The US government on Friday announced a new $1 million grant in support of Pakistan’s ability to address natural disasters, such as ongoing flooding.
Funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), this humanitarian assistance will build the resilience of agricultural communities in Sindh, and support Pakistan’s disaster management authorities in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan to better respond to future disasters.
During a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at the CM’s House, US Ambassador Donald Blome said, “The people of America stand with the people of Pakistan during this challenging time. Our hearts are with the families who lost loved ones in the floods across Pakistan and who are also dealing with recovery efforts. We are proud to help build the resilience of Sindh communities so they are better able to face such disasters in the future. We remain committed to helping Pakistan recover and rebuild as quickly as possible.”
Acknowledging the continuing US-Pakistan partnership, Murad Ali Shah said, “The American people have always stood with the people of Pakistan during the challenging times in the past, and now, when torrential rains have wreaked havoc in several parts of Sindh. The people of Sindh, and in particular the people of Pakistan, are highly grateful for the United States government’s announcement of this $1 million grant to bolster Pakistan’s ability to address natural disasters.”
The duo also discussed losses and damages caused by heavy downpours, USAID projects in the education and health sectors and other matters of mutual interest.
The chief minister said that with the heavy rainfall between June 20 and August 11, 2022, eight districts of three divisions were affected badly in Sindh. Overall 723 deaths have been affected, where 548 roads stretching over 2,135.4 kilometres had been damaged, while 45 bridges, 32 shops, 22,817 houses partially and 4,520 completely had been damaged. He said that 974 livestock had also perished, while crops over an area of 676,484 acres were washed away.
Murad said that heavy rains also claimed 130 lives, including 54 males, 11 females, and 65 children, while 422 people sustained multiple injuries.
The US and Pakistan have worked together for 75 years on issues that are important to both nations, including energy, economic growth, peace and inclusion, education, and health. Since 2002, the US government has provided over $32 billion of support to foster a more stable, peaceful, and prosperous Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Murad Ali Shah, presiding over a meeting on law and order, directed the Sindh Police IG to continue targeted and intelligence-based operations against bandits involved in kidnapping for ransom, street criminals, drug dealers, and land grabbers. “The law and order would completely improve when these few crimes and their committers are curbed.”
The meeting was attended by Inspector General Ghulam Nabi Memon, Home Secretary Saeed Mangnijo, Karachi Additional IG Javed Alam Odho, and PSCM Fayza Jatoi.
The chief minister said that some incidents of kidnapping for ransom were reported from Kashmore. At this, the IG told the chief minister that one young man was kidnapped from Kashmore and his kidnappers had been identified and would be arrested soon. Talking about street crimes, the chief minister said that they must be controlled by conducting regular intelligence-based operations. “I am happy that the robbers who stole a car near Teen Talwar have been arrested,” he said and added they were operating in gangs and their gangs must be busted.
Karachi Additional IG Odho told the chief minister that the incidents of mobile snatching had started declining. He said that in June this year, 2,600 motorcycles were snatched, while in July the number came down to 2,154. Similarly, four-wheeler theft in June 2022 was 4,195, which dropped to 3,840 in July, Odho said.
The CM was told that 498 encounters with the street criminals were made, 343 gangs busted, 65 killed, 496 arrested red-handed, and 3,943 different kinds of illicit weapons were recovered. IG Ghulam Nabi told the chief minister that due to corrective measures and day-to-day targeted search operations, the situation concerning target killing in Karachi had improved considerably. The IG said that attacks on law enforcement agencies in Karachi had also declined.
He added that 51 attacks were carried out in 2013, 34 in 2014, seven in 2015, and only three in 2022. As far as murders are concerned, the IG police told the CM that in 2013, 2,789 murders were reported, while their number came down to 391 in 2022. To a
question from the CM, the IG said that personal enmity was the main cause of murders. He added that no political, ethnic or sectarian target killing had been reported this year. The chief minister was told that in 2022, 102 murder cases were detected and 149 accused were arrested.