PM’s resolve for reconstruction

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PRIME Minister Shehbaz Sharif at a news conference on Wednesday expressed the firm resolve to make the reconstruction and rehabilitation of flood-affected areas a successful model by ensuring transparent utilization of $9.7 billion funds pledged at the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan in Geneva.

Conveying the message that we mean business was important not only for the donors and lenders but also the flood victims – millions of whom continue to brave harsh weather conditions under the open skies.

PM Shehbaz Sharif has a track record of completing infrastructure projects at an accelerated pace, for which he was also given the title of ‘Shehbaz Speed’ by none other than our close friend China.

The same kind of speed needs to be emulated while reconstructing the damaged infrastructure including homes and building the necessary shields and defences against future climate disasters.

The world has demonstrated its trust on Pakistan through their overwhelming pledges and now the ball is in our court to show our trustworthiness.

Whilst the response of the international community has remained beyond expectations and now it is up to our authorities concerned to work with sincerity of purpose to heal the wounds of the affected population.

This is the first time that the world has pledged such a big amount for climate loss and we have to transparently utilize it while shunning the laid back approach.

We will suggest that a mechanism on the pattern of NCOC and NFRCC should be put in place immediately after taking on board the provinces to oversee the timely completion of the reconstruction phase.

By the use of the latest technology, this platform should keep track of the funds being spent on various projects.

A sense of urgency is also required to forward the projects to donors and lenders for materialization of the pledges.

As the world will see the impact of these projects on the ground, there is a greater possibility that Pakistan will be able to more secure finances including from Loss and Damage Funds.

Opportunity is knocking at our door and we should not miss it under any circumstances as execution of the reconstruction and rehabilitation projects will also generate economic activity and provide job opportunities to our people.

For building back better, we should also engage with the important capitals, especially China and the United States, to benefit from their expertise and technological advancement.

The coalition government is left with little time in office as elections are due in October this year.

Before that, it must ensure the kicking off of all the important projects.