RAHIM YAR KHAN: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said on Saturday that development projects were being completed rapidly to raise the living standard of the people.
Talking to members of the PPP south Punjab at the Sheikh Zayed International Airport, he said the PPP was the largest party of the country having deep roots among the people of the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir and it was in favour of a south Punjab province. The prime minister said that the PPP was the first political party that had made a separate south Punjab organisation. He urged workers to prepare for polls due next year.
He said that a permanent solution was needed to counter the threat of flash floods affecting the populated areas in Rajanpur district, southern Punjab.
Earlier, addressing the flood-affected people in Rajanpur, the prime minister said that a permanent solution was needed to counter the threat of flash floods affecting a populated areas in Balochistan.
He said that the government would construct protective walls and channels to divert the raging hill torrents away from the populated areas.
He announced a package of Rs100 million for the provision of food, tents and other relief goods to the thousands of people who had been displaced. He also announced a compensation of Rs400,000 for the heirs of each of the 15 people who lost their lives in the flash floods.
Raja Pervaiz directed the Pakistan Baitul Maal to ensure that the people were provided with quality food stuff and other relief goods so as to ease their sufferings. He said the federal government would provide medicines and also make a significant contribution once the damage assessment was completed by the local authorities.
Prime Minister Ashraf said that President Asif Ali Zardari had telephoned him from London and directed him to visit all the flood-affected areas and monitor the relief and rehabilitation of the people displaced by the recent floods.
He said that the people needed to stand united and work hand-in-hand to mitigate the damage caused by the natural calamity. He said the people of the area and the nation as a whole were strong and resilient to the challenges.
The PM asked the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to work swiftly to reach out to all the people and help in their early rehabilitation.
The prime minister was earlier given a detailed briefing about the impact of the flash floods and the widespread devastation caused in these areas. He was also informed about the measures that needed to be taken to avert the repeat of similar incidents in future.
He said that the flood-hit people would be provided assistance through Watan cards and the Nadra officials would soon visit the area to collect the data in this regard. —Agencies
Imtiaz Ali adds from Karachi: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf demanded that the blasphemy against any prophet should be declared an international crime.
He said this while addressing the ceremony held at the CM House, Karachi, to distribute cheques among the heirs of the victims of the Baldia Town garment factory fire that claimed the lives of over 250 workers last week.
The premier distributed cheques among 40 heirs and announced that the Labour Ministry would also give Rs500,000 to the heirs of the each victim of the fire at the factories in Karachi and Lahore.
Condemning the violence during protests against the anti-Islam film, he said that the government of Pakistan banned YouTube and summoned the acting Ambassador of the United States to lodge the protest.
He said Pakistan was the first among the Muslim states that officially declared Friday as ‘Love the Prophet (SAW) Day’ and announced a public holiday. However, the premier said certain miscreants sabotaged the message by indulging in killing, arson and loot during the protests. He asked what sort of love they were demonstrating to the holy Prophet (SAW) by killing their own brothers and sisters and destroying their properties.