The News – How the Sharifs differ and whose policy will prevail?

Ansar Abbasi

Islamabad,22 October 2017. Mian Nawaz Sharif is pretty sure that his younger brother, Shabaz Sharif, will never stab him in the back.

Since long they differ on the issue of how to deal with military establishment on matters denting civilian supremacy. However, both the brothers never let this difference of opinion create a rift between the two.

Previously, this difference of opinion was restricted to their private discussions.

Of late, this difference has become public with Shahbaz Sharif and his elder son, Hamza Shabaz speaking publicly against the policy of “confrontation” by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

Without leaving any doubt in anyone’s mind, Hamza Shahbaz in his recent interview with Geo News tried to prove that his and his father’s policy of pragmatism is the only option to secure the future of democracy in Pakistan.

As is being done by the opposition, he gave the impression that Nawaz Sharif is pursuing the policy of “confrontation” with the military establishment.

Such voices in the Sharif family encouraged many others within the PML-N to prove Nawaz Sharif a “confrontationist” yet they all want to en-cash his popularity to secure N-Leagues possible success in the 2018 elections. They want to forget the past and also expect from Nawaz Sharif to let bygones be bygones.

Nawaz Sharif, however, does not want to forget how he has been removed from the office for the third time in 2017. He in view of the pressures from certain elements of the establishment though have been making compromises on the issue of civilian supremacy during his recent four year rule, yet he never let his idealism die down.

Some believe that his disqualification has furthered his idealism and now he wants to pursue much tougher objective of attaining civilian supremacy, which is seen by others as politics of “confrontation” with institutions.

Many in the PML-N including Shahbaz Sharif feel that this policy of Nawaz Sharif does not suit the PML-N. They believe that forgetting the past will help PML-N win the 2018 elections whereas the policy of “confrontation” will create serious problems for the PML-N as well as the Sharif family from the powers that matter.

Within the PML-N, Shahbaz Sharif has always been the advocate of staying on the right side of the establishment even if it involves serious compromises on the principles of civilian supremacy. Now he wants it more than before because he sees his chance as the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018.

Within the Sharif family, everyone knows that Shahbaz Sharif is next to Nawaz Sharif. The point of contention in the family is that who is number three in the family? Maryam Nawaz or Hamza Shahbaz.

Nawaz Sharif before 2013 was keen to groom Hamza Sharif as his political heir but later he changed his mind by letting his daughter to emerge as the future leader of the PML-N.

Soon after the 2013 elections, some of the PML-N leaders had suggested Nawaz Sharif to get Maryam Nawaz entered into the National Assembly through women specific seats for MNAs.

Then the elder Sharif, according to a source, said that Maryam had nothing to do with politics. But the later years saw Maryam getting her father’s tacit support to emerge as his political successor.

While the Maryam-Hamza issue is expected to keep buzzing within the Sharif family, their immediate division is how to go into elections. With mounting pressure from within the PML-N, Nawaz Sharif is expected to give the issue a serious thought.

Although he is seen as a “confrontationist” even by some of his own family members, there are many in the PML-N who insist that Nawaz Sharif had shown a lot of patience during the last four years in rule despite seeing certain obvious violations of civilian supremacy’s red-lines.

During these years Nawaz Sharif let Musharraf go off the hook despite his strong desire to try the former dictator for abrogating the constitution; he knows a lot about the alleged conspiracy behind the 2014 sit-in but never spoke his mind or initiated any proceeding to avoid displeasing the establishment; he also avoided talking about pressures that he has been facing during the second half of the 2016 from a key figure.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/238860-How-the-Sharifs-differ-and-whose-policy-will-prevail

Advertisements

The News – Moot reaffirms faith in liberal Pakistan, opposes mainstreaming of militants

Murtaza Ali Shah

London-UK, 15 October 2017. The Pakistani government has been urged to take responsibility of all its citizens and protect their fundamental rights enshrined and guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan.

The call was made at the second annual “Pakistan: The Way Forward” conference organized here under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH), co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani.

Several prominent liberal and progressive intellectuals, human rights and social media activists and public figures spoke during the conference on their vision of a liberal and democratic Pakistan.

The speakers debated at length the policies of Pakistani government in many areas including domestic and international and expressed concerns at the current affairs of things, calling on the authorities to change course.

