ISLAMABAD   -   Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday urged the members of cabinet to come forward to help address the miseries of flood-hit people and enhance the relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Presiding over the federal cabinet meeting, the prime minister in his televised remarks urged the ministers to put more focus on helping the poor flood-stricken at this critical time besides fulfilling their official duties.

 “In this digital world, you can even do your official work through zoom. But you also have to help those [flood-affected] people as well,” he remarked. The Prime Minister, while acknowledging the efforts of those cabinet members, who are active in flood relief activities, said those not active in such efforts should also come forward and help the affected people.

He hoped that water in the flood affected areas will recede in two to three months and people will be rehabilitated. “Be it the philanthropists, doctors, police officers, bureaucrats, army, all know what is the situation. Your efforts will be remembered by the flood affected people.”

 The prime minister lamented that the flood affected masses, who also knew the people doing politics at this critical time and were quiet, will respond when the time will come. He said that Pakistan despite its meager contribution in the global emission was facing the huge effects of climate change.

The Prime Minister appreciated UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for visiting Pakistan at the critical time as well as the UN flash appeal of US $ 160 million to help the flood affected people.

He said that the UN Secretary General, who also visited the flood affected areas during his visit, urged international community to take practical steps to help Pakistan to mitigate the sufferings of the flood affected people as well as to reduce the negative effects of climate change.

The Prime Minister also lauded UN Secretary Antonio Guterres for his empathetic attitude towards the flood-affected people and his views about climate change injustice with Pakistan.

‘De-watering of national highways, rail network’

Also, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday stressed on the need of utilizing all resources for de-watering of national highways and rail network.

 He also directed for strict monitoring of the flood affected areas, where the water was receding and there was a risk of the spread of water-borne diseases.

 The prime minister was chairing a high level meeting held here to review the ongoing rescue, relief and rehabilitation activities in the flood-affected areas.

 The meeting was attended by Minister for Economic Affairs Division Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Minister for Food Tariq Bashir Cheema, Minister for Planning and Development Dr Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail, Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Advisor to the PM Ahad Khan Cheema, Attaullah Tarar, Minister of State Dr Aysha Ghaus Pasha, Maulana Tahir Ashrafi and senior government officials.

 National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz and National Coordinator National Flood Response and Coordination Center (NFRCC) Maj. Gen. Zafar Iqbal shared the latest updates with the participants.

 They also highlighted the details of international relief reaching in Pakistan from the friendly countries.

 The prime minister, appreciating the efforts of civil and military authorities for the help of flood-affected people, said the restoration of destroyed power supply infrastructure, road networks and telecommunication system in the flood affected areas was the result of the best coordination and effort.