ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Prof Ahsan Iqbal visited the fire incident site at ‘Sasta Bazar’ situated in Sector H-9 near Peshawar Mor and reviewed the damages suffered by shopkeepers in the tragedy.
He along with Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Mayor and Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Sheikh Anser Aziz took round of the gutted stalls.
Affected shopkeepers apprised the minister about their financial loss due to a horrific fire that reduced several shops to ashes on Wednesday morning.
Talking to media, the Interior Minister assured the affected shopkeepers of the government’s full support in reestablishing their business there.
He said around 600 people were affected in the incident, adding that a damage assessment committee had been constituted, which would prepare its report within two days for onward submission to the Prime Minister for compensation.
He said rescue operation was started promptly because of CCTV cameras installed under the Safe City Project and other safety measures adopted by the district administration, otherwise the volume of losses would have been higher.
The minister said the blaze was controlled within two hours and it could be dozed off in initial stage, if shopkeepers would have followed the prescribed safety measures and installed fire extinguishers.
He directed the CDA to make an assessment of all business centers and high-rise shopping malls whether they were following the required safety measures or not, besides asking to make the city fire-brigade department more efficient.
Ahsan Iqbal said all commercial sites should be fully equipped with the gadgets to meet emergencies as it was must for safety of all.
Mayor and Chairman CDA Sheikh Anser Aziz said rescue teams had reached the incident site within nine minutes after receiving the emergency call, and extinguished the fire in two hours.
He said intensity of fire was high because it was erupted in cloth and plastic material, which took extra time in overpowering the blaze.
Answering a question, the Interior Minister said a joint investigation was conducted into the Dawn Leaks issue and taken to its logical end. “Now it is a past and closed transaction,” he added.
He said Pakistan needed greater unity and a strong message should be sent to the world that “We are the one nation” and those who wanted any destability in the country, would fail.
Replying to a question about prevailing situation in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, the Minister said that he himself had time and again pointed out the conspiracies being hatched in the countries surrounding Pakistan.
He said Pakistan was moving on a fast-track progress and development but the national economy suffered a loss of around $ 14 billion during the last three to four months due to the political situation created by some political figures.
He said conspiracies and progress could not move together in any country, adding that the government wanted to see stability and permanent peace in the country, for which a strong and flourishing economy was must.
Ahsan Iqbal said the Interior Ministry would continue to play an effective role under the National Action Plan (NAP) for national peace and stability.
Commenting on a recent statement of the US President, the Minister said both political and military leadership examined the statement by all aspects and rejected Donald Trump’s assertions of billions of dollars payments to Pakistan over the years on account of eliminating terrorism.
He said fight against terrorism was in Pakistan’s own interest and not to please anyone else, because it was aspirant of lasting peace in the region.
“Pakistan is a distinguished country among comity of the nations and it will continue its efforts for regional peace in collaboration with friendly countries,” he remarked.
Responding to another question, Ahsan Iqbal said the Ministry would make Islamabad Police a role model force for other provinces.
He said police stations of the capital would be transformed into model police stations by December this year, for which special training was being imparted to personnel.
Moreover, he said Police stations were being equipped with latest technologies, and peace and reconciliatory committees were also being activated to facilitate citizens.
“We will make Islamabad Police a friendly force to serve the public in a more efficient manner,” he remarked.
The 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily