Tag Archives: Balochistan

John Solecki Freed!

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed his happiness at the safe release of a United Nations staff member who was abducted in Pakistan two months ago, voicing his appreciation for the efforts of Government officials and others in securing his release.

John Solecki, who heads the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Quetta, in Balochistan province, was abducted in an attack on 2 February that also left another colleague, Syed Hashim, dead.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General said that he is “grateful to all those who have tried over the past two months to help secure John Solecki’s release, and would like in particular to express his appreciation for the strong message made by Balochi leaders in support of his release, as well as efforts made by the Government of Pakistan.”

Mr. Ban also reaffirmed the UN’s continued commitment to help all Pakistani people, a dedication manifested in Mr. Solecki’s own work.

Addressing reporters following a meeting with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Paris, he thanked President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, along with many others, for their tireless work in securing Mr. Solecki’s release.

But the Secretary-General noted that Robert Fowler, his Special Envoy for Niger, is still missing following his kidnapping last December.

“I sincerely hope that the captors, whoever they may be, should immediately, without any conditions, release him as soon as possible,” he said.

During Mr. Solecki’s captivity, the world body had expressed its concern on many occasions regarding his health, given that he suffers from multiple health conditions requiring ongoing treatment.

A group known as the Balochistan Liberation United Front claimed to be holding him, demanding the release of people it says are in Pakistani custody.

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Balochistan Earthquake – OCHA situation report No. 5


HIGHLIGHTS

– The Earthquake in Balochistan province has left 166 deaths and 370 injured (government confirmed figure).

– According to the initial results of McRAM (Multi-Cluster Rapid Assessment Mechanism) survey of 36 villages in the three earthquake affected districts of Balochistan (Ziarat, Pishin and Harnai) Ziarat is the worst affected. Around 68,200 people were affected in the area and need assistance. About 7,600 houses have been completely or partially damaged.

SITUATION

1. An earthquake of magnitude 6.4 has hit Balochistan province in south-western Pakistan on 29 October.

According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter of the quake was in Chiltan mountains, 80 kilometers northwest of Quetta. The first tremor struck at 4:09 am local time (23:09 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometer while the second one came at 5:15 am. The affected region is the mountainous area extending from Ziarat, about 110 KMs northeast of Quetta to Pishin, Qilla Abdullah to Chaman (border town along Afghan border). Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) reports that the worst hit area falls within villages Khanozai and Topa Achakzai in eastern Pishin district and Wachun Kawas village in Ziarat district and possibly Harnai district (east of Ziarat).

2. According to the initial results of McRAM (Multi-Cluster Rapid Assessment Mechanism) survey conducted from 31 October to 3 November 2008 in 36 villages of the three most affected districts of Balochistan, 50% of the 68,200 people affected are children. Most urgent needs include shelter, food, warm clothing, emergency medical care, water and sanitation facilities. Over 32% of the affected population need immediate shelter and about 62%of the affected population have no food stock, and those who have will run out of it within 2-4 weeks

Summary of Damages according to Multi Cluster Rapid Assessment Mechanism
District
Completely
Destroyed
Partially
Destroyed
Total Houses
Damaged
Population
Effected
%age
Harnai
278
370
648
6549
10
Pishim
956
2294
3250
27021
40
Ziarat
2254
1460
3714
34630
51
Total
3487
4125
7612
68200
100

NATIONAL RESPONSE

3. The Prime Minister has directed Earthquake Rehabilitation and Relief Authority (ERRA) to help the

Balochistan government in the recovery phase especially in providing shelters to the affected population. The Prime Minister has announced that the cost of the shelters will be borne by the government and that the shelters should be modeled on shelters used by ERRA in NWFP and Pakistan Administered Kashmir (AJK) earthquake hit region. UN-Habitat has deployed a team with the ERRA Deputy Chairman in the affected area.

4. As of 4 November, NDMA reports that 1,100 tents, 13,900 blankets, 7,281 food packs and medicine worth Rs 4 million (USD 43,750) have been distributed through PDMA Balochistan. Through the food packs, 37,882 bags of flour, 850 bags of rice and 700 bags of sugar have been distributed.

5. Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has planned to cater for food and shelter requirements for an initial group of 4,000 affected families. So far the PRCS Provincial Branch in Quetta has dispatched emergency stocks NFIs and shelter kits for 2,300 families in Ziarat and 500 families in Pishin. The distribution has been done amongst the families identified during an assessment carried out by PRCS teams in six villages (5 villages in Ziarat and 1 village in Pishin). In addition 6 trucks loaded with 575 tents, 1,500 Plastic sheets, 3,100 quilts, 410 coal stove are ready to be dispatched to Ziarat on requirement. Four PRCS assessments and relief teams and two medical teams are deployed in Ziarat district, operating from the rural health centre in Kawas. So far 1,230 patients have been treated. The common diseases reported are Respiratory Track Infection, Pneumonia, Diarrhoea. Some cases of trauma were also treated.

Taken from RELIEF WEB.

