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Murree Tragedy: Inquiry committee suggests grand operation against illegal constructions

PMD did not issues any official notice or alert regarding storms before Murree incident

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Murree Tragedy: Inquiry committee suggests grand operation against illegal constructions
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Lahore: While completing its Murree tragedy investigation report, an inquiry committee has suggested a grand operation against illegal constructions, buildings, plazas and hotels in the hilly resort.

According to the privacy sources, a five-member inquiry committee, formed by the Punjab government to find reasons for the happening of the Murree tragedy in which at least 22 tourists died, has completed its preliminary report on Sunday. 

The committee has given a shape of draft to its findings. The inquiry committee will present its report to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar tomorrow. 

As per sources, the committee finds many reasons of Murree tragedy. “The roads leading to Murree should have been closed after three days of snowfall. But they were shut after five days,” the report said. 

The report also pointed that the snow removing machinery sat there but the operators were nowhere to be seen, adding that the PMD had not issued any official notice or alert regarding storms. It also noticed that the Metrological Office warning was also ignored.

The committee suggested that a grand operation against illegal constructions, hotels and plazas be launched and the administration seal the hotels which do not provide car park facilities.

Soon after the Murree tragedy, the Punjab government constituted an inquiry committee to determine causes and lapses in Murree.

According to the notification issued by the Punjab government, the high-level inquiry committee will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary to Punjab Government Zafar Nasarullah while Ali Sarfraz, Asad Gillani and Farooq Mazhar will be members of the probe body.

The notification also stated that the committee had been directed to submit its report within seven days and identify the elements involved in negligence.

“The committee would determine those responsible for the Murree tragedy and investigate whether the government agencies had taken any joint action despite the stern warning of the Meteorological Department or not.”

It further said that the committee will also investigate why vehicles were not stopped in Islamabad to prevent entry into Murree and Galyat.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed grief at the tragic deaths of stranded tourists in Murree, ordering an inquiry and regulations to avert such tragedies in the future.

On his official twitter handle, the Premier wrote that heavy snowfall and a huge rush of tourists caught the district administration unprepared.

“Shocked & upset at tragic deaths of tourists on road to Murree.  Unprecedented snowfall & rush of ppl (people) proceeding without checking weather conditions caught district admin unprepared. Have ordered inquiry & putting in place strong regulation to ensure prevention of such tragedies,” he posted.

Pakistan

PM resolves to equip youth with latest education, skills

Pakistan would host 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Islamabad in January next year.

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PM resolves to equip youth with latest education, skills

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Saturday expressed the resolve to take all such measures that could help in increasing the digital transformation and promote literacy and skills of the Pakistani youth in all forms of education and learning.

In a virtual address at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Kigali, Rwanda, the prime minister said that about more than sixty percent of the total population of the Commonwealth countries comprised of the youth who held the future of their countries in their hands.

“Further with increased role of technology and use of digital medium, we have come to realize that digital transformation is a key to achieve innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth,” he added.

About the CHOGM, the prime minister said that it gave him immense pleasure that they had gathered to think about their nations.

He appreciated the impacts of such a multilateral forum which could create on their shared goals, values, and principles as per Commonwealth charter.

He also reiterated that Pakistan was ready to contribute to the collective endeavours for the development of Commonwealth youth.

The prime minister also announced that Pakistan would host 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Islamabad in January next year and invited the Commonwealth youth ministers to visit Pakistan and explore the beauty and diversity of the beautiful country.

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Pakistan

New ‘storm of inflation’ is impending: Imran Khan

Imran Khan takes a dig at government over super tax; terms it 'economic murder' of people

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New ‘storm of inflation’ is impending: Imran Khan

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan Saturday slammed the incumbent government for imposing new taxes on the industrial sectors, saying that the taxes on the production sectors would further increase ‘inflation’ and ‘unemployment’. 

While addressing a news conference in Islamabad today, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan banged the coalition government for imposing a 10% super tax on large-scale industries— saying that the decision would lead to the “closure of industries”, increase unemployment, inflation, and push Pakistan further into economic crisis. 

“With the imposition of 10% super tax, the tax on 13 large-scale industries will reach 40%,” he stressed, adding that the decision would led to the shutting down of several industrial units.

The cricketer-turned politician stated that the tax exemption on the salaried class has been reversed which would batter them down financially. 

“They [salaried class] were earlier given a tax exemption on an income of Rs100, 000; but now the slab has been reduced to Rs 50,000,” added Khan.  

Referring to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) amendment law, Imran Khan expressed confidence in the judiciary, saying it would not allow such oppression—terming it “attempt of corrupt rulers to save themselves”. 

“If the government succeeds, Pakistan wouldn’t need enemies,” said PTI chairman, adding that these NAB amendments will destroy the country as the "thieves will be exempted". 

It is pertinent to mention here that PTI has challenged the amendments in the Supreme Court and today the former prime minister gave a call for nationwide protests on July 2 against the amendments in NAB laws.

He further added that his government collected record tax in Pakistan’s history and was working to broaden the tax net.

The main protest would be organized in Islamabad’s Parade Ground where Imran Khan would address. 

Khan also urged the people to protest peacefully against what was being done with Pakistan, asking them to take to the roads simultaneously. 

 

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AJK govt presents Rs 163.7 billion budget

The development budget has been increased by Rs. 2 billion as compared to the previous financial year.

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AJK govt presents Rs 163.7 billion budget

Mirpur: The government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Saturday presented its maiden budget with an estimated outlay of Rs.163.7 billion for the next financial year 2022-23.

In the budget, an amount of Rs.135.2 billion has been allocated for recurring expenditure whereas a chunk of Rs. 28.5 billion has been allocated for development expenditure.

The development budget has been increased by Rs. 2 billion as compared to the previous financial year.

The budget proposes a 15 percent Disparity Reduction Allowance, an increase in the revised pay scale, and a 15 percent increase for pensioners.

The development budget includes Rs1.8 billion for public health, Rs 2.17 billion for education, and 12 billion for communication.

Presenting the budget for the financial year 2022-23 in the Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly which met in the State metropolis on Saturday, the AJK Finance Minister Abdul Majid Khan said that the total expenditure for the next financial year has been estimated at Rs 135.20 billion.

He said that total development expenditure was estimated at Rs 28.50 billion.

Moreover, the minister said that an amount of 500 million has been proposed in terms of foreign aid.

Revised budget for the financial year 2021-22, amounting to 135.7 billion was also presented in the legislative assembly.

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