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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday said that India and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had tried to sabotage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) relief programme which is evident from the recent audio leaks of Shaukat Tarin and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa finance minister.

Addressing the media along with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira, Saad Rafique said that the IMF programme was a temporary relief but the main focus is self-dependence of Pakistan.

He said the government has set up a committee to bring reforms which the PTI government failed in its tenure.

The minister said he did not want to talk about politics in the current situation but everyone knew that Pakistan had bid farewell to the IMF but it halted because the previous government took the IMF programme and did not make reforms.

The minister praised the armed forces, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the Provincial Disaster Management Authorities, philanthropists, and the civil administration for playing a crucial role for the relief activities.

He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would roll out a detailed rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for the flood-hit areas after consultation with the coalition partners soon. The minister said the catastrophic floods have broken the record of 2010 super floods that most impacted the areas of Balochistan and Sindh while the situation in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab was also worrisome.

He said the country was already passing through an economic crisis, and on such occasion the floods destroyed the economy and all the government institutions were engaged in rescue operations.

Saad Rafique said the recovery phase would be even more difficult, and the prices of vegetables were skyrocketing but the government would leave no stone unturned for the rehabilitation of flood victims.

He said the whole nation was actively participating to help the flood victims, whereas, the international community had also joined hands to help Pakistan in the need of the hour.

He said unfortunately, PTI Chief Imran Khan was stopping the chief ministers of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, and the prime minister the AJK from attending the Flood Relief Conference which was held at PM House.

“We held a flood relief plan meeting which was participated by chief ministers of all the provinces, chairman NDMA and military leadership while Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and AJK Prime Minister abstained from participating in the meeting,” he said.

The minister said the assistance is not sufficient and the government would have to rely on its own resources.

The minister said that Pakistan Railway would continue its operations despite the damage of rail track for transportation of essential commodities and medicines to flood-affected areas.

He said that four trains were functional for supplying relief goods that would be distributed to the flood affectees with help of the NDMA and PDMAs, whereas, one of the cargo trains had reached the affected area.

To a query, he said that no government used to conduct telethons rather utilized its own resources to assist the flood relief activities and in case of mega disaster and insufficient resources the international community was called for help.

Saad Rafique urged all the political parties to show unity and responsibility in this difficult time instead of pursuing their own vested interests.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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