Tag Archives: Pakistan

COVID-19: Qatar Airways pause operations in Pakistan.


Qatar Airways has temporarily suspended its flight operations in Pakistan due to unknown reasons, said sources on Tuesday.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) gave permission to the airline for landing special flights in Pakistan. The foreign airline was operating flights in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar.

The airline sources said that Qatar Airways suspended its flights to Pakistan due to unknown reasons.

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The decision came at the time when the aviation authority held a meeting with the country managers of international airlines operating within Pakistan to seek suggestions pertaining to the resumption of international flights.

Additional Director General Air Vice Marshal Tanveer Bhatti chaired the meeting at the CAA headquarters. Suggestions were sought from the officials of international airlines for resuming flight schedule during the meeting.

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Earlier, Qatar Airways announced it would operate four special flights to bring back Pakistanis stranded in abroad.

The flights are part of a large repatriation operation being carried out by Pakistan in collaboration with Qatar authorities.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Pakistan set to repay debt with huge loan request


The Pakistan government has decided to seek biggest-ever loan in country’s history to repay its

The Pakistan government has decided to seek biggest-ever loan in country’s history to repay its whopping foreign debt as the Finance Ministry mulling borrowing $15 billion in foreign loans during the next financial year, N.Rs quote sources on Sunday.

The sources said that the huge loan will be taken from the Asian Development Bank, China, Saudi Arabia and other financial institutions.

It is estimated that nearly $10 billion will be used to return the maturing loans while remaining money will become part of the external public debt which soared to $86.4 billion as of end-March this year.

New loans will be obtained to repay old ones as per the debt repayment scheduled while in the next fiscal year Pakistan government has to repay the $10 billion as the number of interest payments on loans has been multiplying.

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As per media reports, the External Debt in Pakistan decreased to 109949 USD Million in the first quarter of 2020 from 111047 USD million in the fourth quarter of 2019. It is pertinent to note that in Pakistan, external debt is a part of the total debt that is owed to creditors outside the country.

There are several indicators to which the government has decided to take the biggest-ever loan in the history of Pakistan, including Covid-19 impact on the economy and since pandemic hit the country there has been economic slowdown that forcing Pakistan to cut the key interest rate further to 8 percent while rupee value hitting a record low.

The State Bank said wholesale inflation eased to near 2-year low, and Pakistan’s inflation rate at a 10-month low of 9.5 per cent while Moody’s changed Pakistan outlook to stable.

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Pakistan and IMF

Pakistan and the IMF since 1958 have signed 21 agreements including the 12 Stand-by Agreements (SBAs) or as in economists call bail-outs with the IMF. It is relevant to mention here that these SABs have to be repaid within 3.5 and 5 years but due to the COVID-19.

In April 2020, Pakistan got its unexpected economic relief amid COVID-19. On April 16, IMF under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) scheme approved a loan of $1.4 billion for Pakistan.


#Newsworthy…

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Locusts attack: Operation against plant devoring locust intensified


The joint teams of Ministry of Food Security, agriculture department and Pakistan Army are carrying out survey and controlled operation in different parts of the country, said National Locust Control Centre.

According to officials, 1,124 teams are taking part in the drive in 58 affected districts, during which survey has been completed in an area of 221,561 square kilometres with control operation conducted on 4,728 square kilometres.

During the past 24 hours, survey and control operation were conducted over an area of 3,247 square kilometres and 36 square kilometres respectively, where 2,330 litres of pesticides had been used.

Aerial spray using planes and helicopters is part of the control operation which has so far been completed in an area of 2,650 square kilometres in Balochistan, 1,465 in Punjab, 351 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 254 square kilometres in Sindh.

Meanwhile, former president Asif Ali Zardari joined the discussion on the locust issue, as he said on Wednesday that locusts had destroyed crops but the federal government seemingly did not have any planning.

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Zardari said he had been warning about the destruction caused by locusts from day one.

Locusts have engulfed the entire country and destroyed the crops, he said, adding that ignoring a serious problem like locusts were condemnable.

Earlier on Tuesday, PML-N secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday blasted the government for not doing anything to control the locust attack, saying spending Rs100 million on a timely spray at entry points [to the country] would have saved the country from Rs800 billion loss to crops.

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In a tweet, Ahsan described it as another disaster on the part of the government and said crops and plants had been destroyed over hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

He also addressed a press conference and said the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) had warned Pakistan about the locust attack and their path, but the government did not pay any attention.

