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Army to be deployed in Punjab, KP, Balochistan as agitation claims 4 lives in Peshawar

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As political unrest simmers in the wake of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman (PTI) Imran Khan’s arrest, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan, and Islamabad have called in the army amid violence that claimed four lives in Peshawar, while Sindh is also imposing Section 144 to maintain law and order.

Police have arrested hundreds of supporters of ousted prime minister Imran Khan for violence after his arrest on corruption charges, authorities said, deepening the political crisis in the country.

Four bullet-riddled bodies were received by the emergency room doctors, a spokesperson for Lady Reading Hospital (LHR) told Geo News, while as many as 27 others were under treatment for traumatic injuries related to agitation.

Mobile data services were shut for a second day while Twitter, YouTube and Facebook were disrupted, as security forces tried to restore order after violence killed one person late on Tuesday.

The government said PTI workers had attacked important state buildings and damaged private and public vehicles.

“This can’t be tolerated, the law will take its course,” Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal told a news conference. “These violent attacks were not the outcome of any public outpouring, they were planned by the PTI rank and file.”

Interior ministry approves military assistance

The Ministry of Interior has approved the Punjab government’s request for assistance by sanctioning ten companies of troops, saying: “The army would be working alongside district administration to restore law, order and peace”.

The order issued by the Federal Ministry of Interior stated: “Pursuant to the request made by the Home Department Government of Punjab, vide their letter No.SO(IS-II)3-15/2023 (Security) (1) Dated 9 May 2023, the federal government in excise of powers conferred under article 245 of the constitution and Section 4 (3) (ii) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, (to discharge such functions as specified in the said act), is pleased to authorise the deployment of Pakistan Army troops/assets for maintaining law and order situations across the Punjab province in aid of civil power.”

The exact number of troops/assets, date and area of deployment will be worked out by the provincial government in consultation with the MO Dte, GHQ, it added.

“The date of the de-requisition of said deployment will be decided subsequently after mutual consultation between both stakeholders,” the notification said.

945 arrested for hooliganism in Punjab

In a separate statement, Punjab police said action had been taken against those attacking government property, police force and law enforcement agencies in the province.

“Miscreants involved in violent acts, vandalism, damage to public and private property throughout the province have been arrested,” the notification said, adding that they had “seriously injured” more than 130 police officers and law enforcement personnel during the violent operations.

The spokesperson then shared: “Police teams have arrested 945 law breakers and miscreants from across the province.”

The Punjab police spokesperson said: “More than 25 vehicles of the police and government agencies were destroyed and burnt.”

Protesters had attacked more than 14 government buildings, looting and causing serious damage to government property, he shared.

Furthermore, Punjab Inspector General (IG) Dr Usman Anwar shared that strict legal action is being taken against those who challenge the writ of the state and the law.

He reaffirmed that those who injure citizens, police officers and personnel and damage property “will be brought to justice”.

Violence turns deadly in Peshawar

Following the violent protests, at least 30 people were arrested in Peshawar, police confirmed, adding that cases had been registered against the alleged miscreants.
According to the police, the cases are registered on charges of damaging public and private property, vehicles, metro buses and government ambulances.Provisions of arson, stone pelting, vandalism and attacks on the police have also been registered.Identification of rioters and arsonists from CCTV footage and other sources is underway, the police said.

PTI slams Punjab for calling in army

Reacting to the news, PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi slammed the federal government and questioned: How did the army become available for deployment in Punjab, when earlier it was said it was “too busy” [to perform election duty]?

“We have serious concerns about threats to the life of chairman Imran Khan. Our leader is in the custody of those who threatened him. Secondly, till yesterday, the army was very busy and was not available for the elections, but what has happened that the army has been deployed in Punjab and KP today? The nation is not stupid,” Qureshi tweeted.

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President Asif Zardari emphasizes the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-income groups in the federal budget.

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President Asif Ali Zardari has emphasized the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-income individuals in the forthcoming federal budget for the fiscal year 2024-25.

