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PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 24 (APP): Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Thursday awarded commendation certificates to the valiant commandos, armed forces personnel and local residents who rescued eight trapped passengers of a dangling cable car in Battagram.

 

The prime minister, addressing the commemoration ceremony held at the PM Office, said the recognition was well-deserved by every individual involved, who exhibited remarkable prowess in orchestrating the mission to a triumphant conclusion.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

He emphasized that the entire nation shared the concerns for the safety of the trapped children, who remained stranded on the chairlift for hours.

 

He remarked that the successful endeavor was a collaborative achievement, acknowledging that recognition was also due to those who, from the confines of their homes, prayed for the safe and successful rescue operation.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

He said being a father, he could feel the pain of stranded children’s parents but the teamwork based on prudent efficient planning ensured their safety.

 

“Hats off to all of you who did an immaculate job. The biggest credit goes to those who were carrying out the planning,” he remarked.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

Sharing their emotions with the prime minister, the children said they were extremely worried but had a sense of satisfaction after coming to know that the Pakistan Army had launched the rescue operation.

 

The prime minister said that the paramount duty of the state encompassed providing quality healthcare and education and an atmosphere for a dignified life.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

Referring to the martyrdom of security personnel in South Waziristan, the prime minister said that those trying to obstruct the state’s functioning through their ill intentions must remove their misunderstanding.

 

He reiterated that the nation would never forget the sacrifices of the martyrs of the war against terrorism including politicians, police services, Pakistan Army, journalists, PAF, and common citizens.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

“This is our home. We know how to run it,” he remarked.

 

The prime minister said the pains of the terror victims’ families could not be expressed in words.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

He said the salaries being given to the security forces personnel were just meant to suffice their needs as their sacrifices could only be recognized through respect.

 

“We rever them. We respect them,” he commented.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

Prime Minister Kakar reassured that the state affairs were in the hands of highly capable individuals. The caretaker setup had limited time and mandate to facilitate the forthcoming general elections, he added.

 

Earlier, the prime minister also distributed commendation certificates among the security forces personnel as well as the local experts who took part in the rescue operation. The rescued children, who also attended the event, were also given souvenirs.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

In his address, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. General Inam Haider Malik said the effective coordination among all relevant departments led to the success of the difficult operation.

 

He said the safety audit of all the cable cars in the region had been ordered and a report would be presented to the prime minister.

 

PM commends heroes who rescued trapped chairlift passengers in daring operation

 

He, however, emphasised the capacity building of the local rescue departments to deal with such emergency situations, which he said was also being worked out.

 

Caretaker federal ministers Murtaza Solangi, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Jamal Shah, Sarfaraz Bugti, Anwar Ali Hyder, Ijaz Gohar and Madad Ali Sindhi also attended the ceremony.

Fear of wire, car breakage

Talking to APP, Ali Swati the local expert, who rescued the trapped passenger through the zipline, said that while carrying out the mission, he had concerns about the strength of the wire the cable car was dangling on.

 

He said the car was hanging merely on nut bolts which was also at the risk of splitting for supporting a heavy weight of eight people.

 

However, he took up the challenge with a passion for saving human lives.

 

He was hurriedly flown by the Pakistan Army who carried out the daring task after the helicopter operation was called off when it got dark.

 

Swati, who himself runs the “world’s highest” zipline in Kaghan and said prior to launching the operation, they instructed the trapped passenger about the safety gear.

 

He said behind them there was a protective rope tied was being pulled by the army men as well as the civilians.

 

Talking about the victims, Swati said he found them in extreme distress and they had to convince them about their strategy which they had been exercising in the past too.

 

During the operation, Ali Swati also got his hand injured after it was trapped in the rope while pulling the victims.

 

Amidst huge applause from the gathering, Prime Minister Kakar warmly embraced Swati and his team members as they received a commendation certificate.

Also chatted to allay fears: Survivor

Gulfaraz, one of the eight stranded passengers, talking to APP, was much happy over the rescue, though the memories of the tragic day still haunted him.

 

“Before the operation by the Pakistan Army, we remained hung in the air for around three hours with no help in sight. The cable operator had also poor eyesight and could not see us trapped in midair,” he said wearing a smile on his face.

 

Asked what they had been doing for 16 hours in the car, he said “We were crying. We were calling for help. Sometimes we also chatted with one another just to allay the stress.

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