Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has Wednesday said that her statement regarding earthquake was misrepresented on social media .

The SAPM talked to media in Mirpur after visiting the Divisional Hospital. She maintained that she was not immediately aware of the destruction caused by the earthquake, and her comments were misstated by a specific media group.

Firdous Ashiq Awan condemned the remarks that were linked with her statement on social media . She urged all to remain united in this difficult time and help the affected people regardless of political affiliations.

The special assistant said federal government will fully compensate the losses suffered by the people due to earthquake in Azad Kashmir and will evolve a way forward for the relief and rehabilitation of the quake affected people after discussing the issue with Azad Kashmir government and the National Disaster Management Authority.

She said twenty four people were killed and five hundred others wounded in the calamity. Three hundred and seventy seven people have been discharged after treatment and fifteen critical patients have been shifted to CMH, she added.

Firdous Ashiq Awan assured that the divisional hospital of Mirpur will be provided with all the necessary equipment including the portable X-Ray to treat those who are wounded in the quake. 

Earlier, while addressing a digital media workshop, Awan said, “This restiveness is a sign of change that the earth has also taken a turn. Maybe this early change is also not acceptable to it,” she said with a smile on her face.

Awan was heavily criticised for her remarks, which came after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook several parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa provinces.

Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari tweeted an apology on the government’s behalf. “The Information SAPM's remarks on the earthquake were insensitive, absolutely inappropriate and most certainly had nothing to do with govt viewpoint. Human suffering can never be made light of.”

She added, “Since govt means collective responsibility I apologize for the shock and hurt felt by the SAPM's insensitive and inappropriate remarks on the earthquake and her jocular tone on an issue of human suffering.”