Archive for the ‘Pakistan Flood’ Category

Sky is the limit for Pakistan,s ruling elite


Posted@ letusBuildPak

Global Voices

First the million dollar nuptials of Shoab-Sania, than Ishaq Dar,s son,s wedding at Atlantis Palm Jameirah. Mr Dar later showed the 27, 000$ dollar bill of the banquet hall in a TV show, (remaining expenditure of the wedding will remain undeclared! I bet it must have easily crossed the 1 crore  mark! ) modestly admitting, he goes, the expenditure is justified since it is his declared earnings and that he’s a big donor as well, not mentioning even if he’s right; Is it morally acceptable for a Govt representative of his stature to advocate such high-priced lifestyle, when the economy here’s is barely surviving. What kind of ultimately lucrative standards are they setting for their followers?

Moreover, I wonder what really is the limit of spending from one’s declared property? Especially for an office bearer. As corruption, and especially money laundering has been proven Hilal by majority of our rulers! What next? A trip to the moon? So much for the spoilt politicians and now their children.

Likewise, MP son of Sharif’s, the greatest flag bearers of simplicity, and who pay lesser tax than I do, imported a Siberian leopard a while ago. The Leopard needed special dietary requirements and a perfectly air-conditioned room round the clock, while the industry here is dying an unnatural death because of unwarranted load shedding. Though daddy Shahbaz disapproved it, yet such contemplation of a parliamentarian is beyond my mind.

Similar to them are our hypocrite mullahs, who send their own children to the best institutes in the world but always, promote and construct Madrassas here in Pakistan, of course, to keep a steady source of workers and voters. I absolutely have no issue with their kids obtaining foreign qualification, but the least they should do is advocate and toil for a unified curriculum in Pakistan.

The ecstasy of power is exclusive! Expenditures of PM house and Presidency in millions is to everyone’s knowledge. Lately, the £2m Harrods furnishing for Gillani,s place by his wife remained the tittle-tattle. The paradox is, there are no donors for the 2b flood affectees, and when every penny counts, the wealthy rulers are obliviously and religiously busy squandering.


Surrey’s history! Mr. Zardari,s visit to his Chateau in France was disapproved of all over the world as one of the worst flood of the century hit the country. I bet, the rulers abroad must be jealous of the empires he has made out of his job! No wonder, finally Hillary Clinton tells the govt to stringently draw tax from the rich.

The prime minister’s obsession for branded suits is no less trivial, his favorite said to be Bruno Magli costing between £3,000 and £7,000, and reportedly, he does not wear them twice. Instead, he declared to auction them (I doubt anyone showed interest!). Not to forget, the famous tale of family being imported on a chartered plane for a diner with Angelina Jolie, while she was making humble pleas to the world to donate to rescue the 2 billion flood victims.

This list has no end, as more such scandals keep rolling in now and then, given that it’s a “Family First!” policy. These very politicians than advocate simplicity, considering it times of adversity. Instead of pragmatic resolution of issues, they tell us to quit sugar if it is expensive.

Accountability aside, as policy makers and money handlers, what message are they sending across with such lucrative life styles, even if it is their Halal money as they always claim! Had we been an oil-drenching, gold-producing, sheikh land, I would have absorbed such lavish outgoing, but for heaven’s sake this is a war-poverty-flood-hunger-stricken bankrupt Pakistan at the disposal of IMF. Why can’t they postpone their shopping drills until the phase is over?

While they and their children are busy partying, the folks who advocated and demonstrated democracy show different values. There, the rich volunteer to pay more taxes to resolve the crunch, the PM leads from the front in economic crisis and flies in club class on local airways, and their heirs join troops, a tribute, and a symbol of solidarity to those at peril on the frontline.

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Thriving on your own charity


…a flood rehab donation reminder!

Rehabilitation is underway in the flood-hit regions of Pakistan. Key players in this reconstruction include numerous NGO,s working strenuously in the field. Billions have been collected by them through charity given by Pakistanis alone, though efforts of international community indeed is well appreciated. However, considering a catastrophe of biblical scale, it is not surprising that 7 million still lack shelter according to a UN report and 30 billion dollars is estimated by World Bank for rehab. More recently,Oxfam has cited,

“The funding shortfall is so serious that existing regular food rations to 3.5 million people could be in jeopardy,”

Hence, still a long way to go.

