New Delhi: Parents of the children killed in the 2014 terror attack on a Peshawar school have filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court seeking contempt proceedings against certain government officials following reports of the escape of Talibani leader Ehsanullah Ehsan from a Pakistani prison.
Ehsan, the former spokesperson of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), had masterminded the attack on Peshawar Army Public School and also shot at Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.
News of Ehsan’s escape surfaced when he released an audio clip saying he fled from custody on 11 January and was currently in Turkey.
The Peshawar High Court had earlier ordered that Ehsan should not be released under any circumstances.
“Despite clear cut directions of this honourable court […], now it has come to light that [ luxurious home [was provided to Ehsan] from which the terrorist has made his escape: a fact not denied by the respondents,” reads the petition.
The Pakistani army chief, the director general of the ISI, several federal and provincial secretaries are expected to respond to the petition soon. On Monday, a Senate Standing Committee had ordered a detailed probe into his escape. The interior ministry is also due to release a report in three days.
Animated short film captures a dystopic Pakistan in 2071
A new short, hand-drawn animated film called Shehr-e-Tabassum (City of Smiles) is Pakistan’s first-ever cyberpunk movie that explores an alternate reality in 2071.
The film shows that no instance of violence or terrorism have been reported in the past three decades but citizens are compelled to keep smiling to glaze over any evidence of dissent or oppression.
“It is important to emphasise that Shehr-e-Tabassum is a story rooted in Pakistan and our society; we are trying to tell a story relevant to us,” the film’s director Arafat Mazhar said in an interview Monday.
“Today, expressions that are perceived as portraying a negative image of Pakistan, as dissent against the state, or a critique or subversion of religious ideas are not only discouraged but are a serious risk to life, actively criminalised and often punished without due process,” added Mazhar.
The film will be released globally at the end of this month. But its limited release has already earned praises:
From the @karachikhatmal starter to his conversation, talking about the Islamabad protests and then talking about dissent. (PS, full credit for being an amazingly fun moderator)
To the engagement after #shehretabassum 's screening. A beautiful, engaging and thought provoking film
— ء (@H15_Fr35hn355) February 2, 2020
Young Pakistanis opting for freelance work
A new report has found that 90 per cent Pakistanis, under the age of 35, are opting for freelance work — higher than the global average of 70 per cent.
The findings, published in the Freelancer Income Report 2020, was conducted across 150 nations.
The report says both women and men in Pakistan “selected web and graphic design as the most popular freelancing field”. Many, it says, preferred to work from home.
“Pakistan has remained in the top five freelancing markets in the world…Now is the time our small and midsize businesses (SMBs) grow beyond borders and drive Pakistan’s digital economy,” said the report’s country manager Mohsin Muzzafer.
PTI is Pakistan’s richest political party
Pakistan’s Election Commission has released the accounting details of the country’s 82 political parties and found that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is the richest with assets worth Rs 225.3 million.
“This includes Rs 110 million received from overseas Pakistanis in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. The party says funding does not include anything from prohibited sources,” reads the EC report.
The Pakistan People’s Party comes second with Rs 160 million worth of assets. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML), meanwhile, was found to have been spending more than its total assets worth Rs 80 million.