LAHORE   -   Former Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has said that the political parties should rise above political expediency and work collectively for the rehabilitation of flood victims. 

Addressing a seminar on flood relief by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) at a local hotel here on Saturday, he said there is lot of time for politics and if the victims are left alone in this ordeal, we as a society will be the ones to blame. 

Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, who is chairman Sarwar Foundation, relief work and rehabilitation of flood-affected people is a big challenge and only collective efforts can help overcome the adversity.

The seminar was held in collaboration between Sarwar Foundation and Pakistan Development Network (PDN). Chairman, PDN Dr Amjad Saqib, Head Lahore Institute of Health Sciences (LIHS) Gohar Ejaz, philanthropists and representatives of various welfare organisations attended the seminar. Sarwar said first phase of the relief work is almost over but there is still a lot of work to be done, adding that the second phase is about to begin. 

The chairman Sarwar Foundation said the second phase is even more important than the first, adding that much remains to be done including resettlement of victims, restoration of schools, management of employment, provision of medical facilities, and reconstruction of houses. He said Sarwar Foundation, PDN, and LIHS together have provided monthly ration to more than one and a half lakh affected families of Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan while more measures are being taken for them. He said the welfare organisations involved in the PDN are playing a key role in tackling this challenge. He said there is dire need for philanthropists to take these steps and deal with the challenges faced by the welfare organisations so that the system of rehabilitation and resettlement of the victims can be formed in a better way. He said the purpose of the establishment of PDN is to give collective shape to welfare activities. Sarwar said matters need to be carried forward in a more efficient manner so that the victims of those settlements can also benefit where due to one or the other obstacles, relief measures could not be taken yet. Chaudhry Sarwar also hailed the role of Overseas Pakistanis and said that the role of Overseas Pakistanis has been prominent in dealing with every challenge. He said it is encouraging that the Overseas Pakistanis have come forward even in these difficult times. Addressing the seminar, Dr Amjad Saqib said that Akhuwat foundation is helping the victims in the flood-affected areas in the form of medical campuses and providing two-time meals in addition to cash distribution while expanding this chain is being further expanded. 

He appealed to the people to contribute even smaller amounts such as Rs100 per person per day.