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.
Ethan Casey Yesterday a non-Pakistani friend here in Seattle emailed me: “I wanted to ask you which you think would be the best organization to make a donation to for the current crisis in Pakistan . We usually give to MSF, but their website doesn’t seem to offer the opportunity to give specifically for Pakistan . Can you offer advice?” This friend is British and greatly prefers British media outlets, but I need to believe that there are many Americans who also want to help flood victims in Pakistan – or who would want to, if they knew the scale and severity of the disaster.
Ghazi Salahuddin One of the quotations that I had culled from Hollywood movies in my youth came from ‘The Teahouse of the August Moon’. It makes a simple statement: “Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable”. That thought can make us wise is, perhaps, the gist of it. But does pain necessarily make us think? And in a logical, rational manner?
By Awaam Phase 1. Distribution of Medical packs for families in Nowshehra & Pabbi As the first phase of our efforts to help flood affectees we agreed to distribute medical and Hygiene packs for 1000 families consisting of supplies to last one month. Each pack consisted of the following: Everyday Milk pack, Aqua water cleaning tablets, Paracetamol tablets, Paracetamol and Brufen syrups for children and ORS pack for children. On 15th Aug, we setup to leave for flood hit areas in Nowshehra district, as per our plan, to deliver these items. We were a team of five people including Shaista ( team leader) Hussain , Bilal, Mudassar and Saeed. We travelled by a coaster bus. We set off at 9:00 am. We went through GT road according to our plan. When we reached Taxila and Wah cantt it started to rain heavily making driving very difficult. The rain continued until we crossed Hassan Abdal. We stopped at Attock khurd, where we saw first signs of the flood. The Indus was flooding at peak and as …
By Imtiaz Gul Since it was established over a week ago, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s Emergency Fund has attracted less than 50,000 dollars in donations. The same goes for a similar fund created a few days ago by chief minister of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province Ameer Haider Hoti. Flood waters are not the only bitter reality currently sweeping across Pakistan; mistrust in political leaders is spreading just as rapidly. President Asif Zardari’s decision to commence a ten-day foreign tour — despite solid warnings of an impending disaster and despite reports of hundreds of deaths — has dealt yet another severe blow to the credibility and commitment of the head of the state.
By Molly Kinder and Wren Elhai “Heart-wrenching,” said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Sunday upon surveying Pakistan’s ongoing floods. The U.N. chief called the floods “the worst natural disaster” he said he had ever seen. The numbers explain why. More people have been affected by Pakistan’s catastrophic floods than any other natural disaster on record — over 20 million and counting. That’s more than were affected by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and this year’s earthquake in Haiti combined.
Some politicians and officials have attributed the flood disaster to unregulated construction and development on river banks. As reported by Dawn, these politicians and officials — including the federal agriculture minister and the Federal Flood Commission chairman — say that widespread settlement build-up and construction along the river banks and even on dried-up riverbeds across the country had blocked the natural course of the rivers.