The speakers said that the space for free thinking and honest debate has shrunk and advocates of liberal, secular, progressive ideas and pluralism have come under attack from extremist groups.

Many speakers pointed out that the human rights situation has gone worse in the whole South Asian region including India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan where right-wing forces have taken control of decision making at the cost of vulnerable sections of the society.

They said that that while Pakistan has seen tremendous improvement in many areas over the last many years, it was not right that many groups and communities remained under threat and human rights denied to them.

The speakers expressed concern at attempts to mainstream extremist and banned organisations and made reference to the electoral gains two candidates made in NA120 by-election in Lahore.

Rashed Rehman, senior editor and human rights advocate, told this scribe that these groups posed direct and clear threat to the democratic system of Pakistan.

“It’s a dangerous development that these groups are being brought into politics. These groups don’t believe in democracy at all.”

It was discussed that to establish a true democracy in Pakistan, the federating units must be given maximum powers and the National Finance Commission Award should be giving more resources to provinces for local development as well as devolution of power.

The conference agreed that Pakistan needs a new national narrative, based on progressive ideas and detaches from religious extremism and militancy. Many participants complained that media has been used to issue fatwas on the dissenting voices.

Husain Haqqani told this scribe that those critical of current government policies are as patriotic as anyone else and they only wanted a pluralistic and progressive Pakistan.

He said that while the views of the liberal thinkers and intellectuals are open for criticism but it was not right that the dissenting voices were termed anti-Pakistan and agents of foreign forces.

He said growing intolerance posed threat to Pakistan and played out against Pakistan’s interests at the global level.

A joint declaration called on Pakistan government to listen to fresh ideas espoused by broad-minded Pakistanis and end relying on ideas peddled by the right-wing elements.

The declaration said that a “steady diet of conspiracy theories” had harmed Pakistan and it was time to revisit such policies which encouraged reactionary forces.

It said that a only a pluralist Pakistan at peace with itself would have a positive global and local image and for this purpose the decision makers should engage with those who believe in a liberal, secular and progressive vision of Pakistan.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/237158-Moot-reaffirms-faith-in-liberal-Pakistan-opposes-mainstreaming-of-militants

The News – Inside Karachi Women’s Peace Table 2017

The third Karachi Women’s Peace Table 2017 event took place in the National Museum, here Saturday. A perfect amalgamation of poetry, theatrical performance and a panel discussion seminar was jam-packed with attendees from all walks of life.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) women leaders Shehla Raza, Deputy Speaker Provincial Assembly of Sindh, and Senator Sherry Rehman also attended the seminar.

The seminar beautifully conveyed social issues in Pakistan through theatrical performances and gave strong, moving lessons to the audience. Whether it was the brutal murder of Mashal Khan or untold stories of the missing persons, a tribute was given to all the lost souls of the country.

Rights of women remained in focus specially regarding female status in different provinces of Pakistan. Persecution against women, misogyny prevailing in the society and lack of female representation in assemblies and decision making institutions remained a major highlight.

The panel discussion had representative Noureen from Balochistan, Gulalai Ismail from KPK and Sheema Kirmani.

According to women’s rights activist from Balochistan Noureen just 28 percent of the women can give safe birth under proper medicated conditions in Balochistan.

Highlighting issues of minorities, Sheema Kirmani said, “Despite living here since forever we are still associated with neighbouring country.” She continued, “How many of the women from lower minority class made it to assemblies? What have our female parliamentarians done for lower class women?”

A participant from the panel discussion also questioned, “Why had there been a silence over the missing of a female journalist Zeenat Shahzadi?

Women activist from KPK Gulalai Ismail said people in KPK aren’t born with hate, misogyny and violence but they are misconstrued and misguided through various means.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/235283-Inside-Karachi-Womens-Peace-Table-2017

The News – Nawaz appears in accountability court to face indictment proceeding

Islamabad, 2 October 2017. Former prime minster Nawaz Sharif has appeared in accountability court for indictment proceedings in three NAB references.

Former PM arrived in Islamabad late night on Sunday, where he held a consultative meeting with senior leaders and lawyers to discuss the prevailing issue regarding his appearance in the accountability court.

It is a closed-door hearing in which only Nawaz, his counsel, a group of supporting lawyers, are allowed entry into the court. The main gate of the Federal Judicial Complex, where the court is located, is not opened to journalists.

