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Arshad Yousafzai

Karachi, Pakistan
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About Arshad
I cover political parties, labour, education policy, science and research, minorities, and human rights for The News International.
English Pashto Urdu
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Politics Technology Science & Environment

Cheap Cigarettes Illegally Flooding Markets, Warn Activists

17 Feb 2024  |  thefridaytimes.com
Activists have accused multinational tobacco companies of violating the Federal Excise Act in Pakistan by introducing cheaper cigarette variants to boost sales, disregarding health hazards. Pakistan Tobacco Company and Philip Morris International are allegedly selling new products at prices lower than the minimum set by law, which is seen as a tactic to increase smoker numbers against the principle of making cigarettes expensive to deter smoking. Experts argue that these actions not only violate Pakistani laws but also contravene the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Ministry of National Health Services has been criticized for not taking action against such promotional activities.

Private News Channel Suspends Anchorperson Ashfaq Satti Over Allegation Of Domestic Violence

30 Jan 2024  |  thefridaytimes.com
Ashfaque Ishaq Satti, a news anchor for a private channel, has been suspended following allegations of domestic violence by his second wife, Nomaika. The channel, ARY, has a zero-tolerance policy against violence and has suspended Satti pending an inquiry. Nomaika accused Satti of assault and threats to her life. Satti's first wife divorced him on similar grounds, and he also has a third wife, Zara Satti. Nomaika claims Satti married Zara after an unlawful relationship.

Narowal Police Arrest Ex-UC Chairman For Allegedly Planning ‘Suicide Attack’ On PML-N Candidate

17 Jan 2024  |  thefridaytimes.com
Former Union Council Chairman Tauqeer Afzal was arrested by Narowal police for allegedly planning a suicide attack on PML-N candidate Rana Mannan, who is contesting elections from the PP-56 constituency. The arrest followed the circulation of an audio recording on social media, purportedly featuring Tauqeer directing an attacker to target Mannan.

Minority Rights Activists Call For Effective Participation Of Minorities In Polls

16 Jan 2024  |  thefridaytimes.com
Minority rights activists in Pakistan emphasized the need for effective participation of minorities in the upcoming general elections on February 8. At a seminar by Minority Alliance Pakistan and Voice for Justice, they highlighted the neglect of minority concerns by political parties and the importance of including minority perspectives in legislative bodies to address human rights issues. Joseph Jansen, Chairman of Voice for Justice, called for persistent efforts to shift political priorities towards addressing community deprivation and promoting tolerance. Jansen was also awarded the “Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti Award 2023” for his contributions to the Christian community.

France 'Deports' Plane Full Of Suspected Trafficking Victims

26 Dec 2023  |  thefridaytimes.com
A plane operated by Legend Airlines carrying around 300 Indian passengers returned to India after being detained in France on suspicion of human trafficking. The Airbus A340 was initially bound for Nicaragua but was found to have beds, toilets, and showers instead of regular seats. Upon return to Mumbai, only 276 passengers disembarked, with 25 seeking asylum in France. French and Indian authorities questioned two individuals, but the French authorities later determined the passengers were not trafficked and boarded the flight voluntarily, though they may have violated immigration laws.

Baloch Protesters Give Govt 3-Day Ultimatum To Accept Demands

23 Dec 2023  |  thefridaytimes.com
Baloch protesters, having marched from Turbat to Islamabad, issued a three-day ultimatum to the Pakistani government demanding the quashing of FIRs against protesters and the release of missing persons, including students detained in Islamabad. The Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) stated that failure to comply would lead to harsh steps, but they would not hold an indefinite sit-in. The protests began after Balach Mola Bakhsh was allegedly abducted and killed by the Counter Terrorism Department in a staged encounter. The protesters faced violence from police and administrative hurdles during their march. The BYC has issued a charter of demands, including a UN-led investigation into human rights violations in Balochistan and the acknowledgment of killings in fake encounters by state agencies.

Govt Urged To Halt 'Unconstitutional' Forced Repatriation Of Afghan Refugees

03 Nov 2023  |  thefridaytimes.com
Civil society members in Pakistan, including lawyers, professors, and activists, have called on the caretaker government to stop the unconstitutional detention and deportation of Afghan refugees. They criticized the violation of international laws and the mistreatment of refugees, even those with legal protection. The activists highlighted the risks faced by various Afghan communities if repatriated and urged the government to pass a Refugee Bill and sign the Geneva Convention. They also demanded that human rights institutions intervene and that civil society be allowed to document conditions in detention centers.

PPP to rule rural TMCs, JI, PTI to control majority of urban bodies

18 Jun 2023  |  geo.tv
In Karachi, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will govern 13 out of 25 Town Municipal Corporations (TMCs), with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairmen ruling the remaining TMCs. The PPP's dominance is particularly strong in rural and suburban areas, while the JI has secured chairmanship in urban areas traditionally inhabited by the Urdu-speaking populace. The PTI has won chairmanship in three TMCs. The election results highlight the political polarization within Karachi, with the PPP and JI reflecting a divide between underprivileged localities and properly planned urban areas.

