PM Nawaz to announce special package for quake victims: Shahbaz
28 September, 2013
QUETTA: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Friday said that the prime minister would announce a special package for the earthquake victims of Balochistan after his return to the country.
The chief minister, along with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said this during a visit to the earthquake-hit area of Balochistan to review the ongoing relief efforts.
Speaking on the occasion, he assured the quake victims of the Punjab government's complete support in relief and rescue operations.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Maalik Baloch and Senator Hasil Bizenjo were also present on the occasion.
Shahbaz said the federal and Punjab governments would not leave the people of Balochistan alone at this critical phase and would take all steps for the relief of the victims.
He said the main purpose of his visit to Awaran was to express solidarity and sympathy with the people of Balochistan, and that the entire Pakistani nation shared the grief with the quake-hit people.
Talking to the media after visiting District Headquarters Hospital Awaran and inquiring after the injured, he said that all possible support would be extended to the Balochistan government to cope with the serious situation.
"The victims will be given tents, food, water and other necessary items," he said, adding that unless the victims were rehabilitated, the government of Punjab would not sit calm.
Shahbaz said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had contacted him from New York on the phone and directed him to extend every possible assistant to the victims.
He said that a special committee of cabinet had been formed at the federal level, which would monitor the entire process of relief and rehabilitation. He said federal ministers Lieutenant General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch and Jam Kamal were present in the area and through their and provincial government's coordination, provision of all necessary relief goods and rehabilitation work would be made possible.
Shahbaz Sharif assured the people that the entire nation stood by them and would not rest until their complete rehabilitation.
He said that the first consignment of relief goods, comprising 15,000 tents, food items, water and medicines, from the Punjab government had reached Karachi, which would be carried to the quake-affected areas of Balochistan.
The Punjab chief minister also announced a Rs 100 million grant for the earthquake victims.
On the occasion, Chaudhry Nisar said that Nawaz Sharif was being updated on the current situation of relief activities and – in accordance with his directives – all steps were being taken for the relief of victims.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah visited Awaran district, where they were briefed on the destruction caused by earthquake as well as the relief activities.
The Balochistan chief secretary gave a briefing to the Punjab chief minister, interior minister and the Sindh CM on the relief and rescue operation being carried out with the help of the Pakistan Army.
It was said that the administration's top priority was to provide food and shelter to around 25,000 families affected by Tuesday's devastating earthquake in which more than 500 people died and thousands others were injured.
The Sindh Chief Minister announced Rs 50 million for the victims and informed that 5,000 tents as well as other relief goods were immediately being sent to the affected areas on behalf of the Sindh government.
Syed Khurshid Shah said that they stood by their Baloch brothers in the testing times.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Maalik Baloch thanked the chief ministers of Punjab and Sindh. He assured them that relief teams would have access to all the affected areas. "Everybody had the right to criticise. However, if there was any hurdle in the way of relief teams in accessing the affected areas, the provincial government should be informed."