THE ONLY BI-LINGUAL AND BI-WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Volume 17 Issue 458-Jamadi ul Awal 2, 1439 AH January 19, 2018
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|:: Articles & News
|::John Horgan changes tune on BC Hydro rate freeze
Premier John Horgan seems to be backing away from a key election promise to freeze BC Hydro rates in an effort to achieve
affordability.During the campaign, the NDP government promised a freeze for all customers, noting that rates have climbed more than 24 per cent over the last four years.
But now the premier says a blanket freeze on rates may not be the best way to ease people’s bills. ”I am now more convinced than ever that a better course of action on affordability is not a blanket reduction or freezes, but targeted to those who can best benefit from relief in this area,” John Horgan said Tuesday.
Nothing is expected to change anytime soon. CTV News was told the idea of targeted
incentives was part of ongoing conversations, and Horgan said he’s been interested for years in some type of means testing.
Horgan’s change of tune came two months after the province claimed to put a scheduled 3 per cent hike on hold.
In November, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall told BC Hydro to ask the B.C. Utilities Commission to pull back on increasing rates in 2018. If approved, the freeze would come into effect April. At the same time the government is reviewing BC Hydro’s books to look for cost savings to keep customers’ future rates low.
|::“Trudeau’s London, Ont., town hall interrupted by hecklers
PM says he put electoral reform aside when he saw it was going in direction that would hurt country.
By Kathleen Harris, Peter Zimonjic, CBC News
Justin Trudeau’s third town hall of his cross-country tour saw repeated interruptions from two persistent hecklers who interrupted questioners and attempted to shout down the prime minister before one of them had to be forcibly removed by police.
The first came when Trudeau was trying to answer a question from a young boy who asked how he deals with his “haters.”
“I don’t really have to worry too much about being defined by what someone thinks of me,” Trudeau said, noting that, as a child, people would tell him that they did not like him because their parents didn’t like his father.
A woman then stood up in the crowd and started shouting about free speech, the security threat posed by Canadians who left to join ISIS and are now beginning to return home, and the decision to locate the town hall at a university.
She was also upset about M-103, the motion passed in the House of Commons that called on federal politicians to condemn Islamophobia
Shortly afterward, another questioner was interrupted by a man shouting at Trudeau, without the benefit of a microphone. The RCMP surrounded the man and he eventually sat down.
Not long afterwards the man stood up and threw a stack of papers from the raised seating area where he was positioned before continuing to shout at and over Trudeau as he tried to calm the heckler down.
The prime minister offered him the chance to remain in the auditorium if he remained seated and quiet, but he refused and was escorted out by security after shouting about corruption and wrongdoings of the Supreme Court.
As the man left, Trudeau explained that he was disturbing the event. The man hollered “You’re disturbing me!”
The town hall at Western University was the third in a series of six such meetings, and came as Trudeau holds a two-day retreat for his cabinet in the southwestern Ontario city.
Cabinet ministers mingled with students and other members of the audience in the packed auditorium. Outside, a long queue of people, who began lining up at 1 p.m. ET, waited in the rain hoping for a seat.
During the first two town halls — in Lower Sackville, N.S. and Hamilton — the prime minister endured heckling and drew applause as he faced a broad range of questions on topics that covered everything from federal drug policy, to the Liberal government’s $10.5 million payment to Omar Khadr, to concerns over former ISIS fighters returning to Canada.
In London, Trudeau, who also serves at the minister of youth, was asked about electoral reform by a questioner who said she was disappointed that he wasn’t going to make sure that every vote in the country counts.
The prime minister’s promise, later broken, to do away with the first-past-the-post electoral system was a vote winner among Canadians under the age of 25 in the last election. The vast majority of audience members Thursday evening also fell into that age group.
Trudeau answered that Canada’s democracy could be improved, but that any attempt had to be done very carefully. It was a version of the response he had used in the past.
