Pakistan opposition leader Khan unveils plan for elections

In this file photo, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan waves to supporters upon arrival in Karachi on May 10, 2009. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP)
Updated 09 July 2018

Pakistan opposition leader Khan unveils plan for elections

  • Imran Khan promises 10 million new jobs, better health and education facilities if he wins the July 25 vote
  • Analysts say Pakistan will likely have a coalition government after the elections, as no single political party is expected to get a two-third majority in parliament

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s opposition leader and former cricket star who has set his hopes on becoming the country’s next prime minister unveiled Monday his party’s ‘manifesto’ ahead of this month’s parliamentary elections.
Imran Khan is promising 10 million new jobs, better health and education facilities if he wins the July 25 vote. Titled “Road to New Pakistan,” the manifesto is similar to other ambitious past pledges by political parties that ended up unable to make good on them.
But Khan told reporters in Islamabad he was only making commitments that he believes can be implemented — including tackling the widespread poverty by turning Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state.
“An easy solution to the problems that Pakistan is faced with does not exist,” he said.
Khan also used the venue to criticize former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who was sentenced last week in absentia by an anti-graft tribunal to 10 years in prison over purchases of luxury apartments in London.
Sharif, who is in London with his ailing wife, has promised to return to Pakistan.
Khan asserted that Sharif indulged in corruption and promised to ensure justice for all and improve the country’s ailing economy.
The same court that sentenced Sharif also sentenced his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, to seven years in absentia in a case stemming from documents leaked from a Panama law firm. Her husband, Mohammad Safdar, was sentenced to one year for giving false information to investigators.
Safdar, who was formally arrested on Sunday, was sent to prison in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Monday.
Analysts say Pakistan will likely have a coalition government after the elections, as no single political party is expected to get a two-third majority in parliament. Any party that gets a simple majority in the 351-seat house can form the government.


Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

  • Patrolling operations on respective sides are conducted by respective forces, military spokesman says
  • Last month, army chief visited Tehran for security talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesperson on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that Pakistani and Iranian security forces conducted joint border patrolling.
“News published by Dawn today ('Pak-Iran Forces jointly conduct border patrolling') is factually incorrect,” Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet.
He added that “there is no joint patrolling anywhere on Pakistani borders” as “patrolling operations if required are always on respective sides by respective forces through coordination.”

The English-language daily reported earlier on the day that Pakistan and Iran had conducted another joint patrol on the border near Taftan town in Chagai district, Balochistan.
Soon after Ghafoor's comment, Dawn's editor Zaffar Abbas clarified that “the confusion was caused by the official news agency APP, as the picture caption said ‘joint patrolling.’ Radio Pak also tweeted the same. But we will be carrying out correction in light of your statement.”

Border security has long been a major cause of distrust in Pakistan-Iran relations. 
In April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the two countries would form a joint quick-reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, following a deadly attack on Pakistani security personnel on the coastal highway in southwestern Balochistan, where 14 soldiers lost their lives.
On Nov. 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Tehran for security talks with Iran's political leadership and military leadership.
In May this year, Pakistan began the fencing of certain areas along the 950-kilometer border it shares with Iran.