Rehabilitation of earthquake victims: Libya to establish model village in Balakot; Saif-ul-Islam Al-Gaddafi lays foundation stone


BALAKOT, Oct 29 (APP): Saif-ul-Islam Al-Gaddafi, Chairman of Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Association and son of Libyan Leader, Colonel Muamar Al-Gaddafi laid the foundation stone of a model village here on Saturday. The Libyan dignitary is currently on a three-day visit to Pakistan to express the condolence of the Libyan government on the October 8 devastating earthquake, in which over 55,000 people lost their lives, with more than 77,000 injured and millions turned homeless. The model village to be established and financed by Libya for the quake-affected people of Balakot will have 100 quakeproof housing units. Saif-ul-Islam on the occasion also distributed the relief goods among the quake-stricken people on behalf of Libyan government and people. Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli and senior civil and military officials were present on the occasion. Aftab Sherpao and Anisa Zeb hailed the Libyan government for their timely support to Pakistan in this critical hour. They said, the establishment of a model village by Libya with their finance and other relief measures will further strengthen the existing warm relations between the two brotherly countries. Sherpao said, our people will always remember this humanitarian support of Libya, as Muamar Al-Gaddafi enjoys a lot of respect and popularity in Pakistan. Anisa Zeb termed the establishment of a model village by Libya "a novel way and a step in the right direction" to help the quake hit people. Saif-ul-Islam also visited Balakot city to see the devastation caused by the October 8 deadly earthquake. Saif-ul-Islam Al-Gaddafi, accompanied by Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao, earlier on Minister of State received arrival at a helipad in Balakot for Information and Broadcasting, Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, District Nazim, Sardar Muhammad Yusuf and senior civil and military officials. The Libyan dignitary was given a briefing at Brigade Headquarters, Balakot about the relief and rehabilitation work in quake hit areas of Balakot, Ghari Habibullah, Kawai and the mountainous areas of Kaghan valley. Brig. Abdul Quddus Khattak briefed the son of Libyan leader Muamar Al-Gaddafi about the relief activities, getting pace with every passing day. He was informed that six battalions of army including an engineering battalion have been deployed in the area with a number of forward bases at hilly areas to reach the inaccessible areas for distribution of relief goods and retrieving the injured. The Libyan dignitary was informed that over 19,000 people have so far been reported dead in the area, army teams evacuated most of them in Balakot, while 15,000 injured. He was informed that four main tentage villages have been established in Balakot area, where over 9000 quake affected people are being given shelter with food, bedding, clothing and health facilities. Brig Quddus said, around 10,000 tents in addition to tarpaulins and hundreds of tons of food stuff and other relief goods have been distributed among the quake affectees. "There is no dearth of food stuff or medicines", he said and added, however but we still need more tents to provide shelter to the people, as winter is fast approaching. Aftab Sherpao on this occasion informed Saif-ul-Islam that so far 180,000 tents have been provided to the shelter-less people in quake-hit areas of AJK and NWFP, while the required number of tents is 500,000. "Main need at this critical time is tents", the Minister added. Later, Aftab Sherpao told APP at Chaklala Airbase that the Libyan dignitary also had an aerial view of the quake hit Muzaffarbad, the capital of AJK. He said, Saif-ul-Islam Al-Gaddafi was on a special visit to Pakistan on the directives of his father and the Libyan leader, Muamar Al-Gaddafi.

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