Pakistan strongly condemns Houthi drone attack on Saudi Aramco facilities

Smoke billows from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq about 60km (37 miles) southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province on Sept. 14, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 September 2019

Pakistan strongly condemns Houthi drone attack on Saudi Aramco facilities

  • Foreign office says such acts of sabotage cannot be condoned
  • Pakistan’s political leaders say the country is ready “to take any step” for the safety and security of Saudi Arabia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday issued a strong condemnation of the drone attack on two Saudi oil processing facilities, Buqayq and the Khurais oil field, which had caused fire and damage.
Yemen’s Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks on the two facilities in the kingdom’s Eastern province on Saturday, the group’s military spokesman said on Al-Masirah TV.
“Such acts to sabotage and disrupt commercial activities causing fear and terror cannot be condoned,” a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office said.
“Pakistan reiterates its full support and solidarity with the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any threat to its security and territorial integrity,” it further stated.
PML-N Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, who is leader of the opposition in the Senate, told Arab News that Pakistan was “ready” to safeguard Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty.
“Saudi Arabia has the right to act in self defense,” Haq said. 
“Pakistan is ready to take any step for the safety and security of Saudi Arabia,” he said and added that countries who “claim to be friends of Saudi Arabia should stand by it to stop such attacks on the sovereignty...of the country.”
Latif Khosa, Former Governor of Punjab province and a central leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, told Arab News that it was increasingly dangerous that militant groups like Houthis had got their hands on drones.
“World powers should support Saudis against such militant groups,” Khosa said.
He added that Pakistanis had “special respect for Saudis” and that the kingdom could bank on Pakistan.
The broadcaster, Al-Masirah TV, said the Houthis had deployed 10 drones against the sites in Abqaiq and Khurais, and the group pledged to widen the range of its attacks on Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition fighting them in Yemen.
Dr. Abdul Ghaffar Aziz, Director International Affairs of Pakistan's religious-politico party, Jamat-i-Islami, said the attacks must be condemned across the table.
“All the countries of the region, whether they are friends of Saudi Arabia or have differences with them, should condemn this militant attack which cannot be justified in any case,” he told Arab News.
Khalid Rehman, Director General of the Institute of Policy Studies Islamabad, said it was unfortunate that the Houthis were spreading unrest in Yemen and attacking sovereign countries.
“The whole Muslim world should join hands with Saudi Arabia to stop such evil forces and to bring peace in Yemen as well as the region,” Rehman said.

Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

Updated 26 August 2020

Karachi braces for weekend rains as billions lost to drenches this week

  • Losses from Tuesday's flooding estimated at Rs5 billion ($30 million), Karachi traders say
  • Met agency says floodwater in Karachi must be drained immediately to prevent further flooding on Saturday

KARACHI: Another spell of heavy rain is expected to lash the port city of Karachi on Saturday, Pakistan's meteorological department warned, as it called on the city's authorities to drain water from flooded neighborhoods to avoid further damage and casualties.

Rain-related incidents in the past few days killed dozens of people in the coastal metropolis of Sindh province, while streets, homes and factories were flooded with sewage water, causing losses of billions of rupees in the city where the drainage and sewage systems are outdated.

"There will be a gap of two days (in rains). If it is not utilized to drain out the water from the affected areas, a light to moderate spell on Saturday will drown them again," Sardar Sarfraz, chief metrological officer of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, told Arab News.

On Tuesday, he said, a record 345 millimeters of rainfall flooded most of the city.

As flooding brought operations at the city's industrial zones to a standstill, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan said the government should declare the rains a national disaster to allow people to be compensated.

Shaikh Umar Rehan, president of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) told Arab News that work has been heavily disrupted at the city's factories which normally operate non-stop.

“The factories work round the clock, but on Tuesday, even one shift couldn’t be completed,” he said.



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According to Atiq Mir, president of the Karachi Traders Association, losses from damages to the markets in the old city area alone are estimated to be Rs1 billion.

"As trade volume is Rs4 billion per day, both direct and indirect losses make it Rs5 billion ($30 million). On Wednesday, as the markets could not open completely, the (trade) community will have to bear another Rs2.5 billion losses."

The Sindh government and the military say teams are on the ground to drain the water and rescue the affected.

“It has broken an 89-year record and it was continuously raining for eight hours but as soon as the rain stopped teams were on ground to clear the areas. Most of the city’s thoroughfares were cleared by the Tuesday evening. The entire Sindh government was in the field to supervise the relief work,” Sindh Labor Minister Saeed Ghani told Arab News.

He added that the problem will not be resolved within days.

The military's media wing said in a statement that relief and rescue efforts were underway in the heavily flooded Malir Nadi, Kohi Goth and Dur Muhammad Goth areas of the city.