You are here: Home » National (page 5)

Category Archives: National

Feed Subscription

Pakistan’s economy battered by floods and political unrest

Devastating floods and weeks of political turmoil have dealt a heavy blow to Pakistan's already struggling economy, with damages potentially adding up to tens of billions of dollars, as analyst Athar Hussain tells DW. Talks to end a month-long sit-in by anti-government protesters in Pakistan remain deadlocked after authorities arrested dozens of demonstrators. The South Asian country has been facing political turmoil over the past weeks ever since opposition politicians Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri led mass demonstrations against the democratically elected government of PM Nawaz Sharif, whom they accuse of incompetence and rigging last year's parliamentary vote. The ongoing unrest is also the reason why China's President Xi Jinping postponed a trip to the country this week, a visit in which both nations were expected to sign deals worth 34 billion USD. Moreover, monsoon floods ravaged more than 3000 villages in parts of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and the Punjab province, in which more than 300 people are reported to have died. Athar Hussain, Director of the Asia Research Centre at the London School of Economics, says in a DW interview that while the ongoing protests have effectively almost totally paralyzed the functioning of the government, the floods have devastated parts of the country's agricultural heartland, a key area for economic growth which could lead to billions of USD in damages. But in order to tackle the key issues undermining growth, the government must implement reforms, he adds. DW: What impact have the weeks-long protests had on Pakistan's economy? The protests have completely paralyzed the working of the central government in Islamabad. Many of the government's ministries cannot function, and the prime minister is working from his country house rather than the capital. But it is important to point out that the turmoil hasn't had much of an economic impact as the Pakistani government hadn't been doing much to improve the economy even before the protests kicked off. So the shutdown of government has not had a drastic effect on the state of the economy. Chinese President Xi Jinping postponed his visit to Pakistan due to anti-government protests. 34 billion USD of deals were scheduled to be signed during Xi's visit. What effect is this likely to have on Pakistan's economy? China is Pakistan's largest trading partner and Beijing is interested in a stable Pakistan mainly because it wants to maintain a balance in South Asia – particularly between New Delhi and Islamabad. But it is not easy - Pakistan is facing grave social and economic problems. So the postponement of Xi's trip will obviously aggravate things, and the deals between Beijing and Islamabad will be delayed. Having said that, in terms of bilateral trade China is important for Pakistan, but not so much the other way around. Parts of the country, especially in the east and northeast have been ravaged by floods. What damage have they inflicted in economic terms? Growth in the agricultural sector has been severely affected given the vast area covered by the floods and the importance of the Kashmir and Punjab area as Pakistan's "bread basket." The flooding has damaged the province's canal system which is used to irrigate the lands. According to the preliminary estimates, 20 to 30 million people have been affected by the latest inundation. Agriculture accounts for a significant part of the country's GDP, so we are looking at damages potentially adding up to billions of US dollars. In this context we must also take into account that thousands of farmers in the flood-hit areas were still recovering from the devastating impact of last year's floods. These are mostly poor peasants who lost everything and are now faced an ever bigger challenge. On top of that, the people in the region are now faced with the risk of disease due to countless bloated livestock carcasses floating in the floodwaters. What are the foremost challenges currently facing Pakistan's economy? Every kind of major challenge you can think of. For example, Pakistan has experienced record population growth and significant migration to urban areas in the past years. However, the country hasn't been able to provide employment to a huge part of the labor force. There is also the problem of underinvestment in infrastructure. Pakistan has thus far been unable to generate economic growth out of its increased urbanization. On top of that, many of the country's industrial clusters are not environmentally friendly and have weak infrastructure services. As a result, the country's GDP growth has been weak and its industrial sector cannot compete with a number of under-developed countries. Moreover, all forecasts say that Pakistan will be worse-affected by climate change in the coming years. How willing are foreign companies to invest in Pakistan given the current political turmoil and the country's history of coups? Social and political conditions in Pakistan work against long-term commitments from foreign investors. The political parties that govern the country are responsible for failing to create a situation where the economy can expand. For example, most politicians don't even pay taxes and create loopholes in the legislation as political favors to the country's rich and powerful. An indirect factor deterring investors is the country's strategic location in South Asia. Because of its geopolitical importance, Islamabad has been able to get foreign aid easily, which allows it to keep postponing economic reforms and partly hampers economic development. What does the government need to do to get the economy back on track? There is no short-term solution; the government has to undertake reforms. The country needs to invest a lot in its infrastructure, but for that Islamabad needs to generate more revenue. While everyone agrees that Islamabad needs to collect more taxes, the current political culture is not helping, as already explained. But most importantly, Pakistan must continue with the democratic process to get back on track. Good governance will not come immediately; it has to develop. The only good thing about the current political crisis is that it seems that nobody wants a military coup in Pakistan. Professor Athar Hussain is the Director of the Asia Research Centre at the London School of Economics.

