• Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

Opinion On Either Side, Punjab Is Punjab


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Posted by Sundari in Environment, Pakistan, Punjab on 08 18th, 2010 | 2 responses

In Pakistan's flood-ravaged Punjab province, roads are impassable.
One-fifth of Pakistan is under water.

900,000 people are now homeless.

Up to 20 million are impacted – more than the number of people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined.

As many of you know, Pakistan has recently been devastated by floods. The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, recently visited Pakistan and described the flooding as the worst disaster he has ever witnessed. The UN says six million people desperately need emergency aid but most still have not received it. Tens of thousands of villages remain under water. There are growing health concerns for those surviving without proper shelter, food or clean drinking water leading to a potential public health “catastrophe”. And all of this is still occurring almost three weeks after the country’s worst natural disaster began.

The numbers are staggering – almost unbelievable. Given the magnitude of this disaster, one would expect to see an outcry of sympathy for the victims from the global community. Then why does is seem that the world has become complacent when coming to the aid of this region? Perhaps the region’s geographical/symbolic proximity to the “war on terror”? Perhaps we’re suffering from selective giving?

An interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor discusses how even many Pakistani-Americans say they are reluctant to donate to Pakistan flood relief efforts because they think their money will only line the pockets of a government they see as corrupt. Whether the corruption allegations hold any truth or not, the perception that money would be wasted may be one reason contributions for flood victims are way down. BBC World Service breaks down the impact of current aid,

The money pledged so far to help survivors in Pakistan is $95,604,766, – although two thirds of that is in the form of “unconfimed pledges” that, if history is any guide, are likely to go unfulfilled. That equates to $6.82 per survivor. In contrast, after the tsuanmi, $3,348,000,000 was committed for five million survivors – which works out at $669.60 for each of them. There are now concerns that because of the lukewarm international response, organisations with links to terror groups – including the Taliban – are stepping in to fill the gap. [link]

The instability of an already unstable region is not good news for Pakistan and it’s not good news for the global community.

In a report earlier this year, the Pentagon warned that new weather patterns “may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world.”

For Pakistan, which is already the epicenter of the US war on terrorism, the unusual monsoon rains and massive flooding have created the potential for further weakening of the country’s fragile democracy. Both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have been seen as inept in their response, while the head of armed forces, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, has tried to show the strength of the military in leading the country through this crisis. The armed forces have ruled Pakistan for most of its 63 years as a nation.

In addition, militant Muslim groups in the fragile northwest, where the worst flooding has occurred, are distributing their own aid and using the crisis to turn traumatized refugees against the government and the US. Civilians in that largely lawless region are already resentful of the US for its drone attacks that have killed civilians.

All of this has the potential to bolster the Taliban and Al Qaeda in both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, making it harder for the US to pacify these nations which have been launching pads for global terror attacks. [link]

While the situation may drop off the media’s agenda, and thus off our agenda, it is clear that help is still needed. So i ask you, since tomorrow (August 19th 2010) is World Humanitarian Day, how will you help?



  • southernpunjab.jpg
    19.2 KB · Reads: 200
📌 For all latest updates, follow the Official Sikh Philosophy Network Whatsapp Channel: