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Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif directs to prepare practical proposals for development of mining sector

Different proposals were discussed for harnessing high-quality coal, iron ore, and other precious minerals.

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PM Shehbaz Sharif directs to prepare practical proposals for development of mining sector
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday stressed the use of modern technology for the exploration of minerals and also for effective utilization of raw materials for power generation.

The prime minister stated this in a meeting with a delegation of All Pakistan Mines and Minerals Association led by Minister for Housing and Works Maulana Abdul Wasay.

The meeting discussed various sessions of discussions carried out to harmonize the exploration and drainage system of high-quality coal, iron ore, and other precious minerals keeping in view international standards.

He directed to take benefit from the reserves of coal in Thar and Lakhra and also the iron cores in Mianwali and Chiniot.

The Prime Minister directed to present a report on the development of the mining sector in the country and also set up a committee comprising representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Industry and Production, Federal Board of Revenue, and other relevant provincial commissions.

In addition, the Prime Minister also directed the concerned authorities to form a sub-committee headed by the Petroleum Minister Dr. Musaddiq Malik, to oversee the development of the mining sector.

Regional

Eid al-Adha: Pakistan railways to run three special trains

Pakistan Railways announced on Saturday that three special train services would be run on the occasion of Eid ul Azha.

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Eid al-Adha: Pakistan railways to run three special trains

Lahore: In a bid to facilitate the passengers, Pakistan Railways has announced to run three special trains on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha on multiple routes. 

The spokesperson of Pakistan railways said that the first Eid special train will leave from Quetta to Peshawar on Friday at 10 am. 

The second special train will leave Karachi for Lahore on Friday, while the third Eid special train from Lahore to Karachi on July 13. 

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Regional

LG polls: Re-polling in 8 districts of Balochistan underway

Local government elections were postponed in the aforementioned districts on May 29.

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LG polls: Re-polling in 8 districts of Balochistan underway

Quetta: Re-polling of local government elections in thirteen wards of eight districts of Balochistan is underway.

According to a notification of Provincial Election Commissioner Office Balochistan, polling will continue till 5:00 pm without any break.

Election Commission of Pakistan has established a Central Control Room in Islamabad and Provincial Election Commissioner’s office in Quetta for monitoring and registering complaints related to re-polling of local government elections.  

Re-polling will be held in eight districts including Dakki, Qila Abdullah, Ziarat, Loralai, Panjgor, Sibbi, Noshki and Kech.

Local government elections were postponed in the aforementioned districts on May 29, 2022, due to law and order and other incidents.   

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Sports

US basketball star goes on trial in Russia on drug charges

Brittney Griner was formally told at this first hearing that she was charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia

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US basketball star goes on trial in Russia on drug charges

US basketball star Brittney Griner went on trial in a court on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday to hear drug charges that could see her serve up to 10 years in a Russian jail.

Griner, 31, was formally told at this first hearing that she was charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia. She spoke to say she understood the charges. The judge set the next hearing for July 7.

Griner, who has played regularly in Russia as well as in the U.S. Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), was arrested at a Moscow airport in February, allegedly with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

The case takes place against a backdrop of high tension between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine. U.S. officials say Griner has been detained wrongfully.

Griner arrived at Khimki City Court, near Sheremetyevo Airport, in handcuffs shortly after noon (0900 GMT), wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt and sneakers without laces.

Three employees of the U.S. embassy, including deputy chief of mission Elizabeth Rood, were present in the courtroom. Griner sat in the defendant's cage with a plastic bag of cookies and a bottle of mineral water.

Griner told a Reuters reporter she was finding detention hard because she could not speak Russian, and that she was unable to keep up her fitness because she could do only general exercises such as stretching.

Her lawyers declined to say how she planned to plead.

'TOUGH LADY'

"She is a bit worried because she has the trial and the sentencing in the close future. But she is a tough lady. I think that she will manage," lawyer Alexander Boykov said after the hearing.

Rood said the United States was working very hard to bring Griner home: "She asked me to convey that she is in good spirits and is keeping up the faith."

Asked about the case, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied it was politically motivated. 
 
"I can only operate with known facts, and the facts indicate that the eminent athlete was detained with illegal drugs that contained narcotic substances. There are articles in Russian legislation that provide for punishment for such crimes," he told reporters. "Only the court can pass a verdict."

U.S. officials and numerous athletes have called for the release of Griner - or "BG" as she is known to basketball fans.

Some have expressed concerns that Moscow could use the two-time Olympic gold medallist to negotiate the release of a high-profile Russian in U.S. custody.

Griner, a centre for the Phoenix Mercury, had played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Women's Basketball Premier League to boost her income during the WNBA off-season, like several other U.S. players.

Some have left the Russian league since Griner's detention and Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, while the WNBA regular season kicked off in May.

Reached by email on Friday, the WNBA said it did not have an immediate statement.

Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, told CNN in an interview on Thursday that she hoped for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, saying: "I would love for him to tell me he cares."

"The rhetoric and the actions don't match," she said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that he had "no higher priority" than bringing home Griner and other "wrongfully detained Americans."

"We won't stop working until they are reunited with their loved ones," he said.

U.S. Representative Colin Allred, a Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee who has met with State Department staff handling Griner's case, told CNN it was important for Griner's supporters to continue public pleas for her release.

"At one point the best thing to do was to try to keep this out of the headlines," he said. "Now we are at the point where outside political pressure, outside global pressure... hoping that every single kind of pressure can help."

The U.S. government has warned citizens against travelling to Russia in light of the "potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials".

SOURCE: REUTERS

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