Flashpoint – 21 August 2019

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Media Coverage of Conflict in Pakistan

What’s Happening?

The news stories report on a petition filed in Lahore High Court for cancellation of cases against banned JuD leadership, Pak-Afghan dialogue for improving mutual ties and call for promoting peace and harmony in the society and Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s review of Pakistan’s progress on its CTF and AML recommendations. Op-eds discuss wellbeing of terrorism victims and need of reviving Sufi ideology for religious tolerance and interfaith harmony.

Today’s News Stories

LHC moved for cancellation of 23 FIRs against JuD leaders

The banned Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) has approached the Lahore High Court for the cancellation of 23 FIRs registered against its leaders and members on charges of using different properties for financing terrorist activities. Malik Zafar Iqbal, a member of the banned JuD, filed a writ petition through Advocate A K Dogar, urging the court to declare that the properties mentioned in the FIRs were being used as mosques. The petitioner states that the properties in question have never been used for terror financing as there is no tangible evidence on record to support such allegations.

Read more in Dawn, Daily Times

Speakers urge all religious bodies to share message of peace, acceptance

Senior government officials and educationists on Tuesday urged all religious institutions, including mosques, temples and churches, to share messages of understanding, acceptance, peace and peaceful coexistence. Addressing a seminar – Intersect Harmony & Education System, organised by the Centre for Peace & Secular Studies (CPSS) – here at the Punjab Institute for Language, Art and Culture (PILAC), the speakers focused on the role of academia in promoting intersect and interfaith harmony.

Read more in Daily Times

Three reviews to determine Pakistan’s place on FATF list

Three separate evaluations currently in progress will determine Pakistan’s possible exit from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) by the mid of October. The Asia-Pacific Group, the regional affiliate of the FATF is currently conducting five-year mutual evaluation of Pakistan’s progress on upgrading its systems in all areas of financial and insurance services and sectors, in Canberra (Australia). This round is not directly linked to Pakistan’s performance on its highest-level commitments with the FATF on money laundering and terror-financing, but its assessment report can indirectly impact the country’s position to move out of the grey list.

Read more in Dawn

Pak-Afghan track-II dialogue begins in Islamabad today

Pakistan and Afghanistan will begin a four-day track-II dialogue in Islamabad today (Wednesday) to explore ways for improvement in relations between the two neighbouring countries. Afghan delegates will also meet Pakistani officials and visit universities for interaction with the teachers and students in Islamabad besides bilateral discussions on key issues including the US-Taliban peace talks, Pakistan-Afghan relations, problems of the Afghan refugees, students, trade, transit and also visa issues.

Read more in Daily Times

Opinion

More than statistics

This editorial in Dawn says the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, which falls on August 21 (today) represents an opportunity to recognize, honor and support the individuals, families and communities impacted by terrorism. It says terrorism remains a serious challenge to lasting peace and security around the world. The newspaper says although terrorism related incidents have reduced significantly in Pakistan but not without impacting thousands of lives. The newspaper urges the government to introduce a support apparatus for civilian victims of terrorism at par with that for the servicemen. The newspaper also calls for including the voices of the victims in strategizing counter terrorism.

Read more in Dawn

Minority Rights and Sufi Ideology

Dr. Sughra Sadaf says peace, harmony and tolerance existed in Indo-Pak region during the times of great Sufis like Waris Shah. She says in the society reflected in Waris Shah’s writings, Muslims respected the virtuous, intellectual human beings of all other religions and humanity was the focal point of morality. She says once sectarianism mired Islam, Muslims also lost tolerance towards people of other religions. She praises the incumbent government’s initiative to restore worship places of minority faiths and says it will boost religious tourism in the country. She says safeguarding minority rights is essential for the bright future of Pakistan.

Read more in Daily Times

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