Pakistan delays Punjab election despite supreme court ruling

Former prime minister Imran Khan says election commission’s move is violation of Pakistan’s constitution

Pakistan has postponed elections in Punjab, the country’s most populated province, in a move that spurns a recent supreme court ruling and is likely to cause more sparks between supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan and the government.

In an eight-page order seen by the Guardian, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) claimed that “it is not possible to hold and organise the elections honestly, justly, fairly, in a peaceful manner”, blaming security threats and financial problems. It said it would be unable to provide a “level playing field” to all political parties as a result.

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People flee homes as earthquake hits Pakistan and Afghanistan – video

A 6.5-magnitude earthquake has shaken much of Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing at least 11 people, officials have said. The powerful tremors sent many people fleeing from their homes and offices in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Footage shared on social media showed cracks had appeared in some of the city's residential blocks

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Earthquake hits Pakistan, Afghanistan and India with at least 11 dead

Nine die in Pakistan and two in Afghanistan from magnitude 6.5 event, with more than 200 people injured

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake has rattled much of Pakistan and Afghanistan, sending panicked residents fleeing from homes and offices, and frightening people even in remote villages. At least nine people died in Pakistan and two in Afghanistan, officials said on Wednesday

More than 200 people were brought to hospitals in the Swat valley region of Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in a state of shock, said Bilal Faizi, a spokesperson for Pakistan’s emergency services.

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‘Bulldozer politics’: Modi’s demolition drive fuels Muslims’ fears in Kashmir

Violence and censorship rife among citizens and the media, as push to reclaim state land belies Indian government’s claims of peace in disputed region

Suhail Ahmad Shah stood despairingly before the wreckage that for two decades had been his livelihood. Just hours before, he had been busy at the workshop when he heard an ominous crunch above him and the tin roof began to cave in. He barely made his escape before a bulldozer flattened the entire place.

“No notice was served to us,” said Shah, 38. “The officials came suddenly and demolished our workshop. No one is listening to us. We’ve been paying rent. Isn’t this an atrocity? They have snatched our livelihood.”

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Pakistani police arrest supporters of Imran Khan after raid on his Lahore home – video report

After days of clashes between police and Imran Khan’s supporters, authorities stormed into the former prime minister’s home in Lahore once Khan had left for Islamabad to appear in court. Police had attempted to arrest Khan on Tuesday as he faces charges of unlawfully selling state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries while in office. The former PM has led nationwide protests after he was ousted from power last year and a spate of cases have been registered against him

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Court cancels Imran Khan’s arrest warrant after clashes in Pakistan capital

Supporters of ex-prime minister and police fight outside court where he was addressing charges of unlawfully selling state gifts

A court in Islamabad has cancelled Imran Khan’s arrest warrant after intense clashes between police and the former prime minister’s supporters outside the judicial complex.

Khan officially appeared before the court in Pakistan’s capital on Saturday, complying with a judicial order that led to a failed attempt to arrest him on Tuesday. He is facing various legal challenges including unlawfully selling state gifts given to him by foreign dignitaries while in office from 2018 to 2022. Khan says he followed legal procedures in acquiring the gifts.

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Pakistan court orders police to halt efforts to arrest Imran Khan

High court move follows violent clashes between police and supporters outside former PM’s house in Lahore

A court in Pakistan has ordered police to suspend an operation to arrest Imran Khan, after violent clashes between the former prime minister’s supporters and law enforcement outside his house.

The vicinity of Khan’s residence became a battleground on Tuesday, when police arrived after a lower court in Islamabad issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for not appearing before it despite several summonses.

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Imran Khan supporters clash with police as he vows to appear in court – video

Police and supporters fought pitched battles outside Imran Khan's home, as the former prime minister claimed he was willing to give a surety bond to appear in court on 18 March. It is the second time in recent weeks that police have been dispatched to Khan’s home after he skipped several court dates  linked to a corruption case, citing security concerns

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Pakistan: riot police fire teargas on crowds trying to prevent arrest of Imran Khan

It is the second time in recent weeks that police have been dispatched to serve an arrest warrant to the former prime minister

Pakistan riot police have used water cannon and teargas to push back supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan who gathered outside his house to prevent officers from arresting him.