About 2,000 Rangers and police personnel have been deployed in and around the judicial complex where the hearing is taking place.

Nawaz had earlier appeared before the accountability court on September 26 in connection with three graft cases.

According to details, former Prime Minister decided to appear in accountability court where he is likely to be indicted in NAB references today. However, his children Hasan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Safdar have not come from London to appear in court to face the graft cases.

Former PM and his family members had been summoned by the court with regards to three corruption references filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

At the last hearing, Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir ordered to indict Nawaz and issued bailable arrest warrants for his absent family members, including daughter Maryam, sons Hussain and Hasan, and son-in-law MNA Captain (retired) Safdar as they failed to appear in court despite two summons.

The accountability court may issue non-bailable arrest warrants for Nawaz’s children and son-in-law for skipping the proceedings for the third consecutive time.

Talking to media, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Sharif’s children are busy looking after their mother (Kulsoom Nawaz) and unlikely to appear in the accountability court. The court should have given more time for indictment, he added.

It is to mention here that former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz has undergone three successful surgeries for throat cancer in London and her condition is stated to be stable.

The Supreme Court had disqualified Nawaz Sharif, as Prime Minister on July 28 in the Panama Papers case and ordered the NAB to file references against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the light of the Joint Investigation Team’s report.

Finance Minister Dar has already been indicted in the reference against him for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/233906-Nawaz-to-appear-in-accountability-court-today-face-indictment-proceeding

The News – Nawaz Sharif to return home today

London, 24 September 2017. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to return home from London, where he had been staying due to treatment of his wife Kulsoom Nawaz, to appear before an accountability court in a reference on Tuesday.

The former prime minister has left for airport from his residence. He will reach home via PIA’s flight PK-786 on Monday morning.

Speaking to media before leaving for the airport, the former prime minister questioned why he was punished for ‘Iqama’ in the Panama case?

He reiterated that he had neither committed any corruption nor received any kickbacks or commission.

Earlier, the former prime minister took the decision to return home during a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the sources said.

Some party leaders had advised the former prime minister not to appear before the NAB but he decided against that idea, the sources maintained.

After returning home, Nawaz would convene a high-level meeting of PML-N.

The Punjab chief minister would return home according to his schedule between Sept 28 and 30 while Maryam Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz would stay there with their ailing mother.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/232258-Nawaz-decides-to-return-home-tomorrow-sources

The News – Asif says USA pursuing failed strategy in Afghanistan

New York, 17 September 2017. Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has said that the Trump administration’s “militaristic approach” in Afghanistan represented a failed policy, and he called for talks with the Taliban to bring peace to the war-torn country.

Asif, who is heading to New York to participate in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, told The Wall Street Journal newspaper in Islamabad that he could not understand how the American military could succeed now in Afghanistan when it had not during the “surge” under the Obama administration with a force eight times as large as the one now planned.

The foreign minister instead called for peace talks with the Taliban, which, he said, could be arranged if Washington worked with countries in the region that have influence over the Taliban militant group.

“They are pursuing a folly, a strategy that has already failed,” the foreign minister said in an interview with the Journal.

“Force will not solve any problem; it has not solved problems in the past.”

Asif said he would tell UN members that “peace should return to this area and force is not the solution”.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also said that there could be no military solution to the Afghan conflict and called for efforts towards creating a political solution.

“I believe it is important in Afghanistan to invest in the conditions to create a political solution. I believe that is possible,” Guterres told reporters at the UN at a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York.

In his dispatch the newspaper’s correspondent, Saeed Shah, underscored that Pakistan’s cooperation was vital to the effort to stabilise neighbouring Afghanistan and extricating America from its longest war.

“The US and Pakistan are ostensible allies, but have long suffered strained ties.

Relations turned more confrontational after President Donald Trump accused Pakistan in August of providing a haven for terrorists and then threatening to withhold aid if there wasn’t better cooperation,” the dispatch said.

Trump had said that a political settlement with elements of the Taliban was “perhaps” possible, but only after an effective US military campaign.

The foreign minister subsequently cancelled a trip to the US for talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Islamabad also rejected a planned visit to Pakistan by the senior US official dealing with the Pakistan-Afghanistan region, Alice Wells.

Instead, the foreign minister toured the region, visiting US adversaries in China, Iran and Turkey, saying afterward that they agreed that a political solution was needed.

