Author - Reesha Mirza

Masks made compulsory on domestic flights

Given the increasing increase in COVID-19 cases across the nation, Pakistan's aviation regulator has mandated masks for domestic flights, according to a statement. The order was issued a day after Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, announced that its COVID-19 positivity ratio—the percentage of positive cases among all tests—rose to 21% from a national figure of 2.8 percent. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) issued the statement late on Sunday. "With immediate effect, mask wearing will be required onboard domestic flights."  

Covid-19 positivity rate reaches 21.23pc

The positivity rate in Karachi, Pakistan's financial hub, alarmingly rose to 21.23 percent on Thursday as Covid-19 cases resurge around the nation. 53 city residents tested positive for the virus on June 16 according to data from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). On June 22, however, 138 persons in the city tested positive, more than doubling the number of cases within a week (Wednesday).  

US Congresswoman designates India as “country of a particular concern”

According to information released on Thursday, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning abuses of religious liberty and human rights in India and urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate India as a "country of particular concern." According to the US Congress website, the resolution was submitted on Tuesday and is co-sponsored by representatives Rashida Talib and Juan Vargas. It used the conclusions and recommendations of a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom as the foundation for its justifications for designating India as a nation of special concern (USCIRF).  

Talks with TTP to be held under constitution: Rana Sanaullah

The Pakistani Constitution would be followed in negotiations with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), according to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday. After a significant meeting on national security that was presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Sanaullah and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb gave a press conference. The military leadership briefed the committee during a lengthy session on the [security situation], the interior minister told the media.  

Japan to provide necessary aid for Afghanistan after Earthquake

A government official announced on Thursday that the Japanese government intends to help Afghanistan after an earthquake there claimed at least 1,000 lives. Seiji Kihara, the deputy chief cabinet secretary, stated during a routine news conference that the government was planning actions to "promptly give required support" in addition to evaluating the situation to understand local requirements. At least 1,000 people were killed and 1,500 more were injured when a powerful earthquake struck a remote border region of Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan overnight, according to officials. The death toll is expected to rise as desperate rescuers search through the collapsed homes.  

Fuel prices raised again to unlock IMF funding

The federal government announced a hefty price hike for all petroleum products on Wednesday, including petrol by Rs24 per litre and high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs59.16 per litre, the third rise in the previous 20 days. The new rates will take effect at midnight today, according to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, who spoke at a press conference in Islamabad. Musadik Malik, the State Minister for Petroleum, stood beside him.  

Govt. taking strict measures to save country from going bankrupt: Ahsan Iqbal

Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms, stated on Wednesday that the government was taking stringent measures to keep the country from going bankrupt and has taken concrete steps to stabilise the economy. If Imran Khan had lasted for a longer period of time, according to Ahsan Iqbal, the country would have faced disaster. He stated that the previous government had signed deals with the IMF, and that the current government is no longer in a position to bargain, and that we must engage the IMF for the country's benefit.    

36 suspected dengue patients brought in

From June 1 to 11, over 36 dengue fever suspects were brought to the district's health facilities, according to Dr Sajjad Mehmood, the district's District Coordinator of Epidemics Prevention and Control (DCEPC). He claimed Holy Family Hospital had registered seven suspects, Benazir Bhutto Hospital had registered six, the District Headquarters Hospital had filed three, while Tehsil Headquarters Hospitals Kotli Sattian and Gujar Khan had recorded five of each suspect case.  

Dollar reaches Rs.204 in interbank

In intraday trade on Tuesday, the Pakistani rupee (PKR) continued to be beaten by the US dollar, losing 1.65 rupees. In the interbank market, the dollar was trading at about 204 versus the rupee, compared to Rs202.35 at the previous session's finish. Meanwhile, the KSE 100-index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) fell nearly 500 points on Monday, closing at 41,494 points, down from 42,014 points the previous working day.    

No relief for consumers expected in budget: Report

Given the strict International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions that the government must meet in order to secure a loan, market observers do not expect a significant price reduction in the federal budget for fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23) to be announced today, given that consumers are already bearing the brunt of food inflation. The news of a hike in general sales tax, withholding tax, and customs duty, as well as the introduction of a windfall profit tax, has already created a stir in the market.  

PM Shehbaz announces solar panels for Gwadar

The prime minister made the announcement while chairing a meeting to assess progress on Balochistan's power transmission lines. Federal Ministers Ahsan Iqbal and Engineer Khurram Dastagir, as well as DG Frontier Works Organization Major General Kamal Azfar and other related senior officials, attended the meeting. In this context, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked that an action plan be submitted within 10 days. PM Sharif also instructed the construction of a complete off-grid system in Gwadar to provide an instant supply of energy.  

