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Turkish prominent journalist arrested for insulting president Erdogan

Turkish court orders journalist Sedef Kabas jailed pending trial on charge of insulting President Erdogan under a law 

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A prominent Turkish TV journalist has been detained and could face imprisonment after being charged with insulting the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A Turkish court ordered prominent journalist Sedef Kabas jailed pending trial on a charge of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under a law that has seen tens of thousands prosecuted.

Police detained Sedef Kabaş at her home at 2am on Saturday and took her to a police station, before she faced court and was jailed pending a trial.

The alleged insult was a proverb that Kabaş expressed both on an opposition television channel and her Twitter account.

The proverb translates to: “When the ox comes to the palace, he does not become a king. But the palace becomes a barn.”

“The honour of the presidency’s office is the honour of our country ... I condemn the vulgar insults made against our president and his office,” Fahrettin Altun, head of Turkey’s communications directorate and Erdogan’s chief spokesman, said.

Merdan Yanardag, the chief editor of the Tele 1 channel, on which Kabaş made the comment, criticised her arrest.

“Her detention overnight at 2am because of a proverb is unacceptable,” he said. “This stance is an attempt to intimidate journalists, the media and society.”

Insulting Erdogan

Last October, Europe’s top human rights court called on Turkey to change the legislation after ruling that a man’s detention under the law violated his freedom of expression.

Tens of thousands have been charged and sentenced over the crime of insulting Erdogan in the seven years since he moved from being prime minister to president.

In 2020, 31,297 investigations were launched in relation to the charge, 7,790 cases were filed, and 3,325 resulted in convictions, according to justice ministry data. Those numbers were slightly lower than the previous year.

Since 2014, the year Erdogan became president, 160,169 investigations have been launched over insulting the president, 35,507 cases were filed and there were 12,881 convictions.

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Pakistan

‘If I come out on streets, you would not even find place to hide’, PM warns opposition

Imran Khan says people asked him why he did not shake hands with Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif

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+Islamabad: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Sunday warned the opposition and said that if he comes out on the streets, they would not even find a place to hide.

The prime minister said while receiving direct phone calls from the general public and answered their questions and complaints in a live programme “Aap ka Wazir-e-Azam, Aap ke Saath” on Sunday.

“I want to warn you that if I am forced out of the office, I would be more dangerous. If I come out on the streets, you would not even find a place to hide,” the prime minister said to the opposition. 

Shebaz Sharif a criminal, not opposition leader

Criticising Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif. 

Imran Khan said that he is ready to talk to everyone — even if their views differ from his — but he is never going to negotiate with the corrupt. "If I talk with the corrupt and give them NROs, then I will be deceiving the nation as well as my Allah," he added. 

He said that he wanted to go to parliament and wanted to answer the people’s questions. But he could not answer the questions because of the ruckus the opposition created in the house.

He said that he never claimed that the government would dig out milk canals in the country. He said the criticizers should criticize government but they should also inform the public about things that are beneficial for the country. 

He said that people asked him why he did not shake hands with Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif. He said that he did not consider Shehbaz as Opposition leader, rather he regarded him as ‘criminal of the nation’. He said Shehbaz read out speeches of long durations in the assembly. They seem more like a job application than a political speech, the PM mockingly said. 

Entered politics to crusade dacoits

The prime minister said that he entered politics to launch a crusade against ‘dacoits’. He also lamented that former foreign minister Ishaq Dar had fled the country during the PML-N tenure. 

Imran deplored that the FBR brought Rs2,500 billion cases to the courts but three regulators informed him that the mafia got stay order from courts. 

Rising inflation wakes me up at nights

Imran Khan has said that he could not sleep at night while thinking about rising inflation. When a woman caller asked the premier that since inflation has increased manifold ‘now should we be worried a bit’? 

The premier replied that he too was worried about inflation and this thing gives him sleepless nights.

Inflation not an issue confined to Pakistan

At the beginning of the session, the premier said that it was his faith that the PTI government will aspire to work on the reasons Pakistan was built: an Islamic Welfare State.

