Sunday, December 25, 2005

Remembrance Week - 26th December, 2005 - 1st January, 2006

WWH Remembrance WeekLast year, on the 26th December, an earthquake, and then a tsunami, killed, wounded, or impoverished hundreds of thousands of people in South Asia.

During the course of the year, other disasters took their toll too. Most devastating of them: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the South-East coast of the USA; and another enormous earthquake near Pakistan's border with India.

These disasters took their immediate toll, and, each time, the world tried to help. But as calamity piled upon calamity, there has been a certain amount of fatigue. Perhaps people's stock of goodwill has run low. Perhaps seeing too much suffering hardens us.

But, the fact is, the suffering from those disasters has not ceased. Parts of South Asia have still not recovered from December 26th, 2004. In the USA, normalcy hasn't returned to New Orleans. In Pakistan, thousands are still homeless, and may not survive the harsh Himalayan winter.

They need your help.

Last December and this January, the online community came together as never before to help in the aid efforts in South-East Asia. The lessons learned there were put to use, and improved upon, when the other tragic events of the year unfolded.

Can we harness that goodwill, that togetherness, that willingness to help once more?

The WorldWideHelp group would like you to join us in Remembrance Week. Here's what we suggest you do.

WWH Remembrance WeekUse your blogs, your home pages, your wikis, your newsletters. Link to your favourite charities and NGOs, write a paragraph about them and the work they are doing, and ask your readers to make a donation. (If you'd like to find some more charities and NGOs, please take a look at this page on our TsunamiHelp wiki, this one on our KatrinaHelp wiki, or this one on our QuakeHelp wiki.)

Please link back to this page to help pass the word. You can use the image above.

Please use this Technorati Tag: .
Here's the code:
<a href="" rel="tag">Disaster Remembrance Week</a>

In this post, we have a few more banners and buttons, with intructions on the code you must post to use them.

Disaster Remembrance Week

Hi all! First, i wish you and your families have a wonderful Christmas. Strangely, although I never celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday, just kinda freeloaded off my friends and never got to see santa. Sad innit:?!

Anyway, i hope that you are having fun holidays and are getting ready for the jump into 2006.

Now, If we look back into retrospect and try to understand what this year has brought for us, each of us will have a different thought, some may share thoughts and those who don't have any thoughts are probably busy planning someone else's thoughts.

As you all know, the world over has suffered tremendous loss, damage and destruction with the help of Katrina, the tsunami and just recently the quake in Pakistan and neighboring countries. The important thing is to move on, learn from the loss and create mechanisms that allow for less loss of life in the future. Look at the Japanese. They get hit by approximately 800 earthquakes a year. Incidentally, the quake in Pakistan has caused about 2000 tremors and quakes since Oct 8th, but thats cause the plates are still in motion.

A friend of mine has a theory that Mother Nature is pissed off and, well, i'm sure you could all imagine the ramifications of that, if you believe it. I don't have an opinion, I think the things that have happened this year and even in the last five years have happened out of human control but are the cause of our negligent living and thoughtless decisions made towards improving our own lives. We can get into that another time, just remember to be kind to people around you, you never know who you will bump into and what they have suffered from.

Have a wonderful holiday season everyone and try to be a little naughty, I think santa has got a kinky side too ;)

P.S. Please visit this blog and spread the word for Remembering and honoring the victims of 2005 Disasters and those who have given up their lives trying to save others.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jobs at RSPN

Hello you readers, you! Things have been quite busy in the relief world. Firstly, a quick update on this avid R&R guy's life...

Just finalized some new contracts for relief and rehab for AJK and NWFP, which will commence in the coming days and will be implemented in Rawalakot (AJK) and Mansehra and Battagram (NWFP)

Going to the US tomorrow for a little break. Since October 8th, the quake has been my life pretty much and I have not even had time these last few weeks to update this blog. I can tell that the readers have slowly faded...tis sad, but oh well.

Anyway, since I will be officially MIA, you can definately not expect any updates until i get back (4th of Jan - My bday)

Here are some job openings at my organization if anyone is interested, kindly follow the procedure:



The Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) is seeking dynamic, creative and committed professionals for the following positions. The RSPN provides strategic support, policy linkages and programme stopping services to its ten member RSPs. RSPN works closely with government and NGOs in order to mainstream ‘social mobilisation’ into poverty reduction initiatives in Pakistan.

1. Chief Operating Officer

  • Act on behalf of and represent the CEO in his/her absence
  • Assist the CEO in providing strategic guidance to the RSPN team
  • Oversight of RSPN Special Projects
  • Resource mobilisation for RSPN sustainability, in consultation with the CEO
  • Oversee Finance, Administration and Human Resource Management at RSPN

Specific criteria: Ten years experience in development programmes. Sound management and team leading abilities. A minimum of a Masters degree, preferably in the Social Sciences.

2. Specialist Policy Research and Advocacy

  • Undertake a strategic assessment of key public policies in order to work towards strategic alliances between government and RSPs
  • Foster linkages with government and non-government agencies in order to promote social mobilisation as a critical tool for poverty alleviation, based on hands-on experience of the RSP best practice
  • Bring in intellectual input from reputable learning institutes and identify new areas of research collaboration for input into public policy for poverty alleviation programmes
  • Build working partnerships with international and national academic institutions and the private sector for research
  • Facilitate policy dialogues, workshops and seminars between RSPs, government, donors, elected representatives, other NGOs and the private sector
  • Build a repository of policy research documents of a high caliber at the RSPN

Specific criteria: Ten years experience in development programmes. Sound management and team leader abilities. Public sector experience is an added advantage. A minimum of a Masters degree, preferably in the Social Sciences.

