As I write this article, floods rage across Pakistan, destroying everything in it’s wake, life, property, crops. The earthquake’s that have hit Pakistan in 2005 and 2008 were regarded as the worst tragedy for the nation. However, official reports state, so far, over twelve hundred million are rendered homeless. At least 1.4 million acres of agricultural land was destroyed in Punjab alone, where people rely heavily on agriculture for their food supply. People are grappling with skyrocketing fruit and vegetable prices amid shortages. The rising prices threaten to amplify misery in a country where many residents were already struggling with poverty and food insecurity before the worst flooding in Pakistan's history .
We see a complete system breakdown, the continuing downpour of rain, making relief operations more and more difficult.
At least 570,000 hectares of crops were destroyed in the central province of Punjab, the breadbasket for the rest of Pakistan, according to the United Nations. Many more crops were devastated in the northwest, where destruction from the floods has been harsh and many residents were still trying to recover from intense battles between the Taliban and the army last year. A famine to follow, is on the cards.
Two things have emerged in this scenario. First, there is a growing realization in the common man, that he must rely on his own efforts to recover from this situation nature has placed him in. More and more, we see students, private organizations and voluntary associations collecting food, goods for those sitting helpless without a roof on their heads, without a wall behind their backs, without clothes and without milk for babies who die by hundreds. Those millions who look to us, the more fortunate to help them, in their misery. Even after the flood recedes and eventually, after all the loss of life and property, they go back, what exactly do they go back to? A house that once was and stands no more? Furniture and goods swept away by angry waters? Crops destroyed and land rendered useless for immediate cropping? And where do they raise the money to restart their lives all over again? Where are the civic amenities that one needs to live? Roads? Electricity? Clean drinking water?
Two,in this huge human tragedy, we see the President visiting UK in all pomp and show. How will the suffering populace and the educated populace react to this? Is it adequate for the PPP to state that in a parliamentary form of government, the presence of the Prime Minister may be deemed adequate? Though technically this may be correct, however, the President is also Head of PPP. Thereby was it not his duty to stand by his nation and his party in these trying times? There is something known as a MORAL DUTY.
Having said that, what hurt me as a Pakistani was the show of anger in an un seeming manner in UK where a case of throwing a shoe at the President was reported by a Pakistani.
Irrespective of our anger, rightful though that anger may be, was this the way to react? We must not compare the throwing of shoe by an Iraqi at Bush. Let us not forget America had invaded Iraq and both examples thereby are not, comparable. How did we project ourselves by expressing our anger in this manner? Not a very pretty, picture we cut, I am sorry to say. Two wrongs do not make one right. Here, I would like to mention, the over hundred mails I have received regarding this incident. Most educated people, were remorseful at this incident.
Yet instead of being focused at the he tragedy we face, at being focused on providing relief operations at a brisk pace, we see political parties polishing their shop by accusations and counter accusations. Television is awash with this bit,to gossip.
Mr President, you have announced a relief of two and a half million pounds . Let us see a transparent disbursement and utilization of these monies to the areas needed.
Where are our priorities as a nation? Let us rise together to work towards rebuilding Pakistan. Let us not fight and bicker and exploit a situation. I urge you. BE a Pakistani. Now!