Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif questioned on Thursday the kind of independence enjoyed by Pakistan when the nation is “economically enslaved” by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “What have we done since our independence in the last 75 years when we are economically enslaved by the IMF?” he questioned while speaking to journalists during a visit to the flood affectees in Peshawar. The prime minister said that the coalition government would take decisions that would steer the country out of every crisis – as they face uphill tasks on several fronts. Pakistan reached a staff-level agreement with the IMF last month followed by months of deeply unpopular belt-tightening by the government, which took power in April and has effectively eliminated fuel and power subsidies and introduced new measures to broaden the tax base. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the collective efforts by federal and provincial governments and departments were inevitable to ensure early rehabilitation of the people affected by flash floods caused by torrential rains. The prime minister, during his visit to the flood-affected areas of Tank district of opposition-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, lauded the efforts of the National Disaster Management Authority and provincial disaster management authorities for their efforts to rescue and provide relief to the affected population. During the briefing by Deputy Commission Tank Hamidullah Khan, the prime minister was apprised of the ongoing relief and rehabilitation work in the area including supply of food, drinking water to the displaced people staying at temporary shelters. Shehbaz urged the KP government to enhance the compensation of existing Rs 0.8 million for the deceased up to one million.”Financial compensation is nothing (comparing the loss of their dear ones) but it will help them live through the challenges of life… This is not competition. This is complimentary. This is our responsibility,” he added. The prime minister said that the federal government had increased the cash assistance for injured people from Rs25,000 to 250,000 and had also announced a similar compensation of Rs0.5 million for both mud and concrete houses damaged completely and Rs 0.2 million for partially hit ones. Upon being told about the damage to the main roads by flood, the prime minister instructed NHA to rehabilitate the ones under its jurisdiction.He said after completing the visits to flood-hit areas, he would mull over the surveys of the NDMA and provincial authorities to assess the damages and decide the possible contribution by the federal government. The Pakistan Democratic Movement’s chief Mualana FazlurRehman, who also accompanied the prime minister, said the construction of Tank Zam dam and other small dams would help save the area and its infrastructure from the floods. During the briefing, the prime minister was told that the floods had damaged around 11,000 households in the district and caused two deaths besides injuring seven others. The prime minister also spoke high for the work done by the NHA in Balochistan and in KP for rehabilitation of the flood-ravaged road infrastructure.He also lauded the NDMA, PDMAs and the ministers concerned for putting in their efforts to ensure early relief and rehabilitation of the affected people. The prime minister also took a round of the shelter camps housing the flood-affected people. He sat on ground to interact with the families and expressed words of affection to their children. He assured the displaced families that both the federal and provincial government were collectively working for their early rehabilitation. Shehbaz Sharif hugged an elderly flood-victim after he fell into tears thanking him for sympathising with them and being the first prime minister to be with them in that hour of distress.Minister for Communications Asad Mahmood and Advisor Amir Muqam and senior government officers were also present.