ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is sending two planeloads of relief goods for flood-hit Iran to meet its immediate needs.
This message was conveyed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in a telephonic conversation on Monday.
“Foreign Minister informed Mr Zarif that as a gesture of goodwill the prime minister had instructed two C-130 plane loads of relief goods to be sent immediately to Iran [Ahwaz and Khorumabad]. The relief assistance by Pakistan would aim at meeting some of the urgent needs of the flood-affected population in Iran,” the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.
The conversation took place a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced relief assistance for Iran through a tweet and offered his sympathies for the losses suffered by Iran.
“Our prayers go to the people of Iran as they deal with unprecedented flooding. We stand ready to provide any humanitarian assistance required,” PM Khan had tweeted a day earlier.
Iran has been facing massive floods for the past three weeks in which nearly 70 people have lost lives, while thousands have been displaced and large scale losses to infrastructures have also been reported.
International assistance for the relief effort has been impeded because of US sanctions.
Pakistan, too, has been late in responding to the disaster. Normally, Pakistan and Iran have been the first responders to disasters in each other’s country.
Foreign Minister Qureshi reassured Mr Zarif that Pakistan stood by its Iranian brothers and sisters in this difficult hour and would provide support required by Iran to address the humanitarian crisis, the FO further said.
Published in Dawn, April 09th, 2019