ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said yesterday that government would announce a relief package for the quake-affected people after comprehensive assessment reports by the concerned authorities.

After his return from United Kingdom in the wee hours yesterday Premier Sharif called a high-level meeting to review the measures taken in the quake-hit areas, mainly Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where the damage was more as compared to other parts of the country.

Soon after the meeting in the afternoon, Premier Sharif flew to Shangla, one of the worst affected areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, to see himself the relief operation going on in the area.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid, Governor KP Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, COAS General Raheel Sharif, DG ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, DG MO Maj-Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Chairman NDMA Maj-Gen Asghar Nawaz, Secretary Cabinet Raja Hassan Abbas, Secretary Climate Change Arif Ahmad Khan, ASPM Fawad Hasan Fawad, Chairman NHA Shahid Ashraf Tarar and other senior officials of the government.

Almost with the same members in attendance, the meeting reviewed the targets achieved during the prime minister’s US visit and expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the tour.

It was the consensus view of the participants that the targets set by the government for the tour were more or less achieved and hoped that the visit would further help to strengthen the relations between the two countries.

Taking briefing on the relief and rescue operation in worst-hit quake areas, the prime minister said that state resources would be fully utilised to assist the provincial governments in rescue, relief and rehabilitation activities for the affected people.

The prime minister said that government was fully capable of rescuing and rehabilitating those affected by the earthquake and state machinery had been put in motion to help the fellow citizens in distress. The prime minister added that the federal government would provide all possible assistance and support to the adversely-affected province of KP and Fata.

Prime Minister Sharif applauded the efforts and quick response by Pakistan Army, National Highways Authority, National Disaster Management Authority and provincial disaster management authorities in the aftermath of the natural calamity.

He was briefed by chairman NDMA and DG MO on the damages caused by the earthquake. The prime Minister was also briefed that NHA had cleared all the vital roads and was effectively working to clear the remaining roads. Suparco is providing pre and post-imagery of the earthquake affected areas to the concerned authorities for carrying out rescue work. NDMA has deputed six search and rescue teams so far.

The prime minister was briefed that telecommunication networks and vital installations of Wapda remained unaffected. Sharif was further briefed that 228 precious lives were lost while 1,620 people injured and 3,320 houses damaged by the earthquake