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PM Shehbaz offers ‘sincere’ talks with India to resolve disputes including Kashmir

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  • PM says human rights violations rampant in IIOJK.
  • Says minorities in India are being persecuted.
  • Says Pakistan, India have to live with each other.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in an effort to resolve the burning issues with New Delhi, including the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK), asked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to hold serious and sincere talks.

Speaking during an interview with Al Arabiya news channel, the prime minister said: “My message to the Indian leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that let us sit down on the table and have serious and sincere talks to resolve our burning issues like Kashmir.”

PM Shehbaz said that flagrant human rights violations were taking place day in and day out in the IIOJK, adding that the neighbouring country had usurped any semblance of autonomy given to the Kashmiris according to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The autonomy was revoked in August 2019.

The premier also said that the minorities in India were being persecuted. “This must stop so that message can go around the globe that India is ready to have talks.”

PM Shehbaz said Pakistan and India are neighbours and have to live with each other.

“It is up to us to live peacefully and make progress or quarrel with each other, and waste time and resources. We have three wars with India and it only brought more misery, poverty and unemployment to the people. We have learnt our lesson and we want to live in peace provided we are able to resolve our genuine problems.

“We want to alleviate poverty, achieve prosperity, and provide education and health facilities and employment to our people and not waste our resources on bombs and ammunition, that is the message I want to give to Prime Minister Modi,” he added.

The premier remarked that both countries are nuclear powers and armed to teeth. “If God forbid a war breaks out who will live to tell what happened,” he said. 

He said the leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could play an important role to bring Pakistan and India together, adding he would hold talks with the Indian leadership with the sincerity of purpose.

He said Saudi Arabia was a friendly and brotherly country, and they had unique brotherly relations for centuries.

Before Pakistan came into being and carved out of India, millions of Muslims had brotherly relations with Saudi Arabia and they were visiting Makkah and Madina, he recalled.

UAE second home for Pakistanis

Speaking about his official visit to the UAE, the PM said that the Gulf country was a second home for millions of Pakistanis and as prime minister. 

He said that UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was an affectionate brother and great supporter of Pakistan and wanted the people of Pakistan to progress and become prosperous. 

“Leadership of Pakistan and Gulf countries have resolved to cooperate with each other in the realm of trade and culture and project Islam as a religion of peace and shun all forms of terrorism. We are working together as strategic partners.”

The prime minister said Pakistan’s woes and difficulties would not have decreased without the tangible and substantial support of the brotherly Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia, who were reliable and trustworthy partners.

He said the Pakistani nation was resilient and brave, and it would stand on its own feet by promoting trade and investment.

To a question, he said the survival of the world lay in co-existence and what was happening in eastern Europe had devastated the world and commodity prices had skyrocketed.

PTI rejects premier’s offer for talks

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry expressed shock at PM Shehbaz’s statement, saying that the party “strongly rejects” the premier’s approach to hold talks with the Indian prime minister. 

Chaudhry said that the prime minister “cannot be allowed to sell Kashmir”. He stressed that the Modi leadership reserve the constitutional position of Kashmir to its original.

‘No talks sans restoration of IIOJK’s special status’

Later, Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson issued a clarification on the PM’s statement, saying that the premier has “repeatedly stated on record that talks can only take place after India has reversed its illegal action of August 5, 2019”.

“Without India’s revocation of this step, negotiations are not possible,” the PMO spokesperson said in a statement issued on Twitter, adding that the premier had made his position very clear in his interview with Al Arabiya.

The PMO spokesperson stated that PM Shehbaz Sharif has always highlighted the resolution of Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India via “dialogue and peaceful means”.

“In reference to PM Shehbaz Sharif’s interview to Al Arabiya, the spokesman of the PM Office has said the PM has consistently maintained that Pakistan and India must resolve their bilateral issues, especially the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through dialogue and peaceful means,” the tweet read.

It further stated that the Kashmir dispute must be settled as per the United Nations resolutions and “aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

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In Lahore, several unlawful constructions were dismantled

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In response to bylaw infractions, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) demolished a number of structures in Lahore.

An illicit workshop next to Hair Factory at Adda Plot on Raiwind Road was destroyed by the LDA crew.

Along Raiwind Road and in LDA-controlled areas close to Lahore Ring Road, a number of additional unlawful constructions were also removed.

In addition, a private school that had broken land use regulations was sealed.

Chief Town Planner II Azhar Ali led the operation with the assistance of the police, enforcement team, and heavy equipment.

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Pakistan

Bushra Bibi challenges the Nikah case’s verdict in court.

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According to specifics, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry, entered a plea on her behalf, requesting that the trial court’s decision from February 3 be deemed invalid.

Salman Akram Raja, Salman Safdar, and other individuals will also be parties in this action, while Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka and the federal government have been named respondents in the plea.

According to the plea, the former first lady went to her mother’s house in August 2017 after divorcing in April.

Furthermore, the ruling is unlawful, immoral, and un-Islamic because the matter pertaining to Bushra Bibi and Khan’s nikah was outside the court’s jurisdiction.

In a case concerning their marriage during the latter’s Iddat era, a court in Islamabad earlier this year condemned former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison apiece.

The decision on the lawsuit submitted by Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka in a temporary court at Adiala jail was announced by senior civil judge Qudratullah. The pair was also fined Rs 500,000 apiece by the court.

Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan’s marriage
In February 2018, the former prime minister married Bushra Bibi in Lahore.

Only the bride’s mother and other close relatives and friends were present for the ceremony. The sisters of the PTI founder, however, were not present.

Former SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and Awn Chaudhary, leaders of the Pakitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were present when Mufti Saeed conducted the nikah.

Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka had petitioned the court last year, arguing that the marriage was unlawful and in violation of Sharia law.

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Pakistan

Culprit running social media campaign against CJP and was arrested

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The person suspected of spearheading a social media campaign against Pakistan’s Chief Justice (CJP) has been taken into custody by law officials.

According to sources, Abdul Wasay, a resident of Rawalpindi, was arrested for planning a threatening campaign against Pakistan’s Chief Justice, Qazi Faez Isa. They said that Wasay had taken part in character assassination on social media sites and made direct threats as part of a harmful campaign against the CJP on X (formerly Twitter).

Law enforcement responded quickly to Wasay’s concerning acts, which resulted in his imprisonment. Currently, inquiries are being conducted to find additional participants in the campaign. The sources also suggest that law enforcement organisations are making a concerted effort to identify each participant.

Authorities have made it clear that, once they have identified the participants in the threatening campaign, they will all face severe legal consequences. The gravity of the issue emphasises how crucial it is to protect public servants’ safety and dignity as well as the rule of law.

Abdul Wasay’s arrest sends a strong message to the public that acting in a threatening or derogatory manner towards public persons is unacceptable. It emphasises how determined law enforcement is to protect the rule of law and bring anyone who attempt to compromise the credibility of the courts or any other branch of government accountable.

To combat defamatory social media campaigns that target government personnel and the electoral commission, the caretaker government said on Wednesday that a new joint investigative team (JIT) will be formed for in-depth inquiries.

The decision was made in the wake of mounting worries about the dissemination of false information and attempts to sway public opinion by using dishonest methods. Maintaining the integrity of the electoral process and making sure that elections are transparent and fair are commitments made by the caretaker administration.

A caretaker government spokesman addressed the issue, saying, “We cannot allow malicious actors to undermine the democratic process through deceitful means.”

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