Re: Famous TV Journalist says Killer Quake Wiped Out the Kashmir Dream
Oct 16, 2005 1:08 AM
"Barely three kilometres from (Indian Town) Uri, in the Pakistani town of Bagh, locals hunt their loved ones in the remains of homes, offices and schools, hands calloused and bloodied by sharp rocks and splintered timber.
'We are desperate for heavy machinery: drills, backhoes, anything that can help remove the debris and perhaps save lives,' said Abdul Qayyum, a Bagh schoolteacher. 'The government should send heavy machinery so we can get bodies or save those who are still alive.
If they can't help us, then let the Indian army over the border. They are only kilometres away.
What is more important - politics or lives?
We can hear the call to prayer from their mosques floating across the line of control. Their buildings are standing - they can help us.'
Qayyum, who was in his schoolyard in Bagh when the earthquake struck, said a quarter of its 800 students were buried when the classrooms crumbled. Nearly 100 bodies had been removed by yesterday - and a dozen survivors. Like others gathered around the remains of the school, he is adamant that pupils are still alive in there.
His anger is not directed at the cruel hand of nature but at the Pakistani government for doing nothing to help those trapped in the rubble.
According to Bagh magistrate Raja Mohammad Irshad, his government has failed the people.
'We are not mourning our dead today,' he said. 'We are mourning our ties with the government. We are asking whether they think we are human beings, or animals, or non-living things.'
'It is a week on, and aid is still not reaching remote hillsides. There is real danger that we will see further loss of life. Children lucky enough to have survived the earthquake have injuries that need urgent medical attention.
We urgently need more helicopters if we are to have any hope of saving them.'
As a result of the Pakistani government's failure to get aid to the most remote areas, Kashmiris living in towns like Bagh are turning for help to well-organised Islamic militant groups, officially banned by President Musharraf.
The United Jihad Council, a loose alliance of pro-Pakistan militant organisations, last week announced a temporary truce in the areas hit by the quake but warned it wouldn't allow Indian troops to carry out relief work in their territory.
The group's high-profile activities in recent days have angered the Indian military, reducing the already slim chance of it intervening in the area.
To make matters worse for Pakistani Kashmiris hoping to receive aid from the Indian side of the border, Islamabad has furiously denied newspaper claims that an Indian army patrol rescued Pakistani soldiers at a border post after a landslide flattened their bunker.
'There is absolutely no truth in it,' an army spokesman said. 'Indian soldiers have not crossed the line of control at any point, nor will this be allowed.'
The seemingly cursed valleys of Kashmir remain stuck in the same rut that has cost the lives of almost 80,000 people in the past decade.
This 'tit for tat' cross-border diplomacy, described by one Indian newspaper yesterday as 'business as usual', could soon lead to the deaths of thousands more."
Musharraf Musharraf Musharraf -- what is wrong with you cruel callous camouflaged man -- you have no compassion in your goddam heart for an average Pakistani disaster stricken family and their dying children.