Pakistan seeks international help to meet calamity


Islamabad : Initially refusing to accept international help, Pakistan has now sought it to meet the consequences of floods, cyclones and landslides that have killed over a hundred in Balochistan and Sindh provinces and affected millions along the Arabian Sea coast.

Support TwoCircles

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Sunday invited NGOs, multinational and international agencies, private donors and foreign governments to come forward and contribute towards relief and rehabilitation.

Earlier media reports had said that Pakistan had refused help from international agencies saying it was coping with the problem. However, there has been a change of stance after Aziz made an aerial tour of the affected areas over the weekend.

The prime minister told media that the government was working as per a planned strategy to help those who have lost their relatives and their homes.

The death toll from flash floods and rains in Balochistan rose to 103 when 40 bodies were recovered Sunday from the Nal area of Khuzdar and Awaran districts.

Independent sources fear the death toll may rise further as hundreds of people are still missing in different flood-hit areas of the province, The News said Monday.

According to Dawn, over two million people are severely hit in Balochistan's 15 districts and the loss is estimated at Rs.10 billion.

In Sindh four people were killed as heavy rains again lashed different parts of the province Sunday, with floodwater inundating 350,000 acres of land in Qambar-Shahdadkot district.

The national disaster management authority (NDMA) is coordinating the relief efforts by involving all government organisations concerned. Balochistan Home Secretary Tariq Ayub said that a meeting with NGOs was scheduled Monday to ask them to support the relief operation.

According to the weather office, widespread heavy rains were expected in Sindh over the next four days and scattered rains have been forecast for Balochistan during the next two days.