Wednesday, 30 November, 2022
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Nawaz Sharif’s message from Adiala jail asks Pakistan to vote for change in tomorrow’s election

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Here’s what is happening across the border: Human Right Council confirms heavy censorship in media, and Imran Khan may not be army’s only favourite son.

Nawaz sends audio message to millions of people from jail

In an audio message from Adiala jail, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday urged Pakistan’s citizens to vote for his party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in the elections tomorrow, reported The Express Tribune.

 

Sharing the audio clip from his daughter Maryam’s Twitter handle, Sharif said, “I am witnessing your passion while being incarcerated in the jail, and listening to ‘respect the vote’ chants everywhere.”

He asked the people to give a historic verdict against all the forces in the country which changed Pakistan into “a graveyard of justice.”

Sharif claimed that his daughter and he were in jail because they fought for the rights and respect of people. He added, “This is a golden opportunity given to you by the Almighty, and you’ll have to change the destiny of Pakistan at any cost.”

Meanwhile, due to health deterioration, the former PM will be moved to Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology Monday, reported The News International.

Campaign activities suspended 24 hours before election day

As per the guidelines of the Election Commission of Pakistan, all electioneering activities of Pakistan including political gathering or corner meetings have been suspended from 12 am Tuesday, reported Dawn. The activities are suspended until the election results are officially announced.

The media has also been barred from putting out any advertisement related to the election.

PML-N wrapped up their campaign by addressing rallies in Islamabad, Lahore and Dera Gazi Khan, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ended electioneering in Lahore. Pakistan Peoples Party’s Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed rallies in Shikarpur, Sujawal and Jacobabad’s 15 Chowk.

HRCP report says heavy censorship in media hampered objective journalism

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) released a report Monday stating that “continuing intimidation and the perceived need to self censor” has gravely damaged objective journalism in the country, reported Dawn.

In the wake of repetitive complaints by several sections of media organisation, the HRCP carried out a fact-finding exercise across the country to find out the extent and nature of alleged restraints on freedom of expression.

Last month, an editorial in Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest newspaper, pointed out that the news daily has been under attack since late 2016. The body confirmed the claims made by Dawn.

“Sales and distribution agents have corroborated the Dawn management’s complaint of unlawful interference with distribution of their newspaper across the country,” said the report.

In case of TV channels, the HRCP reported alleged pressure on cable operators to take out certain channels or sometimes to decrease their reach by moving them down the list of channels.

Imran Khan accuses PML-N of passing Khatm-e-Nabuwat amendment, facts state otherwise

PTI chief Imran Khan Monday accused PML-N of passing the Khatm-e-Nabuwat amendment in 2017 that did away with the oath a politician has to take declaring his belief in the finality of Prophet, reported The News International.

However, the Raja Zafar-ul-Haq Committee had earlier revealed that PTI itself stopped senator Hafiz Hamdullah’s bid to undo the controversial amendment. The report also suggested that it was a PTI member who drafted the said amendment.

Addressing a rally in Lahore, Khan said, “Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto despite being a liberal man introduced Khatm-e-Nabuwat.”

The Khatm-e-Nabuwat oath was restored in November 2017 to its original form after the National Assembly passed the Elections Amendment Bill 2017, following uproar across the country.

The reason for Khan to continuously raise the issue isn’t clear.

CJP seeks proof from Islamabad high court judge over allegations

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar Monday ordered Islamabad high court (IHC) chief justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi to explain his stance on justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui’s allegations against him, reported The News International.

The CJP directed Kasi to obtain available evidence from Siddiqui to justify his allegations.

“All such material/evidence (if any) and the comments of the IHC chief justice should be transmitted to the office of the chief justice of Pakistan for consideration and appropriate action, if necessary,” said a statement issued by the office of CJP.

The court also took up a suo moto notice as well as a petition against Siddiqui after he accused Pakistan’s intelligence agencies of interference in the judiciary. The petition said Siddiqui’s statements against a state institution were tantamount to betrayal of the country.

Imran Khan maybe pro-military but so is Shehbaz Sharif

An  Al Jazeera editorial speculated over Pakistan Army’s favourite contender for the 25 July elections. PTI chief Imran Khan seemed to be the first answer but it dug deeper to reveal another option — PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif.

The editorial said Khan’s views on Pakistan’s military moves have been supportive but he can also be ‘mercurial and stubborn’. The army prefers a pliable civilian leader like Sharif who will be easier to control. Sharif’s earlier call for “PML-N and the military to improve their ties” was a sign of him willing to work with the army.

The piece also sketched out another possibility where the results end in a coalition government. The editorial said it will be all the more better. As for the army, “a weak and divided coalition is easier to influence and exploit than is a strong and united administration led by one party.”

A day before elections, Islamabad still stinks of negligence and garbage

Elections usually see political parties and authorities working overtime to ensure cleanliness in streets to get attention but the trend seems inapplicable to Islamabad where several constituencies have been left with overflowing drains and garbage pits, reported The Express Tribune.

Residents are worried that the city will soon be overridden with diseases as stagnant water and rotten garbage are particularly harmful for children.

Sardar Khan Zimri, director of sanitation at Islamabad’s Capital Development Authority (CDA), said they have declared an emergency and are going to ensure that the overflowing sewage drains and garbage dumps will be cleared from the city.


Contributers: Anagha Deshpande, Alind Chauhan, Prateek Gupta, Rupanwita Banerjee, Sharanya  Munsi, Soniya Agrawal, Manisha Mondal

 

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