ISLAMABAD, Sept 17 (APP): Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday said that National Oversight Disaster Management Council (NODMC) has been constituted through national consensus as well as in line with devolution of powers to the federating units provided for under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.He said the NODMC consists of people of impeccable integrity and repute and its members are nominated by federal as well as all the provincial governments including AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan.Under its Terms of Reference, he added, NODMC is fully empowered to ensure transparency, accountability and judicious utilization of the foreign assistance for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood affected areas.
The Prime Minister was talking to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan who alongwith a delegation called on him here at the PM House on Friday.
Gilani said that NODMC was totally a non-governmental and non-political body having support of all political parties and endorsed by the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
He added that the NODMC is in addition to the already existing accountability mechanism like the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee.
The Prime Minister said that it was a matter of satisfaction that all the political parties and civil society are making efforts to help their brothers at these trying times.
He updated the US delegation about the current situation in the flood affected areas and thanked the US leadership and military for their generous humanitarian assistance to mitigate sufferings of Pakistan’s flood victims.
The Prime Minister appreciated the fact that the US would be announcing a comprehensive package for the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases in the flood affected areas during the forthcoming FoDP Ministerial meeting to be held in Brussels from October 14-15.
He said that the government of Pakistan is also raising finances through indigenous resources to meet the expenditure required for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood affected areas.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the US would also expedite reimbursement of pledged assistance against Kerry Lugar Bill and the long overdue payments of Coalition Support Fund.
While noting that the EU Council had decided on Thursday for WTO trade concession specifically for Pakistan, the Prime Minister urged the US government for helping Pakistan in lobbying for a positive decision for greater access to Pakistani products in the EU markets.
The Prime Minister reaffirmed that despite the catastrophic consequences of floods on Pakistan’s economy, his government remains resolutely committed to pursue the war against terror.
While referring to President Karzai’s recent visit to Pakistan, the Prime Minister stated that he was of the firm belief that a peaceful, stable and economically developed Afghanistan was pivotal for the peace and stability of Pakistan and his government would continue assisting the Afghan Government to achieve these goals.
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke stated that he had personally witnessed unimaginable and incredible devastation caused by the floods during his last two days trip to Thatta and Southern Punjab.
He said that the US government would continue to stand by Pakistan in overcoming its economic difficulties and coping with the challenges of rescue, relief, recovery and reconstruction phases.
Ambassador Holbrooke said that the US government would now consider giving direct assistance to the Government of Pakistan for its expeditious and optimal utilization for the flood affectees and would remain in consultation with the government of Pakistan about its emergent requirements.
The US government hence was focusing on the next FoDP Ministerial meeting and was mobilizing the international community for generating the required funds for Pakistan, he added.
US Ambassador to Pakistan Ms Anne W Patterson, Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, Senator Syeda Sughra Imam, Foreign Secretary and other senior officials were present in the meeting. -app