ICR, July 20, 2018 Ghulam Rasool Unnar, a PTI candidate for PS 39 Sakrand, Sindh withdrew his candidacy on Thursday in favor of Sindh United Party (SUP) candidate Syed Zain Shah. Mr. Shah is one of the strong candidates of the SUP and got a huge number of votes from this constituency in 2013 elections. Mr. Unnar announced his decision in a public gathering held in Khadhar where Zain Shah was also present. Unnar said Shah is a man of character and thus he is withdrawing in his favor. Mr. Unnar’s decision has annoyed Gul Mohammad Rind, the PTI candidate for NA 214 saying it was Unnar’s personal decision; not party’s. Mr. Rind said Unnar did not inform the party of his decision. He declared he would contest the election as party decision. Unnar’s withdrawal has strengthened the position of Zain Shah who, as local journalists say has geared up his campaign in the constituency.
ICR, July 19, 2018 The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has ordered an inquiry into corruption allegedly committed by Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and former Sindh Assembly speaker Agha Siraj Durrani. Justice Iqbal directed the Sindh NAB director general to verify a complaint against Waseem Akhtar for his involvement in Rs36 billion corruption in funds. The anti-graft watchdog would also investigate allegations levied against Durrani, which pertains to possessing assets beyond known sources of income, misuse of authority, and embezzlement in funds allocated for MPA Hostel and construction of a building for the provincial assembly. NAB has also approved an investigation against Karachi SSP Fareed Sarhandi for allegedly committing irregularities in recruitment of policemen.
ICR, July 19, 2018 The Sindh High Court (Larkana Bench) on Thursday maintained the disqualification decision of Election Tribunal against PPP leader Nisar Khuhro who concealed ownership his agricultural land and also one of his wives and a daughter. By virtue of today’s decision, Khuhro stands disqualified permanently. With this decision, Nisar Khuhro has met the end as did two former PPP Sindh Ministers Manzoor Wassan and Mohammad Bux Mahar. Wassan and Mahar both concealed their assets and businesses abroad and thus stood disqualified. Earlier this month, the court had rejected the nomination papers of Khuhro. Larkana Bench had maintained the decision of the election tribunal which disqualified the PPP Candidate from PS-11 over concealment of the assets. On June 27, Election Tribunal rejected nomination papers of PPP’s Sindh President for concealing 166 acres of land and not declaring a wife and daughter. The nomination papers of Khuhro were rejected from PS-11 Larkana 2 for forging and concealing information. Khurhro, in his nomination papers, had declared two wives instead of three and four children. The PPP Sindh president was disqualified for contesting elections for concealing 166 acres of land, a wife, and a daughter. Later on, Nisar Khuhro had appealed against Election Tribunal’s verdict.
ICMD, July 18, 2018 The Pakistan Rangers Sindh on Wednesday claimed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L) has set up teams across Karachi to target political leaders who have quit the group to join other political parties, as well as its opponents. The Rangers in a press release announced the arrest of two MQM-L workers allegedly tasked with sabotaging the election process by targeting candidates and local politicians and disrupting the law and order situation in Karachi. The press release claimed that the suspects, Muhammad Bilal Lodhi and Muhammad Irshad, were associated with MQM-L's South Africa network. The two were arrested from Orangi Town with the help of police. The Rangers said that the arrested suspects confessed to their involvement in planning terrorist activities in the city ahead of the elections. They also admitted to planning attacks on PS-128 candidates Mohsin Javed (PML-N) and Arif Hussain Qureshi (PPP), as well as Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) office bearers Moin and Azhar, the press release added. Weapons were also recovered from the suspects. They have now been handed over to the police for legal proceedings, the Rangers said. The Altaf Hussain-led MQM ran into trouble in August 2016 when a controversial speech by its leader resulted in many of its key office-bearers distancing themselves from Hussain. The party had broken into two major groups — MQM-Pakistan and the MQM-L. Athough the MQM-P is registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and is contesting under the party's traditional symbol 'kite', MQM-L has announced a boycott of the upcoming polls.
ICR, July 17, 2018 Zulifkar Mirza, a leader of GDA and once a friend of PPP supremo Asif Zardari says Zardari wants to get him killed as he deserted him and aligned with the peasants of the area. Mirza, a firebrand leader who addressed public gatherings in connection with his election campaign in various areas of Badin said he quit his ministry for the interests of the people. He vowed he would make sure the sugarcane farmers got their dues back. Mirza said he was struggling to get rid of ‘Zardari League’ and it was possible only if the people voted him on July 25. He said he was sure the people would succeed GDA in the elections and thus fail the malicious designs of Zardari League. He addressed in Badin areas of Matli and New Dambalo and accelerated his campaign. Mirza family and his supporters are contesting elections from all national and provincial assembly seats in Badin.
