ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan thanked the whole world yesterday for generous aid amid the devastating floods in the country.

At a weekly news briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesperson, Asim Iftikhar Ahmed said that a large number of countries and international organisations have pledged support, and are extending cash or in-kind assistance to help the flood affected people of Pakistan.

Ahmed said Pakistan had received flood relief goods through 21 flights notably from Turkey, UAE and China and there are relief goods trains from Turkey too. He said these air bridges are expected to continue in the coming days and weeks.

The spokesperson said tents and shelter are the significant components of the assistance to be received from China, the UAE, and Turkiye in coming days. Besides, local production of tents is also at its peak to ensure provision of shelter to the flood victims.

The spokesperson said that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be visiting Pakistan on 9th of this month to view flood-hit areas of the country.

He said it will be an important visit to express solidarity and international community’s support for Pakistan at this difficult time.

He said the colossal scale of devastation across various parts of the country, brought about by the unprecedented climate catastrophe, has affected more than 33 million people.

The spokesperson said more than 1,100 people including over 350 children have lost their lives, more than 1,600 people have been injured, over a million houses have been partially or fully damaged or destroyed,   over 735,000 livestock have perished and over 2 million acres of crops have been lost, besides severe damage to communications infrastructure.

He said the government of Pakistan had mounted coordinated rescue and relief operations mobilising all possible resources and capacities.

“This is a national effort in which everyone is contributing from individual Pakistanis from all spheres of life, to businesses, civil society and humanitarian organisations, besides civil and military administrations. Overseas Pakistanis are also contributing to this effort in a big way,” he added.

The spokesperson said the sheer scale of the calamity has, however, “stretched our resources and capacities to the limit, thus necessitating support from the international community. And we have already seen an outpouring of that support and solidarity, with a large number of our friends and partners stepping forward with assistance to buttress the government led relief efforts.”

To a question, he said some people thought that climate change was a conspiracy theory but things are proving right the scientists and experts.

“This is not a conspiracy, this is a reality and we need to be mindful. As far as hybrid wars are concerned, we are always mindful of all its complexities and intricacies. We are always on the watch, to preserve and protect our interests,” he added.

Regarding statement by a British MP, he said that 99 percent of responsibility is on the other countries and only 1 percent on Pakistan. “If you can relate it, that’s what the figures also say. Pakistan contributes less than 1 percent to the global carbon footprint. So maybe it is in that context,” he said.

To another question regarding playing cricket with India, he said it was India that was refusing to play bilateral series or whatever. He said Pakistan has always been open and was of the view that sport should not be mixed with other issues.