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Pakistan

'Spiritual democracy and its followers'

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There are such 'seasoned and shrewd' politicians present in Captain's cabinet who are crying out for wisdom every day to invite us to think.

Imran Yaqub Khan Profile Imran Yaqub Khan

The pearl of the latest wisdom was discovered when Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur, while addressing a gathering, told the people about the recipe for combating inflation. He said: "9% inflation is nothing in the country. Eat nine less morsels of bread out of 100 morsels and consume nine sugar grains out of 100 grains." 

What the minister said is in fact an example of the captain's vision, in fact "spiritual democracy" is at work in the country. Yes! Spiritual democracy. The new system was unveiled on the captain's birthday on October 5, when renowned singer and filmmaker Salman Ahmed premiered a documentary on the Prime Minister's birthday-- "Spiritual Democracy" --at the Governor's House in Karachi. When the announcement was made, I was shocked to hear the name of the film, but when the detailed report of the premiere came, I was satisfied that there is indeed democracy in the country which does not look like me because it is "spiritual".

The documentary includes a detailed interview with the captain, in which the captain uses the term super virtual democracy and defines it. He says "being human is spiritual and where democracy is in the interest of the people it is spiritual democracy". Wow, what to say. The philosophy of the system of government that emerged from ancient Greece and what form it took when it reached Pakistan is amazing.

Inflation is setting new records every year during the PTI's three-year rule. It's common practice for food items to disappear from the market and then return to the market at double the price. The price of sugar, that disappeared from market, was more than doubled by the government and was brought back to the market with new rates. When the flour disappeared, it appeared with a new rate. The petrol pump owners stopped the supply of oil and set an arbitrary price. We used to consider these three years of "successful" measures as bad governance and incompetence because we were unfamiliar with the "spiritual version" of democracy.

One of the basic requirements of "spirituality" which is also called mysticism and behavior is self-purification ie less food, less sleep and less talking. In fact, the captai's spiritual government continued to increase the prices to guide the nation, so that the nation would eat less, if the stomach was full, then the nation would fall asleep in a state of negligence. Efforts have also been started on talking less, like most journalists and anchors usually speak, the Media Development Authority Bill has been introduced to get rid of this habit. When the media will be quiet, the nation will also have no topic to discuss and debate. Thus the basic requirements of self-purification will be fulfilled automatically.

Ali Amin Sahib is a high-ranking Sufi (saint) involved in this spiritual government, so those who misunderstand his advice to eat less as a government official are misguided, they should immediately repent and be afraid of being caught.

One of the most important virtues of spiritual democracy is "U-turn". There is also an explanation of this in the interview included in Salman Ahmed's documentary. The captain was asked, "You have issued many statements in the past but later did the opposite." To which teh prime minister stated, "If you make a statement somewhere, you have no idea that the surrounding conditions may change".

Salman Ahmed's documentary and the minister's statements have opened the eyes of less knowledgeable people like me. Growing poverty, unemployment and other economic and social problems are now to be solved under the spiritual system, giving jobs to the people is not the mission of the government, the nation should spend its time in "meditation" and should go to anchorage in case of being hungry. Earlier, instead of providing employment opportunities, the policy of anchorages could not be exposed to the ignorant and in my ignorance I committed the sin of criticizing it as well, which is now the time to repent.

The first and foremost requirement of spirituality is "Iradat Sheikh" ie perfect follower of the Murshid (Who is followed). Since spiritual democracy is established in the country and the Prime Minister, as the head of this spiritual democracy, holds the rank of Murshid Kamil (Who is followed in total), any criticism of him is nothing but misguidance and disobedience can lead him astray. The government sometimes arranges "light" punishments with the help of law enforcement agencies and, if necessary, with the help of unknown individuals to bring the lost to the right path and teach obedience to the Sheikh.

Most of the misguided and disobedient people are also from media and opposition but true followers of Murshid Kamil bring some new prescription every day to bring the rest of the nation on the right path. Whether its new NAB ordinance or Media Development Authority Bill ... and so on, many prescriptions have not only been proposed but will also be strictly enforced. If the government completes its term, the entire nation will have reached many levels of spirituality and will be seen wandering everywhere.

Young poet Syed Shadab Asghar of Rohtas India says in his poetry: 

کچھ تو اس کی بے حسی سے مر گئے
اور کچھ سادہ دلی سے مر گئے

Someone should explain to the spiritual democrats that the dervishes have no interest in the government, they have nothing to do with the court and the government, politics and government have nothing to do with spirituality, mysticism and conduct. The one who has to reach spiritual heights should wear green robes, go to the deserts and sit in solitude and enjoy meditation.

Those who recommend eating less snacks may not be aware that people don't even have one meal at a time. The lower middle income scale was used to measure poverty in Pakistan, according to data released by the World Bank in June this year on people living below the poverty line. In this regard, the number of poor in Pakistan was 39.3% in 2020-21 and is likely to remain 39.2% in 2021-22.

If you look at the data of the World Bank, it is estimated that there is hunger in every house and the dervish ministers are advising to reduce the number of snacks.

I am recalling the poem of Balwan Singh Azar at the moment:

لوگ بھوکے ہیں بہت اور نوالے کم ہیں
زندگی تیرے چراغوں میں اجالے کم ہیں

 

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World

Protests erupt in Xinjiang and Beijing after deadly fire

Crowds took to the streets on Friday night in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi, chanting "End the lockdown!

