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Pakistan

Neither Tareen nor Shehbaz, only Imran

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Jahangir Khan Tareen’s group’s ‘rebellion’ has both perplexed and encouraged the opposition. They are encouraged because the grouping within the PTI that was much talked about is now out in the open. What the combined might of the PDM could not do, this group might just be able to accomplish.

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But the opposition is vexed too. If this group fails, Imran Khan may become more powerful. The failure of the JKT gang would lead to nipping in the bud of every future rebel.

Much is being speculated about, especially the alleged contacts established between the JKT group and the two main opposition parties, PML-N and PPP. Rumors say that a meeting between Shehbaz Sharif and Tareen is imminent. The chances of such a meeting are quite dim. Not only is Jahangir Tareen an astute politician but he is also a smart businessman. He takes only calculated steps. Already, the party Chairman, Imran Khan, views the formation of this group as a challenge to his authority. They are skimming the border on the red area. Any future miscalculation could see them outside the party instead of being inside it.

And if by chance such a meeting does happen, then it will potentially have more negative political consequences than positive ones. Imran Khan will have the chance to make his narrative stronger. As is usual for him, he will term this the unity of corrupts. He once again repeated in Peshawar that he will not give an NRO, a hint to the group.

The formation of the JKT group did not happen without reason. The group has three main grievances. The foremost one is that the Prime Minister is surrounded by the ‘Karachi Group’ of his party, who are behind the cases against Tareen. Under Asad Umar’s leadership, the group has become stronger and lobbies for its own causes in the PM office. The second reason is that the group, comprised mainly of members from South Punjab, is not happy with Shah Mahmud Qureshi’s behavior. The Foreign minister and Tareen have a long history of enemity. Qureshi is still unable to forget his defeat at the hands of Salman Naeem in his home constituency. He also benefitted the most from Tareen’s disqualification at the hands of the Supreme Court. Today, although his influence within the government has increased, in his home region of South Punjab, his influence is waning while Tareen’s is getting stronger by the day.

The third and most important grievance is about Punjab Chief Minister, Sardar Usman Buzdar. For those in the know, it is common knowledge that Imran Khan is the de facto Chief Minister of Punjab. Buzdar and Khan are one and the same. Chief Minister hopefuls have raised the rumors multiple times that Buzdar is on his way out. A section of media was also recruited to play up the impression that Buzdar did not deserve the seat given to him. Tareen group knows all of this, yet its target is clear. But silence from the establishment seems to have given the group a hint; proceed at your own cost.

Displaying uncharacteristic political wisdom, the government has decided to give the Tareen group a way out. Once Usman Buzdar addresses the complaints of the group, the forward block will hold far less threat. The situation will shift back towards normalcy although differences will remain. As for those people who were hoping for Chaudhary Nisar or Shehbaz Sharif to take advantage of the situation, I ask, why would Tareen do all the hard work only for the fruit to fall into PML-N’s lap?

And now for the important question, how will the budget be passed through the assembly? Exactly in the same way as it has been since the previous two years. The Tareen group will give their vote, and PML-N will become a silent spectator. Shehbaz Sharif will pay the price for another two years for a shot in 2023. After all, the same page story hasn’t changed much yet.

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Pakistan

Social media campaign against sacrifices of martyrs, horrifying: PM  

"Self-righteous political narratives spurring hate speech"

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday while expressing his displeasure said that the social media campaign, aimed at belittling and ridiculing the sacrifices of martyrs, was horrifying.

On his Twitter handle, he observed that the self-righteous political narratives were poisoning the minds of the youth and spurring hate speech.  

Terming the campaign horrifying, the Prime Minister called for a deep reflection of the direction, all this is taking us to as a nation.   

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World

Any attack on a nuclear plant ‘suicidal’: UN Chief 

At a press conference in Tokyo, Guterres condemned such attacks without saying either side was responsible.

Published by Mehak Javed

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Any attack on a nuclear plant is “suicidal”, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday after fresh shelling hit a huge atomic power complex in southern Ukraine.

Moscow and Kyiv blame each other for the latest strike at the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power site, which has been under Russian control since the early days of the war.

The fighting on Friday at the plant has prompted the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to warn of “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Guterres condemned such attacks without saying either side was responsible.

“We support the IAEA on their efforts in relation to create the conditions of stabilisation of that plant,” he said.

“Any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing. I hope that those attacks will end, and at the same time I hope that the IAEA will be able to access the plant.”

His comments followed a visit to Hiroshima over the weekend, where Guterres gave a speech to mark the 77th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear bomb attack.

In the Japanese city on Saturday, he warned that “humanity is playing with a loaded gun” as crises with the potential for nuclear disaster proliferate worldwide, from Ukraine to the Middle East and the Korean peninsula.

The Portuguese 73-year-old also delivered a stark warning against the horrors of atomic weapons a week ago in New York at a key nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, which he reiterated on Monday.

“We are witnessing a radicalisation in the geopolitical situation that makes the risk of a nuclear war again something we cannot completely forget,” he said.

When asked about China’s massive military exercises around Taiwan, sparked by a visit last week to the self-ruled island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Guterres said the UN “abides by a resolution of the General Assembly, the so-called One China policy”.

“But we all want that resolution to correspond to a peaceful environment,” he said, calling for common sense and restraint to allow for an “extremely important” de-escalation.

SOURCE: AFP

 

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Sports

Commonwealth Games: Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem wins javelin gold 

This is the second gold for Pakistan in Commonwealth Games 2022. 

Published by Mehak Javed

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Pakistan’s ace Javelin thrower Nadeem bagged gold in Commonwealth Games Javelin with record throw of 90.18 meters. The Olympian’s throw was also the games' record—registered in his fifth attempt. 

In the ongoing Commonwealth Games at Birmingham, Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem has won gold medal in the Javelin throw competition with a monstrous throw of 90.18 meters.

During the first round of the javelin throw final, the athlete created a record through an 86.81-metre throw. However, in the fifth attempt, Nadeem set a new CWG record of 90.18m throw—becoming first Pakistani to hold the record.

This is the second gold for Pakistan in Commonwealth Games 2022. 

Previously, Arshad had a career-best throw of 86.38, which he pulled off during the Imam Reza Cup held in Mashhad Iran, in 2021.

Earlier, weightlifter Nooh Dastagir Butt had won the gold medal for Pakistan in the Commonwealth Games 2022 with a record lift of 405 kilogram.

Pakistani athletes have complained of not receiving enough support from sports authorities in the form of training and infrastructure, yet have continued to perform impressively in global tournaments. 

Last month, Arshad Nadeem became the first Pakistani to secure the fifth position in the men’s javelin competition at the World Athletics Championship held in the United States. 

Nadeem's exceptional performance brought Pakistan’s medals tally in the ongoing games to eight.

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