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Pakistan seeks international aid for earthquake stricken areas
Publication Date : 02-10-2013
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has appealed to the United Nations, international community and donor agencies for financial assistance for reconstruction work and rehabilitation of people in earthquake-stricken areas of Awaran and Kech districts.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday on his return from Awaran after supervising rescue and relief work, he said rebuilding of over 25,000 houses and rehabilitation of over 100,000 affected people would be a difficult task without cooperation of the world community.
The chief minister said the government had declared Mushkey tehsil of Awaran and Dandar union council of Kech district as calamity-hit areas.
The government is strictly monitoring distribution of relief goods and there is no report of misappropriation of relief goods. Action would be taken if anyone found selling relief goods in the market, he added.
Appreciating the role of federal government, army and Frontier Corps, he said without their cooperation the Balochistan government could not carry out rescue and relief work in such a large area.
He praised the governments of Punjab and Sindh for providing relief goods for the quake-affected people.
The Punjab government has sent about 50 trucks of food items, 15,000 tents and other material and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has given his helicopter for two months for relief work.
Baloch said the Sindh government had announced 50 million Pakistani rupiah (US$472,366) in financial assistance and 5,000 tents.
The chief minister said that some people were opposing the relief operation being carried out by the government and wanted that relief goods be handed over to them.
“During my five-day stay there I talked to a number of people and tried to convince them that carrying out relief operation was government’s responsibility,” he added.
When asked whether he had talked to militants in Awaran who were reportedly opposing the government’s relief operation, he said:
“No, I did not talk to militants’ leaders, but some elements who were opposing the government relief operation.”
He was satisfied that concerns of the people in Awaran had been addressed and now they were receiving relief goods.
The chief minister said the village of Nokjo had not been affected by the Sept 24 earthquake, but the second tremor on Sept 28 had caused large-scale destruction there.
He said 276 severely injured people had been sent to Karachi’s hospitals.
The chief minister said the government would keep providing essential goods to affected families for three months. But, he added, the reconstruction work would continue for a longer time.
Answering a question, Baloch said he had not been threatened by militants. He said roads in the affected areas were now safe for travel and relief items were being sent mostly by trucks.