At least 10 people, including five policemen, have been killed in blast outside Lahore’s Data Darbar, confirmed Punjab’s police chief. Another 20 people were injured.
The blast occurred near a mobile of the Elite Force parked near Gate Number 2 at 8:40am on Wednesday. There were five people in the van — four policemen and one driver. The driver was not in the van at the time of the blast. Other cars nearby were also damaged in the blast.
Punjab IG Arif Nawaz has confirmed that the police were “100%” targeted in the attack. The attacker could have hit another side (of the Data Darbar) but chose to approach the police van stationed there, he told the media outside the shrine. The police are stationed there round the clock as part of routine security, he said. He said a 7kg bomb was used.
Most of the victims were taken Mayo Hospital, where an emergency has been imposed. Nine of the injured are in critical condition. Rescue teams say some passers-by were injured in the blast as well. The police have not confirmed how many policemen were deployed outside Data Darbar.
They have sealed the area and are evacuating the shrine. They have begun collecting evidence at the scene. Crime scene teams are at the scene, as is the bomb disposal squad. The police are recording the statements of witnesses and the van’s driver. The driver told SAMAA TV he went to an ATM to withdraw money at the time of the blast.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has ordered an investigation into the blast and has cancelled his trip to Sargodha, Bhakkar and Sheikhupura. He was in Bhakkar and is on his way back to Lahore. He has summoned an emergency security meeting.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken notice of the incident and called for a report.
The police have not officially confirmed the nature of the blast (whether it was a suicide attack or planted device). The operations DIG has requested people to stop speculating, saying investigations are not based on speculations. Police officials will address a media briefing shortly.
The blast took place around 200 to 300 metres from the actual entrance to the shrine.
CM Buzdar addressed the media outside the Data Darbar at noon and said the death toll has now risen to 10. Twenty people have been injured, he confirmed. An inquiry has been ordered and we will follow the SOPs in the investigation, he said.
He assured that the injured would be provided complete treatment and that compensation would be provided to everyone involved. There was no specific threat here, he said, denying reports that police officials were late to the scene.
February is American Heart Month – Celebrate With Medical Alert IDs
Making healthy choices and keeping track of your health conditions can significantly reduce your chances of having a heart disease. But, the ones who are already affected need a lot more than this advice – they need care, vigilance, and, sometimes, little attention. February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great chance for us to show concern for heart patients and raise awareness about heart diseases and their prevention.
More importantly, it’s time for us to take heart problems and sufferers seriously. Shockingly, about 48% of adults (which is almost half of the adult American population) suffer from some sort of blood vessel or heart disease. According to the CDC, heart diseases are the number-one cause of adult deaths in the United States.
If people with heart conditions were identifiable, chances of getting requisite medical help on time would significantly increase, lowering the number of deaths. Medical ID tags and jewelry can come in handy for the identification of heart patients, seeking help in an emergency.
Which Heart Disease Patients Must Opt for a Medical ID?
Although all sorts of heart conditions and diseases can be (and should be) engraved on medical IDs, getting one is highly recommended for patients of the below-mentioned conditions.
How To Get Rid Of Debts With The Best Debt Management Program
Sometimes you have so much money that you think, how you can swim in money like Scrooge McDuck. Sometimes you have to take the extreme of bankruptcy. Hardly anyone can say that he is immune to financial ruin. Lack of job opportunities, increasing cost of living and other factors can bring financial difficulties in your everyday life. If you are buried deep under debt, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
A debt management plan is one of the ways you can beat financial challenges due to debt. You will sit with a credit counselor and he will create the best debt management program after evaluating your financial situation. It is a plan you can easily afford. The counselor will negotiate with all of your lenders. This program will allow you to make lower payments possible. You will be able to get rid of your debt in three to five years.
Instead of sending money to different lenders, you will make one monthly payment to the debt management company. Now, it is their job to make monthly payments to your lenders and creditors. The company can get more favorable terms for you such as longer repayment periods and lower interest rates. So, having the best debt management program makes your life simpler as you are paying less money and making only one monthly payment.
Though it will hurt your credit score, it is not as damaging as a bankruptcy. As your loan balances start to decrease, your credit score starts increasing.
One thing you should keep in mind is that not all loans are included in this program. A debt management plan does not include secured debts. Student loans and some other unsecured loans are also not included.
Creating Your Debt Management Plan (DMP)
Finding A Credit Counseling Agency
Don’t work with any random credit counseling agency that has called you yesterday. Make sure that it is a member of the NFCC (National Foundation for Credit Counseling). It should be a reputed credit counseling agency having an excellent track record. Your lenders and credit issuers should be able to trust the agency.
The first credit counseling session is often free. Always ask about the fee of subsequent sessions and documents you have to bring.
