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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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Electricity tariff for domestic consumers hits Rs48.84 per unit

The notification that has been issued by the federal government says domestic consumers using up to 200 units per month are exempt from the increase for three months while the basic tariff for other domestic consumers has been raised by up to Rs7.12 per unit

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Islamabad: The federal government issued a notification and raised the electricity rates across the country on Sunday.

The federal government issued a notification for an increase of up to Rs7.12 in the basic tariff for domestic consumers.

The notification regarding the increase in the basic tariff was issued by the Power Division.

According to the notification, domestic consumers using up to 200 units per month are exempt from the increase for three months, while the basic tariff for other domestic consumers has been raised by up to Rs7.12 per unit.

The basic tariff per unit for domestic consumers has reached Rs. 48.84. For those consuming 201 to 300 units per month, the tariff has increased by Rs7.12 to Rs34.26 per unit. For 301 to 400 units per month, the tariff has increased by Rs7.02 to Rs39.15 per unit.

For 401 to 500 units per month, the tariff has increased by Rs6.12 to Rs41.36 per unit, for 501 to 600 units per month, the tariff has increased by Rs6.12 to Rs42.78 per unit, for 601 to 700 units per month, the tariff has increased by Rs6.12 to Rs43.92 per unit, and for consumption above 700 units per month, the tariff has increased by Rs6.12 to Rs48.84 per unit.

Including taxes, the per unit tariff price will increase further according to the slab.

For lifeline consumers, the rate for up to 50 units per month will remain Rs3.95 per unit, and for 51 to 100 units per month, it will be Rs7.74 per unit.

 

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Pakistan

Court approves 8-day physical remand of Imran Khan, Bushra Bibi in Thoshakhana case

Khan's lawyer, Zaheer Abbas Chaudhary, informed the media that NAB had requested a 14-day physical remand of Khan and Bushra Bibi

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Rawalpindi: An accountability court on Sunday approved eight-day physical remand each of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder and former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, in a new graft reference.

Khan's lawyer, Zaheer Abbas Chaudhary, informed the media that NAB had requested a 14-day physical remand of Khan and Bushra Bibi.

Chaudhary opposed the remand, citing their involvement in the £190 million reference. He argued that the arrests were illegal, as their bail petition was already under consideration in the Supreme Court.

This decision came shortly after the couple was acquitted in the iddat or illegal marriage case. However, their release was delayed as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested them in a new Toshakhana reference.

Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Afzal Majoka had earlier overturned the couple's conviction, which had sentenced them to seven years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs500,000 each. The conviction was based on allegations that their nikah was fraudulent, following a complaint by Bushra Bibi's ex-husband, Khawar Maneka.

Despite the acquittal, the NAB, led by Deputy Director Mohsin Haroon, arrested the couple at Adiala Jail in connection with the alleged misuse of power related to Toshakhana gifts.

The PTI had hoped for Khan's release after a Supreme Court ruling declared the party eligible for the allocation of reserved seats. However, the accountability court directed the NAB to interrogate the suspects in Adiala jail and ordered them to be produced before the court on July 22.

Khan has been in custody since August last year following his sentencing in the Toshakhana criminal case and subsequent convictions in other cases ahead of the February 8 elections. While he has been granted bail in several cases from May 9 registered in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Faisalabad, an anti-terrorism court recently cancelled his bail in one of these cases related to violence against military and state installations in May 2023.

In June, the Islamabad High Court overturned Khan's conviction in the cipher case, where he was sentenced to 10 years for leaking state secrets. Additionally, he received sentences of 14 years and three years in separate cases involving state gifts, both of which have been suspended pending appeals.

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Planning Minister terms New Gwadar Int’l Airport as milestone

Planning Minister expresses hope that this airport will become an important hub of air transportation and a gateway to connect different regions in future

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Islamabad: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal says New Gwadar International Airport, gifted by China to Pakistan is another milestone and flagship project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Talking to the media in Beijing, Planning Minister expressed hope that this airport would become an important hub of air transportation and a gateway to connect different regions in future.

He said the airport is ready to be opened will stand as a monument of Pakistan-China friendship.

Earlier, Balochistan Governor Jafar Khan Mandukhail stated on Thursday that the operationalization of Gwadar Port could significantly boost the region's economy. He expressed regret that the over 700-kilometer-long coastline of Balochistan has not been fully utilized. These comments were made during a meeting with Vice Chancellor of the University of Gwadar, Prof Dr Abdul Razzaq Sabir, and Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Manzoor Ahmed at Governor House Quetta.

The governor urged the Vice Chancellor to promptly research the potential of the blue economy, the development of a modern maritime industry, and the promotion of marine and coastal tourism along Balochistan's extensive coastline. This research aims to inform both federal and provincial governments about the economic opportunities available.

Governor Mandukhail emphasized that for a prosperous future, the University of Gwadar must integrate blue economy revenue generation into its strategic plan.

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