- Ours is not a political role, CJP Bandial
- CJP says political wars should be fought but on the streets.
- Govt had filed plea in top court against PTI’s long march.
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial on Thursday asked the political leadership to refrain from violating the law and the constitution, or else there would be consequences.
“Ours is not a political role,” CJP Bandial said while heading the fivei-member bench hearing the government’s contempt petition against PTI Chairman Imran Khan. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, and Justice Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi are also part of the bench.
The government through the petition is seeking orders restraining Khan from creating a law-and-order situation in line with the party’s proposed long march to Islamabad.
Advising the Attorney General for Pakistan to read the reports of the security agencies, the CJP said political wars should be fought but on the streets.
“The reports indicate that PTI had violated the promises [made to the court],” the AGP said, informing the court he was not provided with the copies of the reports to which the bench said the court would give him the reports.
“You want to avoid a war in the streets, so de we,” the CJP said adjourning the court till Wednesday, October 26, 2022 adding, “If something comes up in the meanwhile, we will take needed measures”.
The petition was filed by the Interior Ministry on October 13, requesting contempt of court proceedings against the former PM, under Article 204 of the Constitution for flouting and disregarding the orders of the apex court passed on May 25, 2022, on the petition filed by the Islamabad High Court Bar Association.
In its petition, the federal government told the apex court that the PTI chief is making announcements of marching towards Islamabad, which was a violation of a court order.
“Imran Khan is making announcements to attack Islamabad,” says the plea. It urged the Supreme Court to direct the PTI chief to ensure the implementation of its orders related to protests and sit-ins.
A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial with Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi, and Justice Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi as members took up the plea for hearing.
At the outset of the hearing Attorney General of Pakistan, Ashtar Ausaf Ali presented his arguments in the case.
The government’s lawyer told the court that on its May 25 order, the law enforcement agencies had confined themselves to the Red Zone after which PTI supporters started pelting stones at the law enforcers and resorted to violence in the federal capital.
Recalling the events, the AGP said that it was decided that the PTI leadership would sit with the government and finalise the protest plan. But despite assurances from the party, Imran Khan directed workers to reach D-Chowk, he added.
Khan called his workers to converge on D-Chowk despite assuring the court he would not do so during the proceedings, the AGP recalled. The Srinagar Highway was opened for traffic on the court’s order. The PTI had asked for the Parade Ground but the workers thronged the D-Chowk on the contrary, the AGP added.
“…workers headed towards the Red Zone and then clashes broke out with law enforcement agencies. Protesters vandalised public and private properties,” the AGP said adding that the PTI’s lawyers were in contact with the party leadership during the proceedings that led to the Supreme Court’s May 25 order.
Ausaf also read out the Supreme Court’s May 25 order before the five-member bench. “The order forestalled us from apprehending [PTI] workers. It directed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Inspector General Islamabad and the interior ministry to submit reports.
The AGP urged the Supreme Court to issue an interim order to stop Imran Khan’s planned long march to the federal capital. When asked what did he want, the AGP said, “Imran is inciting an attack on Islamabad and calling it jihad. He is provoking people through his fiery speeches.
“Protect citizens’ fundamental rights is the It is the state’s responsibility.”
“According to you (AGP), the court order had already been breached. You were the executive authority and following the court order. Now, you have the freedom to take preventative measures,” Chief Justice Bandial observed.
He noted that 31 people had been injured in the “Azadi March” and public property was destroyed. “Imran Khan was gone the next morning.”
“We will study reports in this matter. You should gear up for the situation as per the law,” the CJP directed the attorney general with regard to the security measures during the PTI’s march that Imran Khan said would not be delayed past October.
“You are telling us [the PTI] aims to march towards Islamabad and stage a sit-in again. You can handle the situation, while staying within the confines of the law,” Justice Bandial said adding, “As of now, it’s just speeches”.
The CJP said the government should be able to manage the law-and-order situation wherever there were threats in the urban areas of the country.
“We [the court] should be asked to stop the crowd, but there is none right now,” the chief justice observed.
The court however rejected the government’s request to issue an interim order for stopping the PTI’s planned long march and called on the AGP to come to the next hearing after completing his homework.
India cannot deny visas to Pakistani cricket fans as per ICC laws: FM Jilani
- Interim FM says PCB to take up matter of fans’ visas with ICC.
- “There is absolutely no question of CPEC being rolled back”.
- Jilani says Pakistan’s policy on Palestine-Israel remains same.
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani has stressed that India cannot deny visas to Pakistani cricket fans as the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules bind the host countries to cater to the demand.
