WASHINGTON   -    Focusing on the devastation caused by climate-induced floods in Pakistan, Ambassador Masood Khan has called for greater contributions to cope with the disaster that has killed over 1,400 people, injured over 13,000 and displaced 33 million.

“The recent flood and the massive devastation in Pakistan is an exhibit for the devastations of climate change,” the Pakistani envoy told American and international media persons at the National Press Club of Washington, DC. 

“This (climate change) phenomenon is going to grow whether it is Pakistan or any other countries in South Asia or the world”, he said. “Today it is Pakistan, tomorrow it would be another country”. 

The Ambassador said that although international media was extensively showing some “heart-wrenching” visuals of the affected areas,  it has only captured “a fraction of the calamity what we are facing in Pakistan.”

While it was a collective responsibility to reduce emissions, the international community must think of ways and means for compensation to those bearing the brunt of climate change despite making negligible contribution towards global warming, he said.. 

“We should make quick transition from mitigation and adaptation to preparedness and resilience,” Masood Khan said. 

In Pakistan, he told journalists that around 6.6 million people needed immediate assistance. Nearly 800,000 farm cattle have perished. Crops have been destroyed in an area as big as 5.5 million acres that includes all sorts of crops including rice, wheat, corn and sugarcane. Over 7,000 kilometers long roads have been washed away with  246 bridges destroyed. 

“Just to give you a comparison, the area under waters in Pakistan right now --some 95,000 square miles -- is as big as the area of the US state of Wyoming,” he said, adding that the number of affectees were comparable to the population of California.

 He said that a satellite image released by European Space Agency showed a new lake on the Indus River which was 100 kilometer long and tens of kilometers wide, creating its “own disaster within a mega disaster”.

Pakistan, he said,  could not have prepared for such kind of “apocalyptic floods, pointing out that “Everything has been washed away.”

He said that  5.5 million acres of cropland has been destroyed resulting in a looming food security crisis. “WFP (the UN World Food Programme) and other international organizations must come forward and give necessary support to the people of Pakistan so that we can maintain our food security”. 

The Ambassador thanked the US government, Congress, US philanthropic and charity organizations and most importantly Pak-American community for their generous contributions towards relief and rescue activities. 

 He said that more resources would be required for recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. “It’s a continuum and we can’t leave the affected populations alone after the rescue and relief operations are over.”

 Responding to a question, the Ambassador that Pakistan’s nuclear assets and nuclear system was secure and there was no vulnerability whatsoever.