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Pakistan

The Circus Never Leaves the Town

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If it is not the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on our screens, then it is Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) or Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). And if not these three, then it is the government that hogs our screen, its representatives screaming in joy at the developments.

Imran Yaqub Khan Profile Imran Yaqub Khan

One could almost be forgiven for assuming that the people of this country has no urgent issues except for watching the ruling elite bicker with each other.

News channels are demonstrating mastery of sleight of hand by giving time to politicians and ignoring the problems the common man is facing. A Pakistani’s kitchen does not churn out food on the news of political parties backstabbing each other. Neither does he develop the ability to pay his bills as a result of one party outmanoeuvring another one. The populace itself is also to blame, intently watching the show that unfolds daily on their TV screens. They do not reject it, in fact, they inadvertently provide higher ratings to the circus that is refusing to leave the town.

I found myself highly amused when predictably the federal government started talking of accountability for all when Nadeem Babar was removed from his post. Setting aside the fact that after nine months of the investigation, no one has been able to prove anything and has thrown the ball in FIA’s court for another 90 days, how can we forget the example of the sugar commission report that came out just a few months ago?

All of this is nothing but a circus show. A ringmaster points to the monkeys and other animals and tells you that The King will now perform a few tricks. The case of Nadeem Babar is nothing but a trick; The King has to gather all the pennies that will be strewn about after the show is over. While the audience will be enthralled in the monkey and ringmaster’s performance, yet another character will pick their pockets.

Pickpocketing is effectively what the NEPRA amendment ordinance will do. The government now, effectively, has the right to raise electricity rates and impose fuel surcharges on the consumers. Ominously for the country, these will not be minor additions to the already inflated electricity rates. The government will have the right to add a fuel surcharge of up to Rs. 1.4 per unit while the price of electricity itself can be raised by as much as Rs. 5.5 in the coming two years. The surcharge might even rise to a total of 10% of the price. Pakistanis will pay as much as Rs. 140 billion instead of these charges. Perhaps the heaviest loss ever in the history of pickpocketing.

While the audience stares amused at the dancing monkeys, another pickpocket awaits in the wings, ready to wipe their income tax slates clean. Various sectors will be removed from tax amnesty lists. 75 recommended changes in the ordinance include the relief that coursebooks had, while newcomers to the job market will be robbed of the few months of protection they have. Never mind that the two steps will lead to financially stressed parents removing children from school and graduates being even more discouraged than they are, these are minor inconveniences after all.

The show must go on.

To the engrossed audience, I ask just this. Remember that the opposition and the government are, at best, mere performers. Beware of the pickpockets who will rob you clean. This circus will never leave the town, you must not let it drive you out too.

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Pakistan

Govt expresses willingness to hold unconditional talks with PTI

“Imran Khan should come forward for unconditional serious dialogue and stop threatening”, said Interior Minister.

Published by Mehak Javed

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Lahore: Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah along with Minister for Railways Khawja Saad Rafique, speaking at a news conference today expressed willingness to hold unconditional and serious talks with Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI), in a bid to bring political stability in the country.

During the presser, Rana Sanaullah said that coalition government will not accept conditional dialogue offer.

“Imran Khan should come forward for unconditional serious dialogue and stop threatening”, said Interior Minister.

He added that PTI and Imran Khan will face the consequences if they resorted to dissolve the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK).

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said: “The country needs political stability for economic stability”.

“The general elections will be held on time,” he added.

Referring the matter of assemblies’ dissolution, Saad Rafique said: “We will not create hindrance in his act of dissolving assemblies, but we will not support this act either”.  

He added that the threat of PTI Chairman’s to dissolve assemblies mocks the mandate of the public.

He further added, “If Imran fixes his intimidating attitude and agrees to unconditional talks, then dialogues can be considered”.

Khawaja said that as a party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have considered the talks offer suggested by Imran Khan on Friday, but cleared that preconditioned talks will be a non-starter.

However, while agreeing on informal dialogues, the PML-N minister said: “We have had informal contacts with Imran Khan and had them on multiple occasions through interlocutors”.

He added that at this moment, talks was the need of Imran Khan not the coalition government.

The minister insisted Khan at the formal approach for talks, and they will discuss the matter with Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and take a consensus decision from all the other parties.

He urged Imran to bring a fragment of seriousness in his politics.

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Pakistan

Interior Minister underscores need to resolve issues democratically

He said that nation has confidence in military leadership.

Published by Mehak Javed

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Lahore: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan has underscored the need to resolve all issues with consultation in a democratic system.

Talking to newsmen in Lahore, the minister said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership and Balochistan Government have refused to dissolve Sindh and Balochistan Assemblies.

To a question, he said that no decision has been taken by the coalition government regarding the no-confidence motion in the Punjab and KP Assemblies.

To another question, the Interior Minister said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan always refused to talk with opposition but now he is ready for talks.

He said that nation has confidence in military leadership.

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Pakistan

PTI leads in second phase of AJK local polls

 The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is leading with 229 seats in the second phase of the local government elections in Azad and Jammu Kashmir (AJK), according to interim results.

Published by Muhammad Akram

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The polling was held in four districts of Poonch division – Bagh, Rawlakot, Haveli, Sudhanoti on Saturday.

The AJK Election Commission said it had received results of 708 out of total 787 seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) currently sit at the second position after securing 129 seats, followed by PPP with 104 seats.

The Jammu Kashmir People Party bagged 28 seats while the TLP managed to win seven seats in the local government elections. Interestingly, independent candidates have secured 233 seats.

The interim results show the ruling PTI failed to get its chairmen elected in Abaspur, Dhirkot and other municipal committees and it is likely to lose mayorship of Rawlakot.

It is recalled that the PTI took the lead over its opponents, the PML-N and PPP, in the first phase of the local government elections in Muzaffarabad division.

Meanwhile, The polling in the third and last phase of the elections will be held in all three districts of Mirpur Division, including Mirpur, Kotli, and Bhimber, on December 8. A total of 1.2 million registered voters will exercise their right to vote.

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