n Shehbaz appreciates collective efforts to overcome enormous issues after flood calamity n Announces Rs5m relief grant for those working in difficult situation in damaged Kacchi area n Gets briefing on restored bridges during visit to Balochistan n Welcomes friendl


KARACHI    -   Balochistan: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif yesterday said the entire nation was working in unison and inspiration to overcome the problems the whole country is confronted with in shape of devastating floods.

During his visit to Balochistan flood affected areas including Kachhi, the prime minister said that it was a matter of satisfaction that all the people had been involved to overcome the enormous issues after the natural calamity hit the country.

Earlier, the PM was briefed from the relevant authorities over the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of road, rail and bridges infrastructure in the area.

Appreciating the efforts of the district administration authorities and others, the prime minister said their commitment and devotion had been a source of inspiration for the general public.

He said that he saluted all those who had been involved in the relief and rehabilitation efforts. The chief minister and the chief secretary had been coordinating and working with all the relevant authorities, he added.

It was your commitment to the nation, he said, adding that their efforts would serve as a beacon of light for the people. It was the teamwork that could yield results in trying times, he opined.

The prime minister announced Rs5 million relief grant for the labourers who were working there in the difficult situation and another amount of Rs1 million for the staff that was working for the restoration of gas pipelines. A committee would be set up to dispense the amount on merit.

He said the floods had caused large-scale damages across the country, affecting all the provinces. About 1300 lives were lost, livestock swept away, while the economic and infrastructure damages were enormous.

In this district, the prime minister said, the recent floods had swept away Bibi Nani bridge, disrupting traffic from Quetta to Sukkur and leaving about 6000 people stranded on both ends.

He appreciated the NHA, law enforcement jawans and other authorities who restored the damaged bridge within 8 hours, adding that they did a great national service.

The prime minister said that when a catastrophe hit, the whole nation stood up and march in unison by working hard to overcome the challenges. The prime minister announced Rs3 million for those labourers working on the restoration of Bibi Nani bridge.

National Highway Authority Chairman Khurram Agha also briefed the prime minister about the restoration of the bridge. About 106 kms road around Bibi Nani and Pinjar Bridges were largely affected.

The chief minister thanked the prime minister for his visits and continuous support to the flood-affected areas of the province. He said the FC personnel had played a major role in the restoration of connectivity bridge.

He also announced Rs2 million for the labourers and workers.

Later in the day, a delegation of Chinese companies led by China’s Consul General in Pakistan Zhao Shiren called on the prime minister in Lahore, and presented him a cheque for the relief and rehabilitation of the flood affectees.

Talking to the delegation, the PM said the government and people of China never left Pakistan alone in its hour of need.

The friendship of the two countries was higher than Himalayas and deeper than the ocean, he remarked. “We are always proud of this friend and will remain so in the times to come.”

Later, the PM also held a telephonic conversation with Prince Rahim Aga Khan, the son of Aga Khan, and discussed matters of mutual interest. Prince Rahim Aga Khan delivered to the PM a message of best wishes from Aga Khan. Prince Rahim expressed sorrow over the loss of lives and material in the devastating floods in Pakistan and announced financial assistance of 10 million dollars.

In another development, Shehbaz Sharif met with Charge d’Affaires of United Arab Emirates in Lahore and discussed matters of mutual interest.

On behalf of the Pakistani nation, the Prime Minister thanked the government of the United Arab Emirates for sending planeloads of goods for the flood affectees.

He thanked President UAE Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for sending relief goods worth 50 million dollars and also thanked Prime Minister UAE Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for providing aid of 50 million Emirati Dirham.