Foreign Policy Blogs

Flood & Aid to Pakistan

It is true Pakistan has been dealing with awful scenarios one after another since 1947, but at some point, the masses must take charge and work toward changing their destiny. Crisis or no crisis, people in Pakistan by now should have perfected, and if not perfected, at least gotten a good grip on how to elect the right people, and make appropriate choices about Pakistan’s future, etc, which has not happened in the last 60 years. Instead of being in control, majority of the country has been in denial and they were helped in remaining in denial by the anonymous power players with a simple, but brilliant ploy– blame an ‘invisible foreign hand’ for every tragedy, and don’t take responsibility for any failure as a nation.

Surprisingly, this has worked superbly.

On top of everything else bad for the county, the electronic media imploded on the scene in recent years and the entire right wing, pro-Taliban, anti progress, anti rationality, anti Western, anti Women nationalists got an ideal platform for spewing non stop venom. This nauseating propaganda against pretty much everything has totally destroyed rationality in Pakistan and helped hate become the main argument against common sense.

Too bad for Pakistan, because it is not a good way to collaborate or co exists in the world.

Pakistan has not been able to do anything positive on its own and nothing has been planned, programmed or executed to put Pakistan on a peaceful path. And, it is not an unreasonable conclusion that there is nothing in Pakistan’s history that suggests that the nation is serious about anything, but -prepare yourself- jihad.

Therefore, it is no surprise that today, the world is literally ‘sick & tired’ of Pakistan. The Western governments are exhausted by perpetual crisis in Pakistan and the non stop aid demands that come out of these tragedies engulfing Pakistan, day after day, government after government.

So, naturally, when floods destroyed about 25 to 30 percent of Pakistan, it took forever for anyone to gear up, yet again, to help Pakistan. Because of Pakistan’s inability to help itself, or, accept some responsibility for the complete failure of everything across the board, there was no appetite for helping Pakistan on this scale.

After a very slow and terribly late start, a lot has been done, but whatever has been done is not enough. There are people who are doing everything they can to raise funds, collect food, medicines but what is needed is a commitment, serious, long term, generous commitment from the world to help the poor people who were destabilized by this horrific tragedy.

Fortunately for Pakistan, a friend in Maryland, who is a medical doctor, has been working, e-mailing, calling, and visiting everyone who would listen to bring attention to the flood victims. And, based on the evidence that I have seen, this selfless doctor was the first one to correctly point out that the flood in Pakistan has done more damaged than the Haitian earth quake and Indonesian Tsunami combined. Thankfully, there is awareness about the flood damage, but the time is running out as the gap between rich and poor in Pakistan is frighteningly increasing and this would lead to a catastrophe.

Also, the problem of flooding is going to end sooner or later and once the water is gone, a very difficult and problematic scenario is going to challenge not only Pakistan, but also the world.

Not only is Pakistan’s agricultural sector been totally annihilated by the floods, but the entire infrastructure for about 30 to 35 of the country has been ruined beyond repair. So, first, Pakistan needs money today to urgently help the flood victims find shelter, food, medicines, and later rehabilitate them, but also rebuild everything that was obliterated in three provinces from scratch. This is going to need a lot of money and this is where the world commitment to peace, prosperity and above all, to humanity will come into play.

If Pakistan is quickly helped, then, the risk of the Taliban winning hearts and minds of desperate people is extremely low. However, if the money or the aid does not flow towards the needy, it is very likely that the Taliban and other negative forces will jump to fill the vacuum and in the process, hand a permanent defeat to the civilized world.



Bilal Qureshi

Bilal Qureshi is a resident of Washington, DC, so it is only natural that he is tremendously interested in politics. He is also fascinated by the relationship between Pakistan, the country of his birth, and the United States of America, his adopted homeland. Therefore, he makes every effort to read major newspapers in Pakistan and what is being said about Washington, while staying fully alert to the analysis and the news being reported in the American press about Pakistan. After finishing graduate school, he started using his free time to write to various papers in Pakistan in an effort to clarify whatever misconceptions he noticed in the press, especially about the United States. This pastime became a passion after his letters were published in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and his writing became more frequent and longer. Now, he is here, writing a blog about Pakistan managed by Foreign Policy Association.

Areas of Focus:
Taliban; US-Pakistan Relations; Culture and Society