Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has requested an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss and determine a relief package for Turkey, which has been struck by a massive earthquake that has killed more than 45,000 people and left millions homeless.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of international support for Turkey during this difficult period. He stated that the OIC meeting would provide an opportunity for Muslim countries to come together and determine a collective aid package for Turkey, as well as urge other countries to contribute to the relief effort.
The Prime Minister said that because this tragedy could have happened anywhere in the world, the entire world community needs to band together and help the earthquake victims. He emphasised that this was an opportunity to help those in need rather than a political issue or a chance to pick a side. The Prime Minister praised President Erdogan for his leadership in the face of difficulty and noted that Turkey’s resolve and tenacity would ensure that they were able to rebuild after this catastrophe.
As reported by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, his country has already sent 500 tonnes of relief supplies to Turkey, with plans to send an additional 1,300 tonnes by the end of the month and 1,700 tonnes by the end of March. According to him, Pakistan is manufacturing winterised tents to provide shelter to earthquake victims, which would account for the majority of relief supplies.
According to the Prime Minister, Pakistan and Turkey share a close relationship, as if they are two souls with one heart. He recalled how Turkey generously provided aid to Pakistan during times of crisis, and now it was Pakistan’s turn to reciprocate. One month’s salary has already been donated by the federal cabinet and parliament of Pakistan to the relief fund established for Turkey, and the Prime Minister has asked the people of Pakistan to express solidarity with Turkey.
The Prime Minister expressed his deep sorrow for the loss of life and prayed for the souls of those who have passed away. He expressed his appreciation for President Erdogan’s leadership and expressed his confidence that Turkey would emerge stronger as a result of this crisis. Finally, he noted that even though they speak different languages, their hearts beat together, and they are like a family.