The incompetent and inexperienced government creates a new problem for Pakistan every day, as they do not believe that they have entered the power corridors after leaving the D-Chowk, the senior PML-N leader remarked at a press conference in Lahore.

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Ahsan said the government believed that getting the political rivals arrested through NAB was a solution to all the problems.

The only thing they do is the character assassination of opposition, the only thing they do is disrespecting the opposition, he added.


#Newsworthy…

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PIA Plane Crash: Case fall on CEO


Civil society too came into action over the tragic plane crash in Karachi, as an application was filed with the Model

Civil society too came into action over the tragic plane crash in Karachi, as an application was filed with the Model Colony Police Station, declaring PIA CEO Arshad Malik and others responsible for the death of 97 people, reported NobleReporters

The application filed by Rizwan Khanzada sought filing of a case against Malik, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, PIA chief engineer and the relevant team.

The applicant says the technical team as well as ground and flight engineers should also be nominated as why “the out-of-order plane” was allowed to fly. Why the ground engineer and his subordinates allowed the plane to fly if the engine was out-of-order, he added.

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Malik, Sarwar and others should be investigated over poor performance and negligence, he said, adding that those pushing the passengers into death must not be forgiven.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sindh Minister Saeed Ghani told a press conference in Karachi that the PIA and Civil Aviation Authority heads should be removed immediately.

Describing the committee formed to probe the PIA plane crash just a drama, he also called for formation of an impartial inquiry commission.

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Malik is responsible for the crash, he said, adding that the probe could not be impartial as the CEO had already shared the details of investigation.

Ghani accused Malik of terrifying the people so that no one could speak up. The responsibility is being shifted to those who are now not in this world, said the PPP leader.

The Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) members should be made part of the inquiry team, he stressed.

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Similar views about the committee were earlier expressed by PPP leader Nafisa Shah as the Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) has already questioned the composition, expressing their doubts over the possible outcome.

Meanwhile, even days after a PIA plane crashed into a residential area in Karachi with at least 99 people on board, families of the victims are waiting for an official communication from the PIA on delivery of DNA reports and bodies of their near and dear ones.

With the passage of time, families of the victims are losing their patience. On Tuesday, relatives of some plane crash victims took to Twitter to vent their anger and frustration on PIA’s “callousness, insensitivity and incompetence” in the wake of the tragic incident.

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Adil Rahman, who introduces himself on Twitter as “Grieving Son of Wahida and Fazal Rahmaan”, says he lost both his parents in the PIA plane crash in Karachi on May 22 and now incompetence of the PIA authorities in handling the post-crash situation is adding to his misery.

Adil Rahman tweeted: “I lost both my parents in this tragic & horrific crash. I submit to Allah’s will. However the ordeal we are suffering at the hands of #PIA is inexcusable. Callous, Insensitive, incompetent…. #PIAPlaneCrash”

He slammed the PIA authorities for failing to develop a communication protocol for families of the plane crash victims. He wrote on Twitter: “@Official_PIA it has been 4 days, how hard is it to organize a communication protocol that is both accurate and compassionate. Why are we getting multiple phone calls at every shift change asking extremely crudely, “aap ko bodies mil gai hain?”

