‘InshaAllah…’: Shehbaz Sharif replies after PM Modi's tweet on Pakistan floods

Updated on Aug 31, 2022 11:13 PM IST

On Monday, Prime Minister Modi had said he was saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan and hoped for an early restoration of normalcy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday thanked his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for expressing concerns over the human and material losses caused by the country's worst flood in years, saying his country will overcome the adverse effects of the natural calamity.

“I thank Indian PM Narendra Modi @narendramodi for condolences over the human & material losses caused by floods. With their characteristic resilience the people of Pakistan shall, InshaAllah, overcome the adverse effects of this natural calamity & rebuild their lives and communities,” Sharif tweeted.

On Monday, Prime Minister Modi had said he was saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan and hoped for an early restoration of normalcy.

"Saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy," Modi had tweeted.

Sharif's tweet comes a day after he virtually ruled out the possibility of considering food imports from India to overcome shortages caused by devastating floods.

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On Monday, Pakistan’s finance minister Miftah Ismail told a media interaction that his country could consider importing vegetables and other food items from India to help people cope with the widespread destruction of crops in flash floods.

Sharif faced a volley of questions on possible food imports and resumption of trade with India when he briefed the international media in Islamabad on Tuesday on the unprecedented floods.

“There won’t have been problems about trading with India but genocide is going on there and Kashmiris have been denied their rights. Kashmir has been forcibly annexed through abolition of Article 370,” Sharif said, referring to India’s 2019 decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and to split the region into two union territories.

“I am, however, ready to sit and talk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We cannot afford war. We will have to dedicate our meagre resources for alleviating poverty in our respective countries but we cannot live in peace without resolving these issues,” Sharif said.

Hundreds of people have died in floods and landslides triggered by unprecedented monsoon rains. As many as 33 million people have been displaced.

The torrential downpours claimed the lives of more than 1,000 in Pakistan, where almost half a million people are in relief camps.

Officials estimate the damage at more than $10 billion — a toll that was part of what forced the country to secure a $1.1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert an imminent default. The country is now facing a looming food crisis with large swathes of farmland under water.

On Wednesday, Ismail said international agencies have approached the country's government to allow imports from India through the land border, however, the Pakistan government can consider it only after assessing the supply shortage position after consulting with its coalition partners and key stakeholders.

"More than one international agency has approached the government to allow them to bring food items from India through the land border. The government will take the decision to allow imports or not based on supply shortage position, after consulting its coalition partners & key stakeholders," the minister tweeted.

(With inputs from agencies)

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