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Murree Tragedy: Inquiry committee suggests grand operation against illegal constructions

PMD did not issues any official notice or alert regarding storms before Murree incident

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Murree Tragedy: Inquiry committee suggests grand operation against illegal constructions
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Lahore: While completing its Murree tragedy investigation report, an inquiry committee has suggested a grand operation against illegal constructions, buildings, plazas and hotels in the hilly resort.

According to the privacy sources, a five-member inquiry committee, formed by the Punjab government to find reasons for the happening of the Murree tragedy in which at least 22 tourists died, has completed its preliminary report on Sunday. 

The committee has given a shape of draft to its findings. The inquiry committee will present its report to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar tomorrow. 

As per sources, the committee finds many reasons of Murree tragedy. “The roads leading to Murree should have been closed after three days of snowfall. But they were shut after five days,” the report said. 

The report also pointed that the snow removing machinery sat there but the operators were nowhere to be seen, adding that the PMD had not issued any official notice or alert regarding storms. It also noticed that the Metrological Office warning was also ignored.

The committee suggested that a grand operation against illegal constructions, hotels and plazas be launched and the administration seal the hotels which do not provide car park facilities.

Soon after the Murree tragedy, the Punjab government constituted an inquiry committee to determine causes and lapses in Murree.

According to the notification issued by the Punjab government, the high-level inquiry committee will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary to Punjab Government Zafar Nasarullah while Ali Sarfraz, Asad Gillani and Farooq Mazhar will be members of the probe body.

The notification also stated that the committee had been directed to submit its report within seven days and identify the elements involved in negligence.

“The committee would determine those responsible for the Murree tragedy and investigate whether the government agencies had taken any joint action despite the stern warning of the Meteorological Department or not.”

It further said that the committee will also investigate why vehicles were not stopped in Islamabad to prevent entry into Murree and Galyat.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed grief at the tragic deaths of stranded tourists in Murree, ordering an inquiry and regulations to avert such tragedies in the future.

On his official twitter handle, the Premier wrote that heavy snowfall and a huge rush of tourists caught the district administration unprepared.

“Shocked & upset at tragic deaths of tourists on road to Murree.  Unprecedented snowfall & rush of ppl (people) proceeding without checking weather conditions caught district admin unprepared. Have ordered inquiry & putting in place strong regulation to ensure prevention of such tragedies,” he posted.

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.

Pakistan

Shehroze Kashif becomes youngest-ever to summit top five highest mountain peaks

He achieved the feat on Saturday

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Shehroze Kashif becomes youngest-ever to summit top five highest mountain peaks

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Shehroze Kashif became the youngest mountaineer ever to scale top five highest mountain peaks in the world.

Shehroze aka ‘The Broad Boy’ achieved the unique feat after summiting 8463m-high Makalu – the fifth highest mountain in the world.

This is his third summit of a mountain over 8000m in this month. On May 16, Kashif summited the 8516m-high Lhotse is Nepal.

On May 6, Kashif summited the 8586m-high Kangchenjunga Mountain, which is the world’s third-highest mountain.

He is the only Pakistan mountaineer to summit three mountains over 8000m in a month.

Kashif was the first Pakistani, and also the youngest man ever, to summit the Kanchenjunga Mountain. He also holds two Guinness records of the youngest ever to summit both K2 and Mount Everest.

On July 27, 2021, Kashif summited K2, the second tallest peak in the world. He scaled the 8,611-metre high peak with the aid of bottled oxygen. Before Kashif, Sajid Sadpara, the son of the legendary climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara, was the youngest person to have climbed K2 at the age of 20.

Earlier, he scaled the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest, at the age of 19.

The young mountaineer who hails from Lahore started climbing at the age of 11. His first summit was Makra Peak (3885m). At 12, he climbed the 4080m Musa Ka Massalah and 4600m Chembra peak.