It is being said that of the foreign aid pledged to Pakistan, only 20% has reached so far. Looking at the corruption graph, it is evident where that too would be spent. But, it is a time of crisis and the nation along with the NGO,s must stretch their efforts for more money.

Pakistanis are one wonderful nation, resilient and altruistic. Nevertheless, challenges continue as cholera and dengue hits now. No wonder, we possess the potential to manage the debacle on our own. In this respect, I could not resist mentioning the work of some brilliant organizations active in the filed.

Citizens Foundation; Apart from distributing 20 million meals in all provinces and providing food rations to families returning home, they are now working on rehab of more than 60 school units, as well as construction of new schools. Khidmat Foundation is running couple of rehabilitation programmes including micro credit. Islamic Relief USA coordinated a $23 million aid shipment filled with medical supplies.

After proving their mettle in relief activities and collecting a record 2 billion+ donation, MKRF and IKRF are now focused on rehabilitation. Their project includes provision of wheat seeds for flood-hit farmers owning 25 acres of land. The scheme will cost Rs 600 million and benefit 200,000 affected farm families. Under the scheme, certified and good quality seeds will be made available to farmers for 150,000 acres of land. Apart from this, houses, micro credit and health facilities are also being made available.

Subsequent to relief efforts, Pakistan Army is busy in rehab activities now. Army has completed as many as 49 Schools, 15 Health units, 11 Mosques, houses and roads in various areas of Southern Punjab. Extensive Army Engineer’s effort is underway to restore communication infrastructure in Swat and repair of Karakorum Highway. Likewise, many acknowledged organizations like Edhi, Zindaagi trust, Madad, News channels relief funds have their share.

These are only handful compared to scores of others operational in the field, doing exceptional work. All that is indispensable is more and more donations from our own resources first. For instance, A little change in lifestyle is the demand of time.

  • Setup a direct debit for at least 6 months for a particular amount of money that you can easily donate.
  • Give away the amount equivalent to every restaurant visit to the affectees.
  • Dig out your winter wardrobe; give away warm clothes -people are dying of cold now.
  • Spend less on clothes and accessories this season and donate the savings.
  • Eid is round the corner. I advocate, scholars should declare that instead of slaughter, the cattle this time be distributed among the affected. This is a sacrifice that God will accept Inshallah.
  • Make a resolution as not to eat junk for a couple of months, instead donate that money. Relish your body as well as your soul!

Let’s rebuild Pakistan, and make “opportunity out of misery” really happen.

Donate Generously!

Posted @Pak Spectator

Organization,more than donations is required


Donations are pouring in from internal resources, plus Pakistanis abroad. Credible NGO,s have geared up and Pakistani people are sane enough to know where to donate. I, once in a long while liked what sharifs said about showing reliance on your own resources first.

Many international celebs like Angelina Jolie, Paulo Coehlo, Rafael Nadal, queen Rania of Jordan have made appeals for donations, apart from repeated UN appeals. So we are in the limelight yet again! This time for a change, as a sufferer rather than as a terrorist. But as the situation evolves, I seem to dislike it. It is somehow damaging our self-esteem and casting an impression of a molested nation. Damn, we r not Haiti, neither Africa, we are Pakistan; we can bounce back no matter what the hurdles are, or for that matter, how much corrupt the governance is. We have what is rare round the world – the magnanimity of our hearts. Seriously, we possess the potential to spring back with our own resources & without begging for international aid.

I believe, more than heavy donation; an outstanding organization will save us. With appropriate organization & co-ordination, we can surmount the issue of low budget. More can become less, if managed inappropriately. Less can become more if handled in a disciplined and organized manner. Without proper organization, some areas will remain thrifty, while aid and rehab will be subjected to others.