Devastating floods and weeks of political turmoil have dealt a heavy blow to Pakistan’s already struggling economy, with damages potentially adding up to tens of billions of dollars, as analyst Athar Hussain tells DW. Talks to end a month-long sit-in by anti-government protesters in Pakistan remain deadlocked after authorities arrested dozens of demonstrators. The South Asian country has been facing ... Read More »

Pakistan authorities prepare explosives to battle floods

Pakistani authorities have readied explosives to potentially divert swollen rivers as they battle ongoing floods that have claimed 450 lives in the region. The Indian government has faced anger at its slow response. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said late Thursday that more than 1.8 million people were affected by the raging torrents in Pakistan and India - a figure that included both those stranded at home and those who fled after the floods hit. The floodwaters were moving downstream through Pakistan's Punjab province, inundating huge swathes of farmland in the country's breadbasket and most prosperous areas. The Pakistani army on Thursday planted explosives in preparation for breaching three strategic dykes to divert waters away from the southern Punjab cities of Muzaffargarh and Multan, a major agricultural center of two million people and the main hub for Pakistan's important cotton industry. Similar drastic measures were taken on Wednesday to protect the city of Jhang, further upstream, where 10,000 people were evacuated overnight, according to senior rescue official Rizwan Naseer. Between 300,000 and 400,000 people remained stranded in Indian-administered Kashmir, where phone lines had been down for days. Food and water supplies were running low, although the floods had begun to recede. Anger at slow response In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an emergency meeting on the disaster after there were reports of victims attacking emergency workers as anger over the slow pace of the rescue effort boiled over. Angry residents waiting for days to be rescued and for relief materials threw stones at rescue helicopters in several areas of Srinagar, forcing the Air Force to scale back its operations, NDTV news channel reported. "Unless the flood waters recede completely, and we are able to reach all the submerged areas, we cannot be sure about the exact death toll in these floods," Zee television channel quoted a local official in Jammu and Kashmir state capital Srinagar as saying. The armed forces and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had rescued more than 96,000 people and operations were continuing, a Defense Ministry release said.

Pakistani authorities have readied explosives to potentially divert swollen rivers as they battle ongoing floods that have claimed 450 lives in the region. The Indian government has faced anger at its slow response. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said late Thursday that more than 1.8 million people were affected by the raging torrents in Pakistan and India – a ... Read More »

Pakistan lawmakers meet as political crisis worsens

پاکستانی دارالحکومت میں پاکستان عوامی تحریک اور پاکستان تحریک انصاف کی جانب سے دھرنے جاری ہیں۔ حکومت نے دارالحکومت کے ریڈ زون میں سکیورٹی کی تشویشناک صورتحال کے سبب غیر ملکی سفارتکاروں کو شہر میں نقل وحرکت کے دوران محتاط رہنے کی ہدایت جاری کی ہے تاہم منگل دو ستمبر کو دفتر خارجہ کی جانب ذرائع ابلاغ پر نشر ہونے والی ان خبروں کی تردید کی گئی جن کے مطابق حکومت نے اسلام آباد میں غیر ملکی سفارتخانوں کو بند کرنے کا کہا ہے۔ بیان کے مطابق دفتر خارجہ کو نہ سفار ت خانوں کی بندش کے بارے میں کوئی ہدایت موصول ہوئی اور نہ ہی ایسی کوئی ہدایت جاری کی گئی ہے۔ دفتر خارجہ کے اس بیان کے مطابق حکومت نے اپنی ذمہ داری کو مد نظر رکھتے ہوئے سکیورٹی ایجنسیوں کو اسلام آباد میں سفارتی مشنوں کی حفاظت کے لیے ضروری حفاظتی تدابیر کرنے کی ہدایت کی ہے۔