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Police Station, declaring PIA CEO Arshad Malik and others responsible for the death of 97 people, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. The application filed by Rizwan Khanzada sought filing of a case against Malik, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, PIA chief engineer and the relevant team. The applicant says the technical team as well as ground and flight engineers should also be nominated as why “the out-of-order plane” was allowed to fly. Why the ground engineer and his subordinates allowed the plane to fly if the engine was out-of-order, he added. Malik, Sarwar and others should be investigated over poor performance and negligence, he said, adding that those pushing the passengers into death must not be forgiven. Earlier on Tuesday, Sindh Minister Saeed Ghani told a press conference in Karachi that the PIA and Civil Aviation Authority heads should be removed immediately. Describing the committee formed to probe the PIA plane crash just a drama, he also called for formation of an impartial inquiry commission. Malik is responsible for the crash, he said, adding that the probe could not be impartial as the CEO had already shared the details of investigation. Ghani accused Malik of terrifying the people so that no one could speak up. The responsibility is being shifted to those who are now not in this world, said the PPP leader. The Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) members should be made part of the inquiry team, he stressed. Similar views about the committee were earlier expressed by PPP leader Nafisa Shah as the Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) has already questioned the composition, expressing their doubts over the possible outcome. Meanwhile, even days after a PIA plane crashed into a residential area in Karachi with at least 99 people on board, families of the victims are waiting for an official communication from the PIA on delivery of DNA reports and bodies of their near and dear ones. With the passage of time, families of the victims are losing their patience. On Tuesday, relatives of some plane crash victims took to Twitter to vent their anger and frustration on PIA’s “callousness, insensitivity and incompetence” in the wake of the tragic incident. Adil Rahman, who introduces himself on Twitter as “Grieving Son of Wahida and Fazal Rahmaan”, says he lost both his parents in the PIA plane crash in Karachi on May 22 and now incompetence of the PIA authorities in handling the post-crash situation is adding to his misery. Adil Rahman tweeted: “I lost both my parents in this tragic & horrific crash. I submit to Allah’s will. However the ordeal we are suffering at the hands of #PIA is inexcusable. Callous, Insensitive, incompetent…. #PIAPlaneCrash” He slammed the PIA authorities for failing to develop a communication protocol for families of the plane crash victims. He wrote on Twitter: “@Official_PIA it has been 4 days, how hard is it to organize a communication protocol that is both accurate and compassionate. Why are we getting multiple phone calls at every shift change asking extremely crudely, “aap ko bodies mil gai hain?”


#Newsworthy…

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PIA Plane Crash: Grieving Son Cries Out says ‘Have Mercy on my Deceased Parents’ (Details)


Even four days after a PIA plane crashed into a residential area in Karachi with at least 99 people on board, families of the victims are waiting for an official communication from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on delivery of DNA reports and bodies of their near and dear ones.

With the passage of time, families of the victims are losing their patience. On Tuesday, relatives of some plane crash victims took to Twitter to vent their anger and frustration on PIA’s “callousness, insensitivity and incompetence” in the wake of the tragic incident.

Adil Rahman, who introduces himself on Twitter as “Grieving Son of Wahida and Fazal Rahmaan”, says he lost both his parents in the PIA plane crash in Karachi on May 22 and now incompetence of the PIA authorities in handling the post-crash situation is adding to his misery.

Adil Rahman tweeted: “I lost both my parents in this tragic & horrific crash. I submit to Allah’s will. However the ordeal we are suffering at the hands of #PIA is inexcusable. Callous, Insensitive, incompetent…. #PIAPlaneCrash”Adil Rahman@Arnahstl

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He slammed the PIA authorities for failing to develop a communication protocol for families of the plane crash victims. He wrote on Twitter: “@Official_PIA it has been 4 days, how hard is it to organize a communication protocol that is both accurate and compassionate. Why are we getting multiple phone calls at every shift change asking extremely crudely, “aap ko bodies mil gai hain?”

Adil Rahman asked if the national flag carrier ever hired crisis management personnel to deal with such situations. He asked: “@Official_PIA isn’t this your job? Don’t you have any capable crisis management personnel? Why are you so heartless? You wake up the grieving family at 2:30am to ask the same asinine questions, aap ka naam keya hai? Aap ka rishta kya hai? Bodies mil gai hain?”

He asked the PIA to give some consideration to their pain and suffering and said that infighting between Lahore and Karachi forensic teams has already begun. He wrote: “@Official_PIA have some consideration for our pain and suffering. Infighting between LHE & KHI forensic teams has already delayed the victim identification process. Bodies are getting stolen. Have mercy on my deceased parents. do you have no soul or fear Allah?! @ImranKhanPTI”

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Another complainant said he has not received the DNA reports of some members of this family who died in the plane crash four days ago.

Kumail Polani, who introduces himself as COO of the Polani’s Group of Travel Companies and deputy convenor of the Diplomatic Committee of the FPCCI, took to Twitter to lodge his complaint against the PIA and tagged Prime Minister Imran Khan and Press Information Department of the federal government in the hope someone might hear his voice and help him.Kumail Polani@KumailPolani

Another complainant, Arif Iqal says he lost his wife and three kids in the PIA plane crash. His wife and daughter were identified with the help of their dress and jewelry, but his son and second daughter have yet to be identified. In a video message, Iqbal asked @ImranKhanPTI for help.The Times of Karachi@TOKCityOfLights

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Arif Iqal lost wife and three kids in #PIAPlaneCrash. His wife and one daughter were identified with the help of their dress and jewelry but his son and daughter are yet to be identified. In a video message, Iqbal requested @ImranKhanPTI for the help.

