Here’s what’s happening across the border: A Lahore court has made the first conviction for child pornography under new law, and cricketer Sana Mir has slammed advertisements objectifying women.
US military officer kills biker, gets barred from leaving Pakistan
An American military attaché in Pakistan has been barred from the leaving the country after his SUV struck two motorcyclists in Islamabad on 7 April, killing one on the spot. In a viral video, Col. Joseph E. Hall is seen running a red light seconds before the accident. According to the Pakistan foreign ministry, the country demanded that the US waive his diplomatic immunity so he could face a criminal trial, but it was refused. However, Hall will have to face a civil suit from the family of the man killed, Atteq Baig.
According to Pakistan police, Hall was briefly detained, but had to be released because of his diplomatic immunity. An American embassy spokesperson was quoted by The New York Times as saying, “At this stage we are fully cooperating with the local police and authorities who are investigating the case.”
Economic survey predicts fastest growth in 13 years
The Pakistan economic survey 2017-2018, released Thursday, said the country was set to record its highest growth rate in 13 years this financial year, 5.8 per cent. This is, however, lower than the target of six per cent.
The report was delivered by Miftah Ismail, the adviser to the Prime Minister on finance, who said, “We would have achieved 6.1 per cent without political turmoil.” The country’s markets were shaken last July with Nawaz Sharif’s ouster from premiership, with its endemic terrorism hitting the economy as well. However, a slew of factors, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, have helped the economic situation recover.
The survey also noted the high revenues recorded during the first two quarters of FY 18 from the telecom sector on account of the launch of 3G and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services. Also, the country’s agriculture sector has recorded the highest growth in 13 years, and manufacturing the highest in 10 years.
Country’s first child-porn conviction by Lahore court
A local court in Lahore has sentenced a man named Saadat Amin to seven years in jail and fined him (Pakistan) Rs 1.2 million for participating in a child pornography racket. This marks the country’s first conviction on child pornography charges.
The convict confessed to being a part of the racket during interrogation. More than 650,000 child pornography videos were found in his possession.
Pakistan had criminalised child pornography in 2016, following a massive paedophilia scandal in 2015 that saw hundreds of pornographic videos involving children distributed in Punjab.
Former women’s cricket team captain slams ads that objectify women
Sana Mir, the former captain of the Pakistan women’s cricket team, has written a viral Facebook post slamming beauty-product companies and advertisers for promoting body-shaming and objectification.
Addressing young girls who aspire to take up sports, she wrote, “Make no mistake: You need strong arms, not smooth arms, on a sports field.”
She then addressed an advertisement for a hair removal cream with campaigns in India as well as Pakistan, writing that it was “magnifying a girl’s concern about how she looks on a basketball court”. She added, “The worst thing is that instead of sending a message to young girls that the colour or texture of their skin does not matter, we are promoting body-shaming and objectification.”
She also said that, in her 12 years of being in sports, she had rejected offers to endorse beauty products in order to convey to young girls who look up to her that one didn’t need to be beautiful to be a good sportsperson. She said, “I want young girls with a passion for sports to know that all they need for a practice session are the will to succeed, comfortable shoes and clothes, a water bottle and a cap if it’s hot.”