News / Asia

Insurgents Hinder Pakistani Quake Relief Efforts

Pakistani volunteers load tents and other relief supplies into a truck to send it for earthquake-affected areas of the Baluchistan province, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sept. 28, 2013.
Pakistani volunteers load tents and other relief supplies into a truck to send it for earthquake-affected areas of the Baluchistan province, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sept. 28, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Authorities in Pakistan said there is no let up in insurgent attacks on troops performing relief work in an earthquake-stricken region of southwestern Baluchistan province, despite calls for peace. The violence has so far killed at least six soldiers, but officials say it has not disrupted relief operations.
 
Pakistani troops and paramilitary soldiers have been mainly carried out relief activities around the worst-hit Awaran district, where last week’s powerful earthquake was centered.
 
Rescue officials and doctors say the calamity left more than 400 dead. Many more wounded are in hospitals. Authorities estimate some 300,000 people, mostly women and children, are homeless and need urgent help.
 
Security fears have prevented the United Nations and other foreign aid agencies from directly assisting the relief work because the disaster zone is a stronghold of ethnic Baluch insurgents.
 
National leaders, including the provincial chief minister, Abdul Malik Baluch, are calling on the militants to cease fire to allow uninterrupted relief activities.

In some areas, victims reportedly refuse aid from Pakistani troops, fearing a militant backlash.
 
Chief Minister Baluch said in an interview with VOA that insurgents have ignored their appeals but he vows to bring emergency assistance to quake victims. “We should not be afraid [of militant attacks] because this government is committed to give the basic facilities and we are providing food, tents and communication systems to the earthquake-affected area,” he said.
 
Since relief activities began more than a week ago, insurgents have frequently targeted troops carrying rations for earthquake victims. The violence has so far left six soldiers dead.
 
Baluch said a secure environment has to be in place before reconstruction starts to protect victims from the harsh winter. But he said Pakistan will need international assistance to undertake that task. “No doubt we have no sufficient resources and we are appealing to international community, especially the United Nations, just to help us because there is a very large scale of destruction of houses, round about 25,000 houses are destroyed, and we cannot construct these areas [on our own].”
 
Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest but least populous province and rich in natural resources. The separatist insurgency dates back to the country’s founding, prompting federal authorities to maintain a large military presence in the impoverished region.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 05, 2013 2:27 PM
Seems somebody member of al shabaab, hakanni network, al qaida, taliban or another unnamed islamist fanatic is on duty today; doesn't like truths about the axis of evil exposed. But someone must say something about it. Evil must be exposed in order to fight it, whether voa likes it or not. EVIL THRIVES WHEN MEN REFUSE TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST IT. Evil must not be condoned, and if VOA sides with those who carry out terrorist attacks on innocent people by not exposing them through readers' expository contributions, then VOA itself becomes part of the ACCESS OF TERROR.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 05, 2013 8:47 AM
Every time and everywhere one goes, all one hears is terrorist do this, terrorists do that. Seems the fear of the terrorists is now a new beginning of wisdom. But when you ask who the terrorists are, no one seems to know indepth. Yet they are human beings, mostly from islamic leaning, and demand things which seem impossible in the world of today, like asking everyone in the region of their cordon to convert to islam. More appalling is the fact that muslims who give terrorism teeth think they deceive the rest of humanity by claiming the terrorists are not muslim or that they are not speaking for islam. Yet when one speaks to average one of them on the street, the retort of violence makes one wonder if one has not spoken to the terrorist already. These terrorists are taught in mosques if we refrain from saying they are radicalized there because we are afraid to say so, so that we do not ignite riots by so doing. That is not all. They are known by people who make them elusive by refusing to expose them. Most importantly, they are armed by people, countries and arms-manufacturing/sales firms. These know where the arms they sell go to, and so it is absolutely wrong for state monitoring agencies to say they do not know where the terrorists arms come from. What is the benefit of globalization if things like this continue to endanger lives everywhere without control. But the most blamable reason why terrorism seems not to abet is the treatment of wars with kid gloves as if they are Hollywood scripts and scenes for MP3 play station. First we see superpowers that struggled to outdo themselves in seeking cheap popularity. This saw the face of conflict and combat change from its grim meaning to child’s play so that combatants mingle with civilians to pretend that all is well when the opposite is the case. By this stupid approach war on terror has been made difficult to win, and much more lives of combatants have been lost than necessary. This is not helped by enemies of peace in the world who operate from civil societies in Europe and America claiming war-weariness in the face of intimidating terrorist insurgency. This has led to inconclusive wars on terror campaign in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such has led to the fear of another failure to take down other countries who are known to sponsor terrorism 24/7; countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. In the days when America stood its ground to battle terrorism, such countries as Syria, Libya and Turkey piped low and threw in with majority of civil states. Today the reverse is the case. Terror-sponsors are being wooed as though begging them will bring the desired solution. But rather than bring solution, it will ensure total disintegration of civilization to be replaced by Islamism. That is the goal of jihad. And every muslim contributes to it, supports it, and anticipates it as the ultimate goal of islam. Some can argue there was no terrorism before Iraq and Afghanistan, but there was 9/11, wonder what led to it. If there are no state sponsors of terrorism, people will become bolder to expose terrorists, and terrorism will gradually die out. But if the only superpower bows to terror, then more states will grow teeth and join terror sponsorship – for it is a muslim’s tithe, contribution to JIHAD – the holy war, and propagation of islam.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs