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Protests break out across Pakistan after ECP disqualifies Imran Khan



ISLAMABAD: PTI leader Imran Khan’s disqualification from holding public offices by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Friday steeped the country into agitation as angry PTI workers started protests against the decision, seen as a massive political blow to Khan’s party.

Following the announcement of the verdict, chaotic scenes were witnessed outside the ECP office where enraged PTI workers converged in large numbers, chanting slogans against the government.

According to police sources, three major arteries leading to Islamabad have been blocked by the district administrator to avoid any untoward incident.

The Islamabad traffic police advised commuters to use Peshawar Road or Lehtrar Road as Chungi No 26 and Athal Chowk in Bhara Kahu area have been closed to all types of traffic due to the protests and security concerns.

In Peshawar, protesters blocked a road near Pir Zakordi bridge and another near Stadium Chowk. They also put traffic on hold after burning tyres on the Motorway near the toll plaza.

Meanwhile, in Karachi, protesters led by party leaders Ali Zaidi, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Mehmood Moulvi, and others staged a sit-in outside the Sindh ECP office. Reportedly, PTI workers tried to force their way into the ECP building but were repelled by the police amid thunderous slogan-chanting. 

In Charsadda protesters thronged the Farooq-e-Azam Chowk, where they were confronted by the ANP workers. Both sides shouted slogans against each other in the presence of a heavy contingent of police; however, no clash was reported.

Swabi also emerged on the protest map after PTI cohorts barricaded the Mardan and Jehangir roads for traffic. Life in Shabqadar was also reported to have suffered from the PTI protests. 

However, part of Mardan was seen cheering Imran Khan’s disqualification by distributing sweets among each other. A poor labourer from Mardan in a video message said he was so happy that Khan was gone. “I am poor so I could only buy half a kg of sweetmeat,” the labourer said.

According to reports pouring in from Naushehra, hundreds of fuming Khan fans crowded at Shawera Chowk and recorded their protest, which is currently underway. 

Moreover, Mangora Road in Swat has also been closed by the protesters.

PTI’s supporters have also kicked off a protest at Shahdra Chowk in Lahore.

On the contrary,  Hafizabad, a PML-N stronghold, was a scene of celebration with the N-league workers rejoicing over the ECP’s decision saying Imran Khan’s chapter had finally come to an end.

PTI youths blocked the M5 Motorway near Billiwala area in Multan’s suburbs, according to reports, while protesters sat in the middle of Delhi-Multan road in Vehari, bringing the heavy traffic to a halt. 

Chinot also saw disturbance as agitation hit the city after Khan’s disqualification as PTI workers assembled outside DHQ office in Satellite Town to decry the decision.


KU teachers boycott classes from today over financial, administrative crisis




  • Strike to continue until teacher’s body decides otherwise.
  • KUTS secretary says budget not approved for past 4 years. 
  • Teachers’ strike in evening programme ongoing since Sept 14.

KARACHI: The Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) will go on strike for an indefinite period of time starting from Friday (today) in protest over the non-payment of dues for over a year. 

Speaking to The News, KUTS Secretary Dr Faizan-ul-Hassan Naqvi said that the strike will continue for an unspecified period over the financial and administrative crises until the teacher’s body decides otherwise.

Naqvi added that the KU’s budget had not been approved for the past four years, which had affected the academic and research work at the university.

“The teachers in the evening programme have not been paid their arrears for the past one-and-a-half years, while the permanent faculty members are yet to receive the increment announced in the provincial government’s budget four months ago,” he said. 

“The visiting faculty are being hired at a rate of Rs600 per lecture, which after deduction is reduced to Rs480. Even this is not being paid.”

Moreover, the KU’s structure and facilities were in a dilapidated condition suggesting mismanagement of the administration, Naqvi asserted and lamented that students were moving towards private universities because of these problems in the public sector.

