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."
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The government boosted petroleum product rates by Rs30 per litre, or up to one-fourth of their current pricing, in an unexpected decision on Thursday, paving the way for a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund by June 12. On the one hand, the unusual action will help detonate landmines set by former Prime Minister Imran Khan's government, and on the other, it will save the country from default. After Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif gave him the go light in a party meeting, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced the decision in an unexpected news conference.
On Monday, the dollar climbed above Rs 194 versus the rupee in the interbank market, as analysts expressed concern about the country's mounting import bill. The greenback gained Rs1.30 from Friday's close in interbank trade to reach Rs194.30 about 11:30 a.m., according to the Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP). This comes after the rupee fell to fresh lows last week, owing to the country's mounting import bill.
Tom Cruise has returned to the danger zone after 36 years, and critics agreed that the wait was well worth it to watch "Top Gun" on the big screen again. "Top Gun: Maverick," the sequel to the 1986 hit, has received a 96 percent favourable rating from 76 reviewers. On May 27, the film will be released in theatres. The 59-year-old Cruise reprises his role as Pete Mitchell, an arrogant Navy pilot who has never advanced in the ranks due to his predilection for defying orders.
The Cannes Film Festival will screen the farewell film of Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius, who was assassinated by Russian soldiers in Ukraine last month. Kvedaravicius was apparently arrested and slain while filming a followup to his renowned documentary "Mariupolis," about the violence in the Donbas region. His fiancée Hanna Bilobrova, who was with him in Mariupol during the siege, carried his footage out of the country, where it was edited by Dounia Sichov.
During the Kharif season, which began on April 1 with the sowing of important crops such as cotton, sugarcane, rice, and maize, Pakistan is experiencing a severe water scarcity of 38% for irrigation reasons. On Thursday, the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), which regulates and monitors the allocation of Indus River water sources among the four federating units, presented a presentation before the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Water Resources. According to the government, the water shortfall has worsened from the previously forecasted 22% deficiency.
The services of Pakistan's Army Chief will be remembered forever: Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi shared these views, saying that Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has provided "unforgettable services" in the fight against terrorism. According to information, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said in a statement about the Chief of Army Staff that General Qamar Javed Bajwa has delivered outstanding services in the fight against terrorism. He claimed that the army and the army leader are closely intertwined, and that attacking the army chief implies attacking the army as a whole.
PTI to hold a meeting in the grounds of CTI Boys High School Sialkot without permission was noted by the Assistant Commissioner Sialkot. Following the publication of the news, the Assistant Commissioner Sialkot took note and confirmed the contents of the letter as well as the school principal's position. According to the letter, the school principal took the position that a political conference organised by PTI will be held on May 14, 2022 on the grounds of CTI Boys High School without the authorization of the school administration. The letter went on to say that the school's administration has entrusted him with informing them about the situation.
According to a nurse, Amber Heard did not cope well with Johnny Depp's celebrity in Hollywood. In September 2014, Erin Falati composed notes in which she described Amber Heard as 'anxious' about Depp's rapport with women. Falati was asked about the notes in a videotaped testimony at his defamation trial last month. Heard had "difficulties with jealousy and anxiety issues surrounding the fiancé's fame and ability to interact with women frequently," according to Falati's notes. The nurse narrated that once Heard became "frustrated" during a dine-in at the restaurant and that her "previous defence mechanisms" involved "impulsive anger and yelling."
The Pakistani rupee resumed its slide against the US dollar on Thursday, hitting an all-time low in the interbank market, surpassing 191. The local currency finished at Rs191.77 against the greenback in the interbank market, down Rs1.7 (or 0.91 percent) from Wednesday's record low of Rs188.66. The local currency has continued to fall, confirming analysts' projections that the country will suffer further losses in the future due to political and economic uncertainty.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday ordered the Islamabad police not to file blasphemy charges against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership in connection with the Masjid-e-Nabwi incident, in which 'unknown individuals' harassed officials of the Federal Government. The government accused the PTI leadership of promoting heckling and harassment of PML-N members at the mosque, including the information minister. Following that, several blasphemy complaints were filed against PTI leaders around the country, including Chairman Imran Khan. The PTI has sought the IHC to seek relief from the FIRs.
