It is a small ray of hope amid the depths of despair in Pakistan’s earthquake tragedy. A child has been pulled to safety some 48 hours after the quake turned a town into a graveyard. Using their bare hands, people in Balakot have been digging through the rubble.
Their perseverance paid off. More miracle rescues followed. And further young survivors could still be freed from the debris, they say. But, the rescuers complain, government help is lacking. “There are many more alive inside but we can’t take them all out because we don’t have government efforts here,” said one of those taking part in the rescue bid. “They are not helping us out. Otherwise we could have taken them out much earlier. “Three schools in the area are said to have been devastated by Saturday’s earthquake.
Nine-year-old Mohammed Farhad was among those caught up in the catastrophe. “We were having reading lessons when suddenly there was a big noise and the roof collapsed on us,” he said, before breaking down in tears. Mohammed’s brother died in the disaster. Pakistan’s military spokesman has talked of a lost generation. Major General Shaukat Sultan is quoted as saying the majority of the casualties in the worst-affected areas were children.