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Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday held an international telethon to collect funds for flood victims.

As per Senator Faisal Khan, who moderated the telethon, a total of Rs5 billion were pledged during the transmission that continued for over three hours.

Chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – Pervaiz Elahi and Mahmood Khan – as well as ex-assistant to PM on social protection Sania Nishtar, and sports and showbiz celebrities joined Imran Khan’s telethon.

Speaking during the live session, the PTI chief said that the entire country had been affected by the floods generated by back-to-back monsoon rains. He said more than 1,000 people died due to devastating floods and the damages are expected to cross Rs1,000 billion.

“The sole solution to prevent the catastrophes caused by floods is to construct dams,” the PTI chief said.

Huge relief operation under way as Pakistan flood death toll rises

The PTI chairman said that he will personally oversee the relief and rehabilitation work for flood victims with the same intensity as he is struggling for “real independence.”

People from within the country and abroad spoke directly to Imran Khan via telephonic calls to offer their donations for the flood-hit victims.

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan also joined the telethon and announced Rs5 million for flood victims. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan announced Rs30 million during the live transmission.

Senior journalist Sabir Shakir also announced Rs500,000 donations for the flood-affected people.

Death toll crosses 1100

Pakistan has been struggling to deal with monsoon flooding that has affected more than 33 million people in the country.

Officials said 1,136 people have died since June when the seasonal rains began, but the final toll could be higher as hundreds of villages in the mountainous north have been cut off by flood-swollen rivers washing away roads and bridges.

Pakistan has seen 784% more rainfall than normal so far this year: Sherry Rehman

According to a situation report of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 1,634 individuals were injured in various rain and flood-related incidents, and over 735,375 livestock animals were lost. Additionally, over 3,451 kilometres of roads, 149 bridges, 170 shops, and 949,858 houses were damaged across the country.

Earlier on Monday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that the economic losses caused by the floods could amount to $10 billion.

The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but it can also bring destruction.

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