Pakistan’s parliament has met for emergency talks as the country’s political crisis continues unabated. Premier Nawaz Sharif is refusing to bow to protester demands for his resignation. Tuesday’s joint parliamentary session of both houses – the National Assembly and the Senate – in the capital Islamabad is an attempt to rally support behind Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He is facing ... Read More »

Crisis in Pakistan could become unmanageable

The ongoing political crisis in Pakistan is hurting the country's economy. The nuclear-armed nation's powerful army is concerned, and so is the West. A greater turmoil could become unmanageable for everyone. Not many people in Pakistan expected the anti-government protests to last this long: 19 days and counting. The protesters, who claim that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power through rigged elections, have one key demand: the premier must resign from his post. Sharif and his ministers had hoped the demonstrations would die down, or that the opposition leaders – cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and Pakistani-Canadian Sunni cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri – would eventually compromise and end the sit-in outside the parliament building in the capital Islamabad. None of that happened. The protests turned violent, the Islamic Republic's powerful military chief, Raheel Sharif, stepped in as a mediator, and a number of other political groups joined Khan and Qadri in demanding Sharif's ouster. Experts fear that things are getting out of control in the country. Hundreds of protesters briefly seized the state broadcaster, Pakistan Television (PTV), on Monday, thus intensifying the political crisis. The army was called in to disperse the violent demonstrators. The security forces managed to regain control of the PTV building after few hours. Over the weekend, Pakistani police clashed with thousands of demonstrators marching on the official residence of the prime minister. At least three people were killed and hundreds wounded when the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at Khan's and Qadri's supporters. The ongoing violence prompted the top generals of the nuclear-armed state to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday, August 31. The army – which has directly ruled the nation for more than three decades collectively – voiced support for democracy, but also "expressed concern." Pakistani military – back in charge But many people in the country think the army's "concern" is part of the script that the generals have written themselves. Pro-democracy activists believe Khan and Qadri have the full backing of the army, which is wary of Sharif's cordial moves towards the country's regional arch-rival India. The PM and the army are also not on the same page over the Islamic Republic's Afghanistan policy, nor on the future of Pervez Musharraf, former military chief and ex-president, who is currently detained. The military, which has been in control of the country for most of its recent history, enjoyed limited power during the five years former President Asif Ali Zardari was in office. The generals fear that if Sharif remains in power, they may further loose grip on the country's defense and foreign policy. But the protests against the incumbent government, which came into power after winning a landslide victory in the May 2013 general elections, have put the army back in the driving seat. "It seems that history is repeating itself in Pakistan," Siegfried O' Wolf, a South Asia expert at Heidelberg University, told DW. "There is a possibility that the military could once again use the so-called 'doctrine of necessity' to intervene in the political process. However, this does not mean there will be a direct takeover, but the army will definitely curtail the civilian government's decision-making power," he added. Arshad Mahmood, an Islamabad-based social activist, is critical of the army's role in the conflict. "It is the military's constitutional responsibility to support the elected government. The statement that the generals issued after Sunday's meeting encouraged the protesters. I think the army definitely wants big changes in the government, if not a coup." Ali K. Chishti, a security analyst in Karachi, also thinks the chances of a direct military coup are quite low: "The military does not like PM Sharif and his government's attempts to assert the civilian authority, but at the same time it is skeptical of both Khan and Qadri and their leadership skills. So, will the military topple the government? I think it will find a middle way," the expert told DW. But some say the military has already cut Sharif down to his size. Abdul Agha, an Islamabad-based analyst, told DW that "I would call it a symbolic coup," adding that the military did not need to intervene directly now. Is it up to Sharif now? The pressure is on the prime minister now. The political impasse is hurting the country's already weak economy. Should the PM resign to end the crisis and let an interim government hold fresh elections? "Nawaz Sharif is head of an elected government. An extra-constitutional and enforced resignation would have an extremely negative impact on the future of democracy in Pakistan," O' Wolf said. Chishti says no one in Pakistan resigns voluntarily. "PM Sharif remains adamant that he won't stand down, and from what I know of him, it would really be an extraordinary situation that would force him to leave office." But activists like Mahmood believe that Sharif should hold his ground and not surrender to the opposition's blackmailing. "If he is forcefully removed, the world will see how the popular mandate of an elected government was violated by a handful of people." West is concerned Western nations have been cautiously watching the crisis in the Islamic state. They have so far not directly commented on the turmoil. But to say that they are not concerned about the future of an unstable nuclear-armed Islamic state would be naïve. Islamist groups, including the Taliban and al Qaeda, have been weakened after a decade-long western operation in neighboring Afghanistan, but the militants are still strong in Pakistan and have safe havens in the country's semi-governed northwestern areas. A bigger chaos in the country could become unmanageable not only for the Pakistani state but also for the international community. "European governments would most likely not intervene in Pakistan's domestic political issues, however, the difficulties in the context of the US-Afghan bilateral security agreement might force Washington to draw decisive attention on the happenings in Islamabad," believes O' Wolf.