3. Rural Economist

  • Design baseline and impact assessment studies to assess Rural Support Programme impact
  • Manage data analysis of baseline and impact studies through specialised computer programmes and ensure high quality analysis and documentation.
  • Identify, with the M&E Specialist, research areas relevant to RSPs and supervise studies in the field.
  • Train RSP M&E staff in M&E skills
  • Ensure documentation of studies and organise their dissemination both within and outside the RSPs.
  • Conduct special evaluation studies for RSPs through third party validation and ensure completion on time and proper dissemination
  • Plan and organise workshops and seminars to dissemination documented work on baselines, impact assessments, research studies and special evaluations
  • Any other assignments given by the Specialist M&E of RSPN

4. Manager Governance & Decentralisation

  • Provide policy level input to identify and strengthen linkages between RSPs and local
  • government structures
  • Identify areas of policy dialogue between RSPN, the RSPs and organisations and government
  • agencies working directly on devolution.
  • Explore and identify linkages between Local Support Organisations (clusters of Community
  • Organisations) and local government structures
  • Analyse and assess the role and linkages of Community Organisations with local government
  • structures.
  • Explore linkages between CCBs and RSP-fostered community organisations and their cluster
  • bodies
  • Identify capacity building needs of RSPs and local governments in order to strengthen linkages between RSPs and local governments.
  • Provide inputs to the RSPs for their work with district governments ie new and effective
  • partnerships and modes of service delivery (social sector and other services)
  • Document and disseminate best practices in the area of community governance mechanisms and
  • their linkages with governments

Specific criteria: A Master degree in the Social Sciences. 4-5 years of work experience in a development agency or NGOs or as a consultant in work related to devolution. Familiarity with the local government system. Excellent oral/written communication skills in English.

5. Manager Human Resources

  • Review and modify procedures for management of RSPN’s human resources
  • Determine and enforce through functional groups – legal, regulatory and safety requirements in accordance with current regulations
  • Assist member RSPs in reviewing and updating their human resource departments, rules and regulations
  • Ensure administrative support to all the programme sections of RSPN.
  • Supervise and administrate the support and RSPN auxiliary staff
  • Maintain and update required documentation of personnel employed in RSPN
  • Work with employees to ensure conformity with quality human resource management systems.
  • Any other assignments given by the Supervisor

Specific Criteria: Applicants should have a degree in Human Resources Management with at least five years experience in managing human resources personnel and activities and a minimum of three years in human resources management.

6. Two Programme Officers Social Sectors (One for Education & One for Health)

  • Assist the Specialist for Social Sectors in strategic planning, programme development and resource mobilisation for education, health and family planning programmes for RSPs
  • Plan advocacy initiatives related to social sector programming with government and other specialised social sector agencies
  • Assist the Specialist Social Sectors in coordination with government for special initiatives between government, other agencies and the RSPs
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with relevant government ministries, district/local governments, NGOs (technical, academic and professional groups), international NGOs and agencies UN agencies, and other partners for programme development and policy-relevant research
  • Establish partnerships nationally and internationally with reputed technical and research institutions for assistance in RSP social sector programme development and government-RSP linkages
  • Documentation, evaluation and dissemination of RSP special initiatives in the social sectors
  • Promote effective programme learning through technical input into RSP programmes
  • Identify and contribute to training opportunities for RSP social sector staff

General Requirements

  • Computer proficiency is essential for all the posts.
  • Strong team work skills and abilities are essential
  • Extensive travel is a requirement of all posts

Candidates fulfilling the above criteria may send their applications to The Rural Support Programmes Network, House # 7, Street 49, F-6/4, Islamabad or through email to: latest by 20th December, 2005. Only short-listed candidates will be called for interviews. Applicants who have applied previously need not reapply.

RSPN is an equal opportunity employer.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Paper work sucks

Once again I managed to stay M.I.A. for sometime.

Getting involved in the NGO world is not always what one might perceive it to be. Unfortunately, there is a lot of catching up to do before getting thrown into the field. It's funny that I always thought that field work was not something I was meant to ever do. Some part of me still agrees with that, but the majority of me is very content.

Officially, I have only made a couple trips up north -- one with a donor and one to do distribution monitoring in Bagh.

Since many of you may still not know what exactly it is that I do, I am a project manager for two earthquake related projects, being implemented in Bagh, Mansehra and Battagram.

One project, with CARE International, is just distribution of emergency relief provisions to some 2000 identified households in Battagram, Mansehra and Bagh. This is just giving them preassembled CARE packages of basic household needs (including tents) to get people on their feet with rebuilding their lives.

The other, the bigger one, is a housing project for people in the same districts (in NWFP and AJK). We have yet to commence that as the project was recently approved. This one is with Department for International Development.

The last couple of weeks have been spent mainly catching up with whats going on, getting information and being buried in tons of paperwork and contractual agreements, etc.

This is definately a great start to a wonderful and very rewarding career. I hope that things materialize faster for the needy than they are right now because, well...we don't want there to be no one left to save by snowfall...that would be very upsetting and careless.

I will be rather infrequent about my posts for some time, at least until I get my shit together because work between the office and the field keeps me away from luxury and citizen reporting very often.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Just to let you know that I am still alive. The projects are really quite something, if they work the way they have been proposed. I am looking forward to getting into them head on. It's quite exciting that I will be responsible for the management of these projects.

I will be traveling to Bagh tomorrow for the day, Mansehra for the day on Friday and then to Mansehra and Allai on Monday for the night.

good times...!

Friday, November 11, 2005

New Contact Info

I would like to inform everyone that my career path has taken a tremendous change. I will be commencing work with an NGO, RSPN, to do relief work in the North. I will be managing the Relief & Rehab project for 6 months in NWFP and AJK.

My new contact info (cell number) is posted above. Please take note of it.

Thanks and welcome to the world of sustainable development?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Out with the Private, In with the NGO

I am officially now out of the private employment service. Because of the impact this quake has had on me, and the circumstances otherwise, I have decided to avail an opportunity to work with an NGO, heading a project for Relief and Rehabilitation in NWFP and AJK.

