DailyDigestFeatureImage

Islamabad Asks Kabul to Extradite Fazlullah, Pakistan Snubs Karzai, and China Conducts Study for Rail Link to Pakistan [Daily Digest – July 1, 2014]

NOTEWORTHY NEWS:

FOREIGN POLICY: ISLAMABAD ASKS KABUL TO EXTRADITE TTP CHIEF
The Pakistani government has made a formal request to neighboring Afghanistan for the extradition of Mullah Fazlullah, the Afghanistan-based head of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
(Source: Daily Times)

FOREIGN POLICY: PAKISTAN REJECTS KARZAI VISIT OFFER
An unnamed Pakistani diplomat source said that Islamabad rejected an offer by Hamid Karzai for an official visit to sort out issues relating to the TTP and Zarb-e Azb operations. The official said that Karzai is looking for greater international legitimacy as he faces isolation from major Western powers. An unnamed British diplomat said that Karzai is orchestrating the election controversy to remain in power.
(Source: Pakistan Today)

INFRASTRUCTURE: CHINA PLANS ON BUILDING RAIL LINK TO PAKISTAN
Beijing has commissioned a preliminary study to build an 1800km railway route connecting Kashgar in Xinjiang with Gwadar in Balochistan. The proposed railway line will pass through Islamabad and Karachi.
(Source: The Nation)

FOREIGN POLICY: INDIA AND PAKISTAN TO RESUME TRADE TALKS THIS MONTH
The commerce ministers of India and Pakistan will meet on the sidelines of the SAARC summit Bhutan on 24 July to discuss trade liberalization.
(Source: Indo-Asian News Service)

ENERGY: KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA GOVERNMENT TO LAUNCH 17 ENERGY PROJECTS
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government said on Monday that it will launch seventeen, mainly hydroelectric, power projects in the province in the period from 2014-15.
(Source: The Nation)

KEY COMMENTARY:

Ayaz Amir, writing in The News, says that Pakistan’s current democratic leaders have misplaced priorities and made poor human resource choices in matters of governance. He argues: “Pakistan’s problem is not that it has no men of talent and honour. It is that such men are pushed to the back.”

DailyDigestFeatureImage

Nawaz to Meet Zardari, Imran Threatens Long March, and Info Minister Says Terror Threat is National [Daily Digest – June 30, 2014]

NOTEWORTHY NEWS:

POLITICS: NAWAZ WILL MEET ZARDARI, VOWS TO DEFEAT ANTI-DEMOCRATIC FORCES
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday that anti-democratic forces are conspiring to overthrow his government, but they will be defeated. He will reportedly meet with former President Asif Ali Zardari, leader of the PPP, in a bid to counter the coalition of anti-government political parties.
(Source: The News)

POLITICS: IMRAN KHAN THREATENS ‘LONG MARCH’ ON ISLAMABAD 
Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf Chairman Imran Khan vowed to lead a “long march” on Islamabad should the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) government does not fulfill his demands for electoral reforms. He also threatened to hang police officers in the Punjab province should they engage in violence against his party’s workers.
(Sources: The News, Dunya News)

SECURITY: INFO MINISTER SAYS TERROR IS NATIONAL THREAT, NOT RESTRICTED TO NORTH WAZIRISTAN
Information Minister Pervez Rashid said on Sunday that terrorists had a “military headquarters” in North Waziristan, but their ideological presence was nationwide. Rashid’s statement is a signal that some elements of the federal government recognize the comprehensive, pervasive terror threat that Pakistan faces.
(Source: The News)

PUBLIC HEALTH: NEARLY 200,000 IDP CHILDREN GIVEN POLIO VACCINATION
A senior Pakistani government official working on polio eradication said that public health authorities have administered polio vaccinations to over 192,442 children fleeing the violence in North Waziristan. The children were vaccinated at transit points in Frontier Region Bannu, Hangu, as well as Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, and Lakki Marwat.
(Source: DAWN)

KEY COMMENTARY:

Ali Salman, the founder of an Islamabad-based economic think tank, writing in The Express Tribune, defends the recent divestment of 19.8% of shares of the United Bank Limited (UBL) by the federal government of Pakistan. Responding to critics of the UBL’s sale, Salman argues that the government chose an appropriate trading price and method of sale, and says that Pakistani statutes mandate that the proceeds go toward debt reduction and poverty reduction.

