LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that a strategy was being evolved for minimizing losses caused by natural calamities.

Talking to International Rescue Committee CEO and former British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs David Miliband on Tuesday, the chief minister said that a separate department for eradication of terrorism had been established for improving law and order situation.

He also said that his government had successfully completed the biggest relief and rescue operation after the recent floods in Punjab which caused large-scale devastations.

“A historic package of Rs16 billion has been implemented for the rehabilitation of flood-hit people,” Shahbaz informed Miliband, adding that the people of North Waziristan displaced as a result of war against terrorism were also being extended all out help and assistance.

He said that effective measures were being taken for the development of education, health, law and order and other sectors in the province. He further said that a comprehensive plan was being implemented with the cooperation of British Department for International Development (DFID) for the uplift of education and health sectors.

Shahbaz Sharif further said that the Punjab government was working with a new spirit and determination for resolving people’s problems, adding that his government was taking measures to improve the living standard of the masses.

David Miliband appreciated the measures taken by the Punjab government for the welfare and betterment of the people. He said that Punjab was making rapid progress in various sectors under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif. He added that cooperation would be promoted with Punjab government in rescue, education and health sectors.

REVIVING TIES WITH RUSSIA: Meanwhile, Ambassador of Russia in Pakistan Elexey Yurievich Dedov called on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday and shared views on the matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations and cooperation in different sectors.

The CM highlighted the longstanding friendly ties between Pakistan and Russia and stressed the need for promotion cooperation in economic, trade and other sectors.

Shahbaz said that attention was also being paid to improving the supply system of electricity, adding that Russia could cooperate with Pakistan in energy sector.

“Steel mill is a shining example of excellent relations between Pakistan and Russia and the time has come to revive the relationship,” the chief minister maintained, adding that Russian cooperation in coal-based power projects and mining of iron ore reserves would be welcomed.

INVITING GERMAN EXPERTISE: Separately, energy experts from Germany also met the chief minister and discussed with him matters pertaining to the generation of electricity from the coal.

Shahbaz Sharif said that there were vast reserves of coal in Punjab and by adopting modern methods of mining this coal could be used for production of electricity. He said that Germany had expertise in coal and solar power projects, adding that Pakistan wanted to benefit from German technology and experience in energy sector.

He said that all out facilities were being provided to foreign investment companies in the province.