As many as 97 people were killed when an Airbus A320 passenger plane flying from Lahore to Karachi crashed near Jinnah International Airport on Friday afternoon. Two male passengers onboard the PIA flight survived the crash, government officials confirmed on Saturday.


#Newsworthy…

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PIA Plane Crash Probe: Airbus team reach Karachi


An Airbus team comprising French experts arrived in Karachi on Tuesday morning in connection with the probe into the PIA plane crash, N.Rs report

During their 16-hour-long stay in the port city, the team members visit the plane crash site and provide technical assistance to the Pakistani authorities.

Meanwhile, the team will carry the black box with them to France for decoding – besides engine parts – which will help ascertaining the real cause behind the crash.

On the other hand, the father of Sajjad Gul – the pilot of the ill-fated PIA flight – expressed his serious reservations of over the investigation team announced by the Pakistan government as he called for impartial probe into the incident, NobleReporters report

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The Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) has already conveyed its unhappiness over the composition of the inquiry team.

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Earlier, the Airbus said it was assisting in the investigation. “In line with ICAO annex 13, Airbus is providing full technical assistance to the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses [Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety] of France and to the Pakistani Authorities in charge of the investigation. Technical support is also being provided by Pakistan International Airlines and engine manufacturer CFM.”

Earlier the runway inspection report mentioned that the plane’s left engine touched the runway at 4,500 feet and the right one at 5,500 feet. However, plane’s belly didn’t touch which enabled the pilot to take off again.

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The Jinnah International Airport’s runway is around 10,000 feet long and there were marks of the engines on the runway between around 6,000 to 7,000 feet.

Read Also:

Arshad Malik, PIA CEO clears Air on crash.

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PIA Plane Crash: Blames fall on Birds as 66 die.

Pictures taken of the plane minutes before it crashed indicated that its Ram Air Turbine (RAT) was deployed. White puffs of smoke could also be seen coming from the engine as well as dark marks on both the engines at the undersides. Deployment of the RAT means that both the engines of the plane have been failed or failing.

Images captured by local photographer group, Pakistan’s Planespotters, appeared to show both engine cowlings of the A320 having scratch marks implying contact with the ground.

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Also, the aircraft is pictured with its Ram Air Turbine (RAT) deployed with white smoke trailing from each engine. The RAT is a small turbine that can be manually or automatically deployed as a last resort electric source for the aircraft’s main electrical supply.

It is automatically deployed should the main electrical bus bars fail to gain power from either both engine generators, which only have power if the engines are turned on, or from the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), which is normally used during ground operations or as part of a coordinated response to an emergency situation.

Meanwhile, a new satellite video shows the pilot of the ill-fated PIA plane first tried to land the plane on the runway, but then took it off again. For the next 20 seconds, location of the plane is showing over the runway. Then the pilot turned his plane left and continued to fly for another two minutes.

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As the pilot said in his conversation with the air traffic controller that he had lost both engines of his plane, he tried to take a short cut to reach the runway again. However, the plane disappeared from the radar as the pilot was trying to reach the runway for the second landing.

The plane was just short of the runway perimeter when it struck houses in the residential area.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: PIA to charge this amount for special flight to US


The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will charge 1,982 dollars for executive class and 1,385 dollars for economy class as one-way airfare for its fifth special flight to and from the US, reported NobleReporters on Tuesday.

The fifth PIA special flight will take off for the US on Saturday and will return to Islamabad on June 2.

Earlier according to a press release issued by the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, the Government of Pakistan will operate a special flight for repatriation of stranded Pakistanis from the Newark Airport In New Jersey on June 1 for Islamabad. This will be the fifth PIA special flight from the United States in this regard.

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Stranded Pakistanis registered with the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington and four Pakistani consulates in the US will be accommodated on the flight on June 1. Those not already registered are encouraged to do so with the Embassy and its four consulates.

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The PIA special flight will depart for Islamabad for New Jersey on May 31 carrying stranded US citizens/permanent residents. Passengers interested to take this flight from Pakistan on May 31 are advised to contact PIA, said the statement of the Pakistani embassy.


#Newsworthy…

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PIA plane crash: Victims’ DNA reports to be out in 21 days – Pechuho


Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho has said that 19 victims of the Karachi PIA plane crash have been identified while DNA reports of the rest will take 21 days to arrive.

