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Pakistan offers support as strong quake kills scores in Turkey, Syria

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  • Pakistan offers condolences over loss of lives.
  • Says nation stands with Turkey in this hour of grief. 
  • Pakistan ready to extend all possible support, FO says.

Pakistan Monday extended all-out support in the relief efforts as an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 rattled central Turkey and northwest Syria, killing nearly 15,00 and injuring thousands across the quake zone.

Earlier today, a deadly earthquake jolted Turkey and was felt in Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria. Dozens of buildings collapsed while a search for survivors under the rubble is underway. 

In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Pakistan offered condolences over the loss of lives from the earthquake. 

“The Government and people of Pakistan are deeply saddened to learn that a severe earthquake hit parts of Southern Türkiye earlier today, resulting in loss of precious lives and extensive damage to property,” said the statement. 

It added that the Pakistani nation stands in complete solidarity with its Turkish brethren in this hour of grief. “We extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for early recovery of those injured,” said the FO.

“Pakistan stands ready to extend all possible support in the relief effort,” said the statement, adding that “we are confident that the resilient Turkish nation will overcome this natural calamity with characteristic grit and determination.”

President, PM offer condolences

President Dr Arif Alvi offered his condolences over the loss of lives in Turkey and Syria due to a powerful earthquake that hit both regions. “My condolences to President Erdogan, people of Turkiye and the families of the victims of the earthquake,” he said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed deep sadness over the loss of lives and damage to the infrastructure in Turkey and Syria.

“We send our heartfelt condolences and most sincere sympathies to the government and the people of Syria who have suffered major human and material losses from the devastating earthquake early this morning,” he wrote. 

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari offered his condolences and prayed for those who got injured. 

“May Allah protect the world from national calamities,” Bilawal said. 

‘Level 4 alarm’ 

A major earthquake of magnitude 7.9 struck central Turkey and northwest Syria on Monday, killing about 300 people as buildings collapsed across the snowy region, and triggering a search for survivors trapped in the rubble.

The quake, which hit in the early darkness of a winter morning, was also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon.

“I have never felt anything like it in the 40 years I’ve lived,” said Erdem, a resident of the Turkish city of Gaziantep, near the quake’s epicentre, who declined to give his surname.

“We were shaken at least three times very strongly, like a baby in a crib.”

Turkey’s disaster agency said 76 people had been killed, and 440 hurt, as authorities scrambled rescue teams and supply aircraft to the affected area, while declaring a “level 4 alarm” that calls for international assistance.

“Everybody is sitting in their cars or trying to drive to open spaces away from buildings,” Erdem said by telephone.

The region straddles seismic fault lines and is prone to earthquakes.

President Bashar al-Assad was holding an emergency cabinet meeting to review the damage and discuss the next steps, his office said.

“Wounded people are still arriving in waves,” Aleppo’s health director, Ziad Hage Taha, told Reuters by telephone.

President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone with the governors of eight affected provinces to gather information on the situation and rescue efforts, his office said in a statement.

Syrian state media said more than 100 people were killed and dozens injured there, most in the provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Latakia, where numerous buildings had been brought down.

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The year’s longest day and shortest night are both today.

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The nation is experiencing an increase in oppressive heat. The longest day and shortest night of the year are respectively observed on this Friday.

Summer solstice is the name given to this event.

Because of the tilt of the Earth, the Summer Solstice happens twice a year when one of the poles is at its greatest degree towards the sun.

While the winter solstice occurs in December in the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs in June in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is the longest day of the year, June 21st.

The shortest night of the year, nevertheless, will occur today.

14 hours will pass during the day and 10 hours during the night, according to the report.

Beginning on July 1, the day will progressively get shorter as June draws to a close.

The event known as equinox occurs on September 22, when day and night have equal lengths.

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Authorities report that during the Hajj, 35 Pakistani pilgrims perished from the intense heat.

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Thirty-five Pakistani pilgrims have died, according to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Abdul Wahab Soomro, the DG of the Hajj Mission, claims that nine Pakistanis perished in Mashair, four in Mina, three in Arafat, and two in Muzdalifah.

According to the Hajj DG, six pilgrims from Pakistan died in Medina and twenty died in Makkah.

According to the DG, the extreme 50 degree Celsius heat was the reason for the deaths. According to him, there was no basis for the claim that the pilgrims were neglected.

According to him, the Saudi government was informed of the remains, and the funeral plans were set up in compliance with the families’ desires. According to Soomro, plans had also been made to transfer the bodies to Pakistan.

He claimed that in these kinds of situations, the Saudi and Pakistani governments have always worked together.

Over 1,000 people have died.

According to AFP, more over 1,000 people have died during this year’s Hajj. According to the report, over 50% of them were unregistered worshippers who underwent the sweltering Saudi Arabian journey.

An Arab ambassador gave a breakdown of the 658 Egyptians who died, indicating that 630 were unregistered pilgrims. Of the additional deaths announced on Thursday, 58 came from Egypt.

One of the five pillars of Islam, which all Muslims who have the means to do so must at least once, the annual pilgrimage, has resulted in 1,081 deaths overall, according to reports from about ten different countries.

Official announcements or diplomats working on their countries’ responses have provided the data.

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Pakistan

As PM Shehbaz creates committees to address the PPP’s issues, a thaw is evident.

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In response to the issues brought up by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during their meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established committees.

The PPP heavyweights and PML-N leaders met after Bilawal did not attend the June 12 National Assembly session when the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024–25 was unveiled.

The PPP chief’s concerns were mostly addressed by the prime minister at the meeting, when he also ordered committees to look into his grievances.

Sources claim that on Friday, the committees would undertake discussions to settle the differences between the ruling parties.

Bilawal once voiced concern over the PPP’s lack of faith in the budget. He emphasised that the PML-N is not carrying out the arrangement that the PPP had made to support the government.

Additionally, he charged that the Punjabi government was erecting obstacles in the way of the PPP’s advancement in the region.

For the welfare of the people as well as the growth and prosperity of the nation, Prime Minister Shehbaz urged all political parties to cooperate.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Senate Chairman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, and Sherry Rehman were among the PPP delegation members.

Speaking at the event, the premier stated that additional talks over the budget for 2024–2025 were held with the Pakistan Peoples Party. He claimed that although the stock market had seen an unprecedented boom, the economy was exhibiting encouraging signs.

He claimed that the new fiscal year’s budget included measures to help the average person. He promised that committees will continue to be used for further consultation.

Afterwards, the prime minister hosted a dinner reception in honour of the PPP delegation.

In attendance were Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Ministers for Planning and Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Ali Pervez Malik, and former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique.

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