LAHORE Speakers at the PINA seminar highlighted the delayed and inadequate response of the government to undertake flood relief and rescue operations, and also pointed out the poor domestic and international participation as witnessed during 2005 earthquake and 2009 IDPs crisis. There was a great realisation amongst the participants that had Kalabagh and Munda Dams been constructed in the past, the current flood havoc would have been minimised. They said this at the PINA seminar titled 'Strategy to Control Flood Damages held on Wednesday. Senator SM Zafar chaired the deliberations which were participated by former Chairman WAPDA Tariq Hameed, Liaqat Baloch, Shafqat Masood, Member Punjab, IRSA, Ehsan Wyne, Secretary General ANP, Engr. Mr. Habib Ullah Bodla, Engr. Riaz Nazir Tarar, Engr. Aftab-ul-Islam Agha and Ms. Zaigham Habib Water Resources Expert. The participants recommended that political leadership should cement national unity by collectively facing the challenges posed by the devastating floods and rise above political differences. In this hour of trial all political forces must visibly stand by the flood affectees. Secondly, a national commission be constituted under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Pakistan with leaders of all major political parties as its members to supervise and oversee the flood relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work, and harness and distribute the national and international relief efforts/resources in an environment of trust, transparency and credibility and to create consensus for the construction of storage dams including Kalabagh, Akori and Munda. Thirdly, the Federal Government with cooperation of provincial governments should mark out the flood-areas where permanent residence and construction should be prohibited. Moreover, the Federal Government should create a cell of experts to study and give a comprehensive report on the effects of climate change on Pakistan. Fourthly, the National Commission on Flood Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction should institute a National Flood Relief Fund. Top political leadership should donate generously commensurate to their resources for setting personal examples for other segments of the society to follow. Fifthly, civilian institutions at federal and provincial level must enhance coordination and capacity to undertake speedy efforts and effective rescue, relief and rehabilitation activities in support of the flood-affected regions. Civil Defence and Boy Scouts organisations be strengthened to utilize all available human resources. Sixthly, national consensus be evolved for the construction of the Kalabagh Dam on River Indus and Munda Dam at River Swat and other feasible dams/barrages in Sindh province on River Indus, in order to control the flood damages and create more water reservoirs in the future. Seventhly, the National/Provincial Flood Warning System be modernised and expanded on scientific lines for timely and effective precautionary measures to minimise losses. The Federal/Provincial governments should declare all flood affected areas as calamity hit areas and waive off relevant taxes/revenue collection/dues etc. and start their government expenditures. A portion of the budget allocations for the President/Prime Minister Houses, Governors and Chief Ministers houses be diverted towards Flood Relief work. Foreign trips by government functionaries be kept at the minimum essentials. All future reconstruction activities in the flood affected regions be undertaken according to a master plan for providing modern facilities and loans for reconstruction. A comprehensive health care and medical aid plan be implemented on a war footing by Federal/Provincial Health Organisations with the cooperation of International Health Agencies. The participants of the seminar specially appreciated the rescue and relief efforts by Pakistan Army, Navy and Air-force that helped save thousands of valuable lives and provided large scale food supplies from their own ration reserves. The seminar also appreciated the quick international response in providing helicopters and essential supplies to the flood affectees. The participants of the seminar offered Fateha for the flood victims in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Sindh, Baluchistan and South Punjab and expressed solidarity with all those who suffered human as well as material losses. The seminar appreciated the role of the media in providing detailed and live coverage of the flood affected regions and expressed that it would continue to give spirit of hope to the nation to face the Tsunami like calamity with courage, determination, enabling the nation to emerge stronger, more integrated and unified. The seminar urged the international community to whole heartedly dispatch helicopters and relief/medical goods and support financially the rehabilitation/reconstruction efforts in the flood-affected regions.