The army chief on Sunday appealed to the country’s well-off citizens as well as the Pakistanis living abroad to come forward in this time of need and play thier role in the rehabilitation of the people whose livelihoods were destroyed by the recent floods.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa added that despite their best efforts, the Centre, provincial governments, armed forces and welfare organisations required assistance in rehabilitating the flood victims as their resources were limited.
“You can help these brothers in any way you want. They are facing very, very difficult times,” the army chief said during his visit to Jilani village in Khairpur and Qambar-Shahdadkot.
Gen Qamar further said the well-off citizens could either aid the victims financially or through other means whichever way suited them.
“The government has asked friendly countries for help and I am hopeful that they would cooperate,” the army chief explained.
“Friendly countries have also come forward to help Pakistan in this hour of need” he added.
“Relief and rescue operations are almost complete and now it is the matter of rehabilitation. That could take several years and we need the assistance of the entire nation,” Gen Qamar elaborated.
The army chief said he appealed on behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan to the expats and friends of the country residing abroad to help the victims in these difficult times.
He said he had been to Balochistan a day earlier and now he had come to Khairpur in Sindh.
“The destruction I see here is massive,” he added.
The army chief said the magnitude of the recent floods was too great.
Earlier, the army chief interacted with the locals, who thanked him for reaching out to them.
According to the military’s media wing, the COAS spent the entire day with flood victims in relief and medical camps established for the local population
The army chief also met the troops on ground and appreciated their efforts for bringing comfort to the people awaiting their support.
“Helping the people of Pakistan in need is a noble cause and we must take pride to serve them to best of our abilities,” the Inter-Services Public (ISPR) quoted the army chief as saying.
In another statement, the ISPR said the army had conducted an aerial relief operation in Rajanpur district and provided aid by distributing ration bags. Tents were also provided to the victims.
“[The] Pakistan Army continued rescue and relief operations also in all flood-hit areas of Layyah, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts,” the military’s media wing added.
Separately, the ISPR said four special army aviation helicopters on Sunday rescued 110 stranded people from Khawazakhela to Kanju Cantt in Swat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa .
The military has urged people not to travel towards Swat and surrounding areas due to flash floods.
The military’s media wing also informed that the troops had reached the Khana Bodosh site where families were stranded.
It added that follow-up army troops had crossed Barikot. “Pakistan army aviation helicopters have flown and are on their way to the location,” it said.
Earlier, the Pakistan Army rescued 22 tourists, who had left from Islamabad and became stuck in Kumrat valley in Upper Dir of K-P.
In another development, army aviation pilots rescued a stranded individual surrounded in a flood in Kohistan.
An emergency call was made by Kohistan administration, the ISPR added.
Responding immediately, the GOC Mangla Division and Commander Mangla Brigade, who were on a flood assessment mission near Pattan, were diverted from their original flight to save the stranded person.
In a daring move, the pilots lowered the helicopter and the officers and crew lifted the individual safely.
The ISPR said to help the flood victims, 7,522 Pakistan Army troops had been deployed along with 50 boats, whereas 25 field medical camps had also been established. As many as 25,000 patients have been treated so far.
The army has also established a flood relief donation account after the government’s authorisation to help assist the flood victims.