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Six lives lost as highest rainfall in decades turns Lahore into urban swamp

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AHORE: Incessant showers on Wednesday broke a 30-year-old record when the city received over 290mm of rain within a span of 10 hours, resulting in the death of at least six people, officials said.

“Three people were electrocuted, two died after roofs collapsed, and a child drowned after rain water accumulated,” Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi told journalists in Lahore.

The metropolis received 291mm of rain, during which more than a dozen areas recorded more than 200mm of rain, Commissioner Lahore Mohammad Ali Randhawa said, adding this is happening due to climate change and strong monsoon.

The city administration and all officers and staff of Water and Sanitation Authority (Wasa) Lahore are fully mobilised to ensure the drainage of rainwater, he added.

“Earlier this year, Lahore received the maximum rainfall of 256 mm on June 26 while in 2022, 238mm of rain was recorded in Lahore,” Randhawa said.

The commissioner said that in 2018, 288mm of rain was recorded in Lahore, adding the city has not received so much rain in such a short period of time in the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, MD Wasa Ghafran Ahmed said all low-lying areas would be cleared within a few hours after the rain stops.

According to Wasa Monsoon Control Room, the city’s Lakhsmi Chowk area received 291mm of rain, Nishter Town 277mm, Qurtaba Chowk 270mm, Gulshan-e-Ravi 268mm, Pani Wala Talab 268mm, Johar Town 260mm, Tajpura 249mm, and Iqbal Town 232mm.

The rain spell, which started earlier in the morning, paralysed the city as all the major roads and connecting streets were waterlogged making commuting impossible. Many vehicles broke down on the roads due to knee-deep water.

Rainwater entered the houses in low-lying areas of Shah Jamal and Tajpura while the electricity supply was cut, making life more miserable.

CM visits city

Punjab CM Naqvi said that record-breaking rain had caused urban flooding while the canal overflowed following heavy downpours.

“All the cabinet members and administration are in the field to clear the water. I am also monitoring the situation in the field and getting updates from all over Lahore continuously,” the chief minister said as he visited the city to oversee relief operations.

Last week, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) warned that moist currents from the Arabian Sea are likely to penetrate in upper parts of the country, and a westerly wave was also likely to enter the upper parts of the country on Monday, causing heavy rainfall from July 4 to 7 across the country.

Three die in KP

At least three people died in rain-related incidents in different districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Geo News reported.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) report, two people died in Shangla, and one in Karak.

The PDMA said eight people were injured, while seven houses sustained partial damage. One house was completely damaged.

An official of the KP relief department said that relief would be given to the victims as per the government policy.

Flood warning

According to the latest meteorological analysis, deep trough of the westerly wave along with strong incursion of monsoon currents from both sources and approaching upper air circulation, due to which widespread heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls at scattered places is expected over the upper catchments of Rivers Sutlej, Ravi and Chenab and up to some extent over River Jhelum.

Due to these meteorological conditions, the advisory added, very high to exceptionally high-level flooding is expected in River Chenab.

It further said that the flood situation in rivers Ravi and Sutlej would depend upon releases from India and high to very high-level flooding is also expected in the nullahs of Rivers Ravi and Chenab. 

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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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