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Kalabagh Dam could have averted destruction of floods: PM Gilani

10 August, 2010

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MULTAN: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday said that the deaths and destruction in the floods could have been averted if the Kalabagh Dam had been built.

Talking to reporters in Multan after he visited the flood-affected areas, the PM said the government would build the Kalabagh Dam if there was political consensus over the issue.

The PM appealed to the nation to come forward to help their fellow countrymen who had lost their family members and property in the floods. “I assure you that the government will do all to help the people affected by the worst-ever floods in the country’s history,” Gilani said.

The floods, the worst since 1927, have rendered over 14 million people homeless, destroyed around a million homes and caused widespread damage amounting to billions of rupees.

Gilani vowed to do all to reach out to the flood-affected people, and said he was visiting the areas to seek the suggestions of people to deal with the calamity.

Gilani said the people were still in a state of shock, as vast areas and huge parts of the population were affected. “We as a nation must stand united to confront any challenges that we might face,” he said.

He said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) would coordinate and distribute the foreign aid equally among the affected areas.

Gilani said the current floods were the biggest challenge any government had ever faced.

He thanked the international community, local and foreign non-government organisations that were helping the affected people.

During his stay in Multan, the PM oversaw relief activities being carried out by the Pakistan Army.

He was briefed about the damage caused by the floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh by NDMA Chairman Lt Gen (r) Nadeem Ahmed.

The PM directed the officials concerned to ensure that relief goods were sent to the flood-hit districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur and Bhakkar.

He said officials should make arrangements for delivering relief goods to people through helicopters where no road link was available.

Earlier upon his arrival, Gilani was received by Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, Punjab Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira and Punjab Assembly Member Syed Ahmed Mujtaba Gilani.


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