KARACHI: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday conveyed assurance about the Army’s support for the plans being made by the federal and the provincial governments to resolve Karachi’s civic and infrastructure problems, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The army chief, who reached here on a two-day visit, was flown over the city for an aerial reconnaissance of the impact of urban flooding in Karachi, said the statement. Later he was briefed about the situation at the Karachi Corps headquarters.
“On arrival at Karachi, COAS was flown over the city for aerial reconnaissance of the ground impact of urban flooding in Karachi,” it said. “Later, COAS visited Karachi Corps Headquarters. COAS was briefed about worst urban flooding in the recent history of Karachi and Army’s support to civil administration across Sindh and particularly Karachi. COAS was apprised that unprecedented rains combined with decades of urban congestion, unplanned population settlement as well as infrastructural issues compounded the problem.”
Gen Bajwa on this occasion said that no city in Pakistan could cope with a natural calamity of this scale.
“Our issue is not non availability of resources but setting priorities right,” the statement quoted him as saying. “The plans being made by the federal and provincial governments will have Army’s all out support as having future repercussions on economic security of the country. This natural calamity provided opportunity to set the priority for management of mega cities across Pakistan to avoid such disasters in future.”
The army chief expressed satisfaction over the pace of disaster relief work and directed that work priority should be given to areas of common public utility and worst-hit communities.
“A no point influence of a particular locality or community should be allowed to shift attention or resources from those in need. It’s a national disaster and everyone is in it together,” he said.
He reiterated that the Army would not disappoint the people in their time of need. Gen Bajwa appreciated garrison troops for maintaining law and order, particularly during Muharram. “The peace in national economic hub Karachi is vital for security and stability of Pakistan. Efforts will continue to maintain normalcy in Karachi and the province,” he said.
Later, the statement said, the army chief interacted with retired senior officers and serving garrison officers. He appreciated the officers for their contribution to defence and security of the country.
Earlier, on arrival at Karachi, Gen Bajwa was received by Corps Commander of Karachi, Lt Gen Humayun Aziz.
Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2020