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Stop blame game and act wisely, Zardari tells Nawaz

09 September, 2011

LAHORE: President Asif Ali Zardari has advised Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif to be wise as critical times are ahead, a private TV channel reported on Thursday.

He said that people in Sindh and Punjab were facing floods and dengue virus, therefore, the PML-N chief should lend its helping hand in this situation.

The president said that Nawaz should visit Sindh in the interest of the people and help the flood victims instead of addressing public meetings. It is time to take steps to eradicate the dengue virus and help in providing treatment to the victims and stop playing blame game.

Zardari further said that the PML-N chief should adopt positive attitude and stop criticising the military, as people were already frustrated due to political confrontations.

While talking about democracy, President Zardari said that the majority during former president Farooq Leghari's tenure could not save democracy. It takes years to build democracy but seconds to ravage it, president added.

The president assured flood victims of Sindh of the government's fullest support for food, shelter and relief and vowed to rehabilitate them at the earliest.

The president, who had an overnight stay at Benazirabad, brushed aside security and protocol and walked through the knee-high flood waters in the main bazaar of the Benazirabad town to meet the stranded people and assured that they would not be left alone in their hour of need.

Despite rain and their hardship the people rushed out into the streets, waved, cheered and shook hands with the president. Women and children standing on the roof tops and balconies waved and raised slogans of "Jeay Bhutto", "Jeay Benazir Bhutto" and appreciated him for being with them at a difficult time.

Zardari was briefed about the measures being taken for the 4.9 million people flood affected people in Sindh and informed that de-watering equipment was being deployed on a massive scale to drain the water.

He was also informed that the floods had inundated around 4 million acres of land, of which 1.7 million acres had standing crops. The president was informed that the floods had affected 0.8 million people in Benazirabad alone, it had damaged on a large scale crops and farms; including 80 percent of banana, dates, chilli, sugarcane and destroyed cotton crop, equivalent to 2.3 million bales, besides destruction of 690,000 houses.

The president, accompanied by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and local authorities visited various localities. He shook hands, offered the people solace and said they would be provided fullest assistance and would be rehabilitated as soon as the floodwaters recede.

President Zardari directed the local and provincial authorities to ensure that the farmers be provided relief on priority. He directed the local authorities to dispatch medical teams and provide healthcare to the families stranded due to heavy flooding.

He said it was not a time for politicking, but to reach out and help the flood affected people. He urged the people, political forces and national institutions to join hands in mitigating the sufferings of the people.

He said the nation celebrated Defence Day three days ago and it was now time to help the affected people as part of the lessons learnt from the day aimed at forging national unity to overcome difficult challenges. The president urged the nation to exhibit the same spirit and to rise to the challenge. He said that the country was passing through a critical phase and unity was the key to countering these challenges, adding that the PPP would continue its police of reconciliation.

The president, who had an aerial view of the flooded areas of Benazirabad district, on Wednesday said that he had personally seen the wide scale devastation and directed the federal and the provincial governments and authorities concerned to gear up to provide relief to the flood affected people.

Later, Zardari had an aerial view of the flood devastated areas of Mirpur, Judho Kot, Ghulam Muhammad and Nohkot.


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