Tag Archives: Government of Pakistan

Imran Khan’s odd decision-making is an embarrassment for the Pakistani government | Instant News

Over half his term in office, the early tendencies of Imran Khan’s government in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf seem to solidify into traits that increasingly characterize his peculiar decision-making style. At times this has put the leadership in an embarrassing situation, while at other times the government has obliged the government to reverse a situation that is difficult to explain.

U-turn on decision

Recent developments have demonstrated the first such tendency – announcing decisions without sufficient thought or consultation and then reversing them. A case in point is the statement by the newly appointed finance minister that Pakistan would continue trade with India by importing cotton and sugar.

The decision was apparently approved by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan as the holder of the trading portfolio. This is also indicated by the leaked cabinet summary signed by him. In less than 24 hours the decision was made repealed by Imran Khan’s cabinet.

It was followed by a reiteration of Pakistan’s position that trade with India was impossible until Delhi rescinded its actions on August 5, 2019 in Kashmir. Apparently, the reaction after the initial announcement as well as opposition in the cabinet forced the government to step down.

What this episode reveals is a style of governance in which important decisions are taken without prior thought, consultation or assessment of the implications and whether they are consistent with previously stated positions. In this case, there are very broad foreign policy implications which are ignored as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan is clearly not consulted at any stage.

This is not the first time a decision with foreign policy consequences has been taken without adequate thinking and institutional advice. A well-known previous example was when the government announced the Prime Minister of Pakistan would attend a summit that was co-hosted by Malaysia with the later Turkey go back in response to strong Saudi objections. As widely noted at the time this episode entails foreign policy costs. In the statements made about various other matters, the loopback becomes more general.

Approach the turnstile

A second habit that has developed into a trait is the frequent switching of ministers and senior officials with a revolving door approach to team members. Decision to remove Hafeez Sheikh and replacing him with Hammad Azhar would mean appointing the third finance minister in years.

Despite the inappropriate manner in which this was done – a hallmark of this government – just two weeks earlier, the Sheikh had been asked by the PM to stay when he offered to resign after his defeat in Senate elections.

The PM has consistently praised his own government’s economic policies as well as the Sheikh’s performance – until public criticism escalates over rising prices. This suggests that the Shaykh may have been made the scapegoat for defusing such criticism.

This is just the latest example of the government’s tendency to change ministers and high-ranking officials frequently. The current interior minister is the third person to be appointed. The new chairman of the Federal Revenue Council is the fifth to be appointed while the Investment Council has four different chairs during the administration of this government.

This approach has been reflected in clearer terms in Pakistani Punjab. Provincial chief ministers constantly change officials. In the middle, the interior secretary has been replaced five times and the trade secretary is the fourth person to serve under this administration.

The frequent bureaucratic changes signaled a bizarre way of government and often reflected an immediate reaction to the critics of the day. The occasional changing of finance ministers and top economic officials may also be a reflection of the vain search for quick solutions to annoying problems that require policy continuity and patience to resolve.

Pakistani insider Tehreek-e-Insaf says Imran Khan’s views on the top team members have a lot to do with who is listening and what he might whisper about him.

Institutions undermined

The third aspect of government is increasing distrust of institutions even though its leaders often claim to strengthen institutions. This is reflected in the manner of the ministers lashed out at the Pakistani Election Commission after Daska’s February by-election and losing Islamabad’s seat in the Senate. The PM himself made the election body the target of criticism.

The government may follow the established tradition of political leaders attacking institutions when they are not playing football, but that does not minimize the importance of its behavior in this regard.

Meanwhile, the electoral body reminds the government that it is a constitutional and independent body acting in accordance with the law and “if the constitutional institutions continue to be ridiculed like this, it is tantamount to their weakness (the government) and not the KPU. from Pakistan ”.

Another example of the same phenomenon is recent deletions from the chairman of the Higher Education Commission. The position of permanent chairman is four years, while the incumbent only serves two years. The government reduced the duration to two years under a regulation to force the chairman to leave overnight.

Once again, it shows indifference towards an institution, even then in the field of education. There is widespread criticism of this attack on the autonomy of the Higher Education Commission. It also sparked a strong rebuke from the philanthropists, entrepreneurs and the spirit of the respected driving force behind the creation of the Higher Education Commission, Syed Babar Ali, who in his letter to the minister, wrote that education should not be destroyed in this way and that the Higher Education Commission must be destroyed. “Protected from such intrigue”.

Reliance on publicity

The fourth characteristic of government is that it treats publicity and projections as substitutes for policy. The PM’s constant meetings with his media spokesperson are one indication. Another is the daily press by spokesperson that has little substance to convey other than hyperbolic claims about government performance.

