50 percent of flood-ravaged Sindh dewatered, says Bilawal
PPP chairman says hill torrents still coming to Sindh from Balochistan mountains: Entire Sindh, except Karachi, still under water: Says his focus is on flood, no time for politics: Some elements conspiring to form govt amid natural calamity: Calls for joint response to help affectees
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Foreign Minister and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has declared that the flood disaster was not over yet as hill torrents from Balochistan mountains were still coming to Sindh, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Addressing a news conference at Sindh CM House in Karachi on Thursday, Bilawal Bhutto said about 50 percent of the flood-ravaged areas of Sindh has been dewatered.
Bilawal said although 50 percent of floodwater had been drained out from Sindh, still the water was coming down from the hills of Balochistan. “Let me tell you it is not over yet, it is not over yet,” Bilawal added.
He said that the destruction caused by monsoon rains and floods was on such a large scale that it was nothing less than a doomsday for people of the affected areas. “As many as 30 million people have been affected by the natural calamity, and one-third of the country is still under water,” Bilawal said, adding, “Crops over millions of acres of land have been destroyed. Barring Karachi, the entire Sindh is under water.”
He said the country had now started experiencing the aftershocks of worst floods in its history as already there was a shortage of food items. “Pakistan has suffered the loss of $30 billion,” he disclosed, and added that the government was still collecting details of the exact damage caused by the natural calamity, which will be more visible after the water recedes.
Not only that, the FM went on to say, contagious diseases were spreading in the flood-hit areas.
He said he was thankful to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for reaching out to the flood-affected people. “For the first time, I am feeling that today we have that person as our prime minister who is the prime minister of the entire country; and not of just one province,” he said, and regretted that some people were still busy conspiring against the government.
Responding to a question, Bilawal said that some people were conspiring to form their government amid the natural calamity in the country. "Some people want to divert attention from floods towards themselves, conspiring in a bid to form their government amid the crisis," Bilawal said without naming anyone.
He called for a joint response to help the flood affectees and said that they should not be thinking about politics and votes. "We have to unite, prioritize humanity and set the politics aside," he added.
The foreign minister said that the government was looking into the economic consequences of the floods as well as the food insecurity issue, while a second catastrophe, the health crisis also looms.
Bilawal urged people to help as much as they can as the government still needs help for the rehabilitation of flood victims. "We have faced every hardship and emerged more powerful than ever. We will do the same this time as well by the will of Allah," he said.
About relief efforts, Bilawal said the government will continue to work hard for the provision of aid in terms of tents, trampolines, mosquito nets and rations. He said the rations provision is going well as the government departments, NGOs, international organisations and civil societies are working together for the cause. Bilawal said the second phase is reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Criticising the nations for greenhouse gas emissions, Bilawal assailed rich countries for causing damage to the entire world in form of climate change while making themselves richer. “The people of Pakistan are bearing the brunt of this damage and are paying in the form of their lives and livelihoods for the industrialization of other countries,” he said and added "We don’t seek alms but justice from the world."
Reporter: Iqtidar Anwar