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Pakistan stands with China, ready to assist with heavy floods

By Zamir Ahmed Awan (People's Daily Online) 13:43, July 23, 2021

Natural disasters are a common phenomenon. Human history is full of disasters like earthquakes, floods, droughts, fires, volcanos, heavy rains, winds, pandemics, and so on. Many precious lives were lost and people injured, some seriously who have suffered disabilities for the rest of their lives. Economic losses were also enormous. Yet, humanity has not come to any solution on how to avoid and prevent such disasters. Modern-day science and technology have developed many instruments and gadgets to predict some of the disasters to some extent only. They may take some preventive measures to reduce the losses. But protection is still far away.

Aerial photo taken on July 22, 2021 shows rescuers evacuating stranded people outside the Fuwai Central China Cardiovascular Hospital in flood-hit Zhongmu County of Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province. (Xinhua/Cai Yang)

China and Pakistan are bound in an exceptional relationship that is unique in nature, and termed "Iron Brothers." We both stand with each other at all difficult moments and help each other in times of need. Both have a history of helping each other with such disasters. Whether it was the Tangshan earthquake in 1976 or Sichuan earthquake in 2008, Pakistan extended a helping hand beyond its capacity. Similarly, when Pakistan was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2005 in its Kashmir region, China helped Pakistan a lot. In 2010, our Chinese brothers helped to reconstruct Pakistan when it was heavily damaged by floods.

In the early days of the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, Pakistan initially sent medical supplies to China. But China soon overcame the pandemic and helped the whole world. When COVID-19 reached Pakistan, China sent its medical teams to advise the country and train its health officials. China provided medical equipment and vaccines to Pakistan, and is its single largest donor of vaccines.

Pakistan on Wednesday expressed sadness over the loss of human lives due to torrential rains and flooding in Central China's Henan Province. A statement issued by the Foreign Office said, "Govt. & people of Pakistan are deeply saddened to learn about the loss of precious human lives caused by torrential rains & flooding in Central China's Henan province. Our sympathies & prayers are with the affected families & people who are battling against this natural calamity".

As rescue work continues in its neighboring country, the FO said in its statement: "We are hopeful that due to efforts of the Chinese government, normalcy would be restored soon & displaced people would soon return to their homes… Pakistan stands ready to assist our Chinese brothers and sisters in this hour of need".

Many precious human lives were lost as torrential rain battered the Chinese province, causing landslides and flooding that partially submerged the underground rail system of Zhengzhou. The provincial capital had "experienced a series of rare and heavy rainstorms, causing water to accumulate in Zhengzhou metro," city officials said in a Weibo post on Wednesday.

The government and the people of Pakistan are saddened by the loss of lives and shares the grief of the victims' families. The official is in touch with counterparts in China and ready to give any kind of assistance possible. We are real friends; friends in deeds are friends in need. The whole nation stands with our Chinese sisters and brothers. Long live the China-Pakistan traditional friendship. 

The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to People's Daily Online.

Zamir Ahmed Awan is a senior fellow with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan. E-mail: [email protected]

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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