ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday assured Turkish Ambassador Mehmet Paçaci that in the testing times, the government and the people of Pakistan stood in strong solidarity with the people of Turkiye.
He made the remarks during his visit to the Turkish Embassy here to express condolences over the loss of life and property in the devastating earthquake in Turkiye. The prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq, Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarrar, and Special Assistants to the Prime Minister Attaullah Tarrar and Tariq Fatemi.
He conveyed his condolences to the Turkish ambassador and prayed for the victims of the earthquake. He reiterated that Pakistan would continue its rescue and relief efforts for Turkish brothers and sisters until the last affected person was rehabilitated. The prime minister also highlighted the relief efforts of Pakistan for the earthquake victims of Turkiye. He said Pakistan sent winter tents, blankets, warm clothes and other essential items for the people of Turkey.
The PM said brothers in Turkey were sent assistance by air, sea and road, while the government was also considering to send aid through trains. He said assistance was being provided on the basis of daily reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey.
The government of Turkey fully helped Pakistan during the earthquake of 2005, floods in 2010 and in the recent floods, he noted. He asked the Turkish ambassador to inform him about the needs of the people of Turkey so that Pakistan could arrange assistance accordingly. The ministers, who accompanied the prime minister, also offered their condolences. They said Pakistan’s public and private sectors were ready to extend assistance to the people of Turkey.
PM Shehbaz also recorded his remarks in the condolence book. Thanking the prime minister and the people of Pakistan, the Turkish ambassador said they were touched by the outpouring of sympathy and support from the entire Pakistani nation.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked the provinces and administrative units to submit a comprehensive strategy to the federal government on the provision of food items at subsidized rates during the holy month of Ramazan.
Chairing a meeting on the availability of essential commodities and food items, he stressed using technology to control the rates in Ramazan bazars. He also emphasized putting in place effective measures for security. The prime minister directed to increase the number of Ramazan bazars in big cities to accommodate the maximum population.
He said ensuring the supply of essential items to citizens was the basic responsibility of the federal and provincial governments. In this regard, he called for improving liaison between centre and provinces and directed strict action against the hoarders. He stressed removing hurdles in import of necessary items on a priority basis. He said special committees would be set up to improve the supply chain of commodities and maintain their prices.
The meeting was told that necessary steps were being taken to ensure the supply of commodities including wheat, pulses and edible oil, and other items. It was highlighted that the federal government was supplying the required wheat to the provinces. Some provinces are using mobile phone applications to reach out to the citizens for the supply of essential items at reduced rates.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for National Food Protection and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, the chief secretaries of four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, the chief commission of Islamabad, and senior officials.
Pakistan stands with people of Turkiye: PM