Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday has paid a visit to National Locust Control Center (NLCC) in Islamabad.

According to details, Federal Ministers Syed Fakhar Imam, Mr. Asad Umar, Senator Shibli Faraz, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Finance Advisor Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, SAPM for Information & Broadcasting Lt. Gen. (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa, SAPM Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Chairman NDMA and senior officers attended the briefing.

Chief Ministers of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and Chief Secretary Balochistan participated via video link.

During the visit, the PM was informed that National Action Plan for Locust Control Phase-I has been completed. Engineer-in-Chief Pakistan Army / National Coordinator NLCC Lt Gen Moazzam Ijaz gave a detailed briefing on locust control measures in affected areas of the country.

The premier was also briefed about the coordinated efforts being made for monitoring, survey and control, inter-organisational coordination, resource allocation & mobilisation and awareness campaign for locust control at national, provincial and districts’ levels.

It was also informed that due to the trans-boundary nature of locust swarm movement; close liaison with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and affected countries in the region was being maintained to take timely pre-emptive measures. The prime minister appreciated the governments of China, Japan and UK for providing technical and other assistance for locust control.

PM Imran Khan accorded in-principle approval for Phase-II of the National Action Plan for Locust Control. It was also decided that the affected farmers would also be compensated through this package.

He highly appreciated timely and coordinated response of federal and provincial governments, including Pakistan Army, for effectively controlling locust attack and use of indigenously developed equipment.

The premier stated that locust attack combined with COVID-19 was a huge challenge for the Pakistan. He said that the Government would undertake every possible effort for locust control since it involved food security of the country.

The PM emphasised that a coordinated national response of federal and provincial governments and organisations is required to cope with the expected locust swarm so that crop production is not affected.