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Pakistan

Neither Tareen nor Shehbaz, only Imran

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Jahangir Khan Tareen’s group’s ‘rebellion’ has both perplexed and encouraged the opposition. They are encouraged because the grouping within the PTI that was much talked about is now out in the open. What the combined might of the PDM could not do, this group might just be able to accomplish.

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But the opposition is vexed too. If this group fails, Imran Khan may become more powerful. The failure of the JKT gang would lead to nipping in the bud of every future rebel.

Much is being speculated about, especially the alleged contacts established between the JKT group and the two main opposition parties, PML-N and PPP. Rumors say that a meeting between Shehbaz Sharif and Tareen is imminent. The chances of such a meeting are quite dim. Not only is Jahangir Tareen an astute politician but he is also a smart businessman. He takes only calculated steps. Already, the party Chairman, Imran Khan, views the formation of this group as a challenge to his authority. They are skimming the border on the red area. Any future miscalculation could see them outside the party instead of being inside it.

And if by chance such a meeting does happen, then it will potentially have more negative political consequences than positive ones. Imran Khan will have the chance to make his narrative stronger. As is usual for him, he will term this the unity of corrupts. He once again repeated in Peshawar that he will not give an NRO, a hint to the group.

The formation of the JKT group did not happen without reason. The group has three main grievances. The foremost one is that the Prime Minister is surrounded by the ‘Karachi Group’ of his party, who are behind the cases against Tareen. Under Asad Umar’s leadership, the group has become stronger and lobbies for its own causes in the PM office. The second reason is that the group, comprised mainly of members from South Punjab, is not happy with Shah Mahmud Qureshi’s behavior. The Foreign minister and Tareen have a long history of enemity. Qureshi is still unable to forget his defeat at the hands of Salman Naeem in his home constituency. He also benefitted the most from Tareen’s disqualification at the hands of the Supreme Court. Today, although his influence within the government has increased, in his home region of South Punjab, his influence is waning while Tareen’s is getting stronger by the day.

The third and most important grievance is about Punjab Chief Minister, Sardar Usman Buzdar. For those in the know, it is common knowledge that Imran Khan is the de facto Chief Minister of Punjab. Buzdar and Khan are one and the same. Chief Minister hopefuls have raised the rumors multiple times that Buzdar is on his way out. A section of media was also recruited to play up the impression that Buzdar did not deserve the seat given to him. Tareen group knows all of this, yet its target is clear. But silence from the establishment seems to have given the group a hint; proceed at your own cost.

Displaying uncharacteristic political wisdom, the government has decided to give the Tareen group a way out. Once Usman Buzdar addresses the complaints of the group, the forward block will hold far less threat. The situation will shift back towards normalcy although differences will remain. As for those people who were hoping for Chaudhary Nisar or Shehbaz Sharif to take advantage of the situation, I ask, why would Tareen do all the hard work only for the fruit to fall into PML-N’s lap?

And now for the important question, how will the budget be passed through the assembly? Exactly in the same way as it has been since the previous two years. The Tareen group will give their vote, and PML-N will become a silent spectator. Shehbaz Sharif will pay the price for another two years for a shot in 2023. After all, the same page story hasn’t changed much yet.

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Pakistan

COVID-19 kills another 78 as Pakistan continues battle against fourth wave

Islamabad: Pakistan is witnessing daily surge in COVID-19 cases with authorities linking the upswing to the deadly fourth wave. Today country’s positivity rate is on 5.44%.

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As per National Command and Control Center (NCOC), around 2,580 cases of coronavirus were reported while 78 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,865.

Pakistan conducted a total of 47,419 tests in the last 24 hours.

As per the NCOC, total confirmed cases are 1,210,082 whereas 5,304 are under critical care.

Punjab            

The number of patients swelled to 415,654 in the province with 12,259 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 446,045 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,177.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 169,040 in the province with 5,290 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,618 confirmed cases while 344 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 33,432 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 724. On the other hand, there are 10,168 cases in GB with 182 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 103,125 cases in the capital city while 889 people have lost their lives.

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Pakistan

83 more succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan

Islamabad: Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than previous three COVID waves.

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According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 3,902 cases of coronavirus were reported while 83 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 26,413.

The total number of cases has reached 1,190,136.

As many as 1,071,976 patients have recovered from the disease with 5,389 critical cases.

Punjab                  

The number of patients swelled to 406,960 in the province with 12,118 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 440,164 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,030.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 165,980 in the province with 5,155 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 32,456 confirmed cases while 342 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 32,942 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 712. On the other hand, there are 10,084 cases in GB with 179 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 101,550 cases in the capital city while 877 people have lost their lives.

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Regional

New island emerges near Balochistan’s Kund Malir beach

A new island have popped up near Sonmiani beach of Balochistan— discovered by the fishermen sailing along the coast on Thursday.

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The technical advisor on marine fisheries at World Wild Fund (WWF), Muhammad Moazzam Khan said that the new island appeared in west off the coast of Sonmiani near Kund Malir.

“Such phenomena occurs due to geographical changes within the ocean depths,” he said adding that these kind of small islands emerge, remain in place for a while and then diminish back into the waters.

It is pertinent mention here that such Islands had earlier emerged at the same location in 2000 and 2010.

The first known emergence, during November 1945, was concurrent with an earthquake of magnitude 8.0.

The 2nd and 3rd emergences were in March 1999 and November 2010 respectively.

In 2013, an island emerged off Gwadar coast after a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan. However, the island disappeared after some time.

Landsat images of March 1999 and November 2010 emergences indicate appearance of round-shaped island of 4.4 and 5.2 hectare area, followed by erosion and disappearance. The island was composed of mud breccias and circular vents spewing mud slurry and methane gas.

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