Remembering the Day of Reckoning

It will soon be a year since the earthquake struck our northern lands. Much has been said about the devastation caused by the disaster and even more has been said about the inefficiency of our government. Articles pertaining to both these things have found their way time and again on the front pages of newspapers and equal coverage has been given to these issues in the media.

However, amidst all this negativity, one major positive aspect has been ignored. No one has really come up and celebrated the spirit shown by the whole Pakistani nation. This spirit was something that rose out of nowhere. In fact, many people in the past have doubted the ability of this nation to rise in the time of need and devastation, and yet, when the earthquake struck, it woke up the nationalistic spirit within our society that had been dormant.

From thousands of volunteers working day and night at the PAF Air Base to hundreds of groups going to the north to help in the rehabilitation of the survivors, our people, especially the youth did more than what was expected of them. People who had observed our society for many years were overwhelmed with this sudden national unity and the were forced to applaud the wonderful effort of our people.

It is true that a lot more could have been done had the government and the respective agencies been efficient. It is also true that a lot of funds went missing and it is also true that a significant amount of supplies for the earthquake survivors found there way into the markets. But these actions aren’t representative of the average Pakistani. In fact, it may well be correct to say that the government and the agencies are not clear representatives of our people!

I felt proud to hear an elderly person tell me that the effort he had seen by the Pakistani youth had reminded him of the war effort in 1965 and the unity shown by the people freshened his memories of the unity that the Pakistani people had shown at the time of independence. i felt proud because my generation had done something parallel to the great feats that those before us had accomplished.

As I know look in the past at that day of reckoning, I realize that even though the earthquakes destroyed the homes of our brothers and sisters, it woke up the sleeping giant that had been within us for a long time.  And i believe that along with expressing sorrow over what happened a year ago, we must also celebrate the spirit that this nation showed after that day of reckoning

Uzair M. Younis SY-L

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  1. #1 by erum khan on October 6, 2006 - 5:30 am

    Your article does reflect what the Pakistani youth did. But unfortunately, don’t you think your attitude is one of comparing what we did to what the worst possible scenario was, which would have been to do nothing at all. The other day Fatima Bhutto was saying why shouldn’t we expect the best from our citizens and government. I can self critiscize that statement and say our government is this and our citizens are that, but the past should be left in one corner and we as a whole should act in the present or future. At the end of the day, as pessimistic as this sounds, almost one year after the earth quake, hardly any of the people who packed boxes upon boxes of food at the PAF remember that there once was an earthquake.
    But then again its human nature to be aware of something at the time that it is happening and hardly ever follow up to its consequences, when the consequence was actually more crucial than the event.

  2. #2 by Uzair M Younus on October 6, 2006 - 3:00 pm

    It is true that almost everyone has forgotten about the earthquake. With so much happenning around us these days, our focus shifts from one thing to another and we tend to forget about the major disasters that strike us. My point is that by celebrating the spirit that we showed at a time of despair, we can nurture more enthusiasm into the cause and make people realize that while they did do a magnificent job once the disaster struck, they must follow up with the same enthusiasm and unity to ensure that the whole process of helping those that were affected is completed.

  3. #3 by erum khan on October 6, 2006 - 4:35 pm

    Valid point. How can we, the world affairs society, take some steps into actualizing this point made by you ? 🙂 … any ideas ?

  4. #4 by Uzair M Younus on October 8, 2006 - 2:08 pm

    Well I had in mind a sort of small presentation or show in which we showed pictures of volunteers helping those who had survived…nd then someone should talk over the things that volunteers did to help those in need.
    oh nd one more thing…erum dont u think that this blog should be a place where people talk bout their views on issues rather than posting information about the current events?

  5. #5 by erum khan on October 9, 2006 - 6:38 pm

    Answer to the second statement – yes, you’re absolutely right… I was actually thinking that myself — alternatively, people can post an article and then in the comments section argue out their view … and discuss with others about it … like this very article of yours is a classic example … but aritcles with personal opinions, solutions and what-to-do on world issues is a must … !!! And the first idea is good … although the 1 year anniversary was yesterday … can u arrange for a mulitmedia presentation … we can always show it some day next week since everyone is SO tied up with sat this week ? what do u say ?

  6. #6 by Uzair M Younus on October 10, 2006 - 4:47 am

    well….like all ppl…i hav my sat too..nd then v hav the test week…nd then skewl gets over!!!! now tht sucks coz the presentation wuld need alotta wrk…pictures…sound…nd all tht….how bout makin up a team nd then wrkin together?

  7. #7 by Fahad Punjwani on October 12, 2006 - 4:13 pm

    Indeed it had been a year since the northern regions of Pakistan were hit by the earthquake. Thousand died, even more were injured and were homeless. Homes, schools, hospitals were destroyed. Some small villages were clean off from the surface of earth, becoming the largest graveyards on earth as the whole city was sucked in!!
    I definately agree that the spirit of the pakistani people, the support shown by the youth and the assistance from all over Pakistan is remarkable!! However, most of this assistance didnt reach the people in proper condition or didnt reach at all. With the increasing aid, increased the number of thefts from camps and aid-collection places. News of buses, which were loaded with aid for the people effected by the 8th October incident , being looted are not unheard of. Another winter has come and many of the people have still not received any help, any clothing or shelter.
    I belive that theres alot more that has to be done. It is we, the public, who has to shake the government so that it wakes up and puts the millions collected in charity into proper work.
    Also, as individuals or small groups, we should continue sending aid up north, to our brothers and sisters suffering from the bitter winter winds.
    We as grammarians, should also do something. The WAS should organise a small event in the auditorium and raise charity money. We could organise an art/sculpture exhibition along with bake sale. What do you say?

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