SHAHRUL PESHAWAR

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26 people killed, dozens hurt as moderate intensity earthquake rattles Balochistan

QUETTA: Oct 29 (APP)- At least 26 people died and dozens other sustained injuries when a 6.1 intensity earthquake jolted most parts of northern and central Balochistan early Wednesday morning. The jerks were felt at 0430 hours and 0510 hours which demolished and damaged scores of houses in Ziarat, Quetta, Kuchlak, Pishin, Chaman, Mastung and Loralai.

In Ziarat, which is the worst affected area the district nazim Dilawar Khan Kakar confirmed death of 25 people in union council Kawas, Werchum and Kach.

He feared that the death toll could go up as land sliding reported at road links to surrounding villages.

Similarly, one 18-year old girl died while five other people would critically hurt as their poorly constructed houses failed to withstand the tremor in Khanozai, tehsil of district Pishin.

In the provincial capital, only five people were reported hurt in earthquake related incidents. Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Khan Raisani arrived at the CM Secretariat soon after the earthquake rattled the province and ordered declaration of emergency in the hospitals of the affected areas. He also ordered the provincial Disaster Management authorities to provide relief to the affected people utilizing all available resources.

SHAHRUL PESHAWAR – I’ve been once to Quetta

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Go Gurun Go

Ke Gurun lagi.

Gurun mana? Gurun di Kedah lah.  Gurun di Kedah tidak seteruk gurun yang sebenar.  Gurun nie takde pokok kaktus, tidak ada unta berkeliaran, tidak ada ribut pasir, tidak ada pokok kurma tempat berteduh, matahari tidak terik, tidak ada debu-debu halus, tidak ada penjual air yang berlari-lari mendapatkan anda, tidak ada anak-anak yang menjual petrol dalam botol-botol plastik dengan cara menyedutnya ikut mulut dialihkan dengan paip getah kedalam tangki kenderaan.  Tidak kelihatan mamat-mamat berkuda dengan senapang terselempang didada dan pisau belati terselit rapi dipinggang, misai melenting dengan baju yang dikanji keras.  Tidak ada bangunan yang digelar “hotel” tetapi hanya satu tingkat setengah.  Tidak ada itu semua. 

Gurun yang ini adalah dikaki Gunung Jerai yang puncaknya sering diliputi awan putih persis salju di kemuncak Gunung Fuji.  Gurun yang ini hijau dengan pokok-pokok kelapa sawit yang dikemetotkan bagi menjilat hasilnya tanpa perlu mendongak ke langit.  Gurun yang ini sejuk dan nyaman malah ada banyak taman didalamnya.  Gurun yang ini tenang, tidak ada macet, tiada kedengaran nyaring siren, tiada mat rempit walaupun ada kilang buat motor disini.  Gurun yang ini menjana kekayaan bagi negeri Kedah, sumber rezeki anak watan.  Gurun ini tempat pelbagai jenis kilang dan organisasi korporat beroperasi.  Gurun ini nasi lemaknya bukan seringgit tapi masih lagi lima kupang – kuihnya bukan tiga seringgit tapi masih lagi empat seringgit dan puas memakannya. 

Namun persamaan antara Gurun pasir dan Gurun Kedah ini tetap ada.  Keramahan penduduknya menyambut orang luar dengan senyuman dan keceriaan.  Jalan keretapi merentas bandar, sesekali jalan ditutup secara manual, membenarkan keretapi usang yang jauh lebih lama berkhidmat daripada YB yang menang pilihanraya tempohari bergerak dengan gerabak-gerabaknya memberikan satu nostalgia kepada dunia kenderaan darat dan erti kemodenan.  Gurun pasir dan Gurun Kedah – tempat yang sepi selepas 7 malam, tiada kehidupan kepada yang suka berseronok, tiada kegembiraan kepada yang suka berpesta.  Stesen minyaknya sunyi dengan seorang atendan menunggu santai kenderaan yang sudi berhenti.  Ini lah persamaan yang dapat aku rasakan.  Gurun Kedah terkenal dengan ayam KLGnya dan Gurun Pasir ini terkenal dengan “air chai”nya.

Kenangan ketika berada di Gurun Kedah sepanjang tempoh berkhidmat dengan NAZA atas tugasan yang pelbagai – dan kenangan melalui gurun pasir di Balochistan, Pakistan dan Mazar-I-Shariff sewaktu berkhidmat dengan Global Peace Mission Malaysia.

Ke Mazar-I-Shariff dalam Misi Bantuan Kemanusiaan untuk membantu banduan yang dipenjara di bandar Sherbagan.  Manakala perjalanan menempuh Balochistan dalam Misi Bantuan Kemanusiaan bagi membantu mangsa zalzalah (gempa bumi) di Bam, Iran  – masuk ikut pintu Mir Javah – pintu masuk melalui darat dari Pakistan. Tabik hormat kepada sifu yang turut gagah mengharung padang pasir luas walaupun ada “slip disc” – Tuan Haji Mohd Anuar Tahir dan Sdr. Khairil Anuar Khalid – mentor yang melatih aku di Uzbekistan.

Shahrul Peshawar, Kg. Baru

gambar Gunung Jerai (Mount Jerai) 3 – saya pinjam dari http://www.flickr.com/photos/zairi/ milik sdr. Zairi

gambar padang pasir, pakistan – saya pinjam dari http://www.flickr.com/photos/67068445@N00/ milik sdr. Rashid Aziz 1

 

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