Natural disaster and Pak-US ties

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory in the Pakistan-US relationship, and underlined the need for a constructive and sustained bilateral engagement based on mutual respect, trust and understanding.

The prime minister expressed promising hopes regarding Pak-US relations during a meeting with a visiting US Congressional delegation led by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in Islamabad. The prime minister told the US lawmakers that the floods had affected over 33 million people, killing 1,300 human beings, and caused extensive damage to agriculture, livestock, property and critical infrastructure across the country while the government was fully engaged in the rescue and relief efforts. He underscored that rehabilitation and reconstruction would pose serious challenges and entail the commitment of enormous resources, while the continued support, solidarity and assistance from the international community were critical in that context. The Prime Minister appreciated the flood relief assistance being provided by the US and hoped that the Congressional delegation’s visit would help enhance global awareness of the scale of destruction caused by the super floods in Pakistan and mobilize greater support.

Presently, Pakistani nation is battling the disastrous effects of one of the worst floods in its history. The nonstop recurrent spells of torrential rains had badly ruined most parts of Sindh, Balochistan, KPK and a few districts of Southern Punjab. The catastrophic flooding affected more than 33 million people, damaged road and irrigation infrastructure, destroyed standing crops over millions of square kilometres of area, damaged households, and displaced millions of people. Pakistan and United Nations had launched a flash appeal worth $ 160 million to help mitigate the destruction brought by the natural calamity. The friendly countries and other nations across the world had demonstrated utmost generosity in helping flood-hit Pakistanis. The United States is one of the close friends of Pakistan and had always helped Pakistan in its hour of need, while US Congresswoman and Co-Chair Pakistan Congressional Caucus is a longstanding friend of Pakistan. American lawmakers had visited Pakistan to express solidarity with the people of Pakistan. Pakistani nation is thankful for their great endeavour and hopes Pakistan Congressional Caucus will play a bridging role in cementing and enhancement of the bilateral relations between the two nations.