DUBAI // The UAE Pakistani community marked 64 years of independence today with emotional appeals for support for their flood-hit country, as the first case of cholera was confirmed by United Nations officials in Pakistan. Celebrations were cancelled, by order of the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardar, as the country continues to battle the worst floods it has seen in 80 years. According to the UN, 1,600 people have been killed and 14 million affected since the onset of the floods. More rain is expected in the next few days.
Today, at the consulate in Dubai, around 100 Pakistani expatriates gathered to see Pakistan's ambassador in the UAE, Khursheed Ahmad Junejo, unfurl their national flag before it was hoisted in a low-key early morning ceremony. Dignitaries asked compatriots to donate what they could to a flood relief bank account the consulate will open in all branches of UBL. "As per the instruction of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, we have opened a special flood relief account at UBL and appeal to all Pakistanis, even if they can only give one dirham, to deposit it," said Amjad Ali Sher, the consul general of Pakistan in Dubai. "This flood is unprecedented in 100 years of Pakistan and there are predictions that more flooding is expected in the coming days. We must help ourselves."