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Hassan Ali asks nation not to share videos, images of Murree incident

Heart goes out to the families of those who lost their precious lives, says Fast Bowler

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Hassan Ali asks nation not to share videos, images of Murree incident
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Pakistani fast bowler Hassan Ali on Sunday asked the nation to not share videos or images of tourists on social media who died in the Murree incident to show some respect to the deceased.

Taking to Twitter, Hassan Ali asked fans to be sensitive about the issue. "What happened in Murree could have been prevented," he added in his tweet.

Expressing sadness and grief over the deaths in the hill station, the pacer wrote: “My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their precious lives.”

Hassan Ali also prayed for the deceased, saying: "May the Almighty Allah bless the departed souls."

On the other hand, 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.

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Several fishermen trapped in sea storm near Lasbela

A boat carrying fishermen hit Gadani beach

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Several fishermen trapped in sea storm near Lasbela

Karachi/Lasbela: Several fishermen who went to deep sea for fishing got stuck in sea storm triggered by gusty winds near Daam port, Lasbela on late Friday.

Speedy winds raised huge tides in the Arabian Sea that entangled several boats in the open sea.

On other other hand, a boat carrying seven fishermen smashed into Gadani beach. All who were on board were rescued.  

The boat's engine went powered off and speedy tides took it to the ship breaking area of Gadani beach.

Rescue efforts were launched till the filing of this report.

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8 Afghan resistance fighters killed in firefight with Taliban

Fighters from the National Resistance Front (NRF)had fought Taliban forces in Balkh province

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8 Afghan resistance fighters killed in firefight with Taliban

The Taliban killed eight resistance fighters from a national opposition group in a firefight in the north of Afghanistan, police said on Friday.

Since storming back to power in August the Taliban have flatly denied facing organised resistance, but the gun battle on Thursday night may demonstrate that armed opposition is building against their hardline rule.

Fighters from the National Resistance Front (NRF), a group led by the son of legendary late anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, fought Taliban forces in Balkh province.

Eight NRF fighters were killed in a “direct clash” with the Taliban, provincial police spokesman Asif Waziri told reporters in an audio message.

Waziri said Taliban forces also seized ammunition and machine guns from the NRF fighters. An NRF spokesman was yet to respond to a request for comment from AFP.

The fighting comes less than two weeks after Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi held talks with Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, in Tehran.

After that summit an official for the resistance faction said the NRF and Taliban remained on “separate pages” with no prospect of reconciliation.

Massoud's NRF forces were the last to hold out against the Taliban takeover last year, retreating to the Panjshir Valley which fell in September, weeks after government troops capitulated.

The Panjshir Valley is famed as the site of resistance to Soviet forces in the 1980s and the Taliban in the late 1990s, during their first stint in power.

Its most revered figure is Ahmad Shah Massoud, known as the “Lion of Panjshir”, who was assassinated by Al Qaeda in 2001, two days before the 9/11 attacks.

His son has since picked up the mantle and there have been reports of his efforts to organise a resistance with other exiled Afghan leaders, which Taliban authorities had so far denied.

The Taliban have also faced resistance from the regional chapter of the militant Islamic State group, IS-Khorasan, an extremist group which aims to create a global caliphate.

SOURCE: AFP

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EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

Embassy is being opened after five months

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EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

The European Union on Thursday announced it had begun re-establishing a “minimal presence” in Kabul to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

“Our minimal presence in Kabul must not in any way be seen as recognition” of the Taliban government there,” EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement. 

“This has also been clearly communicated to the de facto authorities,” he added.

Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster, worsened by the Taliban takeover in August that prompted Western countries to freeze international aid and access to billions of dollars worth of assets held abroad.

The country was almost entirely dependent on foreign aid under the previous US-backed government, but jobs have dried up and most civil servants haven’t been paid for months.

No country has yet recognised the Taliban, with most watching to see how the hardline Islamists -– notorious for human rights abuses during their first stint in power -– restrict freedoms.

Shortly before Stano made his comments, an Afghan foreign ministry spokesman said on Twitter that the EU was reopening “an embassy” with “a permanent presence in Kabul” for the first time in five months. 

Stano said in the statement “the EU has started to re-establish a minimal presence of international EU Delegation staff to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and monitor the humanitarian situation”.

The international community is waiting to see how the Taliban Islamic fundamentalists intend to govern Afghanistan, after having largely trampled on human rights during their first stint in power between 1996 and 2001. 

While the Taliban claim to have modernised, women are still largely excluded from public employment and secondary schools for girls remain largely closed.

Several countries, including China. Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Iran have kept their embassies in Kabul open since the Taliban victory last year, but have not formally recognised their government.

Western diplomats began to evacuate their personnel in the first half of 2021, when American troops began operations to withdraw permanently from Afghanistan. 

The withdrawal culminated at the end of August with the chaotic evacuation of 120,000 people following the Taliban’s lightning conquest of the country.

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