ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said as nation marked the Defence Day, the similar spirit of sacrifice and resilience was required to cope with the current grave challenges in the wake of floods.
In his initial remarks while chairing the meeting of the federal cabinet, he said as the country grappled with unprecedented floods and other challenges, there was a need to recall the spirit of 1965.
The prime minister termed unity as the greatest strength of the Pakistani nation to deal with the challenges effectively.
He said over 30 million people were facing the brunt of flash floods in the shape of loss of lives, infrastructure and crops.
PM Sharif paid tribute to the martyrs of 1965 war who laid down their lives for the safety and security of the country.
He said together, the armed forces and the people had thwarted the Indian machinations to undermine the national integrity.
In view of the heavy losses due to floods, he said, the government had decided to observe the Defence Day with simplicity.
However, he said, the resting places of the martyrs would be adorned with the wreaths and prayers would be offered for their souls.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday laid a wreath at the Martyrs Monument at Shakarparian to pay tribute to the heroes of 1965 war with India.
The prime minister also offered fateha for the souls of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sovereignty of the homeland.
Speaking to media on the occasion, he said 57 years ago, the country’s armed forces had thwarted the designs of an enemy four times bigger than it.
He paid tribute to the martyrs including Maj Aziz Bhatti, Major Shabbir Sharif, Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Rafiqui, Major Muhammad Ziauddin Uppal and several others who put their lives on the line to defend the motherland against the Indian aggression.
He said as the country grappled with floods, the entire nation was united to brave the challenges with the spirit of 1965 war.
He termed the floods as an unprecedented catastrophe in the country’s history and added that the citizens and armed forces were united in coping with the problem.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Maritime Affairs on Tuesday made a donation of worth Rs70 million to Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Faisal Sabzwari presented the donation cheques to the prime minister during a meeting.
Port Qasim Authority had donated a cheque of worth Rs50 million while Karachi Port Trust donated Rs20 million cheque respectively.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to ensure the effective enforcement of the zoning regulations regarding the utilization of land at river bed to avert the recurrence of destruction as took place in Swat consequent to floods.
The prime minister, chairing the meeting of the federal cabinet, expressed his concern over the destruction in Swat caused by human negligence due to the construction of hotels on the river bed.
He asked the authorities concerned to avoid politicking on such matters for the protection of human lives.
The cabinet meeting offered Fateha for martyrs of the armed forces as well as those killed by the flash floods.
The National Disaster Management Authority briefed the meeting about the flood situation including the magnitude of destruction, ongoing rescue, relief and rehabilitation activities.
It was told that floods had hit 6,615 union councils of 81 districts in Sindh and Balochistan including 32 districts in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh, 17 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, six in Gilgit Baltistan and three in Punjab.
The NDMA told the cabinet members that since June 14, the country had received 190% more rains than previous 30 years while Sindh had received 465% and Balochistan received 437% more rains. — APP