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MIRPUR: A view of destroy house after 5.8-magnitude earthquake hits jolted parts of Pakistan INP

Quake-hit Mirpur shows concern over slow-paced process of rehabilitation

Altaf Hamid Rao;

MIRPUR (AJK):     The recent quake-hit Mirpur population is much concerned over the extremely low-paced process of rehabilitation and resettlement of the life to the pre-September 24 devastating catastrophe regime that had left hundreds of thousands of people shelter-less besides the loss of billions of rupees to their residential and commercial properties in the city and much-affected areas in its outskirts.

Civil Society here has wondered that despite September 24 deadly earthquake of moderate magnitude measuring 5.08 at the Richter scale shaken entire city adjoining areas of Kharee Shareef badly damaging and leaving thousands of houses useless furthermore and the continual frequent aftershocks of the catastrophe, there seemed no solid policy and plan conceived by the AJK government’s higher Archie sitting at the State’s capital, emerged so far.

Expressing grave concern over such ugly state of affairs depicting the traditional apathy of the AJK government vis-à-vis acceleration of due rehabilitation and resettlement process in this calamity-hit city of expatriates, the major contributor in the economy of the state, President Mirpur-AJK Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ch. Javed Iqbal categorically said that Mirpur, again, as all time previous, seemed becoming the target of the traditional regional prejudice vis-à-vis the course of the rehabilitation of the area on political grounds.

In an interview to this Correspondent here on Saturday, Javed, holding the office of the AJKCCI President for 4-time so far, alleged that the delaying tactics in launching of the immediate due reconstruction and rehabilitation process in the quake-stricken town so far, have emerged as the cause of grave concern among the local population in general and the victims of the calamity in particular.

The AJKCCI President suggested to the AJK government – especially the Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider to immediately move for ensuring the timely beginning of the reconstruction and resettlement process under the same sympathetic spirit and approach as was shown in the deadly October 8, 2005 devastating catastrophe in Muzaffarabad and other adjoining areas of the State as well as the KPK province.

Javed Iqbal emphasized the need for ensuring the vibrant role and use of latest means of the international donor agencies and the institutions in the quake-hit Mirpur at the pattern of the swift rehabilitation process exercised in quake-hit AJK zone soon after the October 8, 2005 catastrophe. He emphasized for grant of immediate inlet to the foreign donors from the friendly countries, seeking to jump into the noble cause for revival of life in the calamity-hit Mirpur without further loss of time – especially at the stage when the gravity of the just-started winter season, in form of coming chillness, could leave extremely negative impacts on the life of hundreds of the thousands of the shelter less victims of catastrophe – compelled to get into the tents after facing the loss of their triple and four-storied buildings worth hundreds of thousands of millions in the city and adjoining affected areas.

Javed strongly suggested to the ruling political elite particularly that sitting in Muzaffarabad to practically move to ink and implement the integrated plan for early revival of life in quake-stricken Mirpur and adjoining affected areas to save the victims from further loss of their lives and properties, from further destruction because of the negative weather impacts – most particularly at the stage when the entire city and adjoining areas were facing frequent aftershocks ever since the calamity hit the town on September 24.

Commenting on the tragic post-quake prevailing situation in the affected zone, renowned social-worker – cum analyst Waheed Iqbal said that it was enjoined upon the AJK government to ascertain the causes of the deadly earthquake soon after the catastrophe hit major parts of Mirpur and adjoining belt.

Talking to this Correspondent here on Saturday, he said that the State government elders, should had engage seismic experts to ascertain the basic reasons of the catastrophe that threw this model and development district of Azad Jammu & Kashmir into the stone-age following huge damaging of hundreds of thousands of buildings in Mirpur sub division because of the calamity.
Referring to the recent general public apprehension about raising of water level in Mirpur-based Mangla reservoir, Waheed suggested to the governments of Pakistan and AJK to conduct a study report to ascertain the basic cause of the calamity in the back drop of the public opinion about raising of the water level in the country’s second largest reservoir.

To a question, Waheed Iqbal lauded the NDMA-like reconstruction and rehabilitation institutions of the government of Pakistan for their so far and their upcoming vibrant role for reconstruction and rehabilitation of life in the quake-hit zone. He urged upon the government of AJK to focus for earliest rehabilitation and resettlement of the life by taking the benefit of the offered services of the National Disaster Management Authority and other identical institutions of the government of Pakistan, without any political prejudice – besides inviting the foreign donors from the friendly and brotherly countries – seeking to contribute in reconstruction and rehabilitation of the calamity-hit Mirpur.

In this connection, he added that since the incumbent government in Azad Jammu & Kashmir belongs to the PML (N) and the PTI-led government in Pakistan, there should not be any political prejudice or space among the ‘N’ – led AJK rulers especially at this stage when the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan-led PTI regime has already announced due liberal financial and otherwise assistance for the revival of life the calamity-hit Mirpur Azad Jammu Kashmir.

 

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