The 2005 earthquake was a devastating blow to Pakistan. The rehabilitation was estimated to take many years to come, and the cost of which was estimated in billions of dollars. The response of the international community at the time was over whelming. While the initial extent for us regarding the disaster was limited to Margalla Towers, it was the international community that truly understand the scale of the devastation and reached the areas of Balakot and Bagh.
This time around, however the response has been slow and limited. It doesn’t even come close to what we saw the last time around, and that is understandable. A news item published today in Dawn might be able to put some light on to this issue. The funds and the aid received during the crisis was conveniently diverted to other projects. The amount, estimated to be around 300 billion pounds, was never seen by the victims, and were left to sought their own fate.
This incident occurred during the regime of a military ruler, but thanks to Selective Amnesia that our media seems to be a patient of, no hype has been created of this event. And with the way things run in this country, it is not surprising that it would never come up.
The distrust of the International community is also reflected by the fact that this time around instead of trusting the Government with the Relief they are taking it upon themselves to come and monitor the aid work. David Toole, UNICEF’s regional director for South Asia will be coming to Pakistan for a week-long official visit to monitor the relief work himself. Continue reading
The year was 2005, it was the month of Ramadan, the disaster in the light of the present conditions now seems to be of a lesser magnitude, but it wasnt so at that time! The Government and the Civilian Institutes were weak then and are much weaker now! And at that time the situation was used by the Jamaat ud Dawa for its advantage, and there is no doubt that they are going to do the same again. And if the report published in the Independent is anything to go by, then they already are!
In a country where from the media to the Government Officials to the average bloc sitting at home staring at his TV Screen seems to be having some form of Amnesia, it is not very surprising that no one is thinking along these lines. In a country where only the Military and its trained elements, including its very own trained Jihadist like the members of this banned organization, are the most organized, it is not surprising that their relief efforts have been able to cover more ground than the Governments.
All they want is some relief from the misery that they are in. They don't care where it is coming from!
And the people who are suffering, do not really care where the aid is coming from. They can not be bothered to think about the politics and the Impacts of this situation on the years to come. They simply want an end to what they have been going through. They simply want food and clean water, and they are not the one that would be checking the labels of where the food is coming from.
But if any one of us had been able to recall what we had already witnessed in the valleys of Swat, we would have been on our toes. We would have known that it is moments like these that are used for public sympathy and for your own propaganda and promotion. And the Jamaat ud Dawa knows that this is once more an opportunity for them. Continue reading
My birthday – 3rd July – has always been a very happening way! For one thing, there is always the FIFA World Cup every 4 years to look forward to, and always always the Quarter Finals happen to be on that day! Then there have been the time that I was in Kashmir with my friends, and we went for my birthday to Chikar – an artificial lake developed after the 2005 Earthquake in Kashmir.
The Birthday in Kashmir
There was the one when me and my family went to Pizza hut, and the waiter fell over singing “Happy Birthday” – that was one hilarious sight!
I had been overly excited about this birthday.. I mean I am always excited about my birthdays but this time it was special. I had just completed my first freelance project and it looked superb. Plans were discussed for weeks about where we should go out for dinner, wish list for my gifts were prepared by me and then handed out to people.. But never during imagining all of this had i thought that my plans would have to be cancelled because of my neighbor’s 20-year-old daughter. Continue reading
Watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta trying to take care of a 3 day old baby in Haiti and the baby wasn’t moving much so he was trying to make her well and cry. And it was at that very moment that I realized that at times in this world there is nothing beautiful than a baby crying. Hearing that baby cry somthing inside of me triggered as I realized that that baby is opening her eyes in the wake of a devastating tragedy that might take years to overcome.
That baby needs our help. We should do whatever we can to help them out right now. Please click any of the links below to find out whatever it is that you can do:-