The ongoing political crisis in Pakistan is hurting the country’s economy. The nuclear-armed nation’s powerful army is concerned, and so is the West. A greater turmoil could become unmanageable for everyone. Not many people in Pakistan expected the anti-government protests to last this long: 19 days and counting. The protesters, who claim that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power ... Read More »

Pakistani government ‘open for talks’ as protests turn deadly

پاکستانی دارالحکومت میں ہفتے اور اتوار کی درمیانی شب پاکستان تحریک انصاف اور پاکستان عوامی تحریک کے مظاہرین کو وزیراعظم ہاؤس کی جانب مارچ کو پولیس کی شدید کارروائی کا سامنا کرنا پڑا۔ چار سو سے زائد افراد زخمی ہوئے ہیں۔ وزیراعظم ہاؤس کے سامنے دھرنا دینے کی کوشش پاکستان تحریک انصاف اور پاکستان عوامی تحریک کے ہزاروں احتجاجی کارکنوں کو خاصی مہنگی پڑی۔ پارلیمنٹ کی عمارت کے سامنے پولیس کی بھاری نفری نے مظاہرین کو روکنے کے لیے ربر کی گولیوں اور آنسو گیس کا استعمال کیا۔ خبر رساں ادارے اے ایف پی کے مطابق ایک ہلاکت کی تصدیق ہوئی ہے۔ اِس دوران پولیس نے درجنوں مظاہرین کو گرفتار کرنے کا بھی سلسلہ شروع کر رکھا ہے۔ ایسی بھی اطلاعات ہیں کہ حکومت عمران خان اور ڈاکٹر طاہر القادری کو بھی حراست میں لینے کا ارادہ رکھتی ہے۔ مقامی طبی ذرائع کے مطابق بڑے ہسپتالوں میں متعدد زخمی لائے گئے ہیں۔ پاکستان انسٹیٹیوٹ آف میڈیکل سائنسز اور پولی کلینیک میں پولیس کارروائی کے تناظر میں ایمرجنسی کا نفاذ کر دیا گیا تھا۔ پاکستان میڈیکل انسٹیٹیوٹ کے ترجمان کے مطابق ہسپتال ایمرجنسی میں 164 سے زائد زخمی لائے گئے ہیں۔ اسی طرح پولی کلینیک میں بھی ایمرجنسی کا نفاذ ہے اور درجنوں زخمی وہاں پہنچائے گئے ہیں۔ پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ق) کے لیڈر چوہدری شجاعت حسین بھی احتجاج کے دوران آنسو گیس کا شیل لگنے سے زخمی ہوئے ہیں۔ مظاہرین کی جانب سے پتھراؤ سے بیس کے قریب پولیس اہلکاروں کے زخمی ہونے کا بھی بتایا گیا ہے۔ وزیراعظم ہاؤس کی جانب جانے والے مظاہرین نے پولیس شیلنگ کے دوران پارلیمنٹ کی عمارت کے باہر قائم جنگلے کو توڑ کر اندر داخل ہو گئے۔ اندر داخل ہونے والے مظاہرین نے پارلیمنٹ کی عمارت کے باہر کے وسیع سبز لانز میں ڈھیرے تو ڈال لیے ہیں لیکن پولیس کی جانب سے آنسو گیس کی بھاری شیلنگ کا سامنا ہے۔ پارلیمنٹ کی حفاظت پر مامور فوج کے اراکین نے مظاہرین کو پارلیمان کی بلڈنگ کی جانب بڑھنے سے روک دیا تھا۔ پاکستان تحریک انصاف کے سربراہ عمران خان اور پاکستانی عوامی تحریک کے رہنما ڈاکٹر طاہر القادری بھی مظاہرین کے ہمراہ ہیں۔ اسلام آباد میں ہفتے اور اتوار کی درمیانی شب کے دوران ہونے والے مظاہروں کے بعد پاکستان کے دیگر شہروں میں پی ٹی آئی اور پاکستانی عوامی تحریک کے مظاہرین نے مظاہروں کا سلسلہ شروع کر دیا ہے۔ لاہور میں لبرٹی مارکیٹ کے قریب ہونے والے پاکستان تحریکِ انصاف کے مظاہرے کو بھی پولیس کی جانب سے آنسو گیس کی شیلنگ کا سامنا کرنا پڑا۔ لاہور میں مظاہرین نے ٹائر بھی جلائے۔ راولپنڈی کے موتی محل سنیما چوک میں ہونے والے مظاہرے پر بھی پولیس نے لاٹھی چارج کیا۔ کراچی، ملتان، سیالکوٹ اور دوسرے کئی شہروں میں بھی رات کے دوران نواز شریف حکومت کے خلاف مظاہروں کی اطلاع ہے۔ پی ٹی آئی اور پی اے ٹی کی جانب سے آج اتوار کے روز ملک گیر ہڑتال کا اعلان کیا گیا ہے۔ سیاستدانوں کی جانب سے پولیس کارروائی کی مذمت کا سلسلہ شروع ہو گیا ہے۔ پاکستانی دارالحکومت میں گزشتہ دو ہفتوں سے گزشتہ برس کے انتخابات میں ہونے والی مبینہ دھاندلی کے خلاف عمران خان کی سیاسی جماعت نے لاہور سے اسلام آباد کی جانب لانگ مارچ چودہ اگست کو شروع کیا تھا۔ ایسا ہی ایک مارچ پاکستان عوامی تحریک کی جانب سے شروع کیا گیا۔ اِس دوران دو روز قبل ایسی اطلاعات سامنے آئی تھیں کہ فوج صورت حال کو بہتر بنانے میں ثالث کا کردار ادا کرے گی۔

