Hilarity ensues on social media as Indians peddle misinformation of ‘civil war’ in Pakistan

Hilarity ensues on social media as Indians peddle misinformation of ‘civil war’ in Pakistan. (Photo courtesy: Social Media)
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Updated 23 October 2020

Hilarity ensues on social media as Indians peddle misinformation of ‘civil war’ in Pakistan

  • Indian mainstream and social media claimed this week a civil war had broken out in the Pakistani port city of Karachi
  • Pakistanis turn to humor and memes to poke fun at Indians spreading the misinformation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan social media users this week mocked Indian media and Twitter users after misinformation widely circulated on Indian mainstream and social media claiming a civil war had broken out in the Pakistani city of Karachi. 

On Wednesday, several Indian news outlets including India Today, Zee News, CNN18 and India.com reported a “civil war-like situation,” a day after an inquiry was ordered by army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of opposition leader Mohammad Safdar in Karachi. Many Indians also took to Twitter to spread the ‘fake news.’

Pakistanis turned to the Internet to debunk the rumors and to poke fun at media and social media users in India, a bitter rival and neighbor with whom Pakistan has fought three wars.

Twitter user Taimoor Zamoon posted a video of a toy helicopter landing on a street with the caption:

“Breaking News: Latest Video of Pakistan Army Helicopter Landing on a Road during a clash with Sindh Police at Gulshan-e-Bagh in Karachi.”

One user posted a funny photo and joked that citizens had now joined the civil war and were fighting the Pakistan army:

Cultural critic and author Nadeem F Paracha posted: “Breaking News: After civil war in Karachi, Godzilla attacks Lahore. Source: Indian news channels.”

Other users described life under civil war:

“During the civil war in Karachi today I managed to get in a full day of work, got groceries, went to the gym, went to studio, went to see my girlfriend,” Faisal Rafi wrote. “The civil war was pretty chilled I must say.”

Writer Bina Shah wrote: “I live in Karachi, where I just did my groceries, visited the bakery, bought some clothes and came home. If there’s a civil war out there I couldn’t find it.”

Singer and actor Fakhr-e-Alam tweeted: “Karachi civil war has gotten so bad that my food panda delivery boy had to crawl through mine fields carrying his AK47, RPG & 9mm along with my nihari and Biryani. This thing is getting so serious.”

Pakistan Steel Mills workers say will challenge mass layoffs in court

Updated 29 November 2020

Pakistan Steel Mills workers say will challenge mass layoffs in court

  • PSM management argues the company’s accumulated losses reached Rs212 billion ($1.33 billion) in June
  • The termination of 4,500 contracts is believed to be the biggest layoff from a single entity in Pakistan’s history

KARACHI: Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) employees are going to challenge in court the company’s recent decision to terminate the contracts of thousands of workers, union representatives said on Sunday.

The management of the state-owned company on Friday handed letters of termination to some 4,500 employees, arguing that PSM’s accumulated losses had reached Rs212 billion ($1.33 billion) in June, when the government decided that 9,350 workers would have to be fired for the dysfunctional enterprise to be revived.
“PSM has terminated 4,500 employees in the first phase of government’s plan to lay off 9,350 employees ... The employees have refused to accept this termination they have registered protests and have decided to challenge this decision in court next week,” Mirza Maqsood, President of Voice of Pakistan Steel Officers Association, told Arab News.

Located 40 kilometers from Karachi, Pakistan’s largest industrial complex with a steel production capacity of 1.1 million tons has been dysfunctional for the past few years. Its operations were suspended in 2015.
“Neither the Company has funds to revive the Mills nor are funds available from any other source to revive the Steel Mill. In any case, revival of the mill would require, firstly massive investment and secondly, entail a period of at least two years,” reads a PSM termination letter seen by Arab News.
The layoff was defended by federal Industries and Production Minister Hammad Azhar, who on Saturday said the terminated employees would be given compensation of Rs2.3 million on average.

“Since the closure of the mill, the government has paid around Rs35 billion as salaries and Rs20 billion as arears to the employees,” he said.

The discharge of workers is said to be one of the biggest layoffs of employees from a single government entity in the country’s history. 
 Karamat Ali, executive director at Pakistan Institute of Labor Education & Research (PILER), said the PSM layoff in unprecedented.
“No such number of employees have ever been fired from a single government institution,” he said.
The decision was also opposed by the provincial government of Sindh, which vowed to support the affected employees. 
“This is wrong and injustice. They (the federal government) must adhere to their earlier stance and commitments of turning the state institutions around with the help of their champions. I am with the employees,” Sindh Labor Minister Saeed Ghani told Arab News.
Mumrez Khan, convener of a representative body of employees, pensioners, suppliers, dealers and contractors of PSM, said that no serious efforts have been made by the federal government to revive the mill, claiming that negligence had caused losses even higher than those cited by PSM management.

“The accumulated losses have swelled to $12 billion on the account of closure of plants, revenue to the government and imports of steel products,” he said.