ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to get the “Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund” audited by the Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) and an international-repute audit firm, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced through his Twitter handle on Saturday.

“In order to ensure transparency and as per my promise, the government of Pakistan has decided to get PM’s Flood Relief Fund audited by AGPR & a firm of global standing,” he tweeted.

“These firms will audit all incoming and outgoing funds besides its spending. The audit reports will be made public,” the PM said.

The prime minister through another tweet appreciated all the relevant authorities for making efforts to restore the essential services in the flood-affected areas across the country.

Shehbaz says besides AGPR, a firm of global standing will audit funds and their spending

Mr Sharif said despite heaviest odds, all the concerned departments, including National Highway Authority (NHA), power distribution and supply companies, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other federal departments had done “amazing work” by largely rehabilitating the damaged infrastructure.

“A massive national effort is under way to restore essential services in the flood-hit areas. The NHA, DISCOs, PTA & other federal departments have done amazing work against the heaviest of odds & largely rehabilitated the damaged infrastructure. My appreciation for all public servants,” he posted a tweet.

The prime minister in a related tweet also lauded the efforts of NHA Chairman Khurram Agha and DG Frontier Works Organization (FWO) Major General Kamal Azfar and his teams for reopening of all the major highways including the Karakorum Highway in the shortest period of time.

Sindh assured of all-out support

Meanwhile, the prime minister talked to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and assured all-out support of the federal government to the province in the relief and rehabilitation efforts for the flood-affected people.

According to PM Office, Mr Sharif stressed that no efforts should be spared to support the flood victims and also appreciated the efforts of the Sindh government in the relief and rehabilitation activities.

The chief minister expressed his gratitude to the prime minister and the federal government for their concerns and support for the flood-affected people and assured that they would not disappoint the affected people.

According to the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif received a telephone call from President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickre­mesinghe and discussed matters of mutual interest.

President Wickremesinghe offered sympathies on the widespread devastation caused by the recent floods and condoled with Mr Sharif on the loss of lives. He expressed solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan braving the unforeseen natural calamity with resolve.

The prime minister highlighted that the floods had caused extensive loss of human lives, livelihoods, livestock, crops, property and critical infrastructure. He reiterated the need for enhanced awareness in the international community about the scale of the floods which had deluged one-third of the country.

The PM hoped that the “2022 UN Flash Appeal” for the Pakistan flood response would contribute towards meeting the relief funding requirements and assist in the expeditious provision of relief to those in dire need.

The two leaders expressed desire to further strengthen the fraternal relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in areas of mutual interest.

Mr Sharif also through a tweet expressed gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping for assistance package of RMB400 million for the flood-affected people.

“Highly grateful to President Xi Jinping for Chinese assistance package of RMB 400 million, up from initial RMB 100 million, for flood victims in Pakistan. This is a reflection of our unique bond of friendship. This support will help provide much needed relief to the people,” wrote Mr Sharif.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2022

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