ISLAMABAD: PTI founding member and disgruntled party leader Akbar S Babar said Monday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “friend” offered to make him chairman of the Senate, in exchange for taking no action against the party.
Speaking to the media, Babar – one of the founders of PTI who filed a foreign funding case against the party in 2014 – said he had been threatened and a case had been filed against him for demanding action against the party.
“My friend Imran Khan offered me the post of chairman of the Senate,” he said, adding that he “turned down all offers because I have a noble cause”.
The disgruntled PTI leader announced he would oppose the steering committee’s decision, adding that he could only seek justice from the institutions in Pakistan.
“When I filed a case against the party, Imran Khan was hiding behind a stay order,” he said. “Imran Khan has been running away from competitions against me for the last six years.”
Babar said PTI still has not disclosed the details of its six foreign bank accounts. “Over the past three years, [ECP’s] The supervisory committee has not been able to hold a party audit, ”he said.
Akbar S Babar, a founding member of PTI, had filed a case against Imran Khan’s party in November 2014 claiming in his petition that there had been massive financial irregularities dealing with foreign funding of up to nearly $ 3 million.
After the petition, PTI challenged the ECP’s order at IHC in 2017.
That same year, the IHC sent the case back to the electoral body to review its jurisdiction once again. In that case, the high court also appointed Babar as a member of the PTI decision.
Then on 8 May 2017, the ECP bench stated that the agency had full jurisdiction over the case.
In March 2018, a supervisory committee was formed to check PTI’s foreign funding accounts to determine if there had been any mistakes.
PTI on several occasions has sought confidentiality in its surveillance and has also approached the ECP, for that matter. However, in October 2019, the ECP rejected the party’s request.
PTI head Imran Khan has repeatedly accused the ECP of working on behalf of the Opposition in the case.
January 30, 2021 is a tragic day for those of us who have lost our best friend, honest human being, avid reader, and a Marxist thinker who surpassed excellence – our own Zainul Abedin.
Zain is a mentor and thought leader, someone who asks some maddening questions about the surreal relationship between power, politics, morality, culture, and the ideological superstructure of hegemony and conquest. His intellectual eccentricity was seen by many among the liberal and far-left traditions as the trademark of the ivory tower intellectuals, but he was the most effective driver of socialist ideas.
Since his university days in the 1990s, he has been able to attract a number of young students towards scientific socialism. The articulation of his ideas was so impressive that most young students – myself included – began to imitate Zain’s way of expressing ideas in our class discussions. I was introduced to scientific socialism by him at our first meeting in March 1997 at Karachi University. I still remember the day Zain made an impression on my abusive young mind.
It was March 1997 when a confident – and angry – man entered the main auditorium of the Karachi University School of Arts just before the start of a seminar on the Indo-Pak peace process. The young man was crowded with curious students who wanted to know his views before the seminar speakers could begin their lectures. In my first year of BA (Honors) in International Relations, I was only three months old at Karachi University. For a moment, I thought that the young man might be one of the speakers until I was told he was a student. And it’s not just students; some teachers from our department also started asking about the youth’s views on the possible outcomes of the peace process.
I was a little surprised at all of this and I couldn’t help but ask about this young fellow from my professor Sikander Mehdi who was sitting next to me. Professor Sikander Mehdi told me that this charismatic young man was Zainul Abedin – the most educated fellow in the department of International Relations and a student with high intellectual intelligence. Professor Mehdi said there were two kinds of people surrounding the young man – ‘those who fear him being outspoken and those who love him for his knowledge.’ Those who were afraid of him tried to persuade him not to ask some difficult questions and polemic problems that ruined the seminar. Those who love him want to know more about the problems that are usually addressed in the official seminar.
These seminars are similar to regular talks on current issues, with little focus on the political history of the conflict between India and Pakistan. When the discussion session opened, the young man was the first among the participants to offer an alternative but powerful perspective on the political economy of the Indo-Pak conflict. He provides a succinct political account of how conflict develops in postcolonial countries, and with great eloquence he contextualizes the peace process with historical references. Her unique English accent and strong voice grabbed everyone’s attention, and she voiced the minds and hearts of many of us.
The next day I decided to meet this inspiring man who surpassed the boring speeches of the senior academics at the seminar with his intelligence, intellectual power and articulation of his argument. In the afternoon, I found the man lecturing a group of students in the corridor of my department. Without further ado, I went over to him and introduced myself as a newcomer to the university. He welcomed me and with his unique smile invited me to his group – The Reasoners.
The Reasoners were considered the intellectual force of socialism on campus and Zain was respected even among his ideological opponents for his integrity of thought and honesty. It was through The Reasoners’ platform that Zain was able to unite young, left-leaning minds from times of post-Soviet despair.
A number of young socialists grew up under the banner of The Reasoners to build a strong intellectual contestation base at the university. The Reasoners provides a common platform for those seeking space for ideas from a wide variety of intellectual traditions – from devoted Marxists to existentialists to maverick poets. As a book lover, Zain played a major role in uniting all seekers of knowledge – regardless of their ideological differences. In the claustrophobic academic setting of Karachi University, which is dominated by fascist political groups, it is a wonder to debate topics such as existentialism, socialism and public atheism.
