Pakistan military graduation parade held without audience for the first time

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Empty stalls at the PMA graduation in Kakul as Lieutenant General Sher Afgan hands awards to cadets on April 4, 2020. For the first time in Pakistan's history, no guests were invited to the passing out parade due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)
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Empty stalls at the PMA graduation in Kakul as Lieutenant General Sher Afgan hands awards to cadets on April 4, 2020. For the first time in Pakistan's history, no guests were invited to the passing out parade due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)
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Empty stalls at the PMA graduation in Kakul as Lieutenant General Sher Afgan hands awards to cadets on April 4, 2020. For the first time in Pakistan's history, no guests were invited to the passing out parade due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)
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Empty stalls at the PMA graduation in Kakul as Lieutenant General Sher Afgan hands awards to cadets on April 4, 2020. For the first time in Pakistan's history, no guests were invited to the passing out parade due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)
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Updated 05 April 2020

Pakistan military graduation parade held without audience for the first time

  • Cadets from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Palestine and Sri Lanka were also among graduating cadets at Kakul
  • Parents were not invited and cadets have been sent directly to their units, says military source

ISLAMABAD: For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the passing out parade of graduating cadets at the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) in Kakul on Saturday was held without parents and other official guests as part of coronavirus containment measures. 
The last time the PMA graduation was held without an audience was in 1947, immediately following the partition of Pakistan and India, when the then Indian Military Academy course graduated without a passing out parade. 
“No guests were invited as a precautionary measure due to coronavirus outbreak but passing out parade took place as per regular military standards,” a military source told Arab News and added that all the passed-out cadets had been directly moved to their respective units.
“No one was allowed to go on leave to their homes before joining,” the military source added.
Cadets from Sri Lanka, Iraq, Palestine and Saudi Arabia were also among the passed-out cadets, the military’s media wing, ISPR, said in a statement.
Inspector General Training and Evaluation, Lt. Gen. Sher Afgan, reviewed the parade as its chief guest and gave awards to distinguished cadets.
“Passing out parade of cadets of 141 Long Course, 60th Integrated Course, 10th Mujahid Course and 15th Lady Cadets Course held at Pakistan Military Academy (PMA) Kakul on Saturday,” the ISPR statement said.


Pakistan closes major markets over violation of SOPs

Updated 04 June 2020

Pakistan closes major markets over violation of SOPs

  • The country has seen a sharp rise in virus cases and fatalities since last month
  • Government eased restrictions in May to provide livelihood opportunities for the poor

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday ordered all major markets and shopping malls in the country to be shut down after government-set rules to curb coronavirus spread were widely flouted.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) for Political Communication, Shahbaz Gill, announced the decision after a meeting of the National Command and Control Center (NCOC), which took stock of the pandemic situation in the country and violation of the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) laid down as prerequisites to easing of lockdown restrictions. 
“An operation has been started in Punjab and KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). We'll all have to follow the SoPs,” Gill said in a Twitter post later in the day. 

On Wednesday, the country's Information Minister, Shibli Faraz, had also warned of re-imposition of the lockdown if people did not adhere to government's SOPs.  
“Majority of the people are not adopting precautionary measures,” he said during a press conference in Islamabad. 
Pakistan's national virus tally jumped to 85,264 on Thursday with 4,688 new infections reported in 24 hours and 82 deaths marking highest one-day record for COVID-19 fatalities.
Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan eased the restrictions to help the under privileged segments of the society earn their livelihood. However, public places, markets and general transport services saw widespread disregard for social distancing, forcing the premier to warn the nation of a spike in virus infections and fatalities in a televised address on Monday.