“Changing the way we vote, changing the way we function as a democracy and as democratic institutions is an important thing and is something you have to get right,” Trudeau said. “Because once you change something, sometimes it’s difficult to change it back.”
Trudeau explained that he is in favour of a system that lets voters rank their choices, rather than one that encourages voting against candidates.
“I wasn’t going to do something that I felt would harm Canada and weaken our democracy just to tick a box off on an electoral platform,” he said.
“I understand that you were disappointed about that but ultimately, my responsibility is to do things that are good for this country and when I saw that the electoral reform was going in a direction that wasn’t going to be good for this country I put that promise aside.”
Trudeau was also asked about the degeneration of political dialogue, and said his government’s public policy is based on informed thought and evidence over rhetoric.
“It might win elections, but [rhetoric] doesn’t leave society or the country any better off. And I do believe that reason will win out over time,” as long as it comes with passion, he said.
Trudeau’s next town hall will be in Quebec City on Jan. 18. Later in the month, he will host town halls in Winnipeg and Edmonton, but no specific dates for those events have been released.
The evening finished with a question about the government’s approach and commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous people.
Trudeau said he gave his ministers a clear mandate to do something every past government had failed to do: Change the fundamental nation-to-nation relationship.
But he said the long-term solutions to the problems caused by residential schools must ultimately come from Indigenous leaders, not Parliament Hill.
“No matter how we might have a great idea in Ottawa on how to fix it, the solution can’t come from Ottawa,” he said.
Trudeau said it will be a long, slow process that must be defined and delivered by Indigenous people.
The government is working to help preserve Indigenous language and culture and said that as a Quebecer, he understands the need to “resist assimilation.”
::Coquitlam high school mourns loss of teen caught in crossfire
A Metro Vancouver high school is mourning the loss of one of its own after a boy hit by a stray bullet during a weekend shooting.
Alfred Wong was riding in the backseat of his parents’ car when gunshots rang out on a busy Vancouver street Saturday evening.
Two people died of their injuries: the 15-year-old Coquitlam high school student and a 23-year-old believed to have been the target. Police believe the latter took part in the shootout. A third person, a 30-year-old bystander from Vancouver, suffered only minor injuries and was treated at the scene then released.
Alfred, who attended Pinetree Secondary School in Coquitlam, B.C., was identified to CTV News on Tuesday as students and staff struggled to come to terms with his sudden and senseless death. The school district said it is providing support services to those affected by the tragedy.
The teen was part of a youth group at the Coquitlam Christ Church of China, according to another member who posted to social media asking for prayers.
Alfred was also a member of the New Westminster Hyack Swim Club, and his coaches had to inform his teammates of his death at a practice Monday night.“They were shocked,” coach Frici Laszlo told CTV, saying that he and his friends had big plans for their future.
“Some of them cried. Some of them were speechless. Some of them asked for a little break.”The death also affected those who didn’t know Alfred personally, including the mayor of Coquitlam.“This hurts us all. A death like this hurts every member of our community,” Richard Stewart said.
“And when it’s such an innocent life, not part of the gangland surroundings that caused the gunfight, it makes it even worse.”
The 23-year-old who also died as a result of the shooting was identified by police as Vancouver resident Kevin Whiteside. Police said he was known to them, armed on Saturday night and had a criminal record that included charges of assault with a weapon and uttering threats.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and the investigation is in its early stages. In a message to CTV, his sister described him as “kind, loving and protective.
“He doesn’t deserve what happened to him and he doesn’t deserve to have his name all over the news like he’s a horrible criminal,” she said.
The case was immediately made a top priority for police, who assigned more than 50 officers to the investigation.“Every time criminals decide to exchange gunfire on our streets, they endanger the lives of everybody around them. The events of Saturday night were reckless, were reprehensible, and there’s no justification for this type of senseless violence in this city,” Vancouver Police Chief Const. Adam Palmer said Monday.
Investigators are still searching for a suspect or suspects in the case and are appealing for witnesses to come forward. In particular, anyone with video of the shooting or aftermath is asked to contact police.
Someone who works at a nearby business told CTV News their surveillance camera captured an armed man with a bandana over his face following behind a group of people.
|::Watchdog asks if racism played role in aboriginal man’s in-custody death
|A complaint about the in-custody death of a First Nations man in Prince George, B.C. last summer is raising questions about the Mounties’ account of what happened and whether racism played a role.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has written to the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, asking the agency to ensure there’s a transparent and independent investigation into the death of Dale Culver.
“We’re hopeful they’ll look into allegations of very serious misconduct against RCMP members in Prince George,” BCCLA executive director Josh Paterson told CTV News.
Culver, a 35-year-old Wet’suwet’en father of three, was taken down by officers on July 18, 2017 after a struggle. Officers deployed pepper spray and placed him in a police car, where he stopped breathing. Culver died in hospital.
The police account the next day said Prince George RCMP received a report that a man was “casing vehicles” in a parking lot that evening, and tracked Culver down.
But the BCCLA complaint says that “casing vehicles” report may have come in long before the arrest – raising the question about whether Culver was even the man officers were looking for.
“We understand that the call to police about a suspect potentially “casing out” vehicles may have been received several hours prior to the police interaction with Mr. Culver that resulted in his death. Regardless, we question on what information or basis the member or members of the RCMP began their interaction or questioning of Mr. Culver, and/or a request to identify himself in the first place,” the complaint reads.
“This tragic incident, as it has been described, gives rise to a question as to whether the RCMP members’ actions may have been affected by explicit or implicit racial bias,” the complaint says.
The RCMP didn’t answer questions from CTV News on the case today, referring only to their previous press release.
Those who knew Culver say he struggled with alcoholism, but worked in the forestry industry and was trying to turn his life around. “I think when a person is arrested, I don’t think they should end up dead,” said Terry Teegee, a regional chief of the B.C.
Assembly of First Nations.
Culver’s death has left a 14-year-old daughter, a 6-year-old son, and a baby fatherless, said his cousin Debbie Pierre.“This is absolutely devastating to us,” she said. “How he passed has been excruciating for his mother clan and his father clan,” she said.
The possibility that Culver was picked up
because he was First Nations is frightening, she said.“I don’t want (Culver’s) passing to be in vain,” she said. “It could have been anybody. Do we want to see this happen again and again? There needs to be change.”
B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office is also looking into any potential criminal
conduct by the RCMP in the case.
The IIO’s Chief Civilian Director wouldn’t answer questions about his investigation into timeline of the “casing vehicles” report or what police knew about Culver before the arrest.But Ron MacDonald did say that the IIO is still looking into allegations that officers asked passersby to delete cellphone video of the incident.“Given the nature of those allegations, if proven, they could constitute criminal conduct, so we’ve been investigating that as well,” MacDonald said.
He said the agency is still hoping to hear from any witnesses who may have seen
officers delete any videos.
Victor Jim, a hereditary and elected chief of the Wet’suwet’en, told CTV News that there has been prejudice against First Nations people by authorities for “as long as they’ve existed.” “I think we need to culturally educate the RCMP,” he said. “Lots of them aren’t culturally sensitive, or culturally aware. Lots of racial profiling goes on with our people.”
::Khan Ata (Allama Mashriqi’s Father) & the Historic Newspaper, The Vakil
By Nasim Yousaf
Allama Mashriqi’s father, Khan Ata Mohammad Khan, was a prominent Punjabi writer and political/religious activist. Khan owned and ran The Vakil, a major bi-weekly newspaper from Amritsar in British India. Khan was a man of means and an influential figure in South Asia during his time, as such a brief biography of his contributions is important for researchers and students as well as for the history of South Asia.
