“The rule of Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar depends on Jahangir Tareen’s decision.”
KARACHI (Dunya News) – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Saturday that Imran Khan’s prime position is in the hands of exiled Pakistani leader Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jahangir Tareen.
The PML-N leader spoke to the media and said the federal government of Imran Khan had led seven votes in the National Assembly while Jahangir Tareen’s supporters outnumbered this. Likewise, he continued, the Punjab government had an eight to ten vote advantage while more than thirty MPA supported Tareen.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said more than forty members of the assembly consisting of ministers and advisers attended the Jahangir Tareen dinner last night and openly criticized the government. The governments of Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar depend on Tareen’s decision, he said.
Malcolm Turnbull is the former Prime Minister of Australia. His memoir “A Bigger Picture”, was published last year.
All of us on this side of the Pacific should be very pleased that US President Joe Biden chose to make the first leaders’ meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue his first multilateral security discussion as president.
The Quad brings together Japan, India, Australia and the United States. This is not an alliance, as is often misunderstood, but serves to bring India closer to the United States and its allies Japan and Australia.
Shinzo Abe has been at the center of the Quad’s conception. In 2007, he took the initiative to start a dialogue, supported by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, John Howard of Australia and US President George W. Bush. There was a meeting of officials from four countries which was followed by joint exercises with the navy, including Singapore. But then, in 2008, following harsh criticism of the Quad from Beijing, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith announced that Australia would not propose another meeting.
At the same time, Shinzo Abe was replaced as Prime Minister by Yasuo Fukuda who was not particularly interested in his predecessor’s security agenda. The quad fades out of sight.
However, the dialogue did not progress to leaders’ level meetings when, in 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd resigned.
When I became Prime Minister of Australia in 2015, Shinzo Abe was again Prime Minister of Japan. He was eager to restore the Quad, like me. However, India feels hurt by Australia’s abrupt withdrawal in 2008 and doesn’t want to return to the Quad only to see Australia pull back again following harsh words from Beijing.
We started discussions in 2016 and the following year agreed not only to undertake joint naval exercises but to reactivate Quad dialogue even though, at that stage, between senior officials. The first meeting of the Quad Foreign Ministers took place in 2019 and with the leaders meeting last week, dialogue is now fully restored.
While fears of an increasingly aggressive China will cause India to move closer to the United States and its allies, India’s non-aligned tradition is strong, reinforced by anxiety not to provoke its much stronger neighbor. Nothing will undermine Modi’s leadership other than provoking, and losing, regional conflict with China even if the issue is some of the contested mountains in the Himalayas.
So for India, the Quad represents a kind of hedge against China. For the US, Japan and Australia, this represents closer engagement with the world’s largest democracy and, all right, will soon become one of the largest economies in the world. Demographics, however, are destiny.
Currently, however, the biggest beneficiary of last week’s meeting is Australia.
China has been trying to set an example for Australia for some time now. Attacks have been carried out by various Australian acts. Huawei Technologies’ ban from our fifth generation (5G) cellular networks has not gone well, nor has we joined Japan and the US in objecting to China’s unilateral island development in contested South China Sea waters. Protests about the destruction of democracy in Hong Kong are not appreciated, as are complaining about the one million Uigur people being detained in Xinjiang.
Dare to suggest last year that there should be an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 virus was hated. As Xi’s China has become more repressive at home and at war internationally, there is much to be denied.
In contrast to all of President Xi’s public statements about free trade and the crime of using trade measures as a political weapon, China has continued to punish Australia with sanctions, tariffs and even bans on many of Australia’s exports from coal to wine, barley and beef. and much more. Only iron ore, our biggest export by far, was not affected by doubts as there were no viable alternative sources of supply.
This coercion is designed to get Australia to improve its ways and adopt a more compliant posture when it comes to the Middle Kingdom. As a foreign policy, it is totally counterproductive. It turns out that public opinion towards China in Australia, even making the slightest policy change is almost impossible to contemplate, let alone influential and of course cause great anxiety in other capitals.
Part of China’s strategy is to isolate Australia from its allies. So at the same time that Australia is being disciplined, Beijing is trying to get closer to Japan and the United States.
The Quad meeting, therefore, is a very useful signal that the US and Japan are standing firm with Australia looking down on Beijing’s oppressive tactics. India, although not an ally of Australia, has also shown solidarity by participating in the Quad.
In the end, the only way to stop China choosing small countries one by one is for democracies to stick together and support one another as the pressure continues.
As I know from my own experience, China’s foreign policy, especially its diverse one, has always played an important role. Once it is clear that the goal is not being achieved, it will likely be canceled. It may take some time, but applying force will only invite more time.
The images of the four leaders are looking good in their respective capitals, but it is in Beijing that will provide ample reason for reflection and, hopefully, a correction of direction.
Climate change seriously threatens Pakistan’s coast belt and poses serious threats to livelihoods, health, the economy and the ecosystem as a whole, experts say and call for public action involving youth, women, grassroots level activists and frontline communities to lead the struggle.
They say humanity has only 10 years left to radically transform economies and societies to deal with the climate emergency that is threatening millions of people into hunger and poverty. They add that the climate crisis is here and now, and it is disproportionately affecting the world’s poorest people, youth, women, indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups.
Public action is key to unlocking greater ambition on climate change and youth engagement has an important role to play because they are the leaders of the future, they said while speaking at a seminar on youth engagement in addressing coastal climate vulnerability held at Karachi University.
This event was jointly organized by Oxfam and WWF-Pakistan as part of a national campaign called the “CLIMATE project”. It is a community-driven movement, the premier campaign of agile communication that connects and amplifies the voices of women, grassroots activists and frontline communities leading the fight against climate change. Such mobilization will create a change in major climate justice measures during the current pandemic and demonstrate public support for systemic change.
Welcoming the guests, Oxfam Climate Campaign Leader Shirin Abbasy said, “The damage related to climate change is a powerful story of inequality and injustice in both cause and impact. It is a crisis that touches almost every aspect of life, provides an opportunity to connect with our work on hunger, poverty and food systems, and link to land rights, rights in crisis, and access to health care.
“We know firsthand that the crisis is here and now, and we have responded through our humanitarian and emergency response work. We are here to celebrate and support women who stand at the forefront of this crisis as climate heroes. We support climate justice and fair climate action, not only against the climate crisis. “
Dr Tahir Rasheed, wildlife director, WWF-Pakistan, said that the severe impacts of climate change are being felt in the Indus Delta, which is a hotspot for rich biodiversity and home to the seventh largest mangrove forest in Asia. He said the delta was now at greater risk due to the inadequate supply of fresh water from the Indus River, vulnerability to climate change, pollution and other anthropogenic pressures. The impacts of climate change are also impacting the loss of biodiversity in the delta region, he added.
Dr Rasheed highlighted the main results of the joint WWF-Pakistan and Oxfam GB initiative in the Indus Delta and shared that two sectoral Local Adaptation Action Plans (LAPAs) have been developed based on a Vulnerability Risk Assessment (VRA). This will be a guiding mechanism for policy makers to support the development of resilience in communities that depend on natural resources.
Young people who can inspire hope, must come forward to reverse climate change and protect the mangrove ecosystem in the Sindh delta area, he added.
Abdul Rahim Soomro, secretary of the agriculture, supply and price department, Government of Sindh, appreciated Oxfam and WWF-Pakistan’s efforts to engage young people and raise awareness about the issue of climate change and its impact on coastal communities.
The role of youth, he continued, is very important in overcoming climate vulnerability in the future. This generation will also witness some of the grim impacts of climate change and thus increasing their capacity and knowledge of these issues will become instruments for future adaptation plans and strategies.
Waqar Hussain Phulpoto, additional director of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), provided an overview of the agency and said they are working to reduce the effects of climate change by adopting the 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) concept.
Sugara Hajani, a 70-year-old local resident from Kakapir, Karachi, who cares for a mangrove nursery in Sandspit, shared that coastal women are well aware of the fact that their survival depends on mangroves that protect them from natural disasters and are an important source of fisheries.
Other women from the Sindh coastal belt shared their stories and experiences in supporting mangrove conservation and improving their livelihoods through small-scale interventions at the community level.
Arif Ali Khokhar, conservator at the Sindh Forestry Department; Aamir Alamgir, Professor of Environmental Sciences, Karachi University; Shoaib Kiyani, Professor of Marine Science at Karachi University; Khalid Mahmood, Director of the Fisheries Development Agency; Hamera Aisha, Conservation Manager, WWF-Pakistan; Jawad Umair Khan, WWF-Pakistan Coordinator; Shabina Faraz, environmental writer and Kalsoom Siddique, UNEP Youth Leader, also spoke at the occasion.
On Thursday, there were renewed calls to overturn the policy, with medical refugees and advocacy groups petitioning Parliament, with nearly 37,000 signatures, calling for those removed from offshore processing to be released and resettled.
‘Man of true peace’
Julia Hall almost never calls her close friends by name. To him, he’s always been Biixi – a surname, from his grandfather – or “aboowe” which is Somali for “brother”.
“He was a deep thinker and had a lot of wisdom,” Ms Hall told the ABC.
“Many of her prison friends have told me, ever since she died, how she has always been the one to comfort them and help them see things from a bigger perspective, when they are not able to handle it.
Ms Hall said pacifism came from her Muslim faith and an aversion to the kind of violence that led her to flee Somalia, where her family faces civil unrest and violent extremism.
He witnessed his father and brother being shot dead, and shot themselves while fleeing, Hall said.
He added he was beaten on the head during the rioting, which left him half blind in one eye.
“Biixi is always a winner. He always manages to stay optimistic and smile and even laugh at the situation, but when I finally caught him on Nauru – after weeks of losing contact – he was the shell of a man I knew,” he said.
He said government policies were ultimately robbing his friend of the future he dreamed of and the kind of life he could build in Australia.
“Like every refugee, all Biixi wants is an opportunity to live and contribute to society. Biixi wants to work and support his wife and family,” Hall said.
“Biixi never got the chance to pursue those dreams. Instead, he left for more than eight years without knowing whether or when he would be free and safe. It was slow and devastating torture.
