Bilawal hits out at Imran for holding public rallies despite flood devastation

There will be time for doing politics but at the moment it is time to assist the flood victims, says foreign minister

News Desk August 28, 2022
There will be time for doing politics but at the moment it is time to assist the flood victims, FM Bilawal tells Imran Khan. PHOTO: FILE

Lashing out at former prime minister Imran Khan for holding political gatherings despite devastation due to unprecedented floods in the country, Foreign Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that the PTI chief is busy in "political point-scoring".

In an interview with BBC on Saturday, Bilawal said that there will be time for doing other activities including politics but at the moment it is time to assist the flood victims. "Our rivals whether in the government or in the opposition, always lacked interest in such matters."

He said that the rain-related floods have wreaked havoc in Pakistan and the devastations are spread from one corner of the country to the other.

Read more: Won’t rest until each one of flood affected is rehabilitated: COAS

"Rain-related floods have ruined peoples’ shelters, crops and everything. Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit and Sindh provinces have been hit very badly. The Sindh province has undergone the worst of all-time high catastrophe," he said.

The foreign minister said that every district of Sindh has been badly affected and the Sindh government has marked them as the worst calamity-hit zones.

Bilawal said the rain-related floods have so far rendered above 80,000 homeless in district Larkana alone. The PPP chairman was of the view that amid this escalating catastrophe, the resources are very limited to cater to the needs of those affected. "There is an immediate need for tents, raw and cooked foods and medicine to help the affectees."

He said that the rains that started in June continued till the end of August, and still the relief and rescue process is on the go. He said that a large-scale migration has already set in as the people are shifting from flood-affected areas to safer dry areas.

"The government will provide all necessities such as tents and food and arrangements have been made at schools, colleges and government buildings for their temporary shelters."

Bilawal said that the next process will be the rehabilitation of the affected areas, the houses of the victims and the infrastructure of flood-hit areas will have to be rebuilt.

Counting on the high numbers of casualties and damages, the PPP leader feared an increase in human casualties.

Also read: Won’t rest until each one of flood affected is rehabilitated: COAS

Talking about the politics of the opposition, Bilawal said that it is sad that amid this huge devastation politicking is being intensely done. He said that wherever there is a flood or an earthquake in the world, the whole country unites and helps the victims. He said what could be said if the opposition wants to keep busy in political point scoring.

"It is our priority to lessen the agonies of the flood victims. Wherever the victims can get relief, including the federal and provincial governments, let us deliver that relief," he added.

The foreign minister said that this time it rained so heavily that he had to postpone his visit to the European Union because it was the call of the duty to stay among those affected.

Bilawal pointed out that the current opposition was in the government in 2020, but it did not support the flood victims of Sindh province.

"Imran Khan’s own province [K-P] has been affected but sadly he is busy in political point scoring. He is holding political gatherings," he added.

Bilawal said that there is no government in the world, which is capable of dealing with a natural calamity on this huge scale, but they spare nothing and try their best to make redressal. "It is our top priority to provide tents to the victims for temporary shelters."

He said that the Sindh government had 90,000 tents available which do not suffice the needs, adding that at least one million tents are required.

He said that the government and society are working together to provide food and assistance to the affectees.

The PPP chairman said that during the 2020 floods, the victims did not get anything, but today the victims are expected to receive assistance through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

He admired the secure system of the BISP, through which people are being helped out.

He said that before the BISP, there was no victim assistance system available in the country, through which we would have helped people in difficult times.


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