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Pakistan to present flood rehabilitation plan at Geneva moot today

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  • PM Shehbaz Sharif in Geneva to co-host donor’s conference.  
  • Conference is aimed at marshalling support to rebuild Pakistan after floods.
  • Bilawal Bhutto, Ishaq Dar among others in PM-led delegation.

GENEVA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has touched down in Geneva late Sunday night to co-host an international conference on ‘Climate Resilient Pakistan’, along with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The international conference, which is aimed at marshalling support to rebuild Pakistan after historic floods, is scheduled to be held today during which the ‘Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Recons­truction Framework’ (4RF) will be launched.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marryium Aurangzeb accompanied PM Shehbaz, according to a statement issued by the PM’s Office.

The framework outlines a vision for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the flood-affected areas as well as will emphasise the need for global support and long-term partnership to implement it.

In the inaugural high-level opening segment, the official document would be unveiled and feature partner support announcements.

The prime minister and the UN secretary-general will also hold a joint press stakeout.

Leaders and high-level representatives from several countries and international financial institutions, foundations and funds are expected to attend the conference, both in person and virtual format.  

Flood-hit Pakistan

Pakistan and the United Nations are holding the conference to mobilise international support to help the country recover more effectively from the devastation caused by recent floods.

Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers last September displaced some 8 million people and killed at least 1,700 in a catastrophe blamed on climate change.

Most of the waters have now receded but the reconstruction work, estimated at around $16.3 billion, to rebuild millions of homes and thousands of kilometres of roads and railway is just beginning and millions more people may slide into poverty.

Islamabad, whose delegation is led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, will present the recovery “framework” at the moot where United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and French President Emmanuel Macron are also due to speak.

Guterres, who visited Pakistan in September, has previously described the destruction in the country as “climate carnage”.

“This is a pivotal moment for the global community to stand with Pakistan and to commit to a resilient and inclusive recovery from these devastating floods,” said Knut Ostby, United Nations’ Development Programme’s Pakistan Representative.

Additional funding is crucial to Pakistan amid growing concerns about its ability to pay for imports such as energy and food and to meet sovereign debt obligations abroad.

However, it is far from clear where the reconstruction money will come from, especially given difficulties raising funds for the emergency humanitarian phase of the response which is around half funded, according to UN data.

At the COP27 meeting in Egypt in November, Pakistan was at the forefront of efforts that led to the establishment of a “loss and damage” fund to cover climate-related destruction for countries that have contributed less to global warming than wealthy ones.

However, it is not yet known if Pakistan, with a $350 billion economy, will be eligible to tap into that future funding.

Organisers say around 250 people are expected at the event including high-level government officials, private donors and international financial institutions.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Khalil Hashmi, said Islamabad was willing to pay for about half of the bill but hoped for support from donors for the rest. “We will be mobilizing international support through various means,” he said. “We look forward to working with our partners.”

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The Pakistan Army’s pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of Balochistan

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Along with the province administration, the Pakistan Army has played a key role in leading a number of socioeconomic projects. A determined effort has been undertaken to solve the issues and utilise the potential of the province, realising the intrinsic relationship between the development of Balochistan and the advancement of Pakistan overall.

In the face of security problems, the Pakistan Army has adopted a multipronged strategy that includes peacekeeping as well as socioeconomic development. By means of focused awareness initiatives, communities have been motivated to seize mainstream chances, which has resulted in the voluntary surrender of militants and opened the door to a peaceful cohabitation.

The Army and the Balochistani administration have placed a high priority on the construction of educational facilities, particularly in outlying areas, recognising the role that education plays as a catalyst for advancement. By equipping the public with the knowledge and skills necessary for a better future, this strategic focus seeks to free the people from the hold of extremism.

In addition, the Pakistan Army’s unflinching security has helped to usher in a new era of growth, supported by strategic initiatives like the Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Army’s actions to protect CPEC projects have received international recognition, and the Chinese Minister of National Defence has praised them for their commitment to regional peace.

The Reko Diq project is a highly promising venture that has the potential to become the largest gold and copper mine globally. This grand project has the potential to reduce Pakistan’s debt load and spark massive economic expansion, drawing in international capital and improving the nation’s economic prospects.

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$13.44 billion in liquid foreign reserves

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The State Bank’s foreign reserves were $8,040.3 million, whereas Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the week ending April 5, 2024, were US$ 13,441.7 million.

The State Bank of Pakistan said that during the week under review, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $0.1 million to $8,040.3 million in a statement released here on Monday.

It further stated that commercial banks’ net foreign reserves were reported to be $5,401.4 million.

The nation’s total liquid foreign reserves as of the previous week, which concluded on March 29, 2024, were $13,378.9 million.

These included the $8,040.4 million in foreign reserves held by the central bank and the $5,338.5 million in net foreign reserves held by commercial banks.

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Today, IHC will hear Qureshi, the founder of PTI,’s arguments against his conviction in the CCI case.

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The PTI founder and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will appeal their convictions in the cipher case to the Islamabad High Court today (Tuesday).

The hearing will be conducted by a division bench that consists of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb and Chief Justice Aamir Farooq of the Islamabad High Court.

The attorneys will present their arguments regarding the appeals against the sentencing during the hearing.

However, Bushra Bibi, the wife of the PTI founder, has filed a petition to have her medical examined, and this plea will also be heard today.

Bushra Bibi’s application will be considered by Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb. The petitioner has voiced her concern that the food she was provided was toxic.

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