By Barrister Mansoor Sarwar Khan
The sheer magnitude of the killer floods ravaging huge swathes of land in the Indus valley saga is staggering. Yet more astounding is the callousness of Zardari and Nawaz, whose parties are in power. The deluge of floods has spared none from the north in Chitral, Gilgit, Swat, AJK, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Southern and Western Punjab, Baluchistan to down stream up to the mouths of Indus that had little to chew on, due to India’s water theft of its waters with impunity.
But more inundating is the political apathy shown by the political dispensation of Pakistan. While Rome was burning Nero was merry making with his flute. While Pakistan was swamping in floods Zardari was dancing in his jeans in UK pubs and ever corrupt Nawaz Sharif was politicizing every bit of misery being unleashed on the unfortunate Pakistani people. None had the heart and passion to go beyond words and pour a few millions from the billions they have plundered and stashed in off shore banks. The flooding, unprecedented in living memory or recorded history has destroyed the infrastructure we had inherited from the British, as ourselves, we had not even build 10 percent of infrastructure beyond the 60 percent we inherited in 1947.
According to the UN reports an estimated 40 million people have been displaced, destroyed and uprooted thus far. Nature alone can spare people from further devastation, for Pakistani leadership in 63 years has failed to do their bit in terms of preparation, thinking and devising a effective disaster management mechanism. The governments have always failed to provide any relief, timely information, rescue and succor to those in need in any disaster in our living memory. Amidst the many failures of both provincial and federal authorities across the country, a new blame game always seems to be at work.
Only Pakistan Army ably supported by Pakistan Air Force has taken the initiative and is doing a more than honorable job with passion and perseverance. Besides the Army personal, who are fording all sorts of hardships to rescue, recover, feed and give medical treatments to the affected people, Army helicopters are busy flying out people stuck at place not accessible by any other means where as C 130s of the PAF are carrying heavy relief goods in bulk. Now the latest situation is that public is not responding to any government initiative to raise funds, people have shown complete lack of trust in the political government of PPP and PML –N. Now even for raising of the funds, this task has been given to the Army, what a shame for all those who take no breath when they come to Army bashing have completely failed mobilize the people to raise funds.
The provincial government in Punjab has utterly failed in its responsibility and is only good at photo shoots and media managing. The federal government has only woken up to the disaster and is busy catching up. There is still no clear working plan in place and no futuristic understanding to deal with future disasters of such magnitude. A national disaster management policy, with an institution, with streamlined systems of relief, rebuilding and rehabilitation is badly needed, The Kalabagh damn is an integral part of any such plan. What I mean is a most strategic thinking. There is plenty of eccentricity in the Indian Sub- Continent. Mohan Das Gandhi a great man though, was an embodiment of this psychiatric evaluation. Jinnah and Iqbal were just too balanced and scientific beings and never fell victim to any kind of emotive sentimentalism or eccentricity. Our media and politicians have not followed the footsteps of our founding fathers they are more in to Gandhian eccentrics, look how they created the air crash hype, the shoe throwing hype and so many other hypes but never a nationalistic hype say for instance a Kalabagh damn hype.
Mr Kamar Zaman Chaudhry head of the environment kept yelling at the top of his voice, that please keep an eye on the monsoon floods, but air crash mania would not let go, and the flood monster broke the cage and rest is history. Will our otherwise awesome media ever mature to more balanced, nationalistic and sagacious dimensions. I hope soon the political leadership has pushed our societal syndicate to such emotionalism of no consequence accept self destruction. We seem to be back to the square of 1947 partition. Lets not allow our fears to prevail, this is what our enemies would love to happen, lets for once stand up like a nation and start living our hopes led by honest uncompromising leaders in whose footsteps the nation can hear the rolling thunder of history.
Pakistan was created in scheme of divine things, it should remain functional and intact in the scheme of divine things, all we need to do is to put it together and start a journey back to future, Humiliation and misery of our people at the hands of our rulers is not our cup of tea for long now. If we can pull this off, with magnanimity, passion, and a bit of commitment restore harmony in the country then probably deliverance, hope and awareness would soon be knocking our doors.
These floods on the heels of 2005 earthquakes is a wrath of Allah. Such calamities are inflicted when people astray from the right path, there are many examples in history, like the Roman Empire, Pompai and many more that were destroyed for they had astrayed willfully. The present rulers are the product of such people who have also astayed into wilderness. It’s a time for collective repentance by the whole nation. The floods, no end in sight are capable of causing still bigger destruction.
The people must look towards the three pillars of Pakistan, its ideology, philosophy of Dr Iqbal and personality of M. A. Jinnah whose hearts were filled with the love of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and commandments of Allah.
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