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Climate extremes in 2022, such as Pakistani floods, call for more action: UN

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  • Need to cut greenhouse gases underscored in report.
  • WMO chief stresses on need to enhance preparedness.
  • Report states Pakistan experienced soaring heat in March and April.

From extreme floods — like those in Pakistan — to heat and drought, weather and climate-related disasters have affected millions and cost billions this year, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) — a Geneva-based UN agency — said Friday, describing the “tell-tale signs and impacts” of intensified climate change.

The clear need to do much more to cut greenhouse gas emissions was again underscored throughout events in 2022, said the agency, advocating for strengthened climate change adaptation, including universal access to early warnings.

“This year, we have faced several dramatic weather disasters which claimed far too many lives and livelihoods and undermined health, food, energy and water security, and infrastructure”, WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

Record-breaking rain in July and August led to extensive flooding in Pakistan, which affected 33 million people claiming 1,700 lives and displacing 7.9 million people.

“One-third of Pakistan was flooded, with major economic losses and human casualties,” Taalas said.

According to WMO, global temperature figures for 2022 will be released in mid-January, but the past eight years are on track to be the eight warmest on record.

While the persistence of a cooling La Niña event, now in its third year, means that 2022 will not be the warmest year on record, its cooling impact will be short-lived and not reverse the long-term warming trend caused by record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

Moreover, this will be the tenth successive year that temperatures have reached at least 1°C above pre-industrial levels — likely to breach the 1.5°C limits of the Paris Agreement.

Early warnings, increasing investment in the basic global observing system and building resilience to extreme weather and climate will be among WMO priorities in 2023 — the year that the WMO community celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Internally displaced people wade through floodwaters to return home after heavy monsoon rains in Dadu district, Sindh province on September 7, 2022. Record monsoon rains have caused devastating floods across Pakistan since June, killing more than 1,200 people and leaving almost a third of the country under water, affecting the lives of 33 million. — AFP
Internally displaced people wade through floodwaters to return home after heavy monsoon rains in Dadu district, Sindh province on September 7, 2022. Record monsoon rains have caused devastating floods across Pakistan since June, killing more than 1,200 people and leaving almost a third of the country under water, affecting the lives of 33 million. — AFP

“There is a need to enhance preparedness for such extreme events and to ensure that we meet the UN target of Early Warnings for All in the next five years”, said the top WMO official.

WMO will also promote a new way of monitoring the sinks and sources of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide by using the ground-based Global Atmosphere Watch, satellite and assimilation modelling, which allows a better understanding of how key greenhouse gases behave in the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases are just one climate indicator used to observe levels. The sea levels, which have doubled since 1993; ocean heat content; and acidification are also at recorded highs.

The past two-and-a-half years alone account for 10% of overall sea level rise since satellite measurements started nearly 30 years ago, said WMO’s provisional State of the Global Climate in 2022 report.

And 2022 took an exceptionally heavy toll on glaciers in the European Alps, with initial indications of record-shattering melt.

The Greenland ice sheet lost mass for the 26th consecutive year and it rained — rather than snowed — on the summit for the first time in September.

Although 2022 did not break global temperature records, it topped many national heat records throughout the world.

India and Pakistan experienced soaring heat in March and April. China had the most extensive and long-lasting heatwave since national records began and the second-driest summer on record. Parts of the northern hemisphere were exceptionally hot and dry.

A large area centred around the central-northern part of Argentina, as well as in southern Bolivia, central Chile, and most of Paraguay and Uruguay experienced record-breaking temperatures during two consecutive heatwaves in late November and early December 2022.

“Record-breaking heatwaves have been observed in China, Europe, and North and South America”, the WMO chief added. “The long-lasting drought in the Horn of Africa threatens a humanitarian catastrophe.

While large parts of Europe sweltered in repeated episodes of extreme heat, the United Kingdom hit a new national record in July, when the temperature topped more than 40°C for the very first time.

In East Africa, rainfall has been below average throughout four consecutive wet seasons — the longest in 40 years — triggering a major humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people, devastating agriculture, and killing livestock, especially in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

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In Lahore, several unlawful constructions were dismantled

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In response to bylaw infractions, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) demolished a number of structures in Lahore.

An illicit workshop next to Hair Factory at Adda Plot on Raiwind Road was destroyed by the LDA crew.

Along Raiwind Road and in LDA-controlled areas close to Lahore Ring Road, a number of additional unlawful constructions were also removed.

In addition, a private school that had broken land use regulations was sealed.

Chief Town Planner II Azhar Ali led the operation with the assistance of the police, enforcement team, and heavy equipment.

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Pakistan

Bushra Bibi challenges the Nikah case’s verdict in court.

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According to specifics, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry, entered a plea on her behalf, requesting that the trial court’s decision from February 3 be deemed invalid.

Salman Akram Raja, Salman Safdar, and other individuals will also be parties in this action, while Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka and the federal government have been named respondents in the plea.

According to the plea, the former first lady went to her mother’s house in August 2017 after divorcing in April.

Furthermore, the ruling is unlawful, immoral, and un-Islamic because the matter pertaining to Bushra Bibi and Khan’s nikah was outside the court’s jurisdiction.

In a case concerning their marriage during the latter’s Iddat era, a court in Islamabad earlier this year condemned former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison apiece.

The decision on the lawsuit submitted by Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka in a temporary court at Adiala jail was announced by senior civil judge Qudratullah. The pair was also fined Rs 500,000 apiece by the court.

Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan’s marriage
In February 2018, the former prime minister married Bushra Bibi in Lahore.

Only the bride’s mother and other close relatives and friends were present for the ceremony. The sisters of the PTI founder, however, were not present.

Former SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and Awn Chaudhary, leaders of the Pakitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were present when Mufti Saeed conducted the nikah.

Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka had petitioned the court last year, arguing that the marriage was unlawful and in violation of Sharia law.

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Pakistan

Culprit running social media campaign against CJP and was arrested

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The person suspected of spearheading a social media campaign against Pakistan’s Chief Justice (CJP) has been taken into custody by law officials.

According to sources, Abdul Wasay, a resident of Rawalpindi, was arrested for planning a threatening campaign against Pakistan’s Chief Justice, Qazi Faez Isa. They said that Wasay had taken part in character assassination on social media sites and made direct threats as part of a harmful campaign against the CJP on X (formerly Twitter).

Law enforcement responded quickly to Wasay’s concerning acts, which resulted in his imprisonment. Currently, inquiries are being conducted to find additional participants in the campaign. The sources also suggest that law enforcement organisations are making a concerted effort to identify each participant.

Authorities have made it clear that, once they have identified the participants in the threatening campaign, they will all face severe legal consequences. The gravity of the issue emphasises how crucial it is to protect public servants’ safety and dignity as well as the rule of law.

Abdul Wasay’s arrest sends a strong message to the public that acting in a threatening or derogatory manner towards public persons is unacceptable. It emphasises how determined law enforcement is to protect the rule of law and bring anyone who attempt to compromise the credibility of the courts or any other branch of government accountable.

To combat defamatory social media campaigns that target government personnel and the electoral commission, the caretaker government said on Wednesday that a new joint investigative team (JIT) will be formed for in-depth inquiries.

The decision was made in the wake of mounting worries about the dissemination of false information and attempts to sway public opinion by using dishonest methods. Maintaining the integrity of the electoral process and making sure that elections are transparent and fair are commitments made by the caretaker administration.

A caretaker government spokesman addressed the issue, saying, “We cannot allow malicious actors to undermine the democratic process through deceitful means.”

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