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For 20 yrs, Imran Khan had a dream. When he became PM, we got goats, cows & broken economy


Blaming Pakistan’s former leaders for the problems of the last 19 months makes for good prime-time news, but in reality, Imran Khan's rhetoric is slowly dying.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced last month that the country’s economic apocalypse was ending. Earlier this week, he promised that the electricity and gas tariffs will not be hiked.  But even as the prime minister made such tall claims, a series of negative developments unfolded soon after: the Pakistan Stock Exchange recorded the biggest decline in 10 years Monday, the US dollar jumped to Rs 158 and the prices of gold skyrocketed. Not to forget the food inflation that has been adversely impacting people on a daily basis for months now.
So, whenever your PM says things are getting back on track, aapne ghabrana nahin hai because more difficulties are on their way.
After all, other than Pakistan, there is no country in the world that has been blessed with 12 seasons, according to PM Khan. I feel bad for the rest of the world, though, that only gets to enjoy quarter of what we have or not. The eight extra seasons in Naya Pakistan are the seasons of cluelessness. Regardless, barra mausam is a breakthrough worth considering PM Khan for the Nobel Prize.

Not so-good times ahead

Khan’s reassurance that good times are ahead don’t impact even the employees of Pakistan Secretariat who work right next to the PM. The government secretariat staff observed a pen-down strike last week at the Constitution Avenue over the delay in pay raises. They complain that the staff of PM Office and civil servants in other departments get higher salaries than them. Only if they knew the prime minister himself can’t run his house with his salary.
Ever since Imran Khan has been on the trail of becoming the prime minister, all that we’ve heard are the promises of rivers of milk and honey flowing in Pakistan. But how those rivers were to flow, even Khan’s selectors didn’t know. One would have expected that if for 20 years Imran Khan’s dream was to become the prime minister, then some homework on how to run the country would have been done. But that’s the thing about dharna politics, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your half-baked ideas and political sloganeering can help you run the country. The two ‘Cs’ — cricket and charity — haven’t worked wonders for the selectors either.

Everything, even rhetoric, has a shelf life

The question is: For how long the rhetoric against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, former president Asif Zardari and the prominent leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) would work for PM Imran Khan? There is a shelf life for everything, even political rhetoric.
To call your political rivals corrupt, to make promises of bringing back looted money of the awam worked well during Khan’s kaptaan days on top of a shipping container but not anymore. You jailed them, you couldn’t prove a thing against the likes of ex-PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi or ex-interior minister Ahsan Iqbal. What’s more is that the Imran Khan government did not bring even one rupee of the looted money back.
PM Khan can continue to call his rivals chordaku, ‘corrupt’ but the bad news is, it isn’t working anymore. The common man doesn’t care about the chors of the past but just wants the current PM to deliver on all his promises. He/she wants to know why there is a sugar and wheat crisis in the country, something which benefits politicians on PM Khan’s team.
Blaming Pakistan’s former leaders for the problems of the last 19 months makes for good prime-time TV news, but in the real world the rhetoric is dying a slow death and PM Khan will take any opportunity to revive it. So, the latest desire of the PM to bring back Nawaz Sharif from London is another attempt at diverging from the issue of the government’s incompetence and how it tanked the country’s financial system. PM Khan’s obsession with media optics is more important than delivery in office.

Goats and charas can’t revive economy 

To be fair, Khan has tried everything in his playbook to revive Pakistan’s economy. He waited for a miracle discovery of gas and oil treasures in Pakistan, but that didn’t happen. He relied on sheep, buffaloes and goats for an economic revolution in the country.
Just a few days back, PM Khan rolled out a new scheme under which every woman will be given one cow, one buffalo and three goats. But did the PM, before announcing this move, ever ask himself if there are enough cows, buffaloes and goats in Pakistan for every family? On to the latest endeavour of relying on honeybees, berry plants and now olive gardens, Imran Khan thinks these measures can make him provide 10 million jobs his government once promised.
When it comes to entrepreneurial flop shows, Imran Khan and his ministers are high on talent. Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry wants to transform the Prime Minister House into a state-of-the-art university, fulfilling the PTI election promise. Then there is Narcotics Control Minister Shehryar Afridi who recently announced that PM Khan wishes to open a factory in Tirah, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that will turns charas into medicines. Well, he actually said it. This is the planning of 20 years that secured Imran Khan’s place on the prime minister’s seat.

