The Punjab government on Monday announced a local holiday on April 23 (Tuesday) in the Lahore district to avoid inconvenience to the public ahead of the visit of foreign dignitaries, including Iranian President Dr Ebrahim Raisi.

The Iranian president is currently in Pakistan on an official trip from April 22 to April 24 (Wednesday). The Foreign Office had said that he would also visit Lahore and Karachi and meet the provincial leadership.

The Sindh government had announced a public holiday a day ago for Tuesday in the Karachi division.

A notification from the Punjab government issued today, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said that April 23 was declared a local holiday for Lahore district considering the scheduled visit of the foreign officials and to “avoid the consequent inconvenience to the general public”.

“This holiday will be observed only in the Lahore district and its subordinate offices,” it said, adding that the holiday would not apply to the Punjab Civil Secretariat, its attached departments and regional offices.

Meanwhile, in his meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the two countries had decided to increase the trade volume between them to $10 billion, adding that the existing volume was “not acceptable”.

The visit is the first of its kind by any head of state after the February 8 general elections.

Complete ban on drones in Karachi for a week

Meanwhile, the Sindh government of Sindh on Monday imposed a complete ban on drones in Karachi division from April 22 to April 28 with immediate effect under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Section 144 empowers the district administration to issue orders in the public interest that may place a ban on an activity for a specific period of time.

According to a notification issued by the office of Karachi Commissioner Syed Hassan Naqvi, the city’s additional inspector general of police had informed of “serious threats to vital installations by the anti-state elements/hostile agencies in the wake of recent attacks on foreigners” and thus requested a ban on drones in Karachi for seven days.

The notification added that there were sufficient grounds to proceed under Section 144 on the use of drones “to avoid any untoward incident and for the safety and security of vital installations”.

It also authorised station house officers of concerned police stations to register complaints under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Pakistan Penal Code in writing against the violation of Section 144.

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