Khan Ata (1846-1925), son of Diwan Kamaluddin Khan, came from a well-to-do family and was a Rajput by caste. His ancestors held prominent positions in the Mughal Empire courts (details of his ancestry have appeared in various books). Khan Ata had property in Batala and Amritsar, which was passed down from his family. Khan Ata emerged as a recognized author and was well-versed in various languages, including Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and English. His works were a mix of books, articles, reports, and poems. His social circle consisted of prominent individuals of the time, including Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, Maulana Shibli Nomani, Maulana Abdullah Al-Imadi, Mohsin-ul-Mulk, Nawab of Loharu, Syed Jamaluddin Afghani and Mufti Sadruddin Azurda. In recognition of Khan Ata’s outstanding contributions to literature as well as for raising substantial funds for the Hejaz railway, the Emperor of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, Sultan Abdul Hamid II (who ruled from 1876 –1909) bestowed upon him the Tamgha-i-Majeedia (a high-status medal).
Perhaps one of Khan Ata’s most significant contributions to society was his newspaper, Vakil. After the fall of the Mughal Empire, British influence began to rise quickly and some Muslims felt that the Indian subcontinent’s Islamic and Indian heritage was being replaced by English values. The Muslim community also seemed demoralized and detached from the overall political struggle for freedom. The newspaper Vakil, which was owned by Khan Ata, was launched in 1895 in order to provide a voice for Muslim political thought. The newspaper was published by Rose Bazar Press in Amritsar (British India) and had different editors (including Maulvi Insha Ullah Khan, Sheikh Ghulam Mohammad, and Maulana Abdullah Al-Imadi) from time to time. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad also joined Vakil’s editorial team at about age fifteen and remained part of said team for the next five years. He was under the tutelage of Khan Ata before launching his own newspapers and literary works and entering politics.
The Vakil emerged as a highly reputable and prominent newspaper and had subscribers in India and abroad. In 1900, the annual subscription fee with mailing charges for Vakil was six rupees for Indians and ten shillings for overseas subscribers (Vakil, Sept. 17, 1900). The newspaper carried a variety of content as well as some commercial advertisements, while its book depot published materials on the Ottoman Empire along with Allama Mashriqi’s works Tazkirah and Khitab-Misr (Mashriqi’s speech at the first global Khilafat Conference in May 1926 in Cairo).
Vakil critically examined the Muslim community’s activities and promoted nationalism and a strong character based on Islamic values. The newspaper was at the forefront of safeguarding the political rights of Muslims. For example, the newspaper actively reported on the Khilafat Movement in India as well as the Turkish Ottoman Empire, First World War, and the activities of Muslims in various parts of the world. In 1900, Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II sent an appeal to Muslims of the world to support the construction of a railway connecting Damascus to the holy cities of Medina and Mecca. Khan Ata was at the forefront of promoting this effort and, through his newspaper, launched a campaign asking Muslims to donate to the project. The people responded and a considerable amount of money was donated (as was reported in various books).
As Vakil gained in prominence, the newspaper faced its share of challenges. During the First World War, censorship of the Vakil was ordered. And again in 1919, an order of pre-censorship was passed against Vakil. Khan Ata provided strong leadership during these times and the newspaper was able to make it through the adversity and remain at the forefront of Urdu journalism for decades.
Khan Ata and Vakil were recognized by many individuals for their contributions. Muhammad Ali wrote in Comrade (dated Feb 17, 1912): “…Vakil has represented the best type of Urdu journalism. Its views have always been broad, wise and dignified. It has exercised an intellectual tolerance and comprehension which is rare even amongst the better class of English journalism in this country [British India].” Engineer Asghar Ali wrote in his book entitled They Too Fought for India’s Freedom, “Among all the Urdu papers of this time, Vakil was regarded as the most sober and serious paper having most weighty opinions on national affairs.” Gail Minault stated in his book entitled The Khilafat Movement: “…Wakeel had the greatest influence and circulation of any Urdu newspaper, dealt freely with Aligarh matters and Turkish-Egyptian relations, and raised money for the Hejaz railway.”
