QUETTA - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would announce a special package for earthquake affectees of Balochistan after his return from the US, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif stated on Friday.
Shahbaz, who reviewed ongoing relief efforts in quake-hit areas of Balochistan along with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, held out assurances of complete support on part of Punjab province to the quake-affected people in this ‘hard time’.
The federal and Punjab governments, the chief minister said, would not leave the people of Balochistan alone and take all steps for their relief and restoration.
He said the main purpose of his visit to Awaran district was to express solidarity and sympathy with the people of Balochistan. He also said the entire Pakistani nation shared their grief.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch and Senator Hasil Bizenjo were also present on the occasion.
Interacting with newsmen after his visit to district headquarters hospital to inquire after those injured in the 7.8 magnitude quake, the Punjab chief minister promised every possible support to the Balochistan government to cope with this situation.
He said his government in Punjab province would not sit calm until rehabilitation of all the people affected by the calamity. The quake-hit people would be given tents, food, water and other necessary items, he added.
The chief minister told media that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had contacted him from New York over telephone and asked for extending every sort of assistance to the quake-hit people. He said a special cabinet committee had been formed at the federal level that would monitor the relief and rescue activities.
He said federal ministers Abdul Qadir Baloch and Jam Kamal were present in the area and that through their and provincial government’s coordination provision of all necessary relief goods and rehabilitation work would be made possible.
Shahbaz said the entire nation stood by the earthquake affectees and till rehabilitation of last affected Baloch they would not sit calm. “The prime minister would announce a special package for the affected people after his return to the country,” he added.
Shahbaz said the first consignment of relief goods, comprising 15,000 tents, food items, water and medicines, from the Punjab government had reached Karachi and would be carried to the affected areas of Balochistan. He also announced Rs100 million for the earthquake affectees on part of the Punjab government.
Speaking on the occasion, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was being updated on the current situation of relief activities and in accordance with his directives, all steps were being taken for rescue and relief of the affected people. He announced that the affected people would be given compensation.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah also visited Awaran district.
They were briefed about the destruction caused by the calamity and ongoing relief activities.
The Balochistan chief secretary gave a briefing to the Punjab and Sindh chief ministers and interior minister about relief and rescue operation being carried out with the help of army.
It was briefed that the administration’s top priority was to provide food and shelter to around 25,000 families affected by Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in which over 350 people were killed and hundreds others injured.
The Sindh chief minister announced Rs50 million for the affectees, and said that 5,000 tents, other relief good were immediately being sent to the affected areas on part of his government.
Khursheed Shah said they stood by their Baloch brethren in this difficult situation.
Chief Minister Balochistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch thanked the chief ministers of Punjab and Sindh for their visit to the affected areas and their cooperation with relief activities.
He said if there was any hurdle for relief teams to access any affected area, the government should be informed.
He said he had been reviewing the difficulties of people in Awaran and other affected areas and all resources would be utilised for relief of the affected people.