UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses a joint press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Friday. Reuters
Nearly 1,400 people have died in flooding that covers a third of the country -- an area the size of the United Kingdom -- wiping out crops and destroying homes, businesses, roads and bridges.
Guterres hopes his visit will galvanise support for Pakistan, which needs at least $10 billion to repair damaged infrastructure.
"Pakistan and other developing countries are paying a horrific price for the intransigence of big emitters that continue to bet on fossil fuels," Guterres said in a tweet, shortly before heading to see some of the most flood-affected areas.
"From Islamabad, I am issuing a global appeal: Stop the madness. Invest in renewable energy now. End the war with nature."
Internally displaced people wade through floodwaters after heavy monsoon rains in Jaffarabad, Balochistan. AFP
Pakistan receives heavy — often destructive — rains during its annual monsoon season, which is crucial for agriculture and water supplies.
But downpours as intense as this year's have not been seen for decades.
'Insanity and suicide'
On Friday Guterres lamented the lack of attention the world gave to climate change — particularly the industrialised nations that scientists blame.
"This is insanity, this is collective suicide," he said.
Victims of flooding from monsoon rains walk with their cattle after their flooded home in Sehwan, Sindh. AP
Pakistan is responsible for less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but is eighth on a list compiled by the NGO Germanwatch of countries most vulnerable to extreme weather caused by climate change.
Guterres is touring flood-hit parts of the south on Saturday, and will also visit Mohenjo-daro, a centuries-old UNESCO-designated world heritage site threatened by the deluge.
Some 33 million people have been affected by the floods, which have destroyed around two million homes and business premises, washed away 7,000 kilometres (4,500 miles) of roads and collapsed 500 bridges.
The effect of the torrential rain has been twofold — destructive flash floods in rivers in the mountainous north, and a slow accumulation of water in the southern plains.
Temporary housing is constructed for flood victims, in Larkana District, of Sindh, Pakistan. AP
"If he comes and sees us, Allah will bless him," Rozina Solangi, a 30-year-old housewife from a flooded village near Sukkur, told AFP on Friday.
"All the children, men and women are roasting in this scorching heat. We have nothing to eat, there is no roof on our heads. So he must do something for us poor."
The meteorological office says Pakistan received five times more rain than normal in 2022. Padidan, a small town in Sindh province, has been drenched by more than 1.8 metres (71 inches) since the monsoon began in June.
Thousands of temporary campsites have mushroomed on slivers of dry land in the south and west — often roads and railway tracks are the only ground in a landscape of water.
With people and livestock cramped together, the camps are ripe for outbreaks of disease, with many cases of mosquito-borne dengue reported, as well as scabies.
The UN team has mobilised $7 million to respond to the floods and has provided 1,100 metric tons of food rations, therapeutic feed and nutritional supplements, Stephane Dujarric.
Huge areas of the country are inundated, and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes. The government says the lives of nearly 33 million have been disrupted.
He said that “Imran Tigers,” a term he uses for PTI’s tiger force, will be activated to volunteer for relief work. “A committee under Sania Nishtar will be set up to identify and coordinate funds allocation based on needs,” he added.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the strikes and no claim of responsibility, two police officers said. A number of Shi'ite Muslim militant groups have offices and supporters in eastern Baghdad.
Both had pleaded not guilty to charges of violating the official secrets act, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years. "Three years each, no hard labour," said the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Chanting the same "Women, life, freedom!" mantra used in demonstrations in Iran, about 25 Afghan women protested in front of the Iranian embassy in Kabul, before being dispersed by Taliban forces firing in the air, an AFP correspondent reported.