Pakistan PM pledges to continue assisting Turkey quake victims

Shehbaz Sharif hopes Turkish people would overcome post-quake challenges


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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets Turkish earthquake victims in Adiyaman to offer condolences. — APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif meets Turkish earthquake victims in Adiyaman to offer condolences. — APP

Published: Sat 18 Feb 2023, 6:37 PM

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday reiterated that Pakistan would stand by its Turkish brothers and sisters in the wake of a devastating earthquake with all possible relief assistance.

In an interview with Anadolu news agency, the prime minister expressed the hope that the resilient Turkish people would overcome the post-quake challenges under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Things are extremely difficult, but the resolve of the Turkish nation is also strong,” he said.

“Out of this challenge, there is an opportunity, and no doubt they will convert this destruction into a wonderful construction,” Shehbaz remarked.

He said after the earthquake, he spoke to President Erdogan on telephone and offered “everything we had in Pakistan for our Turkish brothers and sisters”.

He said Pakistan has already sent 500 tonnes of relief goods through different commercial flights and Pakistan Air Force planes.

By the end of February, we would be able to send around 1,300 tonnes of relief goods and in the month of March about 1,700 tonnes of relief goods would be sent, he added.

The prime minister said the bulk of aid would consist of tents, adding that he had already directed for rapid manufacturing of winterized tents which would be sent to Turkey.

“Our relief teams were able to rescue 14 people from the rubble. But this devastation is beyond imagination,” he added.

The prime minister pointed out that his cabinet and country’s parliament had donated one month’s salary to the relief fund established for the quake-affected people.

The prime minister recollected that during the earthquake of 2005, floods of 2010 or last year’s floods in Pakistan, President Erdogan and the Turkish people went the extra mile to help the people of Pakistan.

Shehbaz said that the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should also immediately convene a meeting so that Muslim countries could decide a relief package for Turkey.

He also urged the international community to play its role in this regard.

“It is a high time for the international community to come forward and contribute whatever it can for the rehabilitation of earthquake-affected people,” he added.

Lauding the leadership qualities of President Erdogan, the prime minister expressed the hope that his government would come out of the crises, adding that the people of Pakistan stood in complete solidarity with their Turkish brothers.

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