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On instructions from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, telecom companies will facilitate zero-balance call service in flood-affected areas.

Pakistan has been pushed into a state of national emergency and acute humanitarian crisis by the relentless monsoon rains and floods that have raged across the country, which have so far claimed 1,003 lives and left more than 20 million homeless people.

Apocalyptic images pouring in from parts of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and other regions have shocked the world as Pakistan battles one of the worst floods ever.

However, the government, both provincial and federal, and many non-governmental organizations are working hard to help those affected by the calamity.

Therefore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked all telecom companies to provide zero balance call service in flood affected areas.

He ordered the chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority to ensure the installation from today (Saturday). In this regard, the Ministry of Information Technology has also been ordered to take immediate action.

The objective of this initiative is to accelerate rescue and relief activities in areas affected by catastrophic rains and floods.

The Prime Minister, meanwhile, will visit Faqirani Jat, Oplano and other flood-hit areas of Sajawal district in Sindh. He will review the rescue and relief operations and meet the victims.

The Chief Secretary, Director General of Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Deputy Commissioner and other relevant authorities will brief the Prime Minister on relief operations, flood situation and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure.