PM seeks report on relief operation in areas hit by rains

Published March 20, 2024
OFFICIALS brief PM Shehbaz on relief work following the recent torrential rains across the country.—PM Office
OFFICIALS brief PM Shehbaz on relief work following the recent torrential rains across the country.—PM Office

• NDMA told to enhance collaboration with provinces to cope with future calamities
• PM wants comprehensive policy to counter ‘malicious propaganda’ against martyrs

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sought a detailed report on Tuesday to analyse whether relief and rehabilitation operations were completed judiciously in the areas recently hit by torrential rains and floods across the country.

According to a statement issued by Prime Minister Office (PMO), Mr Sharif directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at a briefing to make a joint survey report in collaboration with provinces and enhance cooperation and coordination with them to cope with future calamities.

The prime minister also sought an implementation report regarding NDMA’s technical improvement, which was based on his directive during his previous tenure.

NDMA officials briefed Mr Sharif about the relief and rehabilitation activities carried out after recent torrential rains as well as weather forecast and preparedness.

The briefing was attended by Minister for Economic Affairs and Est­ablishment Ahad Khan Che­­ema, NDMA Chair­m­­an Inam Haider Malik and relevant senior officials.

The meeting was apprised of the destruction, rescue efforts and distribution of assistance amount. The prime minister was informed that the NDMA, with assistance of provinces, especially Balochistan, would soon complete a collective verification survey over several destroyed and partially damaged houses.

Under the prime minister’s directive, 766,000 kilograms of dry ration would be distributed in Gwadar until March 24. Of this, about 388,000 kg of ration had already been distributed till March 16. Moreover, 97,000 kg of ration was distributed in Quetta and Dalbandin.

The prime minister directed transparency in the distribution process of relief and ration among the affected people.

The meeting was infor­med about the weather forecast for April to June and July to September this year and NMDA’s preparedness in light of this forecast.

The prime minister was informed that from the start of the Gaza war to this day, a total of 320 tonnes of relief goods had been sent to the enclave by the NDMA.

Policy against ‘malicious propaganda’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sharif directed the formulation of a comprehensive strategy to counter the malicious propaganda against the martyrs, describing it as an “attack not on the government, but the state”, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The directive was given at a meeting of the government spokespersons held in Islamabad under the chairmanship of the prime minister, which discussed the state and national narrative on defence and public interests.

The meeting strongly condemned the negative campaign “run by a political party” against the martyrs and agreed to address it through a strong response.

The prime minister regretted that the dignity of the martyrs of the country and the sentiments of their feelings were not being respected, terming it “highly condemnable and intolerable”.

The meeting held a detailed review of the overall situation related to important topics covered by media and discussed the stance of the government and the party.

It was agreed that an effective, comprehensive, and timely response would be given on all media platforms, including social media, for which various proposals were considered.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2024

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