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Citing security threat, federal government curbs operations of two oil firms in Karachi

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Here’s what’s happening across the border: Facebook apologises and restores Dawn article it took down and Islamabad may have to fight a water crisis this summer.

Oil firms ‘ignore’ warning, ordered to suspend operations in Karachi

The Pakistani Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has directed two private companies — Al-Noor Terminal and Hascol Petroleum — to suspend all operations at two key oil installations in Karachi for failing to shut down ‘unauthorised’ activity at the installations. The two oil companies had earlier been instructed to cease all unauthorised operations at Karachi’s Keamari storage terminal after the Pakistan ministry of defence first raised security concerns about such operations in February 2017. Defence authorities, however, recently reported that the two terminals were still operative, in spite of the instructions, leading the federal government to order the two companies to suspend all operations at Keamari.

Facebook apologises and restores blocked post

Facebook has apologised for blocking an article on, first published in October, on Pakistani politician Javed Hashmi criticising the country’s judiciary. While the social networking site restored the post on May 11, it updated its automated message for users issuing an apology for the “incorrect” restriction. “Your content was incorrectly restricted. We’re very sorry about this mistake, and have now restored the content,” the message reads. Facebook had earlier argued that the content was made unavailable due to restrictions in local law.

Father gouges out son’s eyes for wanting to marry against his wishes

A Balochistan man had his eyes gouged out and chopped into pieces by his father and brothers for wanting to marry a girl they didn’t approve of. Police rushed Abdul Baqi, a resident of Loralai district in Balochistan, to two different nearby hospitals but he could not be treated as both lacked eye specialists. As a result, Baqi lost his eyes, a police official in the area said.

“They (father and brothers) locked my mother in another room and tied me up with a rope. They then gouged my eyes out with a spoon and chopped them to pieces,” Abdul Baqi was quoted by the Express Tribune as saying. “I liked a girl from Duki (a nearby district). My father and brothers were not happy with my choice. They often used to tell me that they will never allow me to marry a girl who keeps chatting on the mobile phone with me. They told me that they were ‘mullahs’ (religious men) and cannot bear to have such a relation,” he further said.

Water shortage to worsen in Islamabad

The water shortage in Islamabad is set to worsen this summer, the city’s director of water supply, Nasir Jamil Butt, was quoted by Dawn as saying. The city requires 110 million gallons of water a day but the civic agency has only been able to provide 56 million gallons a day. The levels in the Simly and Khanpur dams, Islamabad’s water lifeline, have also not risen this year, while 33 of the 193 tube wells in the city lie dysfunctional. “We are taking every possible step to meet the city’s water demand but we need several spells of rain or the water shortage will worsen in June and July,” Jamil Butt was quoted as saying.

Chief Metropolitan Officer, Syed Najaf Iqbal, said that the mayor of Islamabad, Sheikh Anser Aziz, has written to Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal to include the million dollar Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project to those under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as a long-term solution to Islamabad’s water problems.

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