Here’s what’s happening across the border: Nawaz Sharif flew 2,167 hours in choppers as PM, and long plays to make a comeback on Pakistani television.
PTI govt distances itself from Asia Bibi case review petition
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and the country’s human rights minister Shireen Mazari have rejected speculations about the government’s involvement in the filing of a review petition against the Asia Bibi verdict.
Qari Muhammad Saalam, the complainant in the case, filed the petition in the top court’s Lahore registry through two lawyers. It sought Asia Bibi’s name to be put on the no-fly list until a final decision is announced by the court, The Express Tribune reports.
Rumours that the government was planning to put Asia’s name on the no-fly list apparently received fresh impetus after PTI minister Fuyyazul Hasan Chauhan tweeted that the review petition filed was a legal right exercised by an individual, Dawn reports.
Review petition, a legal right exercised by an individual, accepted by the court. Protests/ violence instead of a legal course was unacceptable. No one can take law into hands and govt shall ensure writ of the state as Expressed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) November 1, 2018
However, the PTI government has announced that it has nothing to do with the move.
Federal Government has no plan to put Aasia Bibi’s name on ECL or appeal for a review against the court’s verdict. A review petition is been filed by the concerned party which has nothing to do with the government.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) November 1, 2018
Shireen Mazari, Pakistan’s human rights minister, also took to Twitter to clarify that the government has no connections with the petition and that opposition parties are being kept informed about the developments in the case.
We have also taken both PPP and PMLN into confidence on developments and will keep them posted on developments. https://t.co/vYyohbuUxN
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) November 1, 2018
Meanwhile, several commoners and journalists have shared on Twitter videos of the protests, being held against the top court’s verdict acquitting Asia Bibi of blasphemy charges.
Omar R. Quraishi, a journalist, shared a video of protests being held on a highway linking Lahore and Islamabad.
Several vehicles have been set on fire by protesters on the main highway (the Motorway) linking Lahore and Islamabad – this is near Sheikhupura just outside Lahore pic.twitter.com/yUZXv1qA4p
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) November 1, 2018
Gul Bukhari, human rights defender, also posted a video on Twitter.
None of this is in the media. Total blackout. pic.twitter.com/92fdI1OImo
— Gul Bukhari (@GulBukhari) November 2, 2018
Anonymous Twitter account, Loud Rebel, too shared a video of the protests.
— Loud Rebel™ (@Askari_H) November 1, 2018
As PM, Nawaz Sharif flew 2,167 hours in helicopters
Pakistan’s National Assembly was briefed Wednesday that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his tenure — 2013-2017 — used helicopters for 2,167 flying hours, reports Dawn.
The Assembly was also informed that the current PM Imran Khan has so far used choppers for 33 hours since he took office on 18 August. On further briefing, the House was told that four helicopters were beyond service and repair out of the 10 the Cabinet Division holds.
Ali Mohammad Khan, minister of state for parliamentary affairs, also highlighted the former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s record of using helicopters for up to 464 hours.
Pakistani television to reintroduce long plays
Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), one of country’s largest media entertainment networks, has decided to reintroduce long plays based social themes. It has already started shooting for 90-minute plays, reports Dawn.
Main WohAur Hum, the first long-play that will be aired, will highlight the theme of honour killing. The story is centred around a family in which parents make attempts to save their son, who has murdered his own sister, by projecting it as a case of suicide.
The star cast of the play includes actors Haider Sultan, son of veteran Pakistani actor Sultan Rahi, Ammara Butt among others. Matloob Baloch, the producer of the play, expressed confidence that this show will pull PTV audience back to their television sets.
Karachi administration to restore footpaths in the city
The city administration of Karachi has initiated a footpath restoration drive. Called “Adopt a Footpath Initiative’, it is aimed to help alleviate problems pedestrians face in the city, reports The Express Tribune.
The plan comes after Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar asked the administration to clean the port city, especially its footpaths.
According to the city commissioner’s office, the initiative will be carried out with the assistance of multinational organisations.
Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani has requested private companies to come forward in making footpaths a clean and safe path for the pedestrians as well as contribute to the improvement of the city.
Shalwani reportedly said that two organisations have already expressed interest in the project.
He said, “Businessmen are ready to help the government under Corporate Social Responsibility.”
Shalwani also claimed that although the companies will not be allowed to place their big advertisements on the footpaths, they can place their banners once they get the approval.