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Agreement with IMF to be in country's best interest: Miftah Ismail

"Tough conditions of withdrawing subsidies and imposing a tax on petroleum products are the result of agreements of the previous government with IMF"

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Agreement with IMF to be in country's best interest: Miftah Ismail
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Karachi: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail says today the nation is paying the price of wrong policies and agreements signed by the previous government with international monetary organizations. 

Talking to the media in Karachi before leaving for Doha for talks with IMF on Monday, he said tough conditions of withdrawing subsidies and imposing a tax on petroleum products are the result of agreements of the previous government with IMF.

The Finance Minister said as per agreements of the previous government, the diesel price is to be increased by 150 rupees per liter and petrol by 100 rupees per liter but the present government does not want to carry it forward as it will result in heavy financial burden on the masses.

He said Imran Khan has always created impediments in the path of development of the country. He said Imran Khan's 2014 sit-in caused the postponement of the Chinese president's visit to Pakistan and today IMF team that was due in Islamabad for talks has declined to visit because of Imran Khan's sit-ins.

The Finance Minister expressed the hope that in the next two days he will succeed in having an agreement with IMF in the best interest of the country and the people.

Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif appeals nation to follow SOPs amid COVID-19 surge

Pakistan has reported one death and 541 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, the highest since March 11 when it recorded 571 positive cases.

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PM Shehbaz Sharif appeals nation to follow SOPs amid COVID-19 surge

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday appealed the nation to follow the anti-COVID SOPs as a surge was being recorded in the coronavirus cases in the country.

The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to discuss the COVID situation, said that the frontline health workers and doctors had rendered numerous sacrifices to keep the countrymen safe from the disease,, and also paid tribute to them.

Therefore, he urged the people not to squander the success achieved against the coronavirus.

The prime minister directed the chief secretaries of the provinces to ensure implementation of the SOPs at crowded places, besides enforcing full vaccination, booster doses, and use of masks and sanitizers.

He also called for use of masks and sanitizers at the cattle markets set up ahead of Eidul Azha, weddings and other private gatherings.

The prime minister said the adherence to the SOPs was inevitable for the safety of one’s own as well as the dear ones.

He said the performance of all institutions particularly the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) had been laudable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting was briefed in detail about the COVID-19 situation at local as well as the global level.

It was told that overall a downward trend was observed in the number of cases across the world.

The participants were told that the new variant of the Omicron led to a recent surge in coronavirus cases in the country. On June 28, over 3% cases were reported in the country on June 28, though the ratio of hospitalization in this variant was lesser than that of the previous waves.

The health authorities told the meeting that 86% of the above 12 years population had been fully vaccinated while 93 percent got at least a single shot. Currently, the country’s capacity was to vaccinate around 200,000 people per day.

It was told that the whole Sindh population had been fully vaccinated while the vaccination process was underway in Punjab and other provinces.

Moreover, the steps were being taken to strictly monitor the movement of people on the border, and Pass Track APP was also being improved to make it easier to use.

The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned not only to ensure the enforcement of the SOPs but also to carry out a mass awareness drive on the subject.

Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, Rana Sanaullah, Sherry Rehman, National Disaster Management Authority chairman, federal secretaries of information and national health services, and other senior officers attended the meeting.

The chief secretaries of the four provinces joined the meeting via video link.

It is pertinent to remember that Pakistan has reported one death and 541 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, the highest since March 11 when it recorded 571 positive cases. 

According to the figures released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Wednesday, an uptick in new COVID-19 cases in Pakistan consistently continues as the country reported over 500 new daily cases for the first time in three months. 

Following the situation, the health ministry said that wearing masks has been made mandatory on all domestic flights, railways and public transport.  

The overall tally of the infected people climbed to 1,535,144 across Pakistan after adding the fresh cases.  

March 23 was the first day without any recorded deaths in Pakistan since the pandemic took hold in 2020. Official death figures are typically lower at weekends and holidays because of a lag in reporting.  

The health authorities have advised the people to restart following COVID-related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) such as wearing face masks, sanitizing hands, and maintaining social distance.

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Pakistan

President lauds services of armed forces of Pakistan

They are real defenders of the motherland.

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President lauds services of armed forces of Pakistan

Islamabad: President Dr. Arif Alvi has called for creating skilled human resources to compete with world in various sectors of life.

He was addressing the graduation ceremony of 35th Air War Course at Pakistan Air Force Air War College Faisal in Karachi on Wednesday.

Dr Arif Alvi said that targets of development could only be achieved today by fully mobilizing human resources and adopting technological advancements and modern methods.

The President lauded the services of the armed forces of Pakistan and said that they are real defenders of the motherland.

As per reports, 70 officers of all the three armed forces of Pakistan and friendly country passed out— 35 from Pakistan Air Force, ten from Pakistan Army and seven from Pakistan Navy. 

Participants from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Jordon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Iraq were also part of the course. 

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Pakistan

LHC to announce verdict on pleas against Hamza's election as CM Punjab

LHC will announce the reserved verdict at 12:30pm on Thursday.

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LHC to announce  verdict on pleas against Hamza's election as CM Punjab

Lahore: The Lahore High Court (LHC) will announce the reserved verdict on pleas against the election of Hamza Shahbaz as Chief Minister of Punjab.

According to details, a five-member larger bench headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan resumed hearing the pleas today.

During the hearing, the bench sought arguments from Hamza’s lawyer that whether the Supreme Court’s verdict on the presidential reference related to defecting lawmakers applies to past events.

Hamza’s counsel maintained that the ruling doesn’t apply to past events unless the apex court itself says so.

Later, the court reserved the verdict and will announce it tomorrow at 12:30 pm.

In a previous hearing, the high court had hinted at holding fresh election for the post of Punjab’s chief minister under April 16 circumstances, when incumbent Hamza Shahbaz was elected in a poll on a court order. 

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