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LHC directs govt to extend winter vacations by 7 more days in smog-hit Lahore

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  • Court summons PDMA director general to next hearing. 
  • Court says that smog is being controlled to an extent.
  • The govt is responsible for prevention of smog, it adds. 

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered the government to extend the winter vacations of schools and colleges of Lahore for seven more days due to the worsening smog situation in the city, reported Geo News on Tuesday. 

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday announced the decision for the closure of the educational institutes while hearing petitions seeking its intervention in the control of smog.

The court also summoned the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s (PDMA) director general to the next hearing.

During the hearing, the court said that the smog is being controlled to an extent. “The government is responsible for the prevention of the smog,” said the court. 

The court then adjourned the hearing till Friday. 

Schools, offices closed for two days

Earlier this month, the LHC ordered closing the schools and offices for two days — Friday and Saturday — weekly owing to the smog situation. 

The notification, issued by the PDMA, stated that the staff may continue to work from home. The order will remain effective till January 15, 2023.

“All private offices being operated by companies, private sector entities and other individuals, within the territorial limits of Lahore Metropolitan Corporation, shall remain closed on every Friday, and Saturday, with effect from 07.12.2022 until 15.01.2023. However, their staff may work from home,” stated the PDMA notification.

Meanwhile, School Education Department’s notification stated that the decision to close the schools weekly is applied to all the private and government schools of District Lahore.

“In compliance with the directions of Hon’ble Lahore High Court, Lahore, in Writ Petition No. 227807/ 2018 vide order dated 02-12-2022, it is notified that owing to prevailing SMOG condition, all Public & Private Schools in District Lahore shall remain closed on every Friday & Saturday, in addition to the weekly holiday on Sunday till further orders,” stated the notification.

It also noted that the chief executive officer of the District Education Authority (DEA), Lahore and the concerned heads shall manage the distribution of homework to the students during the closure of schools.

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Zaidong, the ambassador, said China will fully back Pakistan’s counterterrorism operations.

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Reaffirming on Thursday that China will provide Pakistan with unwavering support in its fight against terrorism is Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong.

In an interview that was broadcast on television, the ambassador promised to cooperate with Pakistan and said that China will protect the interests and safety of the citizens of the two friendly nations.

Zaidong underscored that efforts to undermine the two nations’ bilateral relationship would be thwarted by China’s cooperation with Pakistan.

Also, he emphasized how crucial China-Pakistan relations have become strategically given the changing nature of the world.

In highlighting the transformative impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the ambassador reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to seeing it through.

In addition to creating thousands of employment, he said, “the CPEC has facilitated significant advancements in power generation and transportation infrastructure with over $25 billion in direct investments and substantial infrastructure development.”

Zaidong stressed the value of sharing ideas and knowledge between Pakistan and China, acknowledging their shared security objectives.

Stressing that both countries have a common future, he envisioned their partnership having a greater social impact.

Concerning the terrorist attack on Chinese nationals [working on the Dasu dam], the ambassador expressed gratitude to the Pakistani people for their condolences and sympathy and commended the government for its prompt action.

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Mild rain in Lahore improves the weather

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Early on Friday, light rain in the province capital Lahore and its surrounding areas improved the weather.

But rain also led to power outages in several areas of Lahore, as multiple feeders of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) blew, leaving whole sections of the city without power.

Details show that rain was observed in a number of locations throughout the city, including Model Town, Gulberg, Garden Town, Mall Road, Lakshmi Chowk, Gulshan Ravi, Jail Road, and Sanda.

However, the Met Office has forecasted an additional day of rain for the city during the next 24.

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The government will begin coordinated action against lawbreakers in the Katcha region

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On Friday, Mohsin Naqvi, the interior minister, announced that the government would begin a coordinated operation in the Katcha region to eradicate the miscreants for good.

He stated that collaborative efforts in the Katcha region will make use of contemporary technologies, including drones.

According to Mohsin Naqvi, all security agencies, including the police, should make sure that SOPs are fully implemented in order to protect Chinese nationals living in Pakistan.

He declared that any carelessness in this respect will not be accepted at all while presiding over a meeting to review the National Action Plan’s implementation at NACTA headquarters in Islamabad.

According to Naqvi, failure to follow the SOPs for the safety of foreign nationals will result in severe disciplinary action.

“We have to outfit our departments with cutting-edge technology to eradicate terrorism,” stated the interior minister. He declared that the provinces will receive all the assistance from the federation in this area.

Anti-state forces will be permanently driven out of the Katcha region, according to Naqvi. The interior minister expressed satisfaction with the anti-smuggling operations and stated that all ministries need to make sure that smugglers face stern legal action.

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