پاکستانی ڈراموں میں ہندو یا مسیحی کردار کیوں نہیں؟

پاکستان کے ڈرامہ نگار اگر کرشن، جے، رادھا، جون، جگجیت، امریتا اور کرشنا کے کردار تخلیق کریں تو ہمارے معاشرے کے اندر موجود امتیاز ختم ہو سکتا ہے۔

#Pakistan - Imran cracks down on media

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who never tires of exulting virtues of U-turns, has turned against his biggest supporter – the Pakistan media. During his 22-year struggle in opposition, Imran was used to the darling of media, now in power he sees the same media as the villain of the piece. The arrest of editor-in-chief of Jang Group Mir Shakilur Rahman by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday (March 12) in 34-year-old land case shows that Imran, unhappy with media criticism of his policies, has trained his guns on the
As far as the Jang-Geo group is concerned, Imran has a long history of turbulent relationship. Even during his days in opposition, Imran had accused the Jang group of being pro-Nawaz Sharif.
In 2017, Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had announced a boycott of the Jang-Geo media group, accusing it of “biased, one-sided coverage of the ongoing investigations into Panamagate case”.
While withdrawing its representation from all forums run by the group, Imran told a news
conference that the Jang-Geo group was misleading the public with its ‘biased coverage’ of the case. He called Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, the owner of Jang- Geo Group, ‘godfather of media’ who, he alleged, was trying to hide the financial corruption of the Sharif family. In return, he alleged the PML-N regime was doling out advertisements worth billions of rupees to the Jang-Geo group. He had even said that his party has prepared a case against Shakilur Rahman, which he will present to NAB.
However, even after Imran came to power the Jang-Geo group did not change its stand against Imran. Some of the talk show hosts were severe on Imran for the economic mess and the way he has unleashed a vendetta campaign against opposition leaders in the name of accountability and anti-corruption drive. They repeatedly questioned why the anti-
corruption drive just targeted the opposition leaders, who were arrested on flimsy grounds, while no action was taken against members of his cabinet, who already were facing charges before joining his government. People say media censorship, intimidation and suppression of voices of dissent under Imran’s regime is worst than seen during the rule of the military dictator, Gen Zia-ul Haq. Mohammed Rizwan, a Canada-based journalist of Pakistani origin, told India Legal that like all other things, it is the military establishment which controls the media.
“Anybody refusing to toe the line of the GHQ has to face the consequences” he said. A Lahore-based journalist, who does not want to be named, told India Legal that main reason behind the crackdown on the media is that Imran’s PTI is seen as army’s party. “Although all previous governments had the blessings of the generals, it is the first that the military’s role is so visible in resurrecting Imran to power. It was the army which triggered defections
in major opposition parties to clobber his coalition government. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa accompanied him on important visits to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the US and China” he told India Legal.
Earlier, he said, the foreign and defence policy used to be military's domain but now it’s running the entire show. “Some of the key appointments to his cabinet like Hafeez Sheikh as finance adviser and Firdous Ashiq Awan as information adviser have done at the
behest of the army. So, any criticism of the Imran government is seen as direct indictment or failure of the military” he told India Legal.

