The Federal Cabinet meeting was held yesterday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. In this meeting, the National Disaster Management Authority reviewed the current situation of rains, floods, and the destruction they caused across the country and the ongoing rescue, relief, and relief efforts by the federal and provincial departments. Gave a detailed briefing on the rehabilitation activities. It was informed in the briefing that this is the biggest flood in history in which Sindh and Balochistan have been badly affected.
Financial Difficulties of Flood Victims
From June 14 till now, there have been 190% more rains than in the last 30 years in the whole of Pakistan, while its rate has been 465% in Sindh and 437% in Balochistan. 1325 people, including men, women, and children, have died across the country. In the briefing, it was stated that 16 lakh 88 thousand houses, 246 link bridges, 5 thousand 735 km of roads, and 7 lakh 50 thousand cattle have fallen victim to flooding rails across the country.
Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique told the Cabinet that four lines of Pakistan Railways had been badly affected by flood relays and railway operations are still suspended due to the destruction of a connecting bridge in the Quetta-Sabi section. Minister for Energy Engineer Khurram Dastgir informed the cabinet that two of the three major power transmission lines of Balochistan of 810 megawatts have been restored.
The Ministry of Energy told the Cabinet that only those grid stations which are still underwater are closed across the country. The Federal Cabinet has approved increasing the amount of Rs 28 billion to be distributed through BISP to Rs 70 billion. It was also approved to form a committee to transparently distribute this money to the flood victims. The cabinet was told that some areas like Swat were devastated due to human stupidity.
Where hotels were constructed illegally in River Bed. The Prime Minister directed the concerned authorities to ensure effective implementation of zoning rules and regulations related to land use in River Bed to avoid any such disaster in the future.
Any hotel or any kind of construction on the banks of the river is not legally correct, when the constructions were taking place in the river bed, why did the relevant departments not take notice of it at that time, if the relevant departments had taken timely action against these constructions? So the disaster that was seen today would not have happened, but what should be done here, every illegal work can be done easily by paying bribes, and the officials of the relevant department do not notice any wrong and illegal work after warming their pockets. And the government also remains silent on it, on which a public perception emerges that the heads of the concerned ministries are also washing their hands in the flowing Ganga.
Officials of the National Flood Response Center told the cabinet that according to estimates, 80 to 90 percent of the flooded area across the country can be made suitable for wheat cultivation, otherwise, there may be a severe food crisis in the country. However, the possibility of increasing the cost of food due to lack of cultivation in 10 to 20 percent of the area cannot be ruled out.
Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif has also drawn the attention of the United Nations in the United Nations General Assembly about climate change and the disaster caused by floods in Pakistan. A lot of financial resources are needed. The current financial situation of the country is not such that the government of Pakistan can do this work on its own account.
Rehabilitation Work of the Flood Victims
Therefore, it is in dire need of cooperation from the rich countries of the world so that Pakistan can put its economy back on its feet, complete the rehabilitation work of the flood victims and rebuild the damaged infrastructure.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Zardari has also said that Pakistan does not want compensation for dealing with natural disasters, but for realistic environmental justice. Loans should be rescheduled.
Addressing a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Bilawal Zardari said that no one has yet succeeded in getting this compensation, it is a long-term question, and we want realistic environmental justice.
Addressing a meeting of American scholars and experts at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the foreign minister sought the world’s support for the flood victims in Pakistan. He said that the scope and intensity of the damage caused by the floods in Pakistan are very high, and the help of the international community is indispensable for the recovery and reconstruction efforts.
He said that more than financial aid, Pakistan needs environmental justice and a green plan to rebuild its basic infrastructure and economy. In an interview with BBC World News, the foreign minister said that flood victims need decades to recover It will happen because everything has been washed away by the people, 33 million people have been displaced due to the flood and the resources we have are insufficient to help the flood victims.
The world is giving generous aid to the flood victims, but when you compare this aid to the devastation, it is like a drop in the ocean. All our estimates and plans have been washed away in the flood water.
Pakistan’s vague foreign policy has caused problems in the past few years. Relations with the United States, the European Union, and the Arab countries have cooled, and relations with international financial institutions have also been fluctuating, due to which Pakistan’s economic and financial situation started to deteriorate.
At the same time, the corona epidemic gripped the whole world. The economies of the world fell into recession, business activities came to a standstill, and Pakistan also got caught in it, so the economy of the country came under more pressure. Now in the situation. There has been some change, and things have been settled with the IMF, but the recent rains and floods have taken a toll on Pakistan’s economy.
However, it is gratifying that at the end of the delegation’s visit to Pakistan under the leadership of World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Martin Racer, an indication was given to provide a loan of 2 billion dollars to Pakistan for the rehabilitation of the flood victims. According to the statement issued by the office of the World Bank in Pakistan, the World Bank is committed to supporting the people of Pakistan in the face of flood disasters.
The World Bank said that as an immediate response, funds from World Bank-financed projects will be provided for emergency needs in health, food, shelter, rehabilitation, and cash. World Bank Vice President for South Asia Martin Reser said that in this situation we are considering the financing of 2 billion dollars.
The government and policymakers of Pakistan have a heavy responsibility to prove by their actions that they are managing the affairs of the state keeping in mind the financial crisis of the country. There is a need to reduce non-productive expenditure. Your privileges should be kept according to the financial condition of your country. The top officials of a poor country cannot live lavishly, their salaries, benefits, and pensions should be commensurate with the country’s financial situation.
Pakistan still has so much potential to come out of this big crisis. Pakistan’s ruling class has no right to misuse the public treasury. Pakistan’s treasury belongs to the people of this country because they have worked hard. They are providing resources to the state by paying taxes from earnings.
Unnecessary and meritless recruitment in government institutions is like cruelty to the taxpayers of the country, because the salaries of the government employees, whether they are senior officers or Office boys, financial workers, drivers, housekeepers, etc., are paid from the money of the taxpayers of the country. Like the debts owed by the state, the people of this poor country are also paying them through different types of taxes.