She was holding a press conference with Information and Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah and provincial government spokesman Murtaza Wahab.

The Health Minister said a total of 97 people were killed in the crash while two survived, of which one is admitted in Dar-ul-Sehat and the other was being treated at the Civil Hospital.

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She said that after the incident, 66 bodies were taken to Jinnah and 31 to Civil Hospital including 68 men, 26 women and 3 children. So far, 19 bodies have been identified and handed over to their families.

Pechuho said that so far DNA samples of 97 bodies have been taken and 47 relatives have also submitted samples of their DNA. The final DNA reports will take 21 days, she added.

Replying to a question, the provincial health minister said that the governor misstated about DNA as we have set up a high quality laboratory in Sindh and all DNA tests will be conducted in the lab of Karachi University.

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On this occasion, Murtaza Wahab said that six residents of the neighbourhood were injured because of the plane crash while 16 were displaced who have now been moved to a local hotel. Moreover, 19 houses, 10 vehicles and three motorcycles were also affected because of the plane crash.

The Sindh government spokesman added that the fire brigade, the mayor of Karachi, Chhipa, Edhi, civil and military agencies worked together in rescue efforts. He appealed to the public to celebrate Eid with simplicity in view of the current situation.

In response to a question, Murtaza Wahab said that the moral and legal responsibility for the accident lies with the PIA and it should compensate those affected for the losses.

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Health Minister Azra Pechuho has said that 19 victims of the Karachi PIA plane crash have been identified while DNA reports of the rest will take 21 days to arrive. She was holding a press conference with Information and Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah and provincial government spokesman Murtaza Wahab. The Health Minister said a total of 97 people were killed in the crash while two survived, of which one is admitted in Dar-ul-Sehat and the other was being treated at the Civil Hospital. She said that after the incident, 66 bodies were taken to Jinnah and 31 to Civil Hospital including 68 men, 26 women and 3 children. So far, 19 bodies have been identified and handed over to their families. Pechuho said that so far DNA samples of 97 bodies have been taken and 47 relatives have also submitted samples of their DNA. The final DNA reports will take 21 days, she added. Replying to a question, the provincial health minister said that the governor misstated about DNA as we have set up a high quality laboratory in Sindh and all DNA tests will be conducted in the lab of Karachi University. On this occasion, Murtaza Wahab said that six residents of the neighbourhood were injured because of the plane crash while 16 were displaced who have now been moved to a local hotel. Moreover, 19 houses, 10 vehicles and three motorcycles were also affected because of the plane crash. The Sindh government spokesman added that the fire brigade, the mayor of Karachi, Chhipa, Edhi, civil and military agencies worked together in rescue efforts. He appealed to the public to celebrate Eid with simplicity in view of the current situation. In response to a question, Murtaza Wahab said that the moral and legal responsibility for the accident lies with the PIA and it should compensate those affected for the losses.


#Newsworthy…

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Just in: Fawad is just Nobody – Mufti says.


Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman has said that Fawad Hussain Chaudhry is just nobody and he should not interfere in affairs of the Ruet Committee.

Talking to the media after announcing sighting of the Shawwal moon on Saturday evening, Mufti Muneeb said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should take notice of Fawad Chaudhry’s interference in affairs of the Ruet Committee. He said that Fawad Chaudhry has his own deprivations and frustrations. He said that he condemns Fawad Chaudhry’s interference in Sharia-related matters. He asked Fawad Chaudhry to tell the nation on oath how many prayers he offered and how many times he had been on fasting in the holy month of Ramazan. He said there should be a ban on Fawad Chaudhry and he should not be allowed to interfere in affairs of other departments.

Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, the federal minister for science and technology, said earlier on Saturday that all Muslim countries, even Bangladesh, would celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday and Pakistan would be the only country in the world to celebrate the religious festival on Monday if the moon is not sighted on Saturday evening.

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Giving scientific data, Fawad told a press conference: “The Shawwal moon was born on May 22 at 10:30pm and will be visible between 7:36pm and 8:15pm tonight in Badin, Thatta and Pasni.”

Greeting the nation on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, Mufti Muneeb said people should be careful and greet each other verbally instead of embracing keeping in view the coronavirus outbreak in the country.


#Newsworthy…

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PIA plane crash: I feel sad – Former Pakistani PM express


Former premier Nawaz Sharif has expressed sympathies with the plane crash victims. 

