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General Qamar Javed, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) arrived on Tuesday on a two-day visit to Karachi and was flown over city for aerial observation of the ground impact of urban floods caused by the recent record-breaking monsoon rains.
“No city in Pakistan can cope with a natural calamity of this scale. Our issue is not non-availability of resources but setting priorities right,” the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR), quoted the army chief as saying.
The COAS reiterated that plans being made by the provincial and federal governments for the development of Karachi that will have army’s all-out support “as having future repercussions on economic security of the country”.
“Army will not disappoint the population in their time of need,” the ISPR quoted the army chief as saying.
Later, Gen Qamar visited Karachi Corps Headquarters where he was briefed on the worst urban flooding in Karachi’s recent history and on the service of the army to the civil administration throughout Sindh, and particularly Karachi.
According to the ISPR statement, it was noticed that excessive rains combined with decades of urban congestion, unplanned population development and infrastructural problems compounded the problem.
This natural calamity, the COAS said, provided an opportunity to set the target for mega-cities management across Pakistan in the future to prevent such disasters.
Expressing satisfaction with the pace of disaster relief work, the chief of the army directed that priority should first be given to areas of common public sector 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 added. He appreciated garrison troops particularly during Muharram for the maintenance of law and order, saying peace in the country’s economic hub is crucial to Pakistan’s security and stability.
Efforts to restore normalcy in Karachi and the province will continue, he said.
Gen Qamar also met with the former senior and serving garrison officers and appreciated officers for their commitment to defense and security.
On his arrival in the provincial capital he was received by Lieutenant General Humayun Aziz, Corps Commander Karachi.