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Cyclone Biparjoy slowed down, won’t make landfall before nightfall: Pakistan minister

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  • Cyclone has “slowed down”; its core still “intense”, says minister.
  • Biparjoy lies 230km south of Karachi, 235km south Thatta.
  • It has now become longest-lived cyclone in the Arabian sea.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination Senator Sherry Rehman said on Thursday that cyclone Biparjoy had “slowed down” and will not make landfall before nightfall now.

Previously, it was forecast that the cyclone would hit the shore around the evening. 

However, the climate minister warned that while the cyclone had “slowed down”, its core was still “intense”.   

Taking to Twitter, she wrote: “ALERT #CycloneBiperjoy has slowed down but core remains intense. It will not make landfall before nightfall now. More information will be shared soon from @ndmapk.” 

As both India and Pakistan gear up for the impact of the cyclone, which could devastate homes and tear down power lines, authorities in both countries are on high alert, prompting authorities to evacuate over 100,000 people in both nations.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that the cyclone, classified as a very severe cyclonic storm, has moved north-northeastward during the last 6 hours and now lies at a distance of about 230 kilometres south of Karachi, 235 kilometres south of Thatta, and 155 kilometres south-southwest of Keti Bandar.

As winds are expected to blow at 160 kilometres per hour, sea conditions around the system center are phenomenal, with a maximum wave height of 30 feet, the disaster management authority said.

The NDMA mentioned that when the cyclone hits Keti Bandar in southeast Sindh, it will pack winds of 100-120 kilometres per hour, gusting 140 kilometres per hour.

Indian weather expert Mahesh Palawat said Biparjoy had become the longest-lived cyclone in the Arabian Sea. The cyclone has entered its ninth day; the previous record (below eight days) was made in 1998.

‘Lives at risk’

In a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, Rehman said authorities are trying to evacuate masses to safer places, and it’s the only remedy related to cyclones worldwide.

“The accompanied activities alongwith the cyclone can put people’s lives at risk,” the minister warned.

The minister noted that the Umerkot area was also under the impact of the cyclone, whereas the expected impacted areas also included Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, and Tharparkar.

The minister said that rain and thunderstorms are expected, and a forecast of 110mm, a conservative estimate of rainfall for Karachi and 330mm for Thatta, has been projected.

In Karachi, she said the people were going to the seashore to watch the cyclone. “People should avoid disaster tourism and avoid making TikTok videos. They should not put their lives and families at risk,” she added.

Suspensions

In the same press conference, the climate change minister said that due to cyclone Biparjoy, the authorities had been forced to suspend small aircraft operations in the metropolis.

The climate minister said commercial flight operations would be suspended as the cyclone drew closer to the country.

In line with the directions from the federal government, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Limited Wednesday suspended gas supply to all industries — including their units for power generation, fertiliser sector, and CNG stations.

In a statement, the SSGC stated that the decision has been taken in the backdrop of the possible striking of cyclone Biparjoy and considering the shortage of natural gas and re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG).

“The gas supply has been suspended until further notice from 7:00am today (Wednesday) morning,” read the statement.

Energy Minister Khurram Dastagir has arrived in Karachi to monitor the electricity situation. 

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US envoy urges deeper strengthening of relations with Pakistan

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The significance of strengthening relations with Pakistan was highlighted by US Ambassador Donald Blome on Thursday.

Blome visited the Chaukhandi cemetery in Karachi, based on the information. President Donald Blome and other delegates were cordially welcomed by Sindh Minister of Culture and Tourism Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah on this particular occasion.

Narendra Kumar, Heather Murphy, and Zahra Hajiani were among the delegation members who visited Chaukhandi Graveyard’s historic tombs with the American envoy, Acting Consul General Jimmy Mauldin.

Highlighting the rich historical significance of Chaukhandi graveyard, Minister Zulfiqar Ali Shah shared his ideas with the US ambassador.

Blome highlighted the Chaukhandi tombs for their exquisite craftsmanship and architectural design. He promised to help Pakistani visitors with their visa requirements.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), he promised to promote the nation’s historical sites.

In the meantime, Shah stated, “The Sindh government is taking steps to provide all sorts of facilities to the tourists.”

Pakistan will receive additional assistance from the US to lower methane gas emissions.

The US decided to help Pakistan lower its methane gas emissions earlier this month.

At a USAID Climate Financing event, US Ambassador Blome stated: “We are working very hard to lower methane gas emissions from dairy farming. The Green Climate Fund in Pakistan will be consulted for funding this initiative.”

“As of 2030, there are global efforts to reduce the temperature by 1 degree Celsius. The US-Pakistan Green Alliance is being followed by the collaboration with Pakistan, according to Blome.

“The problems can only be addressed by providing the stakeholders with financial and technical resources,” he continued.

The government’s first aim is to revitalise the cattle industry, according to Federal Secretary Dr. Fakhre Alam. Raising dairy farming’s production capacity will help it overcome its environmental problems.”

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Shehbaz travels to the UAE in order to strengthen trade relations.

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This visit, which is being accompanied by a high-level delegation made up of important ministers such as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Commerce Minister Jam Kamal, Information Minister Ataullah Tarar, and advisor Tariq Fatemi, is intended to strengthen bilateral ties and expand cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Sharif will visit President Muhammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi. The high-level gathering will cover Pakistani and UAE bilateral relations, with an emphasis on commerce and investment.

Along with exploring strategic alliances and shared interests that can help their respective nations, they are also expected to concentrate on talking about ways to advance collaboration across a range of industries.

Prime Minister Sharif has talks planned with other Emirati leaders, businesspeople, and heads of financial organisations in addition to his diplomatic engagements. In an effort to promote economic cooperation and draw in investment, he is also scheduled to meet with businessmen and investors from Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Shehbaz intends to encourage UAE companies to extend their operations into the Pakistani market by interacting with influential businesspeople and highlighting investment prospects in Pakistan.

These exchanges will offer a forum for talking about doable ways to strengthen business relations and carry out initiatives that will benefit both parties. Pakistan’s determination to enhance its political and economic ties with the United Arab Emirates is demonstrated by the visit.

After ending his day-long journey to Iran to offer condolences for the terrible death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage in a helicopter crash on Sunday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has returned to Pakistan.

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Memon accuses temporary government of ‘delaying’ the BRT Red Line project

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On Thursday, Sindh Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon accused the interim administration of “delaying” the Red Line project of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Memon stated what he thought, saying, “The BRT Red Line project was mission impossible. However, the project has now begun to be worked on.”

“The reason government is formed is to solve the issues that the people face. “The government is working tirelessly to bring relief to the masses,” he declared.

Memon declared, “It’s also being done about the unlawful bus stands. The passengers will have access to shuttle service from us.”

“A large number of transport projects have already begun. “We aim to ensure that every individual receives a chance to work,” he continued.

Pakistan was ‘started to damage’ by the founder of PTI.

Memon reported on Thursday that a campaign to hurt the nation was started by the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Memon said at a Karachi event: “Israel discusses the human rights violations in Pakistan. Israel, a party to the Palestinian holocaust, is endorsing the PTI’s founder. Israel has provided election funding to the PTI’s founder.”

“The worst election tampering in 2018 produced the PTI founder’s victory. Police officers, the parliament, and the PTV were all attacked,” he claimed.

“The entire country was closed due to a 126-day protest,” Memon claimed.

The PTI founder was made fun of by Memon, who said, “The PTI founder had always embraced the politics of anarchy.”

Memon stated the following when discussing the state of law and order in Sindh: “The Sindh government is serious about the state of law and order in the province. In terms of keeping Sindh peaceful, everyone is in agreement.”

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