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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

31 August 2020, Monday I Vol 1, No.120

Karachi continues to struggle, while the other provinces also face the fury of floods



PR Daily Brief | PR Team

Continuous protest against the waterlogged in Karachi, call for CBC Chief Executive
On 31 August, widespread devastation in the metropolis after the city remained waterlogged and without power. The protest called for CBC Chief executive officer to address the issue and carried placards and chanting slogans for the repairs. Series of demands were put forward. First, the resignation of the CBC head and the DHA administrator, Second, areas to be drained within the next three days, Third, electricity and gas to be restored in all phases within the next 24 hours and lastly, spraying to be carried out against mosquitoes. (“Residents protest as Karachi's DHA, Clifton remain waterlogged, powerless 5 days after monsoon spell,” Dawn, 31 August 2020)

Imran Khan directs the government to finalize the Karachi transformation plan in a week 
On 31 August, Prime Imran Khan directed the government to finalise the Karachi transformation plan within a week. The plan, formulated to address specific challenges faced by Karachi, was proposed by the planning ministry in a meeting with the Imran Khan. Karachi transformation plan aims to address issues such as solid waste management, water shortage, cleaning of nullahs, sewerage, and transport. The directive comes a week after Karachi was flooded after heavy rainfall, which claimed the 30 lives. The once again exposed the poor infrastructure of the city. (“PM wants Karachi Transformation Plan to be finalized within a week,” Dawn, 31 August 2020)

 
A residential area in Karachi (Image Source: Dawn)

PMD issues flood warning  
On 31 August, Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) issued a flood warning for the northern parts of the country, predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall in catchment areas of Kabul River along with hill torrents of Dera Ghazi Khan division. PMD said that monsoon has become active over Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Kashmir, causing widespread rains. The alert from PMD warned that the existing weather system is likely to continue for the next 48 hours. It also advised the concerned authorities to remain alert. (“PMD issues significant flood warning for northern parts of the country,” Dawn, 31 August 2020)

The lowest number of daily COVID-19 cases reported in four months
On 30 August, Pakistan recorded its lowest daily count of COVID-19 cases in more than four months with 213 new cases in a day, and six deaths across the country, while it sampled 18,017 tests. These new figures are the lowest tally since 10 April, where 186 new infections were reported in a day. (“Pakistan reports lowest daily number of COVID-19 cases in 4 months,” The News International, 31 August 2020)

Pakistan condemns defilement of the Quran in Sweden and Norway
On 30 August, the Foreign Office condemned the recent incidents in Sweden and Norway in which copies of the Holy Quran were reportedly burnt, stating that “freedom of speech can't justify religious hatred.” Further, the FO spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri in a Tweet stated, “the rise of such Islamophobic occurrences goes against the spirit of any religion,” adding, “ensuring respect for religious beliefs of others is a collective responsibility and is absolutely critical for global peace and prosperity.” These statements came after, a riot broke out in the southern Swedish town of Malmo, where around 300 people had gathered to protest against anti-Islam activities. (“Pakistan strongly condemns desecration of Quran in Sweden and Norway,” Dawn, 31 August 2020)

 

 
 (Image Source: The News)

IMB says the situation is “extremely worrying” as the outbreak of the poliovirus spreads to previously polio-free areas in the country
The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) in its latest assessment of the global polio eradication programme issued a warning stating that if Pakistan does not adopt transformative measures to eradicate poliovirus from the country in the next six months, the situation could become worse. The 18th report of the IMB stated: “there is a new impetus for change and for rapid progress to be made.” Further, citing modelling data, the report notes that Pakistan is at the risk of wild poliovirus cases reaching 500 by the end of 2020 and vaccine-derived poliovirus cases reaching 1,000. Further, the report states, “unless renewed, well-planned and sustained polio vaccination is resumed for the remainder of 2020, the consequences of the inevitable large outbreaks of both kinds of poliovirus will be dire for Pakistan, Afghanistan and probably other countries as well.” (“IMB says if drastic measures not adopted then polio could be worse in six months,” The News International, 31 August 2020)

Youm-i-Ashura observed amid tight security
On 30 August, Youm-i-Ashura was observed nationwide to pay homage to Imam Hussain and other martyrs of Karbala amid strict security arrangements to protect mourners from any unwarranted incidents. The processions were carried out in various cities as thousands of security personnel protected the mourners, further cell phone services in areas across the country were also suspended. Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted, “there are 3 imp messages for us from Imam Hussain AS, his family & followers' sacrifice at Karbala. 1. Immortality is earned by those who give the supreme sacrifice of their lives to stand against tyranny & injustice. It is not earned simply by being rich, powerful or educated.” Further, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also tweeted, “let us draw strength from the legacy of Imam Hussain Ibn e Ali (R.A), the embodiment of bravery and determination in the face of oppression and tyranny. May we learn to meet every challenge ahead with the same fortitude and courage.” (Qazi Hassan, Imtiaz Ali, Sirajuddin, Ghalib Nihad, “Youm-i-Ashura observed nationwide amid tight security,” Dawn, 31 August 2020)
 

 


"Unless renewed, well-planned and sustained polio vaccination is resumed for the remainder of 2020, the consequences of the inevitable large outbreaks of both kinds of poliovirus will be dire for Pakistan, Afghanistan and probably other countries as well"

-  Independent Monitoring Board  (IMB) assessment on Pakistan

 

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