On the occasion of Youm ul Quds, held on Ramazan 27, the Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen Pakistan (MWM) organised public protests in many cities across Pakistan, including Karachi, in support of Palestinian and Kashmiri victims. MWM conducted a congregation on Noor Al Emaan Masjid in this regard, which was addressed by MWM's Central and Provincial officials. Allama Sadiq Abbas Jafferi, Allama Hayat Abbas, Allama Mubashir Hassan, Allama Ali Anwar, Allama Malik Ghulam Abbas, Nasir Al Hussaini, Zain Rizvi, and others were present at this meeting.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Chief of Army Staff, praised Bill Gates, the Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for his efforts to eradicate polio in Pakistan, and promised him continued collaboration. In a telephone call, COAS and Gates reviewed Pakistan's commitment to comprehensive polio eradication as well as COVID-19. The renowned benefactor also praised the Pakistan Army for its support of the national polio campaign, which ensured that it reached and covered the whole country.
According to Baaghi TV, Pakistan revealed its second case of wild poliovirus in 2022, when a two-year-old girl from North Waziristan tested positive for new type-1 wild poliovirus (WPV1). The infant became paralysed on April 14th. On April 29, 2022, the Pakistan National Polio Laboratory at the National Institute of Health declared that the poliovirus has been confirmed. On April 22, a 15-month-old boy was diagnosed with the condition. Both children are from North Waziristan in southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and they are members of Mir Ali's Union Councils.
On Saturday, Hamza Shahbaz was sworn in as the 21st Chief Minister of Punjab, following instructions from the Lahore High Court. On the LHC's orders, he was sworn in by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, as the CM-elect had requested the high court's intervention in the matter. Despite being elected with a huge majority of 197 votes in the Punjab Assembly on April 16, Hamza moved the LHC for the third time on Friday as his oath-taking ceremony was postponed on many grounds.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has stated that the country "cannot afford enmity" with the US, adding that Islamabad must develop positive relations with the superpower. The premier's remarks regarding the need to develop relations with Washington came during a press conference on Tuesday evening, following the PTI's claims that the Imran Khan government was deposed by a foreign-funded plot. PM Shehbaz Sharif further stated that, despite the National Security Committee's unequivocal statement that there is no foreign conspiracy, he will consider appointing a judicial commission to investigate the cable controversy.
After visiting and witnessing victims of Indian ceasefire violations, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar stated that discussing the Kashmir issue in Congress is now more important than ever. Talking to a reporter at a hotel about her bold stance on Kashmir and Palestine, Baaghi Tv reported that Omar said: “Having met the Kashmiri people in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), who nurse bullet wounds due to ceasefire violations by India, was an incredible experience and this firsthand experience has put me under an obligation to stand for human rights and human dignity."
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has informed his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi of his desire for amicable relations with India. In a letter to Prime Minister Modi, PM Shehbaz, who was sworn in earlier this week, expressed Pakistan's desire for peaceful relations with India. The letter was written in response to an Indian leader's message congratulating PM Shehbaz on his win in the National Assembly. According to sources, PM Shehbaz told his Indian counterpart that Islamabad wishes to resolve all concerns with New Delhi, including Kashmir.
A high-level Pakistani team is scheduled to visit Washington this week for the annual spring conference of the Bretton Wood Institutions (BWIs), which includes the IMF and the World Bank, with the possibility of new talks with the IMF on the sidelines of the meeting. However, given the present expanding gap caused by twin deficits, including the budget and current account deficits for the current fiscal year, the resumption of the IMF programme remains a long shot.