Victims of 8th October Earthquake – We remember you

Today is the first anniversary of devastating earthquake which destroyed most of Azad Kashmir and a number of major cities and towns like Balakot in Frontier province. There will be a one minute silence in the morning to remember the victims. Special Dua ceremonies will be held for those who lost their lives and for those whose lives have been changed forever. Apart from that I am sure president and prime minister along with their brigade of ministers will pass on long lectures (bloody liars if you ask me).

Yesterday I was sitting in an Iftaar dinner with my friends and one of them said that it’s human nature that with time, we forget bare se bara saniha (even the worst disaster) and same has happened in case of 8th October Earthquake too. It was supposed to be a permanent wake up call for most of us but slowly, we seem to have forgotten it. I can’t really say that we have forgotten the 8th October victims but we definitely have moved on and got busy with our lives, back to the usual and routine life. Probably it was government’s job to keep the momentum going and take appropriate steps to keep the jazba alive which really united Pakistani nation; a rare thing in our history. I have to say government has failed miserably on that front. There was a plan to have a national youth program lead by that clown Durrani, who btw is propaganda minister these days, and I remember that he came on TV saying that we will do this and that to keep the youth involved in volunteering activities in affected areas. Well what happened to that Sir?

It really frustrates me to see on television that even after 1 year, when so much money was donated from within the country and around the world, all we hear from victims is that nothing much has been done. Those who were living in tents a year ago, are still there and all the talks about providing them with shelter sounds like bullshit to a large extent. It’s confusing when you hear officials repeating the same story that the magnitude of quake was such that it’s not possible to rebuild everything in a year and at the same time, others saying that the whole process is painfully slow and that money has not reached to most of the deserving families. End of the day, the ground reality is that majority of people haven’t got any money to build their houses, towns and cities like Bagh, Balakot, Muzaffarabad etc have still not seen ANY reconstruction activities and after one year, we are again talking about how to save people from cruel winter which is just a month or so away.

So whose bloody fault is this? A few weeks ago I was watching an interview by Sardar Sikandir Hayat, who was the prime minister when quake hit Kashmir and has quit politics now because of the hopeless situation, and he gave a very logical explanation about why we don’t see much progress in reconstruction and rebuilding. He said that he chaired 3-4 initial meetings of the Federal Govt’s Authority (ERAS I think) responsible for rebuilding and reconstruction and in all those meetings they couldn’t discuss any reconstruction plan because civil and military officials were fighting on salaries, staff and official jeeps and cars to be allotted to each of them. One of them refused to work until he gets an official car. They were least interested in doing their real job in his words. Being there myself a number of times, I believe him.

Anyways, I hope that all this changes for good in really quick time and I hope that Allah gives victims and their families strength and courage to recover and rebuild their lives.

4 Comments so far

  1. Zeeshan (unregistered) on October 8th, 2006 @ 10:34 pm


  2. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on October 8th, 2006 @ 11:26 pm

    May Allah bless all those who lost their lives or their loved ones…

    Inna Lillah e Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajioon!

  3. salman (unregistered) on October 9th, 2006 @ 2:06 pm

    i was watching mushy addressing people in quake affected areas. it was disgusting to see him talking about who people should vote in coming elections rather than focusing on issues that why people still living in tents and why people are not getting aid money! it’s a sad sad situation

  4. Salauddeen (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:13 pm

    I hope people also remember the sterling work done by the Cuban medical brigade – 73% of the patients of this disaster were treated by Cuban doctors and paramedics.

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