Pakistan PM orders those involved in violence tracked down and arrested
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday gave authorities 72 hours to identify and arrest all those involved in violent acts after former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s arrest this week sparked deadly unrest, Reuters reported.
Sharif said the cases would be tried by anti-terrorism courts.
“All available resources including technological aid and intelligence are being deployed to chase down these elements. Bringing these people to justice is a test case for the government,” said the premier.
Khan departed court premises late Friday night and headed towards his hometown Lahore amid high security, after a court granted him bail. His arrest in a land fraud case on Tuesday, which the Supreme Court ruled “invalid and unlawful” on Thursday, sparked violent protests by his supporters.
They stormed military establishments, set ablaze a state broadcaster building, smashed buses, ransacked a top army official’s house and attacked other assets, resulting in the army being deployed in multiple cities.
More than 2,800 arrests were made, while 152 police officers were injured, 74 police vehicles vandalised and set on fire, and 22 government buildings, including police stations and offices, were damaged, said the police of Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab.
At least eight people were killed in the violence, a spasm of unrest in a country that is facing economic crisis, with record inflation, anaemic growth and delayed IMF funding, read the report.
Following Sharif’s announcement, Punjab’s government released pictures of unidentified protesters involved in an attack on a military official’s residence on Wednesday.
Before leaving court on Friday, Khan welcomed the court’s bail order and said the judiciary was Pakistan’s only protection against the “law of the jungle”.
“I must say I expected this from our judiciary, because the only hope now left – the only thin line between a banana republic and a democracy is the judiciary,” he told journalists inside the court premises.
Prior to his return to Lahore, the authorities blocked off military areas there, which have been a focus for pro-Khan protests. He was welcomed back home by crowds of supporters showering his vehicle with rose petals, Reuters reported.
Khan, 70, is a cricket star-turned-politician who was ousted as prime minister in April 2022 in a parliamentary no-confidence vote and Pakistan’s most popular leader according to opinion polls. He denies the allegations of graft levelled against him.
In a virtual address to his followers on Saturday, Khan asked the Supreme Court to set up an independent investigation into the violence to uncover who was behind it, hinting his party was being framed.
He also asked his supporters to go out onto their streets on Sunday evening with placards to protest.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were inaccessible in Pakistan on Saturday, Reuters journalists said, after access was briefly restored late on Friday.
The Ministry of Interior had instructed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to suspend mobile broadband services across the country, and blocked access to the three social media networks, on Tuesday night, read the report.
Pakistan, Russia launch direct shipping service
Pakistan and Russia have launched a direct shipping service, for their first time in their bilateral trade history, which Islamabad and Moscow hope will boost trade ties between the two countries.
On Saturday, following an inauguration ceremony, a cargo ship carrying 36,000 tons of goods left Karachi port for St Petersburg. The ship is expected to arrive in the Russian port city in 18 days.
Later this week, a tanker carrying Russian crude oil is expected to reach Karachi.
Pakistan’s minister of state for petroleum and energy, Musaddik Malik, told the media that this is the first direct shipping line between the two countries.
“We want to make it clear Pakistan is not in anyone’s camp. We try to do trade with the USA, we are told we are in the USA camp. We do business with China, we are told we have aligned with China. The truth is we are only doing what is in the interest of Pakistan,” Malik said.
“We are only trying to get cheap oil for our energy needs from Russia,” he said.
Over 3,600 boxes of silkworms distributed to Herat farmers this year
Herat Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock says more than 3,500 boxes of silkworms have been distributed to farmers this year in Zinda Jan, Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts of the province.
This directorate has said that 80 percent of silk work is done in Zinda Jan district.
“We were able to grow about 3,600 boxes with the help of institutions, about 80 percent of which we have grown in Zinda Jan district,” said Khalil Ahmad, general director of Herat agriculture directorate.
“About 20 percent of silkworms have been grown in Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts, which has had good results and the financial status of the farmers has improved.”
The local officials said most work in the silk industry is done by women.
“Almost 60 percent of the silk industry is done by women,” said Ahmad Shah Qawami, head of the silk workers’ union for Zinda Jan district.
This year, the families who are engaged in raising silkworms hope to have good production, now that the silk season is over and many are working to separate the silk thread.
However, the farmers are not satisfied with this year’s market conditions.
“The silk market is weak this year, it was good last year, it was very advanced,” said a silk worker.
The silk industry in Herat has a history dating back 600 years, and many families have preserved this ancient profession.
Silkworms usually feed on the leaves of mulberry trees, which grow in these regions. The industry also provides a livelihood to hundreds of men and women in the area.
Two die of Congo fever in Balkh Central Hospital
Two patients died of Congo fever in Abu Ali Sinai Balkhi Hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif city, health officials said.
Reports of an outbreak of Congo fever have been recorded in a number of provinces in the north of the country.
Najibullah Tawana, head of public health of Balkh, announced the death of two people in the meeting of sectorial coordination to prevent and reduce diseases between humans and animals in the province.
“Last week, 10 cases of Congo disease were confirmed in Faryab and Jawzjan and [patients were] transferred to Abu Ali Sina Balkhi seminary hospital, but two of them have died,” said Tawana.
Meanwhile, Mawolavi Mohammad Nasim Abid, the deputy mayor of Mazar-e-Sharif, said that they monitor the cleanliness and compliance of butchers every day, and that animals are slaughtered in slaughterhouses built by this department.
According to him; standard facilities have been established for the slaughter of chickens to prevent the spread of various diseases.
Mawolavi Zabihullah Noorani, the head of Balkh culture and information, also asked the media to inform the people about the prevention of this disease and inform them about the harm of this deadly disease.
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