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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid