Shehbaz says it’s time for all not to indulge in politics but to serve masses n Shehbaz says need to recall spirit

of 1965 War while braving flood challenges n Pays tribute to martyrs, ghazis for defending homeland in 1965 War.

ISLAMABAD   -Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif on Tuesday emphasized for devis­ing a comprehensive strategy jointly chalked out by the federal and provincial governments for the restoration of infrastructure in the flood-affected areas.

Speaking on the flood situation in the country while chairing a meeting of the fed­eral cabinet, the prime minis­ter said that it was time for all not to indulge in politicking, but to serve the masses. The prime minister mentioned that the flood-hit areas faced numerous issues related to water drain­age, infrastructure breakdown, and connectivity.

He said besides public de­partments, several private en­tities including chambers of commerce and industries had expressed their desire to con­tribute the relief and rehabilita­tion process.

PM Sharif said the government had increased the financial as­sistance for flood-affected peo­ple under Benazir Income Sup­port Programme (BISP) from Rs 28 billion to Rs 70 billion. He said the government had pro­vided Rs 5 billion to National Disaster Management Author­ity (NDMA) for dispensation of compensation money in first phase, while additional Rs 3 bil­lion would also be provided.

He mentioned that the floods had resulted in a gross loss of lives, infrastructure, livestock, and crops. The prime minister said work was in full swing in the flood-affected areas for re­lief and rehabilitation.

He said several friendly coun­tries were sending relief goods to Pakistan in the wake of heavy damage incurred by recent flash floods. He thanked the cabinet members, ministries, public de­partments, and national me­dia for highlighting the issue of floods at the international level and making their best efforts to mitigate the sufferings of flood victims.

The PM also said as nation marked the Defence Day, the similar spirit of sacrifice and re­silience was required to cope with the current grave challeng­es in the wake of floods.

In his initial remarks during the cabinet meeting, he said as the country grappled with un­precedented floods and other challenges, there was a need to recall the spirit of 1965.

The prime minister termed unity as the greatest strength of the Pakistani nation to deal with the challenges effectively.

He said over 30 million people were facing the brunt of flash floods in the shape of loss of lives, infrastructure and crops.

He paid tribute to the mar­tyrs of 1965 war who laid down their lives for the safety and se­curity of the country.

Shehbaz said together, the Armed Forces and the people had thwarted the Indian mach­inations to undermine the na­tional integrity.

In view of the heavy losses due to floods, he said, the gov­ernment had decided to ob­serve the Defence Day with simplicity