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Government, opposition and public!

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The " criminal act" of petrol price hike that happened late Friday night (November 5), provoked public outrage. The hike was postponed till November 1, but was implemented on the night between November 3 and 4.

Imran Yaqub Khan Profile Imran Yaqub Khan

I am saying it a "criminal act" again and again because it was a routine decision that should have been made in broad daylight, but at 2am in the morning the news broke and the people woke up in the morning to find that a petrol bomb had dropped on them. Now the rise in prices and the pace of inflation is so fast that even the column written on inflation last week before November 5 seems old and this repeated cry is causing boredom.

Apart from petrol prices, electricity rates have also been increased. Basic electricity prices have been increased by Rs1.68 per unit. For commercial and industrial consumers, the price has been increased by Rs 1.39 per unit. For consumers using 300 units, the price of electricity has gone up to Rs13.83 per unit. The government believes that a household using 300 units of electricity is prosperous. And he can afford to raise rates, and if that is true, it would be pointless to talk about it.

Like the people under the news of inflation, the most important news of Friday was also suppressed and this was the news, the report of the Election Commission of Pakistan on the rigging in the by-election of Daska, this report is eye-opener and biggest charge sheet against the PTI government.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has detected systematic rigging in the NA-75 by-election investigation report. What do they think and do when they come to power, this report has put all the truth in front of them. This report is not limited to the disclosure of fraud but it is a criminal case. Several names have been written in this report but this systematic fraud must be thoroughly investigated. According to the report, the education department, police and district administration, ie the entire government machinery were used in the scam. The mastermind behind the rigging and its full implementation cannot be held responsible alone. Criminal proceedings should be initiated on the basis of this report and the culprits should be identified.

Reading this report, the question arises as to whether those who came with the mission of eradicating corruption have corrupted the entire government machinery. The Deputy Director of Colleges, the Presiding Officer, several officers of the Department of Education and then an army of police officers, all of which could not be managed by a single person. How SHOs remained election managers, police personnel stationed at polling stations continued to kidnap presiding officers instead of security, ignorance of returning officer and deputy returning officer, how many factors and roles are involved in this rigging. The story unfolds in layers.

Playing the role of opposition, the same PTI used to call others as ballot box thieves. Here, the entire election was rigged under the scheme. It will happen and the government will come down with a bang but now their own organized fraud has been proved. Those who call others "box thieves" are now ready for self-accountability.

The opposition's reservations about EVMs, ie electronic voting machines, seem to have come true after this report and the plan to snatch the powers of the Election Commission of Pakistan, this report has exposed the government's intentions. Who will now trust those who bulldoze the opposition and institutions and insist on bringing electronic voting machines? ۔

The political and administrative turmoil in the country over the last four or five weeks has made me think that the PTI government is on a "suicidal mission". Inflation bombs are being set off one after another and when there is a backlash against them, the captain addresses his Wasim Akram Plus (Usman Buzdar): "Whenever they ask you about performance tell them ask us after completion of five-year mandate."   

Someone reminded the captain that if he had any mandate, it was economic justice, justice system, social justice, poverty alleviation, job creation, breaking status, eradicating corruption. The captain has a long list of promises that he may not even remember.

When the captain was saying this to the Chief Minister of Punjab Usman Bazdar, surely Bazdar must have been very encouraged that whoever had to ask me gave both a deal and a relaxation but is there any politician who is surrounded by political and economic challenges? Valuable can boldly reject all these questions under the pretext of a five year mandate ?? These are the evidences on which I believe that the captain and his team are on a mission of political suicide and the captain's advice to Bazdar was apparently a message to someone else.

The role of the opposition in this situation is also deplorable. The people are dying of poverty and inflation but the opposition is not making any effort to change the public mood into a movement. It seems that the opposition is thinking that the government may fall from its own stupidity or carry out the mission of political suicide itself. Perhaps that is why the Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly and PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz talking to the media had said that it is the national responsibility of all political parties to find a constitutional way to handle the sinking economy of Pakistan and to get rid of the incumbant government. "

According to political analysts, if the opposition awaits like this, it should know that it will not be possible to get the people out to vote without representing the people. If politicians remain indifferent to the people today, then tomorrow the people will also be indifferent to them and then no one should complain that those who raised the slogan of step up didn't come along.

 

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Pakistan

Caretaker PM disapproves PTI’s move of writing a letter to IMF

PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar says the letter was sent at time when the caretaker government had worked significantly for the economic revival with the relevant indicators showing positive trends, besides it achieved different financial targets.

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Islamabad: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday expressing his disapproval over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership’s latest political salvo of writing a letter to International Monetary Fund (IMF), termed it as ‘highly irresponsible’.

Appearing in a talk show of a private Tv channel, the prime minister said the letter was sent at time when the caretaker government had worked significantly for the economic revival with the relevant indicators showing positive trends, besides it achieved different financial targets.

The negotiations with the IMF were in the process for $6 billion dollars agreement which was important for the economic health of the country, he said, adding moreover, different multilateral agreements were also dependent over it. He said that there were appropriate forums for the electoral disputes and the PTI’s gesture of writing letter to IMF was unjustified and highly irresponsible.

However, he maintained that in the tangible terms, the letter would have no effects, but it would have political costs for the PTI that had a narrative in this regard.

To a question, the caretaker prime minister said that he had appeared before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the Baloch missing persons’ case to show that the interim set up was functioning under a constitutional order. The courts’ orders should be respected and he appeared before it to reiterate the same stance and set a precedent, he added.

