Last update: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07am

Week Highlights


A Taliban suicide bomber and six gunmen attacked the Afghan parliament on Monday as lawmakers met to consider a new defence minister, and another district in the volatile north fell to the militants as they intensified a summer offensive. The brazen assault on the symbolic centre of power, along with territorial gains elsewhere, highlight how Nato-trained Afghan security forces are struggling to cope with worsening militant violence.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday said that Pakistan took care of Afghan refugees as a sacred duty and their return with dignity was a priority of the government. He was talking to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Gutterres who called on him at the PM House. Matters relating to Afghan refugees in Pakistan including their repatriation to their homeland came under discussion, said a press release of the PM House.
The scorching heatwave that has gripped Karachi since the start of Ramazan has claimed the lives of scores of people, health and rescue officials said on Sunday. "So far, we have received 85 dead bodies at Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre since Saturday night," said Dr Seemin Jamali, Joint Executive Director of JPMC.
Ministry of Water and Power has said that all the damages caused to the electricity lines by heavy rainstorm on Saturday evening in different areas of the country have been completely restored and there was no forced load shedding on any feeder across the country throughout the day. The statement said that at Sehri time all the domestic feeders in the country were exempted from load shedding one hour before and half an hour after as per the schedule, except for the system constraints that existed in very few areas.
Power crisis will persist, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was informed by Secretary Water and Power, till such a time as demand declines to narrow the shortfall. A two-paragraph statement issued by the Prime Minister Office after briefing by Secretary Water and Power on current power situation in the country noted that the Prime Minister was informed that there has been an unprecedented surge in power demand on the first day of Ramazan, which necessitated some forced load shedding, and the situation could only be brought under control if the demand decreases.
State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali on Saturday apologised the nation over the difficulties faced by them during first Ramazan due to unscheduled loadshedding. Abid Sher Ali reached FESCO headquarters at Sehr time where he briefed the media regarding power outage on first of Ramazan. He said that the demand of electricity on Friday was 21,500 MW whereas the system produced only 16,000 MW electricity.
Following a tirade against the military establishment by Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, the party leadership on Friday softened its stance, saying it was directed towards military dictators and not the armed forces of Pakistan. The former president Asif Ali Zardari, who is widely known for his reconciliatory politics, invited the political leadership to an Iftar dinner which some insiders claimed was arranged after the party realised that any effort to turn it into an all-party conference will not succeed.