Pakistani authorities evacuate 2,000 from flood-hit areas

An overloaded bus drives through a flooded road caused by heavy monsoon rains, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. Monsoon rains have inundated much of Pakistan, leaving large parts of the southern city of Karachi underwater and causing some deaths. (Fareed Khan/AP)
Updated 23 August 2019

Pakistani authorities evacuate 2,000 from flood-hit areas

  • Rescue services deployed boats and transported people to safety with army help 
  • Under Indus Water Treaty, New Delhi has to share information about rivers flowing into Pakistan 

MULTAN: Pakistani authorities have evacuated about 2,000 people from flood-affected areas after accusing India of opening a dam without warning earlier this week and swelling two rivers in Pakistan.
Pakistani rescue services deployed boats and with the help of the military, transported people to safety from the flooded areas around the Ravi and Indus Rivers.
They say the water, which had come from India’s Sutlej River and Ladakh Dam, was receding Friday. The floodwaters entered Pakistan on Tuesday morning, damaging homes and crops in the region.
Pakistan says that under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty brokered by the World Bank, New Delhi is required to share information with Islamabad about rivers flowing into Pakistan.
Rains often trigger floods in Pakistan and India during monsoon season, which runs from June through September.

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.