Lahore (Web Desk): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan will extend every possible support to Turkiye in the wake of massive devastation caused by catastrophic earthquake that killed and injured thousands.
Talking to media at the Lahore airport on the occasion of handing over of 100 tonnes relief goods including food, medicines and winterized tents for the people of Turkiye, the premier said that the people of Pakistan stand in solidarity with their brethren in distress and would do everything to help them rebuild their lives.
PM Shehbaz recalled that how Turkiye had established an air bridge with Pakistan after the horrific 2005 earthquake that killed around 80,000 people in Azad Kashmir.
"The government had decided to turn the ongoing rescue and relief efforts for Turkiye into a nationwide support campaign," he said.
The prime minister made an impassioned appeal to the people, the business community and the philanthropic organisations to gear up their efforts and send winterized tents, blankets, food and clothing for those who lost everything in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
PM Shehbaz urged the people to send their donations to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the earthquake in Turkiye. He said it was bitter cold in the earthquake affected areas and urgent help was required to save precious lives.
The prime minister said that an air bridge has already been set up to transport relief good to Turkiye and the trucks of National Logistic Cell (NLC) will carry 100 tonnes relief goods to Turkey via Iran.
A PIA 777 aircraft earlier in the day carried relief goods to Turkiye from Lahore, while 30 tonnes would be airlifted from Islamabad today. Another batch of 40 tonnes relief goods will be sent from Lahore on Saturday.
PM Shehbaz said that the search and rescue teams from Pakistan were already in Turkiye and lending their help in trying to rescue people trapped in the rubble.
"I have also spoken to the chief ministers and requested them to take ownership of national relief campaign for earthquake-hit people in Turkiye," the premier said.
PM Shehbaz also lauded caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi for his quick response in the collection and dispatch of the relief goods.
On the occasion, the Turkish Council General appreciated the expression of solidarity of the people and the government of Pakistan and said the two countries were tied together with strong bonds.