It is pertinent to mention here that a delay in the issuance of visas for the national cricket squad and staff by India had put Pakistan’s participation in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 — starting October 5 — in jeopardy as the Men in Green couldn’t travel to the neighbouring country until last night.
It also affected the Pakistan team’s schedule ahead of the showpiece event as they couldn’t gather in Dubai for a “team-bonding trip”.
“As per ICC rules, providing visas to the fans is mandatory,” the foreign minister made the remark during a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday.
He added that Pakistani fans must get Indian visas and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will take up the matter with the ICC.
Travel between the two arch-rivals is usually an issue for players as well due to the diplomatic tensions between the governments.
Pakistan and India haven’t played bilateral series in any format since 2012-13. Pakistan last toured India for the ODI and T20I series.
‘Pakistan enters second phase of CPEC’
While answering a question about the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), FM Jilani said that Pakistan has entered the second phase of the mega developmental programme, which is a very transformational and important project for the country.
“There is absolutely no question of it being rolled back,” he added.
The second phase of the mega project, the interim foreign minister said, would involve the upgradation of railways and agriculture, technical cooperation, information technology (IT) cooperation and many other areas.
He stressed that “only progress” will be seen in CPEC in days to come.
While talking about the Pakistani delegation’s visit to the United States, Jilani said that Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar made a key address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and attended various significant sessions, including a meeting on the epidemic diseases.
The FM said that the caretaker PM also had a busy schedule on his New York visit, during which he presented his stance on the issue of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
“We told the world clearly about the right of self-determination of Kashmir and human rights violations going on there,” he added.
‘Absolutely no change in policy over Palestine’
Moving on to the Palestinian conflict, the interim FM said that major human rights violations are taking place in Palestine. “The Palestinian issue should be resolved as per the wish of Palestinian people.”
He also said that there is no change in Pakistan’s foreign policy as far as Palestine is concerned and the maintains the same position on the matter. “Pakistan will not imitate other countries on Israel but will protect its own interests.”
He added, “We want the establishment of a free and independent state of Palestine.”
Responding to a question about Afghanistan, the foreign minister said that not only Pakistan but the entire world has concerns about the terrorist attacks that took place in the past few weeks.
He said that the good thing is that there is a dialogue going on with the Taliban government and Islamabad has emphasised that Afghanistan is responsible for stopping the attacks on Pakistan originating from Afghan soil.
Media defenders seek parties’ commitment to press freedom ahead of polls
- Media organisations call for freedom of expression, protection of journalists.
- Impunity for crimes against journalists, media is very high in Pakistan, they say.
- PPP, PML-N, PTI, JI among other parties that were delivered joint letter.
ISLAMABAD: As the general elections approach, media organisations in Pakistan Tuesday launched an appeal to the key mainstream and regional political parties involved in the election campaign to commit to concrete measures in favour of press freedom.
Pakistan’s leading press clubs, national and provincial unions of journalists, Paris-based global media watchdog organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and RSF’s Pakistan partner Freedom Network called on heads of contesting parties to pen their commitment to defending the freedom of expression and protection of journalists in their party manifestos.
“Impunity for crimes against journalists and media is very high in Pakistan, which was among the five countries included in a pilot project of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity,” said the joint letter on Thursday.
Freedom Network’s Annual Impunity 2022 report stated that there were “no convictions in 96% of journalist killings in the past 10 years,” the letter added.
“Such a high percentage of impunity for crimes against media practitioners and assistants is alarming and puts journalists in extreme danger for practising journalism, thus, denying citizens of Pakistan their right to know and access information – the two fundamental rights enshrined in the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, guaranteed by Articles 19 and 19A.”
Karachi Press Club, Lahore Press Club, Quetta Press Club, National Press Club, Islamabad, Peshawar Press Club, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Karachi Union of Journalists, Punjab Union of Journalists, Balochistan Union of Journalists, Khyber Union of Journalists, Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists, Digital Media Alliance of Pakistan (DigiMAP), Pakistan Journalists Safety Coalition (PJSC)-Federal chapter, Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND), Freedom Network, Reporters Without Borders and TV journalist Hamid Mir co-authored this joint letter.
“In the run-up to elections, the ball is now in the court of the political parties as regards defending press freedom, as well as journalistic independence and pluralism, as fundamental guarantees of a functioning democracy. Pakistan’s press clubs along with journalists’ unions, press freedom organisations and editors bodies for electronic media, call on the leaders of the main political parties to make a concrete commitment to our proposals, starting with the search for legislative guarantees for the protection of journalists and the fight against impunity for crimes of violence against them,” it mentioned.
