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ARD’s day of grief on 12th

October 10, 2005

LAHORE, Oct 9: The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy has decided to observe Oct 12 as a day of sorrow and grief instead of black day.

This was announced by PPP leader Naveed Chaudhry and PML-N leader Mian Javed Lateef at a news conference under instructions from the central leadership.

A recent meeting of the ARD had earlier decided to observe Oct 12 as a black day. This was the day on which Gen Musharraf had overthrown the PML-N government six years ago. The steering committee, comprising representatives of all opposition parties, had endorsed the decision.

However, the situation changed after the devastating earthquake in which according to President Musharraf over 20,000 people are dead.

The PPP and the PML-N leaders condemned the government for the slow pace of its relief activities. They said the rulers had not done much for the families which had suffered irreparable loss.

Naveed and Lateef said relief camps were being set up at various places. On Oct 12, they said, Quran khwani would be held in these camps for those killed by the earthquake.

RELIEF FUNDS: The PPP and the PML-N have set up relief funds for the quake victims in various parts of the country.

PPP secretary-general Jehangir Badr said on Sunday Ms Benazir Bhutto had directed all party legislators and office-bearers to donate generously and render all possible assistance to the affected families.

The account number and the banks would be announced in a couple of days.

Mr Badr said the party would also set up camps at various places where the people would be able to deposit such relief items which they wanted to send to those hit by one of the worst quakes in history.

Such camps, he said, had already been set up at Nakhuda Chowk and Baghbanpura. Seven more camps would be set up in the city towns.

The PPP leader said Sindh president Qaim Ali Shah had told him that party legislators from Sindh would donate one-month salary to the relief funds.

He said the party’s overseas organizations were also being mobilized for the purpose.

Punjab PML-N president Zulfikar Khosa has set up divisional relief camps under instructions from Nawaz Sharif.

Coordinators have been announced for all divisions. Zaeem Qadri would supervise all relief activities.

PML-N leaders Khosa, Zaeem Qadri, Rana Tanveer Husain, Pervaiz Malik, Abdul Ghafoor and Rana Mashhood have called the earthquake a tragedy and sympathized with the affected families.