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Pakistani prime minister pledges to keep delivering tents for quake victims in Türkiye

Shehbaz Sharif says he will meet with manufacturers and task them to produce winterized tents 'as quickly as possible with the highest quality'

Busra Nur Cakmak, Sumeyye Dilara Dincer  | 17.02.2023 - Update : 18.02.2023
Pakistani prime minister pledges to keep delivering tents for quake victims in Türkiye


Pakistan's prime minister plans to meet with tent manufacturers in his country in order to provide more shelter to people in southern Türkiye, where millions have been displaced by last week's massive twin earthquakes.

Shehbaz Sharif, who was in Türkiye after the magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 earthquakes that struck the country on Feb. 6 and affected more than 13 million people across 11 provinces, told Anadolu in an exclusive interview that when he returns to Pakistan on Friday, he will meet with manufacturers and task them to produce winterized tents "as quickly as possible with the highest quality."

“And they will have to honor their commitments because our brothers and sisters in Türkiye are in dire need of tents,” Sharif pledged.

“We hope that by the end of this month, we will be able to send something like 1,300 tons of relief goods,” he said, adding that “in March, another 1700 tons and in April, about 600 tons of relief goods to be sent, with the bulk of this being winterized tents.”

Sharif said Pakistan and Türkiye “are like two souls and one heart,” adding that he immediately called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he heard about the earthquakes to offer condolences and whatever help his country needs during this difficult time.

“But this devastation is beyond imagination. It's a colossal loss. So, no amount of aid would be enough,” said Sharif.

“So, ever since, we have been able to transport more than 500 tons of relief goods for our Turkish brothers, particularly those affected by these shocks in the south of Türkiye, in the form of winterized tents, blankets, and other relief items, as well as rescue and medical teams,” he said.

“And I'm glad to share with you that our team was able to rescue at least 14 people from the rubble… Alhamdulillah, they're alive,” he added.

Sharif said Pakistan and Türkiye are like a family and “we will live and die together. That is a spirit. That is the motivation. That is the relationship, and it goes back to centuries.”

Türkiye aided Pakistan in the past

He said whenever Pakistan needed assistance, the Turkish government, people, and President Erdogan "went the extra mile to help their brothers and sisters, whether it was an earthquake in 2005, floods in 2010, or floods last year in Pakistan."

When floods hit Pakistan in 2010, Erdogan personally visited affected areas and Turkish organizations helped with rebuilding efforts, he added.

“And my sister, Madam Emine Erdogan, contributed her bracelet for the flood victims. What else can be the best example of generosity, and the highest level of empathy? It can only be done by brothers and sisters. That is spirit,” the prime minister said.

In this spirit of solidarity, Sharif called on Pakistanis to stand in complete solidarity with Türkiye.

Members of the Pakistani cabinet and parliament also donated a month's salary to earthquake victims, he added.

Urgent OIC meeting stressed

The Pakistan prime minister also suggested that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convene an emergency meeting to discuss and decide on an “immediate relief package for the people of Türkiye.”

"The international community must play a role. Because today is Türkiye, but God forbid, tomorrow could be another country. Today, Türkiye requires international support. Tomorrow, someone else may be in desperate need, and we will all pitch in to help," he said.

“We must do everything we can for the well-being of the people of Türkiye,” he stressed.

Sharif also said Turkish people raised nearly $6 billion through an aid campaign that was broadcasted on Turkish TV channels, calling it a “remarkable example of generosity, philanthropy, kind-heartedness, and consideration.”

“I think the people of Türkiye have earned the highest respect, not only from the people of Pakistan but globally. So, I think it's high time that the international community should come forward.”​​​​​​​

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