08/10: Life an year after the October 8 Earthquake, 2005

It has been a year today. Exactly 365 days ago, the people of South-East Asia faced the worst earthquake to hit the region in history. Of the nations in the area, India and Pakistan were mainly affected, Pakistan bearing the brunt of the damage. The areas which sustained the most damage were the North West Frontier Province and Kashmir (Azad Kashmir - Pakistani side of Kashmir).

The damage was on an astronomical level. The most affected were children. At the time of the earthquake, these children were in schools of questionable construction. After the earthquake, most of these children were buried under the rubble crying out for help while their frantic parents and other people tried to dig them out with bare bloody hands due to lack of any digging machinery or equipment. People at work were buried under the rubble. Whole buildings collapsed taking their occupants with them. Infrastructure worth billions of dollars was lost in a few minutes. Much more keenly felt and costly was the loss of human life and the suffering of the people after the tragedy. Whole villages were buried under the earth.

I remember writing down a few blog enteries on that same day and in the days following it. The collapse of the Margalla Towers in Islamabad hit the people here very hard.

Aid poured in from across the country; monetary, or otherwise. I remember well that people were looking for ways to help the affectees of the earthquake. The whole nation presented a united front. It made me immensely proud how everyone tried to help in any way possible. The roads were chocked from trucks and other transportation vehicles. Doctors left their hospitals/clinics here and rushed with medical equipment to Muzaffarabad and other affected places. Businessmen donated a lot of money. Children donated their savings for helping the affectees. Students formed teams and visited the affected areas with relief goods. Some teams even went from my own university. There were students at my university who had families in Muzaffarabad and they went with the teams sent there. I saw plenty of efforts on the internet for donations for this cause. Overall, the show of unity made me believe in humanity and how in times of need, our nation can unite to help our brethren in need.

Today, it has been a year since the tragic events of October 8 occured. A lot has been gained, much has been lost. People are still settling in after the earthquake and trying to return to normalcy. Many have been helped. Many still require help and are getting it. The aid effort goes on to re-establish cities, towns and villages.

I am very thankful to all the foreign teams who came to help us in our time of need. I equally thank all the Pakistani people who helped to the best of their abilities and resources. Nothing can bring back the lives lost to the incident. However, we can move on with the belief that we are one strong nation which can face any challenges thrown at us. And that is exactly what we are doing and will keep doing.

May Allah help us in our efforts; current and ongoing.

02/10: Musharraf's appearance on The Daily Show

While I read about Musharraf's appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show some days back, it was recommended to me to watch the actual video. I went through the complete show today and enjoyed it quite a bit.


The gesture with the jasmine tea was a nice one. The opening lines by Jon Stewart were quite amusing especially the "twinky" comment and then when he jumped the Osama bin Laden question on an unsuspecting Musharraf, I could tell that Musharraf was a bit surprised but he answered back confidently. Other parts of interest were about whether Bush listened to Musharraf and that Musharraf was calm in the face of various threats he faces for being at the forefront of the war on terror to which Musharraf replied, "Yes".

Musharraf did not fall victim to Jon Stewart's usual antics. However, that may be because Jon Stewart was going light on him, or at least that's how it seemed to me.

It was enjoyable watching it and I would definitely recommended it to other people. At least, you will get a few laughs from it!


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