Several people have died and hundreds were wounded as anti-government demonstrators clashed with riot police in Islamabad. Pakistan’s government says it is open to renewing talks with its opponents to end the violence. At least three people were killed as clashes continued in the Pakistani capital through Sunday morning. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters attempting to ... Read More »

Pakistan army chief offers to ‘mediate’ political crisis

پاکستان کے آرمی چیف سیاسی بحران کے حل کے لیے ثالث کے طور پر میدان میں اتر آئے ہیں جس سے ان قیاس آرائیوں کو ہوا ملی ہے کہ فوج حالیہ مظاہروں کو ایک سویلین حکومت پر اپنا اثر قائم کرنے کے لیے استعمال کر سکتی ہے۔ پاکستان کے دارالحکومت اسلام آباد میں دو مختلف جماعتوں کے ہزاروں مظاہرین گزشتہ دو ہفتے سے دھرنے دیے بیٹھے ہیں۔ پاکستان تحریک انصاف (پی ٹی آئی) کے سربراہ عمران خان اور پاکستان عوامی تحریک (پی ٹی اے) کے سربراہ طاہر القادری کے یہ حامی وزیر اعظم نواز شریف کے استعفے کا مطالبہ کر رہے ہیں۔ فوج کے ایک ترجمان نے ٹوئٹر پر جاری کیے گئے ایک بیان میں کہا ہے کہ طاہر القادری اور عمران خان نے آرمی چیف جنرل راحیل شریف سے ملاقات کی ہے۔ آرمی چیف سے بات چیت کے بعد عمران خان نے کہا کہ انہوں نے جنرل شریف کو اپنی پارٹی کے مؤقف سے آگاہ کیا ہے، جس کے مطابق جب تک نواز شریف وزیر اعظم ہیں اس وقت تک انتخابی دھاندلی کے لیے ہونے والی کوئی بھی آزادانہ تفتیش ممکن نہیں ہے۔ طاہر القادری کا کہنا تھا کہ انہوں نے آرمی چیف سے ماڈل ٹاؤن میں ان کے مرکز پر پولیس کی کارروائی کے دوران کارکنوں کے قتل کی ایف آئی آر کے حوالے سے بات کی ہے۔ انہوں نے بتایا کہ جنرل شریف نے بھی حالیہ ایف آئی آر میں نقائص پر حیرت کا اظہار کیا ہے۔ قادری نے کہا کہ جمعے کو نواز شریف اور ان کے بھائی وزیر اعلیٰ پنجاب عہدے نہیں چھوڑتے تو ’دما دم مست قلندر‘ ہو گا۔ قبل ازیں قادری اور خان نے اعلان کیا ہے کہ آرمی چیف جنرل راحیل شریف اس بحران میں ثالث کا کردار ادا کریں گے۔ جمعرات کو قبل ازیں طاہر القادری نے قتل کی تفتیش کرنے کے حکومتی فیصلے کو مسترد کر دیا تھا جس میں وزیر اعظم کو مشتبہ کے طور پر نامزد کیا گیا تھا۔ طاہر القادری کا کہنا تھا کہ یہ تفتیش کافی نہیں ہے۔ قادری نے جمعرات کو پارلیمنٹ کے باہر دھرنا دینے والے اپنے حامیوں سے خطاب میں کہا: ’’پاکستان کے آرمی چیف نے ہم سے باقاعدہ پوچھا ہے کہ اگر وہ ثالث یا ضامن کا کردار ادا کریں تو کیا یہ آزادی مارچ کے لیے قابلِ قبول ہو گا۔‘‘ انہوں نے کہا کہ فوج نے ثالثی کے لیے چوبیس گھنٹے مانگے ہیں۔ عمران خان نے بھی فوج کی جانب سے ثالثی کی تصدیق کی تھی۔ عمران خان اور طاہر القادری کا الزام ہے کہ وزیر اعظم نواز شریف مئی 2013ء کے عام انتخابات میں بڑے پیمانے پر ہونے والی دھاندلی کے نتیجے میں اقتدار میں آئے ہیں۔ تاہم عالمی مبصرین کا کہنا تھا کہ یہ انتخاب بڑی حد تک صاف و شفاف رہے۔

