PADF Signs Earthquake Relief MoU with PAGS
By Hazem Kira

Irshad Rana

Newark, CA: Pakistan American Democratic Forum (PADF), a nationwide grassroots civic organization for social development, community building and leadership training, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration with the Pakistan Academy of Geological Sciences (PAGS) to carry out relief work and literacy enhancement for earthquake prediction and hazard mitigation.
The two organizations will seek to bring about organized transfer of the latest earthquake related knowledge. California is the epicenter of earthquake research in the USA. Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, US Geological Survey, Palo Alto and the Park City, California, are the centers where cutting edge earthquake research is underway. PADF will contact these institutions and obtain publicly available electronic or hard copies of research material and convey the information to CEPHAM in an organized and directly usable format.
“This MOU will help fill an important knowledge gap and could potentially save Pakistan millions of dollars in consultation fees with expensive internationally agencies,” says Irshad Rana, the PADF International Coordinator and former consultant with United Nations Development Program (UNDP). “It will also help alleviate human suffering by expediting the reconstruction process and inculcating public consciousness toward earthquake safety and prevention.”
One of the primary aims of PADF in this effort is to develop long-term support structure for the reconstruction leading to the rehabilitation of the earthquake survivors and also help create conditions conducive to earthquake hazards awareness and measures to mitigate the consequences of such natural disasters in the future.
Similarly, PAGS has formed a Commission (CEPHAM – Commission on Earthquake Prediction and Hazards Mitigation) to study and promote the arts/sciences of earthquakes in Pakistan with the goals of earthquakes prediction and hazard mitigation. This Pakistani NGO (PAGS) is an apex learned body of the Geological Sciences and duly recognized by the government of Pakistan and the International Union of Geological Sciences. CEPHAM is headed by Mr. Muhammad Ali Mirza, former Director-General Geological Survey of Pakistan.
The collaboration will be carried out in the following ways:
? Post-electronic files containing the relevant research literature on PADF website dedicated for the Kashmir Earthquake relief work, namely: Among the categories on the website, one will be dedicated to the postings of earthquake science/engineering related subjects
? PADF will solicit subject matter experts in the US to write articles/papers on the latest earthquake research/ideas and post the same on the PADF website under the International Journal of Pakistan Studies;
? PADF will attempt to collect information specifically requested by the staff of CEPHAM and send the same to Pakistan via website or mail
? PADF may organize contacts between the visiting Pakistani subject matter experts and CEPHAM to promote the growth of earthquake knowledge in Pakistan
? PADF and CEPHAM may co-sponsor international conferences in Pakistan to promote earthquakes knowledge and the exchange of ideas between scholars, engineers and scientists
? PADF may sponsor the exchange visits of scientists, engineers and technicians in order to promote earthquakes knowledge for the benefit of hazard prone areas of Pakistan. This may include the on-site visits of construction experts for the purpose of inspecting and advising on the reconstruction efforts in the devastated Kashmir and NWFP
Those wishing to help with this project should contact Mr. Irshad Rana at (510) 979 – 0416.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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