KSA injects more aid for disaster affectees

IN yet another manifestation of brotherhood and solidarity with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced another $ 60 million projects for the people affected by natural calamities. Saudi Arabia is a leading donor and instantly responds to humanitarian and natural disasters without any religious or ethnic discrimination but especially in the case of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has always extended generous assistance on many occasions be it the natural calamities or the US sanctions in the wake of nuclear tests. The people of Pakistan also hold the rulers of Saudi Arabia at the highest esteem for being the custodians of the holy places of Islam.
In fact, both the countries enjoy a unique relationship which has always withstood the test of time. While sticking to the assistance for calamity hit people, Saudi Arabia was amongst those few countries including UAE and Turkey which immediately provided relief soon after the massive 2005 quake that badly struck the country causing large scale death and destruction in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir. The people of Pakistan also cannot forget the munificent assistance of the then Saudi King Abdullah on the orders of whom an air bridge of relief was established to meet immediate needs of the tremor victims. No doubt the 2005 quake was massive in nature which badly damaged basic infrastructure but eleven years on and billions of rupees spent, thousands of victims of the calamity are still homeless as the mega reconstruction projects like New Balakot city are still not in sight of completion, or even construction. This speaks volume of the inefficiency and failure of ERRA which was tasked to complete the rehabilitation phase within a stipulated period but since then deadlines after deadlines have been given but the reconstruction phase is far from over. It is also matter of embarrassment for the country in the outside world and therefore we will urge the government to ensure speedy completion of all the projects in the calamity hit areas. ERRA should also fulfil its responsibility and take stern actions against those contractors who are indulging in slow progress of the projects.

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