Govt’s assistance too little, too late: Haleem


Karachi/ Islamabad: The assistance as announced by the government for the survivors of earthquake is not sufficient and the compensation amount should be increased on priority, said Pakistan Muslim League- Quaid e Azam (PML-Q) Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh on Monday.

Addressing a crowded press conference at the Islamabad Press Club (IPC) he said he himself along with his team spend four days on hills and observed the plights of the affected people, besides handing them relief collected from Sindh province.

He said the most affected area was Shangla of KpK province. He said still our team coming from Sindh is present at Turgar. He said in Shangrai area 45 houses collapsed but no government assistance was provided to them. People have been sitting under the open sky in wait for the compensation. Many houses have developed cracks and could collapse any time. The forecast of rain and snow is yet another plight for the survivors and if hilly paths went closed after snow it would be difficult to reach the hard hit hilly areas.

He said dozens of houses in Kala Dhaka area were razed. He said our volunteers are present in four villages of Kala Dhaka: Darbani, Sukhan, Sawa and Narang.

He said the government took notice of media coverage of the earthquake-hit areas, but then the local government elections caught all attention of media and government.

He said though this earthquake was not as dangerous as the earthquake of the year 2015 but still it has caused widespread destruction.

He said we brought relief goods from Sindh on self-help basis and with the assistance of a few friends; however, there was no major donor behind us. We distributed goods for rehabilitation of 1200 families, including more than 1000 tents, ration, blankets, medicines and other articles. He said he himself visited 10 union councils of Tehsil Alpuri including Shahpur, Kozkana and Chakisar, where earthquake had causes big damage.

He said we dispatched our relief goods on the transport provided by Khabeeb Foundation. He said covering just one hill took more than 3 hours.

He said the PDMA and politicians are paying political visits on helicopters. He said we would also go to Chitral, where people have been awaiting aid in Shandoor and Garm Chashma areas. They need temporary shelters, warm bedding, clothing and ration.

He said the NDMA and PDMA have been playing the role of information agency and supply depot. He said the DDMA is yet not functional. He said we did not learn any lessons from the earthquake of 2005. He said despite getting huge funds the town of Balakot is yet to be reconstructed.

He said the government of Japan had given Pakistan a disaster management plan in the year 2013, but it is yet to be implemented and gathering dust in the Prime Minister Secretariat.

He demanded that the compensation and assistance amount as announced by the government should be increased and the survivors who have been displaced after the earthquake should be assisted on war footing basis. He said people have lost everything including the dowry items of their daughters and they should be compensated urgently.

Social service leaders Dr Shakeel Roshan, Zia Satti, Javed Awan, Mirza Azeem and Rubina Shah were also present.