PM nets relief fund for quake victims

-Pakistan dispatches rescue team, relief goods to Turkey
-Third plane carrying winterised tents, blankets sent
| PM to travel Turkey to condole with Turkish President

By Anzal Amin

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish a relief fund to help the victims of a deadly earthquake in Turkey that has claimed over 5,000 lives.
“To help the victims of the earthquake in Turkey at this difficult hour, PM Shehbaz Sharif has decided to es-tablish PM Relief Fund,” Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said Tuesday after a plane load of relief goods and rescue team from Pakistan reached Turkey.
The minister said that the federal cabinet has announced to contribute one month’s salary while the PM has appealed to the philanthropists to extend help.
Turkey and Syria have witnessed a devastating earthquake of a magnitude of 7.8, killing over 5,000 people and injuring innumerable people.
Earlier, Pakistan sent two aircraft carrying a 51-member search and rescue team and relief goods to Turkey to provide assistance in rescue operations.
According to a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) statement, a C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying rescue team members and blankets from PAF Base, Nur Khan has landed in Istanbul.
“The PAF aircraft is carrying relief goods from the people of Pakistan for the earthquake-affected brethren of Turkiye. The transport fleet of the Pakistan Air Force has always been at the forefront to respond to natural disasters and calamities both inland and abroad,” said the spokesperson of the Foreign Office.
The spokesperson said that Pakistan had dispatched the necessary items for the victims including search and rescue teams, a 30-bed makeshift hospital and medicines. A third plane will also leave for the quake-struck country.
The rescue team includes a search squad and two technical rescue squads while a seven-member medical team has also landed in Istanbul.
In a separate statement, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said: “As part of Pakistan Support for Turkiye, urban search and rescue (USAR) and Rescue 1122 team boarded through PIA flight from Lahore to Istanbul today.”
It said that a second C-130 aircraft carrying winterised tents and blankets will take off from Lahore today.
PM Shehbaz to visit Turkey
PM Shehbaz will travel to Turkey on February 8 to condole with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the devastating earthquake that hit the country.
Taking to Twitter, Aurangzeb wrote: “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will leave for Ankara tomorrow morn-ing, he will express his condolences to the Turkish president and to the people of Turkey over the destruction caused by the earthquake and the loss of life.”