By Sardar Khan Niazi
Pakistan Armed Forces have always played an important role with a proactive approach to help the civil machinery overcome natural disasters like floods, and earthquakes in the country as in the Kashmir earthquake 2005, Floods 2010, Attabad Lake disaster, and Awaran Earthquake 2013.
On every occasion our dear homeland Pakistan faces a major challenge, people look towards the armed forces for support. In the present-day flood conditions, wreaking havoc in all provinces of the country the armed forces have been at the forefront in the rescue and help operations for flood victims.
The Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force are all vigorously playing a part in these operations and have established relief funds for the victims of the flooding areas.
The passion and enthusiasm to help the flood victims are so high that all the general officers of the Army have also donated their salaries to help the suffering people. Several other officers are also giving financial donations on a voluntary basis.
It is worth mentioning here that the Pakistan Air Force Women’s Association (PAFWA) has collected cash donations amounting to more than fourteen million rupees.
Beyond monetary help, all three branches of the country’s defense are distributing rations on-ground. The Army has established more than 200 relief collection points across the country and the Air Force has also set up camps.
All three forces the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, and Pakistan Air Force have been transporting and distributing packages of basic needs of life such as rations, cooked food packs, fresh drinking water, blankets, clothing items, tents, and so on.
They have also set up medical camps, which are providing medical treatment and medicine to the patients in flood-hit areas.
For the most part, the Pakistan Army is active in massive rescue and relief operations in the affected areas. The Army has established a Relief and Rescue Organization under Headquarters Army Air Defense Command to manage these operations.
Pakistan Army teams have rescued a number of people stranded in the flood-hit areas and shifted them to safer places.
Who can forget the bravery shown by the Army Commander 12 Corps Lt Gen Sarfaraz Ali, Brigadier Amjad Hanif, Brigadier Muhammad Khalid, Major Saeed Ahmed, Major Muhammad Talha Manan, and Naik Mudassir Fayyaz embracing martyrdom after their helicopter crashed during a flight en route from Quetta to Karachi after rescue operation?
Apart from the deployment of the fleet of helicopters of Army Aviation, the Pakistan Navy, and the Pakistan Air Force in flood-hit areas, their emergency response teams are also assisting the civil administration in rescue and relief efforts of South Punjab, Baluchistan, and Sindh. These forces have saved the lives of thousands of individuals.
Above all, Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa made detailed visits to the flood-affected areas of Sindh, Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Punjab and reviewed the ongoing relief operations on the ground.
On the other hand, apart from the services of the armed forces, Pakistan has a tradition of volunteer help to cope with a catastrophe. This has been seen in the situation of the current flood in the country.
Several civilian volunteers of Pakistan are working on the front lines to conduct rescue operations and deliver emergency relief.
A lot of individuals, NGOs, and welfare groups, including political and religious entities set up relief camps in various cities and towns of Pakistan. They are collecting basic commodities and have been sending the same to the flood-hit areas.
One can judge the Pakistani philanthropists’ contributions to the flood-hit people. A woman donated all her gold jewelry to the flood victims. British citizens of Pakistani origin and their UK-based charities have sent donations to Pakistan’s flood-hit areas.