ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday formed a high-level committee to streamline the relief activities the quake-hit people of Turkiye and Syria. The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to review the relief activities, said the committee would ensure supply of relief goods to Turkiye and Syria on priority basis.
The relief goods would be dispatched through land, aerial and sea routes. To be headed by Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, the committee would comprise Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain, Religious Affairs Minister Mufti Abdul Shakoor, NDMA chairman, Pakistan’s ambassadors in Turkiye and Syria, and Special Assistant to the PM Tariq Fatemi.
The prime minister ordered to hold fund-raising campaign at schools, colleges and universities. He also appealed to the philanthropists, industrialists and business community to take part in the fund-raising for the distressed people of Turkiye and Syria.
He urged the people of Pakistan to donate relief goods at the collection centers of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). He also instructed the NDMA to enhance its coordination with the provincial governments to speed up the relief activities. The prime minister said Pakistan stood by its close friend Turkiye in the hour of distress. He said Turkiye extended support to the people of Pakistan after floods in 2010 and 2022.
Prime Minister Shehbaz also instructed the authorities concerned to arrange blankets, warm clothes, baby food and tents while ensuring the quality of the relief goods being sent to Turkiye and Syria. The prime minister said that despite limited resources, Pakistan would leave no stone unturned in supporting their Turkish brethren.
He said Pakistan established an air corridor to supply relief goods and a convoy of trucks would soon leave for Turkiye and Syria. The meeting was told that a team along with the equipment for a 30-bed mobile hospital was already serving in Turkiye while another mobile hospital was being dispatched along with staff and equipment.
The prime minister appreciated the services of Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, her team as well as the Pakistani media to highlight the sufferings of the Turkish brethren among the people of Pakistan. Besides, he also lauded the role of Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan International Airlines and NDMA in the relief operation.
Moreover, rescue and Pakistan Army teams were engaged in relief operations in Turkiye. Pakistan’s ambassador in Turkiye apprised the meeting of the statistics of destruction caused by the earthquake in Turkiye. The prime minister appreciated the ambassador’s performance and and directed him to play his role to strengthen contacts between the institutions of Pakistan and Turkiye.
It was told that besides relief goods, rescue teams had reached Turkiye and Syria and taking part in the relief operations. Besides, the PIA was also ensuring regular flights from Islamabad and Lahore to Turkiye for supply of relief goods. The truckloads of relief goods would also leave for Turkiye and Syria within few days. It was told that a countrywide campaign was also being run for support to the quake victims. The relief amounts can be deposited in the account No. G-12166 of relief fund established by the prime minister.
The relief goods can be donated to the NDMA’s 13 collection centers established across the country. The collection centers would be set up at the district level. Federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, SAPM Tariq Fatemi, NDMA chairman, Pakistan’s ambassadors to Turkiye and Syria and senior officers attended the meeting.
PM forms committee to streamline relief activities for quake-hit Turkish, Syrian people