False stories claim Ireland prepping for Muslim immigration

Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoisaech) Leo Varadkar greets President of the European Council Donald Tusk at Government buildings in Dublin on March 8, 2018. (REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)
Updated 08 March 2018
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False stories claim Ireland prepping for Muslim immigration

DUBLIN: An Irish government plan to address population growth isn’t an outline for “nation-destruction” that will bring in one million immigrants from Muslim countries, as claimed by several false stories circulating online.
The plan to address growth doesn’t specify countries where immigrants would come from, nor their religions.
Several websites tie all projected increases in the Ireland 2040 plan to immigrants — “likely Muslims” — from Afghanistan, Africa, the Middle East and Pakistan — and claim the prime minister, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, is an “ethnic Indian.” The prime minister is the son of a Hindu doctor from India and an Irish nurse.
The sites said Varadkar was talking about the migration of more than a million people when he said, “It’s our big vision for how we want to reshape Ireland.”
The plan describes projected growth of around 1.1 million over 22 years. The leading nationalities of people moving to Ireland in the year before the country’s most recent census in 2016 were returning Irish citizens, followed by people from the United Kingdom and those from Brazil.
The quote attributed to Varadkar is accurate, but he did not say it in speaking of immigration. Varadkar tweeted that remark Feb. 16 about the plan as a whole, just before the government released it.


Pakistan's leading political party faces jolt

Updated 24 June 2018
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Pakistan's leading political party faces jolt

  • Former PM Nawaz Sharif may not be able to spearhead PML-N's election campaign
  • The three-time premier is a crowd-puller and could help the beleaguered PML-N, but only “if he returns to Pakistan and leads the election campaign,” political analyst Tahir Malik told Arab News on Sunday

ISLAMABAD: The electoral success of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) hangs in the balance as its most charismatic leader, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is outside the country and may not lead his party’s campaign ahead of the July 25 polls, analysts say.
“If Sharif doesn’t return from London to Pakistan by next week, his party may face huge losses in the upcoming elections,” political analyst Tahir Malik told Arab News on Sunday.
The three-time premier is a crowd-puller and could help the beleaguered PML-N, but only “if he returns to Pakistan and leads the election campaign,” Malik said.
Sharif is in London visiting his wife Begum Kalsoom Nawaz, who has been on a ventilator since June 14 and has been undergoing treatment for throat cancer since August 2017.
“Do you think it is appropriate for me to return to Pakistan when Begum Kalsoom is fighting for life?” Sharif asked on Saturday.
He said he had planned a four-day trip to London, but is now unsure about returning to Pakistan due to her health. Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz have been in the UK since June 15.
“The Sharif family is passing through a difficult time, and the situation could adversely impact their party’s electoral prospects,” Malik said.
An accountability court hearing three separate corruption references against Sharif, Nawaz and others is scheduled to conclude the trial by July 9, as per the Supreme Court’s instructions.
In July 2017, the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif from holding the prime minister’s office, and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file corruption references against him and his family members.
“Even after being disqualified from holding any public office, Sharif still enjoys public support,” political analyst Rasul Bukhsh Rais told Arab News.
But if the accountability court convicts Sharif in the graft cases before the elections, this would demoralize his party and PML-N voters, Rais said.
His younger brother, who has become the party’s president after Sharif’s disqualification, “may not be able to run an effective election campaign,” Rais added.
Sen. Mushahidullah Khan, the PML-N’s information secretary, said Sharif and his daughter will return to Pakistan to lead the party’s election campaign once his wife’s health improves.
“Our detractors will be disappointed. The PML-N will win a clear majority in the elections under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif,” Khan told Arab News.