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Shehbaz Sharif to visit Turkey to offer support

IANS | February 07, 2023 03:22 PM

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will travel to Turkey on Wednesday to offer support to the quake-hit nation where a 7.8-magnitude quake that struck an area near the Syrian border killed nearly 5, 000 people in the two countries.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the Prime Minister will leave for Ankara on Wednesday morning.

"He will express his condolences and condolences to President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan for the destruction of the earthquake, the loss of life, and the people of Turkey. Due to Prime Minister's visit to Turkey, the APC convened on Thursday is being postponed, a new date will be announced in consultation with the allies, " she added.

Also taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Sharif said that the destruction in Turkey and Syria was "mind numbing".

"24 hours after the devastating earthquake hit Turkey & Syria, scenes of death and destruction are mind numbing. It breaks the heart to witness sheer scale of unfolding human tragedy, " he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's army dispatched two contingents including an urban search and rescue team comprising rescue experts, sniffer dogs and search equipment for the quake victims, the military's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement added that the army dispatched a medical team of army doctors, nursing staff, technicians, 30 bedded mobile hospital, tents and blankets among other relief items, reports Xinhua news agency.

The aid contingents left for Adana, Turkey, via special Pakistan Air Force aircraft on Monday night to undertake relief efforts for Turkish people while working in close coordination with the Turkish government, armed forces, and the Turkish embassy in Islamabad, the ISPR said.

It added that the contingents will stay in Turkey until the completion of relief and rescue operations.

A separate statement from the country's Prime Minister's Office said a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane carrying 15 tons of assistance and a 50-member team comprising personnel from the state rescue organization will leave for Turkey later Tuesday.

A C-130 aircraft will also take 15 tonnes of humanitarian aid from Lahore to Istanbul.

The assistance will include winter tents, blankets, and other essential items, it added.

Starting from Wednesday, a PIA flight with 15 tonnes of humanitarian assistance will be sent daily from Pakistan to Turkey and Syria, the statement said, adding that tteams from the Ministry of Health will also leave for the two countries.

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