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Shafqat Mahmood resigns as Punjab PTI president

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  • Shafqat Mahmood tenders resignation amid reports that the party was not happy over response from Punjab during long march.
  • Says due to health issues, he could not continue his responsibilities.
  • In his absence, Shah Mehmood Qureshi will look after Punjab chapter.

LAHORE: A week after the failure of a PTI sit-in plan on the call of Chairman Imran Khan, the party’s Punjab President Shafqat Mehmood resigned from the post over “health-related” issues.

The PTI Punjab leadership remained under criticism for its inability to put up a solid power show in Islamabad, which was also considered a moral defeat of the party against the Shehbaz Sharif-led government. 

Sources revealed that in the absence of the Punjab chapter head, Vice-President Shah Mehmood Qureshi will look after the chapter.

Mehmood, also a former senator in the PPP era in the mid-90s, got elected as an MNA in 2013 and 2018. In 2013, he was the only PTI MNA who managed to secure a seat from Lahore. Nevertheless, there have been questions about his connectivity with party stalwarts and office-bearers. 

The former education minister, after the PTI’s Azadi March, remained hospitalised and underwent surgery on Wednesday. Finally, on June 3, he quit the PTI’s top organisational office in Punjab.

In a statement, he said that due to health issues, he could not continue his responsibilities. “I am grateful to the party chairman for assigning me this role,” he said, adding that he would continue to work after recovery.

Taking to his Twitter handle, he wrote: “It was an honour and privilege to serve as President PTI Punjab and I thank chairman Imran Khan for the opportunity.” 

“It is time for change due to my surgery and convalescence. I congratulate the new President and will serve the party in whatever capacity assigned,” he added.

It is noteworthy that the PTI also has a real test ahead in which it would have to fight the PML-N for 20 vacant seats of the Punjab Assembly. The names of Ejaz Chaudhry and Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed are doing rounds for the next PTI Punjab president.

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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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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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