Upper house

Unanimity is crucial for rapid assistance to flood-affected regions: senators

ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – August 17, 2022): Senators in the upper house on Wednesday stressed the need for collective efforts for rapid assistance to flood-affected regions.

“We must express our solidarity with the people of flood-affected areas by joining hands and offering strong support to address the grievances of flood victims,” ​​they said on a point of order.

Standing Senate Committee on Maritime Affairs Chair Rubina Khalid said instead of scoring political points on natural disasters, she should come forward and stand with the needy in this hour of mourning.

Manzoor Ahmed Kakar said all of Balochistan was flooded during the monsoon rains and recent rains broke all previous records with most bridges collapsing and roads damaged.

Residents in remote areas faced a shortage of medical supplies and were unable to transfer their patients to hospitals in other districts.

Kakar paid tribute to the Lasbella helicopter crash martyrs who lost their lives during relief activities in Balochistan.

The floods have washed away agricultural fields and livestock in the province, he said while expressing his displeasure with relief efforts by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Senator Hidayat Ullah regretted that so far all political parties have failed to come up with a strategy after mutual consensus for those affected by the floods as well as on the financing of terrorism. He urged the government to come up with a plan to solve the problems of the tribal areas.

Commenting on recent road accidents, he held the National Highways Authority (NHA) and the National Highway and Motorways Police (NHMP) responsible for the road accident in Sindh which claimed the lives of at least 20 people and several others injured when a passenger bus collided with an oil tanker.

He stressed that all aspects of the incident must be investigated and those responsible must be identified.

Senator Fauzia Arshad said there should be proper planning regarding disaster reduction risks. The focus should be on prevention, litigation, preparedness, rehabilitation and response.

She said the provincial disaster management authorities (PDMA) had failed to come up with a strategy to mitigate the risk of flooding, adding that 26 districts in Balochistan had been flooded.

Fauzia Arshad said details of relief measures taken by PDMAs, NDMAs and other relevant stakeholders should be made public.

She said Pakistan’s 75th anniversary celebrations are over, so it is high time to move in the right direction by putting aside differences to move the country forward and prosper.

Senator Taj Haider has called for a committee to be formed to brief members of the Senate on ongoing relief efforts by disaster management authorities.

He stressed the need for long-term planning in Baluchistan to address massive traffic, water scarcity, power supply interruptions and infrastructure issues.

Haider called for coordinated efforts between the federal and provincial governments to relieve the masses and solve their problems.

Senator Bahramand Tangi, speaking on a matter of public importance, said that about 14,000 students from the law department of Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) were still waiting for their graduation for many years. Senate Deputy Speaker Mirza Mohammad Afridi referred the matter to the relevant committee.

Senator Hilal-ur-Rehman said funds of over Rs 136 billion have been released for the old FATA. After a lapse of seven months, the forensic audit by the Auditor General had still not been received.