The powerful avalanches in Chitral not only claimed the lives of the people, but also resulted in large-scale destruction. Many houses were swept away by the snow. Natural disasters are not new in the country. However, it is unfortunate that there are no proper warning systems in the country. The large-scale destruction had been avoided, if the government authorities would have released a warning. According to some media reports, the only warning received by the local nazim came from an NGO. Government-backed rescue services in the affected areas were poor and residents in the doomed villages relied on the rescue services of the NGO.

In some areas, rescue services couldn’t reach the affected areas because of technical as well as administrative failures. This indicates that the country needs to open a disaster management centre to deal with such incidents. Parliament needs to play its due role and perform its core function of legislation and the oversight of affairs. How many more lives need to be lost before something constructive or effective comes in to play? We need legislation, policy formation and accountability regarding disaster management in Pakistan.

Shirazi, Areeb. Disaster. The News, February 12, 2017.

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