Connect with us

Pakistan

PM directs early disbursement of aid to Balochistan affectees as rains kill over 130

Published

on

  • PM Shehbaz says ensure provision of rations to affectees.
  • Rain-related death toll in Balochistan reaches 136.
  • 13,535 houses partially damaged; 3,406 completely destroyed.

QUETTA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday directed authorities to provide relief amounts to flood and rain affectees after heavy downpours wreaked havoc and hampered relief efforts in Balochistan.

In the latest statistics, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), Balochistan, said that among the 136 deceased, 56 were men, 47 children, and 33 women, while 70 people have been injured.

The PDMA’s report showed that the rains damaged 13,535 houses and completely destroyed 3,406 homes, and the heavy downpour also inflicted damage to 16 bridges and 640 kilometres of roads.

Over 20,000 cattle have been killed in the flash floods, eight dam embankments have been damaged, and crops on 198,000-acre land have been destroyed.

PM Shehbaz, while speaking to journalists during his visit to a tent village in the Khusnoob area of Qilla Saifullah, said the federal and provincial governments would undertake joint efforts for the relief and rehabilitation of flood-affected people.

The prime minister — who visited Balochistan for the second time in three days — said that he has directed the authorities to ensure that the relief amount — Rs1 million — is provided to the heirs of those who lost their loved ones in the calamity within the next 24 hours.

Apart from the federal government’s one million rupees, the Balochistan government will also extend the same compensation to the bereaved families, he said.

PM Shehbaz noted that financial assistance will also be provided to the injured. He said Rs500,000 would be provided to those whose houses were completely destroyed, while the assistance of Rs200,000 would be given for the partially damaged houses.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in conversation with Balochistan flood-affectees, on August 1, 2022. — PM Office
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in conversation with Balochistan flood-affectees, on August 1, 2022. — PM Office

PM Shehbaz said a joint survey would also be conducted to assess the damages caused by the floods to crops, livestock, and infrastructure. He assured that compensation would also be given to the people who lost their crops and livestock whilst infrastructure damaged by the floods would also be repaired.

The prime minister also took serious notice of the non-provision of rations in the tent village. He directed the authorities concerned to ensure the provision of rations and water to the flood-affected people.

‘Rescue takes time’

In conversation with Geo News, Balochistan Government Spokesperson Farah Azeem Shah said that storms also hit the United States, and the province is no exception, adding that “rescue operations take time”.

The spokesperson said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has visited Balochistan and the provincial government is in contact with the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the authorities seek to provide relief to the people.

In the coming months, Shah said the government will devise a long-term plan for dealing with rains. “We are rallying the non-government organisations (NGOs) and will not abandon the people.”

She added that the rescue operations have been completed to a large extent, while relief operations are underway. The spokesperson claimed that till the rescue and relief operations are underway, government officials’ salaries will be deposited to the relief fund.

Shah also said that the Karachi-Quetta road — which was heavily damaged due to the heavy rains — has finally been restored for traffic.

The situation of roads

On the other hand, Levies Force, in a statement, said that in the upper areas of Toba Achakzai and Toba Kakari, links roads were damaged and commuters are facing trouble.

The link roads of Kan Mehtarzai, Muslim Bagh, and Loi Band have not been restored, while internet, telephone, and electricity have still not been restored in several upper areas, the force said.

The statement said that the Quetta-Harnai Highway remains closed for the third day for all kinds of traffic at Chapper Rift in Ziarat’s limits after landsliding, while the restoration works have not been started there as of yet.

The provincial government, district administration, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, and Frontier Corps are engaged in rescue and relief operations.

Latest News

government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

Published

on

By

On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

Published

on

By

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

Published

on

By

With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

Continue Reading

Trending