World Current Affairs - 2019
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The little town of Ferguson, St. Louis USA has been boiling with violence and protests after the brutal shooting of a black teenager Micheal Brown by a white cop Darren Wilson on August 09, 2014.
The city which is having 67% black population has mostly whites in the police force. The incident when came into light was severely condemned and people took to streets as Brown who was unarmed and had his hands raised was shot 6 times. The autopsy declared that it was the last shot which led to death as Brown would have survived the first 5 shots. This further enraged the protestors and looting and clashes with the police continued for next week. The whole incident brought the role of police under scanner as they resorted to unconventional means to disperse the rioters.
The protestors and locals also complain about the evident racial disparity being seen in the city ranks. The divide they say is not visible but is easily felt by all who are the receiving end. Black youth are generally unemployed as compared to the white neighbors. The protests which seem to be triggered by the shooting of black youth have deeper issues at stake. There is an apparent economic divide which has further fuelled the anger of the youth. It is also the lack of education which keeps the black youth away from jobs. The social gulf has to be addressed and not merely the incident at hand to pacify the protestors.
The Cop: Darren Wilson
The cop who was traced to be Darren Wilson, has his pictures now surfaced. Hackers have crashed into his family details enlisting the school of his children and made it public. This has invited outrage from the group which has come forward to support Wilson. The group which shows solidarity towards Brown’s family also pleads the safety of Wilson and his family. Another discussion which has taken birth from the current crisis is the villainization of the cops who are involved in combating protests as the first responders.
Pakistan is going through tough times. The Nawaz Sharif government seems caught in a tight situation on all fronts. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) party led by former cricketer Imran Khan is all set pull out its all 34 MPs from the Parliament to force the ruling government to step down. Mr. Sharif’s government represents a first in the country in terms of smooth democratic transition of power amidst a history of military coups and unstable governments. The party is also expected to resign from 3 out of 4 provincial assemblies in Pakistan.
This comes as a next step to the well-carved strategy which began with a huge march towards Islamabad last week. Thousands of Imran Khan’s supporters had gathered on the streets to express their dissatisfaction and sagging trust in the Sharif government. Some 15000-20000 people had joined PTI on the outskirts of Lahore in the NW Punjab region. The protest was also co-timed by another big protest and long march guided by the cleric Tahir ul Qadri who had called on his supporters to carry out a Revolution March sharing grievances with the PTI. Both the protest marches were largely peaceful due to heavy presence of police along the route leading to Islamabad. There were some reports of clashes between Mr. Qadri’s supporters and police in which 5 people were reportedly killed.
Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a press conference that the march was allowed till the red-zone in the capital which houses many government buildings.
This political crisis comes at a time when the country is waging a war against dreadful Islamist militants in the restive tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. PTI has upheld accusations against the ruling party about widespread poll-rigging and electoral fraud. They also highlight the failure of the government to provide basic amenities like regular electricity supply, bad economic performance and the insurgence of militancy to unexpected proportions.
Mr. Sharif in an unique address to the nation has refuted all charges levied against him and has offered the PTI head the formation of a commission comprising 3 Supreme Court judges to look into the credibility of allegations.
PTI’s steps have not been acclaimed by the political experts. Former President Zardari has said that PTI should have adopted constitutional and civil means to address policy issues. He was speaking against the call for stoppage of tax-payments to government by PTI Chief as a call for Civil Disobedience.
What shape the current events will take is both a matter of high concern for India especially in the wake of recent call-off of the bilateral talks by the Indian PM after the meeting between Pakistan’s High Commissioner and the Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah. The Indian side has raised concern over the basic intentions and sincerity of Pakistan’s commitment to constructively engage with India.