Overview of Pakistan: the opposition renews the request for the resignation of Prime Minister Khan, the arrest of a former foreign minister, etc.

The alliance of opposition parties has again called on Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down by January 31, failing which they will march to the capital Islamabad. The new Covid-19 strain first detected in the UK has reached Pakistan. A crowd incited by a Muslim cleric torched a Hindu temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. All this and more in our weekly Pakistan roundup.

Here’s what made the news in Pakistan last week
1

PDM renews demand for Imran to resign by January 31

The Pakistani Democratic Movement has reiterated its demand for Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign by January 31, saying he will otherwise “face a long march” from the opposition to Islamabad. PML-N leader Maryan Nawaz, in a reference to Khan, said that “one person seems to be alone, failing, losing”. PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said his party workers would march to the capital and “pull him out of his seat” if Imran does not resign.

2

Israel does not seek to formalize relations with Pakistan

Israel is working to formalize relations with a fifth Muslim country, possibly in Asia, an Israeli minister said. Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis said there were two main candidate countries to become the next to move towards normal relations with Israel. He did not name either but said they were neither Pakistan nor Saudi Arabia.

3

Hindu temple demolished in Pakistan

On Wednesday, a mob demolished a Hindu temple in Karak district, Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KPK). According to sources, a Muslim cleric in Karak, who enjoys the support of an activist group, incited local Muslims against the Hindu community and incited them to demolish the temple.

4

China rejects reports of end of financial support to Pakistan

China on Tuesday rejected reports of the phasing out of its promised financial support to Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the information was “baseless” and confirmed that the two countries are making progress in the construction of the mega project.

5

New British Covid strain confirmed in Pakistan

According to the Sindh health department, 12 samples from British returnees were taken for genotyping, six of which were positive and three showed the new variant of the Covid virus in the first phase. The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) subsequently released a statement, saying that two other patients admitted to the National Institute of Health in Islamabad also showed the new variant.

6

Khawaja Asif, top PML-N leader arrested

Former Foreign Minister Asif was arrested on Wednesday by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Islamabad. A spokesperson for the NAB said Asif held an iqama (work permit) from 2004 to 2008 and claimed to have earned a total of Rs 136 million for his services as a legal consultant. But he did not comply with requests to submit details of his salary and other documents.

seven

Sindh fails to release Daniel Pearl murder convict

The Sindh provincial government will not release the four men convicted of the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. This, despite the High Court of Sindh, the immediate release of the four accused of kidnapping and murdering Pearl. The government believes that the September 28 Supreme Court order regarding the accused is still on the ground. The Supreme Court order barred the four from release until the next hearing.

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