In our classrooms in the 1990s, Left thinkers dominated discussions in various social science departments. From the enlightening debates of Agha Abdul Sattar and Zahid Khan to Imam Shamil’s poetry, there are a number of critical thinking stars who have left an indelible trail of intellectual contestation on campus.
In May 1998, we formed an International Socialist Group on campus which included Dr Raiz Ahmed, Zain, Sartaj Khan, Mohammad Nadeem, Haroon Khalid and myself; it was later expanded to include a number of new members. Zain is the most educated of us all and continues to provide thought leadership.
Zain did not hesitate to reveal the hypocrisy of supporters of both liberals and politics; so he has a lot of enemies. But even those who hate him on ideological grounds can find no reason to question his love for the marginalized, the poor and the working class. Zain plays Socrates’ bully with most of his friends to sting them into the intellectual sanity of socialism from the worldly life of individualism.
In the late 1990s, Zain was a popular name on the Karachi University campus for his intellectual courage, knowledge, and courage to speak the truth to power. He became an icon of critical thinking and he championed secularism and progressive ideas at a time when Karachi University was dominated by right-wing thinking police and militant student wings from political-religious parties. Zain was a student of International Relations at Karachi University from 1995 to 1999 and enjoys a reputation as the most elegant speaker and outspoken thinker among his peers and teachers. It was a time when the political Left was in retreat due to the fall of the Berlin Wall and there was no appeal for socialist ideas but Zain was still able to build a strong intellectual case for the relevance of Marxism.
It was a departure too early, my friend. You have destroyed all of us who have found the light of wisdom because of you. You will be in our minds as beacons of light and hope in our fight against an increasingly unequal world.
The author is a social development and policy advisor and freelance columnist based in Islamabad.
Auckland radio host Harnek Singh, 53, was stabbed in the driveway of his home in Wattle Downs on December 23 and is in critical condition at Middlemore Hospital. Photo / Provided
A controversial Auckland radio host is fighting for his life in hospital after being stabbed multiple times in the driveway of his home in attacks his friends claim are religiously motivated.
Harnek Singh, 53, remains in critical condition at Middlemore Hospital after being attacked at the driveway of his home in Glenross Drive, Wattle Downs’ home at around 10:20 p.m. on December 23.
This is the second public attack Singh has suffered this year after he was attacked at Love Punjab Restaurant on his birthday in July.
Singh’s colleague at Virsa Radio, where he hosts a talkback for the Sikh community, said he would be returning home this week from the day’s broadcast when he was attacked – possibly by a group of attackers.
Balwinder Singh, 42, said Harnek Singh was “like a brother” to him and was part of the team at Radio Virsa, which addresses religious and cultural issues in Auckland’s Sikh community.
“From the wounds he had, you could tell he was attacked by sharp weapons,” said Balwinder.
“He is fine, his condition is stable and he is at Middlemore. We believe so [he was stabbed]. The motivation behind the attack clearly has to do with what he says on the radio, what he thinks about the various issues and topics that have been discussed on the radio.
“Especially on this radio program a lot of religious issues are discussed. So let’s just say a lot of traditional myths that people believe, and we on the radio try to explain to people to see it in a practical way apart from the mythical point of view that most people have.
“Obviously that would anger someone who is a religious fanatic, and someone who views religion in a mythical way as many religions do.”
Balwinder said they were “definitely” worried about Singh’s future safety.
“After what happened on the 23rd, it is difficult to understand in a country like New Zealand, one can approach the problem in such a way. It is very difficult to understand,” said Balwinder.
Singh’s wife Parbhjeet tells Herald family is working on it.
“He’s fine now. He’s still in the hospital,” he said.
Middlemore Hospital confirmed this afternoon Singh remains in critical but stable condition, after undergoing surgery.
Police say “an investigation into the circumstances [of the attack] ongoing “.
Authorities heard eight complaints against comments Singh made in Punjabi to callers about the Damdami Taksal Sikh sect in response to recent violent incidents in India.
In 2017, the authorities also upheld a complaint against Virsa Radio about “offensive comments about the named individual” and “comments about women. [which] unacceptable in New Zealand society “.
Another Virsa Radio colleague, Sukhminder Singh, 37, said station workers had been bombarded by threats since Singh’s December 23 attack.
“There were hundreds of threats via telephone and social media to all of us after this incident,” said Sukhminder.
“We are all a team, he is our captain.
“I want to make it clear that the problem we face is not just us here, but around the world – intolerance of having opinions that differ from tradition.
“When Harnek speaks on the radio, it’s not just for religious purposes, he’s always discussing the social values we have in our country and how our community is sometimes left behind and the changes he wants to bring to youth. We all abide by citizen laws. .
“We know we have strong cultural values but we have to blend in here, this is a new culture and changes must be made [happen], and some people don’t like change – it doesn’t matter what community you’re talking about. It is a threat of change, they don’t want to accept.
