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Pakistan

The Circus Never Leaves the Town

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If it is not the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on our screens, then it is Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) or Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). And if not these three, then it is the government that hogs our screen, its representatives screaming in joy at the developments.

Imran Yaqub Khan Profile Imran Yaqub Khan

One could almost be forgiven for assuming that the people of this country has no urgent issues except for watching the ruling elite bicker with each other.

News channels are demonstrating mastery of sleight of hand by giving time to politicians and ignoring the problems the common man is facing. A Pakistani’s kitchen does not churn out food on the news of political parties backstabbing each other. Neither does he develop the ability to pay his bills as a result of one party outmanoeuvring another one. The populace itself is also to blame, intently watching the show that unfolds daily on their TV screens. They do not reject it, in fact, they inadvertently provide higher ratings to the circus that is refusing to leave the town.

I found myself highly amused when predictably the federal government started talking of accountability for all when Nadeem Babar was removed from his post. Setting aside the fact that after nine months of the investigation, no one has been able to prove anything and has thrown the ball in FIA’s court for another 90 days, how can we forget the example of the sugar commission report that came out just a few months ago?

All of this is nothing but a circus show. A ringmaster points to the monkeys and other animals and tells you that The King will now perform a few tricks. The case of Nadeem Babar is nothing but a trick; The King has to gather all the pennies that will be strewn about after the show is over. While the audience will be enthralled in the monkey and ringmaster’s performance, yet another character will pick their pockets.

Pickpocketing is effectively what the NEPRA amendment ordinance will do. The government now, effectively, has the right to raise electricity rates and impose fuel surcharges on the consumers. Ominously for the country, these will not be minor additions to the already inflated electricity rates. The government will have the right to add a fuel surcharge of up to Rs. 1.4 per unit while the price of electricity itself can be raised by as much as Rs. 5.5 in the coming two years. The surcharge might even rise to a total of 10% of the price. Pakistanis will pay as much as Rs. 140 billion instead of these charges. Perhaps the heaviest loss ever in the history of pickpocketing.

While the audience stares amused at the dancing monkeys, another pickpocket awaits in the wings, ready to wipe their income tax slates clean. Various sectors will be removed from tax amnesty lists. 75 recommended changes in the ordinance include the relief that coursebooks had, while newcomers to the job market will be robbed of the few months of protection they have. Never mind that the two steps will lead to financially stressed parents removing children from school and graduates being even more discouraged than they are, these are minor inconveniences after all.

The show must go on.

To the engrossed audience, I ask just this. Remember that the opposition and the government are, at best, mere performers. Beware of the pickpockets who will rob you clean. This circus will never leave the town, you must not let it drive you out too.

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Pakistan

PM renews call for global action in wake of increase in climate change-induced natural disasters

The Prime Minister said Pakistan stands in solidarity with its Turkish brethren in this hour of grief.  

Published by Mehak Javed

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has renewed the call for global action in the wake of increase in climate change induced natural disasters. 

He made the call in a message expressing condolences to the government and people of Turkiye for the loss of precious lives in an earthquake on Monday. 

Noting that climate change induced disasters are not limited to a single country or region, the Prime Minister termed these a clarion call to the international community to act for survival of mankind and planet earth.        

The Prime Minister said Pakistan stands in solidarity with its Turkish brethren in this hour of grief.  

Recalling Turkiye's support to Pakistan in every hour of difficulty, Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan will help Turkiye in every possible way.           

He expressed sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace of the dead and speedy recovery of the injured.

Meanwhile, in a tweet in this regard, the Prime Minister especially send his profound condolences and sympathies to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif also expressed heartfelt condolences and most sincere sympathies to the government and the people of Syria, who have suffered major human and material losses due to the devastating earthquake early this morning.

The Prime Minister said we stand in solidarity with the government and people of Syria and will provide all possible support to them.

He said earthquake devastation is a message to the world community to get united to tackle the challenge of climate change.

 

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Pakistan

“Will not leave Imran ,” Moonis tells opponents to think again

The PML-Q leader has reacted after police conducted raid at Kanjah House in Gujrat to arrest his father former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi.

Published by Fida Hussain

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Gujrat:  Chaudhary Moonis Elahi, the son of PML-Q leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi, reacted to the police raid on their residence in Gujrat.

Moonish addressed the police, Federal Investigation Agency and others for conducting raid at their residence in Kanjah House.

He made it clear that they would not leave Imran Khan despite raids. The PML-Q asked the authorities to rethink what they were going to do while sharing the video of the raid at Kanjah House in Gujrat.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Police , Fia, and others again at Kunjah House . They keep raiding without warrant. By raiding our house you think you will make us leave  @ImranKhanPTI . Think again!!,”.

The reaction came after his father former Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi said that police rounded up their house in Gujrat.

“Police are trying to enter his house,” said Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi in a message to the reports.

Hundreds of police officials were present there outside the home with dozens of vehicles.

This is the second raid of the police in less than a week time.

According to the sources, the police contingent raided the former chief minister’s home. Hundreds of police officers and dozens of police vehicles reached there.

On other hand, the police raided the residence of Muhammad Khan Bhatti, the former Principal Secretary to Punjab CM, and tried to arrest him

It may be mentioned here that  the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment filed a case against ex-chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s former principal secretary on corruption charges.

He was accused of accepting a bribe over Rs460 million in bribes from Punjab Highway Department officials.

SDO Highway Police Rana Muhammad Iqbal had already been arrested on charges of bribery while the ACE has also started the process to arrest Bhatti on corruption charges.

The complainant stated that Iqbal had given millions of rupees to accused Bhatti to get posts of his choice. “Several officials from the communications and construction departments were working for Muhammad Khan Bhatti,” it added.

The FIR further divulged that the role of other officials of the department would also be investigated.

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Business

LHC declares fuel adjustment charges in electricity bills as illegal

The court has directed the authorities concerned to provide subsidy to the domestic consumers up to 500 units in the electricity bills.

Published by Fida Hussain

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Lahore: The Lahore High Court on Monday declared Fuel Adjustment Charges in the electricity bills as illegal and directed the relevant authorities to subsidize upto 500 units for the domestic consumers.

Justice Ai Baqir Najfi announced the verdict reserved last year in October after more than 3500 petitiners approached the court challenging collection of fuel adjustment charges in the electricity bills.

Justice Najafi directed the federal government to use alternative resources to produce cheap electricity, so the domestic consumers could be not burdened.

The court also held that collection of quarter tariff was illegal, declaring change of tariff without hearing the consumer was against the law.

The judge directed the authorities to produce electricity through other resources including solar panels. The judge also directed NEPRA to take action against overcharging.

The petitioners through their counsels asked the court that they had already been under huge burden of sky-rocketing inflation and the authorities imposed fuel adjustment charges on them. They asked the court to set aside the increase and declare it as illegal and unlawful.

Ends/  

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