Today, Vakil continues to draw attention from Eastern and Western writers and has been referenced or quoted in various books, including Professor Andrew Tait Jarboe’s book entitled War News in India. Professor Jarboe was gracious enough to email me the names of source materials where he “found several excerpts from Vakil.” Original copies of the Vakil can be found in the Lahore Museum. Some parts of Vakil have also been translated into English and can be accessed at some major research libraries (*see note below).
In short, Vakil shaped Muslim political, religious, and cultural values in the Indian sub-continent during the British Empire. It influenced the thinking of many and helped generate the spirit of freedom - among Allama Mashriqi, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and others – to liberate India from British rule. As such, the founder of Vakil, Khan Ata, made a lasting contribution to the history of the region.
Khan Ata Mohammad Khan passed away on July 5, 1925 and was buried in Batala in India. Following his death, Vakil continued to be published until about July 28, 1931.
*Note: Translated extracts of Vakil can be found in various files [ex. IOR/L/R/5/192] and are available in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room of the British
Library. The newspaper is also available in microfilms entitled “Selections from the Indian newspapers,” published in Punjab and available in major libraries of the world, including the Center for Research Libraries (Chicago, USA).
The author has thus far published many books and articles. The author also published an article on Khan Ata in the book “Men Like Allama Mashriqi Are Born Once In Centuries: A Collection of Articles.” More information about the author can be found online and on social media.
Copyright © 2018 Nasim Yousaf
::Air Marshal Asghar Khan passes away in Islamabad
Air Marshal retired Asghar Khan, the first native commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), passed away at the age of 96 on Friday morning in Islamabad, a spokesperson of the PAF said in a statement.
Khan, who became the youngest head of PAF at the age of 35, passed away after a long illness. His funeral prayers will be offered on Saturday in Abbottabad.
“Air Marshal Asghar Khan headed the PAF diligently and with courage. With his leadership capabilities, he played a vital role in transforming the PAF into a modern air force,” Air Marshal Sohail Khan was quoted as saying in PAF’s press release.“Air Marshal Khan had a good character, great commitment and professional capability,” he added.
He servred as Commander in Chief PAF (July 1957- July 1965).
Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa paid tribute to the late fighter in a message posted on Twitter by military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, calling him “iconic”.
“COAS expresses his grief on demise of ex Air Chief, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, retired. An iconic soldier who will be remembered for his historic contributions for laying foundations of a strong Pakistan Air Force. May Allah bless his soul. Amen.”
PTI Chairman Imran Khan also shared a message of condolence on Twitter: “Saddened to learn of Air Chief Marshal Asghar Khan’s death early this morning. He transformed the PAF and was a man of steadfast principles and integrity. My prayers and condolences go to his family,” the PTI chief said.
A PAF veteran-turned-politician
Khan, a former politician and a World War II veteran fighter pilot, was born in Jammu and Kashmir in 1921. He originally served as an officer in the British Indian Army.
In March 2017, the PAF Academy in Risalpur was named after Khan as a tribute to the veteran.
In the era of Field Marshal Ayub Khan, the former head of the PAF spearheaded a movement with the intent to have Zulfikar Ali Bhutto released from jail.
He also served as the president of Pakistan International Airlines. In 1970, Khan founed Tehreek-i-Istaqlal, a secular political party. In 2012, the party was merged with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
Renowned columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee, in an article published in July 2002, wrote of Khan’s time as a politician: “As an old-time officer and a gentleman to his fingertips, as an honest man of moderate means, and as a man who genuinely wished to do good by the poverty-stricken, uneducated of this country, there was no way, no way at all, that Air Marshal Asghar Khan could succeed as a politician of Pakistan, given the environment, the atmosphere that prevails and the mindset of the majority.”
Asghar Khan case
In 1996, Air Marshal Khan had filed a human rights petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of doling out money to a group of politicians in the 1990s.
The case was initiated by the air marshal after Benazir Bhutto’s interior minister, retired general Naseerullah Babar, had disclosed in the National Assembly in 1994 how the ISI had disbursed funds to purchase the loyalty of politicians and public figures so as to manipulate the 1990 elections, form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), and bring about the defeat of the PPP.