More than 55 people died when a PIA plane crashed in Karachi on Friday. As soon as the media broke the story, people started sympathising with the bereaved families and praying for early recovery of the injured. “The today’s tragedy has made me feel very sad,” Nawaz said in a message to the victims.

The ex-PM prayed the Almighty may rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families. He paid tribute to the aircrew, saying he saluted the staff that did their job with dedication.


#Newsworthy…

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Eid Celebration happening in Pakistan on Sunday?


Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai of Peshawar’s Qasim Ali Khan mosque Friday announced that Shawal moon was not sighted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they will celebrate Eidul Fitr on Sunday (May 25).

Mufti Popalzai has a unique and odd precedent to dent the national unity to celebrate the religious festivals on the same day. For the last few years, Mufti Popalzai has been coming up with contradictory statements to official announcements.

This year too, Mufti Popalzai had once again divided the nation by declaring that the holy month of Ramazan will start on Friday, a day earlier than it was announced by the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. The cleric said his decision was based on 9 evidences gathered by the mosque.

Hour earlier, Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman said at a press conference that moon was not sighted and the first day of Ramazan was observed on Saturday, April 25.

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Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had also claimed that the experts believed Eidul Fitr to fall on May 24 in accordance with their calendar.

Fawad Chaudhry, while talking to overseas journalists, criticised the clerics once again regarding the moon sighting techniques. He said that Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai are standing on different paths.

However, this time Fawad seems to be on same planet as that of Mufti Popalzai.

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However, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) had predicted that Eidul Fitr, which marks the culmination of the fasting month of Ramazan, will likely to fall on May 25 (Monday).

Later, the Federal Ministry for Religious Affairs on Saturday stopped the Pakistan Meteorological Department from issuing any forecast about moon-sighting in connection with the Eidul Fitr.

The orders were passed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, directing the Met Office that it should help the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee in the moon-sighting process.

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The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet in Karachi next week on May 23 (Saturday) to sight the Shawal moon.

If the moon is sighted on Saturday, Pakistan would join the majority of Islamic World as the most of the Islamic countries are celebrating Eidul Fitr on Sunday. Traditionally, the Islamic month starts a day after Pakistan that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. So an Eid on Sunday is quite unlikely.


#Newsworthy…

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Arshad Malik, PIA CEO clears Air on crash.


The PIA plane, which crashed in Karachi on Friday afternoon, was “technically sound”, PIA CEO Arshad Malik told a press conference in Karachi on Friday evening.

Malik said that 2-3 days were required to complete the operation and then the Aviation Ministry would launch an inquiry into the crash.

He said he wanted the inquiry report to be completed as soon as possible but could not give a timeframe for that. He said that PIA would not interfere in the inquiry.

The PIA chief said 99 people, including passengers and air crew, were onboard the ill-fated plane and “we have reports of 19 dead in Civil Hospital and 22 in other hospitals” as of now.

He said the pilot established a final landing approach and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) control room gave him a green signal to go ahead.

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“The pilot then did a go-around. He said he is preparing for a second approach. “Now what was the reason for the go-around? Please do not speculate,” Malik said, adding that facts could be ascertained through flight recorder and the black box.

“Nothing can be said until the black box is found,” he said. After the go-around, the PIA official said, the pilot gave a call, saying he “will establish for second approach”.

“Something happened there and there can only be ambiguities until we receive the voice and data recorders.

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I say this with responsibility that when it is received, we’ll know whether there was a technical fault, some other issue, some outside activity, bird hit, etc.

“When the plane lowered down, the ATC asked the pilot if there was an issue and the pilot said, ‘Yes, I am facing a problem,’ after which the communication was cut off.”

“The plane crash-landed in a street: it caused damage but thankfully no building collapsed,” he said. He spoke about the victims and the response to the incident.

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He said that families of the victims were welcome to come and stay at airport hotels in Karachi that have been vacated. All affected persons are going to be accommodated at airport hotels and other government facilities.

He said the Safety Investigation Board “is a government body that will oversee the investigation” and it was “independent of PIA and will operate under its own SOPs”.

Malik said the monitoring of the aircraft’s technical soundness was done by the industry, which has a database through which “they keep a close eye on the aircraft’s health”.

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“I do not wish to give any further information [on the survivors] and I do not want to give anyone false hopes.