I gave in my resignation today and will be starting work with the NGO (RSPN) on Monday Nov 14.

I will now be officially doing whatever I have done and what I will continue to do so. I hope that I can do a good job helping people regain their lives, rekindle the sparkle of life in their eyes and give them a promise that our generation will not fail Kashmir. When we say we want what is best for Kashmir, we will mean it for the people, not the land.

I know there will be difficulties and obstacles, but without them you cannot appreciate the achievements and milestones during this time of need.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Balakot n back

Just returned from an overnight trip to Balakot yesterday. Here are the updates:

1. U.A.E. military and medical team have an enormous setup just a kilometer short of Balakot
2. Camps, camps and more camps setup all along Balakot, just up to the main bridge
3. Quakes & Tremors are still popping in for the occasional visit

New Pictures available in Flikr Album >> scroll below to see them on the right

The morning we woke up, there was a tremendous quake at about 7 am (November 6, 2005) and it really shook up everyone. I was on the phone with someone who was in Balakot while i was at the SRSP office in Mansehra and we both felt it pretty bad. My travelmate was occupied at a very awkward moment when the shakes came and he was worried about not being allowed in to heaven because angels wouldn't touch him in the state he was in. I was outside the building (atop a small hill) when it happened and i was worried about the roof caving in on him while i was outside enjoying the cool morning breeze.

Anyway, things have changed a lot. I learned that about 75% of the Balakot population has perished completely. What remains is, well, rubble and bruises with some broken bones. I went all the way to the end of Balakot this time and saw what used to be a 5 story hotel, leveled with the river below.

Winter is setting in and the effects are visible, especially at night. Day time is still quite warm though.

Get those donations and volunteers to pour in!

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Eid Mubarak

In the midst of the dust, we should not forget that today the moon has shown itself and that marks the end of the Holy month of Ramzan for the entire Muslim world (give or take a day or two) so I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers and those who have really broken their backs trying to help Pakistan get back on its feet.


Spread the word! Campaigns will keep this cause alive

Hey ya'll!

It seems that the media is now beginning to focus on other global matters and that is utterly important. However, the media does have the power of informing the world on a larger scale, that which we as citizen reporters cannot, and that is Television - one in every household (ideally).

The fact is that there are still plenty of rocks unturned and we may not have even found half the dead yet so we don't know if 70,000+ is even remotely the closest number to the already dead. The issue at hand is also that we have around 3,000,000 homeless people right now and many of them are suffering from cold, disease, hunger, sorrow / misery (for loss of loved ones and belongings), greed, displacement and so forth.

We, as the people, must constantly reinvent methods and ways of carrying on this cause to help alleviate these people, hopefully on a permanent level. Take the tsunami for example, I have not heard a little bit on it for months now and I am quite sure that the damage is still no where near cleaned up and bodies still remain lost or unidentified. That damage was immense, but the media has forgotten about it. As unfortunate as it is, unless we can string our efforts on a combined basis to promote the same awareness for the sake of
humanity then we have much at stake. People always tell me how happy they are to see how moved the youth of Pakistan is about quake relief work and how they are glad that we are so dedicated and involved. The youth has financial limits along with family concerns. Parents don't like their children to be too involved because of the fear of disease, clashes with victims, exhaustion and many other issues.

I would like to invite you to help promote a campaign

- BeGivingBeHuman -

I would like to create awareness amongst the people of the global community to remember that this is still an issue at hand and we need continual help. I am getting some wristbands made that will have SHAKETHEQUAKE printed on them. If anyone is interested in helping promote, bring to light or to pass on the word about this, please let me know. I don't want to bomb people with spam emails or harass. I want to make information available to people discreetly, yet obviously so they are not bothered by it but notice it - like the candy on the cashier counter at a gas station.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Highest Donor

I would like to take a moment to thank my good friend ****, who has just donated $1000 US (One Thousand Dollars) to the Earthquake Relief Effort. **** and I became friends at **** University and when he found out about the earthquake, he promptly called me from the US to find out how I am and now my family is. I think that the trust we developed over those years allowed for him to believe that providing the money to our effort was the most appropriate as he had the choices of larger, more established organizations such as ICRC, CARE, UNICEF, UNHCR, RELIEF and others to donate to.

Thanks ****, you the man! Your money is going to not only help boost our effort, but also provide for more people than we hoped.

Google Earth Dynamic overlay for Pakistan

Thanks to Anne Wright & Randy Sargent from the Global Connection team who have been working on the GEarth overlay of affected areas & sent us more good news via email:

A Pakistan dynamic overlay containing 1-meter imagery and maps for
* Muzaffarabad
* Abbottabad
* Mansehra
* Murree

is available at

* 10 maps from DLR / Space Imaging, available from

The dynamic overlay is now public!
(Please fee free to redistribute the overlay and images)

Source: QuakeHelp

Monday, October 31, 2005

Who is to blame for or them?

It is now day four since I started working on my new project. This camp is really something else. Let me first explain the dynamics of the setup itself, how the population continues to increase daily and we do not have either the manpower or the resources to support the camp, but we will keep trying to do what we can with what little we do have. God give us strength - *God hands Zohare a redbull, "Drink Redbull, it gives you wingsss!"

This place is a mess. We don’t have enough supplies to provide for the numbers of people that keep rolling in because we never know how many to expect each day. its really difficult and then containing those already there, reassuring them they will get pots, pans, tents, blankets, quilts, medical attention, food, bathrooms, water, security....the list just doesn't stop.

Every night it is the same routine. We have to be so careful when we bring in supplies. Other pvt. Groups come in and they presume to know all about what needs to be done. They insist our system sucks, whereas we can't get it functional because every time we try, someone else comes and screws it up by coming between and stopping progress. Pvt. Groups need to work together; they treat it like it’s a damn competition. relief takes time and these people don't even need as much attention as we give them because our energy would be better spent climbing mountains to get supplies to people who have not yet been reached, over wasting time arguing with these useless journalists and reporters who believe in breaking the system to make it work.