16 years after the petition was filed, the Supreme Court in its judgement — penned by then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry — ruled that the 1990 general elections had been polluted by dishing out Rs140 million to a particular group of politicians only to deprive the people of being represented by their chosen representatives.
The court had, however, thrown the ball back to the then PPP government by directing it to take necessary action under the Constitution and law against former army chief retired Gen Aslam Beg and former director general of Inter-Services Intelligence retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani for their role in facilitating the group of politicians and political parties to ensure their success against their rivals in the 1990 elections.
In May 2017, PTI announced its decision
tofile in the Supreme Court a petition seeking implementation of the already decided and famous case.
::Pakistan can’t be forced to compromise on national interests: US historian
|By: Anwar Iqbal
WASHINGTON: Pakistan cannot be bludgeoned into taking steps it believes dangerous to its security, even if it means losing the US aid, argues a new book on Pakistan-US relations.
The book — The Leverage Paradox: Pakistan and the United States — by Robert Hathaway, a prominent US scholar of South Asian affairs, traces the history of bilateral relations from the early 1950s to the Trump era, concluding that both nations benefited from this relationship.
“There is little in the historical record to support the contention that Pakistan can be bludgeoned into taking steps it believes dangerous to its security. To the contrary, repeated US attempts to condition its aid to Pakistani behaviour failed to induce the better behaviour Washington had hoped for,” Mr Hathaway writes.He demonstrates how efforts to coerce Pakistan merely reinforced Islamabad’s belief that its “putative friend sought only to advance a US agenda at odds with Pakistan’s security”.
The book argues that Pakistan has always viewed the benefits that flow from American favour as “prizes worth working to acquire, but not at any price”.
Book traces history of Islamabad-Washington ties from early 1950s to Trump era
Washington’s inability to recognise this reality, “repeatedly led US decision-makers to overestimate the leverage their power gave them,” the author warns.
Rejecting the argument that Pakistan has been a passive victim or target of American initiatives, Mr Hathaway argues that Islamabad has been “a full partner in a diplomatic two-step” that has reflected Pakistan’s as well as American policy goals. “Generally, Pakistan played its hand well to blunt the force of American power,” he adds.
The book shows how in dealing with the Americans over the decades, Pakistan has held three hugely valuable assets: it occupied strategic geography, possessed considerable strength in its own right and was able to capitalise on the needs of the stronger to further its own ends.
Trump and Pakistan
While reviewing US-Pakistan relations under the Trump administration, the book shows US President Donald Trump’s faith in the utility of American strategy that has impacted US-Pakistan ties.
The book includes several quotes from Mr Trump’s statements on Pakistan — from 2012 to 2017 — and leads the readers to his Aug 21 speech in which he unveiled a new American strategy for Afghanistan.
“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately,” Mr Trump declared in that speech.
The author says that this speech was unsettling for Pakistanis who felt that the US intended to change its approach toward Pakistan.
The author says that while the statement was specific to Afghanistan, Pakistanis feared that the president’s words could apply to their own country as well.
Mr Hathaway notes that soon after the unveiling of the new Afghan policy, US Vice President Mike Pence wrote a piece in USA Today, declaring that the US has put Pakistan “on notice”.
The author shows how Pakistanis found two other aspects of the new Trump policy especially alarming. One was the absence of any serious discussion of a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan. “Other than a token reference to a political settlement, Mr Trump was virtually silent on what appeared to Pakistanis the only way for Afghanistan to move beyond perpetual turmoil,” he notes.
“Even worse from Pakistan’s perspective, Mr Trump spoke of further developing the US-India ‘strategic partnership’,” he adds, noting that one component of this was for India to assume a larger role in Afghanistan, especially in the areas of economic assistance and development.
Mr Hathaway points out that “keeping Indian influence in Afghanistan to a bare minimum had been one of the touchstones of Pakistani strategy since signing up with the Americans in the days after 9/11” and Mr Trump’s new policy, it appeared, “could not have struck Pakistan’s vital interests more directly”.