President Asif Ali Zardari expressed these remarks during in a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The conference was attended by Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday to request complete support from him and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for the next budget approval.

The President pledged to offer complete cooperation in attaining the objectives for the economic and developmental advancement of the nation.

Additionally, please peruse: Overview of the 2024-25 Budget

Both parties engaged in a discussion over the current economic state of the country. In addition, they deliberated on factors regarding the provision of assistance to the general people in the forthcoming budget.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also briefed the president about his recent visit to China. Leaders of nations and governments also deliberated on the development initiatives outlined in the forthcoming budget.

President Asif Ali Zardari emphasized to the Prime Minister the importance of offering assistance to the impoverished and middle-class individuals in the forthcoming federal budget.

The government is set to unveil a budget of Rs. 18 trillion.

It is important to mention that the government is prepared to deliver a federal budget above Rs18,500 billion today (Wednesday).

The government has allotted a sum of Rs2,100 billion for defense expenditures and Rs9,700 billion for interest payments on reserved loans. An allocation of Rs. 1500 billion has been made for development projects.

The budget allocates 253 billion rupees for the energy sector, 827 billion rupees for infrastructure, 800 billion rupees for energy sector subsidy, 206 billion rupees for water resources, and 279 billion rupees for transport and communication. The budget has a GDP growth target of 3.6 percent.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will collect taxes amounting to Rs. 12,970 billion.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been assigned a tax collection target of 12,970 billion rupees for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would need to generate an additional revenue of 3,720 billion rupees, with 3,452 billion rupees coming from direct taxes and 267 billion rupees from customs duties, in comparison to the current financial year.

The Inland Revenue’s tax revenue is projected to reach 11,379 billion rupees, with direct taxes accounting for 5,512 billion rupees and income tax contributing 5,454 billion rupees.

The income tax volume has set an extra objective of 1773 billion rupees, bringing the total aim to 2500 billion rupees.

Conversely, the parliamentary party of PPP convened a meeting led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. During the meeting, assembly members voiced their apprehensions about the budget and stated that the terms upon which Shehbaz supported the government have yet to be fulfilled.

PPP leader Syed Khurshid Shah expressed his lack of knowledge on the specific details of the budget, as well as the agreements with the IMF and China, during a conversation with the media. In the past, the opposition was consulted, while an ally is not consulted.

The government is presenting a growth-oriented budget today, which amounts to Rs18,900 billion.

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Pakistan

The Prime Minister expressed deep sorrow at the demise of the Vice President of Malawi in an aviation accident.

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveyed his profound sorrow on the demise of Vice President Saulos Chilima of Malawi in a sad aviation accident.

The prime minister sent his support to the government and citizens of Malawi during this difficult time and offered his condolences to the grieving family.

Saulos Chilima perished in an aviation accident, alongside nine other individuals, as declared by the nation’s President Lazarus Chakwera in a national speech.

The airplane became untraceable after it was unable to successfully touch down at the Mzuzu International Airport, located around 380 kilometers north of the capital city, Lilongwe. Chakwera has announced that the plane wreckage has been found.

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The court authorizes court reporting through the use of the IHC and grants permission to the media.

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The court has authorized the media to report on court proceedings, with adherence to the guidelines specified in a Supreme Court ruling.

The Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a written ruling granting approval for the plea to delay the hearing of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and instructed that the matter be scheduled for a hearing in the first week of July.

The ruling is a result of petitions submitted by the Islamabad High Court Journalist Association, press association, and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which contested the PEMRA announcement.

On May 24th, the IHC sent notifications to PEMRA and the information secretary after receiving a petition that questioned the authority’s prohibition on publishing judicial proceedings. The court issued an injunction preventing PEMRA from imposing any disciplinary measures on television channels based on the present notification.

The court has also issued a notice regarding a miscellaneous petition that seeks to completely halt the PEMRA notification. This lawsuit exemplifies the ongoing legal dispute regarding the control of media coverage of court proceedings and the delicate balance between media freedom and the integrity of the judiciary.

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