Flashpoint – January 17, 2020

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What’s Happening?

The news stories today report on imprisonment of 87 members of Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the upcoming meeting of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the statement of Interior Minister on peace and border management. Op-eds discuss state of minorities in Pakistan and how the Pashtun Tafaffuz Movement (PTM) may be pursuing an anti-Pakistan agenda after its legitimate demands were ignored.

Today’s News Stories

TLP head Khadim Rizvi’s brother, son among 87 sentenced to 4738-year jail for 2018 riots

The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC)-I Rawalpindi Judge Shaukat Kamal Dar has awarded 4738 years imprisonment and imposed fine of Rs13 million against the brother and nephew of Tehreek-e-Labbiak Pakistan (TLP) Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi including 87 other members here on Thursday. The court has also ordered to confiscate all moveable and immoveable property of all accused. The court has given decision after proving terrorism act against accused in this regard. The ATC judge has given decision late night on Thursday. As court given decision, police and Elite Force/Special Branch officials loaded all accused in three buses to shift them to Attock Jail. According to details, on November 24, 2018, police arrested TLP Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, his brother Ameer Hussain Rizvi, his nephew Muhammad Ali including 87 other religious activists on charges of creating an unrest situation all around.

Read more in The News, Daily Jang

Pakistan largely addresses FATF terms

Days before a crucial meeting, Pakistan says it has made significant progress on the implementation of 27-point Financial Action Task Force’s determined plan. The government adds it has largely addressed 22 points related to curbing money laundering and terror financing. The achievements have been claimed in a progress report, sent to the Joint Group of the FATF, which is scheduled to meet in Beijing on January 21 and 22. Pakistan will be judged by an FATF plenary next month on the basis of the Joint Group’s report. India and China jointly co-chair the meeting. In background discussions, Pakistani authorities have claimed that they showed full compliance on five action points and are largely compliant on another 17.

Read more in Express Tribune

Interior minister links peace to better border management

Federal Minister for Interior Brigadier (R) Ejaz Ahmad Shah said on Thursday strengthening border management had become a must for keeping peace. He was speaking as a chief guest at the 76th passing-out parade at the Frontier Constabulary Training School, Shabqadar. FC Commandant Muazzam J Ansari and KP Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi were present at the ceremony. The federal minister paid tributes to the FC for offering great services for the defence of the country despite limited resources. He said the FC jawans are bravely defending the motherland and those resorting to any adventure against Pakistan would taste a humiliating defeat. The minister recalled that a total of 365 officers and jawans of the FC embraced martyrdom in the line of duty while 654 of them were injured.

Read more in The News

Opinion

 Time to act

In her opinion piece for Dawn, Zubeida Mustafa says the state of religious minorities in Pakistan is most deplorable. She says they are vulnerable to violence and terrorism and their places of worship have come under attack on numerous occasions. She says this is in blatant violation of the Constitution which guarantees the right to life and religious freedom to all citizens of Pakistan. She reminds that this country was established on the promise of protecting the lives and rights of a minority community and the founding father, Quaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had declared complete freedom and rights to all citizens on the basis of equality. She records all the shifts in policy that created discrimination and bigotry towards minorities. She urges the government to act to safeguard the rights of all minorities.

Read more in Dawn

PTM’s anti Pakistan agenda

In an opinion piece for Daily 92 News, Ahsanur Rehman says the people of the tribal region were adversely affected by terrorism and the following military operations. He says they had to leave their homes behind and be treated as internally displaced people (IDPs). He says now they complain they weren’t suitably compensated for their losses. He laments that the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM)’s genuine demands were ignored by the state, which led to a genuine movement being hijacked by the Kabul government, which he says, is an Indian crony. He accuses that PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen travelled to Kabul to meet an Afghan Intelligence official and now the movement is pursuing an anti Pakistan agenda.

Read more in Daily 92 News

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