We are stupid that we spend so much time there with these people, building relationships, asking questions, noting down demographic data, establishing a background and history. All I tell them is let's put our effort together and funnel the work so it gets distributed evenly. We have 3000 people at this camp and we cannot deem it reasonable for a small truck to bring in supplies enough for 100 people. The givers will give and those who take, most likely those who have already gotten more than double their share, will take more. When the givers leave, then we have to tell the people who were unable to get, why they did not and what makes them less deserving and why they should have to wait longer. I must be crazy, but I honestly do NOT thing it is reasonable to bring just enough for less than 1/30 of the population, then distribute it in front of everyone.

My suggestion is, if anyone would listen, that we complete our demographic survey - detailed - which everyone of these interrupting assholes thinks they do mentally just as good as we do on paper - and then work with us to provide all the right things we tell them that the people need, based on what they tell us themselves. Our efforts would be funneled and streamlined through one, thorough source, ensuring everyone gets what they need. We just need a couple of uninterrupted days to complete the data and then the people in the camp will be happy and so will the donating groups!

They want to show such excitement about helping, they should go up to the valleys and villages that are inaccessible. That is a system that sucks! That is a system that needs crazy help, not us. We just need patience, cooperation, civility and supplies.

On another note, people around me are so in awe of the fact that many Kashmiris come to Pakistan saying they are in "Pakistan" as though it is an entirely different country! I don't understand why Pakistanis are so God Damn NAIVE! For 50 Years we have cried "BLOODY MURDER BLOODY MURDER, KASHMIR KASHMIR!!!" What the hell have we done for the people of Kashmir. By people, I don't mean the pigs who are ministers and senators and other politician bastards, but the actual people who live atop a high mountain, the people who have to walk 45 minutes down a 50 degree angle to get groceries from the closest market, then walk back up with the shit on their shoulders! When they needed us, we didn't do shit for them and now we expect them to be greatful for what we do for them? NO! We owe much more to them than this entire relief campaign will provide! If we wanted Kashmir so damn bad, Pakistan would have the people's support. Pakistan would have given priority to the women, children and men over the land.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Village Data & Updates

Relief inforamtion System for Earthquake in Pakistan (Rise-Pak) is a website which provides and gathers Demographic, Disaster, Access, and Assistance data and maps on all Earthquake Affected Villages to Help Coordinate Relief Efforts. Thier web address is

Please visit this website for any information related to affected areas. If you have any information to submit, please feel free to fill in the form and submit it. All the relavent information is available on their website.

On another note, I have officially taken another project on my plate as of today. Me and a few friends, the ones i initially got started on this whole relief thing with, have taken ownership of a tent camp that has been setup right on Murree road. All the residents there are coming in mainly from Kashmir. It is a mess and our job will be to clean up the mess, create an organized system and hand it over to some others who can then maintain and manage it (hopefully!). This camp is located on Murree Road enroute to Barakoh. It is about 1 Kilometer short of the Barakoh entrance (main bazaar).

If anyone wants to volunteer, we need the help! contact me (+92-333-528-9108) and we can see how you can lend your services to us and at least help this small group of about 3000 people. The average increase in refugees is about 20-30 people per day. We have officially done a census and I have compiled an excel spreadsheet of all the residents. It is in its final stages and then we will commence registering people electronically instead of on paper, to ensure it does NOT get misplaced.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I got tents

Hush...found lots of tents in three sizes

All sizes are in feet and they are made of canvas

1. 12x15 - sleeps 8-10 people - Rs. 3500
2. 15x18 - sleeps 12-16 people - Rs. 5000
3. 15x21 - sleeps 20-26 people - Rs. 6000

contact me if you need any. I can have them made and delivered in two days time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Money, More Solutions!

With the help of an independent group of students here from Dubai, I will be helping organize a series of fundraising concerts at Al Hamra III (located in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore). We are looking to raise as much money as possible so our output will be at a minimum and our input at max. We would appreciate any help with publicity, sponsorship and any other assistance.

If anyone is able to and is interested in helping, please call me @ +92-333-528-9108 or Arsalan @ +92-321-405-0432 for more information.

Just like the rugby match, we hope that this will be a success, an even bigger one if possible, considering the cause. Many people trust us with the intentions of making sure the money and awareness is put to good use. We hope that you too can confide in us as we have many aspirations for the unfortunate victims of this travesty.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Nilofer urges immediate food supplies for children

Advisor to prime minister for women development, Nilofer Bakhtyar, has appealed to provide children food in relief camps set up in quake hit areas. In a statement released in Islamabad, Nilofer appealed for urgent supply of children food, milk and pampers. Those interested in supplying these items may coordinate this effort by contacting her at 9202435.

Source: Geo TV

Wiring Instructions -If you want to donate

Wiring Instructions from USA, England and the rest of Europe ($,£ and €)

Please Fedwire US Dollars ($) _________________________(amount) to

Habib American Bank,
99 Madison Avenue New York,
10016-7419, USA

Favoring Union Bank limited a/c No. 2072-9508 for onward credit
To Zohare Haider
Maintaining A/c No. 5801-172877-050
with Union Bank Limited, F-7 Markaz, Islamabad.



Please Fedwire Pound Sterling (£)
_________________________(amount) to

National Westminister Bank,
25 Old Broad Street ,London

Favoring Union Bank Limited A/C No. 440004461894 for onward credit
To Zohare Haider
Maintaining A/c No. 5801-172877-050
with Union Bank Limited, F-7 Markaz, Islamabad.



Please Fedwire Euro (€)
_________________________(amount) to

Dresdner Bank Ag,
Frankfurt, Germany.