This underscores the leadership’s reliance on rhetoric to show it is regulating effectively rather than letting policy measures speak for themselves. When exaggerated narratives clash with a lack of policy delivery, it is the credibility of the government that is damaged.

These characteristics are detrimental to the Tehreek-e-Insaf government of Pakistan in facing the country’s various challenges. His ability to seriously cope with them depends on the degree to which he can break these often self-created adversity habits.

This article first appeared on Dawn.


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Half a million in vaccine prizes from China | Instant News

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan will get the third batch of 500,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine from China as a reward, an official said on Tuesday.

Nosheen Hamid, parliamentary health secretary, told reporters that Beijing will provide another half a million doses of Sinopharm vaccine as a reward in the next few weeks.

China has donated one million doses in two batches to its longtime allies in South Asia.

A Health Ministry official who declined to be identified told Anadolu Agency that the promised dose would be given by the end of April.

Earlier this year Beijing also gave the Pakistan Army an unknown number of doses, which it handed over to the government to administer the vaccine to health care professionals and elderly citizens.

In addition, Pakistan will receive 15 million doses of vaccine from Germany under the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility in May, according to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is on an official visit to Berlin.

COVAX is a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine ultimately reaches those most in need, whoever they are and wherever they live.

Grappling with the third wave of the virus, Pakistan is currently vaccinating frontline health workers and people over 50 using China’s Sinopharm and CanSino.

Private hospitals in major cities have also started inoculating with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine imported by a pharmaceutical company.

The South Asian country has also agreed to the emergency use of the UK’s AstraZeneca and China’s CoronaVac vaccines. The two vaccines, however, have not been given.

Islamabad will receive “millions of doses” of the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks to accelerate the country’s sluggish immunization campaign.

The country’s overall caseload has reached 729,920 with 15,619 deaths, according to the Health Ministry.

The Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news offered to subscribers on the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and is in summary form. Please contact us for subscription options.


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Nearly 50 people were injured during clashes with police at a Pakistani temple closed due to Covid-19- The New Indian Express | Instant News


KARACHI: Overnight clashes between devotees and law enforcement personnel at a temple were closed as coronavirus restrictions left nearly 50 people, including police, injured in Pakistan’s Sindh province, prompting authorities to deploy paramilitary forces on Friday morning.

The incident at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan on Thursday evening came after the provincial government announced the closure of all holy places to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The clashes came after hundreds of devotees, who gathered in Sehwan for the annual Urs, defied government orders and tried to enter the temple.

An official at the temple said that worshipers had gathered at the temple for the 769th Urs (death anniversary) of Lal Shahbaz Qalander, a revered Sufi saint.

The police on duty tried to push away the congregation which led to clashes in which about 40 followers and seven policemen were injured and taken to hospital.

?? Many devotees come from outside Sindh and live in and around Sehwan and probably didn’t know the government orders when they started gathering at the temple, ?? Deputy Commissioner Jamshoro, Captain (retired) Fareeduddin Mustafa said.

Mustafa said paramilitary guards had been dispatched at Lal Shahbaz Qalander temple on Friday following the clashes.

In 2017, a suicide bomb attack inside the temple killed 90 people and left about 300 injured after the government stepped up security measures at the temple.

Pakistan has reported 678,165 cases of COVID-19 so far with 14,613 deaths.


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Greetings from Bangladesh on Pakistan Day ‘good gesture’ | Instant News

KARACHI, Pakistan

The congratulatory letter from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of Pakistan’s National Day is another sign of improving relations between the two countries, local experts said.

In a letter to his Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan, Tuesday, Hasina said her country was committed to “peaceful and cooperative” relations with Pakistan.

“On behalf of the government and people of Bangladesh and I, I would like to convey to you, and through you, to the government and people of Pakistan, our most sincere greetings on the occasion of Pakistan Day,” read the letter. .

“I believe there is great potential for our existing relations to be further deepened and diversified in the coming years,” he said, adding: “Our two nations can benefit from a joint journey towards development and peace.”

“I wish you good health and happiness, and the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly Pakistani people,” the letter concluded.

Praising the language of the letter, senior Pakistani diplomat Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui called the move a “good gesture.”

“Although greeting neighboring or friendly countries on their national days is the established diplomatic norm, it remains to me a very good gesture,” Siddiqui, who served as Pakistan High Commissioner to Dhaka from September 2016 to February 2018 , told Anadolu Agency, referring to the years of strained relations between the two countries.

Sign of improved relationship

Abdul Khalique Ali, a political analyst based in Karachi, sees these developments as another sign of improving relations between the two countries.

