Independence sans economic sovereignty meaningless: PM

  • Says govt takes pain to bring life to normal in flood-hit areas
  • Says coalition got would take decisions to steer country out of all crisis

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif questioned on Thursday the kind of independence enjoyed by Pakistan while being “economically enslaved” by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Economic sovereignty is of great importance for any nation to protect and sustain independence.”

Addressing flood-affected people during his visit to DI Khan and Tank district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PM Shehbaz said the prevailing political crisis, depleting foreign reserves, delay in the IMF’s loan disbursement, and rupee devaluation have had an adverse impact on the economy, saying the country is seeking financial assistance on an emergency basis.

“What have we done during the past 75 years since independence when we are economically enslaved by the IMF and other financial institutions?”

PM Shehbaz said that the collective efforts by the federal and provincial governments were inevitable to ensure early rehabilitation of the people affected by flash floods caused by torrential rains.

The prime minister said that the coalition government would take decisions that would steer the country out of every crisis.

The prime minister also urged the KP government to enhance the existing compensation Rs0.8 million for the deceased to Rs1 million for bringing it at par with that of the federal government.

“Financial compensation is nothing [compared to the loss of their dear ones], but it will help them live through the challenges of life […] this is not a competition; this is complimentary; this is our responsibility,” he added.

The government is striving to provide relief and rehabilitate the flood affected areas of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan

The prime minister claimed that no politics on floods would be done and the federal and provincial government would work together to provide relief to flood victims of the country.

During the visit, the prime minister was briefed on the damages and relief activities in flood affected areas of the two districts.

The prime minister was informed that a total of 437 houses were damaged besides causing damage to standing crop, livestock in Pai, Ranwal and its adjoining including Shahbaz Garah, Chirhi, Therhi areas of Tank.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on behalf of the federal government distributed five truckload of food besides providing compensation worth Rs1 million each to the families of those lost lives in the calamity.

The district administrations of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan made effective measures for rehabilitation and relief of flood affectees areas.

An amount to the tune of Rs0.5 million would be given for completely damaged houses each while Rs250,000 is being given to partially damaged houses. Similarly, the KP government provided Rs0.8 million to the families of each victim.

In these of Tank, three medical camps were established while one temporary camp was set up in Amakhel area and provided medical treatment. Similarly, clean drinking water was arranged for these areas after pumping out rainwater from the area.

The prime minister also visited the flood affected area of Prova where a relief camp was established in a Ramak school where about 200 to 300 families were given food and noon food items besides provision of medical treatment.

The flash flood damaged about 293 houses besides destroying 1720 hectares of agricultural land. The prime minister also interacted with flood affected people of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan and assured full support of the government in this challenging time.

The prime minister also addressed at certain points during the visit flood-hit areas of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan stressing collective responsibility of federal and provincial governments to extend relief and rehabilitate flood affected areas. He said that every challenge including floods could be tackled with unity and collective efforts.

The Prime Minister said that Rs5 Lakh would be provided for each destroyed house and Rs 250,000 for each partially damaged house.

He said a joint survey of Federal, Provincial Governments, NDMA, PDMA and others relevant authorities would be conducted to asses crops and livestock damages caused by floods so that compensation amount could be provided to genuine affected people.

He also directed national highways authorities to immediately start reconstruction of road infrastructures in flood affected areas after completion of the survey.

On the occasion, PDM Chief Fazlur Rehman said that work on Nawaz Sharif Govt’s mega projects that was halted during last fours in DI Khan would be restarted and the Prime Minister would be requested to come again to DI Khan to announce more mega projects for people of southern districts of the province.

Earlier, JUIF leader Maulana Ziaur Rehman briefed the prime minister about flood damages in Tehsil Paharpur and adjoining areas.

He appraised the PM that floods have damaged the sewerage system due to negligence of the KP Government and urged the Prime Minister to issue directives for its de-silting.

Earlier, the Prime Minister was welcomed by PDM Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and thanked him for visiting floods hit areas of Tank and D I Khan districts.

PM wins hearts of flood affected people

The federal government won hearts and minds of the flood-affected people in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank districts as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif personally visited the affected areas and met with the local people.

During the PM’s visit to Tank, a senior citizen thanked the prime minister for sympathizing with them. While communicating his emotions, the senior citizen fell into tears and said in his native language that “it is for the first time during his 60 years life that any PM visiting his area.”

The prime minister hugged that elderly man and assured him of full support and cooperation of the federal government during this time of distress.

Another citizen, while talking to APP, said the different institutions including FC, Pak Army, Police, Rescue 1122 provided relief work to the locals. Besides, the food items were also distributed among the victims during this testing period, he said.

The local peoples said the road infrastructure has been badly damaged due to recent flood and rains. They, however, thanked the prime minister for announcing immediate repair and maintenance work of the infrastructure.

 

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