I have written the following letter to Maj Gen Muhammad Farooq, The News and The Dawn
Masha Allah, people of Pakistan from all walks of life spontaneously rose to the occasion to assist their brethren. All sorts of aid started pouring in and volunteers started reaching the quake-hit areas.
They (both Army and civilians) are doing their best. However, it has been felt that, firstly, the donated items did not have direct relation with needs of the affected brethren, and secondly, in absence of coordinated organized effort, desired results are not being achieved. Present position is that groups of volunteers with trucks and trucks of aid goods are arriving but distribution system is flawed due to lack of a system. Aid has been distributed in some areas while people in other areas are dying of hunger and cold. Also, some neglected starved quake-victims are forced to snatch things of their need from incoming trucks. There is also news of donated aid good being on sale in certain areas.
In this connection, I submit the following proposal for serious consideration and immediate implementation.
1. If not already established, a Central Control Room should be set up under direct supervision of the Federal Relief Commissioner which should be equipped with at least three computers in net-work and sufficient telephone lines separate for in-coming and out-going calls. Computers along with experts may be borrowed from NADRA to save time.
2. Central Control Room should make arrangement with PTV and private TV channels of Pakistan origin to make announcements at least five fixed times a day about what is required (personnel / goods) giving type and number / quantity and where they / that should reach.
3. Central Control Room should, also, make arrangement with TV channels to provide information about routes to various affected areas starting from Islamabad explaining terrain of the areas. This should be done with the help of maps and charts.
4. Central Control Room should have a separate cell for planning long term rehabilitation of the affected people and restoration of civic life in the affected areas.
5. Control Centers should be established in all the affected districts having dedicated telephone lines and a computer with good internet connections.
6. Control Centers should have Sub-Centers in different areas of their districts their number and strength of personnel depending on the vastness of the area and number of affected people to be dealt-with.
7. Sub-Centers should (a) collect information about number of affected people in their area and assess their needs and pass on the information to their Control Centre and (b) organize rescue and aid effort in their areas.
8. Control Centers should feed in to computer the information received from Sub-Centers and the information directly received by it and, at end of the day, should prepare a summery which should be transferred to Central Control Room through internet on daily basis.
9. Control Centers should also guide the volunteers (doctors, paramedics, psychologists, engineers, others) working in affected areas as to where to go and what to do and how to assist the effected people. If possible small briefing and advisory sessions should be held on daily basis.
Having remained in close contact with the Pakistan Armed Forces, I know that they have necessary expertise needed for all the above jobs but still appropriate civilian experts will be very much willing to serve the nation at this juncture. I offer my services for any job I am capable of.