Pakistan’s army chief has offered to mediate a two-week political struggle between the country’s prime minister and the opposition. The crisis has paralyzed the government of premier Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan’s fortnight of political crisis has seen masses of protesters camped outside the parliament building in Islamabad, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The demonstrations have been led by ... Read More »

Pakistan’s opposition resumes talk with government

Opposition leader Imran Khan and his party have decided to resume talks with the government. The negotiations are aimed at ending several days of protests. Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has agreed to return to negotiations with the government in a bid to end protests that began earlier this week calling for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation. The PTI's vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, "We are resuming talks with the government." The announcement came shortly after parliament members of the PTI quit the parliament. The MPs quit the National Assembly as they believe "elections were not transparent," said PTI member Arif Alvi, referring to the election of Nawaz Sharif in April last year. The resignation of the MPs will go into effect on Monday. Khan and popular cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have led separate protests demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation and reforms in the electoral process. They accuse Sharif of rigging parliamentary elections in 2013 in which Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League won the maximum number of votes. Khan's party, PTI won 34 seats in Pakistan's National Assembly, which has 342 members. Nawaz Sharif has refused to budge, raising fears of violence if the protests continue unabated. Imran Khan had opened talks with the government on Wednesday but he called them off a day later, after Nawaz Sharif appointed a new police chief, which was taken as a sign of a crackdown on the protestors.

Opposition leader Imran Khan and his party have decided to resume talks with the government. The negotiations are aimed at ending several days of protests. Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has agreed to return to negotiations with the government in a bid to end protests that began earlier this week calling for Prime Minister Nawaz ... Read More »

Opposition leaders summoned to court in Pakistan

The two leaders of the ongoing march on Islamabad have been asked to appear in court. They have called on supporters to blockade the parliament building and 'let no one out.' Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned opposition leaders Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri to appear in court on Thursday over protests to call for the prime minister's resignation. After five days of protesting in the capital of Islamabad, thousands of demonstrators blockaded the parliament building on Wednesday. Qadri had called on supporters to not let anyone out of the building. Police did not intervene, despite the thousands of demonstrators penetrating the heavily fortified "Red Zone" around the parliament building and setting up camp there. A number of them are said to be carrying gas masks and batons. The cleric Qadri, founder and leader of the party Pakistan Awami Tehreek, and former cricket star and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party Imran Khan are both leading different camps, but agree that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should step down for corruption. Khan said PM Sharif's house would be stormed should he refuse to step down from office. "If Nawaz Sharif does not resign then we will enter into the PM House," Khan said last night while addressing to protesters, outside the parliament. Khan said that he has given Prime Minister Sharif until Wednesday evening to resign. Democracy and military rule Sharif won a landslide victory last year, his third term. During the 1990s, he headed the government twice before going into exile as a result of the 1999 military coup. He has refused to resign, raising fears that the military will step in if both of the protest leaders and the head of government remain inflexible. Last year's polls marked Pakistan's first successful democratic transfer of power since its statehood in 1947. Amid the ongoing economic woes, rampant power outages and the ever increasing menace of home-grown Islamist terrorism, the current unrest has sparked fears of another military coup. It would be the fourth in the history of the nuclear-armed nation.