“Undoubtedly, this is a traditional message but [its] language is the real thing. A congratulatory message was also sent by the Indian prime minister but the language of the two messages is very different, “Ali told Anadolu Agency.

He was referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to Khan on the occasion of National Day, in which he called for the creation of “an environment of trust, and without terror and hostility” for the improvement of relations between the two nuclear neighbors. .

Since Bangladesh’s independence [then East Pakistan] from Pakistan in December 1971 after a bloody nine month war, relations between the two Muslim South Asian nations have traversed a critical path with ups and downs.

In recent years, cold relations between the two were sparked by the conviction of several Jamaat-e-Islami, and the leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party by a controversial local court and subsequent executions for alleged atrocities during the 1971 War of Independence.

Bilateral relations, however, appear to have improved as Dhaka pursued a constitutional diplomacy of “friendship with all and hatred of anyone” with Islamabad in recent months.

India assisted Bangladesh militarily in the 1971 war, which resulted in strong ties between Dhaka and New Delhi.

But relations between the two neighbors are reportedly going through a bad period due to the frequent killings of Bangladeshi nationals at the hands of Indian border forces, diversion of water upstream of the public river, and the recent enactment of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, which grants citizenship. to “persecuted minorities” from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news offered to subscribers on the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and is in summary form. Please contact us for subscription options.


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Behind the India-Pak breakthrough, months of secret back channel talks were led by Doval | Instant News

The joint statement issued by India and Pakistan on Thursday about a ceasefire agreement between their top military commanders may have surprised many, but it comes months after National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval and his counterpart in Islamabad started back channel conversations to ensure peace. together. The borders are tense, said people with knowledge of the matter on condition of anonymity.

NSA Doval and Moeed W Yusuf, special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Division of National Security and Strategic Policy Planning, have been in direct contact and through interlocutors from the intelligence community, one of these people confirmed.

The joint statement is the first outcome of this conversation that includes at least one face-to-face meeting in a third country, said the person quoted above, without specifying the location. He added that only a small group of government leaders including the Prime Minister, interior minister Amit Shah, defense minister Rajnath Singh and foreign minister S Jaishankar were aware of the details of the talks.

However, on Thursday evening, Yusuf attempted to distance himself from the talks in a series of tweets. “No talks like that have taken place between me and Mr Doval … The developments that are welcome at the LoC are the result of discussions through the established DGMO channel,” he said.

Thursday’s joint statement, issued in New Delhi by the defense ministry, said the director general of military operations (DGMO) of the two armies had agreed to “abide by all agreements, understandings and stop shelling along the Line of Control” starting midnight Wednesday. .

The two top commanders also “agreed to deal with each other’s core issues and concerns which tend to disrupt peace and lead to violence”.

To be sure, this is not the first time the two high-ranking military officers have agreed to make peace along the border. They signed a similar pact in 2018 when they pledged to strictly adhere to the understanding of the 2003 ceasefire in letter and spirit. But that can’t be happening. Officials said Thursday’s joint statement could be the first of many steps the two countries have taken over the next few months to normalize relations, step by step.

National security planners say there have been five developments over the past month or so that indicate a different shift.

The first sign that the back channel conversation is on the right track came earlier this month. Pakistan Army Commander General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in defiance of his stern throwing against India following the Balakot air strikes in 2019, on February 2 spoke of Islamabad’s commitment to what he calls the ideals of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence and said: ” now is the time to extend a hand of peace in all directions ”.

The second is a subtle statement that emerged from Islamabad three days later, on February 5, which Pakistan celebrates as Kashmir Solidarity Day. “I find it unusual,” said an anti-terror official who was not involved in secret talks and who asked not to be named.

The third is the decrease in ceasefire violations along the border in Jammu and Kashmir in recent weeks.

A top government official said General Bajwa’s much publicized peace proposals, a reduction in ceasefire violations and Pakistan’s slow rhetoric were clearly linked to the quiet conversation taking place.

The fourth sign of a possible thaw in relations is Pakistan moving away from the Kashmir issue at last week’s South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) meeting hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Faisal Sultan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistant for Health limited himself to the issues at hand, in stark contrast to Pakistan’s previous attempts to raise the Kashmir issue at the Saarc meeting held in March last year.

The fifth indicator, an official said, was a signal from New Delhi to allow Imran Khan’s special plane to use Indian airspace en route to Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Prime Minister Khan’s Pakistani Air Force jets flew along the Indian coastline and over the Lakshadweep archipelago before landing in Colombo.

India’s decision to allow special flights to use its airspace stands in stark contrast to Pakistan’s actions in 2019, when Islamabad denied permission to use Pakistani airspace by three Indian VVIP flights.


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