King Salman congratulates President Alvi on Pakistan’s Independence Day

A motorcyclist rides past a Happy Independence Day billboard with images of founder leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah and national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal, displayed along a roadside for Pakistan Independence Day celebrations, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 13 August 2020

King Salman congratulates President Alvi on Pakistan’s Independence Day

  • The Saudi king wished the Pakistani president good health and prayed for the prosperity of Pakistani people
  • Saudi envoy in Islamabad also recorded an Independence Day message in Urdu that went viral on social media

ISLAMABAD: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sent a message of felicitation to Pakistan’s President Dr. Arif Alvi on Thursday, congratulating him on the 74th Independence Day of his country that will be celebrated on Friday.
The king reached out to the Pakistani head of the state on behalf of his government and people of Saudi Arabia, wishing him good health and praying for the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki also recorded an Independence Day message in Urdu that went viral on social media. 

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed cordial relations with each other. The Kingdom has been among of the biggest job providers to Pakistanis and the greatest source of foreign remittances for the South Asian nation.
The two countries have also witnessed leadership level exchanges since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government assumed the political leadership of Pakistan. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman undertook a high-profile visit to Islamabad in February 2019, and Prime Minister Imran Khan also went to the Kingdom several times during his tenure in the office.
The Saudi king and ambassadors are also among the first foreign leaders and envoys who have issued the Independence Day messages to congratulate the government and people of Pakistan.


Pakistan bans public gatherings in cities where COVID-19 positivity rates cross 6%

Updated 14 October 2020

Pakistan bans public gatherings in cities where COVID-19 positivity rates cross 6%

  • 320,463 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Pakistan so far and there have been 6,601 deaths
  • Cases declined steadily since June but the reopening of the economy and schools has caused a recent uptick

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), which synergizes government efforts against COVID-19, issued new guidelines on Tuesday, banning public gatherings in cities where the coronavirus positivity rate was over six percent. 

“No public gathering to be held in cities where test positivity ratio is consistently higher than 6-9% or above as laid down in instructions,” the NCOC said, adding that rallies and gathering on “ill-defined venues” such as streets and roadsides should be avoided.

“Ensure separate gates for entrance and exit of the visitors to avoid overcrowding,” the NCOC said. “Consideration for multiple entry and exit points is suggested. The overall duration of events should be not more than 3 hours.”

It added: “People with higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19 (e.g. with comorbidity of diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases and elderly people), and children under the age of 12 years should not attend gatherings/event.”

According to a government portal, 320,463 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Pakistan so far, and there have been 6,601 deaths. 

In August, the government announced that virtually all sectors in Pakistan shut down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus would be reopened that month, other than schools and marriage halls, which opened in September. Since then, there has been a slow uptick in infection numbers.