Islamabad: Pakistan will celebrate its
Independence Day on August 14 with simplicity and all
government departments will make every possible effort to cut
expenditures in view of the devastating floods in the country,
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday.
Gilani made the remarks while chairing a special
meeting of his cabinet to review relief and rescue operations
and devise a comprehensive rehabilitation strategy to cope
with the worst floods witnessed in the country in eight
He directed all "quarters to make every possible
effort to cut down expenditures, avoid holding of Iftar
parties during Ramadhan, celebrate August 14 with simplicity
and contribute generously towards the Prime Minister`s Relief
Fund" to help the flood victims.
A total of 1,500 people have been killed and 3.2
million affected by the floods which have wreaked havoc in
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab provinces.
The surging waters have washed away roads and bridges
and inundated thousands of acres of agricultural land.
Gilani appealed to the private sector and
philanthropists to lend a helping hand to the government`s
He said he would himself oversee and monitor relief
operations and assured that every single penny collected for
flood victims will be spent transparently on the relief and
He directed cabinet members and public representatives
to visit flood-affected areas and motivate the public in
helping the victims.
He asked the National Disaster Management Authority to
carry out damage assessment when the waters recede so that a
comprehensive plan can be implemented without loss of time.