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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a speech to the country today (Friday), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will offer a relief package for the underprivileged, according to Geo News. According to sources familiar with the issue, the premier would reassure the nation about the country's current economic predicament and explain the government's decision to eliminate petroleum product subsidies. PM Shehbaz Sharif will also inform the public of the government's next plan of action, in addition to announcing the relief package for the needy.
While workers and supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) awaited Imran Khan's arrival at D-Chowk for a planned sit-in on Thursday morning, the party chairman cut short his long march at Jinnah Avenue after addressing the people who had accompanied him from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The action sparked speculation of a behind-the-scenes 'intervention,' which may have forced Mr Khan to abandon his plan to reach the sit-in location he had stated just hours before while advancing towards Islamabad on a container.
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.
In the face of the threat of a Monkeypox outbreak in Pakistan, authorities from the federal health ministry warned there are currently no diagnostic tests available for the virus. The government is attempting to purchase testing kits for the National Institute of Health in Islamabad, according to officials (NIH). They did say, however, that in the event of an emergency, the samples might be transported abroad for testing. According to officials, health experts might label a patient a suspected case based on the conditions by studying the symptoms.
The government was prohibited from harassing and arresting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and leaders by the high courts in Islamabad and Lahore on Tuesday. The court orders come only hours after police launched a crackdown on the erstwhile ruling party, raiding party leaders' homes and allegedly compelling them to flee. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has issued notifications to the concerned parties, ordering them to stop harassing and arresting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) workers and leaders.