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Public anger in China towards widening COVID-19 lockdowns across the country erupted into rare protests in China’s far western Xinjiang region and the country's capital of Beijing, as nationwide infections set another record.

Crowds took to the streets on Friday night in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi, chanting "End the lockdown!" and pumping their fists in the air, after a deadly fire on Thursday triggered anger over their prolonged COVID-19 lockdown according to videos circulated on Chinese social media on Friday night.

Videos showed people in a plaza singing China's national anthem with its lyric, "Rise up, those who refuse to be slaves!" while others shouted that they wanted to be released from lockdowns.

Reuters verified that the footage was published from Urumqi, where many of its 4 million residents have been under some of the country's longest lockdowns, barred from leaving their homes for as long as 100 days.

In the capital of Beijing 2,700 km (1,678 miles) away, some residents under lockdown staged small-scale protests or confronted their local officials over movement restrictions placed on them, with some successfully pressuring them into lifting them ahead of a schedule.

A crucial spark for the public anger was a fire in a high-rise building in Urumqi that killed 10 on Thursday night, whose case went viral on social media as many internet users surmised that residents could not escape in time because the building was partially locked down.

Urumqi officials abruptly held a news conference in the early hours of Saturday to deny COVID measures had hampered escape and rescue, but internet users continued to question the official narrative.

"The Urumqi fire got everyone in the country upset," said Sean Li, a resident in Beijing.

A planned lockdown for his compound "Berlin Aiyue" was called off on Friday after residents protested to their local leader and convinced him to cancel it, negotiations that were captured by a video posted on social media.

The residents had caught wind of the plan after seeing workers putting barriers on their gates. "That tragedy could have happened to any of us," he said.

By Saturday evening, at least ten other compounds lifted lockdown before the announced end-date after residents complained, according to a Reuters tally of social media posts by residents.

A separate video shared with Reuters showed Beijing residents in an unidentifiable part of the city marching around an open-air carpark on Saturday, shouting "End the lockdown".

The Beijing government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

ASKING TOUGH QUESTIONS

Dali Yang, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, said the comments from authorities that the residents of the Urumqi building had been able to go downstairs and thus escape was likely to have been perceived as victim-blaming and further fuelled public anger.

"During the first two years of COVID, people trusted the government to make the best decisions to keep them safe from the virus. Now people are increasingly asking tough questions and are wary about following orders," Yang said.

Xinjiang is home to 10 million Uyghurs. Rights groups and Western governments have long accused Beijing of abuses against the mainly Muslim ethnic minority, including forced labour in internment camps. China strongly rejects such claims.

China defends President Xi Jinping's signature zero-COVID policy as life-saving and necessary to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system. Officials have vowed to continue with it despite the growing public pushback and its mounting toll on the world's second-biggest economy.

China said on Friday it would cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves for the second time this year, releasing liquidity to prop up a faltering economy.

The next few weeks could be the worst in China since the early weeks of the pandemic both for the economy and the healthcare system, Mark Williams of Capital Economics said in note this week, as efforts to contain the current outbreak will require additional localised lockdowns in many cities, which will further depress economic activity.

For Friday, the country recorded 34,909 daily local cases, low by global standards but the third record in a row, with infections spreading numerous cities, prompting widespread lockdowns and other curbs on movement and business.

Shanghai, China's most populous city and financial hub which endured a two month lockdown earlier this year, tightened testing requirements on Saturday for entering cultural venues such as museums and libraries, requiring people to present a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours, down from 72 hours earlier.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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Pakistan

Five die as jeep falls into ravine in Neelum valley

Officials said that reasons behind the accident are yet to be ascertained.

Published by Muhammad Akram

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MUZAFFARABAD: Five persons died when a jeep plunged into a ravine in Neelum valley of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Sunday.

According to details, seven other people including driver of the jeep received injuries and were rushed to hospital for first aid

Officials said that reasons behind the accident are yet to be ascertained.

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Pakistan

After 31 years, LG polls begins in AJK

Polling to take place in three phases due to non-provision of additional security forces

Published by Muhammad Akram

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MUZAFFARABAD:After 31 years, local government elections began on Sunday in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

The local body polls will be conducted in three phases across the state due to the non-provision of additional security personnel from the federal government.

According to Express News, the first phase of polling will begin today in the Muzaffarabad division from 8 am to 5 pm without any break.

Phase two of the LG polls will be conducted in the Poonch division on December 3 and phase three in the Mirpur division on December 8.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in the first phase, polls are being held in three districts of the Muzaffarabad division today.

Earlier, preparations for the elections were completed in Muzaffarabad, Neelam and Jhelum Valley districts.

The ECP secretary said that 4,500 men from the Azad Kashmir Police will perform security duties in the Muzaffarabad division.

A total of 2,716 candidates are competing in the Muzaffarabad division,

The 695,049 voters from the Muzaffarabad division will elect 595 councilors through vote slips.

There are 411,072 voters in the Muzaffarabad district, 154,832 in the Jhelum valley district and 129,145 in the Neelum valley

Among the political parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has issued the most tickets to its candidates at 575, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is in second place with 545 and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in third with 465.

There are also 900 independent candidates trying their luck in the local body elections.

According to the electoral watchdog sources, 1,314 polling stations and 1,884 polling booths have been set up for local body elections in the Muzaffarabad division.

There are 6,966 officials including presiding officers and polling officers performing election duties.

Despite the severe cold weather, the LG election is expected to be longer than the general election.

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