Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 3 Oct 2020


  • Donald Trump Flown to Hospital for Treatment After Covid-19 Diagnosis
  • Clashes Erupt in Anti-Government Protest in Egypt
  • US Remains Top Buyer of Pakistani Goods

Donald Trump Flown to Hospital for Treatment After Covid-19 Diagnosis

US President Donald Trump has been moved to a military hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with Covid-19, a White House official said on Friday, as his administration and election campaign scrambled to adjust to an extraordinary twist in his turbulent presidency. Mr Trump, 74, will stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, for the next few days as a precautionary measure, the official said. Doctors urged the move so Mr Trump could get immediate care if needed, the official said. Mr Trump was seen boarding the presidential helicopter Marine One at the White House on Friday evening. The president posted a video to Twitter thanking people for their support, adding that he thought he was “doing very well”. Mr Trump did not transfer power to Vice President Mike Pence as other presidents have sometimes done while undergoing medical treatment, according to a White House official. The latest turn came after White House doctor Sean Conley wrote that the president “remains fatigued but in good spirits”. Dr Conley said the president had been given Regeneron’s experimental polyclonal antibody cocktail, as well as zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and aspirin. Mr Trump, who has played down the threat of the coronavirus pandemic from the outset, wrote on Twitter earlier on Friday that he and his wife Melania were going into quarantine after testing positive for the virus, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans and severely damaged the US economy. [Source: The National].

For months Trump played down the severity of Covid-19 and mocked people for wearing masks. Now just weeks before the election, Trump has succumbed to the virus and there is a good chance that he may become incapacitated thereby undermining the whole election process. The American political establishment by their own handiwork are destroying America’s standing both at home and abroad.


Clashes Erupt in Anti-Government Protest in Egypt

An Egyptian man has been killed in clashes between protesters and police during a demonstration in a village south of Cairo against President Abdel Fattah el Sisi. Small anti-government protests have taken place in recent days in a handful of villages in several areas of the country, according to videos shared widely on social media, especially by sympathisers of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. Medical sources at Al Ayat hospital in Giza, outside the capital Cairo, said “a man’s body bearing birdshot wounds to the face and chest arrived at the hospital overnight Saturday”. Prominent rights lawyers said on Facebook that more than 150 people were arrested in the demonstrations. Egypt effectively banned protests under a restrictive law in 2013 following the military ouster of president Mohamed Morsi. The country has also since 2017 been under a renewable state of emergency, which rights groups say has allowed the government to crush dissent. The small protests coincided with mounting anger, particularly in rural and low-income areas, against sweeping government campaigns to stop illegal construction, which have required people to pay fines to legalise ownership of their homes. In recent weeks, a call also went out from exiled businessman Mohamed Ali, urging people to take to the streets against Sisi and his government. Ali, a construction contractor and fledgeling actor, had burst onto Egypt’s political scene last year when videos he posted on social media accusing Sisi and the military elite of corruption went viral. On September 20, 2019, hundreds took to the streets in Cairo and other parts of the country in response to Ali’s calls, drawing a heavy-handed response from security forces. Rights groups said at the time that some 4,000 people were arrested, including well-known academics, activists and lawyers. [Source: TRT].

No matter how hard Sisi tries to oppress the Egyptian masses, they will continue to revolt. The era of Egypt’s tyrannical rule started to weaken with the fall of Mubarak and is only growing weaker during the reign of Sisi. It is only a matter of time before the Khilafah Rashidah (rightly guided Caliphate) emerges.


US remains top buyer of Pakistani goods

The United States remained Pakistan’s top export destination August as the country earned $334.5 million in proceeds during August, even as they witnessed a decline compared to $341.08m in same period of 2019. According to data released by the State Bank, Pakistan received $671.75m from the US during July-August, compared to $714.63m in the corresponding months of 2019 — registering a fall of six per cent. The United Kingdom was the second biggest buyer from Pakistan at $129.17m in August, down 6.1pc over $137.56m in the corresponding period last year. On the other hand, Pakistan’s merchandise exports to Germany rose by 6.75pc to $111.79m during August, from $104.725m in same month of 2019. Next came China which bought goods worth $93.649m from Pakistan during the month under review, plunging by 25.88pc over $126.345m in the same period last year. The United Arab Emirates closely followed purchasing Pakistani merchandise valued at $93.219m in August, lower by 6.51pc compared to $99.714m in the same month of 2019. Meanwhile, exports to Afghanistan edged up 5.36pc year-on-year to $60.975m in August, from $57.873m. On the flip side, Pakistan unsurprisingly imported the most merchandise from China at $783.365m in August, inching up 1.84pc from $769.235m in same month of 2019 while plunging by 28.88pc compared to $1.101 billion in outgoing July. Imports from the UAE also edged up by 3.78pc year-on-year to $559.544m in August, from $539.154m with Dubai accounting for the largest share of the value. The country bought goods worth $192.378m from Singapore during August, which represented a decline of almost 7pc year-on-year against the corresponding month last year’s figure of $206.788m. [Source: Dawn News]

Pakistan has two major problems regarding its export strategy. First, Pakistan does not export enough to earn foreign exchange to pay for imports. Second, Pakistan’s major export are reliant on great powers, which can easily shut the door on Pakistani exports. Both factors contribute to Pakistan’s perpetual balance of payments crisis.