Lahore: Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association (PPDA) on Thursday has gone on strike across the country to protest selling petrol "on low-profit margins", adding that the strike could continue for an "unspecified period", starting today (Thursday) — effective from 6:00 am in the morning.
Chairman PPDA said, "The association will observe indefinite strike by suspending the supply from its petrol pumps from November 25, across the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu, and Kashmir."
On the other hand, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Petroleum said all the petrol pumps of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Shell, TOTAL, and other companies across the country will remain open.
Earlier, long queues of vehicles have been seen at petrol pumps across the country as PPDA's call for a nationwide strike and closure of fuel stations.
As per PPDA, petroleum dealers in Pakistan will go on a nationwide strike today—accusing the Imran Khan-led government of failing to increase the profit margin.
Despite a nationwide strike, petrol pump owners announced that only ambulances will be able to get petrol from Thursday.
It is pertinent to remember that the association had called for a strike on November 5, too, but withdrew the call after the government agreed to increase the margin by 6 percent on the sale of petroleum products within a few days.
Shahbaz Sharif terms country's current economic situation alarming
'The destruction of economy is due to the wrong policies of PTI government'
Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and opposition leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday has termed the economic condition of Pakistan as alarming.
In a statement, Shehbaz Sharif said that the current conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), there are serious fears that Pakistan's defense capability and future system of government will be paralyzed.
The PML-N leader said that another mini-budget is being presented on the demands of the IMF
The opposition leader further stated that next year, more loans will be taken to pay salaries, pensions and even to run the country.
The destruction of economy is due to the wrong policies of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, he added.
CJP Gulzar for returning military land not under defence use to govt
The army is there for the country's defence and not for doing business, he remarked.
The law didn't allow land meant for defence purposes to be used for commercial gains and that such land should be returned to the government after its strategic use, Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday said on Tuesday.
A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan resumed the hearing on the issue of military lands being used for commercial purposes.
During the hearing, the chief justice again snubbed Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Mian Mohammad Hilal Hussain over commercial establishments being built on military land.
"The law's intention is not that defence land is used for any other purpose," Justice Gulzar reiterated. "If the land is not being used for defence then it will go back to the government."
"This is government land," the top judge said, noting that cinemas, petrol pumps, housing societies, shopping malls and marriage halls were being constructed on land meant for defence.
"General sahib, these are not defence purposes," he told the defence secretary, asking the attorney general to explain how the defence ministry would "limit the land's use to defence".
The court said it would interpret the law concerning the land of cantonment boards in light of the Constitution, with Justice Amin remaking: "This is also very important for the institution's own reputation."
The CJP then turned to the attorney general, saying "They must be made to understand the law, who will do that?"
He said a retired major had given the land of Global Marquees, a wedding venue near Gora Qabristan, on lease to a private party, and asked whether he had the authority to do so.
"The army did not take any action against the retired major," the CJP said, noting that millions of rupees were being earned through Global Marquees on a daily basis.
The CJP ordered authorities to demolish a wall built next to Kala Pul as well as the Grand Convention Hall "today".
The CJP expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the defence secretary regarding the case, saying the report "claims the illegally built buildings have been demolished, but they are still there".
The defence secretary responded that he would visit the sites in person and take pictures to compile a new report.
"This situation is a cause of embarrassment for the army and us both," CJP Ahmed remarked, following which the attorney general offered to withdraw the report submitted today.
The court directed him to submit a detailed report within four weeks, identifying the purposes of each piece of cantonment land.
"Under the law, strategic land will only be used for defence purposes," the CJP told the defence secretary.
The secretary informed the court that the scope of the term "strategic objectives" was "wide", saying commercial activities also fell into the category of "strategic defence".
"Whenever the army goes to the borders, these activities are carried out for the purpose of welfare and to keep the morale of the army high," Hussain explained.
At this, the CJP said: "Secretary sahib everything is fine, but where is the cantonment there? All we can see there are houses."
Justice Ahmed pointed out that schools and marriage halls had also been built on Faisal Base land.
"It is being said that Masroor and Korangi airbases are being shut and [perhaps] commercial activities will be started there," the CJP added.
He noted that cantonment land had to be returned to the government after defence objectives were met.
"The army should not compromise on its bigger objectives for petty business," Justice Qazi Amin remarked, adding that the military should be mindful of the sanctity of its institution.
CJP Ahmed pointed out that shopping malls had also been built on defence land in Lahore and Quetta, saying "it is not clear how the Ministry of Defence will sustain these activities."
The defence secretary informed the court that a joint committee of all three armed forces had been formed to check violations of the law.
The CJP further said that "allotting houses to senior army officers does not fall under defence purposes."
"How can the army carry out commercial activities on state land?" he questioned, emphasising that state land should not be "exploited".
Justice Ahmed said the issue was not limited to Karachi, but such violations were common across the country.
Justice Amin said it was incomprehensible why the army needed to indulge itself in business, while the CJP noted that "the army has constructed a tall building on Gizri Road overnight."
He asked that if constructing cinemas, marriage halls and houses were "defence activities" then what was actual defence.
The CJP further said the land sold by some army officers for a few hundreds of thousands had been used to build houses that were now worth tens of millions.
"All the land of cantonments must be restored to its original condition," the CJ said, adding the SC would also review all of the army rules and laws in light of the Constitution.
"The army is there for the country's defence, not for doing business," the CJP remarked.
Later the bench adjourned the hearing for four weeks.
Pakistan grab second spot in ICC Test Championship rankings
Pakistan won the first Test against Bangladesh by eight wickets
Dubai: Pakistan grabbed 2nd position in the International Cricket Council's Test Championship ranking following a marvelous victory over Bangladesh by 8 wickets in Chittagong Test.
According to details, Pakistan National Cricket Team have surpassed India National Cricket Team to become the No.2 ranked side in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 points table.
Sri Lanka is at the top of the points table in the Test Championship while Pakistan has played 3 matches, won 2 and lost 1 match.
Pakistan has won two series under the championship, India is on the third spot on the points table and West Indies is on fourth.
Similarly, the winner of the first Test Championship New Zealand bagged fifth place and England is on sixth spot.
The second Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh will start from Saturday in Dhaka.
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