Indus Chronicle Report, July 17, 2018 Grand Democratic Alliance’s public gatherings in Sanghar and Umerkot have attracted a huge number of people and local journalists say the participation was unprecedented. No matter the mainstream media has been at the backfoot in terms of covering these gatherings, many people claim the heat generated by the anti-PPP alliance between GDA and the PTI may ultimately affect the results of July 25 elections in this area of the province. Sanghar and Umerkot are known for the following of Pir Pagara and Shah Mehmood Qureshi who were shoulder to shoulder in Umerkot where a huge gathering was organized after the one in Sanghar. Pir Pagara, the spiritual leader of Hurs claimed the 2013 elections were rigged but July 25 elections would prove their support in the province. “This time there would not be any rigging with us anymore,” he said. He said the people of Sindh would avenge PPP’s 10-year plunder as the party’s bad policies caused scarcity of irrigation water supplies in Sindh. He asked why the water is available for Zardari’s lands not for others. Pir was accompanied with Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Umkerkot where Qureshi said the elections were rigged in 2013 but he would win the poll this time. The gathering was also addressed by former chief minister Arbab Raheem and PML – F leader Saddaruddin Shah.
ICMD, July 12, 2018 Sadhu J.P. Vaswani, an eminent spiritual leader, philosopher and philanthropist of the Sindhi community, died here on Thursday following a brief illness, an official spokesperson said. “Dadaji breathed his last at 9.01am today. He was 99. His body has been kept for public display at his ashram, Sadhu Vaswani Mission,” the spokesperson said. He was admitted to a private hospital here a few days ago for treatment of age-related issues and had been discharged on Wednesday. Vaswani passed away amid mega-plans for his 100th birthday on August 2, which his devotees from all over the world were expected to attend. Born on August 2, 1918, to a Sindhi couple Pahlajrai and Krishnadevi Vaswani of Hyderabad in the undivided India, Dada Vaswani — as he was revered by the community — was one among seven children, three sisters and four brothers. He headed the Sadhu Vaswani Mission — founded by his uncle and spiritual guru, the late Sadhu T.L. Vaswani in Hyderabad (Sindh, Pakistan) in 1929, which has now branched out all over the world. Following his demise in 1966, Sadhu J.P. Vaswani was anointed his successor and he carried forward the legacy of his guru’s mission globally. A proponent of world peace, vegetarianism, girls’ education, and compassion for the poor, among others, Sadhu Vaswani addressed the British House of Commons in London, Global Forum of Spiritual Leaders in Oxford, World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Millenium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the UN, and the Parliament of World Religions in South Africa. He initiated a global peace initiative — The Moment of Calm, when people observe two-minutes of silence to forgive everybody, on August 2, with eminent personalities like the Dalai Lama joining in. Among various national and international honours conferred on Sadhu Vaswani were the U Thant Peace Award in 1998, jointly with Pope John Paul II. -- Courtesy Gulf News
HYDERABAD: ICR, July 11, 2018 A moot on education in Thar on Wednesday provided an opportunity to a number of candidates of July 25 elections to present their intentions as regards education in Sindh’s desert. The gathering was jointly organized by Thar Education Alliance (TEA) and Alif Ailan. Partab Shivani from TEA told the gathering that girls education in Thar stood far behind the boys education. The area has 91 per cent boys school whereas only 24 per cent of schools are for girls. Thar has a total of 4202 schools. Shivani revealed that the budgetary allocation for those schools had come down the over the last few years. Thar has 144 schools without shelters while 0.3 million school-age children are out of schools. Barrister Arbab Fazalullah, a representative of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), the arch-rival of the PPP said political interference was the major cause worsening education in Tharparkar. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sushil Malani said they would improve infrastructure and other facilities in Tharparkar’s schools if given chance to form a government after July 25. Independent candidate for the constituency of PS-56 Sunita Parmar also shared her vision for the improvement of girls’ education. Advocate Bhagwandas Bheel of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and others including Noor Muhammad Bajeer, Kashif Bajeer, Sidique Rahimoon, Mukesh Meghwar, Alina Khan addressed the convention.