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Nawaz Sharif’s Indian links are exposed: Enemies of armed forces are enemies of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: In a reference to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that those who were enemies of the Pakistan Army were enemies of the country.

The prime minister was addressing a meeting of the PTI and government spokespersons on Friday where he spoke about the upcoming protest movement to be launched by the country’s opposition parties.

During the party meeting, Imran Khan said that there were no tensions in the current civil-military relations and the army was fully supporting the government within constitutional limits.

“The opposition has a problem with the army because they (armed forces) always catch their corruption,” he said. The prime minister criticised Nawaz Sharif’s diatribe against the army, saying that his statements appease India. “Nawaz Sharif is toeing India’s narrative,” added PM Imran. The premier said the statements of Nawaz Sharif are according to the Indian agenda.

He said that those who were enemies of the armed forces were enemies of Pakistan, calling on the whole nation to stay united in the face of an Indian conspiracy. PM Imran said that the government will defend its institutions.

According to sources, the premier directed the ministers to expose the narrative of opposition. He said Pakistan’s enemies were joyous over employing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diction by Nawaz Sharif.

The prime minister said the government feels no pressure from the opposition’s movement. “What kind of a revolution it is when the leaders will sit in London with comfort, while workers will be on roads,” he said, adding that the opposition’s movement will end up in disappointment. aAccording to sources, the meeting also deliberated upon the strategy to bring back Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan.

Pakistan rejects reports of Pak Army fighting in Azerbaijan

Pakistan rejects reports of Pak Army fighting in Azerbaijan

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday rejected media reports claiming the Pakistan Army was fighting alongside Azerbaijani forces against Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, terming them “speculative, baseless and irresponsible”.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan was deeply concerned over the deteriorating security situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. “The intensive shelling by Armenian forces on civilian populations of Azerbaijan is reprehensible and most unfortunate,” he added.

Chaudhri said the situation could “compromise peace and security of the entire region”, stressing that Armenia must stop its military action to avoid further escalation. The spokesperson added that Pakistan supported Azerbaijan’s position on Nagorno-Karabakh in line with several unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council resolutions.

NAB presents report on Nawaz’s assets to court

According to the report, Mr Sharif owns more than Rs200,000 in four active bank accounts and a small amount of foreign currency in three other bank accounts.

Besides these seven active accounts, he has a dormant account in Allied Bank, New Garden Town branch, Lahore, in which the balance amount is Rs397,810.

The report says that Mr Sharif owns Rs88,150 in MCB Bank, New Garden Town branch, Lahore; Rs16,917 in Standard Chartered Bank, Gulberg branch, Lahore; Rs20,431 in Standard Chartered Bank, Wapda Town branch, Lahore; and Rs88,704 in Alfalah Bank, Defence branch, Lahore, besides EUR566 in a euro currency account, $658 in a dollar currency account and GBP498 in a pound currency account in another bank.

As per the report, “letters were issued to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for provision of record”. The SECP reported that Mr Sharif holds 467,950 shares in Mohammad Buksh Textile Mills Limited, 343,425 shares in Hudabiya Paper Mills, 22,213 in Hudabiya Engineering Company and 48,606 in Ittefaq Textile Mills Limited. The report says: “The reports received from Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Additional Deputy Commissioner Lahore, Additional Deputy Commissioner Sheikhu­pura, Assistant Commissioner Murree, and Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) revealed that the accused Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif owns following immovable properties in his own name and in the name of his dependents.” These properties include 135, Upper Mall, Lahore; agriculture land in Mouza Manak, Badokisani, Mall Raiwind, Slutankay Lahore, Mouza Mandiali Ferozwala and Ferozwattan in Sheikhupura district; a bungalow at Hall Road, Murree; and a house at Chhangla Gali in Abbottabad district. As per the NAB record, Mr Sharif owns a Toyota Land Cruiser, model 2010; two Mercedes cars of models 1973 and 1991, and two tractors of models 2011 and 2015 in his name. NAB told the court that in case of receipt/verification of information about any other property owned by the PML-N supremo, a report would be submitted to the court. Accountability court judge Mohammad Azam Khan had issued order for attachment of these properties. The judge had earlier declared Mr Sharif an absconder in Toshakhana reference on Sept 9 and sought details of the properties owned by him. Besides Mr Sharif, former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani along with others are also accused in the Toshakhana reference. The reference alleges that Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif obtained cars from Toshakhana by paying 15 per cent of the price of the cars. Mr Gilani facilitated them in this regard as he dishonestly and illegally relaxed the procedure for acceptance and disposal of gifts, issued by the government vide Cabinet Division’s memorandum No.9/8/2004-TK dated June 25, 2007, which expressly stipulates that such vehicles would not be allowed to be purchased by the recipients and would be given to the central pool of cars of the Cabinet Division. The reference further states that Mr Zardari received two armoured vehicles as gift from the United Arab Emirates (BMW750 Li, model 2005, and Lexus Jeep, model 2007) and another from Libya (BMW 760 Li, model 2008) in September-October 2008. It was obligated to immediately report and deposit the vehicles with Toshakhana of the Cabinet Division, but he neither reported the gifted vehicles nor deposited them. The NAB reference says that Mr Sharif did not hold any public office in 2008. However, from April to December 2008, without giving any application or request to the then prime minister Gilani, he dishonestly and illegally obtained relaxation for his benefit of the procedure under the Cabinet Division’s memorandum.

