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Pakistan Flood Disaster- Natural or Man made?


by Awaam

We are witnessing the ever increasing number of the flood affected people daily. The number has crossed 13 million which is more than the combined total of the three big calamities which happened in the last decade. The total number of the victims of those disasters including Asia Tsunami 2004, Kashmir quake 2005and Haiti quake in 2010, was estimated to be 11 million.  A great number of people are still threatened, and may have to leave their homes and households back, to save their lives. They have got their whole lives, properties and belongings at stake. The only thing which most of them, rather almost all of them are certain about is the uncertainty about their future and their life.

But what is most unfortunate is that, newsprint, media, Bloggers and common people are describing the same situation of mass disaster and poor management that was reported nearly half a decade ago after the Kashmir earthquake rocked us in 2005. The poor people are still as susceptible to the calamities as they were some years ago. So, what have we achieved in all these years? Nothing has changed. The state is functioning reactively as usual. And poor bad at that too.

The mainstream media is busy in politicizing every issue. The food prices have climbed up in the markets to exploit the tragic situation. The hoarders and marketers will then Zakaat and feed some poor to console their conscience but in the times of national tragedy is that what they must do. To act on the law of supply and demand and maximize profits. The civil activism and volunteerism of common people is in action again.

A cursory look at the prevailing situation exposes well the validity of all the development reports and surveys presented in recent years. People are dying of floods, poverty and committing suicides. Those who survive live in miserable conditions facing various crises in their daily lives.

These problems point towards our approach of short-termism and reactive attitude towards the challenges we face at local, national and global levels. On state‘s part, it is the bad management and bad governance, which has brought the situation to the verge of disasters.

The current tragedy is prime example of the inability of our political masters , economic managers and administrators to guard against the catastrophes. There was acute shortage of water in the parts of the country before the monsoon started, but now that people are dying of floods, there is still no water to give life.  It reminds me a line from the ‘Rime of Ancient Mariner’:

Water Water everywhere, Not any Drop to Drink

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Vision 21 is Pakistan based non-profit, non- party Socio-Political organisation. We work through research and advocacy for developing and improving Human Capital, by focusing on Poverty and Misery Alleviation, Rights Awareness, Human Dignity, Women empowerment and Justice as a right and obligation. We act to promote and actively seek Human well-being and happiness by working side by side with the deprived and have-nots.

1 Comment

  1. Khwaja Aftab Shah, USA says

    FIVE REGIONAL CITIES should be upgraded with in the provinces in Pakistan. Regional cities of Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP, Gawadar/ Qalat in Balouchistan, Sukkar/ Larkana in Upper Sind, Jehlam/ Rawalpindi and Multan in Punjab province. These regional cities have been ignored by the federal and provincial governments although these cities have their own history, culture and languages.Dera Ismail Khan in south of Pakhtun khwa/MWFP is under seige, Multan/DG Khan in south of Punjab is next target of religious extremists,Sukkar/ Larkana is being rule by criminals, Gawadar/ Qalat is trouble some. The people of these regions have to travel to provincial capitals for every small issue and requirement of the daily life which should be provided in nearby cities. A good number of population travel to big cities for their survival to earn livelihood as the local feudal own majority land and keep the common man as their slaves. Creation of regional government and upgrading of the regional cities will save a lot of money and time of the poor people of these regions. Circuit benches of the High Courts are already working in these areas and only requirement is the additional staff of different departments involved in additional work at the provincial capitals. The concern authorities should immediately consider to upgrade the regional cities. And immediate attention should be given upgrade/build the airports,TV station, civic center, libraries,hospitals, educational institutes and investment opportunities for Pakistanis living abroad and foreign firms to create jobs in the area as majority population in rural Pakistan do not have enough resources to survive. It remind me the condition of pre Islamic revolution of Iran in Shah time when the rural Iran was ignored and the capital Tehran was developed in a way to call it Paris of Middle East with modern life style. Couple of other big cities like Isfahan and Caspian sea was taken care of because of foreign tourists but rural area was ruled by cruel police and intelligence. Then what happen rural population supported the Islamic revolution and moved to Tehran and other big cities later on. The new government after revolution developed, built and upgraded the rural areas of Iran accordingly. A fund to upgrade/build these regional cities in Pakistan should be intoduced by public and private sector and Pakistani government, our foreign friends and Pakistanis living abroad may be asked to participate in this development mission in the country..KHWAJA AFTAB ALI,( former secretary, Iranian embassy, Saudi Arabia,1975-88) Advocate High Court & I.P. Attorney-first & the only Pakistani lawyer who earned Intellectual Property laws scholarship in USA,presently residing in Florida, USA. pip.law@hotmail.com

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