Pak Mulls Over Building New Cities In PoK
13 October 2005
Islamabad: Pakistan government was mulling over a proposal to move thousands of survivors killer temblor in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) to Punjab and Sindh provinces and considering plans to build new cities including the destroyed PoK capital, Muzafarabad as the official death toll crossed 25,000. As the international aid poured in and relief activities stepped up, Prime Minister Shuakt Aziz said Pakistan planned to build new cities in PoK and North West Frontier Province rather than rebuilding the old ones which were completely destroyed in the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. With over 80 to 85 per cent government and private buildings were destroyed in the region, the government was left with the task of locating the survivors, clear the dead and later shift millions of tonnes of concrete rubble out of narrow and congested hill terrain. He assured that proper land would be provided to the actual inhabitants even while rebuilding the cities. The city to be rebuilt included the 345 year old PoK capital, Muzafarabad where all government structures including the houses of the President, Prime Minister, Secretariat, courts, jails, hospitals Assembly buildings were destroyed in the quake. Media reports here said PoK President Sardar Anwar and Prime Minister Sikandar Hayat had already shifted to Islamabad, while other ministers, legislators and political leaders have also followed suit. PoK Minister Shirin Wahid, her husband and thirteen close relatives and twelve relatives of Prime Minister's adviser Raja Farooq Haider were killed in the earthquake.