Our emergency response centre is working round-the-clock to ascertain the facts,” he said. “I will provide more information as soon as we have it,” he promised.


#Newsworthy…

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Pakistan’s top Model also in PIA Plane crash – Did she die?


One of Pakistan’s top models Zara Abid was on the ill-fated PIA passenger plane which crashed in Karachi a minute before landing at the airport on Friday afternoon.

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The fate of Zara Abid was not clear yet as rescue work was in full swing in Karachi’s Model Colony with dozens of the injured being shifted to hospitals.

The crash comes just days after Pakistan began allowing commercial flights to resume after planes were grounded due to the lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

However, rumours on social media are circulating that top Pakistani model Zara Abid was also on board the PIA flight that crashed.

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Her phone is switched off and her fans expressed the hope that they will be able to see her soon along with all other passengers.

Her name is mentioned in the list of the passengers shared by the PIA officials on social media. NobleReporters gathered


#Newsworthy…

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PIA Plane Crash: Blames fall on Birds as 66 die.


The initial report of PIA plane crash has been submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority.

According to the report, the landing gear of the plane went out of order minutes before landing on which the pilot tried to lower down the plane.

At the meantime, some birds hit the plane and disrupted its engines, resultantly the plane crashed into densely populated area named Jinnah Gardens, Model Colony, located next to the runway of the airport.

At least seven of the 98 people aboard a Pakistan International Airline (PIA) passenger plane from Lahore to Karachi, survived as it crashed minutes before landing at the Jinnah International Airport on Friday.

The PIA A320 passenger aircraft was carrying at least 90 passengers and eight crew members in the flight PK 8303, when it crashed into the densely populated vicinity.

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PIA Spokesperson Abdullah Hafeez confirmed the crash while PIA CEO, Air Marshal Arshad Malik maintained that the plane seemed to have technical issues.


Hospital officials have confirmed death of at least 66 passengers who were onboard a PIA plane flying from Lahore to Karachi on Friday.

Lieutenant Balach Mir of the Pakistan Army is one of the passengers whose death in the plane crash has been officially confirmed.

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Three lucky people who are said to have survived the PIA plane crash are Bank of Punjab President Zafar Masood, airhostess Madeeha Irum and Muhammad Zubair.

A PIA passenger plane crashed in a populated area just before landing at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on Friday afternoon, reported NobleReporters.

The Army Quick Response Force, Rangers, police and rescuers reached the scene as several houses and vehicles were also destroyed in the incident involving the plane coming from Lahore.

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The plane, Airbus 320, was carrying 91 passengers and seven crewmembers.

Respected journalist Ansar Naqvi, senior director programming at 24NewsHD TV channel known to Noble Reporters Media, and senior bureaucrat Khalid Sherdil – CEO of the Urban Sector Planning and Management Services Company (The Urban Unit) – were also among the passengers.

On the other hand, Bank of Punjab President Masood Zafar was also travelling to Karachi. He is injured and shifted to the Civil Hospital where his condition is stated to be out of danger.

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According to initial reports, the aircraft crashed in the Jinnah Garden Area due to a technical fault which was confirmed by the PIA spokesperson.

The residential neighbourhood is located in the Malir Cantt adjacent to the Model Colony less than one kilometre from the airport runway.

Before the tragic incident, the captain first informed the air traffic control about developing some technical fault after which the plane vanished from the radar as the contact was lost just a few minutes before the crash.

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The captain lost control of the plane, the Civil Aviation Authority say. The plane captain can be heard saying “we have lost engine” after which he repeated “mayday, mayday” during his last communication with the airport traffic controller before losing contact.

The Civil Aviation Authority said the Flight No PK-8303 had left Lahore at 1pm and was scheduled to arrive in Karachi at 2:45pm. NobleReporters collects

PIA spokesperson Athar said the plane was fit [air travel worthy] and all rumours on the issue were baseless.

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Details about the cause could only be shared investigation by a team comprising the CAA, PIA and Airbus representatives.

The TV footage showed smoke and destroyed houses with engulfing the buildings and cars. Initial reports suggest that at least eight to ten houses have been ruined in the area.

According to NobleReporters, several bodies have so far been recovered and the many injured shifted to different hospitals while over 25 vehicles are either destroyed or damaged.

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On the other hand, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah imposed emergency in all the hospitals and directed the authorities to launch rescue and relief operation.

