ISLAMABAD: An emergency session was chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Saturday to discuss the situation that emerged after the brutal spell of monsoon rains in the country.

The meeting was attended by Information Minister Pervez Rashid, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Secretary Cabinet Division Mr. Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar and Chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Major Gen Muhammad Saeed Aleem.

During the meeting, the premier was briefed on the destruction caused by rains and flooding of several areas.

The premier issued a directive, saying that all major national highways, which have been cut off due to heavy rains, should be cleared in order to ensure that relief work can continue at a quick pace.

PM Nawaz has also directed the NDMA to assess the extent of damage.

AP adds: A government official said that 110 people were killed across the country in heavy monsoon downpours and flooding.

Ahmad Kamal, a spokesman for the NDMA, said that 61 people had died in the eastern province of Punjab since Thursday.

He said another 38 people died in Azad Kashmir whereas 11 died in the northern Gilgit Baltistan province.

Kamal said officials believed all those were killed when the roofs of their homes collapsed.

Authorities fear that the death toll may rise as more rain and flooding is predicted in the upcoming days.

Reports from different parts of the country have indicated huge losses to property, cattle and crops, especially in Sialkot and Gujranwala regions, due to swelling of nullahs and exceptionally high flooding in Chenab and Jhelum rivers.

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