Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed on Tuesday arrived on a two-day visit to Karachi and was flown over the city for aerial reconnaissance of the ground impact of urban flooding triggered by the recent record-breaking monsoon rains.
“No city in Pakistan can cope with a natural calamity of this scale. Our issue is not non-availability of resources but setting priorities right,” the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), quoted the army chief as saying.
The COAS reiterated that plans being made by the provincial and federal governments for the development of Karachi that will have army’s all-out support “as having future repercussions on economic security of the country”.
“Army will not disappoint the population in their time of need,” the ISPR quoted the army chief as saying.
Later, Gen Qamar visited Karachi Corps Headquarters where he was briefed about the worst urban flooding in the recent history of Karachi and the army's support to the civil administration across Sindh and particularly Karachi.
He was apprised that unprecedented rains combined with decades of urban congestion, unplanned population settlement as well as infrastructural issues compounded the problem, according to the ISPR statement.
This natural calamity, the COAS said, provided opportunity to set the priority for management of mega cities across Pakistan to avoid such disasters in future.
Expressing satisfaction on the pace of disaster relief work, the army chief directed that work priority should be given to areas of common public utility and worst hit communities first.
“At no point influence of a particular locality or community should be allowed to shift attention or resources from those in need. It's a national disaster and everyone is in it together,” he added.
He appreciated garrison troops for maintaining law and order particularly during Muharram, saying peace in the country’s economic hub is vital for security and stability of Pakistan.
Efforts will continue to maintain normalcy in Karachi and the province, he added.
Gen Qamar also interacted with retired senior and serving garrison officers and appreciated officers for their contribution towards defence and security of the country.
He was received by Lieutenant General Humayun Aziz, Corps Commander Karachi upon his arrival in the provincial capital.
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