PPP, PML-N join hands for flood-relief efforts in Pakistan

     The Pakistan People’s Party ( PPP ) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have joined hands to cope with the worst floods in the country’s history, and agreed on setting up a body to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the victims. Addressing a joint press conference after a meeting in Islamabad , Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif expressed shock and grief over the wide scale devastation. Gilani said that the commission would mobilize resources and oversee the spending of funds to maintain a high level of transparency. “On the suggestion of Nawaz Sharif, the government has decided to set up an independent commission, comprising of impartial, non-controversial and principled individuals to raise funds for rehabilitation of flood victims and to monitor the damage assessment process for judicious distribution of resources to provinces,” The Daily Times quoted Gilani, as saying. Nawaz said that his party would support the government to work together for the rehabilitation of the affected people. “I proposed few names for the body which the prime minister has approved. A ten-members body, commission, or committee, would open its own account. It will also oversee the damage and need assessment process in flood-affected areas. The government would be the first to donate funds to the account of this body,” Nawaz said. “I and the prime minister will go to the public to seek their generous support for flood victims,” he added. The floods, triggered by torrential monsoon downpours just over two weeks ago, have claimed the lives of over 1,600 people and disrupted the lives of 14 million people, eight percent of the population. It is threatening greater damage as relief and rescue work have been hit badly by continuous rains, particularly in the northwestern region. The floods first struck the western province of Baluchistan on July 22 before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and then entering Punjab and Sindh.

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