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POL prices – fresh wave of inflation gives the masses sleepless nights

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POL prices - fresh wave of inflation gives the masses sleepless nights

The masses were rudely awakened to a spike in the prices of petroleum products amid back-breaking inflation on Sunday.

The government, like all previous dispensations, has added fuel to the fire of inflation consuming the masses. The increase in the POL prices was expected but the quantum and the clandestine way in which it has been announced reeks of apathy, citizens complain.

The government didn’t even wait for the fortnight to complete and increased the prices in the dead of the night. It also failed to ensure availability of fuel days before it took the “tough decision”.

After the announcement the prices are:

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High Speed Diesel -Rs262.80 per litre

Petrol – Rs249.80 per litre

Kerosene Oil – Rs189.83 per litre

Light Diesel Oil – Rs187 per litre

What led to another crushing increase in the POL product’s prices?

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Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday announced a whopping Rs35 a litre increase in the prices of petrol – a day after PML-N senior vice president Maryam Nawaz urged the nation to have faith in the financial czar’s capability to bring the country back from economic abyss.

Mr Dar said the incumbent government had been making utmost efforts to control the worsening financial conditions and also assured people of pulling the state out of these difficult times.

The reasons behind the increase may include:

Artificial shortages and hoarding of fuel

The finance minister explained that the increase in the prices was done on the recommendation of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) after it pointed out the reports of artificial shortages and hoarding of fuel in anticipation of increase in price.

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Mr Dar said the price rise had been done immediately to tackle the said issue.

To complete the bailout plan

The decision to increase the prices of POL products coincides with arrival of an IMF team in the country to iron out the issues hindering approval of a bailout tranche.

Pakistan needs to complete the ninth review of a $7 billion IMF programme. The programme would lead to a disbursement of $1.2 billion and also open the gates to inflows from other countries.

The conditions imposed by the IMF include increasing prices of POL products and also raising more taxes.

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Higher cost in global market

The Pakistani rupee’s value has drastically fallen against the US dollar since Thursday. This marks the largest depreciation in both absolute and percentage terms since the new exchange rate system was introduced in 1999.

Mr Dar mentioned the higher cost of buying energy in the global market.

“We will have to take the rise in international oil prices and the rupee into account,” he said.

Nation cries out for relief in prices

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With the crushing increase in the POL prices, it has become thrice as difficult for people to survive the already challenging monetary circumstances.

Speaking to Dunya News, some people said the recent increase in the prices of petrol and diesel had left people high and dry.

“The poor are already suffering due to high inflation and unemployment; if it keeps on increasing like this, how can one survive,” said a local.

Many others shared how difficult it was to make both ends meet and feed their families.

Another person appeals to the government to think of the poor and have mercy on them by decreasing the prices.

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Pakistan mourns President Raisi’s death; PM, president express sorrow

Pakistan mourns President Raisi’s death; PM, president express sorrow

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Pakistan mourns President Raisi's death; PM, president express sorrow

 Pakistan is observing a day of mourning today to express solidarity with the people of Iran following the shocking news of the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in the country’s northwest.

“Pakistan will observe a day of mourning, and the flag will fly at half-mast as a mark of respect for President Raisi and his companions and in solidarity with Brotherly Iran,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wrote in a post on social media platform X, expressing shock over the demise.

“Had been anxiously following developments regarding the reported crash landing of President Raisi’s helicopter. Was hoping for good news. Alas, this was not to be,” PM Shehbaz remarked as he extended deepest condolences and sympathies to the Iranian people on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan.

Shehbaz prayed that may Allah grant the martyrs a high place in Jannat al-Firdous and give patience to their families and the Iranian nation for this tragedy.

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“Pakistan had the pleasure of hosting President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on a historic visit less than a month ago. They were good friends of Pakistan,” the premier added in his post.

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Turkish FM meets COAS Munir, lauds army’s role for regional peace, stability

Turkish FM meets COAS Munir, lauds army’s role for regional peace, stability

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Turkish FM meets COAS Munir, lauds army's role for regional peace, stability

 Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir here on Monday.

According to the military’s media wing, the army chief and the Turkish minister discussed matters of mutual interest during the meeting.

The Turkish minister appreciated the role of the Pakistan Army in maintaining peace and stability in the region, the ISPR said in a statement.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction at the deep bilateral relations based on historical, cultural and religious ties between the two countries.

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Foreign Minister of Turkiye Hakan Fidan arrived in Pakistan for a two-day official visit on Sunday.

According to the Foreign Office, Additional Foreign Secretary Ahmed Naseem Warraich received the foreign dignitary at the airport.

The Turkish minister will also hold a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said.

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LHC gives Punjab government ultimatum for judges’ appointment

LHC gives Punjab government ultimatum for judges’ appointment

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LHC gives Punjab government ultimatum for judges' appointment

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued an ultimatum to the Punjab government regarding the appointment of judges.

Chief Justice Shehzad Ahmed Khan presided over a hearing on the Punjab government’s petition to transfer cases from LHC’s anti-terrorism court 1 Rawalpindi to another court.

During the proceedings, the advocate general Punjab informed the court that a government committee had consulted with Punjab Chief Minister on the matter of judges’ appointment, assuring that it had been prioritized for the upcoming cabinet session.

However, Chief Justice Khan inquired about the timeline for the next cabinet session, expressing dissatisfaction with the absence of immediate action.

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The Chief Justice ruled that either a special cabinet meeting should have been called or the government committee should have appeared before the court after completing its task.

In response, the advocate general assured that the matter would be resolved in the cabinet session scheduled for Friday.

Expressing dismay over the absence of the government committee in court, Chief Justice Khan deemed it disrespectful.

The advocate general promptly promised the committee’s presence within half an hour upon receiving the court’s call order.

Consequently, the court directed the Punjab CM and the cabinet to issue a notification regarding judges’ appointment before the next hearing.

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The court also warned that if the notification was not issued by then, the Punjab Chief Minister would be required to appear in the next hearing.

Addressing any potential concerns, the advocate general clarified that the government had no objections to the names recommended by the court for judges’ appointment.

Consequently, the case hearing has been adjourned until May 24.

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