Pakistan PM Imran Khan (File photo) Photograph:( Reuters )
We have Religious intolerance, non-payment of dues, a united Opposition and angry clerics in Pakistan as it starts a new year
It's a new year but same story for India's neighbour Pakistan. A temple has been desecrated and demolished, the Pakistan High Commission in London has been forced to pay a hefty fine and Pakistani Opposition's movement is gaining strength. And as if all of this wasn't enough. Pakistani clerics too have launched an anti-govt movement.
On Wednesday, an angry mob demolished a Hindu temple in Karak District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The mob ripped the bricks from the walls and set them on fire. The Chief Justice of Pakistan has promised to take up the matter.
On Friday there were protests in India in solidarity with the minorities of Pakistan. Protesters in Jammu took out a march and burnt Pakistani flags. New Delhi too has lodged a strong protest. It has asked Islamabad to investigate the matter and take strict action against those responsible for the demolition.
This message was conveyed to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Pak high commission in London has also received a message. It's an enormous bill of USD 28.7 million. A UK court has ordered this amount to be debited from the accounts of the Pak high commission.
The action has been taken due to non-payment of penalty by National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan.
A British firm once helped Parvez Musharraf government track down foreign assets purchased through ill-gotten wealth.
The National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan or (NAB) was tasked to assist the firm.
It ended up owing 22 million dollars to the firm for its operations. The NAB failed to pay this amount. Then in 2018 a UK court set 31st December 2020 as the deadline for this payment. Pakistan failed to meet the deadline again.
It has now been asked to pay the amount plus a fine of 6.7 million dollars. A total of 28.7 million dollars will be debited from the accounts of the Pak high commission. That is if they have such money in their account.
Meanwhile back in Pakistan, the Opposition has gone into a huddle to come up with a united stance.
Pakistan Democratic Movement, the Opposition alliance held a meeting in Lahore. Mass resignation was discussed in the meet. All PDM legislators are planning to tender their resignations in first week of February.
Their resignations will paralyse the government and force Imran Khan to call early elections. PDM rallies have been attracting huge crowds despite hurdles by the Imran Khan govt.
They want to make the most of the rising anti-govt sentiment during this pandemic. So do some influential Pakistani clerics like Maulana Mufti Muneebur Rehman. He has announced a campaign against the FATF legislation passed by the Pakistan
Parliament in august 2020.
It's a legislation designed to hoodwink the FATF and stay on its grey list. This legislation is aimed at freezing & seizing the assets of individuals, organisations or madrassas that are on the sanctions list of the United Nations.
This law also requires all religious institutions to be registered with the govt. Maulana Mufti Muneebur Rehman says the law is a conspiracy against Islamic institutions.
He says its a garb to impose religious restrictions. Which according to him are not acceptable in an Islamic republic like Pakistan.
So we have Religious intolerance, non-payment of dues, a united Opposition and angry clerics in Pakistan as it starts a new year.
It is a new year yes, but certainly not Naya Pakistan