Lurking trade deficit shows 6th growth

While the country's economy grew by 6% across the board in the previous fiscal year, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail chastised the country's low exports and tax revenues, which remained less than one-tenth of the economy's size, as unworthy of a nuclear-armed nation on Thursday. It was ironic to see the coalition government's team, led by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, launch Imran Khan's economic performance report card for fiscal year 2021-22 – which included a mix of positive and negative indicators – while also attempting to highlight the previous regime's ill-conceived policies.      

Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif test positive for Covid-19

According to the Hindustan Times, Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif have tested positive for Covid-19. The actors are the most recent celebrities to get the virus, having been seen at ace filmmaker Karan Johar's 50th birthday party last month. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee verified Khan's positive test for Covid. The senator wished the Zero star a speedy recovery after rumours surfaced that he had tested positive for Covid-19.  

Pakistani Entrepreneur earns first Amal Clooney Women’s Empowerment award

Tanzila Khan, a local disability rights activist and entrepreneur, earned the first-ever Amal Clooney Women's Empowerment Award at the Prince's Trust Awards 2022, bringing pride to Pakistanis around the world. The Princes Trust is a charitable organisation formed by Charles, Prince of Wales, and the Awards' goal is to provide financial support and enable young people to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Tanzila, who was born in Sialkot and was unable to walk and was confined to a wheelchair, had numerous challenges in the years ahead.  

Saudi Arabia boycotts Indian products

The Arab world has launched an internet campaign asking for a boycott of Indian products in response to derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) made by a prominent official in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Last week's comments by a spokesman for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party were blamed for violence in an Indian state, prompting calls for her arrest, with outrage extending to Muslim countries. Saudi Arabia has become the latest Gulf country to rebuke Nupur Sharma, a spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party, during a televised discussion last week.  

Load shedding limited to 2 hours each day: Khurram Dastgir

Load shedding will not be completely eliminated, according to Federal Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir, but its severity will be reduced in the coming weeks. He told the reporters that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would decide on early market closures. Meanwhile, Pakistan remains in the midst of a catastrophic electrical crisis, with loadshedding intensifying even after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took notice of the situation yesterday and instructed the authorities to limit suspensions to no more than two hours each day.    

Pakistan slams BJP for remarks against Holy Prophet (PBUH)

President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have strongly condemned recent insulting remarks about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) made by two leaders of India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "I strongly condemn the hurtful remarks made by India's BJP leader on our dear Prophet (PBUH). India under Modi is trampling religious freedoms and persecuting Muslims, as I have frequently stated." In a tweet on Sunday, the prime minister stated, "The world should take notice and severely reprimand India."  

Pakistan, Turkey to strengthen strategic and economic ties

On Wednesday, Pakistan and Turkey pledged to strengthen their strategic and economic ties and agreed to take steps to combat terrorism. The pledges were made during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's one-on-one meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Later, during a joint press appearance at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, they made their vow public. Mr Erdogan accepted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's invitation to visit Pakistan in September for talks on subjects of mutual interest.

Imran Khan receives protective bail from PHC

According to Aaj News, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was granted protective bail on Thursday in connection with lawsuits filed against the party's recent long march on Islamabad. Bail is set to expire on June 25. Khan had applied for bail at the Peshawar High Court, where he met with Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan. Khan and his party were charged with turning aggressive and clashing with law enforcement agencies after calling off the lengthy march on March 26 due to concerns that the situation was becoming dangerous.  

Gunman kills four in Oklahoma: Police

On Wednesday, a man armed with a rifle and a handgun killed four people inside a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before fatally shooting himself, according to authorities, in the latest in a string of mass shootings throughout the country. A police officer instantly pulled a high-powered rifle from the boot of his car as first responders arrived on the St. Francis Hospital grounds, according to eyewitness video. The medical centre was then surrounded by armed cops. On Wednesday afternoon, three minutes after getting a call about the gunshot, police arrived at the medical centre.  

Karachi superstore inferno leaves one dead

According to Baaghi TV, a massive fire broke out in a supermarket in Jail Chowrangi on Wednesday afternoon and has not been totally doused even after 24 hours. There are flames in several portions of the building, according to senior fire officer Arif Mansoori, and the smoke makes it impossible to enter. However, the fire has been put out across 80 percent of the area. Officials said the fire started at 11 a.m. in the warehouse of the superstore, which is located on Jail Chowrangi, a very busy street. The superstore is located in a multi-story building and receives a large amount of daily traffic.  