DailyDigestFeatureImage

Army Announces North Waziristan Operation, Sharif Addresses Parliament, and Chinese Company Makes Big Faisalabad Textile Investment [Daily Digest – June 16, 2014]

NOTEWORTHY NEWS:

SECURITY: NAWAZ ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT ON NORTH WAZIRISTAN OPERATION
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed both Pakistan’s National Assembly and Senate today on the North Waziristan operation. He said, “We gave peace a chance despite the sacrifice of thousands of lives rendered by the army and others…[but] the bloodbath of our women and children also continued.”
(Source: GEO News)

SECURITY: PAKISTAN ARMY ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NORTH WAZIRISTAN OPERATION
See our Rapid Action Report from Sunday.

SECURITY: ARMY DEPLOYED IN KARACHI AND ISLAMABAD
The Pakistan Army has been deployed by authorities in Islamabad and Karachi to boost security in these critical municipalities.
(Source: GEO News)

ECONOMY: CHINESE COMPANY MAKES BIG LAND PURCHASE AT FAISALABAD TEXTILE PARK, COULD INVEST UP TO $2 BILLION
China’s Shandong Ruyi Technology Group has purchased over a thousand acres at a Faisalabad Industrial Zone, where it will set up Pakistan’s largest spinning factory along with a 135MW coal-based power plant.
(Source: The Express Tribune)

SECURITY: NEPHEW OF CHIEF JUSTICE KIDNAPPED IN MULTAN
Umar Jillani, an intelligence officer and nephew of outgoing chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, was kidnapped by unidentified motorcycle-borne gunmen in Multan on Sunday.
(Source: The Express Tribune)

KEY COMMENTARY:

As rumors of changes in the cabinet continue to proliferate, Farrukh Saleem, a Pakistani economist, calls for the formation of a war cabinet in The News, echoing the recommendations of other leading commentators such as Ayaz Amir and Shaheen Sehbai.

DailyDigestFeatureImage

Musharraf asks for permission to leave Pakistan, China to build Gwadar airport, and calls for ‘soft’ military rule emerge. [Daily Digest – June 13, 2014]

NOTEWORTHY NEWS:

SECURITY: FAZL SAYS GOVERNMENT TO LAUNCH NORTH WAZIRISTAN OPERATIONS
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of the Jamiat Ulema-e Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) party, said that Islamabad has decided to go forward with military operations in North Waziristan. Fazl’s party has historic links to various Taliban groups inside the region and had been part of the current government. Due in part to the unpopularity of military operations among his support base, which includes North and South Waziristan and adjacent settled districts, the JUI-F leader has been distancing himself from the federal government.
(Source: The News)

CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS: MUSHARRAF PETITIONS FOR EARLY DEPARTURE
A day after the Sindh High Court ordered former military ruler President Pervez Musharraf to be removed from the exit control list, the retired general’s counsel filed a petition before the provincial high court asking for permission to leave immediately. The SHC had deferred the implementation of its order for fifteen days, giving the federal government time to appeal the decision.
(Source: The Express Tribune)

FOREIGN POLICY: MODI WRITES TO NAWAZ
Newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has responded to the letter written to him by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Modi notes that there is a “convergence” in their views of bilateral relations and condemns the Karachi airport attack.
(Source: The Express Tribune)

INFRASTRUCTURE: CHINA TO BUILD NEW GWADAR AIRPORT
A senior planning and development official informed Pakistan’s Senate that China will be constructing a new international airport in the Balochistan city of Gwadar. The facility will be constructed on a Build-Operate-Trust framework or through a concessionary loan. Protests by members of the opposition against the redirecting of the Pak-China Economic Corridor continued for a second day. The Senate was also told that the federal government will be putting out a tender for consultants to develop a master plan for Gwadar.
(Source: The Express Tribune)

KEY COMMENTARY:

Ayaz Amir, a former PML-N parliamentarian, and Shaheen Sehbai, a veteran newspaper editor with a penchant for hyperbole, both writing for The News in separate columns, call for the formation of an emergency or war cabinet. Both are careful to not call for direct military intervention, but they are intentionally vague as to whom would implement such a framework and why the current government would relinquish some or all power.