Speed up relief in quake-hit Kashmir: Pakistan daily


Islamabad : Pakistan needs to step up relief and rehabilitation in its Kashmir region where a devastating earthquake killed thousands in 2005, a leading newspaper said Sunday.

Support TwoCircles

The Urdu daily Nawa-i-Waqt made the appeal in an editorial following protests in Pakistani Kashmir by people angry over the government’s failure to provide them new homes.

A protest strike took place in Muzaffarabad, capital of the Pakistani Kashmir, while demonstrators massed outside the national assembly here to demand speedy rehabilitation.

The daily said that while a lot had been done for the victims, much more remained to be done.

“Five years after the earthquake, the situation of the homeless and the dispossessed is like that the earthquake came yesterday,” it said.

The editorial said that after the quake, dozens of religious and other groups came forward to help the affected.

But “it was obvious they could not provide shelter for all the homeless or help all the dispossessed. This was the responsibility of the government.

“Going by the angry response of the people of Muzaffarabad and other areas, it seems the government has not done much,” it said.

The earthquake, which had its epicentre near Muzaffarabad, measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.

It devastated much of northern Pakistan and both Indian and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The death toll in Pakistan was around 75,000 while 3.5 million people left homeless.