Riaz Ali Toori
A month ago, the two provinces of the country had a row about the “Water Issue” in Pakistan. There was lack of water for agriculture and in some areas there had been great shortage of drinking water. Neither Punjab nor the Sindh were willing to part ways with due share of water. The sweltering heat had compelled them to bow before Almighty with all humility and solicit for His mercy in the form of rain.
Today all provinces of Pakistan are flooded. Men, women, and children are crying for shelter, food, drinking water and medicine. Our response towards the rehabilitation of victims is slow and the international donors are not as vigorous as they were in 2005 earthquake. The flood will bring a shift increase in poverty that can pave the paths of terrorists’ organizations to misuse the victims for nefarious motives. International community must come forward and announce generous donations that Pakistan can easily cope up with challenges of the disaster.
Terrorism hurt nation is confronted with multiple issues and the latest woe in the list is natural disaster. It is easy to say that flood is natural but what responsibility our NDMA and co-related organizations have shown in this regard? The devastated areas were not warned in advance; if some districts were informed the district administration didn’t respond to flood quickly. Bridges are broken, rivers are overflowed and towns are drowned but no one is ready to accept responsibility. This is why we never learn from disasters and couldn’t improve the natural disaster management so far.
On the other hand some politicians are adding salt on the wounds of victims by playing political game over their deprivations. In the time of ordeal civilized nations get united and give a united and befitting response to trouble together. In Pakistan pains of public are misused for vested political interests and game of “point scores” starts with every tragedy.
The magnitude of flash floods is worse than that of the earthquake in October 2005 and the geographic range is much greater, UN states, “Children health are at high risk and the casualties of children can increase in coming days if didn’t cared warily. The women with pregnancies need special attentions.”
The initial UN estimates say 12 million have been affected but later figures indicated the catastrophe was gigantic both in terms of size and casualties.
Flash flooded villages, killed people and destroyed some 290,000 homes, crops, the infrastructure, business and property. Shelter, food, drinking water and medicine are the most urgent need for millions of people. Thousands of people have been killed in the worst floods to hit the South Asian country in 80 years. The flood is not abating while the areas of Muzaffargarh and adjoining are at high risk for next few days.
Rehabilitation of flood victims is another big trial for Pakistani government. Reporters have publicized ahead that the banned terrorist organizations have diverted their attentions towards poverty stricken areas for recruitment of newer cadre.
Floods will certainly bring an increase in poverty and hunger. Poverty and hunger eventually amplify crimes and robberies. In 2005, occurrence of selling of relief goods, medicines and solid food had taken place. On the other hand the banned terrorists can focus on the ill-fated sufferers of flooded areas. This is matter of great concerns for Pakistan and international community to come forward for the help of Pakistani government and people that the chances of enhancing terrorism can be minimized.
The devastation is greater and worse than Tsunami. The flood has taken Pakistan fifty years back. The reconstruction of basic infrastructure will not only add additional burden on economy but require considerable time as well seeing the sheer size of devastation. The UN must stress over international community to help Pakistan.
The allies of “war on Terror” particularly the US and the UK must take part in the rehabilitation of damaged areas. The Taliban in Pakistan have urged that the government should not accept US aid and if it happens, we can give $20 million to them as aid for the flood victims. The message of Taliban is a taunt for international community that Taliban aim to spend on people in order to fulfill their nefarious designs. The socio-economic problems in Pakistan are already touching climax due to continuous terrorism and war on terrorism. The people of southern Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa can go easily in the hands of terrorists if necessary actions are not taken for the restoration of their livelihoods.
The flood is a very serious experiment for Pakistan. Keeping in view the sacrifices of Pakistan Army, public and political government in “war on terror” the world must contribute for the wellbeing of victims.