QUETTA - Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has said that the provincial government is utilising all its resources for the restoration of the earthquake affectees. “However, the federal government and international community’s help is also required in this connection,” he added. Addressing a news conference at the CM Secretariat here on Tuesday after visiting the affected areas of Awaran, Dr Malik said, “The most difficult period of rehabilitation is ahead and international assistance, mainly from the United Nations, is required for building 25,000 shelters in the quake-hit areas.”
He categorically declared that the government would register criminal cases under Anti-Terrorism Act against those found pilfering the relief goods. He said the government should be given credit for taking steps against the pilferage and sale of the relief goods in open markets.
The CM said the helicopter service was suspended after the road got cleared which had been blocked due to landslide. As the road is open, there is no need for the helicopter services because hundreds of trucks carrying relief goods are heading towards the affected areas, he opined.
Referring to an incident of burning some tents in Teer Tej, he told the newsmen that Rahim Ziaratwal gone to the area, held talks with the local people and managed to deliver 12 trucks of relief goods among the affectees.
He expressed his deep gratitude to the Punjab government, particularly Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the generous assistance to the earthquake affected people. He said that Punjab has dispatched 15,000 tents and 50 trucks of relief goods to Awaran. Similarly, the Sindh government has provided 5,000 tents and Rs50 million cash for the affected people, Dr Malik added.
The CM said that Awaran was hit by two earthquakes on September 24 and 28 respectively, and 25,000 families were rendered homeless. “About 380 people including men, women and children lost their lives and about 600 people were injured in the district, while 180 others were wounded in union council, Dandar of Kech district,” he said.
He said that 276 critical injured were taken to Karachi-based hospitals and their medical expenditures were being born by the government. He said that teams of doctors along with 28 ambulances were also examining and providing medical treatment to the injured in Awaran.
He said that during his five-day stay in Awaran, he convinced the elements opposing the relief operation not to do that. “Now, the people were getting relief goods without any fear,” he said. He said the Balochistan government has declared Mashkay and Dandar as the calamity-hit areas.
Dr Malik appealed the international community to come forward and render help to the affected families. He also requested the federal government to contribute for reconstruction of the houses collapsed in the calamity.
Responding to a question, he said 100 trucks carrying relief goods are being sent to the affected areas on daily basis.