’s portrait adorns the walls of London’s famous gallery; Pakistan could become 4th most populous country by 2030.

‘Musharraf could be in trouble if he doesn’t return to Pakistan now’

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar Tuesday said that former President Pervez Musharraf could be in trouble if he did not return to Pakistan soon, Daily Times reported.

Nisar’s remark comes at a time when he is hearing a case pertaining to the ‘National Reconciliation Order’ passed by Musharraf in 2007 that aimed to grant amnesty to political leaders facing criminal charges.

“If Musharraf does not appear soon, he may have to appear in a disgraceful manner,” Nisar said.

Akhtar Shah, the counsel for the former military ruler, however mentioned that Musharraf “promised that he will return” once his medical and security issues were sorted.

To this, the chief justice said: “If Musharraf continues to stay abroad, we will keep issuing red warrants.”

Pakistan could be the 4th most populous country by 2030, warn experts

Pakistan, which is currently the sixth most populated country in the world, will be at the fourth position by 2030 if it continues to overlook a strict implementation of family planning measures, an expert said during a panel discussion, organised by Karachi’s Dow University of Health Sciences Monday, reported Dawn.

Ineffective measure taken by the government led to a reduction in family planning from 35 per cent to 34 per cent, experts said. They also mentioned that a lack of education and awareness caused 35 per cent of women to die during pregnancy.

Besides this, the experts also highlighted that early marriages, coupled with 80 per cent pregnancy rate, were additional factors behind the growing population. They also stressed that a lack of decision making power among women hampers the family planning process.

Play on death row prisoners to be live-streamed on 10 Oct.

No Time to Sleep, a play by human rights organisation, Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), explores what a death row prisoner goes through in the last 24 hours of his/her life, Dawn has reported.The play will be live-streamed at midnight of 10 October, to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty.

Sarmad Khoosat will be essaying the character, Prisoner Z,  who is confined to his prison cell. The role is loosely based on Zulfiqar Ali Khan who was JPP’s first client and remained 17 years on death row. His execution, as a matter of fact, was stayed multiple times.

While the idea was conceived by Ryan van Winkle, Iram Sana is the producer of the play and Kanwal Khoosat its director.

Nobel laureate Malala’s portrait unveiled at London gallery

A portrait of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, photographed and designed by US-based of Iranian origin visual artist Shirin Neshat, was recently put on display at London’s National Portrait Gallery, DailyTimes reported.

Neshat inscribed on it a poem, penned by well-known Pashto poet Rahmat Shah Sayel back in 2011.

Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai tweeted that the family is grateful to the artist for the work.

The Gallery through its twitter account also announced the unveiling of the Malala’s portrait.

Meanwhile, Malala conveyed how she felt ”honoured” to have her portrait included amidst a list of Britain’s highly regarded leaders and artists and reinforced the need for advocating rights of girls.

“I am honoured to have my portrait included in the gallery alongside some of Britain’s most influential writers, artists and leaders. I hope it will remind visitors that girls everywhere are fighting for change in their communities and countries — their stories must also be heard,” she was quoted as saying.

Interesting tweets of the day

Manzoor Pashteen, founder of Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), tweeted Tuesday that PTM would “like to pay homage” to those who chose non-violence as the path to fight for their rights. He also reinforced PTM’s resolve to use non-violence while lobbying for the “constitutional rights” of Pashtun.

Pak minister calls for boosting cultural cooperation with the US

Pakistan’s information and broadcasting minister Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday emphasised the need for enhancing cultural cooperation between Pakistan and the United States. He expressed his intent to ask for US assistance to revitalise the country’s film and cinema industry, The Nation reported.

Chaudhry, in a meeting with US charge d’affaires Paul Jones said that films were one of the most effective mediums to endorse a society’s cultural values. He also added that Pakistan would value US’ cooperation in setting up a Media University, that will aim to equip journalists and producers with the know-how of various mediums, including in technical and creative areas.

Jones also exchanged views about the general media landscape in Pakistan with the information minister.

 Religious leaders support anti-measles vaccination drive

Religious scholars and clerics in Pakistan are now apparently willing to back the vaccination drive against measles in the country, The Express Tribune has reported. The new development has come after some khateebs (religious leaders who read prayers during prayers) had to face travel restrictions due to the epidemics outbreak and so were administered vaccination compulsorily while they travelled to Saudi Arabia in the beginning of this year.

In a meeting organised between a few religious scholars and representatives of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), Mufti Shaukat Ali expressed the embarrassment of undergoing the experience.

“It was quite embarrassing that only one country faces travelling restrictions and that only Pakistanis were administered anti-polio drops, and that too the moment you land in another country,” the Mufti said.

Religious scholars, mostly from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, have vowed to lend their support to the anti-measles drive and make people aware about the significance of getting vaccination done to prevent measles and other such diseases.

The move marks a departure from their earlier stand on vaccination drives. Until 2014, representatives of religious institutions and even influencers from the Right-wing ideology had spread wrong information about vaccination.

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