Monday, October 10, 2005

Earthquake Victims

Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims of the terrible quake in Kashmir and the tragic loss of life. I hope the inept bureaucracies of India and Pakistan can get their acts together to prevent a further exxageration of their misfortune.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Karthik:

Regarding the earthquake relief efforts in Pakistan, US Central Command's website, http://www.centcom.mil, has started posting stories and photos of the work that's being done. I've pasted some of the press releases below.

--SPC C. Flowers
CENTCOM Public Affairs

October 10, 2005
Release Number: 05-10-32

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FIRST U.S. HUMANITARIAN AIRLIFT REACHES ISLAMABAD

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – A United States Air Force C-17 delivered the first relief supplies here within 48 hours of the devastating earthquake that has left thousands dead and thousands more injured and displaced.

The aircraft and its crew from the 7th Airlift Squadron, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., delivered 12 pallets -- weighing almost 90,000 pounds -- of food, water, medicine and blankets from Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.

With only a few hours notice, Airmen and soldiers at Bagram, successfully worked to palletize the humanitarian relief supplies and prepare them for the flight. Three aerial port specialists were also on the flight to coordinate and manage the cargo once it arrived at Islamabad.

“This was a total team effort,” said Col. Mike Isherwood, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Vice Commander. “Our hearts go out to all those affected by the earthquake and we are thankful we were able to help out.”

Pakistan Army Brig. Gen. Imtiaz Sherazi, director of logistics, is coordinating the relief efforts as supplies arrive and ensuring rapid distribution of assistance to areas that need it most.

Said General Sherazi, “These items are very valuable to us because there are lots of people in great distress.”

As relief efforts are ongoing worldwide, United States Central Command will continue to identify and provide additional capabilities for airborne reconnaissance, heavy lift ground equipment, medical support, shelters, rations and water to aid and assist the people of Pakistan.

# # #

October 9, 2005
Release Number: 05-10-30

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

STATEMENT FROM THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ON THE SOUTH ASIAN EARTHQUAKE

“On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, I express my condolences to those affected by the earthquake in South Asia.

“The Department of Defense is working closely with the State Department, and affected governments, to provide assistance to ease the suffering and assist in search and rescue operations.

“General John Abizaid, the Commander of the United States Central Command, and others have been in touch with military officials in Pakistan, and is moving five CH-47 and three UH-60 helicopters into Pakistan immediately.

“Additional capabilities for airborne reconnaissance, heavy lift ground equipment, and medical support are being identified and dispatched from within the Central Command region.

“Today, I will designate a dedicated Task Force commander in the region to work with the affected governments, to help assess their needs, and to draw on U.S. military capabilities from inside or outside the affected region as may be available and required.

# # #

October 9, 2005
Release Number: 05-10-29

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COALITION SENDS HELICOPTER SUPPORT TO ASSIST PAKISTAN EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY

KABUL , Afghanistan – At the request of the Pakistan Government, Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan will send U.S. Army helicopters and support personnel to assist with emergency recovery operations due to the earthquake in Pakistan

Following Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s statement of support for relief, recovery and rescue operations, five CH-47 Chinook helicopters and three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters with their associated crews should arrive Monday. They will provide rescue, recovery and logistics assistance.

CFC-A is in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad to provide planning assistance and technical guidance as required.

This support will not degrade the Coalition’s operations in the Global War on Terror.

# # #

Anonymous said...

"inept bureaucracies of India and Pakistan" ??

Pakistan ruled by a tinpot dictator is million times more inept. Kartik is now in politically correct equalizing mode just like CNN, WashPost, NYTimes do.

One other equalizer as an example. "Pakistan and India have fought 3 wars against each other". Note that this is does not educate who instigated it and who prevailed.

By the way Pakistan was listed by Pewter poll as the most anti-American country in the world.

Karthik Narayanaswamy said...

This is not a contest of who is more inept. I have no first-hand knowledge of the lousiness of Pakistani bureaucracy, although I do not doubt they would be along the same scale as India, which by itself is the poster child for why big government is bad!

Incidentally (although I know from Pakistanti friends that this is not true for their country) democracy and efficiency are uncorrelated. Cases in point - early Singapore and China. My brother was in Shanghai and was astounded by how quickly government can move when it's unburdened by consensus and justice. Is that always a good thing? Probably not! But certainly bureaucracies like India where the "babus"' actions border on criminal negligence is not acceptable either!