ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan left for his country without visiting the federal capital due to ‘bad weather’ conditions on Monday.

His visit has been postponed to a later date.

The capital administration had announced a public holiday in Islamabad on Monday due to the UAE president’s visit.

Meanwhile, the twin cities received rain on Monday, bringing a chill in the weather while Murree recorded 11 inches of snow.

Even though the planned visit could not take place, both public and private employees working in Islamabad enjoyed the surprise holiday. The municipal body of Islamabad had also decorated the city with welcoming banners.

An official of the Directorate of Municipal Administration told Dawn that around 4,000 steamers, 100 hoarding, bridge decorations, and 10 huge size billboards, mainly from Noor Khan Airport to Islamabad’s Red Zone, were displayed.

Besides ministries, the government had decided to close schools and colleges across the capital. The teaching community urged the government during visits of foreign dignitaries that if the need arose, only schools and colleges that were located along the route of dignitary’s entourage should be closed.

“It doesn’t make sense to keep schools and colleges in Bhara Kahu, Tarnol and other rural areas closed today. In March-April, annual examinations will be held, therefore, the government should avoid closure of schools,” a schoolteacher said.

On the other hand, rain affected the supply of electricity and natural gas to some areas of the garrison city. Residents of the twin cities woke up to a light shower but the sun overpowered the clouds in the afternoon.

The Met Office recorded 19 millimetres of rain in Chaklala and 20mm in Shamsabad in Rawalpindi, 19mm in Saidpur, 22mm in Zero Point, 13mm in Golra and Bokra and 6mm at New Islamabad Airport in Islamabad.

A westerly wave is affecting western and upper parts and likely to persist during the next 12 hours.

Cold and dry weather is expected in most parts while, very cold weather is expected in North Balochistan and upper parts of the country. Isolated light rain/light snowfall over the hills is expected in Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during the period. Fog is likely to occur in plain areas of Punjab during the night and morning.

Meanwhile, water logging in most areas of the garrison city was reported. The worst affected areas were Committee Chowk Underpass, Amarpura near Naz Cinema, Jamia Masjid Road, Rawal Road, Sadiqabad and adjoining areas.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2023

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