t has been four years since a massive earthquake struck parts of Pakistan on October 8, 2005 and killed hundreds of thousands of people. This earthquake was by far the most destructive in the region. It registered a moment magnitude of 7.6. Different reports indicate that more than 70,000 people were killed and at least 50,000 more were injured in the northern areas and Azad Kashmir.

Thousands of houses were destroyed. Muzaffarabad, Balakot and Abott Abad were severely affected with the quake. There were numerous deaths also in major Pakistani cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. A 10-story residential building (known as the Margalla Tower) collapsed completely in Islamabad killing most of the occupants. International Aid Agencies say that hundreds of thousands of people in northern Pakistan are still facing difficulties. Construction work in these areas is still not completed. On the other hand, different ceremonies are being arranged to commemorate the earthquake.

The day started with prayers and sirens wailed in somber reminder. PM Azad Kashmir Sardar Yaqoob presided over the main ceremony in Muzaffarabad. Government officials, members of foreign agencies and victims of the quake participated in the ceremony. PM Azad Kashmir Sardar Yaqoob reaffirmed his government’s resolve to spend each penny on the people of Kashmir.