Pakistan has reaffirmed its commitment to helping victims of two powerful earthquakes that shook Türkiye and Syria early last month, leaving more than 50,000 dead, tens of thousands wounded and devastating residential and government properties.
“Pakistan and Türkiye are like one soul in two bodies,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Wednesday at a reception he hosted in appreciation for Pakistani volunteers and disaster crews who took part in relief and rescue operations in quake-hit areas of the two countries.
“You (volunteers) have further consolidated this longtime relation through the commendable services you rendered for the earthquake victims,” he said, according to a statement from his office.
Sharif vowed that Islamabad, despite its economic hardships, will continue to contribute to Ankara’s rehabilitation efforts after the deadly quakes that took place on February 6.
“The government and the people of Pakistan are thankful to you (volunteers) for your services for their Turkish brethren,” he added.
Sharif also voiced appreciation for his country’s military and disaster management agency for their part in relief and rescue services for the earthquake victims, for whom he said the government placed orders for 50,000 tents suitable for wintertime conditions.
Sharif also distributed certificates of appreciation to members of search and rescue teams who served in the disaster zone.
Winter tents for Türkiye
A Pakistan Navy ship carrying 1,000 tonnes of relief goods, including 1,800 large family-sized winter tents and 29,000 blankets for earthquake victims in the two countries departed for Türkiye on Tuesday.
Apart from the fresh batch of relief goods, Pakistan’s National Disaster and Management Authority (NDMA) has already sent nearly 7,000 winter tents, and more than 33,000 blankets to Türkiye via air and road routes.
Over the next two weeks, over 4,000 winter tents will also be sent to Türkiye on chartered cargo flights.
Pakistani charities, including the Al-Khidmat Foundation, Edhi Foundation, Baitussalam Welfare Trust, Sailani Welfare Trust, and Pakistan Red Crescent, have also been engaged in relief and rescue efforts in the earthquake-hit regions of Türkiye and Syria.