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PM announces relief package for Balochistan’s rain-hit areas

GWADAR: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday unveiled a relief package for the people of the rain-hit areas of Balochistan, announcing Rs2 million each for the families of the deceased, Rs0.5 million for the injured, and Rs750,000 for those whose houses were completely damaged.

The prime minister, who arrived here the very next day of his oath, told the media after visiting the rain-affected areas that the government would also give Rs350,000 compensation to the families whose houses were partially damaged in the stormy rains of February 26.

Accompanied by Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfraz Bugti and parliamentarians including Atta Tarar and Jam Kamal Khan, the PM assured that the government would not leave the suffering people alone until they were resettled in their homes, the official news agency reported.

In the briefing, he was told that five people were killed in the rain-related incidents across Balochistan, though no casualty was reported in Gwadar.

The prime minister sympathised with the bereaved families and assured that the compensation package would be implemented within four days.

Prime Minister Shehbaz lauded Sarfraz Bugti for his efforts as he rushed to the affected areas soon after his oath and supervised the relief and rescue operations.

“This is not a favour. This is the duty of the newly-elected government and me as the prime minister. This is neither any favour nor any show-off,” he remarked.

Prime Minister Shehbaz also appreciated the personnel of the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Coastal Guards, PDMA and NDMA for their efforts and recommended to the chief minister that they be awarded medals and commendation certificates.

He recalled that following the 2022 floods, the then coalition government had distributed Rs100 billion among the affected people across the country.

Earlier, the prime minister also distributed cheques and relief goods including food items, blankets, water coolers and others among the affected people.

Interacting with the victims, he said, “You are our brothers and sisters. I am here to assure you that the government will not leave you alone. We are with you. How could I sit in Islamabad when you are homeless!”

The prime minister was told that water was receding and the situation in the cities was improving. He was told that water filtration plants had been set up and medicines have been available for the homeless people.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured the government’s all-out efforts for rescue and relief of the rain-hit people of Gwadar and south Balochistan and directed the authorities concerned to formulate a report based on the assessment of the damages to private properties.

The prime minister, who was given a briefing on the damages as well as the relief operation, called for a comprehensive plan for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the recent stormy rains.

During the flight, the prime minister was briefed by NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik on the damage caused by the recent rains in Gwadar and south Balochistan and the ongoing relief operations.

Prime Minister Shehbaz was also given a detailed briefing on the damages and measures to help the victims in other areas of the country.

He emphasised that an early warning system should be developed to detect natural calamities using modern technology and satellites. Besides, he said a plan should be formulated and presented for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims.

“No effort should be spared in rescuing and helping the victims,” he stressed.

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