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SC wraps up Dua Zahra case as petitioner withdraws plea

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  • SC orders Dua Zahra’s father to approach relevant forum to determine her age.
  • Court summons lawyers and petitioner again after reserving verdict.
  • Kazmi’s lawyer says they will approach SHC if request for medical board not accepted.

Supreme Court’s Karachi registry on Thursday wrapped up the Dua Zahra case over the request of her father’s lawyer to take back the plea challenging Sindh High Court’s verdict in the case pertaining to the teenager’s recovery.

Zahra had made headlines across the country after she had mysteriously disappeared from Karachi in April but later declared that she had run away from her home to marry 21-year-old Zaheer Ahmed.

Following the incident, her father — Mehdi Kazmi — had tried recovering his daughter, saying that since she was underage, her marriage was illegal according to Sindh laws.

However, the SHC — on June 8 — had issued a verdict in favour of Dua, allowing her to decide if she wants to go with her parents or her husband.

Unsatisfied with the court’s ruling, Kazmi submitted a petition to the top court in which he pleaded for an immediate hearing of the case and called the SHC’s decision faulty.

A three-member bench of the apex court conducted a hearing on Kazmi’s petition today.

Court reserves verdict

The apex court had earlier reserved a verdict on the plea after hearing the arguments from Kazmi’s counsel. However, the court summoned the lawyers and petitioner to court again.

During the hearing, the court inquired if SHC allowed the parents to meet the girl.

At this, Kazmi replied that they were allowed to have a talk with Zahra for only five minutes in the police’s presence at the SHC CJ’s chambers.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar remarked that the SHC disposed of the plea seeking Zahra’s recovery, asking if the case is currently under trial in any other court.

“Have you requested the court [SC] to recover Dua Zahra?” Justice Akhtar inquired.

‘Approach relevant forum for determining Zahra’s age’

Meanwhile, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar remarked that the marriage is supposed to be challenged in a family court.

“The girl has recorded her statement before the high court and magistrate,” the justice remarked.

He inquired if the petitioner has challenged the medical board’s report determining Zahra’s age.

“Medical examination was performed as per the court’s order,” remarked Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.

At this, Kazmi’s counsel Jibran Nasir informed the court that they have written a letter to the health secretary.

However, the court directed the petitioner to approach the relevant forum for formation of a medical board, stating that the case doesn’t fall under SC’s jurisdiction.

Later, the court wrapped up the case over Nasir’s request that Kazmi wants to take the plea back.

It may be noted that an ossification test carried out on Zahra as per SHC’s order revealed that the girl is between 16 to 17 years of age, with a confirmation by radiologist Dr Saba Jamil.

While talking to the media, Nasir said that the court has told them that they can challenge the ossification test report and seek formation of another medical board to determine Zahra’s age.

He said that they have made a request to the medical board but they will reach out to SHC again if the health secretary doesn’t accept the request.

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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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