Why a media mogul was arrested in Pakistan

The authorities in Pakistan have arrested one of the country's leading media magnates on charges he illegally obtained government land more than 30 years ago.Mir Shakilur Rahman is the editor-in-chief of the Jang group which owns some of Pakistan's most widely circulated newspapers, as well as the popular Geo television network.The arrest is being seen by journalists and human rights activists as more evidence that free media and political dissent are being silenced in Pakistan.
Mr Rahman, who denies the accusations against him, appeared in court on Friday and was remanded in custody. He has not been formally charged.
What was Mr Rahman detained for?
The charges against him relating to the purchase of several plots of land in Lahore go back to 1986.
Pakistan's anti-corruption agency, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), has alleged that in that year, when future PM Nawaz Sharif was chief minister of Punjab province, he let Mr Rahman illegally acquire more government-owned-land than he was allowed by law. Dawn newspaper quoted a NAB official as saying Mr Rahman was entitled to four acres of land under the Lahore Development Authority's "land exemption policy", but he acquired more than 13 acres.
Mr Rahman says he bought the land from a private party and paid all the necessary taxes and duties, for which he has documents. He also says the purchase is a civil matter and therefore beyond the writ of an anti-crime agency like NAB.
Is that what it's really about?
Irrespective of the merits of the case, many doubt NAB is carrying out its duties honestly. It often takes action against those who question government policies.
The arrest has triggered widespread criticism from journalists' bodies, rights groups and the political opposition.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed "deep concern" over the arrest.
"There remains a strong suspicion that such actions by NAB are selective, arbitrary and politically motivated," HRCP tweeted. "The journalist community sees this as yet another attempt to gag a beleaguered independent press."
The Pakistan Broadcasters' Association (PBA) pointed out that "arresting the editor-in-chief of a media house while the case is still under inquiry… appears to be an attempt at harassment".
Mr Rahman's daughter, Anamta, called the arrest "illegal, even by NAB's rules".
"This is a fight for freedom of media," she told the BBC. "Today it's the editor-in-chief of Jang - tomorrow it can be anyone."
Jang Group is Pakistan's largest media house, with more on-the-ground reporters across the country than anyone else, giving it a clear edge in Pakistan's increasingly competitive media environment.In recent months, top anchors of its Geo television network have given government officials a hard time in interviews on a number of occasions.Requesting anonymity, a veteran journalist in Lahore told the BBC that while there may be some truth in NAB's allegations, "there's no doubt it's a selective move because evidence of illegal financial activities by owners of the so-called 'friendly' media have also been cropping up from time to time but NAB doesn't seem to be bothered".
How free is the press in Pakistan?
Not very - the country comes way down press freedom indexes. The media has come under increased censorship since 2018 when the military was accused of rigging national elections to bring Prime Minister Imran Khan's PTI party to power.
But backdoor moves to quell media voices had begun much earlier.
In 2014, a top Geo talk show host Hamid Mir was shot and badly wounded.
No-one was ever brought to justice for the attack, and many suspected he was being punished for his vigorous coverage of missing persons in Balochistan province, where the army has fought an armed separatist insurgency for more than a decade.
Most disappearances are blamed on the military. Pakistan's media have stopped covering the issue.
In 2017, a number of social media bloggers critical of religious groups and Pakistan's powerful military went missing for several weeks. They were released afterwards, and most went abroad.
The following year, a well-known journalist and social media activist, Taha Siddiqui, who had been warned by the military authorities a number of times, was attacked on an Islamabad road in broad daylight.
He was able to escape from the scene but has since left the country and is living in France. Since 2018, the media has come under a more comprehensive censorship.
This includes threats to individual journalists, and briefly or completely shutting TV channels or influencing cable operators to demote them in the channels list so fewer viewers find them.
How successful has NAB been in fighting corruption?
The bureau was founded in 2000 by Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to go after corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.
But it was largely seen as an attempt by the military government to clip the wings of the two largest political parties at the time - the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of Nawaz Sharif, which Pervez Musharraf had overthrown in an army coup a year earlier, and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP).
During the mid-2000s, NAB found ways to drop corruption charges against all those politicians who quit these two parties and joined the one led by Gen Musharraf or allied with it.
Since the controversial election of 2018 that brought Imran Khan to power, the agency has arrested opposition politicians and kept them in custody for prolonged periods.
Government opponents say evidence has yet to be produced that would stand the test of law in a court.

#PAKISTAN #PPP - Bilawal Bhutto announces to visit #Balochistan soon

Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday announced that he would soon visit Balochistan province, ARY NEWS reported.
Addressing a public gathering in Quetta via telephone, the PPP chairman said that the party would form the federal government next time and it is during the PPP tenure that the province was given its due rights.
“Only PPP has the capability to resolve the issues of the province,” he said and added that if returned to power again, they would serve the people of the province as nobody else did.
He said that the incumbent government wants to suppress the dissenting voices and they would topple them with the power of masses.
Earlier on February 09, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari talking to the media in Islamabad said that he and his political party will not sit idly by as Pakistanis are dealing with rising inflation, ARY News reported.
The PPP chairman said that the opposition party demands that the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan tears away the written agreement between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The politician said that he was ready to work alongside the federal government to alleviate the burden of inflation from the masses.
Answering a question with regards to the whereabouts of the leader of the opposition of the national assembly, Bilawal Bhutto said that he was hopeful for Shehbaz Sharif’s triumphant return soon enough.
While answering another question with regards to Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s persistent demand for flying abroad to meet his ailing father who battles life and death circumstances, the PPP chairman said that she should be allowed to travel and there should be no hindrance between a daughter and her sick father.