Monsoon rains inundate Pakistan, cause 17 deaths

A woman holds her baby as she crosses a flooded street after heavy monsoon rains in Karachi on August 1, 2019. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 11 August 2019

Monsoon rains inundate Pakistan, cause 17 deaths

  • Seven people died from electrocution
  • Pakistan struggles to cope with the yearly monsoon

KARACHI: Monsoon rains have inundated much of Pakistan, leaving large parts of the southern city of Karachi underwater and causing at least 17 deaths.
Rescue official Anwar Kazmi said Sunday that seven people died from electrocution and three people died after a roof collapsed in Karachi.
The downpour and flooding began overnight and continued Sunday, with authorities reporting more than 180 millimeters (7 inches) of rain in the port city.
Police officer Idrees Khosa said five people died in a flash flood and another two were electrocuted in Punjab province, which also saw heavy rains.
Pakistan struggles to cope with the yearly monsoon, which runs from July to September and causes flooding across South Asia.


Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistan to be part of new Saudi foreign manpower program 

  • New skills-based system to be launched from next month
  • Will include India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program that will eventually include Pakistan, a senior official at the Saudi labor ministry said this week. 

Nayef Al-Omair, head of the vocational examination program at the Ministry of Labor, said on Tuesday in Riyadh that the ministry was categorizing the tasks and the structure of some professions for visa-issuing purposes.

Under the new policy, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. 

The new scheme would be optional for one year starting December 2019 after which it would become compulsory, Al-Omair said. The new program would first be applied to manpower recruited from India due to its large size in the Saudi market.

Eventually, the program will cover seven countries, including India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Workers belonging to these states constitute 95 percent of professional manpower in the Kingdom’s local market.

Saudi Arabia is home to around 2.6 million Pakistani expats those have been a vital source of foreign remittances.

Last year the country received $21.8 billion in remittances out of which $5 billion were remitted by Pakistani nationals working in Kingdom.

According to the Pakistani ministry of finance, there was a major decline in manpower export to Saudi Arabia where only 100,910 emigrants proceeded for employment in 2018 as compared to 2017, a drop of 42,453 emigrants.

However, Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, special assistant to the Pakistani prime minister on overseas Pakistanis, said in an interview earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase the share of the Pakistani labor force in the multi-billion dollar New Taif City development.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have formed working groups to develop procedures for this transfer of manpower. Pakistani groups will visit the Kingdom in the coming months to finalize arrangements.