Favoring Union Bank Limited Karachi Pakistan, A/C No. 812774811 for onward credit to beneficiary Zohare Haider
Maintaining A/c No. 5801-172877-050
with Union Bank Limited, F-7 Markaz, Islamabad.


The truth is frustrated and the facts are faded

I just received an email from someone who wanted to know the truth involved in a msg they received. This email will remain anonymous for the sake of privacy, but from what I remember when I was up there, this email paints a very accurate and appropriate picture.

I do have my reservations about what was said regarding P.I.M.S. as I have been going there quite frequently during the first few days after the victims started pouring in and I think that for its capacity, the community is doing quite well for its medical facilities. Many people have been kind enough to setup local satellite hospitals to take the load off major hospitals such as P.I.M.S. to help recovering patients etc. Although I had a positive angle about that, I am not a doctor and the gentleman who wrote this email is so he would certainly have a better understanding of the scenario.

I did imagine things to be this chaotic and the beureaucats in their high chairs need to put their jeans on and some duct tape on their incessent lips and go do some real work instead of yapping on tv like celebrities.

**Also please note I HAVE TENTS COMING IN, SO IF YOU NEED TO DISTRIBUTE OR KNOW OF PEOPLE WHO ARE, KINDLY CONTACT ME FOR FURTHER ARRANGEMENTS. These are canvas tents 12x15 feet tents and are 3300 rps a piece. If you need them in larger numbers, let me know and I can arrange for them to be made and delivered to Islamabad.**

I have just returned to Rawalpindi from Garhi Dupatta in Azad Kashmir. To be honest, I have not read any of the previous correspondence on this site -it is too painful to get involved in the petty nonsense that some people are involved in and the "holier than thou" Quranic Jargon that is being thrown in each other’s faces. If this offends someone, then so be it. I think that is important to know what is going on up there and what can be done to truly help.

THE SITUATION IN ISLAMABAD: First of all, with each passing day, hundreds are dying. I was invited to work at PIMS, so I spent a few hours there on Monday. There appears to be no sense of urgency there. To me, it seemed like just another day at a government hospital. Loads of patients in the hallways. Dozens of school kids in uniform running around, medical students involved in heavy duty poondi, junior resident level doctors sitting around in their respective offices, no attendants in sight and absolutely nothing being accomplished. There was one wound being debrided in the operating room. The CEO (or equivalent thereof) asked me to relax and rest for a couple of days! The chief of surgery happened to drop by for a meeting. I offered my services and he was quite offended by my remarks that not much appeared to be going on. I was told that in the preceding 8 days, they had placed 12 chest tubes and had performed 1 splenectomy. He was proud of their achievement. Tens of thousands dead, uncountable others injured - quite an achievement indeed. The ICU had nine patients in it. Nine. On our insistence, they agreed to send us to Mansehra.

MANSEHRA: Drove to Mansehra. The destruction becomes evident past Abbottabad. You can see the images on TV. The smell of death however has to be experienced. The government degree college in Mansehra is now a makeshift hospital. 2nd year med-students were dealing with infected open fractures, using diclofenac as pain medication. I spoke with the Swiss orthopedic surgeon running the outfit. He offered us positions as floor nurses. Literally. When I insisted that we had much more to offer, he quite impolitely asked us to leave. Balakot is about two hours from Mansehra. There is no building left standing. There are hundreds still decaying in the open. After dark, every vehicle is looted by the desperate locals. It is hell on earth. We chose not to stay.

MUZAFFARABAD: We received an offer by PIMA (Pak Islamic Medical Assoc) to man their field hospital in M'abad. I reached there Tuesday morning. The roads are extremely tenuous. There is a sea of tents of various outfits from all over the country. These are manned by a variety of people, from house officers and medical students, to high school kids. No attendants. Thousands of Indians and no chief. The hospital needed a surgeon. There is not a single qualified surgeon in the whole city. Not one. No buildings are standing. There no clean water and little electricity. Cell phones do not work. We kept moving on.

GARHI DUPATTA: I finally rendezvoused with the group from George Washington University that I had originally planned to go with. They had reached there a few hours before we did. I helped set up the field hospital. Check the map. This place is 20 miles from the LOC. It is the farthest medical facility out there. First contact point. Over the next four days, we saw about 1500 patients. We set up a two table OR and various examination stations. The major abdominal/thoracic injuries are now dead. What we saw were heavily infected wounds. Open fractures. Gross osteo. I lost count of the number of the number of guillotine amputations needed. Florid tetanus. Meningitis. Sepsis. Pelvic fractures. Numerous paraplegics and quads. People with jelly for spines. Brain exuding from open skull fractures. Ruptured bladders with urinomas in the thigh. The fascinating thing is that these people were still alive this far out. Natural selection, I guess. The fittest survive. With two surgeons, including myself, one anesthesiologist and numerous internists, cardiologists and pulmonologists, we were still busy from0600tomidnight. The army arrived the day after we did and set up a helipad and a unit next to us. We were able to evacuate about 40-50 patients each day after stabilizing them. Unfortunately, I knew what awaited them in Islamabad. We were choppered out today. We have left a fully functioning hospital to some docs from DOW. They'll be there until next week. Then a surgeon will arrive from New Jersey. Teams from Canada, Belgium and Australia have since arrived and setup in-patient facilities proximal to our hospital. Again, family practitioners, but no surgeons. We were able to send some relatively stable patients there, so as to avoid flooding Islamabad.