Imran Khan warns of ‘civil war’ if elections not announced

Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, warned on Wednesday that if elections were not called, the country would descend into civil war. "We'll see if they let us go to elections through legal and constitutional procedures, or otherwise this country would devolve into civil war," he remarked in an interview with Bol News anchorperson Sami Ibrahim for the Tajzia show. Imran further stated that returning to the National Assembly was "out of the question" since doing so would entail "accepting the plot" that had deposed his administration.  

Famous Indian Singer KK passes away at 53

KK, a well-known Indian musician, died on Tuesday night, according to Hindustan Times. He was 53 years old at the time. According to hospital authorities, the singer became ill while playing at an event in Kolkata and was taken to the CMRI hospital, where he was declared dead. "Singer Anupam Roy called me up and said he is hearing something bad from the hospital," Minister Arup Biswas stated of KK's death. Then I got in touch with the hospital. He was said to have been brought dead. Then I went straight to the hospital."

Power shortfall exceeds 6,500MW

On Tuesday, the general public suffered from 12-hour-long power disruptions as the electrical shortage reached 6,690 megawatts. The entire power generation capacity of the Power Division was 19,310MW, compared to a demand of 26,000MW. Hydropower plants generated 4,855MW, 1,205MW from government thermal plants, 9,323MW from private sector power plants, 1,398MW from wind power plants, and 111MW from solar plants, and 164MW from Bagasse, according to Power Division sources. Nuclear power generates 2,254MW of electricity, according to sources.

Govt. imposes ban on import of other products

  The government has permitted the import of raw materials, intermediate goods (items needed to make a final good or finished product), industrial equipment, and foreign grants in aid projects, according to The News. The commerce ministry issued an Office Memorandum (OM) in response to concerns expressed by various organizations and domestic industries regarding the import of raw materials, intermediate goods, and industrial equipment falling under various Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) codes listed in the said SRO.  

MPM-P, Zardari agree to strengthen cooperation

A delegation from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) met with Asif Ali Zardari, the president of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), to discuss the "political situation" in Sindh and the development of discussions between the two parties on various matters. "On Monday night, an MQM-P delegation led by its leader Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Kunwar Naveed Jameel, and others paid a visit to Mr. Zardari at Bilawal House," according to a PPP statement. "The two sides discussed the country's current political predicament. The meeting was also attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh ministers Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Saeed Ghani, and Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab, according to the statement.

Aspiring actor, tourists among 22 killed in Nepal plane crash

Prakash Sunuwar was an aspiring actor residing in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. To help him achieve his dream, he worked as a trekking guide. The 37-year-old was known for attracting international clients and transporting them to exotic Himalayan landscapes. On a flight to Jomsom on Sunday, he was joined by two German visitors, Meike Graf Grit and Uwe Willner. The Tara Air 9N-AET flight, however, crashed less than 20 minutes after taking off from Pokhara, a popular tourist destination about 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of Kathmandu. Authorities in Nepal were able to rescue 21 bodies from the wreckage site in Sanosware Cliff in Thalang-2, a village in the Mustang district, at an altitude of 14,500 feet on Monday.

PM Shehbaz to boost relationship with UK

During a phone chat with his British counterpart, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif underlined his intention to expand connections with the United Kingdom in numerous spheres. During the call, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that he looks forward to working with PM Shehbaz on boosting bilateral relations with Pakistan, as well as strengthening commerce, world peace, and security. The prime minister praised the 1.3 million Pakistanis residing in the UK for helping to strengthen ties and build bridges between the two countries.

PM Shehbaz vows to strengthen trade with Turkey

Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan's prime minister, has pledged to make the country self-sufficient and politically stable, while also promising to seek to increase bilateral trade with Turkey. Shehbaz told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview ahead of his three-day official visit to Ankara that while Islamabad wants to strengthen and broaden its relationship with the US, it is also focused on infrastructure development under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He noted that the two countries' bilateral connections are solidly rooted in common religious, cultural, and linguistic ties and that they transcend political changes on both sides.

PIA to charge airfare in dollars from private Hajj pilgrims

According to Baaghi Tv, the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) will charge Hajj pilgrims traveling on a private plan fares in US dollars for the first time in its history. Airfares for pilgrims from the Southern and Northern regions are expected to stay in the $810 to $1,100 and $860 to $1,150 ranges, respectively. It's worth noting that the national carrier used to price fares in dollars, but due to economic limitations, Muslims from all over the world have been unable to perform Hajj for the past two years.