ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Wednesday said the government would do all within its means to bring normalcy back to the lives of the 7.3 million people affected by the recent floods.Chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet here, the prime minister said there was an urgent need to cater for food, shelter and medicines.
“We have to employ all our energies and resources for relief and rehabilitation of the people,” Gilani told his cabinet colleagues. He also asked the government of Sindh to assess the damage to the private properties so that those who suffered financial losses are adequately compensated. He said Pakistan was facing another humanitarian crisis caused due to the devastating floods in Sindh.
he Prime Minister said he called off his planned visit to USA where he was to address the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.”This visit has been canceled because I could not see my countrymen in misery and in a vulnerable position at home,” the Prime Minister said.He recalled his visit to the flood affected areas twice with the Chief Minister of Sindh where he got first hand briefings from the NDMA about loss of human life, damage to crops, private property, and destruction of infrastructure.
The floods have not only caused severe infrastructure damage but also affected the livelihood of millions of people. He said damage assessment has been done by the United Nations and NDMA jointly and an international appeal launched simultaneously from Islamabad and Geneva for US$356 million.
He said a Prime Minister’s Relief has been established where contributions from various government and private institutions are being deposited.He said instructions have also been issued to Finance Division for release of Rs.1.5 billion for the flood affected in addition to Rs.500 million already released. Gilani said the government has also decided to give cash grant through Watan Cards to most vulnerable families.Prime Minister Gilani also strongly condemned the assassination of Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani and termed him a friend of Pakistan.
He also condemned the assassination of pilgrims in Mastung yesterday and the suicide attack on the residence of a senior police officer of Karachi in a residential area which caused death of innocent people including women and children besides colossal loss to private properties of common citizens.”Let me reiterate that such cowardly acts will not deter our resolve to eliminate the terrorists whose leadership has either been killed or arrested.”
Gilani said the writ of the government will be established in Karachi and other parts of the country.”We cannot be forced to abandon our operations against anti-state and anti-social elements,” he added.Prime Minister Gilani recalled that during his recent visit to Iran, he exchanged views with President Mehmood Ahmadinejad on further augmenting existing bilateral relation and cooperation in various fields ranging from trade and economy to internal security and intelligence sharing.He said the two countries also agreed that the volume of bilateral trade should touch a figure of US $ 10 billion for which the transportation and communication network has to be improved for trade facilitation.
“I was touched by the Iranian gesture for a generous donation of US $ 100 million for the flood affected,” Gilani added.Regarding the dengue fever, Gilani said the Federal Government immediately responded to the request of the Punjab Government and issued instructions to Managing Director, PIA to facilitate transportation of personnel, equipment and insecticide for control of dengue fever.”InshAllah, all out efforts will be made to eradicate the disease,” he said.He said the Sri Lankan medical team has expressed satisfaction over treatment facilities being extended to the dengue fever patients in hospitals.He assured that the government would play its role in helping all federating units in facing challenges beyond their capacities. – Brecorder