ASSIGNINGCREDIT/POINTING FINGERS: The US choppers are flying nonstop. Hats off to them. No nonsense. Efficient. Courteous. They flew over us to distal points, dropped some supplies, returned the remaining to be stored at Garhi Dupatta and evacuated our most critical patients out. This went on during all daylight hours. The Agha Khan foundation has acquired Swiss helicopters and was also working in a similar fashion. No evacuations, however. The Pakistani army is another story, unfortunately. There were about 300 soldiers twiddling their thumbs as we struggling to get something done. In my view, they should have been sending out teams with tents and supplies to find the countless up in the mountains that are unable to make it down. Instead, there are grand plans to make tent cities, where people are expected to come down and settle. Nuts. Every patient had the same story. Two or three kids dead. Parents dead. Siblings dead. A wife and a couple of kids injured, but still alive and lying in the open. They had to make the choice - bring the child that they thought would survive. The average trek was four days one-way.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Don't just send money to random sites. There is enough there already that needs to be distributed. Send Tents to specific people that you know will distribute them to the people still up there. Tents. Tents. Tents. Did I mention that they need tents? Clothes are a-plenty. They just need to be distributed. Once again, they need to reach the people who will wear them. The best thing you can do, however is go yourself. Find a week or ten days. Go to Garhi Dupatta. Rough it out. Do some wound care. Deliver a few babies. Treat some infections. Just do it. Do it now. The contact person is Farzad Anjum. He is a cardiac surgeon at GW. Find him on the web. He'll point you in the right direction. If tickets are in issue, tell me. I'll give the contact for the Disaster Relief Network. They'll pay for airline tickets and incidentals. Sponsors are out there. What they need is your time and effort. Once I have caught up with my sleep, I'll give you more details. I the mean time, please cut out the Bulls**t lecturing and verse quoting and buy a ticket to Pakistan. Time is running out.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Our rights being infringed?

If you support blog awareness and are adament about how blogs are a tremendous well of information for the world, lacking the red-tape media suffers from, then:


You can now subscribe to this blog. Fill in your email addy below the flikr badge and every update will be sent to that address. This way you can focus when you come across a post that interests you and you wont miss a post.


Shelter Vendors - Pakistan

For those of you still searching tent vendors in Pakistan:

Tents available in Lahore

4X4 mtrs
Inner: Double fly, single Fold
Centre Height 2mtrs
Wall Height 90 mtrs
Outer : Single fold
Canvas/ Drill
With poles and accessories
Wedding sheet
Water ,wind and Snow proof
Ground sheet (polyprop)

Price: USD 170/each (winter tents, with Wedding sheet)

USD 150/each (without wedding sheet.)

Our manufacturing unit is based in Lahore, Pakistan and we have been engaged in tent manufacturing for the last 30 years. We have already pledged a huge percentage of our production to the relief victims.

Please contact 92-300-8464690 (Mr. Ikram) or +92-300-8499126 (Junaid) for further details about stock available. We have a capacity of producing 340 tents a day. As our contribution to relief work going on we are producing all of our tents just to cover the cost of production.
Or go to this Shelter link for a more comprehensive list

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Today was one hell of a great day for the IRFC (Islamabad Rugby and Football Club), who hosted an excellent Charity Rugby game today. There were a total of 44 players out there. There were three main teams that played in the 10's (10 players per team) and the 7's (7 players in each team) The 10's were with the senior players who either play for IRFC or were volunteer fellow rugby players from the British High Commission, Islamabad. A total of 6 games were played, three with the 10's and 2 with the 7's. The 7's were comprised of highschool students who are the young rugby enthusiasts of Islamabad.

We had a turnout of about 1000 people today, which is a LOT, considering rugby is not a very popular sport in Isloo just yet, not as compared to compared to cricket and golf, but it certainly is growing tremendously fast. We sold about 3000 tickets, all of which will go towards charity proceeds and after having spent the evening counting the cash, we estimate approximately Pak Rs. 400,000 from ticket, t-shirt and wristband sales, among other donations.

We had Yahya Bhatti at the mic as the main comentator, who managed to rile up quite a storm with the crowd. Many people who came were either seeing a rugby game for the first time or knew very little about it so it was also a very good eye opener for folks. I was selling t-shirts and wristbands along with other general announcements and we had a great group of coordinators who helped organize the event and maintain sanity amongst the more involved organizing committee.

All in all it was a great event and you can see some pictures from today in my flikr album, just scroll down the blog a wee bit and you will see the flikr bar, click "what's this" and then click my name. Enjoy!

For crying out loud!

This is an email I sent out to all the folks I know abroad who I am hoping will extend a helping hand in some way or the other. It is sort of a plea and also an explanation of what we have done and plan to do.

Dear Everyone,

I hope this email finds you all in the best of health and spirits. Unfortunately, this is not an email bearing good news, but it does carry positive opportunities depending upon your reaction.

As you all may be aware, Pakistan suffered a devastating earthquake just a week and a half ago (Saturday October 8th, 2005 - 9:52 AM) which lasted 6 minutes, and those 6 minutes have cost many unfortunate people their lives, their homes, their families and many other things that are / were meaningful.

An estimated 60,000 people are dead and the death toll is expected to exceed 100,000 by weeks end as many of the unreachable, yet affected areas are now slowly being opened up thanks to the machinery available to the army. Millions, literally millions, are homeless and have suffered tremendous losses.

A few major towns, such as Balakot, Bagh and Batagram, are near 100% devastation, with nearly majority of the people either dead or severely injured in these regions.

I have been working very closely to these areas with some friends who all got together Sunday, 1 day after the earthquake, at a friends house to figure out how we could help out. At that time, some 10,000 people were already believed to possibly be dead. That day, within about 6 hours, we were able to collect about 2 million rupees in cash donations, along with about 15 million rupees worth of goods and supplies in the form of food, shelter, clothing and blankets that we filled up about 10 large lorry / trucks with and took with us in a 13 vehicle convoy to two areas in the vicinity of Mansehra. The two towns we provided relief to were Balakot (2 km from the epicenter) and Garri Habibullah. Both these areas are very badly affected, the former is almost non-existent. I have attached a few pictures of the various things we have seen and continue to see as long as we have the strength and ability to keep on helping in any way.

