ISLAMABAD    -    Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday said that climate change has emerged as one of the most potent challeng­es facing the world and added the international community should step forward and help Paki­stan deal with the calam­ity of epic proportions. 

The flood catastro­phe that Pakistan was experiencing was cli­mate-induced, he said, adding the massive eco­nomic damage on top of the economic crisis had undermined the coun­try’s capacity to achieve Sustainable Develop­ment Goals (SDGs).

He asked the inter­national community to step forward and help Pakistan deal with the calamity of epic pro­portions. The prime minister was talking to President of the In­ter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco, who called on him here at the PM House.

Senate Chairman Mu­hammad Sadiq San­jrani, National As­sembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Minis­ter for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and PM’s special assistants Tariq Fatemi and Ro­mina Khursheed Alam were also present on the occasion. The prime minister asked the IPU to play its role in rais­ing awareness about 

 the horrors of climate change and help mobilize global support for the devel­oping countries facing the climate crisis due to global warming. He said the world should pursue climate justice as an ide­al to deal with the threat, which was real and redefining their lives. 

The prime minister said despite its shortcomings, democracy was still the best system in the world that was a ve­hicle to realize the people’s aspirations. He termed fake news as one of the major challenges facing democracy. 

He mentioned the worst human rights abuses in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), particular­ly after August 5, 2019, and said the vio­lation of fundamental human rights had exposed the so-called democratic face of India. IPU President Duarte Pache­co expressed condolence on the loss of precious human lives during the recent floods and expressed his grief over the massive havoc caused to the infrastruc­ture across the country.

He supported Pakistan’s case with re­spect to climate change and stressed upon the developed countries to make a strategy to control the carbon emissions.

Duarte Pacheco appreciated the Nation­al Assembly of Pakistan for organizing the 3rd IPU Regional Seminar of Asia Pacif­ic Region on Achieving Sustainable De­velopment Goals. He said that the event would help synergize regional efforts to achieve the SDGs.

Later, the prime minister, in a tweet, said in his meeting with Duarte Pacheco, President of Inter-Parliamentary Union, a representative body of 178 parliaments, he underscored how fake news posed a threat to democracy.

“Together with fabrication, it can rob people of their democratic rights & vio­late human rights,” he added.

Later, in a call-on meeting with French Ambassador to Pakistan Nicolas Galey here, the PM underscored that the scale and magnitude of losses caused by devas­tating floods in Pakistan was too big to be borne by the Pakistani government alone and that the international community’s support was of vital importance 

He highlighted the extensive devasta­tion caused by the recent floods across Pakistan and the government’s response to address the dire situation.