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PMDA disbanded, newly elected Information Minster Marriyum Aurangzeb announces

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  • Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announces disbanding Digital Media Wing.
  • Zero tolerance for baselss criticism of institutions, journalists, she says.
  • Bilawal to take oath soon; PM Shehbaz to address nation in a day or two, she adds.

ISLAMABAD: Newly elected Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb Tuesday announced disbanding the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) set up during the PTI government’s tenure.

“An attempt was being made to gag an already muzzled media. But now, whatever shape and form PMDA is working in, we have announced to disband it,” the minister — who took oath hours earlier — told journalists.

Aurangzeb said the coalition government would not allow the imposition of curbs on freedom of expression in the country as she termed the PMDA a “black law”.

She mentioned that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had termed the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) Amendment Ordinance “unconstitutional” due to the efforts of journalists and PML-N as well.

“So now, we will review this PECA law and take all stakeholders on board in this regard. We will also identify the gaps which are there and were used to muzzle the media,” Aurangzeb added.


Important announcements

  • Disbanding of Pakistan Media Development Authority
  • Disbanding of Digital Media Wing
  • Works to soon be done on journalists’ protection bill
  • Zero tolerance for baseless criticism of institutions, journalists
  • More accessibility of information to journalists

The information minister said for the last four years, the Pakistani society experienced suffocation, may it be in the form of abusive language, targeting of politicians, black laws, or ordinances.

“I think we should now move towards a new beginning as a coalition government has been formed that represents entire Pakistan,” the information minister said.

‘Zero tolerance’

In response to a question, Aurangzeb said the government has gathered data on the bot Twitter accounts that were being operated to malign the institutions and run trends against them.

“This does not come under freedom of expression as these campaigns are being run through software. There is zero tolerance on such trends and campaigns,” the information minister said.

Aurangzeb warned the PTI that it could not protest outside journalists’ homes just because their government failed to deliver. “There will be zero tolerance regarding this and we have instructed the inspector general of Islamabad to make sure that culprits are published.”

No revenge; president should resign

Aurangzeb noted that the government would not take revenge on its political opponents, but whosoever has done something illegal while in office, action will be taken against them.

With regards to President Arif Alvi refusing to administer the oath to the federal cabinet and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Aurangzeb said the president should be aware of the fact that he is not a member of the PTI, but has a constitutional role.

“…if he cannot fulfil the oath he took while becoming president, then the best option for him is to resign,” the information minister told Alvi, who refused to administer oaths to the coalition government’s members, and in his absence, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani administered the oaths.

Bilawal to take oath; Shebaz to address nation

Aurangzeb also said confidently that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was going to London, but once he comes back, he would take his oath as the federal minister.

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif had confirmed a day earlier that Bilawal would become the next foreign minister, but the PPP chairman did not attend today’s oath-taking ceremony.

Apart from Bilawal, nine other federal and state ministers from PPP took oath today, including Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Sherry Rehman, Abdul Qadir Patel, Shazia Marri, Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Sajid Hussain Turi, Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari, and Abid Hussain Bhayo.

The newly elected information minister added that the prime minister would also address the nation in a day or two and would announce the government’s long and term goals.

Accountability crucial for govt

At the outset of her first press briefing after becoming the information ministry, Aurangzeb said during the previous government’s tenure, Pakistan’s media industry went through a dark phase, facing a financial crisis, the firing of journalists, muzzling of freedom of expression, censorship, and other problems that the journalists faced.

The journalists were shot and abducted during PTI’s tenure, she said. “…Absar AlamMatiullah Jan, Hamid Mir, and Asad Toor all faced troubles in the last four years, and I stand in solidarity with them,” the newly elected federal minister said.

She noted that accountability by the media was crucial for the government as it helps the rulers rectify themselves and serve the people better.

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Current weather: Will Karachi see any rain today?

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There is no probability of rain in Karachi, although there may be some light rain in some areas of the city, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Monday.

The city will continue to see overcast weather, according to the Met Office, which also noted that the westerly winds had left Sindh.

According to the PMD, Karachi’s current temperature is 28°C, and the air’s humidity is 61%. The wind is blowing quickly out of the west.

“The maximum temperature in Karachi is likely to be 30 to 32°C,” it said. Meanwhile, there’s a chance of light rain in several areas of Sindh.

A day prior, there had been rain and thunderstorms in a number of Karachi neighborhoods, including Mauripur, North Karachi, Gulistane-e-Johar and the neighboring suburbs, Saddar, Soldier Bazar, the Airport, and Clifton.

Surjani Town reported the maximum rainfall of 34 millimeters, while Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Hadid, Faisal Base, Sharea Faisal, and Keamari received 21.2, 20, and 19 millimeters of rain, respectively.

Subsequently, rainfall totals of 18 mm were reported at Masroor Base, 17 mm at Korangi, 15.7 mm at University Road, 15.1 mm at Old Airport, 15 mm at Saadi Town and North Karachi, 14.4 mm at Orangi Town, 13 mm at Saddar, 12 mm at Malir, 5.5 mm at Defence Housing Society (DHA), and 5 mm at Quaidabad.

The Met Office reported that Jinnah Terminal recorded the lowest amount of rain, 1.2 mm.

It rained in Karachi as predicted, according to Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz.

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Punjab sets a Rs. 16 roti price.

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On Sunday, the Punjabi government lowered the cost of rotis from Rs 20 to Rs 16.

“Thank God, the Punjabi government has lowered the cost of roti to Rs16,” stated a post on the social media site X by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif.

According to Maryam Nawaz Sharif, all districts in Punjab and pertinent departments have received instructions to guarantee that this decision is strictly followed.

Previously, on Wednesday, the Punjab cabinet decided to set Rs3,900 per 40kg as the minimum support price for wheat in 2023–2024.

Leading the Punjab government is Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who has approved the Wheat Procurement Policy 2024–25.
Punjab sets the price of its heat support at Rs. 3-900 per 40 kg, according tources.

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How Can I Register Online for the Punjab E-Bike Scheme? Examine the Step-by-Step Guide.

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The Punjabi government has begun the process of registering motorcycles for students in the area on a monthly interest-free payment plan.

At least 19,000 gasoline and 1,000 E-bikes will be given away in the first phase. The Punjab government will cover the applicants’ down payment and markup in installments.

Due to the exorbitant cost of two-wheelers, the Interest-Free Bike Scheme 2024 was created to lessen the financial burden on students.

A Rs. 20,000 down payment is part of the proposal. For two years, students will pay for their bikes in convenient monthly installments. Based on the facts provided, male students will have to pay more than Rs. 11,000 per month, while female students will pay Rs. 7,325 per month.

Whereas petrol bikes would be dispersed in other districts according to population, e-bikes will be given out in Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi, and Lahore.

Take these actions to register for the Punjab Motorcycle Scheme:

Visit the authorized website, bikes.punjab.gov.pk.
Locate the section for registration.
Fill out the registration form with the necessary personal data.
Upload any necessary files by following the given instructions.
Verify the accuracy of the information.
Send in the registration form.

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