Some of the pictures of the apartment show Margalla towers, the apartment building that collapsed in Islamabad. The portion you see in the distance that is standing lost three sections on its left, right and front that collapsed straight down. Another picture with many people over the narrow passage is the way out of Balakot, the masses of people coming n and going out. This is barely a fraction of what it really is like.

Since that Sunday, my friends and I, most of whom are with the Islamabad Rugby Football Club, have been thinking and constantly reinventing ways of continuing our contributions. We are hosting a Charity Rugby Match next Sunday in F-10/4 (for those of you in Islamabad) and tickets are Rs. 100/- only and are going towards either the Presidents Fund, Edhi Charity or Private NGO's or groups such as ours. If interested in buying, please contact Andre at +92-333-5656-555.

We have devised a long term strategy also, where we will be collecting funds and putting them into an account so that we can target certain specific villages that are very remote and help them rebuild their villages. We have corroborated our efforts with various groups that are doing what they do best and providing us with information that helps us do what we do best. We are coordinating a lot of relief efforts, providing information on what is going on in what town/village/city and what is needed. It is very arduous and challenging, but when you know you are helping people who are homeless and almost happier dead, you feel very satisfied and look forward to doing more.

We are working with groups such as NRSP, RSPN, Quake Scouts among others that are private such as ours. We do not wish for any publicity, other than what others can do to help us do what we need to do. We can be identified as the Relief Youth Group Islamabad (RYGI) and will appreciate any help that can be sent to Pakistan. We are in dire need of shelter in the form of tents. We are trying to find ways to help grow our network so that communication of needs are better between private groups.

I have a blog where I am trying to regularly post information, updates and pictures of the affected regions so that people may have a good idea of what is going on from a first person's perspective (i.e. me). You can visit it, get any information and use it as a portal to reach other informative websites such as South Asia Quake Help among others. Http://

If you are wondering how you can help, donations are always the quickest and easiest way of helping. For those who have PAYPAL accounts, you can donate directly through my blog - there is a PAYPAL donate logo on the left half way below the menu. Just click it and enter the amount you wish to donate. As for sending things this way or organizing things to be sent, we need waterproof and insulated tents mostly. If interested, contact me and I will provide you with a comprehensive list of things that are needed most. Otherwise, there are long-term plans that we are devising and are underway for redeveloping of the affected areas. Please remember, this is not an invitation for contractors to cash in on our devastation.

Most of the people affected live in the northern areas, which are now beginning to get very cold due to weather changes in the last few days. It snowed just two days ago and rained heavily with hailstorms occurring often. The weather is beginning to make the rescue and relief effort very difficult, but thinking of the conditions the people are in who need help keep us going.

If you would like to help, feel free to email me or call and we can arrange something. If any of you know Bob Geldof and can get me to talk to him about arranging some high-level awareness campaign that can go hand in hand with MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY, that would be outstanding!

We realize that this is not a 1 month issue, this will take a lot of time to get people back on their own feet, but the bottom line is to help them to help themselves - make them self-sufficient and not dependent on aid. If we raise enough awareness globally, we may be able to organize the rescue effort more effectively and efficiently.

Sending things from the US - Donations

Just wanted to bring to everyone's attention - an FYI if you will:

If you are interested or are in the process of organizing donations to be sent to Pakistan for the relief effort, please keep in mind a few things.
Firstly, you have to obtain an NOC from the Pakistan Consulate in New York or the Embassy in D.C.
Contact info:

Embassy in Washington D.C.

3517 International Court, NW Washington DC 20008
phone: 202-243-6500

New York Consulate

12 East, 65th Street, New, York NY-10021
Telephone: 212-879-5800, 212-517-7541
Fax: 212-517-6987



1. Mr Haroon Shaukat is the Consul General and heads the New York Consulate. 212-472-4339

2. Mr Syed Muhammad Fawad Sher is the Vice Consul and assists Mr Shaukat. 212-472-4345

Los Angeles Consulate

Consulate General of Pakistan,

10850 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250,
Los Angeles, CA 90024.

Consular Timings: For submission of documents: Monday-Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Friday: Submission of documents: 09:30 a.m. to 12:00

For Pick up (Monday-Friday): 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


1. Mr. Noor Muhammad Jadmani is the Consul General and heads the Los Angeles Consulate. (310) 446-6695
2. Mr. Ahmad Farooq, Vice Consul. (310) 441-5145

For Consular queries: (310) 441-5114, (310) 441-0167, (310) 446-0091 & (310) 446-0092
FAX: (310)-441-9256

Trade Division

Mr. Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Commercial Counsellor. (310) 474-6861
Fax (310) 474-4871

Second, there is a priority with which PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) will be sending donations via air shipment to Pakistan:
Blankets/sleeping bags

PIA can be contacted in NY at 212-760-8484.

If you would like to send things to our group, you can do so tax free and without any hassles via Friends of P.I.M.S. (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences) - a community run NGO providing relief to the Hospital normally and to earthquake affectees during these harsh times.

Please email me for details on how to donate to this group or to have supplies sent. If you want to send things, you can address them to me and put Care of Friends of P.I.M.S. under my name then my address:

Earthquake Relief Goods for
Zohare Haider
C/O Friends of P.I.M.S.
House #18 Gomal Road,
Sector E-7
Islamabad, Pakistan
+92-51-227-9300 (Home)
+92-333-528-9108 (Cell)

Pls. keep the donations coming...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

UN Indicates a second wave that may be too late

From the Quakehelp Blog...

scathing report of the poor response of the major donors so far to the Asia earthquake.

A few snippets from the report:

Jan Egeland said of the aid sent so far: "This is not enough. We have never had this kind of logistical nightmare ever. We thought the tsunami was the worst we could get. This is worse." [...]

