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Ignoring the cries of those affected by climate change

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This year, Pakistan has faced the most monstrous climate catastrophe in the country’s history, leaving a third of land mass here under water.

The sheer staggering numbers of people affected by the monsoons and the ensuing floods are increasing by the day, the majority of them women and children. However, climate change is more than just changing temperatures and weather patterns. The estimated number of people affected is comparable to the entire population of Manchester.

The monsoons and floods which have affected coastal regions in Sindh have destroyed precious farmland, homes, livestock, and taken more than 1300 lives, a third of which are children. The problem now is the water left behind by the flood which is proving difficult to remove. It has become a reservoir for mosquitoes and water-borne diseases, further adding to the suffering of those still stuck there.

Since the water has stagnated in cotton and crop farms, that means a looming toll on the major industrial backbone of Pakistan’s economy which is already under pressure from growing inflation.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has estimated that about 80-90 per cent of main crops, such as rice, wheat, sugarcane, and vegetables, have been washed away by the flood, showing how grim the situation truly is. His efforts have been crucial to getting global attention, especially from the IMF and China. During his speech at the Ministerial Meeting in New York earlier this year, the foreign minister had said: “Hunger has no nationality, poverty does not care for the colour of our skin, viruses, bacteria and infections do not recognize borders, rising sea levels, and the threat of climate catastrophe does not recognize ethnicities”.

In his speech, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also held our history of colonialism and international political warfare accountable, a part of history that has left humanitarian crises in its wake. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s endeavours to bring solutions and change as part of climate diplomacy have been a ray of hope for all those people and areas affected.

The IMF has released $1.1 billion in aid, although it is estimated that we might need $20 billion dollars to help the catastrophe affectees return to their normal lives. China has been a quick responder to our situation as well, sending multiple necessary items as emergency humanitarian relief.

Despite the timely help, aid has been slow to reach the affected areas due to multiple factors. First, a lot of the disaster-hit areas are not accessible via land, and many people are stuck without food, aid, and clean drinking water. Second, there is mass migration of people trying to leave the areas subject to extreme weather conditions, floods, and wildfires. Third, the glaciers which provide water for crops and drinking, are melting and receding. The vast extent of global warming and its effects are uncountable.

Houses can be rebuilt, crops can be salvaged, but precious lives cannot be brought back. It is our duty to understand the extent of the devastating effects of climate change, and work to halt the progression if not entirely reverse it. The three main goals in the Paris Agreement include reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, mobilizing funds for those affected by extreme global warming catastrophes, and adapting to climate impacts.

In Pakistan, the city of Jacobabad in the Sindh province experienced temperatures of 51 degrees Celsius in the spring, and is one of the most devastated cities after the floods. Pakistan is responsible for approximately less than one per cent of global greenhouse emissions, so why is it bearing the brunt of the catastrophe? Many demand reparations in the form of monetary aid as well as cancelling debts as part of climate compensation.

The cost of climate catastrophe recovery is calculated to be at around $20 billion. Western countries have a big role in bringing the world’s climate to this stage and they must pay back reparations for all the damage they have caused. They must be held responsible. The poor are not the ones who caused climate change. Our people are not responsible for climate change the way the US, UK, Russia or China are. What may seem a distant effect of global warming to them will fast become a stark reality if we don’t work to stop burning fossil fuels and ignoring the cries of the affected.

The writer is a member of the Sindh Assembly

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The captain of the Pakistan Shaheens’ white-ball team has been announced for the upcoming trip to Darwin.

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Mohammad Haris, a wicket-keeper batsman, has been chosen as the captain of Pakistan Shaheens for the two 50-over matches and nine-team Top End T20 series in Darwin, Australia. The matches will take place from 4-18 August.

Haris recently led Pakistan Shaheens in the ACC Men’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo. In this tournament, Pakistan successfully defended their championship by defeating India with a margin of 128 runs.

The Pakistan Shaheens have already arrived in Darwin to play two four-day matches against Bangladesh ‘A’ on July 19-22 and July 26-29. Sahibzada Farhan is currently captaining the team in the longer format of the game.

Following the two four-day matches, the Shaheens will engage in 50-over matches against Northern Territory (NT) and Bangladesh ‘A’ on 4 and 6 August, respectively, prior to the start of the T20 series on 9 August.

The T20 competition includes additional teams such as ACT Comets, Bangladesh ‘A’, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Northern Territory Strike, Adelaide Strikers, and Tasmania.

In addition, seven modifications have been implemented for the white-ball contests compared to the red-ball side.

Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Jahandad Khan, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Imran Jnr, and Usman Khan are the replacements for Kamran Ghulam, Khurram Shahzad, Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Ali, Mubasir Khan, Tayyab Tahir, and Umar Amin.

The Pakistan Shaheens will participate in the Darwin series for the second consecutive year. In the previous year, NT Strike emerged victorious over Shaheens in the final of the Top End T20 Series with a margin of 46 runs. Subsequently, Pakistan Shaheens achieved a resounding victory over PNG by 224 runs and Northern Strike by 84 runs in the two One-day matches.

The white-ball squad of Pakistan Shaheens
Mohammad Haris is the captain of the team, and the other players in the squad are Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Faisal Akram, Haseebullah (who is both a wicketkeeper and a batter), Muhammad Irfan Khan, Jahandad Khan, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Imran Jnr, Omair bin Yousuf, Sahibzada Farhan, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Khan.

The personnel providing support to the players include Abdul Rehman as the head coach, Mohammad Masroor as the assistant coach-cum-manager, Mohammad Asad as the physiotherapist, Imranullah as the trainer, and Usman Hashmi as the analyst.

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Explanation: The increase in inflation in the United States would cause electricity costs in Pakistan to rise.

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Electricity contracts between Independent Power Plants (IPPs) and the federal government not only involve capacity costs, but also have a significant impact on the economy and the financial well-being of the population. These contracts are closely linked to the inflation rate and the value of the US dollar.

Startling disclosures have emerged regarding the exorbitant electricity tariffs in Pakistan. The Council of Economic and Energy Journalists Sage, representing the institute, provided a briefing to leading journalists in Karachi.

According to the information provided, the electricity rate component in Pakistan experienced a 253 percent increase from 2019 to 2024 as a result of inflation in America.

The data presented in the briefing indicates that the capacity charges in Pakistan were Rs3.26 per unit in 2019 and climbed to Rs10.34 per unit in 2024.

The capacity charges imposed on the public incorporate the effects of both US inflation and domestic inflation.

Due to the rise in the country’s interest rate, the interest payment for energy has climbed by 343% during a span of four years. Over the course of four years, the working capital of IPPs caused a 716 percent increase in the cost of power per unit.

The electricity rate has increased by 12 to 20 percent, with 70 percent of the charges being capacity charges.

SDPI experts recommended the government to adopt a centralised tariff policy rather than a universal electricity tariff strategy.

The power generation capacity amounts to 23,000 megawatts.

As a result of the increase in solar power generation in the country, the capacity charges will have an additional adverse impact on the residents.

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Business

Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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