On September 24, Awaran district of Balochistan was hit by a terrible earthquake. Like previous such calamities the army and FC promptly acted as asked by the government. Army units moved from Khuzdar and Karachi to help the stranded people. Relief efforts were politicized and militarized to the disadvantage of affected populace. The militants and their foreign collaborators opposed relief activities by army and FC and repeatedly attacked the security forces providing the relief work.

Miscreants have created a coercive atmosphere in the area where public feels awfully frightened and in order to avoid a backlash from the outlaws, people refrain from even giving statements. The environment in Balochistan is suppressed and the media needs to be bold in order to act as an independent observer to find out what the people really think and want. To know the inner feelings of people who have been provided food, shelter, clothes and medicine by the authorities, our media should meet them and get their real stories.

M A JAVED,

Lahore, December 5.