Friday December 09, 2022

Pakistan seeks world help for its flood-hit people

President Arif Alvi appeals to entire nation, overseas Pakistanis and international community to support flood victims

By Our Correspondent
August 27, 2022
Rescue workers shifting flood effected peoples at Swat Khwazakhela.— INP
Rescue workers shifting flood effected peoples at Swat Khwazakhela.— INP  

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Friday appealed to the United Nations, international community and overseas Pakistanis to extend maximum support to the flood victims, who are in dire need of rescue, relief and rehabilitation after unprecedented rains caused floods across country.

President Dr Arif Alvi appealed to the entire nation, overseas Pakistanis and the international community to support the flood victims. In a statement, he expressed the hope that Pakistanis, who had already displayed remarkable philanthropic spirits in the past, would come forward once again and contribute generously in cash and kind to support the rescue and relief efforts of the government and other relevant organisations.

The president also called upon the media to motivate the nation to donate the essential items, identified by the government through formal channels, set up or endorsed by the government in an organised and disciplined manner, to the affected people to help them rebuild their lives.

He urged the international community to provide their expertise, technology, and required machinery to the relevant government institutions to help restore infrastructure and provide their logistic and humanitarian support to help relevant government agencies cope with the enormous task of aiding the flood victims across the country.

Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday interacted with members of the diplomatic community in Islamabad to sensitise them about the damages, caused by floods across the country.

“As part of efforts to mobilise all resources, I met Islamabad-based ambassadors, high commissioners and senior members of diplomatic corps today to sensitise them about scale of human tragedy,” the PM wrote on Twitter.

During the meeting, the representatives of the Economic Affairs Division and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) gave briefing about current status of the challenge and response.

The prime minister said that the ongoing rain spell had caused devastation across the country. The losses, though yet to be documented, are comparable to Palestinian question had been clear, consistent and totally unambiguous.

“Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian peoples’ inalienable right to self-determination and we believe that for just and lasting peace in the Middle East, it is imperative to have a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital in accordance with the relevant UN and OIC resolutions,” he added.

To queries on how the government was responding to the recent country wide floods, the spokesman said that since late July and early August, efforts were being mobilised. “The Emergency Operations Center and the Relief Coordination Committee have been working overnight and the NDMA has been engaged as a central focal point for the relief activities.

“You would have also noticed that in many of these meetings, the government has engaged, realising the scale of the disaster, it is very clear that this level of devastation which is approaching, by some estimates it has gone beyond the damages caused by the 2010 floods, so the capacities are really stretched. And the government has deployed all possible resources to deal with the challenge, but it is obvious that we do require international assistance to complement the national effort,” he explained.

“Also in many of the meetings and briefings that have been held, Pakistan’s development partners, friendly countries have been engaged, they have been attending these meetings.

“Just to let you know there was a donor’s conference yesterday at the Economic Affairs Division, in which a number of UN Agencies and many resident diplomatic missions were represented, and the prime minister himself participated. This morning as I told you, the prime minister interacted with a group of Ambassadors. We have engaged the UN system right from the beginning. The UN Resident Coordinator and his team, they have been working on this issue for many days now, visiting the flood-hit areas, making assessments, working with the NDMA to produce this joint assessment, the document that will be presented.

“The UN flash appeal, which is very significant, and it will trigger the international community’s response as well as bilateral assistance from other countries. It’s (Flash Appeal) going to take place -- things are ready for that --- on Tuesday simultaneously from Geneva and Islamabad,” he said.

OIC Secretary-General Hassan Brahim Taha is scheduled to visit Pakistan from Aug 30-31, 2022. This will be OIC SG’s first bilateral country visit to Pakistan. He was in Pakistan twice earlier for the OIC CFM 17th Extraordinary Session of OIC CFM in December 2021 and for the 48th Session of OIC CFM in March 2022,” announced the Foreign Office.

Meanwhile, during the weekly presser, the spokesman warned the world community that the recent spate of false terrorism-related assertions made by India was yet again resorting to classic ‘false flag’ methods to advance its sinister designs and this could have serious implications for peace and security in the region.

“Pakistan firmly rejects such allegations. The international community must urge India to act responsibly,” said the spokesman.

Earlier, the Indian Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday and a strong Earlier, the Indian Charge d’Affaires in protest was lodged on the extra-judicial killing of a Pakistani prisoner, Muhammad Ali Hussain, by Indian Occupation Forces in a fake encounter that took place in the Arnia, IIOJK. Muhammad Ali Hussain had been jailed in Kot Bhalwal Prison in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir(IIOJK) since 2006.

“The Indian diplomat was told that Mr. Hussain’s death under mysterious circumstances at a location away from the prison, has once again substantiated Pakistan’s long-standing position that Indian Occupation Forces in the IIOJK are routinely involved in undertaking choreographed attacks and extra-judicial killings of Pakistani and Kashmiri prisoners,” said the spokesman.

He was reminded of the case of Zia Mustafa, another Pakistani prisoner, who was murdered by the Indian authorities in a similar fake encounter last year.

“It was underscored that the narrative being spun that Muhammad Ali Hussain had allegedly attacked the security forces and attempted to escape when he was being taken to a suspected weapons’ smuggling site was not only fallacious but deceptive. The reality is that Hussain’s death was nothing but cold-blooded murder. Pakistan’s serious concerns over the safety, security and well-being of other Pakistani prisoners in Indian custody were also raised”, the Indian diplomat was told.

While out rightly rejecting the implausible explanation proffered in the case of Muhammed Ali Hussain, Pakistan has demanded that the Indian government must immediately share the details of this particular incident, including a credible post-mortem report, to determine the cause of death and undertake a transparent investigation to bring to account whoever is responsible for the murder of the Pakistani prisoner. Government of India has also been called upon to ensure prompt and expeditious repatriation of the mortal remains of the deceased to Pakistan, as per the wishes of his family.