The statement recalled that traditionally, political parties were strong supporters of freedom of expression and press freedom in Pakistan. “Journalistic institutions such as press clubs and unions of journalists remained steadfast in upholding the constitutional rights to freedom of expression, of which journalism is an important tool used to exercise the right,” the statement said.
“We ask these federal and regional political parties to take our call into consideration and state unambiguously that they will support press freedom, the right to reliable information and the defence of journalists, that they will end impunity for crimes against media through Pakistan’s legal framework and that they will bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against journalists,” they emphasised.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Awami National Party (ANP), Muttehida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Baluchistan Awami Party, Baluchistan National Party (Mengal group), Qaumi Watan Party, Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), Hazara Democratic Party and National Party were delivered this joint letter to seek their commitment to defending press freedom if they are elected to national and provincial parliament in the forthcoming general elections.
Pakistani biryani: a spicy recipe for delectable debate
Karachi: Eying each other across a stream of traffic, rival Pakistani biryani joints vie for customers, serving a fiery medley of meat, rice and spice that unites and divides South Asian appetites.
Both sell a niche version of the dish, steeped in the same vats, with matching prices and trophies commending their quality.
But in Karachi, where a biryani craze boomed after the creation of Pakistan, it is the subtle differences that inspire devotion.
“Our biryani is not only different from theirs but unique in the world,” says restaurateur Muhammad Saqib, who layers his “bone marrow biryani” with herbs.
“When a person bites into it he drowns in a world of flavours,” the 36-year-old says.
Across the road, Muhammad Zain sees it differently.
“We were the ones who started the biryani business here first,” the 27-year-old claims, as staff scoop out sharing platters with a gut-punch of masala.
“It´s our own personal and secret recipe.”
Both agree on one thing.
“You can´t find biryani like Pakistan´s anywhere in the world,” says Saqib.
“Whether it´s a celebration or any other occasion, biryani always comes first,” according to Zain.
British colonial rule in South Asia ended in 1947 with a violent rupture of the region along religious lines.
Hindus and Sikhs in newly created Pakistan fled to India while Muslim “Mohajirs” — refugees — went the other way.
India and Pakistan have been arch-rivals since, fighting wars and locked in endless diplomatic strife. Trade and travel have been largely choked off.
Many Mohajirs settled in Karachi, home to just 400,000 people in 1947 but one of the world´s largest cities today with a population of 20 million.
For Indian food historian Pushpesh Pant, biryani served in South Asia´s melting-pot cities such as Karachi is a reminder of shared heritage.
“Hindus ate differently, Nanakpanthis (Sikhs) ate differently, and Muslims ate differently, but it was not as if their food did not influence each other,” he told AFP from the city of Gurugram outside Delhi.
“In certain parts of Pakistan and certain parts of India, the differences in flavours and foods are not as great as man-made borders would make us think.”
Every Karachi neighbourhood has its own canteens fronted by vendors clanking a spatula against the inside of biryani pots.
The recipe has endless variations.
The one with beef is a favourite in Islamic Pakistan, while vegetarian variants are more popular in largely Hindu India.
Chicken is universal. Along coastlines, seafood is in the mix.
And purists debate if adding potatoes is heresy.
“Other than that, there is Pulao Biryani which is purely from Delhi,” says 27-year-old pharmacist Muhammad Al Aaqib, describing a broth-stewed variation.
“My roots lead back to Delhi too so it´s like the mother of biryanis for us.”
“Perhaps every person has a different way of cooking it, and their way is better,” says 36-year-old landlord Mehran Khoso.
´No secret ingredient´
The origins of biryani are hotly contested.
However, it is generally accepted the word has Persian roots and it is argued the dish was popularised in the elite kitchens of the Mughal Empire, which spanned South Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries.
In spite of that pedigree, its defining quality is permutation.
Quratul Ain Asad, 40, spends Sunday morning cooking for her husband and son, Mohajir descendants of a family that arrived in Karachi from the Indian town of Tonk in 1948.
But at the dinner table, they feast not on an heirloom recipe but a TV chef´s version with a cooling yoghurt sauce and a simple shredded salad.
Asad insists on Karachi´s biryani supremacy.
“You will not like biryani from anywhere else once you´ve tasted Karachi´s biryani,” she says.
“There is no secret ingredient. I just cook with a lot of passion and joy,” she adds. “Perhaps that´s why the taste comes out good.”
Cooked in bulk, biryani is also a staple of charity donations.
At Ghazi Foods, 28-year-old Ali Nawaz paddles out dozens of portions of biryani into plastic pouches, which are delivered to poor neighbourhoods on motorbikes.
A minute after one of those bikes stops, the biryani is gone, seized by kids and young adults.
“People pray for us when they eat it,” says Nawaz. “It feels good that our biryani reaches the people.”
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