Here’s what’s happening across the border: PPP co-chairman Zardari is ready to talk to Nawaz Sharif, and newspapers editors object to new media legislation.
Imran blames Indian security forces for death of civilians in Kashmir
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday “strongly condemned” what he called “killings of innocent Kashmiris” in India. He also held Indian security forces responsible for the death of six civilians in the Valley.
In a tweet posted Monday, Khan said it “was time” India took up the Kashmir “dispute” and resolved it by means of dialogue as per the UN “resolutions”.
Strongly condemn the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris in IOK by Indian security forces. It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions & the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 22, 2018
Six people were killed and more than 40 injured when an explosive shell went off at an encounter site in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam Sunday.
Imran alleges bid to ‘sabotage’ his government
Prime Minister Imran Khan said Saturday that a section of the opposition and media are presenting a picture of “doom and gloom” in an attempt to “sabotage his government”, adding that, though, there was nothing for the public to fret about it, The Nation reports.
He claimed a sense of uncertainty was being created around Pakistan’s request for an IMF financial aid.
“There is no uncertainty about economic situation; there is a clarity that we will need to go to IMF, as a result of the havoc created by the previous government, the only question in front of us is at what terms,” he said.
Khan said that his government “knew from day one” that the need to borrow money would arise so that the previous loans could be paid off.
However, the Prime Minister admitted that they had not been “so open in communication with you [media] and the public”. He assured that his government will “change in time”.
This will be the last IMF loan, says finance minister Umar
Finance minister Asad Umar has vowed to end his country’s dependence on International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailouts to revitalise the economy even as Pakistani officials prepare to negotiate a new IMF loan, reports The Nation.
“This will be the 13th and the last IMF programme,” Umar said, speaking at the Karachi Stock Exchange.
The minister’s assurance comes days after the State Bank of Pakistan, the country’s central bank, gave warnings that the inflation figure could double in 2019, reaching 7.5 per cent. It also said that the country was likely to miss its growth target rate of 6.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party senator Rehman Malik wrote to PM Imran Khan Sunday highlighting measures by which the country can be steered away from its economic crisis, The Express Tribune has reported.
In his letter, Malik recommended the establishment of a national consortium of banks that could share one-fourth debts while having flexible conditions at their disposal.
The letter further said that keeping the parliament in the loop, half of the foreign loans should be sold to China. Malik said the deal with Beijing should be based on easy installments and if possible, without any interest.
He also suggested that huge commercial plots in big cities be offered to Pakistanis living abroad to attract foreign investment. And, additionally, a bank be set up that would guarantee 80 per cent of shares to them.
Newspaper editors object to proposed media law
The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) Sunday expressed grave concerns over the move to set up Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMRA) under a new law submitted by the central government in a Senate committee, Daily Times reports.
In a joint statement, CPNE leaders, including its president Arif Nizami, senior vice-president Imtinan Shahid and secretary general Dr Jabbar Khattak, said the move had sparked fears that press freedom and people’s right to know might be undermined.
They also mentioned that the proposed legislation had been submitted without consulting the stakeholders, raising doubts about Imran Khan government’s possible attempt to control media.
The organisation is going to disclose its detailed stance on the matter soon.
Asif Ali Zardari ready to talk to political rival Nawaz Sharif
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari Sunday dubbed Imran Khan a “select prime minister” and hinted at engaging former premier Nawaz Sharif, reports The News International .
Speaking at a press conference, Zardari said there was a need for all political parties to come together and jointly prepare a resolution against the incumbent government. “Imran cannot run the government or his party,” he was quoted as saying.
Zardari said he was never a beneficiary of the National Reconciliation Ordinance passed by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, that was aimed at providing amnesty to politicians and revoking corruption and criminal cases against them.
He instead claimed that Sharif could have benefitted from NRO, and held him responsible for the corruption cases for which he was convicted.
However, Zardari did not dismiss the possibility of holding talks with Sharif despite their differences.
Can’t see children dying because of water woes, says chief justice
Chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar said Saturday that he cannot see children dying due to the water crisis in the country, reports The Daily Times.
Nisar was speaking at the closing session of a conference on water resources at the Supreme Court when he mentioned that he didn’t want to be responsible for taking away the lives of the country’s children. He warned that lives would be at stake if availability of water was not ensured in future.
He was quoted as saying: “I have always had this thought of safeguarding basic rights of the people. The state is responsible for these rights under Article 7.”
He regretted that people in Pakistan let polluted water flow in water bodies.
Truck art initiative highlights women’s empowerment
Anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Samar Minallah Khan has roped in truck artists and owners as part of the Asian Development Project’s Legal Literacy for Women in Punjab initiative to paint messages on women empowerment on their trucks, reports Pakistan Today.
The initiative is a collaboration between Minallah and the UNESCO.
Hayat Khan, a truck artist from Islamabad, has painted visuals of school-going girls with the message, “Forced and child marriages are punishable by law”, referring to the Punjab Child Marriage Restraint Act of 2015.
Child Marriage robs a girl child of childhood and her right to education. #RaiseTheAge #ChildMarriage #TruckArt #AdvocacyThroughTruckArt pic.twitter.com/NolzY77gLa
— Samar MinAllah Khan (@SamarMinallahKh) October 21, 2018
The project will see 20 other trucks being painted with messages to campaign for female literacy and spread awareness about the laws prohibiting child marriages.