ISLAMABAD:(APS)The Foreign Secretary of Pakistan, Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, today briefed the Media on the situation in Nepal in the wake of the 25th April Earthquake and the Government of Pakistan’s response in terms of the relief assistance provided.
In the briefing, he was joined by the Ambassador of Nepal to Pakistan, H.E. Bharat Raj Paudyal, Chairman NDMA, Maj. Gen. Asghar Nawaz, Director Military Operations Brig. Azhar Waqas and Air Chief of Staff (Operations) Air Commodore Javad.
The Foreign Secretary said that the purpose of the meeting was to reiterate our condolences and sympathies and to reassure the Nepalese brethren that entire Pakistani nation is with them in their hour of grief and sorrow and are ready to extend every possible assistance.
He apprised the media persons on Pakistan’s response under the instructions and guidance of the Prime Minister, who was constantly monitoring the situation in Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating Earthquake.
He informed that the Prime Minister, who was on an official visit to the UK when the Earthquake struck Nepal, not only immediately issued the condolence message but also spoke with the Prime Minister of Nepal to offer all out assistance. It was the Prime Minister’s desire that Pakistan’s assistance should be the first to reach Nepal. Having experienced the 2005 Earthquake’s devastations, the Prime Minister knew what it means to those in grief to find friends around them in such trying times.
Expressing satisfaction, the Foreign Secretary informed that within hours of the Prime Minister’s instructions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NDMA, Military Operations Directorate of Pakistan Army and Operations Directorate of Pakistan Air Force came into action and 04 C-130 plane-load of relief assistance (food, medicines, tents, etc), a 50-member team of doctors, surgeons, paramedics and technicians, 38-member Pakistan Army’s Urban Search and Rescue team with the state-of-the-art equipment, including the rubble penetrating radars, sniffing dogs, and a 30-bed hospital were made ready and dispatched.
He informed the gathering that in response to the Nepal Government’s request the Prime Minister has further approved provision of 20,000 tents and 20 tons rice. The part consignment was delivered yesterday by two C-130 aircrafts. Chairman NDMA gave details of the relief operations carried out so far and in the coming days. Informing about the nature of relief assistance provided in greater details, Gen. Asghar dwelt on various options which were considered to ensure an expeditious delivery of the relief assistance.
The Foreign Secretary briefly shared how the various departments of Pakistan intended to accomplish the task of fulfilling the Nepalese requirement. He underlined that the Prime Minister has also established an exclusive Relief Fund for Nepal. In all the Pakistani Missions abroad as also within the country accounts under the Relief Fund Head will be opened and Pakistanis at home and abroad would be mobilised to generously contribute to the Fund.
The Ambassador of Nepal expressed profound gratitude of his Government and the Nepalese people and informed that Pakistan’s assistance was very effective, timely and useful. He said that there has been wide admiration for the Pakistani relief efforts.