NDMA’s wakeup call ahead of Monsoon
AS the monsoon is fast approaching, the National Disaster Manage ment Authority (NDMA) on Thursday reviewed all preparatory homework chalked out at Federal and Provincial levels to minimize the impact of impending possible floods and to streamline the rescue and relief measures and flood rehabilitation plans. The conference was chaired by its Chairman, Major General Asghar Nawaz, who has infused a new spirit in the Authority as far as its preparedness to tackle any emergency is concerned.
On many occasions in the past, both people and the authorities concerned were caught unaware by natural calamities and as a consequence the country suffered avoidable losses. Therefore, the timely move of NDMA to sensitize all stakeholders about possible dangers during the forthcoming monsoon season would surely help address the challenge effectively. This is important as already Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast ten to twenty percent above normal rainfall across the country with high probability of heavy downpour, which may generate flash flooding along Suleman Range besides urban flooding in big cities. It is understood that NDMA’s main role and responsibility comes after natural calamities as it coordinates rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts. The main responsibility of taking precautionary measures rests with Civic authorities, Tehsil and District administrations and Provincial governments, which have the jurisdiction and necessary paraphernalia to undertake preventive measures. We are, however, confident that General Asghar Nawaz, who has demonstrated his leadership qualities and disaster management skills in the past, would help improve coordination among all stakeholders so that they are fully prepared and motivated to cope with any emergency situation. The most important aspect of the campaign should be to strengthen early warning systems as our weaknesses were exposed in the recent duststorm that played havoc in different parts of the country but there was no advance warning from the quarters concerned.
AS the world of Islam bleeds in seven major states, namely, the occupied Palestine, Libya, Syria, Iraq ,Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan, the US Mid-East policy continually ensures that the bloodiest of all the issues- the Israeli occupation of Palestine- does not make even a column-sised headline as against the media coverage needed for the US Anti-Daesh priority-war in the region. Despite all the hurdles, a significant initiative recently emerged when the president of Palestine, Mahmood Abbas, flew into Cairo for talks with the Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Alsisi, and the French Prime minister Manuel Valls, visited both, Israel and Palestine where he outlined his plan for an international conference to be specifically convened for the resolution of the Palestinian issue.
Almost simultaneously, the Egyptian president broke his silence on May 17, and announced, in the Egyptian city of Assiut, his peace proposal that invited both Israel and the Palestinians to start talks on the basis of two states solution. Interestingly, the Israeli prime minister, Natanyahu, rejected the French proposal, but, expressed his praise, and that too quite publicly, for the Egyptian peace overture. The untiring US secretary of state, John Kerry, was no less engaged over the Palestinian issue as he was also seen holding talks in Cairo with President Al Sisi on May 18.
In his first speech on Palestine, the Egyptian president made a passionate appeal to both Israelis and Palestinians
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