Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says Pakistan will never leave earthquake-hit Türkiye alone in these circumstances.
Officials and medics said 17,674 people had died in a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Türkiye and 3,377 in Syria from Monday’s tremor, bringing the confirmed total to 21,051 as of Friday morning.
PM Shehbaz was speaking on the occasion of sending relief goods to Türkiye at the Lahore airport. He said he is sure that the people of Türkiye and Syria will get out of this difficulty soon.
He announced that the federal government has allocated Rs10 billion to help Turkey's earthquake relief efforts.
He said he spoke to Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the day the tragedy took place and assured him of cooperation. On the same night, the premier said he sent a team of the Pakistan Army to Türkiye.
No stone will be left unturned to provide full support to the people of Turkiye in the wake of massive devastation caused by earthquake, he said.
Expressing concern about the rising death toll and destruction of infrastructure in Turkiye and Syria after the violent earthquakes, he recalled that an air bridge had been established with Pakistan after the horrific 2005 earthquake that killed around 80,000 people in Azad Kashmir.
The PM also recalled the heartiest support of Turkiye to Pakistan during the 2005 earthquake and 2010 flash floods.
The premier urged the nation to pray for the victims of the earthquake during Friday prayers today.
He said that relief goods weighing 100 tonnes, including food, medicines and winterized tents are being sent to Turkey today.
The prime minister urged the people, welfare organisations and businessmen to take part in the fund collection drive. He also requested the chief ministers to help.
"A committee has been formed to send funds to Turkey. 1,486 tonnes of relief goods are being sent to Turkey and Syria," he added.
The premier said that 13 centres have been established in Pakistan for the collection of funds, adding that donations will also be collected in educational institutions across the country.
The prime minister was earlier briefed about the collection and dispatch of the relief goods from Pakistan to Turkiye and Syria. He was informed that the NDMA was coordinating and rushing relief goods from various cities of Pakistan to the quake affected areas.
He recalled that the wife of President Erdogan even had donated her precious necklace to help the people of Pakistan who lost their homes and livelihood after the 2005 earthquake.
He said his government had decided to turn the ongoing rescue and relief efforts for Turkiye into a nationwide support campaign.
The prime minister said an air bridge has already been set up to transport relief goods to Turkiye and the trucks of National Logistic Cell will carry 100 tonnes relief goods to Turkey via Iran.
The prime minister made an impassioned appeal to the people, the business community and the philanthropic organisations to gear up their efforts and send winterized tents, blankets, food and clothing for those who lost everything in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
He asked the people to send their donations to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the earthquake in Turkiye. He said it was bitter cold in the earthquake affected areas and urgent help was required to save precious lives.
The Turkish consul-general appreciated the expression of solidarity of the people and the government of Pakistan and said the two countries were tied together with strong bonds.
In a tweet on Thursday, the premier had said Pakistan will enlist the support of the business community, religious scholars and educational institutions to help out.
He said Pakistan will continue to stand by Türkiye in its difficult hour.
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