If you’ve been out of the loop recently and don’t know what has been going on, then don’t worry. PG brings to you a summary of all that happened over the weekend.

Faiz International Festival

Last weekend, Lahore witnessed the 4th Faiz Festival to celebrate the life and works of the famous poet. The event was held at Alhamra Art Gallery at Mall road. Many contemporary poets attended the confrence including Amjad Islam Amjad and Indian lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The festival displayed the best of Pakistani arts and culture; featuring artists like Tina Sani and the famous Punjabi theatre group Ajoka. Ajoka performed its critically acclaimed play “kala meda bhes”.

The festival featured panel discussions on the works and ideology of Faiz. Salima Hashmi and Shaban Azmi discussed the works of their fathers and how Urdu have developed over time.

A Panel discussion, featuring Shabana Azmi and, Faiz’s grandson, Adeel Hashmi amongst others.

The festival came to a close on 18th November, Sunday.

Tahir Dawar Murder Case

The Pakistani SP for rural Peshawar, Tahir Dawar, was abducted from the federal capital on 26th October. He was in Islamabad to attended a meeting and was in constant contact with his family before disappearing.

Tahir Dawar

Nothing was known of his whereabouts until 13th November, when a picture of a dead body posted on social media was identified as his. The locals in the Afghan region of Nangarhar found his body. The foreign office acted and confirmed whether or not the body was of Dawar and started an investigation on how a Pakistani citizen was smuggled to Afghanistan.

Dawar’s body had marks of torture. The abduction and killing was carried out by Wilayat-e-Khurasan terrorist group, an affiliate of the Khurasan chapter of Islamic State to “avenge the killing of its members by SP Dawar with the help of military.”

The government made efforts to retrieve the body but was met with apathy from the Afghan counterpart. But Dawar’s body was later sent to Pakistan and he was buried in Peshawar.

Tahir Dawar’s funeral.

The Golan Heights

The Golan Heights is a region in the middle East that is occupied by the Israeli state. The Israeli military occupied the area in the six-day war in 1967 against Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq. The territory originally belongs to Syria.

An Israeli tank at the Golan Heights

The UN has passed numerous declarations condemning the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights in the past. But for the first time, the USA voted against the resolution, implying that it considers Golan Heights to be a legitimate territory of Israel. 151 countries voted in favour of the resolution against two countries voting “No” (USA and Israel) because “[the] resolution being extremely biased against Israel.”

Previously the United States has always abstained from voting on the issue, keeping a neutral stance. This move signifies a shift in the policy at Washington, preceded by the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem. Showing solidarity to the Israeli claim that Jerusalem is it’s rightful capital.

A billboard praising Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem

Sri Lanka Deadlock

Sri Lanka has been in a political deadlock since October 26 when President Maithripala Sirisena made an unpopular decision to sack the prime minister and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapakse.

The ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

The ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe insists he is still prime minister, and parliament voted twice last week to reject Rajapakse as leader.

In efforts to resolve the crisis, Wickremesinghe and Rajapakse held a meeting with the president in the capital on Sunday for what were widely regarded as crucial negotiations.

The negotiations failed as Wickremesinghe wanted a vote of confidence in the parliament, where his United National Party hold a majority.

As of now, Sri Lankan politics stands at a crucial crossroads, choosing the supremacy of either the parliament or the president.

Cyclone Hits India

A dangerous cyclone in southern India has calimed the lives of 33 people according to latest updates. Officials fear the damage could be more severe. Damage to homes and roads and drove tens of thousands of people into relief camps, officials said.

Scene of the devastation wrecked by Cyclone Gaja

Two ships by the Indian Navy and a helicopter were assigned for relief projects to get water, food and paramedics to the displaced. Currently 82,000 people are sheltered in 400 camps set up by the government.

They were evacuated from areas in the path of Cyclone Gaja, which struck six districts of Tamil Nadu state on Friday with heavy rains and winds that reached 90 kilometres per hour.


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