MANSEHRA, Nov 9: The Balakot Action Committee on Friday criticised the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) and local lawmakers over failure to address the issues facing the survivors of the 2005 earthquake.

“We are sick of the promises and tall claims made by Erra officials and local lawmakers. Now, only Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry can help us get plots at New Balakot City,” said president of the committee Mian Mohammad Ashraf during a meeting of the earthquake survivors in Balakot.

Other members of the committee, including Bashir Akhtar Khan, Fazlur Rehman and Waris Shah, also spoke on the occasion.

The meeting was called to consider the future line of action for the victims of the 2005 earthquake.

Participants decided to first meet with Hazara commissioner Khalid Khan Umerzai over their issues, including delay in allotment of plots at New Balakot City, a Rs13 billion housing project for the quake survivors living in Balakot red zone.

“We want Mr Umerzai to hold an open kutcheri in Balakot to learn about the locals’ misery and then take action against those blocking the execution of New Balakot City project,” Mr Ashraf said. He said the quake survivors currently lived in highly miserable conditions.

Mr Ashraf said both Erra and local lawmakers had live up to the expectations of the survivors of the Balakot earthquake.

“Until local lawmakers don’t sit together, our misery will remain,” said another participant.

PROTEST AGAINST ANTI-ISLAM FILM: Scores of the people on Friday demonstrated against the anti-Islam film made in the US, and demanded public execution of its producer.

Shouting slogans against the US, the protesters first marched on the roads and then held a public meeting at the central square of Mansehra city.

Speaking on the occasion, the leaders of different political parties and trade unions said the US was involved in the genocide of Muslims all over the world and was playing with their religious sentiments by allowing acts against Islam, including production of anti-Islam film.

“We want public execution of the producer of the blasphemous film,” said one of the speakers.

The speakers demanded that the United Nations ban the sacrilegious film.

They urged Muslims around the world to boycott the US products to counter anti-Islam propaganda.

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