Month: September 2010


SEP 2010 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the course of the 2010 monsoon season, Pakistan experienced the worst floods in its history. Heavy rainfall, flash floods and riverine floods combined to create a moving body of water equal in dimension to the land mass of the United Kingdom. The floods have affected 84 districts out of a total of 121 districts in Pakistan, and more than 20 million people – one-tenth of Pakistan’s population – devastating villages from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea. More than 1,700 men, women and children have lost their lives, and at least 1.8 million homes have been damaged or destroyed. As of the publication of this revision, seven weeks since heavy rainfall and flash floods claimed their first victims, flood waves continue to devastate the southern province of Sindh, where the full extent of losses and damages may not be known for several more weeks. Since the launch of the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan (PIFERP) on August 11, the humanitarian community has received $412 million for this strategic plan …


Asghar Ali Engineer There is great misunderstanding both among believers and non-believers about what it means to be religious. For most of the believers religion is a set of rituals, appearance or even a set of dogmas and superstitions whereas for non-believers (rationalists and empiricists) it is nothing but irrational beliefs, dogmas and superstitions which impede human progress and also cause of violence and destruction. Even terrorism, they believe, is due to religion.

Refugees at home

By Shahid Javed Burki THERE is a growing perception in the West that the Pakistani state is not only weak but is fast failing. This impression has been created by the state’s inability to ensure security to its citizens and its failure to bring the economy out of the crisis into which it plunged at the end of the period dominated by President Pervez Musharraf. Not only is the country prone to crises and disasters. It continues to go hat in hand to the donor community whenever it is hit hard by natural or man-made calamities. Among the several crises the country is currently faced with is that of looking after the people displaced by disasters.


Brigadier (R) Samson Simon Sharaf This year’s floods besides bringing destruction and misery to Pakistanis have also raised many questions about the ability and intent of the government to manage crises, avert failures and reconstruct. In case these questions are not addressed, then the ability of the government to rebuild and create an opportunity out of a challenge is also questionable. This implies a very pathetic socio economic equation as an ends means relationship; something a country torn by strife, dysfunctionalism, corruption, economic meltdown and terrorism can least afford.