- “Shocked at tragic deaths of tourists on road to Murree,” PM Imran says.
- Over 20 people have been killed as heavy snowfall hits Murree.
- PM says “strong regulation” is being put in place to avoid such incidents.
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday expressed shock over the death of 21 tourists as heavy snow trapped them in their vehicles as tens of thousands of visitors thronged Murree.
The federal government has deployed the personnel of the Pakistan Army, and other civil-armed forces for rescue operations following the catastrophic situation.
“Shocked and upset at tragic deaths of tourists on road to Murree,” PM Imran Khan said, as he mentioned that “unprecedented snowfall and rush of people proceeding without checking weather conditions caught district administration unprepared”.
The prime minister said he has ordered an inquiry into the matter and was putting in place a “strong regulation” to ensure the prevention of such tragedies in the future.
As the situation got out of hand, the administration blocked all the routes in Murree — leaving the tourists helpless on the roads. In a video message, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Saturday said Murree had “seen a huge number of tourists after 15-20 years”, and due to that, a crisis took place.
The Punjab government has declared Murree as a calamity-hit area, with chief minister Usman Buzdar ordering to open the government’s offices and rest houses for the stranded tourists.
Geo News, citing officials, reported that an estimated 125,000 vehicles have entered the city so far, due to which severe traffic jam was witnessed on the roads.
Meanwhile, PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari expressed sorrow over the deaths of tourists in Murree.
Terming the incident as “criminal negligence” on part of the administration, Shahbaz said the event has exposed the incumbent government, which “cannot even handle a traffic situation”.
Bilawal said the entire nation was saddened over the unfortunate incident in Murree, as he expressed sorrow over the demise of the people.
“It would have been better had [the administration] informed the tourists about the weather situation in Murree […] the government should immediately begin rescue services for the tourists,” he added.