Wednesday, October 26

Road-construction should be prioritised

Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, and the Frontier Works Organisation, along with the national and provincial highway authorities should be entrusted with the job of the construction of roads in the quake-hit areas immediately before the winter season sets in, because if this was not done now, this task would be delayed for another six months, said central Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique, while addressing a Press conference at a local hotel on Tuesday.
Saad Rafique suggested that the General Zubair’s relief committee should be amalgamated into the Prime Minister’s Relief Committee. "Moreover, all parties leading parliamentarians, journalists from the independents and representatives of the non-government organisations should be included in the committee," he added. He also posed a question to the higher authorities about not using the mountain division of the army in the calamity-hit areas. "Military command is in confusion. The army has provided not even a single tent to the affected people. The DG ISPR should tell where is the stock of tents, which is owned by the army. On the other hand, the claim of the army that three division army has been deployed there, is wrong. If this is the case, then why the people are still suffering in the quake-hit areas," he stated.
He also criticised the Directorate of the Military Land for publishing an advertisement for commercial ventures. "The ad was published after ten days of the calamity, which has hurt the nation for obvious reasons," he added.
Saad stressed the need for coordination among all the agencies carrying out relief. "There seem to be a serious lack of coordination among various organisations and institutions working in the area. On the other hand, the relief efforts should be initiated at the Union Council level, " he stated.
Saad Rafique said the quake brought solidarity to the staggering nation, and appreciated the people of the Punjab and Sindh. He spoke highly of the non-government organisations, religio-political parties. "Jama’at-ud-Dawa and the Edhi Foundation are working in the best possible manner, and are acting as role models," he added.
He told that the Chief PML (N) Nawaz Sharif, who not only donated handsome amount of money in the relief camp, rather he had asked his party workers and leaders to donate generously. "We have established a tentage village of 1500 camps on the Mansehra-Balakot Road, which is being supervised by Pir Sabir Shah. 50 lady doctors are working in the Nawaz Sharif Field Hospital despite difficult conditions," he added.
Saad Rafique also told that Nawaz Sharif had asked the PML (N) leaders to spend their Eid days with the quake victims in the earthquake-hit areas.
Secretary-General PML (N) Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri stated that the government had failed miserably at the domestic and international fronts. "The United Nations representatives has told that only three weeks are left to do something in the affected areas, and proper measures will not be taken, there is a possibility that a large number deaths will occur because of the inclement weather. But the government functionaries are indulging in the luxury of photo shoots instead of doing some work for the victims," he added.
MPAs Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan and Shaikh Ijaz, Naseer Bhutta, Shaikh Amjad Aziz and Chaudhry Naseer were also present on the occasion.
October 25, 2005

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