News from Pakistan: Marriages banned after 10pm, 5-day work week as electricity crisis continues

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Pakistan’s economic crisis continues to deepen, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet implementing measures such as banning marriages after 10 p.m. in Islamabad, moving to a 5-day working week, reducing fuel quotas for government employees and reduced foreign travel for civil servants.

Meanwhile, panic buying of gasoline in Pakistan ensued after rumors of another price hike spread. Although Finance Minister Miftah Ismail tried to reassure the public that there were no such plans at the moment, Dawn reported that people continued to fill fuel tanks at PAK Rs. 210 a litre. Petrol prices were last raised by 30 Pakistani rupees per liter on May 26.

Here are some other key stories:

Pakistani government bans weddings after 10 p.m. in Islamabad

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The Pakistani government has announced a ban on wedding ceremonies in the capital after 10 p.m., reports Geo News. The ban comes into effect on June 8. The restriction would be part of the electricity conservation plan as the country faces an electricity crisis. Pakistan is facing a balance of payments crisis with foreign exchange reserves falling below $10 billion, barely enough for 45 days of imports, a widening current account and a historic budget deficit.

This decision follows the announcement by the government of the restoration of two weekly holidays for public functions. “The Saturday offs have been reinstated. These are difficult times and this was done to control this crisis,” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said at a press briefing after the Cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister, according to a report. Tap Trust of India report.

Pakistanis arrested in connection with Charlie Hebdo attack

Pakistani suspects believed to have links to the man who attacked The French magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2020 were arrested in Italy on Tuesday, the news agency reported AFP. The report did not mention the number or contact details of those arrested. Citing Italian police, the report said the arrests were made following an undercover operation.

A person holds a ‘Je Suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie) sign during a ceremony to honor the victims of the shooting at French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris (Reuters/File)

The “arrests” [were made] in Italy and abroad from Pakistani citizens with direct ties” to Zaheer Hassan Mahmood, a 27-year-old Pakistani accused of injuring two people with a meat cleaver weeks after the magazine republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in satirical daily life.

Economic stability is not possible without political stability: PM Sharif

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Wednesday that political stability in the country was a prerequisite for economic stability. He was speaking at a pre-budget business conference in the capital Islamabad.

“If there will be no political stability, there will be no economic stability,” he said. Dawn. “Let us sign an ‘Economic Charter’ for economic stability and progress and seal it so that whoever comes to power cannot change the fundamental objectives,” he added. Referring to moves to tax real estate, Prime Minister Sharif said: “Until now the poor have faced hardship, but now it is the turn of the wealthy to bear the burden.”

Sweltering Pakistan heat no sweat for West Indies, says skipper

Delayed starts, extra breaks and ice collars are some of the measures taken to help players beat the heat in Pakistan’s one-day series against West Indies but visiting skipper Nicholas Pooran isn’t too concerned about conditions in Multan.

The teams begin a three-match series later on Wednesday in one of Pakistan’s hottest cities, with temperatures likely to hover around 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) on all three days. The series could not be played in December due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the West Indies camp and was moved out of Rawalpindi last month following political rallies in nearby Islamabad. Matches will start at 4:00 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT) and the Pakistan Cricket Board will provide additional ice collars, vests and water breaks, cricket website ESPNcricinfo reported. (PTI)

Pakistan’s annual budget will levy more property taxes, PM says

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that this week’s annual budget would levy more taxes on real estate, which he called an unproductive sector.

“It is inevitable to tax non-performing assets,” Sharif told a pre-budget seminar in Islamabad. “Vacant land for speculative purposes does a disservice to this nation,” he said. Sharif’s predecessor, Imran Khan, had granted the real estate sector a blanket amnesty to launder black money, or what his government would say was to give construction activity a boost after the Covid-19 closures hit the industry hard. (Reuters)

18 dead in an accident

In the southwestern province of Balochistan, at least 18 people were killed and a child was injured after a pickup truck fell into a ravine near Killa Saifullah on Wednesday morning, the Pakistani daily reported. Dawn. Nine of those killed are from the same family.

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