Liveliness is an essential part of being alive. How can someone imagine everything around him is devastated and all the humans are traumatized in front of him? Can these be called symbols of life? Certainly not! It’s even hard to assume being anti-human nature.
Pakistan became an emblem of sympathy to other countries after being hit by the earthquake on 8th October 2005 in when much of northern Pakistan experienced an earthquake that turned towns and villages in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) into graveyards. The major cities and towns affected are Muzaffarabad, Bagh and Rawlakot in Kashmir and Balakot, Shinkiari, Batagram, Mansehra Abbotabad, Murree and Islamabad in Pakistan. Almost all the buildings collapsed in the areas close to the epicenter.
Governmental agencies were unable to handle this disaster, which was too massive and ‘one of its kind.’ People, government and foreign aid participated in bearing its burden. A survey was conducted in the earthquake-hit areas of Azad Kashmir and later the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which revealed that the tragedy created a sense of unity in the masses not only in Pakistan and Muslims around the world, but also amongst the other communities.
Individuals, both inside and outside Pakistan made their contribution during the whole relief activities and proved that they were able to deal with any eventuality or disaster. According to a news report, an American think-tank openly admitted that Pakistanis were far ahead of Americans in charity collection from within Pakistan and its eventual distribution. They added that if the size of the country, its population and per capita income of Pakistan were kept in view, it would be observed that it was one of the leading nations in the field of humanitarian relief.
A number of Pakistani Kashmiris residing overseas also contributed a lot in this hour of need. They collected millions of rupees in cash, clothes, medicines and other items of daily usage and distributed them without any discrimination.
Pakistan army faced criticism over the style of relief activities by some critics. They must recognize the role of Pakistan army right after the disaster, in the first month and even after that. This army revived life in the affected areas, maintained the law and order and helped in distribution of cash to the affected people.
The Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority and NGO’s helped the quake victims a lot but the amount was still not sufficient enough to build new houses. Governmental agencies joined hands with them providing shelter to the victims one again.
The lessons we must learn from such disasters include mending our ways in not to disobeying Allah and call for His anger, planning, involving communities in reconstruction, stay on top of long term projects, gather data as soon as possible and understand that coordination is essential in such situations to overcome the problems caused by them.
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