No relief work possible as Jacobabad airstrip under US control, Pak Senate panel told

Islamabad, Aug.19 (ANI): In a disclosure that questions the Pakistan government's efforts to cope with devastating floods, the country's senate standing committee on health has said that relief and rescue operations in the Sindh province's Jacobabad region was not possible as the local airbase was under US control.

Testifying before the committee, health secretary Khusnood Lashari stunned the members of the committee stating that the Jacobabad airbase is controlled by the American forces.

"Health relief operations are not possible in the flood-affected areas of Jacobabad because the airbase is with the United States," The Dawn quoted Lashari, as saying.

Earlier, Dr Jahanzeb Aurakzai, coordinator of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Centre, said: "Foreign health teams could not start relief operations in remote areas because there are no airstrips close to several areas, including Jacobabad."

The town has been evacuated where nearly 700,000 people have been affected by the devastating floods. People displaced from Jacobabad, Thul, Kandhkot, Kashmore, Ghouspur and Karumpur have been provided camps in Dera Allahyar.

Later, talking to reporters over the issue, Senator Sameen criticised the government for failing to persuade the US to vacate the airstrip in order to run relief operations.

"It is very unfortunate that Americans can launch a drone attack from Shahbaz airbase but the government is helpless even in using the country's base for relief operations," she said. (ANI)

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