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Pakistan condemns Israeli terrorism after airstrikes pound Gaza

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  • Israeli military’s new airstrikes end more than a year of calm.
  • 10 Palestinians killed as Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza.
  • PM says if barbarism had a face, it would be that of Israel.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday condemned Israel’s killing of Palestinians in Gaza as fresh violence continued a second day, ending more than a year of relative calm along the border.

Israel on Friday said it had launched a special operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, killing one of its senior commanders in a surprise daytime air strike on a high-rise building in Gaza City.

Health authorities in the enclave controlled by Hamas said 10 people had been killed by Israel’s bombardment, including a five-year-old girl, with 79 others injured. Israel’s army estimated that its operation had killed 15.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the martyrdom of 10 Palestinians, including a five-year-old girl in Gaza, is the latest act of Israeli terrorism.

“If impunity and barbarism had a face, it would have been that of Israel, which has targeted Palestinians without any care for consequences. Pakistan strongly condemns Israeli airstrikes.”

Latest spate of aggression typical of Israeli atrocities: FO

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a brief statement, said that Pakistan strongly condemns recent air strikes by Israel on Gaza that resulted in deaths including of a five-year old girl, and injuries to so many innocent Palestinians.

“The latest spate of aggression is typical of the Israeli atrocities, illegal actions and indiscriminate use of force against innocent Palestinians over the decades in complete defiance of international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the Foreign Office said.

Pakistan called upon the international community to urge Israel to put an immediate end to the “blatant use of force and flagrant violations of human rights” of the Palestinian people. “It is imperative to immediately stop the aggression,” the Foreign Office stressed.

“We renew our call for a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital being the only just, comprehensive and lasting solution of the Palestinian question, in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions,” the statement read.

In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military said it had apprehended 19 Islamic Jihad members in overnight arrest raids.

A woman looks on as she stands next to a damaged building where senior commander of Islamic Jihad group Tayseer al-Jaabari was killed in Israeli strikes, in Gaza City on August 6, 2022. — Reuters
A woman looks on as she stands next to a damaged building where senior commander of Islamic Jihad group Tayseer al-Jaabari was killed in Israeli strikes, in Gaza City on August 6, 2022. — Reuters

Palestinian freedom fighters fired at least 160 rockets over the border, the military said, some deep into Israel toward the commercial hub Tel Aviv.

Most of the missiles were intercepted, and a few people were lightly injured when running to shelters.

Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar had begun mediating an end to the violence, according to a Palestinian official with knowledge of the efforts, “but no breakthrough yet”, the official said.

Smoke and fire rise above Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip, during an Israeli air strike, on August 5, 2022. Israel pounded Gaza with air strikes today, killing at least 15 people, and triggering a barrage of retaliatory rocket fire from groups in the Palestinian enclave. — AFP
Smoke and fire rise above Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip, during an Israeli air strike, on August 5, 2022. Israel pounded Gaza with air strikes today, killing at least 15 people, and triggering a barrage of retaliatory rocket fire from groups in the Palestinian enclave. — AFP

A Western-backed Palestinian Authority official condemned Israel’s attacks.

“We call on the international community to intervene and provide protection for our people,” Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Twitter.

Further escalation would largely depend on Hamas, the group which controls Gaza, and whether it would opt to join the fighting.

Tensions rose this week after Israeli forces arrested an Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank, drawing threats of retaliation from the group.

The frontier had been largely quiet since May 2021, when 11 days of fierce fighting between Israel and militants left at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel dead.

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Explanation: The increase in inflation in the United States would cause electricity costs in Pakistan to rise.

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Electricity contracts between Independent Power Plants (IPPs) and the federal government not only involve capacity costs, but also have a significant impact on the economy and the financial well-being of the population. These contracts are closely linked to the inflation rate and the value of the US dollar.

Startling disclosures have emerged regarding the exorbitant electricity tariffs in Pakistan. The Council of Economic and Energy Journalists Sage, representing the institute, provided a briefing to leading journalists in Karachi.

According to the information provided, the electricity rate component in Pakistan experienced a 253 percent increase from 2019 to 2024 as a result of inflation in America.

The data presented in the briefing indicates that the capacity charges in Pakistan were Rs3.26 per unit in 2019 and climbed to Rs10.34 per unit in 2024.

The capacity charges imposed on the public incorporate the effects of both US inflation and domestic inflation.

Due to the rise in the country’s interest rate, the interest payment for energy has climbed by 343% during a span of four years. Over the course of four years, the working capital of IPPs caused a 716 percent increase in the cost of power per unit.

The electricity rate has increased by 12 to 20 percent, with 70 percent of the charges being capacity charges.

SDPI experts recommended the government to adopt a centralised tariff policy rather than a universal electricity tariff strategy.

The power generation capacity amounts to 23,000 megawatts.

As a result of the increase in solar power generation in the country, the capacity charges will have an additional adverse impact on the residents.

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Business

Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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Court ruling: PTI to overtake all other parties in the National Assembly

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Eight independents and 84 Sunni Alliance members mean that the PTI will likely have 92 legislators in the National Assembly, according to sources.

PTI’s strength in the Lower House is expected to surge to 114 members if it regains the 22 reserved seats it previously lost.

As for the PML-N, they have 108 members in the National Assembly; PPP has 68; MQM has 21; JUI-F has 8; PML-Q has 5; and IPP has 4.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the distribution of reserved seats, the 77 extra seats meant for women and minorities were taken away from the PML-N, PPP, MQM, and JUI.

The electoral commission had on May 13 suspended the 77 Sunni Ittehad Council reserved seats on directives from the Supreme Court. 22 National Assembly seats and 55 provincial assembly seats are among the contested seats.

There are eleven seats from Punjab and eight from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National Assembly that are up for debate among women. The suspended seats also include three seats that are designated for minorities. In the National Assembly, the PPP received five seats, the JUI received three, and the PML-N received fourteen of the 22 heavily contested seats.

There are no longer any allocated seats for minorities or women in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, with 21 seats for women. In addition to the JUI-F, the PML-N was allotted seven seats, the PPP seven, and the ANP one.

The Supreme Court’s decision has suspended the three minority seats and the 24 reserved seats for women in the Punjab Assembly. The PML-N received 23, the PPP received 2, the PML-Q received 1, and the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party received 1 in Punjab.

There are now no longer any designated seats in the Sindh Assembly for women and minorities. MQM was allotted one reserved seat out of these, and the PPP two.

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