What To Expect During Counseling
When you are meeting your counselor for the first time, you need to bring bills for each lender, your recent pay stubs and banking statements. It is good to have a copy of your credit report. Telephone meetings and web meetings are also very common. So, you might not have to see your counselor in person. In this forty-five minutes to an hour-long initial session, the counselor will assess your debts, incomes, and expenses. The counselor also pays attention to the interest rate you are paying. After doing all these assessments, the counselor develops an action plan according to your financial goals. Your lenders are not involved in this session.
Making A Choice And Getting Started
The counselor will tell you about the pros and cons of all the available options. You can take your time to make the final decision. In case the credit counselor is pushing you to make an immediate decision, you are working with the wrong company. Carefully consider the debt solution you are choosing. Does your budget allow you to stick to the DMP?
What if the plan fails?
You will be in a worse position. So, act wisely.
Putting Together the DMP
If you choose to go for a debt management program, the counselor will ask for more detailed information to set up the best debt management program for you. You need to tell about the lenders you are including, bank account statements, medical bills, and credit card bills. You cannot miss any of your expenses. Make sure that you are comfortable with the due date.
Start Making Payments
Though you have to make only one monthly payment, it should be made on time. So, get used to following your new budget. Your credit counseling agency will negotiate and reach agreements with your lenders. Keep in mind that not all lenders will accept your plan. Once the lenders agree, start making payments.
Don’t ignore the fact that the debt management program is not the only solution for you. If it is right for you, go for it.
How to Get a Personal Loan with Low Credit Score
Personal loans are extremely popular financial solutions, as you need not pledge any assets to avail them. However, as lenders do not have any collateral to fall back on in case you default on the loan, they approve loan applications after gauging your repayment ability. One of the important ways in which they do this is by checking your credit score.
Your credit score is a number between 300 and 900 that reflects your creditworthiness. In other words, it indicates your debt handling capabilities by considering your ongoing debts and your repayment behaviour on loans and credit card dues. If you have a score below 750, lenders may hesitate to offer you the loan amount that you seek and they may also charge you a higher interest rate. So, it is very important for borrowers to check credit scores before applying for a loan.
If you have a poor credit score, consider these points before applying for a personal loan.
Look for a guarantor or opt for a joint loan
When you apply for a loan with a co-applicant or a guarantor, you improve your chances of getting a personal loan on pocket-friendly terms. When selecting the guarantor or co-applicant, remember to select someone with a high income and a good credit score. This way, the lender will be assured of timely repayment.
Prove your repayment capacity
While lenders check credit scores of all personal loan applicants, they also check your employment details and salary slips to ascertain your repayment capacity. This is because a steady job and a higher salary directly impacts your ability to repay personal loan EMIs on time. So, when you have a low credit score, you can strengthen your loan application by showing a reliable source of income via your job as well as other sources. If you manage to prove that your income has increased in the recent past or you have other sources of income using which you can successfully repay the personal loan, then despite a poor credit score, you can enjoy approval.
Request for a lower loan amount
Lenders do not favour the combination of a large loan amount and a poor credit score. Keeping this in mind, ask for a lower loan amount when you have a low credit score and you may find it easier to get your application approved. To decide on the amount, plan your requirements in advance. Then use an online personal loan calculator to determine the loan structure that works in your favour.
Appeal for an NA or NH consideration
Your credit score is based on your credit history, which is how you have handled debt in the past. A lack of any activity in this regard for the last 3 years will leave an NA or NH mark on your credit report. In such a case, your CIBIL report may lack a credit score altogether. You can speak to your lender regarding this status and request them to reconsider your application.
Apply after improving your score
One of the best ways to proceed is to work on boosting your credit score before applying for personal loans. Try paying your EMIs and credit card bills on time, avoid defaulting on your debts, and abstain from applying for multiple loans all at once. Keep in mind that several ongoing loans on your name can lower your score. Moreover, your credit report may contain errors or may not have the updated information on loans you have paid off, which impacts your credit score. Therefore, keep an eye on your credit report and rectify mistakes to see your score improve.
If you’re facing a medical emergency and do not have enough time to improve your credit score, you can consider applying for a loan from NBFCs who have simpler eligibility criteria. Apart from offering instant funding, NBFCs provide an array of attractive features. For instance, Bajaj Finserv offers personal loans of up to Rs.25 lakh at nominal interest rates and tenors ranging up to 60 months.
With easy-to-meet personal loan eligibility criteria and minimal documentation, you can apply for a loan quickly and easily here and even enjoy the features of a flexi personal loan. This allows you to withdraw funds from your total loan in parts, multiple times. Interest is incurred only on the amount you withdraw, and you can choose to pay interest-only EMIs, thus reducing your EMIs by 45%. To make the most of instant loan approval, check your pre-approved offer. This customised deal ensures you get the financing you need without any hiccups.