Government vows to penalize vandals

Minister of state for Interior Shehryar Afridi. (Photo courtesy: Shehryar Afridi/Twitter)
Updated 04 November 2018

Government vows to penalize vandals

  • Orders authorities to collect forensic data for evidence
  • Follows three-day protests against SC verdict to acquit Christian woman accused of blasphemy

ISLAMABAD: Authorities on Sunday initiated a crackdown to zero in on and penalize all individuals responsible for damaging property, as part of three-day protests against a Supreme Court’s verdict to acquit a Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, accused of blasphemy.
The protests ended on Friday after the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) -- a hardline religious political party and the main group leading the demonstrations -- inked a five-point deal with the government to end the sit-ins.
After analyzing the damage caused by the protests, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Shehryar Afridi, tweeted on Saturday evening that the government of Pakistan wouldn't spare anyone responsible for damaging public property.
He added that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had been instructed to provide the necessary forensic data for evidence. “State is concerned for the loss of citizens, we will leave no stone unturned to identify the source of vandalism. Will stand for all the citizens who suffered from the ppl who vandalized the property of innocent ppl (People). Pakistan has to rise & such anonymous forces will be unveiled.” Afridi's tweet read.
According to the five points of the agreement, a “legal process will be initiated” to put Bibi’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) which would effectively bar her from leaving the country. It would further ensure that the government does not oppose a petition filed by the TLP to review the judgment in Bibi’s case. The two sides also agreed to take immediate legal action over any casualties that may have occurred during the protests, with an understanding to release all those arrested on October 30 or thereafter with immediate effect.
The TLP -- which emerged as a new political force in Pakistan after bagging more than 2.2 million votes in the July general elections -- “apologized to anyone whose sentiments were hurt” during the protests. Activists criticized the deal, accusing the government of giving in to the extremists, adding that it was “not a good sign for the state”.
“HRCP is seriously concerned at how quickly the government capitulated to the demands of extremist-led mobs, despite its earlier vow to preserve the writ of the state,” the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a statement on Sunday.


Pakistan authorizes 'emergency use' of COVID-19 vaccine developed in Britain

Updated 16 January 2021

Pakistan authorizes 'emergency use' of COVID-19 vaccine developed in Britain

  • The vaccine has been approved by the British Medicine and Healthcare Product Regulatory Authority
  • Unlike the coronavirus vaccines prepared by US companies, it can also be stored in ordinary refrigerators

KARACHI: Pakistan has allowed the emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and a Swedish multinational pharma company Astrazeneca, said the prime minister’s adviser on health, Dr. Faisal Sultan, while talking to Arab News on Saturday. 

“The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan [DRAP] has authorized the emergency use of Astrazeneca's AZD1222 to deal with COVID-19 in Pakistan,” the country’s health chief informed. 

The vaccine has also been approved by the British Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority and is said to be effective for people of all ages. 

Unlike the coronavirus vaccines prepared by some US companies, it can be easily stored in ordinary refrigerators. 

According to media reports, a Karachi-based pharmaceutical company, which has applied for registration with DRAP, will import the vaccine for the private sector, though its prices will be fixed by the government.