9 reasons PUBG ban shows PTA deciding things it can’t understand

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan wrote these lines in 1963 for his song The Times They Are A-Changin’ but he may as well have been talking about the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority’s temporary ban on the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) more than half a century later.

The authority has asked for public opinion till July 10 before it makes a permanent decision but even a temporary ban has caused an uproar among the gaming community. This is the first time a game has been banned in the country.

PTA claims the game is being linked to “cases of suicide” and “is addictive, wastage of time and poses serious negative impact on physical and psychological health of the children.”

There are several major arguments against the PTA’s approach:

  1. Policing free time
    It is not the job of any governmental authority to determine what activities are a “wastage of time” because once that starts, all leisure and entertainment activities can be policed and banned for being unproductive. How a law-abiding member of society spends her or his free time is none of the State’s business.
  2. Ripple effect
    By banning one game, the PTA is paving the way for the suspension of other violent games.
  3. No small deal
    The popularity of PUBG across the world and in Pakistan should not be underestimated. It has over 600 million global downloads on mobile alone. That is nearly three times Pakistan’s entire population.
  4. Our freedoms
    By trying to ban PUBG, the PTA is stepping on the personal freedoms of a no-longer insignificant section of society: its youth. What is more worrying is the PTA’s authoritarian tone. This way of speaking alienates young people, who should feel that their government has their best interests at heart and cares for their opinion. As it is the government just pays lip service to the needs of young people. If you don’t believe me, just try looking for a clean open park with no boundary walls or gates, open spaces, skater rinks, playgrounds, sports fields. The space where young people can go, meet, enjoy themselves has been shrinking physically in Pakistan.
  5. Addictions
    Gaming addiction is a real and serious problem. The WHO classified it as a mental illness in 2018. It has even been fatal in some cases. But it is difficult to answer the question that games are definitively bad for us. The PTA’s decision is based on a lack of confirmed research.
    Gaming, like almost every other activity known to us, is only good in moderation. Cross that line and there can be dire mental, social, physical and financial consequences. But the WHO also claims 2.8 million people die each year of obesity. Yet few people would sign up for a system where the government decided what everyone eats or banned oil. Instead, such a system would horrify people because it would attack a person’s freedom of choice.
  6. Violence
    There is still the argument that games promote violence but there is research that both agrees and disagrees with that statement. A majority of games is based around either killing or sports but most people who play these games know that they merely provide a distraction from the real world and are just mindless fun. Games such as The Sims and Goat Simulator also exist, yet few people have started families or gone on goat-like rampages across cities after playing those games.
  7. Benefits
    Another problem with the PTA’s approach is that it mirrors the general view around video games in the country: they have no benefit.
    Even if PUBG’s entertainment value is ignored, there is more solid research on the advantages of playing games than there is on disadvantages.
    Research has shown that playing games has several benefits. Those who play video games show improved coordination, memory, problem-solving, concentration, speed and even social skills. Some research even shows that those who play video games are better equipped to have lucid dreams in which the dreamer is aware of being in a dream and can therefore assume some form of control over it.
  8. Responsibility
    The PTA has said that it has banned the game because of “recent media reports” and “numerous complaints” rather than because of any research. This is just a convenient way of passing on the responsibility to someone else.
  9. E-sports
    The PTA’s decision is damaging to the country’s budding e-sports scene. It has seen the emergence of Pakistan’s Tekken star Arslan Ash among other players. Several of the country’s best PUBG players have expressed concern at not being able to compete in events due to the temporary ban. The people who play other games professionally or aspire to will also have second thoughts about their career choices.
    Instead of helping or supporting these talented players, the government has decided to actively hold them back.

When the PTA’s members do make the decision about a game that they almost certainly have never played and most likely will never play, it is important that they understand that The Times They Are A-Changin’.