KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: The tragic deaths of children in the Tharparkar district of Sindh has shaken the top hierarchy of the country, with the prime minister pledging full support to the Sindh government in assisting the people suffering from severe shortages of food, water and medicines; the PPP patron-in-chief ordering immediate steps to save lives in the drought-hit region, and provincial government ordering dispatch of relief goods for the surviving victims.
Moreover, the Sindh government sacked the Mirpur Khas commissioner and Tharparkar deputy commissioner over their apathy to handle the situation.
According to a notification issued on Saturday, Sajid Jamal Abro and Asif Ikram have been appointed commissioner and deputy commissioner of Mirpur Khas and Tharparkar, respectively. Drought in Tharparkar has reportedly claimed at least 122 children in the last three months.
Also on Saturday, PM Nawaz Sharif pledged full support to the Sindh government in assisting the people suffering from severe food shortage. In a statement, the PM said that all available resources should be brought to use in order to assist the large number of women nursing their sick children and hungry people waiting for food in villages.
“The federal government would extend all possible assistance to the Sindh government in this regard,” the statement said, adding that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and other departments were keeping him informed.
The army also dispatched relief goods and arranged medical camps in the district’s affected areas.
On the other hand, President Mamnoon Hussain phoned Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and discussed with him the situation in Tharparkar.
Expressing deep concern over the situation, the president called for a report about it and the measures taken so far to provide relief to the affected people.
He also directed the governor to undertake every possible effort to provide immediate relief to the affected population.
Saturday also saw the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government announcing a Rs100 million relief package for the drought-hit people.
KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak directed the PDMA to procure rice, flour, pulses, sugar, tea, cooking oil, dates, salt, potable water, milk and medicines from local markets and immediately dispatch them to the victims.
Over in Punjab, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed the authorities to dispatch as many as 20,000 food hampers forthwith to the residents of Thar to alleviate the sufferings of the affected families.
Provincial ministers Chaudhry Shafiq and Wahid Arain would lead the caravan consisting of 25 trucks laden with the food hampers from Lahore.
Shahbaz also directed the Punjab Disaster Management director general to accompany the caravan as well. Each food hamper contains wheat flour, rice, ghee, pulses, sugar, tea and mineral water bottles.
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari directed Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah to take immediate steps to save lives in the drought-hit areas. He telephoned the CM from Dubai, asking him to reach Tharparkar and solve the problems of the locals.
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