“I think Americans should be more realistic and more pragmatic about their approach in Afghanistan,” Asif was quoted as saying.

“They have already lost more than 40% of the territory to the Taliban. How do you keep on fighting with them?”

The Trump administration plan would add up to 3,900 USA soldiers to the 8,400 that the Pentagon says are already there, and allow them to fight the Taliban with freer rules of engagement.

At its peak, under President Barack Obama, the USA had over 100,000 soldiers there.

Tillerson said last month that the US strategy was to convince the Taliban to understand that they cannot win on the battlefield and “at some point, we have to come to the negotiating table and find a way to bring this to an end.”

Asif said now was the time for talks and that neighbours were willing to help.

A four-country group intended to promote such talks, Pakistan, China, the US and Afghanistan, which has not met for over a year, could be expanded to include other countries with influence over the Taliban, he said.

Khawaja Asif also questioned the US assertion that Pakistan allowed sanctuaries for Afghan militants.

“They don’t need sanctuaries on our territory. They have plenty of territories which Americans have lost to them in Afghanistan during the last 15 years,” Asif said.

“This is scapegoating you know, nothing else.”

The foreign minister said it was America’s militaristic policy across the Muslim world that had inflamed much of the violence.

“There is chaos from Afghanistan to Libya, you tell what is the common denominator in this whole chaos,” Asif said.”Has American policy in this whole region, the Middle East and our region, brought peace dividends to anywhere?”

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/230614-Asif-says-US-pursuing-failed-strategy-in-Afghanistan

The News – How Dr Ruth Pfao changed life of a leper

Asna Nusrat

Karachi, 10 September 2017. The demise of Pakistan’s “Mother Teresa” Dr Ruth Katharina Martha Pfao has left the nation grieving over this immense loss that still battles with the remnants of humanity left in us.

But unlike most unfortunate souls who never got a chance to meet this exceptional woman, Shahnaz Ather’s spell-bounding story fully acknowledges the efforts Pfao put in changing the lives of those in need.

Her story not only gave life to the hollow silhouette of Pfao’s person that we had in our minds, but also created for us a living example of a life devoted to serve the needy.

On 8 March 1960, when Dr Ruth Pfao first came to Pakistan at the age of thirty the adversities of settling in a country where the native language was only the first of many struggles, she didn’t know that this would become her final abode.

During her early days in this country, she happened to visit McLeod Road Lepers’ Colony once with Berenice, a pharmacist from Mexico. That visit marked a turning point in Dr Ruth Pfao’s life and the lives to be served by her in future as well.

That was when she resolved to stay in Pakistan, as Zia Mutaher puts in his biography of Dr Ruth Pfao, “to serve the unserved and whom no one else would ever serve”.

A few of the survivors of leprosy, The News talked to at the central health facility in Karachi’s Saddar area, attested to the fact that she pledged to make conditions better for these unfortunate deformed individuals whose diseased hands and feet were left to rot at the mercy of rats.

Dr. Pfao treated and trained thousands of patients without any discrimination of race, colour, or religion and thus they evolved as human beings who rose from an abyss of misery to great heights of self-actualization and dignity.

Patients’ recovery was not Pfao’s only concern, she supported the journey of her patients from a place of sub-human torture they received at the hands of society to a destination secure with medical, educational and financial strength and Shahnaz Ather is one of those lucky ones whose lives were turned around by Dr Pfao, thanks to her commitment and dedication.

Shahnaz, has been affiliated with Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC) for the last 30 years where she started off as a helpless 11-year-old patient of leprosy.

She was referred to Dr. Pfao by some well-wishers in the early stages of her disease and since then has recovered and evolved into a trained professional and a mother of three healthy sons. Her story is nothing short of being called a miracle that was only made possible by Pfao, the living legend.

As an eighth-grade student showing early signs of disability in hands and feet and an affected face, Shahnaz came for help to Dr Ruth Pfao. Unusual white patches had started appearing on her limbs that were worsening into wounds and her hand was gradually losing all strength and becoming disfigured due to the contortion of fingers into an abnormal shape.

When she first came to Dr. Pfau her hands had lost grip on even small things like a tea cup and the deformity was slowly settling in. But fortunately she sought help at the right time and took a two-year treatment at MALC where her hand was surgically treated to improve in shape and become functional again.