"The biggest challenge we face today is inflation and the rising prices of commodities. I am well aware and cognisant of the issues being faced by the common man due to rising prices.” He then said that inflation is "not an issue occurring solely in Pakistan."

"I want my countrymen to understand that inflation is a global phenomenon caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic," he said. “From industrialised countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, to Europe and Japan, the entire world is faced with spiralling costs of living, a sharp increase in food prices, and a huge spike in energy prices.” 

“Pandemics such as COVID-19 occur once in 100 years, it has had a global negative effect causing spiralling costs of living, and disrupting lives all across the world.” 

Will ask businessmen to raise salaries 

The prime minister said that the salaried class remains the most affected by the pandemic and he would invite top businessmen and ask them to raise the salaries of their staffers.

'Country progressing despite COVID-19'

Citing the 5.37% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of the country despite the prevalence of the pandemic, the premier questioned the Opposition, the critics, and the media as to how the country is progressing if there was complete economic turmoil.

"The construction sector is booming in the country and banks have received applications for housing loans worth Rs290 billion, while the government has already granted Rs140 billion to the applicants, which shows the public's trust in the government's policies."

He said that 45,000 housing units are under construction, while the private sector and building developers are constructing three million houses in their 342 projects. 

"Thirty industries are directly linked with the construction sector and are getting benefit of this boom," the premier said.

PM asks media to refrain from fake news

Addressing the media of the country, the premier said that while it is the right of the media to criticise the government so that it could improve, it should refrain from resorting to propaganda and fake news. "Our government is against mafias, and unfortunately, some elements within the media have also sided with them to spread negativity," he said. 

To pay taxes 

To a question about high taxes on imported mobile phones, the prime minister said that his government is trying to manufacture everything within the country, saying that manufacturing goods within the country is the only solution as importing goods from abroad is very expensive. "Even the clothes I am wearing are made in Pakistan. I don't wear anything imported," the premier said, adding that the government is trying to document the economy so that tax collection could be increased.

"If we want to be a progressing nation, we have to pay taxes," he said.

The prime minister said that the PTI government will not only complete this tenure but it will also complete the next term. 

Live calls session

Prior to taking the calls, the Prime Minister's Office had provided a landline number for citizens wanting to talk directly to the premier. They may dial 051-9224900.

The announcement for the live call session was made through the official Twitter account of the Prime Minister's Office on Saturday.

The prime minister has regularly been taking live calls from people and answering their queries. However, this session is being conducted after a short gap.

Sunday's session was the seventh time PM Imran Khan interacted with the public. The last live session by the premier was held last year on August 29.

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Pakistan

‘Imran Khan should pack up and leave’, Maryam Nawaz reacts to PM’s warning

Imran Khan was history now, says Maryam Nawaz

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Lahore: Reacting to a warning from Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, who on Sunday said he would be more dangerous if ousted from power, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that Imran Khan should pack up and leave. 

The PML-N vice president said in a series of tweets in Urdu and English with different content soon after Imran Khan ended his two-hour telephone conversation with the general public, discussing a host of issues.

“Your threat that you would be more dangerous if ousted is nothing more than a hollow claim. The day you are out of power, people would perform prayer of thankfulness. Neither you are Nawaz Sharif who was supported by people nor you are a victim. You are a conspirer facing karma,” Maryam said.

She said Imran Khan sounded like a person who is not only defeated but has also accepted his defeat. Four years into the government and he is still only whining, she added.

“The ‘cartels’ you are complaining about are the mafias on your right and left who have fleeced 220 million and who run your kitchen,” she said.

The PMLN leader said that Imran Khan was wrong to blame the judiciary for his failure.

“The cases you made against Sharifs and PMLN were false and fabricated and were bound to meet the fate they have met. Now that your reality has dawned on the world, do not blame the judiciary. You have only your vindictiveness and revengefulness to blame.”

“Every word that IK has uttered today reeks of failure, dashed hopes and no faith in his or PTI’s future,” Maryam said adding that Imran Khan was “history” now.

She said Imran Khan should pack up and leave. “The more you cling to power, the more you will compound your problems and that of the people.”

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