The UN children's agency, Unicef, has warned that a further 10,000 children could die if relief efforts are not boosted.


Mr Annan's chief aid co-ordinator in Islamabad, Andrew McLeod, told the BBC the world had failed to understand the severity of the situation. "We have one of the best organised relief operations going here, and we are just not getting the funding. If the second wave of deaths hit, it's the major donors that are going to have to look at themselves in the mirror and ask why."

Flikr Fotos

There is a flikr badge now so you can see photos I have taken in a proper album. They should be near the google adbar. Enjoy

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


There was another tremor just ten minutes ago (5:48 P.M.) so that makes three just today, or two if one doesn't count the one in the morning as a tremor, rather as an earthquake -- due to its length, intensity and persistence.

I was talking to a friend today who told me that apparently there is talk of some predictions some 40 years ago, in the 60's and 70's that they said there would be a series of devastating earthquakes forty years from their time (round about now) in this general region of Pakistan.

Incidently, Turkey is also expecting some serious earthshakin' type scenarios in 2006 -- for which they have been reinforcing their older apartment buildings and tall skyrises for some time now.

One thought they were safe on the ground as opposed to on the road or air, but apparently mother nature can make your life miserable anywhere, as long as you are on earth.

You can run but not very far...


I would like to take a moment and thank the first international donor who has given very generously towards the relief. Ayla Malik, your contribution will go a long way believe me.

Paypal donations are working so if you have an account, don't wait for the perfect moment, this is it!!

Everyone, if you give 1 cent each, there are enough of us in the world to make that number into a very big number so don't be miser, be open hearted and give as much as you can, whatever you can -- any amount will add up tremendously so don't be shy either.

Then give some more to make yourself feel good about helping someone who doesn't have that nice watch you wear, or the choice of a green or red salad for dinner. You get the picture...

Nortel Humor

A little humor for you folks:

McDonald's to Begin Accepting Nortel Shares

The last 18 months have been tumultuous for high-tech giant Nortel: the cutting of its global workforce by more than half from 96,000 to 47,000, the abrupt departure of its CEO, massive quarterly losses in the billions, and a severe drop in share prices, to name but a few. However, the company might be turning the tables with its new effort to bolster investor confidence.

It's like that Petro-Points thing at Petro Canada where after 40,000 litres of gas you can get like a lighter, or a bottle of water or something...."
-Nortel Vice-President of Grilling and Deep Frying Isabelle Egad

Yesterday, the company announced a partnership deal with McDonald's Restaurants of Canada, in which shareholders will be able to purchase discounted meals in exchange for cashing in their Nortel shares.

As of May 1, participating McDonald's restaurants will be accepting 100 shares of the company's stock in exchange for a 50 per cent discount on a Big Mac or McChicken combination meal, complete with medium fries and beverage, according to Nortel Vice-President of Grilling and Deep Frying Isabelle Egad.

Nortel shareholders will be able to 'super-size' their meals for an additional 50 shares, according to Egad.

As Nortel's stock price dropped from a high of $125 in July 2000 to 1/8th of one cent (Cdn.) at the close of markets yesterday, many frustrated Nortel investors have pointed accusatory fingers at the company's management, blaming them for the free fall in the stock's value. Shareholder activist Frank McMorgan of Bathurst, New Brunswick has been a vocal critic of the company in recent months, but he expressed guarded optimism with the announcement.

A Nortel investor cashes his portfolio in for a Quarter-Pounder combo at a Toronto-area McDonald's yesterday.

"A drunk donkey could do just as well," added the professor as he threw darts at a board in his office while enjoying a Chicken McNugget meal, which cost him only 300 shares in the company.

A spokesperson for McDonald's indicated that the company will be using all of the Nortel share certificates collected during the promotion to wrap Big Mac burgers, and will not, contrary to rumours simply be chucking them in the garbage. "It's a great cross-promotion," said the spokesperson of the new Nortel-themed burgers. "Not only do we save on costs, but Nortel gets some free adertising out of it as well."

The company spokesperson also indicated that McDonald's of Canada is in similar discussions with Ottawa-based tech companies JDS Uniphase and Corel.

Read complete article and readers comments ( worth the browse!)

Update Wednesday

Nortel is giving in a big way

Big tremor this morning, lasting nearly a minute. Shook us out of our senses. Work has been cancelled. We have had a total of two tremors within 1 hour of each other today. I am curious as to what the remainder of the day holds in store for us.

On another note, tent searching must begin so please if anyone has any resources or ideas, LET US KNOW!!!!!! We need waterproof, large / medium tents in bulk.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


UNHCR has made it official:

For tent buying, I took the liberty of finding websites that sell and ship tents in the US and maybe even abroad.


Bizrate Camping Gear

Camping Gear Outlet



Donations and Fundraising

A group that is working in conjunction with us by the name of Quake Scouts is going to be organizing some musical events / concerts in Lahore in the coming weeks. All their earnings will be going towards aid for the earthquake victims. Please keep your eyes open as it is a very big responsibility and they are trying to do a tremendous job to raise money. Help out in any way, buy tickets, sell tickets, help organize or spread the word! We need more musicians for pro-bono concerts!

On another note, the IRFC (Islamabad Rugby Football Club) is organizing a Charity Rugby match in the F-10/4 Rugby Ground, opposite Khurshid Market Islamabad. Tickets are only Rs. 100/- and you have the option of selecting where the proceeds go. Edhi, Presidents Fund or Private NGO's such as ours (registered or unregistered).

We have plenty of tickets to sell. For those of you thinking, why the hell should I go to a rugby match or why should I spend any money on a Rugby match, well, you are a) not investing in the game, but the cause and b) if you have never been, you don't know what you are missing!!!

I repeat, it is a charity match and the game is just an alibi to take your money from you and give it to someone else who needs it a lot right now.

Please help out as much as you can. Every little bit helps. When they all add up, they go a long way!

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