Zubair Faisal Abbasi
International development organizations recently conveyed us a message that government in Pakistan is untrustworthy and therefore humanitarian aid in desirable quantity is hard to arrange. Many of us accepted the argument and starting divulging additional reasons on international donors being right in avoiding a direly needed bout of foreign assistance. We should try to be critical about such claims which primarily blame the victim.
Let us say, you call us untrustworthy and therefore you refuse to pour money into our kitty so that we fight against the unprecedented calamity on our own. You call our state institutions untrustworthy slipping into the coffin of a failed state. You call us untrustworthy because we got a ‘bigger cheque’ from the USA and refused the Communists. Had we accepted the smaller cheque and fought the imposed war against you then what we were supposed to be? Traitors? But we accepted the cheque and remained trustworthy till the time cheap gun fodder was needed. The transaction was simple and persuasive. We, the untrustworthy, joined the most ‘truthful’ arrangements like SEATO/CENTO and remained most aligned nation outside the NATO and fought as frontline state – we remained trustworthy. Now once the war-machine appears to be tired, exhausted, and needs oiling then we become untrustworthy, corrupt, and extortionists. In fact, we were trustworthy for the expansion of military-industrial complex and now when we need humanitarian assistance we are untrustworthy. Continue reading
The colossal humanitarian tragedy and the imminent economic meltdown, will now shape a new Pakistan or rather, exacerbate its predicament in the months and years to come. Pakistan’s chronic political instability, structural economic constraints and a warped national security policy are all going to be affected by the unfolding drama of the national disaster, perhaps the severest, in the country’s history. Whilst the challenges have snowballed within a short duration of ten days, the response of the Pakistani state and society underline extremely dangerous trends and make us wonder about future of the country, as we have known it for the last 63 years.
Pakistan had reverted to quasi-democratic rule after a decade of dictatorship in March 2008. Since the resumption of the electoral process in February 2008, the traditionally powerful unelected institutions, had acquired both legitimacy and unprecedented powers. The power troika of the 1990s had transformed into a quartet comprising the army, judiciary, the media and the civilian government which was represented by a ‘discredited’ president who has been a constant punching bag for the unelected institutions of the state.
We in Pakistan mourn the loss of life in Haiti and hope our common humanity will endure this gravest of tragedies. For many of us this isreminiscent of the 2005 quake.
The US is planning a massive military response to the disaster, saying that ships, helicopters, transport planes and a 2,000-member Marine unit are either on the way or likely to begin moving soon. But their arrival may be too late for thousands of Port-au-Prince residents.
It is estimated that between 50,000 to 100,000 people died in the quake, but Haitian senator Youri Latortue said the final figure could reach half a million. Continue reading
By Shahla Khan, IFN Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Thousands of civilians trapped in Pakistan’s northwest Frontier Province, where the military is pounding Taliban insurgents, face ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ unless help reaches them soon, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said late last month. “The government cannot allow the local population to remain trapped without food, clean water and medicine as a tactic to defeat the Taliban,” said Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director. Continue reading
Here is a speech delivered by the CEO SRSP Masood UL Mulk at the UN Flash Appeal at the National Library in Islamabad. The four speakers on this occasion were the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, The Federal Minister for Finance and Planning Ms Khar, the Chief Secretary of NWFP and Masood Ul Mulk the Chief Executive of SRSP
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On 15th May SRSP teams based at the Transit Facilitation Center on the Malakand Mardan road, established with the help of UNHCR, to receive displaced people observed that more than 400 vehicles came down that road each hour, continuously, for almost twelve hours carrying people fleeing the war. This was a tale repeated many times and at many points on many days.
Less than 20% of these people found space in the camps established by the government to receive them. Some went to government schools. The vast majority were taken care of by the moral economy of the area reflected in its social networks, strong ties of reciprocity and traditions of hospitality and humanity. Continue reading
Posted by Raza Rumi
Let us all us join hands to alleviate the sufferings of the people who need our help
North West Frontier of Pakistan faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as more than 1,200,000 displaced people flee the mountain districts of Swat, Buner, Shangla and Lower Dir as the war between insurgents and the government of Pakistan intensifies. As the army has moved into these to initiate military action to evict the area from the insurgents, the people of these areas are leaving their homes behind in hundreds to safer sanctuaries in other parts of the province. The displaced people are leaving in a hurry carrying barely anything from their homes to help them through this tribulation. About 10% of these are being accommodated in camps established by the government at fourteen locations. Another 90% are finding refuge with social networks of families, tribes, clans, schools etc in districts far removed from their homes. The main districts where the pressure is falling are those of Mardan, Swabi, Malakand, Nowshera, Upper and Lower Dir, Peshawar, Charsadda. Continue reading