MUZAFFARABABD – Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that alive nations come out successful after difficulties, and this was how the successful nations behave in crisis.
He was talking to reporters at the Jallalabad Children Park on Friday.
Due to the visit of the President General Pervez and the Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, security was beefed up in the city, which caused huge problems for the people, and hampered the relief activities as well. The administration of the capital was put on high alert and they remained so till the dignitaries left the city.
Shaukat Aziz said the Eid was celebrated with simplicity and austerity. He stressed the need for equanimity. “We must pray and work with patience to move forward,” he added.
The prime minister said people had worked earnestly in the relief efforts. He stated that the government and international NGOs were helping the victims.
While answering a question about the international aid, Shaukat Aziz said we had already got foreign aid, and we would be getting more in future.
He also visited the Jallalabad Children Park, where the tent village has been established for the earthquake victims. He was accompanied by President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Lt.-Gen. (r) Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, Leader of House in the Senate, Wasim Sajjad, Health Minister Muhammad Naseer Khan and Information Minister Shaikh Rashid.
Earlier, on the Eid day, unprecedented security was observed, and the city was virtually sealed off, as President Pervaiz Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz visited the city. The president was expected to reach the city in the morning and the prime minister after his departure. The administration was on high alert through out the day.
Even ambulances were stopped from entering the area. People were visibly disturbed by the VVIPs movement in the city, and thought that the administration instead of working for the relief of the quake victims, was constantly busy from 8 am till 4 pm in ‘protecting’ them. “They should come here to serve the aggrieved instead of adding to their troubles. Even the cell phone system was jammed and our trucks carrying relief goods were stopped outside the city. This is unfair,” said Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader Sardar Mansoor Ahmed Khan, who was waiting for relief goods to be distributed among the quake victims.
APP adds: During his visit to Bagh, the prime minister said the government was racing against time to provide some shelter for the quake- affected people, before the winters set in.
"We are sending in more tents, providing Rs 25,000 for each damaged house initially and setting up tent villages, so that the homeless are protected from the severe winters," he told a gathering at a relief camp.
He said provision of shelter for so many homeless was an arduous task, but added that efforts were being made to provide some sort of shelter for all the affected at the earliest.
"We are determined to meet the challenge, we will not let our people suffer from the ravages of winter," he vowed.
He said the government had started distributing money for reconstruction of at least a room, using the building material and corrugated steel sheets.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was also appreciative of the generous help from the international community, the United Nations and other agencies, but said, the world needs to do more, keeping in view the scale of disaster and the impact it had on over 3.3 million affected people.
He said after the rescue phase, reconstruction and rehabilitation are the real challenges that need to be met.
Aziz termed the earthquake a test for the entire nation from which it passed with flying colours.
"The entire nation today stands with you. People from Khyber to Karachi feel your pain and loss and will help you get back on your feet," he said.
He vowed that the city of Bagh - Garden - would again flourish. He said the government was trying to get sponsors for rebuilding the city.
He was also informed that Chinari, which suffered extensive damage, would be made into a model town.
The Prime Minister visited the relief camp set up jointly by Muslim Hands International and Helping Hands where hundreds of homeless families are seeking shelter in tents.
The Prime Minister also handed over gifts to the children, who despite their grief and shock smiled a little as they shook his hands.
He prayed for all those who lost lives and said "I am here on behalf of the nation to express solidarity with you in this difficult time."
The prime minister earlier flew into Muzaffarabad, where he visited the Relief Camp set up by MQM's Khidmat-e-Khalq Foundation, to meet the injured.
Talking to newsmen, he said, the government was working on a series of programmes for the rehabilitation of the affected at a fast pace.
He assured that the government would compensate the people for their losses.
"We cannot bring back the dead, but we will stand by the affected and help them back on their feet," he added.
Ch Shujaat Hussain said they visited Rajkot near Bagh at an altitude of over 5500 feet to distribute relief goods and was pleased to note that volunteers were already there to help the locals.
Kashmala Tariq, who along with other parliamentarians brought gifts worth over Rs one million, said they have brought sweaters, shawls for men and women and toys for the children.
"We want to assure the people that they are not alone in this difficult phase of their lives," she added.
The Prime Minister was received by President AJK Sardar Muhammad Anwar and Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Sardar Sikandar Hayat at the helipad.
President Pakistan Muslim League Ch. Shujaat Hussain, Law Minister Wasi Zafar, Minister of State for Overseas Pakistanis Senator Tariq Azeem joined the Prime Minster at Bagh.