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Pakistani 'Joyland' wins Cannes 'Queer Palm' award

It is the first-ever Pakistani competitive entry at the Cannes festival

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Pakistani 'Joyland' wins Cannes 'Queer Palm' award

Cannes: A Pakistani movie featuring a daring portrait of a transgender dancer in the Muslim country on Friday won the Cannes "Queer Palm" prize for best LGBT, "queer" or feminist-themed movie, the jury head told AFP.

"Joyland" by director Saim Sadiq, a tale of the sexual revolution, tells the story of the youngest son in a patriarchal family who is expected to produce a baby boy with his wife.

He instead joins an erotic dance theatre and falls for the troupe's director, a trans woman.

It is the first-ever Pakistani competitive entry at the Cannes festival and on Friday also won the Jury Prize in the "Un Certain Regard" competition, a segment focusing on young, innovative cinema talent.

"It's a very powerful film, that represents everything that we stand for," "Queer Palm" jury head, French director Catherine Corsini, told AFP.

- 'Blown away' -

Corsini herself took the award last year with "La Fracture", which features a lesbian couple's relationship against the backdrop of the "Yellow Vest" movement in France.

"'Joyland' will echo across the world," Corsini said. "It has strong characters who are both complex and real. Nothing is distorted. We were blown away by this film."

The "Queer Palm" has been won by big-name directors in the past and attracted top talent to its juries, but has no official place at the world's top film festival.

Awards for films with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer content are already an integral part of other major movie gatherings, including Berlin which has handed out its "Teddy Award" since 1987, and made it part of its official programme.

Not so at Cannes, where the festival's leadership will not even allow the "Queer Palm" -- which has been running for a decade -- to set up shop in its main building, the Palais du Festival.

"It makes me sad that the festival is still cold-shouldering the Queer Palm," Corsini said.

Past winners of the prize, created in 2010 by critic Franck Finance-Madureira, include Todd Haynes for "Carol" and Xavier Dolan for "Laurence Anyways".

"Joyland" beat off several other strong entries, including "Close" by Belgian director Lukas Dhont and "Tchaikovsky's Wife" by Kirill Serebrennikov, both hot contenders for the Cannes Festival's top Palme d'Or award which will be announced on Saturday.

"Joyland" left Cannes audiences slack-jawed and admiring and got a standing ovation from the opening night's crowd.

- 'Very schizophrenic' -

Part of the surprise stemmed from the discovery by many at Cannes that Pakistan is one of the first nations to have given legal protection against discrimination to transgender people.

In 2009, Pakistan legally recognised a third sex, and in 2018 the first transgender passport was issued.

"Pakistan is very schizophrenic, almost bipolar," director Saim Sadiq told AFP in an interview.

"You get, of course, prejudice and some violence against a particular community on the one hand, but you also get this very progressive law which basically allows everyone to identify their own gender, and also identifies a third gender," he said.

For its short film award, the "Queer Palm" jury picked "Will You Look At Me" by Chinese director Shuli Huang.

The diary-type film, set in the film-maker's hometown, shows a traditional society in which parents care more about their reputation than about their gay children's happiness.

SOURCE: AFP

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Pakistan

PM Shehbaz Sharif resolves to transform Pakistan into an economic power

"We are resolved to turn it into an economic power"

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PM Shehbaz Sharif resolves to transform Pakistan into an economic power

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday reiterated his resolve to transform Pakistan into ‘an economic power’.

On his Twitter handle, the prime minister referring to Youm-e-Takbir, being celebrated today in the country, said in the year 1998, the then prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, in a bold show of leadership, rejected all the pressures and inducements and made Pakistan a nuclear power.

“Today in 1998, PM Nawaz Sharif rejected pressures & inducements in a bold show of leadership & made Pakistan nuclear power of the world. Now we are resolved to turn it into an economic power. My gratitude to all those who helped make our defense invincible. Youm-e-Takbir Mubarak,” he said in a tweet.

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