The two leaders of the ongoing march on Islamabad have been asked to appear in court. They have called on supporters to blockade the parliament building and ‘let no one out.’ Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned opposition leaders Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri to appear in court on Thursday over protests to call for the prime minister’s resignation. After ... Read More »

Pakistani opposition party to resign from parliament

پاکستان میں حزب اختلاف کی جماعت پاکستان تحریک انصاف کے ارکان پارلیمنٹ نے قومی اور تین صوبائی اسمبلیوں سے مستعفی ہونے کا اعلان کر دیا ہے۔ دوسری جانب عوامی تحریک کے سربراہ طاہرالقادری نے ملک بھر میں دھرنے دینے کا اعلان کیا ہے۔ تحریک انصاف کی کور کمیٹی کا اجلاس عمران خان کی زیر صدارت آج 18 اگست کو اسلام آباد میں ہوا۔ اجلاس کے بعد ذرائع ابلاغ سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے پارٹی کے رہنماء شاہ محمود قریشی نے کہا کہ خیبر پختوانخوا اسمبلی سے استعفے دینے کے معاملے پر مشاورت جاری ہے اس لیے وہاں سے مستعفی ہونے کا فیصلہ مؤخر کر دیا گیا ہے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ان کی جماعت عوام کو طاقت کا سر چشمہ سمھجتی ہے۔ تحریک انصاف کے رہنماؤں نے بظاہر ایک ایسے وقت پر استعفے دینے کا اعلان کیا ہے جب حکومت نے گزشتہ رات ہی احتجاج کرنے والوں کے ساتھ بات چیت کے لیے دو مذاکراتی کمیٹیاں تشکیل دینے کا اعلان کیا تھا۔ اتوار کی شب تحریک انصاف کے سربراہ عمران خان نے ملک میں سول نافرمانی کی تحریک شروع کرنے اور وزیر اعظم کو مستعفی ہونے کے لیے دو دن کی مہلت دی تھی۔ اس اعلان کے بعد وزیر داخلہ چوہدری نثار نے حکومت کی جانب سے دو مذاکراتی کمیٹیاں تشکیل دینے کا اعلان کیا تھا۔ پنجاب ہاؤس اسلام آباد میں پریس کانفرنس سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے انہوں نے کہا کہ عمران خان کی تقریری سن کر دکھ ہوا ہے۔ وزیر داخلہ کا کہنا تھا کہ سول نافرمانی، حکومت کے خلاف کم اور ریاست کے خلاف زیادہ ہوتی ہے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ حکومت کی طرف سے خیر سگالی کے طور پر عمران خان اور طاہر القادری کے ساتھ جو مذاکراتی کمیٹیاں تشکیل دی جائیں گی وہ حکومتی نہیں بلکہ سیاسی جماعتوں کی کمیٹیاں کہلائیں گی۔چوہدری نثار علی خان کا مزید کہنان تھا: ’’جس حکومت میں لچک نہ ہو وہ جمہوری نہیں ہوتی۔ حکومت کوئی عقل کُل تو نہیں ہوتی۔ ضروری نہیں کہ جو حکومت کہہ رہی ہو وہی صیح ہو۔ یہی جمہوریت کی خوبصورتی ہے اور بہت ساری کمزوریوں کے باجود ہم کوشش کر رہے ہیں کہ خود کو اصل جمہوری معاشرے میں تبدیل کریں۔اور اس پر عمل کریں۔‘‘ عمران خان کی جانب سے دو دن تک دھرنا جاری رکھنے کے اعلان کے بعد جلسہ گاہ سے بڑی تعداد میں ان کے کارکنوں نے واپسی کی راہ لی۔ جبکہ پیر کے دن بھی دن کے وقت پنڈال میں پی ٹی آئی کے کارکنوں کی تعداد خاصی کم رہی۔ البتہ توقع کی جارہی ہے کہ عمران خان جب شام کے اوقات میں جلسہ گاہ پہنچیں گے تو کارکن دوبارہ اکٹھے ہوجائیں گے۔ دریں اثناء سپریم کورٹ نے عمران خان کی طرف سے سول نافرمانی کی تحریک شروع کرنے اور موجودہ صورت حال کے بارے میں وفاق سے تفصیلی جواب طلب کر لیا ہے۔ عدالت کا کہنا ہے کہ آئین پر عمل کرنا ہر شہری پر فرض ہے اور ایسا نہ ہونے کی صورت میں آرٹیکل چھ یعنی سنگین غداری کی کارروائی ہوسکتی ہے۔ چیف جسٹس ناصر الملک کی سربراہی میں سپریم کورٹ کے پانچ رکنی بینچ نے ملک کی موجودہ سیاسی صورت حال میں کسی بھی ادارے کو ممکنہ طور پر ماورائے آئین اقدام اٹھانے سے روکنے کے لیے درخواست کی سماعت کی۔ یہ درخواست سپریم کورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن کے صدر کامران مرتضیٰ نے دائر کر رکھی ہے۔ پیر کو سماعت کے موقع پر لاہور ہائیکورٹ بار ایسوسی ایشن کے صدر شفقت چوہان نے عمران خان کی جانب سے سول نافرمانی کی تحریک شروع کرنے اور مظاہرین کو ریڈ زون میں داخل ہونے سے روکنے کے لیے بھی ایک درخواست دائر کی۔ عدالت نے اس درخواست کو سماعت کے منظور کرنے کا حکم دیتے ہوئے وفاق سے جواب طلب کیا ہے۔ عدالت نے اس مقدمے کی سماعت 20 اگست بروز بدھ تک ملتوی کر دی۔ دوسری جانب پاکستان عوامی تحریک کے سربراہ مولانا طاہر القادری نے آج پیر کی شام اپنی جماعت کے زیر اہتمام دھرنے کے شرکاء سے خطاب کرتےہوئے کہا کہ اب ملک بھر میں دھرنے دیے جائیں گے۔ انہوں نے حکومت کو تنقید کا نشانہ بناتے ہوئے کہا کہ احتجاج کے ڈر سے مخلتف شہروں میں ان کے کارکنوں کو گرفتار کیا جا رہا ہے۔انہوں نے للکارتے ہوئے کہا کہ وہ رات کے بارہ بجے ڈیڈ لائن ختم ہونے پر شریف برادران کے بارہ بجا دیں گے۔

Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan’s Movement for Justice (PTI) party has announced that its lawmakers will resign from parliament to try to force PM Nawaz Sharif to step down. Khan’s party announced on Monday, August 18, that it would also withdraw from three out of four provincial assemblies, however, its lawmakers from the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which it governs, ... Read More »

Pakistan politician Khan calls for ‘civil disobedience’

پاکستانی اپوزیشن جماعت تحریک انصاف کے سربراہ نے اسلام آباد میں جاری حکومت مخالف دھرنے سے خطاب میں کہا ہے کہ عوام حکومت کو ٹیکس ادا کرنا بند کر دیں اور سول نافرمانی شروع کر دی جائے۔ پارلیمان میں تیسری سب سے بڑی سیاسی قوت کے حامل عمران خان نے یہ اعلان دارالحکومت اسلام آباد میں حکومت مخالف دھرنے میں شامل ہزاروں افراد سے خطاب میں کیا۔ انہوں نے گزشتہ برس ہونے والے انتخابات میں دھاندلی کا الزام عائد کرتے ہوئے وزیراعظم نواز شریف سے فوری طور پر مستعفی ہونے کا مطالبہ دوہرایا۔ ایسوسی ایٹڈ پریس کا کہنا ہے کہ عمران خان کی جانب سے اس اعلان کے بعد ملک میں جمہوری حکومت کے خاتمے اور فوج کے اقتدار پر قابض ہو جانے کے خدشات بڑھ گئے ہیں۔

Pakistani politician Imran Khan has called on his compatriots to protest government corruption by not paying taxes and utility bills. The opposition lawmaker has given the prime minister a two-day ultimatum to resign. Speaking to thousands of supporters on Sunday, the former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan urged discontent Pakistanis to do more than participate in street protests against the government. “There ... Read More »

Scroll To Top