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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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Train hits dumper at Gojra level crossing

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At an unmanned level crossing in Gojra late on Sunday night, a train carrying two Rehman Baba Express drivers was injured when it struck a dumper.

Rehman Baba Express struck a dumper at Gojra level crossing No. 99 while traveling from Peshawar to Karachi, according to details. Two train drivers were stranded inside the debris, and the train’s engine sustained significant damage in the crash.

When rescue personnel arrived, they broke the engine’s body to free the drivers who were still in critical condition. All of the passengers were safe throughout the collision, according to railway authorities.

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Elections

PTI to abstain from voting in Senate chairman and deputy elections

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The election of the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman is going to be boycotted by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The PTI’s political and core committee declares that it is unlawful to elect the Senate’s chairman and deputy chairman. The party has chosen to file a legal challenge to the election.

The sources from the core committee claimed that the election of the chairman and deputy chairman was unlawful and that the House of Federation was incomplete.

The constitutional plan was also violated by the Senate election that took place without Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senators being elected. According to sources, the Senate was not operating without a chairman.

The Senate Secretariat was only able to make administrative decisions. The source stated that the Senate secretary was not authorized to interpret the Constitution on his own while under duress and that the Upper House was only able to function as one department in the absence of the Senate chairman.

They said that this was the first time in a democratic regime that the Senate had stopped operating.

The PTI claimed that individuals responsible for the upper house’s non-functioning should face consequences for trampling on the constitutional structure.

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There won’t be a total solar eclipse today in Pakistan.

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This Wednesday will be the first full solar eclipse of the year. But it won’t be visible in Asia.

Around 11:07 am PDT, or 9:07 pm local time in Pakistan, the eclipse will initially be visible near the Pacific Coast of Mexico. After that, the eclipse will pass through a large region of the United States, from Texas to Maine, and into Canada.

The total eclipse will last for four minutes, and the eclipse will continue for five hours and ten minutes.

The eclipse will proceed into Texas, passing through over a dozen states before reaching southern Ontario in Canada, according to NASA. At around 5:16 p.m. NDT, the eclipse will leave mainland North America and go out of Newfoundland, Canada.

According to NASA, there is a path where the eclipse will be visible in its entirety, and outside of this area, spectators may notice a partial eclipse, in which the moon covers part of the sun but not all of it.

In the ensuing two decades, there won’t be another full solar eclipse. On October 2, South America will witness the second solar eclipse of the year. Yet it will just be a portion of it.

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