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Opposition parties hold countrywide protests against 'unbridled' inflation

Thousands of activists of opposition parties joined street protests in various cities across Pakistan against 'unbridled' inflation.

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Opposition parties hold countrywide protests against 'unbridled' inflation
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and other opposition parties took to streets to exert pressure on the PTI government amid surging inflation in the country.

After the call to protest was given by the Opposition, protesters took to the streets in Karachi, Larkana, Lahore, Sukkur, Mardan, Jacobabad, Mohmand, Ziarat, Mingora and other cities of the country. 

People shouted slogans against the government and rising inflation. Traffic at the Quetta-Chaman highway remained suspended for several hours due to the rally. 

In Karachi, the demonstration started near the Empress Market area, due to which the surrounding roads had to be sealed. 

In Lahore, PML-N members staged a protest against inflation at the Jain Mandir Chowk while carrying utility bills and pieces of rotis (bread) in their hands. Akin to that, party members in Muzaffargarh started a protest rally from Central Jamia Masjid to Qanwan Chowk. Members of the Jamaat-e-Islami also staged a protest in front of the Muzaffargarh Press Club during which they chanted slogans against inflation. 

PML-N's Qari Saifullah Saifi led the protest in Murree. When protesters reached the city's Mall Road, many tourists also joined in. 

In Mardan, protesters started gathering at the city's Kachehri Chowk, while in Gilgit, members of PML-N, as well as JUI, participated in the protest rally at Ittihad Chowk. 

PML-N for Punjab protests 

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif appealed to the masses and asked them to join the protest against growing inflation in the country.

He maintained that giving more time to the government means that people of the country will have to face more troubles, more inflation, more unemployment.

"The economic condition of the country and its people would not improve unless we get rid of this tyrannical government," said Shahbaz, as he directed party leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to ensure cooperation with civic and business organisations and people's associations and appealed to the people to join the nationwide protests against inflation.

Earlier today, PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah had said that demonstrations will be held at Lahore's Jain Mandir Chowk after Friday prayers. The former Punjab law minister invited labourers, traders, lawyers and other wings to support the Opposition's protest.

"The masses will get relief only when this inept and corrupt government is sent packing," said Sanaullah, urging people to come out of their homes and join in. 

PPP's protest 

Separately, the PPP also held a protest in Karachi led by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah against the rising inflation in the country. The protest was held in Karachi's Malir district. 

The CM said thieves of wheat and sugar should spare the poor masses, adding only Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari can rid the poor of inflation.

 

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

World

EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

Embassy is being opened after five months

Published by Faisal Waqas

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EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

The European Union on Thursday announced it had begun re-establishing a “minimal presence” in Kabul to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

“Our minimal presence in Kabul must not in any way be seen as recognition” of the Taliban government there,” EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement. 

“This has also been clearly communicated to the de facto authorities,” he added.

Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster, worsened by the Taliban takeover in August that prompted Western countries to freeze international aid and access to billions of dollars worth of assets held abroad.

The country was almost entirely dependent on foreign aid under the previous US-backed government, but jobs have dried up and most civil servants haven’t been paid for months.

No country has yet recognised the Taliban, with most watching to see how the hardline Islamists -– notorious for human rights abuses during their first stint in power -– restrict freedoms.

Shortly before Stano made his comments, an Afghan foreign ministry spokesman said on Twitter that the EU was reopening “an embassy” with “a permanent presence in Kabul” for the first time in five months. 

Stano said in the statement “the EU has started to re-establish a minimal presence of international EU Delegation staff to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and monitor the humanitarian situation”.

The international community is waiting to see how the Taliban Islamic fundamentalists intend to govern Afghanistan, after having largely trampled on human rights during their first stint in power between 1996 and 2001. 

While the Taliban claim to have modernised, women are still largely excluded from public employment and secondary schools for girls remain largely closed.

Several countries, including China. Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Iran have kept their embassies in Kabul open since the Taliban victory last year, but have not formally recognised their government.

Western diplomats began to evacuate their personnel in the first half of 2021, when American troops began operations to withdraw permanently from Afghanistan. 

The withdrawal culminated at the end of August with the chaotic evacuation of 120,000 people following the Taliban’s lightning conquest of the country.

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Regional

School sealed in Bani Gala after reported coronavirus cases

Not only the students but some teachers too had tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the authorities to seal the school

Published by Faisal Waqas

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School sealed in Bani Gala after reported coronavirus cases

Islamabad: Another school in Islamabad’s Bani Gala area was sealed on Friday after reported cases of the coronavirus.

According to reports, not only the students but some teachers too had tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the authorities to seal the school.

It is pertinent to mention here that 17 educational institutions have been sealed in Islamabad ever since their reopening following drop in the cases of the pandemic.

A day ealriler, following to spike in coroanviurs cases, two more educational institutions had been sealed following the detection of Covid-19 cases in the Islamabad.

According to the reports, overall 20 cases had been reported in a private university’s Islamabad campus and three Corona cases in a private school’s Soan Garden branch.

In a letter to the deputy commissioner, the district health officer (DHO) Islamabad issued directives to seal the two educational institutions.

Directions have been issued to seal the educational institution till further orders besides initiating a contact tracing and testing.

On the other hand, the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) has decided to close educational institutions with COVID-19 high positivity for one week.

According to the reports, COVID testing in education institutes was carried out in major Omicron hit cities to ascertain disease spread among students and ensure accurate disease mapping.

Data suggests a strong correlation between vaccination levels and infection rate in various cities. In this regard, the NCOC decided that aggressive testing in education institutes will be conducted for next two weeks especially in high disease prevalence cities. 

Following to the COVID-19 cases, education institutions or specific classes with high positivity will be closed for one week. “Provincial Administration in consultation with District Health, Education Authorities and School Administrations to set a threshold of cases for deciding such closures,” it added.  

The NCOC further decided that the federating units to carry out special vaccination drives in schools to ensure 100 per cent vaccination of students over 12 years of age.

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Entertainment

Next two 'Mission: Impossible' movies starring Tom Cruise delayed until 2023, 2024

The new dates for the films are July 14, 2023, for the seventh installment, and June 28, 2024, for the eighth movie in the series

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Next two 'Mission: Impossible' movies starring Tom Cruise delayed until 2023, 2024

The seventh and eighth movies in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise starring Tom Cruise have been delayed until 2023 and 2024 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, producers Paramount Pictures and Skydance said in a statement on Friday.

"Mission: Impossible 7" had been scheduled to debut in movie theaters in September 2022, followed by "Mission: Impossible 8" in July 2023.

The new dates for the films are July 14, 2023, for the seventh installment, and June 28, 2024, for the eighth movie in the series.

"After thoughtful consideration, Paramount Pictures and Skydance have decided to postpone the release dates for Mission: Impossible 7 & 8 in response to delays due to the ongoing pandemic," the companies said in a statement.

Theater chains, including AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Holdings Inc, are still trying to recover from extended closures during the pandemic.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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