MIRPUR (AJK)-The quake-hit population of Mirpur and adjoining areas has expressed concerns over the snail’s pace process of rehabilitation and resettlement of the life to the pre-September 24 devastating catastrophe regime that had left hundreds of thousands of people shelter-less besides loss of billions of rupees to residential and commercial properties in the city and in its outskirts.

Civil Society here has wondered that despite huge losses to life and property in September 24 deadly earthquake that shook the foundation of the entire city and adjoining areas of Kharee Shareef, there seems no solid policy and plan conceived by the AJK government’s higher Archie sitting at the State’s capital.

Expressing grave concern over the ugly state of affairs depicting the traditional apathy of the AJK government, President Mirpur-AJK Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ch Javed Iqbal categorically said that Mirpur, again, as all time previous, seems becoming the target of traditional regional prejudice vis-à-vis the course of the rehabilitation of the area on political grounds.

In an interview to this Correspondent here on Saturday, Javed, holding the office of the AJKCCI President for 4th consecutive time, alleged that the delaying tactics in launch of immediate due reconstruction and rehabilitation process in the quake-stricken town so far, have emerged as the cause of grave concern among the local population in general and the victims of the calamity in particular.

The AJKCCI president suggested to the AJK government - especially the Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider to immediately move for ensuring the timely beginning of reconstruction and resettlement process under the same sympathetic spirit and approach as was shown in the deadly October 8, 2005 devastating catastrophe in Muzaffarabad and other adjoining areas of the State as well as the KPK province.

Javed Iqbal emphasized the need for ensuring the vibrant role and use of latest means of international donor agencies and institutions in the quake-hit Mirpur pattern on the swift rehabilitation process exercised in quake-hit AJK zone soon after the October 8, 2005 catastrophe. He emphasized the need for grant of immediate inlet to the foreign donors from the friendly countries, seeking to jump into the noble cause for revival of life in the calamity-hit Mirpur without further loss of time - especially in view of the start of winter season.

Javed strongly suggested to the ruling political elite particularly that sitting in Muzaffarabad to practically move to ink and implement the integrated plan for early revival of life in quake-stricken Mirpur and adjoining affected areas to save the victims from further losses.

Commenting on the tragic post-quake prevailing situation in the affected zone, renowned social-worker - cum analyst Waheed Iqbal said that it is enjoined upon the AJK government to ascertain the causes of the deadly earthquake soon after the catastrophe hit major parts of Mirpur and adjoining belt.

Talking to this Correspondent here on Saturday, he said that the State government should have engaged seismic experts to ascertain basic reasons of the catastrophe that threw this model and developed district of Azad Jammu & Kashmir into stone-age following huge damage to hundreds of thousands of buildings in Mirpur sub division.

Referring to the recent general public apprehension about raising of water level in Mirpur-based Mangla reservoir, Waheed suggested to the governments of Pakistan and AJK to conduct a study report to ascertain the basic cause of the calamity in the backdrop of the public opinion about raising of the water level in the country’s second largest reservoir.

To a question, Waheed Iqbal lauded the NDMA-like reconstruction and rehabilitation institutions of the government of Pakistan for their so far and their upcoming vibrant role for reconstruction and rehabilitation of life in the quake-hit zone. He urged upon the government of AJK to focus on early rehabilitation and resettlement by taking benefit of the offered services of the National Disaster Management Authority and other identical institutions of the government of Pakistan, without any political prejudice - besides inviting foreign donors from friendly and brotherly countries - seeking to contribute in reconstruction and rehabilitation of the calamity-hit Mirpur.

In this connection, he added that since the incumbent government in Azad Jammu & Kashmir belongs to the PML-N and the PTI-led government in Pakistan, there should not be any political prejudice or space among the ‘N’ - led AJK rulers especially at this stage when the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan-led PTI regime has already announced due liberal financial and otherwise assistance for rehabilitation in the calamity-hit Mirpur Azad Jammu Kashmir.