“They still want to live 100 years ago and they don’t want to accept.”
Papatoetoe Station describes itself as “the project of a group of Sikhs based in New Zealand” who believe that “mediocre or even dubious artistic merit is being forced upon Sikhs around the world”.
Laura Waters, pictured at Masons Hut, the last shack on the South Island on the Te Araroa Trail. Photo / Laura Waters
My eyes cloud as I think about the time I walked from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Here it is again, my friends must be thinking as I talk about the joys, tribulations, and amazing sights encountered during a 3000 km journey through this country. As far as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, setting foot in Te Araroa has been transformative, and its long-term effects on my life have only made it even more memorable. With the challenges of today’s world, fleeing into the wild is again a tantalizing choice.
Long-distance lines are gaining popularity around the world and in 2011 New Zealand launched its own line, a linear route connecting many pre-existing lines with several new links. In the north it winds from the west coast to the east and back again, via secluded beaches, mossy forest, the volcanic desert of Tongariro National Park, and knife-tipped ridges across the Tararua Mountains. To the south, a more direct route up and along the dramatic Southern Alps is required. About once a week, sometimes more often, the walkway intersects the city where hot showers and general stores offer the opportunity to refresh and recharge.
When I left in 2013, Te Araroa was an unknown quantity, a trail that few people have managed to complete. Even though I had walked a dozen or more days under my belt, none were even more than 65 km so it was an experiment with fire on body and mind. I need it. After the closure of toxic relationships and the stress of city life, my world has been taken over by crippling anxiety and depression, the symptoms miraculously and magically disappearing within weeks of being immersed in the peace and simplicity of nature.
Then I fixed a problem I wasn’t even aware of. Walking the trails, I face countless challenges: steep, open mountains, sudden blizzards, a number of unobstructed river crossings, dubious trail signs, shoulder dislocations and, not least, loss of hiking companions. I got injured on the second day. But in overcoming this challenge I found a hitherto untapped inner intellect and courage. I learned to adapt to the environment, listen to my heart’s content and overcome fear. I found I was able to do more than I realized and I noticed how little you need to be happy – food, shelter, and a bag of belongings is enough. It is clear that life can be fun if you simplify it and eliminate the “noise.” The insights gained during those five months changed my life forever, leading to a career change and a substantial re-establishment of personal beliefs and worldviews.
Taking the entire route will give you an experience like no other, but if you can’t spare the time or energy to wade the 3000 km, consider climbing the section, taking bite-sized stages over a long period of time. Alternatively, choose an interesting part of the cherry. The stretch from St Arnaud to Boyle Village, across from Nelson’s Lake National Park on the South Island, really evokes a few tears from me as I see its beautiful snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers and vast boulder fields.
If you’re curious to know what it’s like to have the beach all to yourself for four days, the first 100 kilometers south of Cape Reinga follows the secluded golden trail of Ninety Mile Beach. Mount Pirongia, in Waikato, marks the first true mountain range for hikers to the south and a two-day portion of its steep green mossy cliffs. Real delights are lesser-known finds such as the stunning jungle on North Island Hakarimata Road or Telford Tops on the Takitimu Trail to the south. The four-day Mavora Walkway, south of Queenstown, is also renowned for its lakes, mountains, beech forest and amazing sense of isolation.
The highlight of the trail – which incidentally doesn’t involve walking – is the 200 kilometers paddling up the Whanganui River. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at Taumarunui for a six-day paddle out to sea in Whanganui. About 200 rapids are scattered along the route, light enough for beginners to traverse yet foamy enough to get their heart racing. In some places, the river carves its way through steep-sided canyon walls dotted with ferns and gushing waterfalls, and campsites overlooking snaking water are some of the most beautiful places I have ever come across.
Most of the nights on the North Island are spent in tents, but on the South Island, hikers can make use of many DoC huts on their way, especially when the weather turns challenging. Buying an inland cottage entry ticket will give you access to all the huts on the trail and while some have all the sophistication and comfort of a garden shed, others are double-layered masterpieces with cozy wood-burning stoves and five-star views.
I’m not going to cover it with sugar, walk all day, every day, need a little energy. I made it past the 10kg Whittakers in the five months it took me to complete the trail and I’m still losing weight (ah, those were the days). Te Araroa is also not for the faint of heart. The terrain is quite challenging at times and can be exposed to bad weather, but nothing compares to the feeling of being completely connected to the mainland as you peer through your flying tent as the moon rises over the remote Ahuriri River Valley. Or the shadow of a killer whale’s dorsal fin slicing through the surface of Queen Charlotte Sound as you follow the ridge trail above. Or a softer owl chirp in the dark northern forest night. Moments like magic make the trouble worth it.
Laura Waters is the author of Bewildered’s memoir, about her 3,000km hike along New Zealand.
ROAD WAY The Te Araroa Trail stretches 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff and takes between 4-6 months to complete. Topographic maps, track records and further information can be downloaded from teararoa.org.nz
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com
This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 1