The prime minister further said that the court had been apprised about the number of missing people traced so far under its orders and the IHC judge appreciated efforts in this regard. Prime Minister Kakar also termed the number of missing persons as ‘highly exaggerated’.

To a query about terrorist incidents in Balochistan, he said that non state actors had been spreading violence in the society to achieve their designs and also misusing human rights platforms. “They wanted to create an echo chamber for themselves,” he said, adding that such banned outfits often continued their violence spree and on the other hand, attempted to get sympathies by using a section of society.

The prime minister said neither the UN standards nor the international procedures accept mere allegations. If you had leveled allegations, you would have to provide data. There were general sweeping statements to malign state institutions, he said, adding that terrorist groups unleashed violence as a tool.

The caretaker prime minister, to another question, said that various efforts were made in the past to engage with the families of missing persons; it was reiterated that commissions in this regard had been formed where they could take up these cases. There was an existing mechanism to address such grievances, he emphasised. He reiterated that use of violence as tool would have no acceptance and justification.

For the political grievances, constitution had laid down a mechanism through peaceful means, he added. The prime minister said that violence through armed militia was not acceptable and legitimate. The prime minister said that citizens’ rights to life in the province that had been facing violent incidents, perpetrated by the terrorists groups, should be ensured and regretted that this aspect was not properly highlighted in media and by the rights groups.

The BLA was declared by the State Department, the UK government, the European Union and China as terrorist outfit, he said, adding that the outlaw organization was a ‘perpetrator of genocide’ in the province.

To a query, he further said that grievances over political and economic issues should be addressed by the federation in good faith. It had been and should be a priority of the federation to prioritize development and progress of Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Waziristan and other backward areas.

Besides, resources enhancement, there was need to utilize the available resources judiciously as in the past, the allocated resources for Balochistan were squandered which did not ensure dividends, he observed. Summoning up his limited period in the government, he said that he was leaving the office as ‘a contented and happy man’.

“I felt humbled for the opportunity,” he added.

The interim set up was given a responsibility for a brief time. The economic crises had made them sleepless but now the country was out of the wood, he recounted. Responding to a question he said that he did not think of joining any political party. He also clarified that he was not interested in any position in the parliament rather he would prefer to serve as a member of the Senate.

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Foreign correspondents visit Chinese Archaeological Museum in Beijing

Located in the northern part of the Beijing Central Axis, the museum which opened to the general public last year, boasts an exhibition space spanning over 7,000 square meters and showcases over 6,000 exhibits divided into five themed sections.

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Beijing: A group of foreign correspondents based in Beijing and local journalists visited the Chinese Archaeological Museum, a national-level professional museum established by the Chinese Academy of History, in Beijing.

Located in the northern part of the Beijing Central Axis, the museum which opened to the general public last year, boasts an exhibition space spanning over 7,000 square meters and showcases over 6,000 exhibits divided into five themed sections.

As its unique feature, the museum showcases its collections in a warehouse-style and offers an immersive experience for visitors. It also combines exhibitions with heritage preservation, academic research, and publicity functions.

During the visit arranged by the State Council of China, the newspersons were informed that with the arrival of the Year of the Dragon, dragon-related artifacts attract many citizens and tourists to embark on a “dragon-seeking journey” at the museum.

The turquoise dragon-shaped artifact known as the “Number One Dragon of China” was unearthed from the tomb of a high-ranking nobleman at the Erlitou site in Henan Province.

The museum opens between 9 am and 4:30 pmfrom Tuesday to Sunday, with corresponding adjustments on national holidays. Tuesday is a group visit exclusive, and Wednesday to Sunday are open to public members. Reservations are required for all visits.

Later, Dr Wei Wang, Director of Academic Division of History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and former President of Archaeological Society of China delivered a lecture on topic “The historical process of the origins, formation and early development of Chinese civilization.”

 

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Pakistan

PTI urges IMF to consider Pakistan's instability in talks

Reuters—a UK based news agency—reports that Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has sent a letter to the IMF detailing its position, two senior sources in the party said, adding more details will be made public in due course.

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Islamabad: The party of Pakistan's jailed former prime minister, Imran Khan, has asked the International Monetary Fund to factor in the country's political stability in any further bailout talks, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has sent a letter to the IMF detailing its position, two senior sources in the party said, adding more details would be made public in due course.

The IMF has yet to receive the letter, the lender said in an email to Reuters.

Last week, the IMF declined to comment on the country's political situation after Khan's aides said they would urge the lender to call for an independent audit of Pakistan's disputed Feb. 8 elections before engaging in further talks with Islamabad.

Sohail Ahmed of Karachi-based Topline securities said the letter was unlikely to have a major market impact.

"The IMF will do its own due diligence," he said.

Pakistan's cash-strapped economy is struggling to stabilise after securing a $3 billion standby arrangement from the IMF last summer, with record inflation, rupee devaluation and shrinking foreign reserves.

China has rolled over a $2 billion loan to Pakistan, local Geo News TV reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources in finance ministry.

The $2 billion loan was due in March and has been extended for one year, it said.

Analysts say a new government - which Khan's opponents are expected to form - is likely to need more funds from the global lender after the standby arrangement expires in April.

Khan, ousted in April 2022 in a parliament vote of confidence, was accused by opposition parties of scuttling an IMF deal under a $6 billion Extended Fund Facility days before leaving his office, a charge he denies.

An IMF spokesperson said last week that it was focused on the completion of the standby programme but was available to support the post-election government through a new arrangement to address Pakistan's ongoing challenges if requested.

Courtesy: Reuters

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