ISLAMABAD:The Pakistan Muslim League (PML) decided on Thursday to rebuild at least 5,000 houses which were damaged because of floods caused by torrential rains that hit several parts of Balochistan and broke the Shadi Kor Dam.

The decision was made by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, president of the PML, in a party meeting at his residence. Jam Yousuf, Balochistan’s chief minister, Mushahid Hussain, secretary general of the PML, and many prominent PML parliamentarians attended the meeting.

The party made three teams that will visit various parts of Balochistan, assess the damage and report to the party’s high command by Monday. Jam Yousuf will supervise the assessment visits, to be made by helicopter.

Dozens of people were killed and hundreds went missing when the dam in Pasni was damaged. Rains also wreaked havoc in other parts of Balochistan and NWFP.

Chaudhry Shujaat said he would personally raise funds to rebuild the damaged houses. He said donor agencies would also be contacted to aid the rehabilitation. He informed the meeting that he had telephoned Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and asked him to ensure the provision of tents, blankets and other essential items to the people affected by the floods.

It was decided that Mushahid Hussain would head a task force to supervise the rebuilding of houses in Balochistan. Khalilur Rehman, deputy chairman of the Senate, was put in charge of the task force that would assess damage and ensure rehabilitation work in NWFP.

The Balochistan chief minister told the meeting that the federal government was not cooperating with the provincial government completely. “We have received only 1,000 tents from the federal government,” he said.

CM’s removal: Talking to journalists, Yousuf denied reports that he had been removed from office. Chaudhry Shujaat endorsed the chief minister and said there was no question of ousting him. Jam Yousuf said he was democratically elected and received a vote of confidence from the provincial assembly whenever it was required.

He said the law and order situation in Balochistan should be taken very seriously. He said foreign involvement in the recent terrorist incidents in Balochistan could not be ruled out.

He expressed confidence in his party’s leaders for dialogues with Baloch nationalist leaders. The chief minister also said that military garrisons should be built in his province as they were necessary to safeguard national interests.