QUETTA/ISLAMABAD -  Balochistan Assembly Deputy Speaker Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo has said that Army, local administration and philanthropists were helping earthquake-affected people; however, due to attacks on the part of militants they were facing hurdles in relief activities. “There should be a ceasefire for the sake of humanity,” he added.

Addressing a press conference in Quetta on Wednesday, he said that earthquakes on Sept 24th and Sept 28th caused massive destruction in Awaran, Mashkay and Kech where a number of villages were flattened.

Qadoos Bizenjo was elected from same Awaran district said, though Pak Army and other provincial officers were busy in relief activities, however, they were facing difficulties due to attacks carried out by militants.

He further said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had made schedule of his visit to the affected areas and it was expected that he would announce package for rehabilitation of the affected people.

Amid no let-up in attacks on the military troops in the quake-hit belt of Balochistan, the Pakistan Army has once again reiterated to reach out to majority of the earthquake victims that still needs urgent humanitarian assistance.

The announcement came in Islamabad on Wednesday but only after the military troops reportedly from 33 Infantry Division came under a rocket attack in Mashkay town of Awaran, a peripheral district of insurgency-plagued Balochistan province worst hit by last month’s earthquake. No loss in the fresh attack was reported.

The rocket had hit a deserted piece of land a few hundred yards away from an earthquake relief camp, a military source said.

This is the seventh attack on the military troops reported in less than a week. Till date, six military troops have been killed and as many injured in over a dozen attacks launched by the miscreants in Awaran, the military officially confirms.

Contrary to the army’s claims of providing humanitarian assistance to maximum quake survivors, the ground situation suggests that majority of the earthquake victims, measured in thousands, remains in dire need of the humanitarian help not been provided so far.

However, Military Spokesman Major General Asim Bajwa claims, the relief operations are improving. “Pace of relief efforts is at its full swing and is improving with every passing day,” he said Wednesday in a media release.

“A well-coordinated mechanism has been put in place where all government agencies responsible for disaster management in collaboration with army and FC (Frontier Corps) Balochistan are trying their best to reach every affected person and family.”

His statement lacked specifically mentioning the Wednesday attack saying, relief operations continue in earthquake-affected areas despite attempts to disrupt relief work and supply of goods by the terrorists. “No effort will be left to help our brethren in quake-affected areas of Balochistan.”

The general appreciated the cooperation of locals in extending what he said was all possible help to security forces for smooth conduct of the relief operations.

Earlier on Friday last, Bajwa had said that miscreants attacked army troops twice, once during Friday early morning and then later in the afternoon in Dandar area in Kech district. The miscreants on Thursday had carried out five attacks on troops engaged in relief activities in Mashkay area, the military spokesman had said to confirm that miscreants in the recent days targeted troops, security forces convoys and even helicopters busy in relief works several times to kill six security forces personnel and injure as many.

Last week on Monday, Maj-Gen Asim Bajwa had reiterated that security forces would retaliate if attacked again in Awaran, Khuzdar or any part of the quake-hit Balochistan. Since then, however, multiple attacks on Pakistan Army and its paramilitary wing FC that went un-retaliated appear to have greatly challenged the credibility of this reiteration.

Giving details of the relief operations Friday, Bajwa said that Karachi is the main supply hub of relief activities. He said, four forward operating bases have been established in the quake-affected region in Malar, Awaran, Mangoli and Mashkay. To speed up the supply of relief items, he furthered, two C-130 aircraft are being used to drop relief items at designated drop zones at Malar and Gishkor for distribution among affectees.

“A hectic aviation effort is underway to augment the relief work in the earthquake-affected areas of Balochistan. As many as 14 army aviation helicopters are being used and so far these helicopters have flown for 428 hours for the provision of timely relief goods to people in distress,” said the military spokesman.

Till date, he said, 36,843 tents and 3,308 tonnes of ration have been distributed among 62,429 quake victim families.

A field medical hospital and five mobile medical camps have also been established in Buzdar, Lubach, Mangoli, Parwar and Kokjo where 3,594 patients have been treated so far, according to Asim Bajwa.

He said four relief collection points have been established in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Quetta, adding, so far, 378 tonnes of ration and different relief goods have been dispatched to Karachi for onward transportation to Awaran.