Wednesday, October 26

Musharraf gave yet another spin to quake crisis

President Gen Pervez Musharraf has given yet another spin to the October 8 earthquake crisis by giving permission to the people interested in relief efforts for the quake-victims by crossing the Line of Control, said Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan, while addressing a Press conference here on Thursday.
Imran Khan maintained that the govt should give priority to the quake-victims living in despicable condition instead of allowing opening of LoC for relief workers.
‘The earthquake-affected people are suffering from increasing cold and if immediate measures were not taken for providing protection to them against snowfall, death toll of the people of Muzaffarabad and other quake-hit areas might not be controllable in the times to come. Aid is direly needed no matter coming from which source (country), but the govt must not be oblivious of its responsibilities as well’, he added.
Imran maintained that the govt could not do the relief work alone and suggested that it should divide areas among the organisations already working so that in-time help could be provided to save lives endangered due to the impending inclement weather.
He said there is no coordination in the govt agencies for the relief efforts depicting its inefficiency. There is no need of making the earthquake a political issue by holding the meeting of the National Security Council.
‘NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani’s participation created rift in the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal. It was a photo session and a political stunt as nothing was discussed for the relief of quake-victims’, he added.
While criticising the govt's failure in relief efforts, Imran said zeal of the army Jawans was matchless.
He said that national crisis management has completely failed in the national disaster scenario. An immediate inquiry should be launched in this regard so that such blunders are not repeated in the future, he added.
The question is: Why the government did not immediately call 90,000 troops from Waziristan to save the injured from dying and providing quick help?" he asked.
At least the rulers should have asked for discontinuing the war on terrorism temporarily from their masters and should have sent the army for the relief operations in the larger interest of the humanity, he added..
PTI Chairman was apprehensive about a huge number of impending deaths in the coming two months due to lack of proper relief efforts.
Imran impressed upon the govt, political parties, non-governmental organisations and the masses to joined hands in joint relief operation.
‘The response to the earthquake was beyond imagination and I cannot believe that people of the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan have sent such a huge quantity of relief goods to the affected areas. But now they need tents instead of edibles and warm clothes. Even the war of 1965 was seem to be a lesser impetus, and people were not that united, as compared to the earthquake, which has proved that we are one nation’, he added.
He said the PTI would import pre-fabricated houses from Turkey.
‘After fixing that first as model, the Party will acquire 500 more from the same company, which will be a donation’, he said.
Imran Khan said that doctors from the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust Hospital were busy in setting up two hospitals in Muzaffarabad and Balakot apart from sending volunteers to the affected areas.
Imran said the PTI had collected Rs 6 million for the relief fund which would be utilised on the rehabilitation of the victims. #
He said that the party had so far despatched 20 truckloads from Lahore to three camps at Mansehra, Rawalpindi and Muzaffarabad for onward distribution. The PTI has established a central relief collection camp at 14-Zafar Ali Road.
Imran Khan slammed the national flag carrier (PIA) for not airlifting relief goods free of cost.
‘PIA explicitly told that if the tents, other than the President's Relief, cannot be sent to the affected areas without charges. This is shameful. This should be stopped immediately and PIA should be directed to airlift tents and other relief goods collected by the NGOs and political parties abroad without any charges’, he added.
Imran Khan maintained that the Opposition was supporting the govt in all the relief efforts but the latter was trying to get political mileage.
To him, the Local Government System which was introduced to strengthen and prolong one-man rule has failed miserably.
‘Unless the powers are entrusted with the Union Council Nazims, the system cannot run in an effective manner because the District Nazims have come to power through illegal means, and the latter knew nothing about handling the crisis.
Earlier Deputy Commissioners were trained in crisis management but the present lot of the LGS know nothing about this aspect , he added.
While answering a question about the protection and future of the orphan children, he said that the govt could not accommodate them, and the task should be given to the SoS and other such organisations.
President PTI (Punjab) Admiral (Retd) Javed Iqbal, President Women Wing (Punjab) Syeda Saloni Bokhari and Information Secretary Umer Cheema were also present.

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