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All major roads in Murree cleared for all types of traffic 

After clearance of main roads, Army engineers are now focusing on link roads

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All major roads in Murree cleared for all types of traffic 
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Rawalpindi: All major roads in Murree have been cleared for all types of traffic. 

According to the Inter-Service Public Relation (ISPR), after clearance of main roads, Army engineers are now focusing on link roads.

Relief camps, medical facilities are fully operating and Army transport is plying for moving of stranded tourists to Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Meanwhile, operations for the evacuation of snow storm stranded tourists in Murree and Galyat are in full swing by Pakistan Air Force.

Spokesperson of the PAF said that during the rescue operations, PAF personnel have shifted more than 100 persons, including women and children at PAF Bases Kalabagh and Lower Topa. Shelter, food and medical facilities are being provided round the clock to the affected families by the rescue teams of PAF.

On the other hand, the Punjab government has announced to provide compensation to the families of the 23 people who died in Murree on Friday.

In statement, Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Usman Buzdar held a meeting with senior officials to discuss the situation in Murree. The meeting was attended by provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat, chief secretary, senior member of Board of Revenue Punjab and others.

The chief minister was briefed that the situation in Murree had returned to normalcy. The Punjab government took a decision to compensate to the families of all those who lost their lives after being stuck on roads leading to Murree due to heavy snowfall during the meeting.

It was decided that the families of the dead will be provided financial assistance. The government will provide Rs800,000 compensation for each death in Murree, adding that Rs176 million has been approved in this regard. The aggrieved families will jointly receive Rs17.6 million in wake of financial assistance.

Meanwhile, at least 23 people have been killed after heavy snowfall covered Murree and other northern areas of Pakistan, hampering traffic and disrupting public transportation. 

The rescue operation, which was suspended earlier after night fell, has resumed as the sun is finally shining in Murree after two freezing and terrifying nights.

Earlier, Punjab government subsequently declared Murree a calamity hit area in view of the situation arising there because of heavy snowfall. Entry into the hill station is still banned. Only emergency and rescue vehicles have been allowed.

The rescue operation has resumed and personnel of the Pakistan Army, FWO, and NDMA are removing snow from main roads from cranes and other heavy machinery. They said 90% of the roads, Bara Kahu to Murree, Nathia Gali to Kuldana, Gika Gali, and Mall Road, have been cleared.

According to the NDMA Chairperson Lt-General Akhtar Nawaz, 600 to 700 vehicles have been evacuated. Over 5,000 cars have left Murree. "371 tourists have been shifted to the relief camps set up by the Pakistan Army before the night", the chairman NDMA said.

He further said that except for Bariyan, NathiaGali, and Abbottabad, all the roads have been cleared. "The situation is slowly coming back to normal."

On Saturday, the government imposed a restriction on the entry of tourists into Shogran, Naran, and Kaghan as well.

According to the notification from the office of Deputy Commissioner Mansehra, Tehsil Balakot, Naran, Kaghan and Shogran have been closed for all kinds of traffic due to the bad weather conditions.

Earlier, the Met Office had said that the weather in Murree will get better by Sunday afternoon and snowfall will stop which will help the rescue operations.

However, as the snow melts, expressways and highways heading to the hill station will become slippery increasing the chances of road accidents.

On Friday, thousands of tourists entered the hill station to enjoy the weather after the area received heavy snowfall—causing heavy traffic jams on Murree-Islamabad Motorway. It has been reported that over 100,000 vehicles entered the hill station.

Faisal Waqas

Faisal Waqas is a passionate journalist who has eight years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has previously worked with other renowned private TV channels as well as English Newspaper and now associated with GNN as Senior Content Writer. Faisal has graduated from the University of Punjab and earned his M.Phil degree in Mass Communication from Superior University of Lahore.

World

Bomb on bus kills six in western Afghan city of Herat

The sticky bomb attached to the fuel tank of the passenger vehicle

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Bomb on bus kills six in western Afghan city of Herat

Kabul: A bomb blast on a minibus killed at least six people in the western Afghan city of Herat on Saturday.

The sticky bomb was attached to the fuel tank of the bus, and left nine other people wounded.

"Four women were among the six killed," the head of Herat s provincial hospital, Arif Jalali said.

The blast was confirmed by Herat's intelligence office.

"Initial reports indicate it was a sticky bomb attached to the fuel tank of the passenger vehicle," said Sabit Harwi, a spokesman for the office.

Herat provincial police also confirmed the bomb blast.

Security in Afghanistan has vastly improved since a two-decade long insurgency by the Taliban ended with the hardline Islamist group’s capture of the capital Kabul in August.

However, several attacks are reported each week throughout the country, including some claimed by the regional chapter of the Islamic State group.

Herat is the country's third-biggest city, close to the border with Iran, and has remained relatively peaceful in recent months.

SOURCE: AFP

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World

South Korea pays Iran's UN dues with frozen assets

Iran has more than $7 billion in funds for oil shipments frozen at two South Korean banks due to US sanctions.

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South Korea pays Iran's UN dues with frozen assets

Seoul: South Korea has used $18 million of frozen Iranian assets to pay Tehran's dues to the UN, Seoul said Sunday, in a move to immediately restore the country's voting power.

The payment was made Friday in cooperation with the US and the UN after Iran made an "emergency request" to South Korea to pay the dues, the finance ministry said in a statement Sunday.

Iran has more than $7 billion in funds for oil shipments frozen at two South Korean banks due to US sanctions.

"Iran's voting right at the UN General Assembly is expected to be immediately restored with the payment," the ministry added.

The Islamic republic was South Korea's third-largest Middle Eastern trade partner before the United States unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions.

The UN cited unpaid dues when it suspended Iran's voting rights at the General Assembly earlier this month.

Under the UN charter, a member country's right to vote is suspended when its arrears equal or exceed the dues it should have paid over the preceding two years.

Iran also lost its vote over unpaid dues last year. It said it could not pay even the minimum amount because of US economic sanctions.

After months of negotiations Iran was granted an exemption -- it was allowed to access money blocked by the US Treasury -- and got back its vote in June in time for the election of new members of the Security Council.

SOURCE: AFP

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Sports

Mohammad Rizwan named Men's T20 Cricketer of the Year

Pakistan Cricket Board also felicitated the top batman for winning the ICC honor

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Mohammad Rizwan named Men's T20 Cricketer of the Year

Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday named Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan following a stellar year in the shortest format of the game.

A statement issued by the ICC said that Sheer consistency, indomitable spirit and some breathtaking knocks — the ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year enjoyed a memorable run in 2021.

Taking to Twitter, wicket keeper-batter Rizwan expressed gratitude towards Allah and his fans for the award and dedicated it to the country and Pakistani nation.

Pakistan Cricket Board also felicitated the top batman for winning the ICC honor.

The star batman ruled the roost in the shortest format of the game in 2021. He amassed staggering 1,326 runs in only 29 matches and struck at an average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 134.89. Rizwan struck 196 fours in these games which is also the highest by any batter in T20s in 2021.

Apart from his top-notch batting, the 29-year-old was as solid as ever behind the stumps, playing a crucial role in Green shirts’ advancement to the semis during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.

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