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Army to Support Government Plans for Karachi: COAS

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo. Courtesy ISPR

In visit to Sindh capital, Gen. Bajwa says no city in Pakistan can cope with natural calamity of scale witnessed by Karachi last week

The Pakistan Army will provide “all-out support” for any plans devised by the federal and provincial governments to overcome the issues facing Sindh capital Karachi, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Tuesday.

Currently in Karachi on a two-day visit, upon his arrival the Army chief was flown over the city for aerial reconnaissance of the impact of urban flooding in the metropolis. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen. Bajwa also visited Karachi Corps Headquarters, where he was received by Corps Commander Karachi Lt. Gen. Humayun Aziz, and was briefed on flooding in Karachi as well as the Army’s support to the civil administration across Sindh.

“[Gen. Bajwa] was apprised that unprecedented rains combined with decades of urban congestion, unplanned population settlement as well as infrastructural issues compounded the problem,” read the ISPR statement. “No city in Pakistan can cope with a natural calamity of this scale,” it quoted the army chief as saying, adding, “The plans being made by the federal and provincial governments will have Army’s all-out support, as having future repercussions on the economic security of the country.”

Gen. Bajwa said the natural calamity should be seen as an opportunity to prioritize the management of megacities across Pakistan to avoid such disasters in the future. He said the country’s issue was not a lack of resources, but rather setting priorities right.

According to the ISPR, the COAS also expressed satisfaction at the pace of disaster relief work and directed authorities concerned to accord priority to areas of common public utility and worst-hit communities. “At no point influence of a particular locality or community should be allowed to shift attention or resources from those in need. It’s a national disaster and everyone is in it together,” he said.

The Army chief reiterated that the military “would not disappoint” people in their time of need and appreciated garrison troops for maintaining law and order, particularly during Muharram.

“Peace in the national economic hub Karachi is vital for the security and stability of Pakistan. Efforts will continue to maintain normalcy in Karachi and the province,” he vowed, according to the ISPR.

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