However, life of a leprosy patient is not as simple as we might think. The medication caused her face to acquire an abnormal redness that lasted the duration of her treatment. During this time not only did she have to quit studies, but was also mocked by colleagues who constantly pestered her with intrusive questions about her condition.

She was preyed at by the insensitivities of our society and being the second oldest daughter in a family left in shambles after the father’s death, she had to become a son for the mother and the sisters.

For this reason after completing her treatment she requested a job and kind-hearted Pfao offered her to work at the very organization she was treated at.

Her difficulties did not end here as she was placed in Hyderabad and being a woman living in Pakistani society it was not a convenient decision to make. But financial needs at home and constant mentoring by Dr. Pfao pushed her to work without pitying her health, her womanhood, or her poverty.

Pfao’s acknowledgement of her as a human no less than any sane, healthy male empowered Shahnaz enough to take a stand for herself. Even now, while talking to The News, she attributed all her success and well-being to the late Dr. Pfao.

Dr. Pfao not only founded MALC to provide free of cost health care to patients but also successfully created an intimate home-like atmosphere that made the patients see it as their second home or maybe even their first.

Many like Shahnaz even found their spouses while living in MALC and began their married lives from the nurturing grounds of this place. Now her life is complete with a caring husband and three healthy sons and in-laws that respect her.

Her life turned a new leaf after she met Dr. Pfao because she is no longer a young girl affected by leprosy trying to feed four more mouths at home. What this legendary woman did for her and several others is beyond amazement.

Pfau’s contributions to changing the statistics of leprosy in Pakistan are not just restricted to numbers. Her devoted efforts have transformed the conditions of entire families and left the younger generations with an extraordinarily high standard to meet.

May this nation be blessed with more humans like Pfao.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/228977-How-Dr-Ruth-Pfao-changed-life-of-a-leper

The News – Pakistan will be defended, announces China

Beijing-China, 2 September 2017. China on Thursday sent out a signal that it would defend Pakistan and would object to any discussion about Pakistan’s role in sheltering terrorists during the upcoming BRICS summit, which would be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, foreign media reported.

China is worried Modi may raise the issue at the meeting because he did so at the Goa summit of BRICS last year while describing Pakistan as the “mother-ship of terrorism”.

“We also noticed that India, when it comes to Pakistan’s counter-terrorism, has some concerns. I don’t think this is an appropriate topic to be discussed at BRICS summit,” Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said at a briefing.

She also indicated that raising the topic might affect the success of the summit because Chinese leaders may be forced to defend its close ally, Pakistan.

“The world is paying great attention to the BRICS summit. I hope relevant parties can work with China to ensure the success of the summit and make due contributions,” Hua said. She meant the five members of BRICS including India when she mentioned “relevant parties”.

This time the BRICS summit is taking place on 3 September in Xiamen in China, which regards Pakistan as an
“all-weather friend”.

India is in a stronger position to raise the issue because US President Donald Trump recently accused Pakistan of sheltering terrorists and threatened to withdraw financial aid if Islamabad refused to mend its ways. There are chances Chinese leaders might come to Pakistan’s defence at the summit.

One of the main objectives of BRICS is to enhance cooperation among the five member countries in fighting against terrorism. But it is difficult for India to join hands in any meaningful manner unless Beijing adopts a different attitude on this issue when it comes to the role of Pakistan.

Hua said, “Pakistan is at forefront of counter terror efforts and has made sacrifices for this. The international community should recognise their contributions and sacrifices made by Pakistan.”

She added, “China is willing to work with Pakistan and other countries to enhance our cooperation in counterterrorism. This serves the common interest of all parties.”

China routinely refers to “sacrifices” made by Pakistan in battling terrorism.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/227606-Pakistan-will-be-defended-announces-China

The News – Indian city barricaded as ‘rape guru’ awaits sentencing

Sirsa-Haryana-India, 27 August 2017. Supporters of an Indian guru ended a tense standoff with soldiers Sunday after the “godman” was convicted of rape, but authorities are bracing for more trouble on the eve of his sentencing after rioting by devotees left 36 dead.

Thousands of followers of Ram Rahim Singh had congregated in the spiritual headquarters of his sect in the northern state of Haryana over the weekend and refused to leave, despite calls from police and troops for them to disperse.

