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Would have applauded Imran if Toshakhana gifts’ money was spent on flood victims: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif lamented on Wednesday that the former prime minister and first lady of Pakistan retained state gifts worth billions from the Toshakhana for mere millions to enrich themselves. It would have been preferable if the proceeds from the sale of the gifts had been used to assist flood victims.

On Wednesday, he paid visits to flood victims in the towns of Pir Guddu and Kot Diji in Sindh’s flood-ravaged Khairpur district.

During his visit, he assessed the district’s rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of earlier this year’s flash floods.

The head of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lt General Inaam Haider Malik, also spoke about the efforts made to assist flood victims.

The prime minister reaffirmed in his speech that the federal government would continue to take steps to alleviate the suffering of flood-affected residents in Sindh.

In this regard, he unveiled a Rs 5 billion housing project for flood-affected residents of Khairpur.  He stated that the provincial government would provide the land, and the federal government would construct the homes.

The prime minister claimed that the floods had caused some of the worst hardships in Sindh, including the loss of life, property, and livelihoods.

He reassured them that the federal government would not abandon them and would provide the provincial government with the resources it needed to help them recover from this tragedy.

He mentioned that the federal government had given flood victims cash grants totaling Rs70 billion through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).

The government’s top priority was to serve and protect the general public.

According to Shehbaz Sharif, The rehabilitation and construction work has been finished to a large extent. However, he emphasised that de-watering of the inundated areas of Dadu requires immediate attention.

He claimed that 20 million people, including nine million children, were in desperate need of government assistance in the wake of the floods and that this required billion-dollar-worth of supplies, including food and medicine.

Pakistan is suffering the most from climate change despite making a small contribution to global carbon emissions, according to PM Shehbaz.

He applauded the Rs2.75 billion donation that Overseas Pakistani has sent to Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund and promised that the money would be used transparently for the benefit of those affected by the floods.

PM shehbaz assured the flood-affected people that the government would build houses for them to live in. He also announced the establishment of a COMSATS University campus in Khairpur.

The prime minister also met with flood victims at makeshift camps and inquired about the availability of government-provided facilities.

Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori previously stated that coordination between the federal and provincial governments was critical in providing facilities to flood-affected people who faced multiple challenges, including food security and accommodation.

Sindh’s chief minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, mentioned the need for funding to reroute and clear natural waterways in order to reduce the likelihood of future flooding.

He also requested assistance from the federal government in repairing the province’s drainage system.

Prime Minister Shehbaz was briefed on the ongoing rehabilitation and construction efforts in flood-affected areas.

Following the identification of natural water courses by rainfall in 2011-2012, it was emphasised that the areas be restored in accordance with the feasibility study.

Pavan Manzoor
Written By

Pavan Manzoor is an experienced content writer , editor and social media handler along with a track record of youth-oriented activities in Pakistan and abroad. She was selected as a fully-funded delegate as a leadership fellow in Turkey. She also led a team of 5 volunteers at the week-long Young Professionals Fellowship in Maldives. She is also a member of the Youth Standing Committee on Higher Education.


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