Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced a relief package for the earthquake-affected people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir after a powerful tremor in the region killed at least 39 people. The premier reached AJK Monday, after returning
to the country from the United States, to express solidarity with the victims of the calamity. The premier chaired a meeting in Mirpur and was briefed about relief activities in the region and the damage suffered following the quake.
AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur and National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lt-Gen Mohammad Afzal also attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed in detail the strategy for rehabilitation of quake victims.
He also visited the District Headquarters Hospital to inquire after the health of some of the survivors being treated there. During his visit, he expressed his “grief” over the losses caused by the earthquake.
“A package is being prepared for the rehabilitation of earthquake affected people of AJK,” said the premier and assured to take immediate and every possible steps for the quake victims.
“I got to know about the earthquake at UNGA and I wanted to visit you immediately but alas my flight from the US got a bit delayed”, PM Imran added.
The government has already announced Rs500,000 each for the families of earthquake victims. “The people of Mirpur, who suffered […] losses, have my greatest sympathies. I can feel your pain.”
Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting, Firdous Ashiq Awan said the government would provide all possible assistance to the AJK government for early rehabilitation of quake-affected people and compensation of the damages.
In a series of tweets on Monday, she said the government was standing with the people in quake-hit areas.
She said under the direction of the prime minister “4,632 family tents, 476 shelter tents, 420 full tents, 6,700 blankets, 4,800 food packets, 50,000 water bottles, 500 kitchen sets, 200 mother and child kits and 200 gas cylinders have so far been distributed among the quake-affected people”.
According to Divisional Commissioner Chaudhry Tayyab, the number of the people with serious and minor injuries was 172 and 680, respectively, in Mirpur district. Of the seriously injured persons, 27 were still being treated at District Headquarters Hospital and three in the Combined Military Hospital, Mangla, while the rest had been discharged, he said.
Mirpur district suffered the most damage from the 5.6 magnitude earthquake, that rocked parts of Punjab as well as some of the country’s northern areas on September 24. About 40 people died, 38 of whom belonged to the Mirpur district, Tayyab had said.
Tayyab said the cheques for the amount would be distributed among dependants of the deceased on Monday, most probably by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider who had reached Mirpur to receive the prime minister.
Under the AJK Natural Calamities and Distressed Persons Act, 2011, compensation for each deceased and injured person is Rs150,000 and Rs50,000, respectively. The compensation for the destroyed or damaged concrete house is Rs100,000 and for the katcha house Rs60,000.