He notes how Islamabad lost no time in pushing back, reminding Americans that they “should not make Pakistan a scapegoat for their failure in Afghanistan”.
Commenting on the limitations of the US pressure on Pakistan, the book uses a quote from a Pakistani commentator, Nadia Naviwala, who argues that “a few hundred million dollars is not much of a stick,” especially when compared with Pakistan-China relationship, which is now worth about $110 billion.
Mr Hathaway also advises the Trump administration not to overestimate the value of its favour or the attraction of its carrots.
The author argues that a country attempting leverage must minimise its dependence upon the target country, mark its priorities and also keep itself abreast of internal developments in the target country.
He also advises the Trump administration to: “Negotiate from a position of strength, and don’t take military force off the table. Do not be afraid to walk away from negotiations; the other party probably needs a bargain more than you do”. Source: Dawn.com
|::Imran flays parliament for allowing ‘criminal’ to become party chief
Addressing the rally, Khan lambasted the parliament for allowing a ‘criminal’ to be elected a party president.
“I curse the parliament that made a criminal the president of a party,” he said, in an apparent reference to the PML-N’s decision to elect ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as its president.“The two [Sharif] brothers are responsible for the Model Town incident,” said Imran. “I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it [Model Town incident] was done on orders received by the police.”
He accused the Sharif brothers of being ‘fascists’ and claimed that they were not even ‘remotely democratic’.“I know them since the past forty years,” he said. “They get people roughed up.”While addressing the rally earlier in the day, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid announced his resignation from the National Assembly and called on the PTI chairperson Imran Khan to join him in the move.
Imran expressed ‘complete agreement’ with Sheikh Rashid’s decision, and said he would consult his party over the matter.
“I will consult my party over it, and it is very likely that we may join you [Sheikh Rashid],” he said, adding that resignations of his party were not accepted when they were submitted for the first time.
Qadri calls for ‘end to
sultanate of Sharifs’
PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri said that they do not want to take a step against Pakistan’s constitution and democracy, and only want an end of the “sultanate of Sharifs.”
Addressing the allied opposition rally, Qadri thanked leaders and workers from all political parties for attending the show of strength in Lahore. He said that they all had gathered to get justice for the victims of Model Town tragedy.
“Entire political leadership is here to honour humanity, to empower the weak, to give voice to the voiceless,” the PAT chief said.
“We have gathered here to save the country from Sheikh Mujeeb of a new era.”
He lamented that the rights of the people were being usurped and the national treasury plundered in the country.
Qadri maintained that they do not want to sabotage peace in the country. “We only want to put an end to your cruelty. If we had to take the law into our own hands, then we would not have tolerated tragedies.”
He maintained that their protest is aimed at getting justice for the oppressed.
“The purpose of this gathering is to get rid of the enemy. We want to end the sultanate of Sharifs,” he said.
Only threat to Pakistan is from Jati Umra: Zardari
Former President and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari while addressing the rally, said Pakistan faced danger from Jati Umrah referring to the Sharif family residence.
“They [PML-N] know that they can be disqualified any time, but I just think for Pakistan,” said Zardari.
The PPP co-chairman also thanked the attendees for showing solidarity with the Model Town incident victims and promised to get justice.“My brothers and sisters, I thank you for coming to this protest here. We will get justice for Model Town victims, and Zainab.” Senior PPP leaders including Khursheed Shah, Aitzaz Ahsan, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Nayyar Hussain Bukhari and Manzoor Wattoo among others also address protesters from the stage, set up atop a container in front of the Punjab Assembly.
Qadri and Zardari also held a meeting in Lahore earlier in the day, which followed a joint press conference by the two figures.
Speaking to the media, Zardari said the time had come for the rulers of the country to go home. He said that Sharif brothers still wish to save their rule.
He said the purpose of their protest was to get rid of incumbent Punjab government and they would soon get them out of power.
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