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Pakistan resumes domestic flights, insists on masks and empty seats

Pakistan resumed domestic flights between major cities for the first time in nearly two months on Saturday with the requirement that face masks be worn and vacant seats left between passengers, officials said.

International flights will remain suspended till May 31.

Lost Islamic History by Faris Al Khateeb

The first Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flight carrying 84 passengers departed from Karachi for Lahore at 1300 local time (0800 GMT), along with flights for Lahore and Islamabad operated by a private airline, local media reported

“In view of the difficulties faced by passengers in traveling between major cities, the Federal Government has allowed limited domestic flight operations from five major airports, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta with effect from May 16,” said a statement issued by the Aviation Division

Domestic and chartered flight operations will require disinfection of the aircraft prior to boarding, at least one vacant seat between the passengers and compulsory wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizers. No food and beverages will be allowed during domestic flights, the statement added.

On Saturday, the Aviation ministry released pictures of passengers seated with a gap of a seat in the flights.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the country could not afford an indefinite lockdown and the nation would have to learn to live with the pandemic.

At a press briefing along with some cabinet members, Khan said he wanted to tell the country’s medical community that lifting the lockdown was imperative to provide jobs to 25 million informal laborers and workers.

Pakistan has reported over 38,000 cases of infection from the new coronavirus, and 834 deaths.

May 17, 2020

India should talk to Taliban if Delhi feels it will bolster peace push: Pakistan's U.S. envoy

Pakistani doctor indicted in Minnesota on terrorism charge

Jammu and Kashmir: A colonel, major killed in Indian Kashmir. 

Lockdown restrictions in Sindh to remain until end of Ramazan: spokesperson

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 Bulletin on Current Affairs

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India's River Diversion Plan and South Asia's Waters

More dams are to come, as India’s need to power its economy means it is quietly spending billions on hydropower in Kashmir. The Senate report totted up 33 hydro projects in the border area with Pakistan. The state’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, says dams will add an extra 3,000MW to the grid in the next eight years alone. Some analysts in Srinagar talk of over 60 dam projects, large and small, now on the books. (This special report has appeared in the Bulletin on Current Affairs - February 2012, you may have to Buy the print edition to read full story)

More in the Edition:

South Asia's Water - a growing rivalry

Indian, Pakistani & Chinese Border Disputes

India's River Diversion Plan: Its impact on Bangladesh

Water Crisis can Trigger nuclear war in South Asia

Reclaimed Water - the Western Experience

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