PM visits flood-affected areas in AJK; death toll now at 205

GILGIT/RAWLAKOT: Visiting rain-affected victims in Azad Kashmir, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged that the government rehabilitate and assist them.
“The state is responsible to take care of its citizens in the wake of a calamity,” he said, speaking in the district of Rawlakot. Nawaz said also promised that the Rawalpindi-Muzaffarabad train project will be completed in two years.
He distributed compensation cheques among flood affected people, and expressed regret over the losses in men and materials caused due to the floods.
Alluding to the protests that have engulfed Islamabad, Azad Kashmir leaders Sardar Muhammad Yaqub and Chaudhry Abdul Majeed gave their support to Nawaz saying, “we are standing with Nawaz Sharif in the war of existence of Pakistan.” Majeed, who is Azad Kashmir’s prime minister, termed the “politics of sit-ins” as a conspiracy to weakening Pakistan and described it as a “drama”.
Nawaz was given a detailed briefing on the flood situation in AJK. He was informed that heavy rains have severely damaged basic infrastructure and houses. Roads and bridges have been damaged by land-sliding in different areas.
Officials said the death toll now stood at 205, with the majority of deaths recorded in Punjab province, AFP reported.
Helicopters, troops and other emergency personnel have been deployed in flood-hit areas for rescue and relief operations, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NMDA).
The death toll in Punjab currently stands at at 131, with a further 273 people injured, a senior official from NDMA told AFP. Some 556 villages have been affected.
“The rains killed at least 63 people and injured 105 others in Pakistan-administered Kashmir,” the official added.
The number of people displaced by the floods stands at 24,000, Radio Pakistan reported. The affected families are being provided with food, tents and other essential commodities.
Thirty-three families stranded in Deosai Plains rescued
According to the ISPR, a relief camp has been established at Chelum near Astore and rescued families are provided with blankets, quilts, tents and fresh food. Heating arrangements have also been made to keep the villagers warm, while a medical camp was also set up.
Recent torrential downpour, which killed 11 people in G-B, was followed by snowfall which severely damaged roads in the area, leaving many stranded on one of the highest plateaus in the world – the Deosai Plains.
On September 7, at least 400 villagers were rescued from the plains.