Singh´s loyalists had gone on a rampage in many other parts of the state after the court decision Friday.

On Sunday, followers began trickling out from the compound in the town of Sirsa one by one under army guard.

Hundreds of soldiers and riot police had blocked approaches to the premises spread over 1,000 acres (404 hectares) and were urging those holed up inside to surrender peacefully.

A curfew imposed in Sirsa, where soldiers patrolled empty streets, was briefly lifted Sunday morning to allow Singh´s followers to leave the headquarters as spiritual anthems blared from megaphones.

Indian authorities have been on high alert since rioting and arson broke out minutes after Singh, who has starred in films and claims to have 50 million followers, was found guilty of raping two of his devotees.

Police said at least 36 people were killed as tens of thousands of followers took to the streets, attacking television vans and setting fire to dozens of vehicles.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday it was “natural to be worried” as the violence even briefly reached the capital New Delhi.

“Violence is not acceptable in the nation, in any form,” Modi said in his monthly radio address.

“Those who take law in their hands or take to violence will not be spared, whoever they are.”

But his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which is also in power in Haryana, has come under heavy fire for failing to prevent the outbreak of violence and allowing the 50-year-old guru to travel in a luxury chopper to jail.

Critics say state authorities grossly underestimated the risk posed by the 200,000-strong army of Singh devotees who poured onto the streets vowing to defend their spiritual leader who they consider innocent.

Father can do no sin” [bold]

Authorities are taking no such chances ahead of Monday, when Singh will be sentenced in a prison-side court hearing in Rohtak. He could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The city has been heavily fortified ahead of the ruling, with roads blocked by barbed wire and residents warned to stay indoors.

“We have made multi-layered arrangements so that nobody is able to reach the venue (prison) or enter Rohtak district itself,” police deputy inspector general Navdeep Singh Virk told Indian broadcaster NDTV.

“I am fully confident everything will go on peacefully and there will be no untoward incident tomorrow (Monday).”

As a precautionary measure, all senior members of Singh´s Dera Sacha Sauda sect have been placed under “preventive detention”, he added.

The guilty verdict, and police response to the rioting that followed, enraged many of Singh´s supporters.

“Our father can never do any sin,” said devotee Trilok Insaan at a shop in Sirsa adorned with posters of a heavily-bearded Singh.

“This is a conspiracy. Authorities issued a ‘shoot at sight’ order at innocent devotees, which is totally wrong.”

India has been rocked by numerous scandals involving popular ascetics claiming to possess mystical powers, and Singh is no stranger to controversy.

He is known as the “guru in bling” because of his penchant for bejewelled costumes, and is often seen sporting flamboyant leather jackets and riding customised superbikes.

In 2015 he started a film franchise portraying him as MSG or the ‘Messenger of God’, performing miracles, preaching to thousands and beating up gangsters while singing and dancing.

His last flick ‘MSG – The Warrior Lion Heart’ was released last year, with the guru playing a secret agent fighting aliens and UFOs.

But he has previously been accused of encouraging 400 followers to undergo castration at his ashram so they could get closer to god.

He also stood trial for conspiracy over the murder of a journalist in 2002.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/226378-Indian-city-barricaded-as-rape-guru-awaits-sentencing

The News – Entire nation pays glowing tribute to Dr Ruth Pfau

Karachi, 19 August 2017. The entire nation pays glowing tribute to Dr Ruth Pfau, who dedicated her entire life to fight leprosy in the country.

Her death has created a vacuum that is not easy to fill, PML-N, Karachi chapter, said in a statement on Saturday.

The services rendered by Dr Ruth for the ailing humanity would be remembered in golden words in history. It was Dr Ruth’s relentess efforts that included Pakistan on the WHO’s list of countries that had controlled leprosy.

In 1996, Pakistan became one of the first countries in Asia to achieve this goal.

PML-N Karachi General Secretary Khawaja Tariq Nazir, Abdul Hameed Butt and others said that Dr Ruth’s long struggle had almost eradicated the deadly disease from the country.

Earlier, Dr Ruth’s state funeral was performed with national honours at Karachi’s St Patrick’s Cathedral.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and others attended the burial ceremony of Dr Ruth.

For more information on Ruth Pau go to :

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/224764-A-farewell-to-Dr-Pfau

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/224587-Entire-nation-pays-glowing-tribute-to-Dr-Ruth