India invites Bilawal to the SCO meeting in May

MUMBAI: According to Indian media on Wednesday, India has extended an invitation to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that it is holding in May, indicating a potential warming of relations between the nuclear-armed foes.

Following a request for negotiations with India over all outstanding issues, including the illegally occupied region of Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended the invitation.

Just one month earlier, Bilawal’s remarks about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the margins of a UN Security Council meeting sparked public riots in India. India referred to the foreign minister’s remarks as being “uncivilized.”

Requests from Reuters for comments on the media claims that Bilawal had been invited to the SCO foreign ministers meeting being held in Goa went unanswered right away by the foreign ministry spokespersons for the two nations.

China, India, Russia, Pakistan, and four Central Asian nations make up the SCO.

The Indian High Commission in Islamabad reportedly delivered the invitation, according to the Indian Express newspaper.

If Pakistan agrees, Bilawal would travel to India for the first time in almost 12 years as its foreign minister.

Since 1947, when they gained independence from British rule, Pakistan and India have fought three wars. Two of the wars had their origins in the partitioned Kashmir area of the Himalayas.

India charges Pakistan with fomenting the long-running uprising in Kashmir, which is largely under its control. Pakistan refutes the charge made by India.

When India unilaterally abolished Kashmir’s autonomous status, tensions erupted once more in late 2019. The actions of New Delhi, according to PM Shehbaz, led to “flagrant” human rights breaches there.

However, there have been some efforts to restart negotiations through covert diplomacy following the suspension of official talks between the two nations. The United Arab Emirates mediated the previous effort in 2021, and PM Shehbaz has once more enlisted their help to help restart negotiations with India.


PTI: Fawad was “taken up” from Lahore following criticism from the ECP

After a former minister accused the electoral tribunal of siding with the army and warning “those going after PTI” of Article 6 proceedings, an arrest was made.

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), was “taken up” from outside his home in the wee hours of Wednesday, according to the opposition party. He was then brought before a judge in Lahore.

Faisal Chaudhry, Chaudhry’s brother, described the arrest as “illegal,” adding that the family has not yet been told of the charges or whereabouts of the arrestee. The arrest was made by unidentified individuals in four Toyota Hilux pickup trucks without license plates.


The opposition party reported on Twitter that Chaudhry was now being escorted by police and counterterrorism department (CTD) officers to a court in the Cantt neighborhood.


After a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against the former minister at the Kohsar police station in Islamabad on the complaint of Umar Hameed, the secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the former minister was arrested a short time later.

The complaint claims that Chaudhry disparaged the commission by comparing it to a munshi (secretary) and implying that it takes orders from higher-ups, a reference to the military.


Furthermore, it asserts that Chaudhry threatened the tribunal by stating during a speech outside the home of former prime minister Imran Khan that “those who join the caretaker government [in Punjab] will be pursued till they are punished.”

The FIR refers to the Pakistan Penal Code’s sections 153-A (promotion of enmity between groups), 506 (criminal intimidation), 505 (statement conducing to public mischief), and 124-A (sedition).

Chaudhry allegedly tried to “incite violence against a constitutional institution” and “inflame the people’s sentiments,” according to a later tweet from the Islamabad police.

The case would be handled in accordance with the law, the police added.





As the power supply is entirely restored, the minister suspects a “foreign hand”

Khurram Dastgir, the federal minister of energy, asserted that 22 hours after the national grid crashed, all electricity had been restored nationwide.

The government will also investigate whether foreign agents were engaged in the widespread power outage, according to Khurram Dastgir, who made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday morning in Islamabad.

However, the country would only experience minimal load shedding during the next two days, according to the energy ministry.

He said that there was enough fuel on hand to power the thermal power units. He believed that routine load-shedding was occurring throughout the nation. According to Dastgir, the power transmission system was secure during the malfunction.

He claimed that the previous administration did not make investments in the electrical grid.

According to the minister, Karachi requires 1100 MW of power, which would be delivered soon. In Karachi, the power will shortly be restored. While coal power facilities took 48 hours to start, nuclear reactors needed two to three days.

He claimed that while internet hacking should be looked into, there were not many opportunities for outside involvement. Only Lahore Matiari Line, according to Dastgir, has a protective system.

He also told reporters that the outage was caused by a technical problem.


Twitter is ablaze with memes as the nation goes dark

Pakistanis are responding to the power outage as best they can: including memes and funny material

The only method is available to Pakistanis to cope with the power outage. They know how, since the country is engulfed with rib-tickling content and memes on the microblogging service.

Many Twitter users described their experiences of waking up to no electricity in their houses. Since then, the hashtag #PowerOutrage has gained popularity online.

A well-known radio jockey and presenter named Anoushey Ashraf tweeted that the country had officially run out of fuel, cash, and energy. However, we spend billions on protecting our interests and borders (cough). We never had infrastructure or education, either. For a select few families, Pakistan is a business.


According to Zunaira Inam Khan, “Can we now admit that we are rapidly approaching rock bottom and that our ability to control our borders will be useless if the nation is disintegrating from the inside out while we sit here with a statewide power outage and our reserves hitting single digits? Now is the time to reconsider our priorities!”

Memes start to appear

Naturally, some people persisted in spreading humor and posted some great memes.

Monday morning saw a significant power outage that affected many cities, including Rawalpindi and Karachi. The National Transmission & Despatch Company was contacted by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in a strong notice asking for a report on the blackout (NTDC).

According to the report, NEPRA “continuously offered instructions and recommendations to prevent such situations in the future.” It also mentioned that penalties had been levied for the 2021 and 2022 countrywide blackouts and tower failures.







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