Khan was ousted from office by a no confidence vote last year, and has been snarled in a series of legal cases as he campaigns for early elections and his return to office.

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Kashmir letters cast doubt on claims Nehru blundered by agreeing ceasefire

Exclusive: papers kept classified for decades reveal India’s first PM acted on advice from most senior general

India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was urged by his most senior general to agree to a ceasefire with Pakistan in 1948, the Guardian can reveal after viewing letters on Kashmir that have been kept classified in India for decades.

The correspondence from the then commander-in-chief, Gen Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher, will have significant political ramifications for the current nationalist government in Delhi, which has discredited Nehru’s decision to come to a compromise on the status of disputed Kashmir as an ill-informed “blunder”.

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Pakistanis are leaving our country in droves due to inflation and job losses – who can blame them? | Moni Mohsin

After decades on the edge, Pakistan is now fully in crisis. And a general election later this year is unlikely to bring change

Last month, Anthony Soshil went to renew his passport in Lahore at a normally sleepy bureaucratic office. He had a contact there and expected to be ushered straight to the counter. Instead, he was flung into a melee of thousands of desperate people. Fights were breaking out everywhere. Police were summoned to quell the crowds. Quickly overwhelmed, the police called the army.

Last year, more than 800,000 Pakistanis left the country in search of better economic prospects abroad. With rocketing inflation and the rupee devaluing by 30% during 2022, millions of urban middle-class people have been pushed to the brink of poverty. Cataclysmic floods have ravaged the rural poor. With only enough foreign reserves to pay for less than a month of imports, the state is on its knees.

Moni Mohsin is a Pakistani writer based in London and the author of The End of Innocence

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Pakistan police serve arrest warrants to Imran Khan to ensure court appearance

Ex-PM and former international cricketer is facing charges of misusing his office to sell state gifts

Pakistani police served arrest warrants to the former prime minister Imran Khan to ensure his appearance in court on charges of misusing his office to sell state gifts, authorities have said, after Khan’s supporters tried to prevent police entry into his home.

The election commission of Pakistan in October found the 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician guilty of unlawfully selling gifts from foreign dignitaries.

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Anger grows over Afghan journalists still stranded by Home Office inaction

Press members living under the Taliban, and living uncertain lives in Pakistan, must be given clarity say campaign groups

Hundreds of Afghan journalists remain stranded in increasingly “dire” circumstances as frustration mounts over the UK government’s refusal to share the latest entry criteria for its flagship resettlement programme.

This weekend, a coalition of press freedom and free expression organisations, including Index on Censorship, the National Union of Journalists, PEN International and English PEN, have written to home secretary Suella Braverman asking why details of the next phase of the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme (ACRS) have yet to be revealed.

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Pakistan crackdown on Afghan refugees leaves ‘four dead’ and thousands in cells

Asylum seekers in Karachi tell of terror of being sent back to the Taliban and despair at being shackled and held in Pakistani jails

Refugees are reportedly dying in Pakistani prisons, and children are being arrested and tied together with ropes, as a wave of detentions and deportations spreads fearamong the hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have crossed the border since the Taliban took power.

According to lawyers representing Afghans in detention, at least four people have died in custody, and thousands more, including children, are being held in prisons as Pakistan hardens its stance against Afghan citizens.

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Speaking a mother tongue fosters a sense of cultural identity | Letters

Shakeel Suleman, Penny Salter, Jamila Begum and Richard Lamsdale respond to an article by Saima Mir on how language can become lost through generations of immigrants

Saima Mir (My children don’t speak my mother tongue – as a second-generation migrant, it fills me with sadness, 21 February) elegantly highlights the predicament of many parents across the UK, particularly in extended families, where grandparents might as well not be living with family, such is the communication divide. As someone who was lucky enough to learn Urdu in the 1980s, it saddens me also that my children will never be able to understand the language and have no interest in doing so.

As a nation, we are not very advanced when it comes to learning other languages. Yet there is a sense of achievement, even of freedom, that comes with knowing, understanding and appreciating the text of another language, especially when as different as English and Urdu are.
Shakeel Suleman

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