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Pakistan looks ‘like a sea’ after floods, PM Shehbaz says, as 18 more die

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  • Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visits flood-hit areas in Sindh.
  • You won’t believe scale of destruction there, PM tells journalists.
  • 33 million of a population of 220 million have been affected so far.

SEHWAN: Parts of Pakistan seemed “like a sea”, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Wednesday, after visiting some of the flood-hit areas that cover as much as a third of the South Asian nation, where 18 more deaths took the toll from days of rain to 1,343.

As many as 33 million of a population of 220 million have been affected in a disaster blamed on climate change that has left hundreds of thousands homeless and caused losses of at least $10 billion, officials estimate.

“You wouldn’t believe the scale of destruction there,” PM Shehbaz told media after a visit to the southern province of Sindh. “It is water everywhere as far as you could see. It is just like a sea.”

The government, which has boosted cash handouts for flood victims to 70 billion Pakistani rupees ($313.90 million), will buy 200,000 tents to house displaced families, he added.

Receding waters threaten a new challenge in the form of water-borne infectious diseases, PM Shehbaz said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses journalists in Sindh after visiting flood-hit areas, on September 7, 2022. — Reuters
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses journalists in Sindh after visiting flood-hit areas, on September 7, 2022. — Reuters

“We will need trillions of rupees to cope with this calamity.”

The United Nations has called for $160 million in aid to help the flood victims.

Many of those affected are from Sindh, where Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake is dangerously close to bursting its banks, even after having been breached in an operation that displaced 100,000 people.

National disaster officials said eight children were among the dead in the last 24 hours. The floods were brought by record monsoon rains and glacier melt in Pakistan’s northern mountains.

With more rain expected in the coming month, the situation could worsen further, a top official of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned.

Already, the World Health Organization has said more than 6.4 million people need humanitarian support in the flooded areas.

Residents use boats as they travel amid flood water, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Bajara village, at the banks of Manchar lake, in Sehwan, Pakistan September 6, 2022. — Reuters
Residents use boats as they travel amid flood water, following rains and floods during the monsoon season in Bajara village, at the banks of Manchar lake, in Sehwan, Pakistan September 6, 2022. — Reuters

The raging waters have swept away 1.6 million houses, 5,735 km (3,564 miles) of transport links, 750,000 head of livestock, and swamped more than 2 million acres (809,370 hectares) of farmland.

Pakistan has received nearly 190% more rain than the 30-year average in July and August, totalling 391 mm (15.4 inches), with Sindh getting 466% more rain than the average.

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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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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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