ISLAMABAD, Nov 2: The wedding ceremony of Abrar and Riffat at a tented village in Balakot on Tuesday provided some joy to the survivors traumatized by the October 8 killer earthquake.

The first wedding ceremony at Balakot after the October 8 disaster was attended by a large number of volunteers, representatives of different non-governmental organizations (NGOs), relief workers from Spain and China and army officials, Col Saeed and Maj Shahid, who have been supervising the relief operation in the area.

Abrar Hussain Shah, 26, and Riffat Bibi, 18, who were engaged one year ago were brought to the tented village set up by Pattan Development Organization at Khairabad area of Balakot with some other family members on October 14 after they were rescued from their demolished houses in Paras village.

Talking to Dawn, national field coordinator of Pattan Mohammad Abdul Saboor said both Abrar and Riffat were first cousins and a number of their family members, including some children, had died in the earthquake. However, he said, the bride and groom were lucky as their parents were present in their wedding ceremony.

Mr Saboor said the guests at the wedding ceremony were served with tea and other food items. He said though the marriage was solemnized in a simple manner, the guests observed all ceremonies of the wedding. He said Mehndi was held on Monday night and a few girls of the family even sang songs on the occasion.

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