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Pakistan govt curbs, media ‘blackout’ failed to stop Pashtun Tahafuz Movement’s long march

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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Pak judge owns 2,200 cars, claims tax department, and the court says no more Indian shows on Pakistani televisions.

Govt restrictions failed to stop PTM long march

Despite government restrictions and apparent media blackout, the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) managed to organise what is viewed as one of its biggest rallies in Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Saturday.

On 26 October, a day before the PTM rally, the government had imposed section 144 of CrPC in Bannu for 30 days, restricting all kinds of rallies in the area. However, thousands of people joined the PTM long march, demanding their social rights and seeking justice for their missing family members.

Journalist Bashir Ahmad Gwakh tweeted, “Govt says no one is allowed to hold rallies in sports grounds”, but PTM members say “it’s their right to carry on with non-violent protests”.

Some twitter accounts also pointed out how Pakistani media completely ignored the rally.

Politician and technocrat Farhatullah Babar alleged that the PTM march was blacked out by all the television channels except one, which too showed a very short clip of the rally.

Another politician Afrasiab Khattak‏ alleged that the Pakistani media did not cover the long march. “Mainstream Pak media is bad but worse is the normalisation of stifling censorship. Constitutionally a federal democratic system is practically run like an undeclared martial law,” he tweeted. 

No more Indian content on Pakistan television

The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan reinstated the ban on the broadcast of Indian content on the country’s television channels Saturday, reports Dawn. In 2016, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had prohibited the broadcasting of Indian shows in Pakistan. However, in June 2017, the Lahore High Court struck down the ban saying that content can be censored, but there was no need of a complete ban.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar ruled in favour of United Producers Association, which had filed a case regarding the broadcast of foreign content on Pakistani television channels.

In his judgment, Justice Saqib Nisar said, “They are trying to [obstruct the construction] of our dam and we cannot even ban their channels.” As per the report, the Chief justice looked visibly angry while giving the orders of shutting down Indian TV shows on Pakistani television. He also said, authorities should, “only air appropriate content”.

PCB alleges hefty expenses during Najam Sethi’s tenure as board chief

Former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Najam Sethi, has dismissed claims made by PCB pertaining to the money spent during his tenure, reports Cricket Pakistan. PCB released details about the expenses and benefits made when Sethi was in charge of the office — from 2014 to 30 September 2018. According to the report, during his period as PCB chief and also as chairman of executive committee, Sethi spent over 70 million Pakistani rupees.

Denying all such claims, Sethi Sunday tweeted, “Clearly motivated by new mafia at PCB. Distortion of facts and figures. This defamation will not go unchallenged.”

2,200 cars registered in the name of Pak judge who claims to own only one 

An 82-year-old Pakistani judge, Sikanadar Hayat, who is alleged to have more than 2,200 cars registered in his name, claims he owns only one vehicle, reports Dawn.

Hayat’s lawyer Mian Zafar has informed the Supreme Court Saturday that the judge has received a fine a few days ago for a car that he does not even own.

After hearing the case, the Pakistan SC has asked the Punjab’s Excise and Taxation Department to submit a report on the issue within a week.

When the newspaper contacted the taxation department, it was told that a total 2,224 vehicles had been registered in Hayat’s name. 

Israeli plane was never allowed to land in Pakistan, says President Alvi

President Arif Alvi said Sunday that the news of Israeli plane landing in Pakistan is fake, reports Samaa TV.

The statement came after the editor of English edition of Israeli daily Haaretz, Avi Scharf, claimed that an Israeli aircraft flew from Tel Aviv to Islamabad Wednesday.

Alvi denied all claims saying that Israeli plane was never allowed to land in Pakistan. He said the government is not working on strengthening relations with the country, adding that Pakistan has always been critical of atrocities carried out in Palestine and Kashmir.

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