Birds, root of all evil above

The names of the crewmembers available so far are: Captain Sajjad Gul, First Officer Usman Azam, Flight Purser Farid Ahmed and three airhostesses Madiha Irum, Amna Irfan and Asma Shehzadi.

Meanwhile, 17 bodies had so far been shifted to the Jinnah Hospital where it is said the health facility did not have capacity to receive more.

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On the other hand, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah imposed emergency in all the hospitals and directed the authorities to launch rescue and relief operation.

Later, he reached the incident site and reviewed the rescue operation. The names of the crewmembers available so far are: Captain Sajjad Gul, First Officer Usman Azam, Flight Purser Farid Ahmed and three airhostesses Madiha Irum, Amna Irfan and Asma Shehzadi. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered an inquiry into the plane crash as Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as well as top political leaders including Shehbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman expressed sorrow over the tragedy.


#Newsworthy…

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Pakistani govt investigate PIA plane crash – choose team


The federal government late on Friday evening constituted a team to investigate the PIA plane crash in Karachi.

A PIA plane flying from Lahore to Karachi crashed in a residential area near the Karachi airport moments before it was set to land at the airport.

Late on Friday night, officials confirmed death of at least 66 of 98 passengers and crew members who were onboard the plane.

In a tweet on Sunday evening, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA) shared the news about formation of the team to investigate the incident and named members of the investigation team.


#Newsworthy…

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Pakistani plane crash with 100 passengers


Earlier today, a Pakistan International Airline (PIA) aircraft crashed in a residential area just before it was scheduled to land at Karachi Airport, NobleReporters report

The aircraft coming from Lahore, a city in Pakistan, was reportedly carrying over 100 passengers when the incident happened, NobleReporters gathered

Model Colony, the residential area where the aircraft crashed, is said to be densely populated.

NobleReporters quoted sources as saying the pilots of the aircraft, an Airbus 320, reported some technical difficulty after which the plane went off radar and crashed.

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Rescue teams of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have since been dispatched to the crash site.

Although rescuers have reported damage to a number of houses, there is no official overall death toll figure from the incident yet. Pictures also show smoke billowing from the crash site.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: 1st death in Pakistan leaves trail behind.


A Pakistani village where the country’s first death from the coronavirus was reported last week has seen an alarming rise in cases, officials said on Wednesday, indicating how quickly the community spread of the disease is taking place in the country.

Health officials said at least 39 of 46 tests conducted in the village of Manga in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, have come back positive, even as the total number of positive cases in Pakistan topped 1,000 on Wednesday.


Reuters on Monday reported about the case of Sadaat Khan, who upon returning from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia had hosted a large banquet attended by 2,000 people. He had not disclosed being ill upon his return and also refused quarantine when his symptoms intensified. Khan, who died on March 18, was the first fatality in Pakistan from the fast-spreading virus.

His case alarmed authorities, who declared the entire village of 7,000 people a mass quarantine zone.


“We tested close relatives as well as some random tests,” the province’s health minister, Taimur Khan Jhagra, said in a video, adding these were just the first batch of results from the village.

“There are significant lessons for all from this case,” said Jhagra.


Meanwhile, residents of Manga, which has now been cordoned off for a week, told Reuters the situation was critical.

“The army has been deployed in and outside Manga. We aren’t allowed to go out of our homes,” said, Imtiaz Ali, a resident of the village.

“The government has taken 98 people to quarantine centers,” he said, adding food supplies were running low.

Another local, Liaqat Ali Shah, said people of the village feared starvation as they had not been able to work for a week, and most were daily wage earners.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Pakistan close border as cases rise to 4


Pakistan is closing one of its two border crossings with Afghanistan for a week to prevent the spread of coronavirus, officials said Sunday.

The announcement comes a day after Pakistan detected two new cases of the virus bringing the total number of infected patients to four.

Officials said the Chaman/Spinboldak crossing point would close from Monday, but the second point at Torkhum in the northwest would remain open.


Pakistan is sandwiched between China and Iran — which are both fighting major outbreaks — sparking fears about the country’s ability to cope with an epidemic of its own.

The country has suspended all flights to Iran and closed land borders.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are divided by the “Durand Line”, a 2,400-kilometre (1,500-mile) frontier with Villages straddling the border and mosques and houses having one door in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan.

The virus has now killed more than 2,900 people and infected over 83,000 worldwide, with an increasing number of new cases being reported each day.


#Newsworthy…