Earlier in the day, the KUTS convened a general body meeting at the art auditorium, which passed a resolution to boycott all academic activities at the varsity until further notice. 

It also endorsed the teachers’ strike in the evening programme ongoing since September 14. The meeting demanded that the Sindh governor and the chief minister take notice of the crises and form a commission to investigate their causes.

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Geneva flood pledges: Pakistan receives only $1.48bn of $10.9bn




  • Only $780m disbursed in project financing as of Sep 2023.
  • Govt receives roughly $700m in oil and commodity financing.
  • Saudi Arabia so far disbursed $600 million as an oil facility.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has, to date, received only $1.48 billion in funding from both multilateral and bilateral creditors as part of the Geneva pledges totaling $10.9 billion designated for the reconstruction of areas affected by devastating floods last year, The News reported on Wednesday.

The progress of project financing, however, has been alarmingly slow, with just $780 million disbursed as of September 2023. Pakistan endured severe flooding in the previous fiscal year, resulting in extensive human and financial hardships, but there was hope for rehabilitation, as donors committed $10.9 billion in the form of loans to support the reconstruction endeavors.

Islamabad, too, has successfully obtained approximately $700 million in oil and commodity financing. Nevertheless, it is an undeniable fact that the distribution of project loans has remained frustratingly sluggish, necessitating swift action from all federal and provincial agencies responsible for pulling off flood-related projects in their respective regions. Therefore, accelerating these efforts is imperative.

“The caretaker prime minister has also taken notice of this slow disbursement of committed pledges as the project loan acceleration depends upon the executing agencies’ ability to implement the projects on a fast-track basis,” a top official of the government confided to The News here on Tuesday.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) had committed $3.6 billion on account of commodity financing, out of which $1.1 billion was planned to be disbursed on an annual basis over a year. Out of $3.6 billion, there was a planned disbursement of $300 million, which was underway during the current fiscal year.

However, the remaining $3.3 billion was still problematic because it was syndicated financing, which the IsDB planned to secure from other commercial banks. So far, there are indications that its interest rate might exceed and fall into a range of over 10%.

However, the oil-exporting giants argued before the government that if they secured local funding, it would be on the much higher side, keeping in view the higher interest rates in the domestic market.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has so far disbursed $600 million as an oil facility out of total financing committed for commodities and oil financing. The government has heavily relied on the disbursements of project loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. From the World Bank loans, there are projects going to be executed in Sindh and Balochistan for the construction of housing and agriculture sectors.

The premier is expected to chair an important meeting to review progress on donor-funded projects for flood-affected areas after his return from abroad, as one of such important meetings got postponed last week before his recent departure to the USA.

The implementation of flood-affected area projects needs acceleration in order to materialise maximum disbursements from the pledged loans, but without improving bottlenecks at execution levels, this wish will remain just a pipe dream.

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Parts of Karachi receive light to moderate rain




The weather in Karachi turned pleasant as different areas of the city witnessed intermittent showers on Wednesday. 

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had predicted rain with wind and thunderstorm in the metropolis today afternoon and evening. 

Several areas of the port city including Quaidabad, Landhi, Korangi and Sohrab Goth received light to moderate rain. Other areas including Orangi Town, Surjani, Nazimabad, Shershah, Old City Area, Clifton, Garden, and Saddar also received light showers. 

According to the Met Office, Karachi is expected to remain cloudy for the next 24 hours. Moreover, the lowest temperature recorded in the city was 29.5°C. 

Different areas in the city will likely receive heavy rain as more thunderclouds may form in the northeast in the evening, said a weather analyst.

The analyst added that there is a good chance of rain in the eastern and southern parts of the city with a possibility of more rain in Malir, Landhi, Gulshan-e-Hadid, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Port Qasim and other areas. 

A day earlier, the PMD said that rain coupled with dust thunderstorms is expected to hit Karachi today with occasional gaps, adding that monsoon currents of moderate intensity are continuing to penetrate Sindh.

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