Nina Field, ASRC’s custody rights casework coordinator and advocacy, said Mohammed’s case amounted to medical neglect.
“It is a very sad picture of the ongoing medical neglect that is taking place in Nauru, Manus and PNG,” he said.
Conditions are neglected, minimized, not properly cared for.
“The culmination of physical and mental health problems contributes to a significant deterioration in people, and unfortunately, in this case, leads to the death of a person. And that is the ultimate neglect.”
He said the health of prisoners in Manus and Nauru was monitored by the government-contracted International Health and Medical Service (IHMS), and that Mohammed’s test in 2017 was carried out at PNG’s Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.
He chose to move to Nauru in 2019, because the government made it an option for people in PNG,and was approved for transfer to Australia via medevac in early 2019.
But he suffered a heart attack on Nauru in April 2019, Field said.
He said he passed out and needed CPR and defibrillation, and was transferred to a Brisbane hospital two days later.
The ABC approached spokesmen at Queensland Health and WA Health, who referred inquiries to the Department of Home Affairs. The ABC also reached out to Pacific International Hospital for comment.
After treatment, Mohammed was held in immigration detention in Brisbane and then Perth, before being released into community custody in late 2019.
She was then released into the community on a bridging visa in 2020, said her friend Ms Hall.
In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the government supports Nauru and PNG “to provide health care to temporary people by contracting specialist health services, including mental health”.
“When essential health care is not available in Nauru or PNG, temporary transfer to a third country is possible,” said the Interior Ministry, adding that “people detained in immigration detention facilities are treated according to human rights standards”.
“The health services available to detainees are comparable to those available [the] Australian community under the public health system. “
Calls for more supervision and better care
The department said immigration detention conditions were subject to “regular internal and external review” by bodies including the parliamentary committee, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Australian Red Cross.
“Oversight from external agencies helps ensure detainees are treated humanely and fairly,” the Department said.
But Ms Field of the ASRC said there was not sufficient independent surveillance, and there was “incomplete” medical care for those brought ashore on medevac.
“And a lot of these people have their medical problems not adequately treated.”
The Australian Refugee Council’s senior policy official, Sahar Okhovat, said 12 people had died on Nauru or Manus Island, “mainly as a result of inadequate health care or suicide”, and another man committed suicide in community custody in October 2019.
“Mr Mohammed’s death brings the total death toll of refugees and those seeking asylum to be processed offshore to 14,” he said.
“We also know a number of people in this group who died after being returned to their home countries.”
He said the ongoing uncertainty could damage people’s mental and physical health, adding that “years of substandard medical care” had exacerbated pre-existing health problems and created new ones.
“Those who have been transferred to Australia for medical treatment continue to face uncertainty and many are still in closed detention,” he said.
ASRC’s Ms Field said Mr Mohammed’s death had a profound impact on those who knew him, and grief echoes far beyond his immediate family.
“There’s basically a group of guys who spent many years with him at Manus, who were devastated by this loss – completely devastated,” he said.
Ms Hall, shared details of her friendship with Mr Mohammed as she hopes it will spark change.
“He had a heart of gold – as anyone who knew him would say,” he said.
“Nothing can return Biixi to us, but I beg all members of Parliament to examine their own hearts regarding Biixi’s death,” he said.
“My prayer today is that we see a radical change in the government’s treatment of all who come to seek our protection.”
A ceremony will take place at the Governor’s Building today to hand over 52 fire engines recently imported from China to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.
Sindh governor Imran Ismail will hand over the fire engine, which has been purchased by the federal government, to company officials. The flag parade of a fleet of 50 fire bows and two bows was held in Karachi on Saturday.
A spokesman for the Governor’s Building said the flag parade was held to raise awareness among the masses about the emergency measures needed to deal with any fire incidents.
The parade started from the Governor’s Building and ended at the West district commissioner’s office after passing Sharea Faisal.
The spokesman said a fleet of fire engines would help improve Karachi’s fire fighting capabilities.
A total of Rs1.4 billion was spent on this fire engine as part of the federal government’s Karachi development package.
The spokesman said the fire engine was a gift from Prime Minister Imran Khan to the people of Karachi.
He said that never in the past a large number of fire engines were purchased for Karachi. He said the technology was much more advanced than conventional fire engines.
The new fire engine is said to be equipped with a high-pressure water gun and other special features to deal with fire emergencies quickly.
Meanwhile, Governor Imran Ismail met with President Dr. Arif Alvi at the Governor’s Building. The meeting considered the ongoing construction work, fire engines purchased by the federal government for the city, the Karachi Transformation Plan and other import aspects related to the city.
President Alvi said the federal government has provided maximum assistance to develop Karachi as the economic center of Pakistan. He said the provision of modern fire engines to enhance Karachi’s fire fighting capabilities was a good development. He said the provision of fire engines would help to deal with any fire emergency in the city in a timely manner.
He hopes that the city community will get assistance based on the development funded by the central government that is being carried out in the city.
President Alvi said the support provided by the Center would greatly assist in the development of the province. He said that a new phase of development had started in Sindh.