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Asia is most affected by climate change, and Pakistan’s Hindu Kush range has below-average rainfall. UN

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As per the United Nations report on Tuesday, Asia will be the most disaster-prone region globally in 2023 due to weather and climate risks. The primary causes of deaths and economic losses were storms and floods.

Last year, record highs were reached worldwide, with Asia warming at a particularly quick rate, according to the UN’s weather and climate organisation.

As glaciers melt and endanger the region’s future water security, the World Meteorological Organisation reported that heatwaves in Asia were growing increasingly intense.

In the Hindu Kush mountain range in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as the Himalayas, precipitation levels were below average.

Almost every month of the year saw precipitation levels below average in southwest China, which was experiencing a drought.

Out of the Polar Regions, the High-Mountain Asia region, located on the Tibetan Plateau, has the greatest amount of ice.

Asian temperatures last year were almost two degrees Celsius higher than the 1961–1990 average, according to the WMO, which stated that the region is warming more quickly than the rest of the world.

Celeste Saulo, head of WMO, said in a statement that the report’s findings are “sobering.”

“2023, a plethora of extreme weather events, including heatwaves, floods, and storms, hit many countries in the region, making it the hottest year ever recorded.The frequency and intensity of these occurrences were increased by climate change, which had a significant negative influence on businesses, communities, and—most importantly—our environment.

Significant consequences for the region’s economy, ecosystems, and cultures will result from the rapid acceleration of major climate change indicators like sea level rise, glacier retreat, and surface temperature, according to the State of the Climate in Asia 2023 assessment.

“In 2023, weather, climate, and water-related hazards continued to make Asia the world’s most disaster-prone region,” according to the WMO.

2023 saw the second-highest annual mean near-surface temperature over Asia on record, 1.87 C over the 1961-1990 average and 0.91 C above the 1991-2020 average.

From eastern China to Japan, as well as from western Siberia to central Asia, exceptionally high average temperatures were noted, the research stated, with Japan experiencing its hottest summer ever.

Many of these glaciers have been retreating for a number of decades, and they are retreating faster now, according to the WMO, which reported that last year 20 of the 22 glaciers in the region that were being monitored showed ongoing mass loss.

The northwest Pacific Ocean saw the highest sea surface temperatures ever recorded in 2023, according to the analysis.

In Asia last year, there were reports of 79 disasters linked to weather-related water dangers. With over 2,000 fatalities and nine million people directly impacted, floods and storms accounted for more than 80% of them.

In 2023, floods accounted for a significant portion of all reported deaths, according to the WMO, which also highlighted Asia’s ongoing high susceptibility to natural disasters.

On September 7, a typhoon caused Hong Kong to record the largest amount of rainfall in history—158.1 millimetres in an hour. Records go back to 1884.

According to the WMO, improved, customised information for officials tasked with lowering the risks of disasters was urgently needed from national weather agencies throughout the region.

“We have to make sure that our plans and actions reflect the urgency of the moment,” Saulo declared.

It is essential—rather than just a choice—to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adjust to the changing climate.

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Punjabi bakers decide to charge Rs. 15 for “roti.”

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The bread, known as roti, will be sold for Rs 15 by the bakers association.

During their discussion, the association promised Food Minister Bilal Yasin that the rate of roti will be reduced.

The minister was there when Association President Aftab Gul recorded a video message committing to sell rotis for Rs15 each.

According to him, the administration decided to lower the rate of flour. He continued, saying that the group was supporting the government hand in hand to stop inflation.

The price of flour has been drastically lowered, according to Food Minister Bilal, to help the populace. He stated, “the government aimed at providing quality and affordable bread to the masses.”

He said that the recent reduction of Rs 1,200 in the price of flour was the biggest drop in the commodity’s prices in the nation’s history.

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Day four of the AJK inflation protest begins as talks come to a standstill.

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Following the collapse of talks between the Awami Action Committee and the AJK government on Sunday, the shutdown strike and protests in Azad Kashmir over rising flour and energy costs started their fourth day on Monday.

The ongoing shutdown and wheeljam strike would continue until their demands are fulfilled, according to the Awami Action Committee.

AAC-led march on state capital Muzaffarabad today has brought the valley to a near stop. The caravans are coming from many AJK cities, and they are headed towards Rawalakot. The march is being caused by the impasse in the negotiations.

Reportedly, the demonstrators have blocked the 40-kilometer Kohala–Muzaffarabad Road, which connects Kohala Town and Muzaffarabad, multiple times.

Traffic on main thoroughfares and roads has decreased, and large police contingents have been stationed at strategic points and roundabouts.

After fighting broke out between the police and demonstrators in Mirpur on Saturday, which left one policeman dead and numerous others injured, the AJK government dispatched Rangers.

Everything is completely suspended, including internet and cellular services, business, and education.

Under the pretext of talks, Awami Action Committee leader Sardar Umar Nazir Kashmiri has charged that the administration is using deceptive methods.

Apart from the flour subsidy, he continues, the administration will not budge on any other demand.

CONVENE MEETINGS, PRESIDENT, PM

All parties involved have been asked by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Zardari to use moderation and engage in discussions to find a solution. According to both, the demonstrators in Azad Kashmir should have their legitimate demands met.

The issue in AJK will be the topic of a significant meeting that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is calling today, Monday.

The skirmishes between the demonstrators and the AJK police caused anxiety for the premier on Sunday.

Speaking with Chaudhry Anwarul Haq, the prime minister of AJK, he said he also gave the office-bearers of the All-Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in AJK instructions to speak with the leaders of the Awami Action Committee.

Olive Branch is offered by AJK PM.

Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Chaudhry Anwarul Haq stated on Sunday that his administration was ready to lessen the burden of exorbitant grain and energy costs.

Regarding Saturday’s meetings with the demonstrators, Prime Minister Haq declared, “We are determined to implement the agreement we have reached with the Awami Action Committee.”

Politicians, according to Haq, have found solutions to issues through discussion and “we are ready to talk with the Awami Action Committee at any level and the demands related to the government of Pakistan will be raised before the federation.”

In order to ease the burden of rising flour and power prices, he also expressed a willingness to modify the development budget if needed.

The AJK prime minister stated that his government’s first priority was ensuring public safety, and he further stated that no force was applied to the demonstrators.

Sub-inspector Adnan Qureshi was killed in a confrontation with demonstrators in Mirpur, and hundreds of people attended his funeral on Monday.

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Today’s National Assembly session is scheduled.

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The National Assembly (NA) will meet today (Monday) at the invitation of President Asif Ali Zardari.

At 4:00 p.m., the National Assembly will convene in the federal capital at Parliament House. The meeting’s agenda has been released by the assembly secretariat.

As per Article 54(1) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President has the authority to call a session of the National Assembly.

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