Khawaja Asif's 'dacoit' remarks earn ire of Sindh VCs

15 Jun 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
Vice-chancellors from Sindh's public sector universities condemned Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif's remarks in the National Assembly, where he referred to VCs as 'dacoits'. They demanded an apology and the expungement of the remarks, emphasizing their contributions to education and the negative implications of such statements on the youth's prospects. The VCs stressed the importance of mutual respect for constructive engagement in higher education. PPP leader Nafisa Shah criticized Asif's remarks, highlighting the potential repercussions on higher education and students' futures, and called for a public apology and respect for civilian institutions.

Wahab, Naeem face off each other today in mayor poll cliffhanger

15 Jun 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The Election Commission of Pakistan is set to hold the Karachi mayor and deputy mayor elections at the Arts Council of Pakistan, with a contest between PPP's Barrister Murtaza Wahab and JI's Hafiz Naeemur Rehman. The PPP, despite being the largest party in the City Council, lacks a simple majority, while the JI and PTI's combined votes surpass the majority threshold. However, internal divisions within the PTI could affect the outcome. JI's Karachi chief demanded the release of arrested PTI members to ensure a fair vote, while the PTI's Sindh president declared unconditional support for JI. The JUI-F withdrew support for JI due to its alliance with PTI, opting to support PPP candidates instead.

Setback for Naeem as two PTI UC chairmen say they will not vote for him

13 Jun 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, the Jamaat-e-Islami's mayoral candidate for Karachi, faces a setback as two PTI union committee chairmen, Asad Aman and Imran Parwani, refuse to follow party instructions to vote for him in the upcoming election. Unverified reports suggest up to 24 PTI City Council members may also not support Rehman. The PTI Karachi chapter warns of legal action against dissenters, while accusing the PPP-led Sindh government of attempting to sway PTI members through unethical means. A video of PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh is circulated, suggesting PTI abstention from the election, which he later clarifies as misinformation. Rehman criticizes the PPP for political pressure and expects the judiciary to overturn a Sindh legislation allowing unelected individuals to contest for mayor, deeming it unconstitutional.

Over 100,000 students in Pakistan prepare to sit for Cambridge exams after Eid

25 Apr 2023  |  geo.tv
Over 100,000 students in Pakistan are preparing for the Cambridge International June 2023 exam series, which begins in late April and ends on June 9. The exams include Cambridge IGCSE, O Level, and International AS & A Level qualifications, with more than 330,000 subject entries across approximately 100 venues. Cambridge International, in collaboration with schools and the British Council, ensures a safe and secure environment for exams, maintaining high standards and global recognition. Despite challenges such as the pandemic and socio-economic uncertainty, Cambridge International supports educational progression in Pakistan.

Karachi PTI miffed at Elahi’s contact with MQMP

19 Mar 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
Arsalan Taj, General Secretary of PTI Karachi, expressed dissatisfaction with party president Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for contacting MQMP leadership without consulting local PTI parliamentarians. PTI Karachi held a meeting and concluded that MQMP should not be contacted until it leaves the Pakistan Democratic Movement coalition in the Centre. Taj accused MQMP of supporting constitutional violators and being part of a conspiracy against the PTI government. An MQMP spokesperson was unable to confirm contact between Elahi and MQMP Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui but stated a detailed statement would be issued if developments occur.

After donors backing out, TLP finds itself disintegrating in Karachi

02 Feb 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) experienced significant underperformance in the recent local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad, winning only one of the 246 union committees in Karachi and two of the 160 in Hyderabad. The party's decline is attributed to organizational issues following a ban by the PTI government in 2021, leading to a loss of workers and public contact. Journalists Munir Ahmed Shah and Faizullah Khan cited a broken organizational structure, disconnected MPAs, and a lack of groundwork as reasons for the TLP's defeat. Despite these challenges, the TLP's spokesperson Ghulam Yaseen blamed the underperformance on election rigging by the Sindh government and denied internal rifts within the party.

School’s registration suspended after inquiry confirms student was ridiciled for speaking Urdu

31 Jan 2023  |  thenews.com.pk
The Directorate of Inspection and Registration of Private Institutions Sindh suspended the registration of a private school and fined it Rs100,000 after confirming a teacher marked a student's face with black for speaking Urdu. The incident, which was reported by the student's father and went viral on social media, was investigated by a committee that found the school's actions contradictory to patriotism and the national language. The school accepted the teacher's resignation and defended its record of promoting Urdu. Sindh Education and Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah stated that students have the right to education in their mother tongue.

I occasionally write feature stories for The News on Sunday

10 Dec 2020  |  www.thenews.com.pk
The article discusses the accomplishments of Hunaid Lakhani, focusing on his contributions as an educationist and philanthropist. It highlights that his impact in these areas is more significant and lasting compared to his political career. The article seems to emphasize the positive changes and enduring legacy Lakhani has created through his work in education and philanthropy, suggesting that these efforts have had a profound effect on society.

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist and he mainly covers political parties, labour, education policy, science and research, minorities, and human rights for The News International.


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