As the Indus is reined free in the South, water in the north has somewhat calmed down. Water has receded from much of the NWFP. Without hinging on to the govt, NGO,s should now come forward right away. They should organize, divide areas, and start reconstruction & rehab on their own. The lesser the time the displaced people spend in the camps, the lower will be spent on their food & shelter, and especially medicine (for outbreaks) which these days are much more expensive than food & shelter. Moving the displaced back to their homes as soon as possible will reduce the funds spent on diseases that they would encounter in camps.

With apt management, (even leaving out the government) Pak is one unique nation that holds the potential to handle such astounding catastrophe. For a change, let us do the building on our own without repetitively begging international donors, as charity begins at home!

Is the country moving towards anarchy?


Yesterday midnight, few half-clad and unkempt men, broke into a house in a posh locality in Islamabad, using hammers and knifes. They hunt for food & dined on what was available in the kitchen, took away food and money, and eloped.

I hope not, but is it a promo of what the future holds for us? Unless and until, the government starts behaving, the security of the entire population is at stake. Moreover, unless the unaffected population shows enthusiasm and connection with the victims, we are doomed.

Three weeks have passed since the heavy floods, and still no policy has been prepared by the government, mere slogans. From day one, they should have imposed emergency at national level. The situation on ground is equally worse. Politicians are fighting for their own houses and lands. Sufferers are living in inhumane conditions. Govt elite are not ready to cooperate & unite with each other.

Even if a few thousand of these 20 million affectees rushed to urban areas, they will play havoc with the law & order situation and already wrecked economy of the country. And if that happened nobody will be spared, neither the governing elite nor the disconnected nation.

Time to wake up: both the government & the nation, otherwise we are moving towards an anarchic situation.

Posted @ PakSpectator

Solution of the debacle:Adopt a family!


Almost 3 weeks since heavy flooding -Pakistan immediately needs an emergency flood relief policy

Concerns are being raised as regards credibility as well as competency of the government to manage the flood disaster. Although, government should not solely be blamed, as the calamity is exceedingly large to be handled by the state alone. Albeit, bearing in mind the magnanimity of Pak nation on such occasions, this attribute should be capitalized to its optimum level. However, unexpectedly, since mass motivation is not observed because of known reasons, different and organized strategy needs to be adopted this time. Solution is easy.

Government should immediately make public Short-term & long-term relief plans. After initial acute management of flood victims, which perhaps would be done in a month or so, there should be a well-mapped long-term management strategy. Political parties should engage technocrats rather than dumb MP, s for better policymaking. A policy on paper was never as crucial as it is now! BTW, our politicians have 64 yr old expertise in fashioning policies (minus implementation), hence seems like an easiest task for them!

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Shortterm Management incorporates basic utilities like temporary shelters, food, clean water, & medicines for outbreaks. State and army should manage this. They should use their own resources & whatever international donors have donated so far  to PM,CM funds. UNHCR, s is already helping.

Long-term management would include rehabilitation like building houses, providing a source of income (cattles for most & other alternatives). Sufferers would be needing homes before winter – Their, the government should slot in public & NGO,s. They can engage public on basis of “adopt a family “fashion.

Collecting data of affected families will not be that demanding and must be processed immediately. State can use NADRA record, Benazir income support record, also last years IDP,s registrations etc to gather data. Most of the sufferers belong to the poorest soceo-economic class of Pakistan. Once the record is compiled, the state should make an appeal to the public to “adopt a family” for a particular period until they are sheltered. Likewise, On larger scale NGO,s can adopt a village or town . Therefore, people can donate based on trust & feasibility. I believe this time people will come forward and donate in person, once the water recedes & rains stop. This is rational, and should be channelized in an organized manner by the state.

This will entail less fund management on part of the government and will improve transparency. In long-term management state can limit its responsibility mainly to building basic infrastructure like bridges, damaged canals, barrages, dams etc.& leave rehab to general public & NGO,s.

In addition, Since Ramadan is on and at this point of time, it is virtually impossible for the government to manage timely, two time meals (without making them rancid) on such a huge scale and this is creating more frustration among the public. Religious Scholars should come forward and make a combined consensus regarding fasting in the affected areas.

This time, contrary to the earthquake2005, & Swat IDP,s, management seems distinctive because touchwood, number of deaths are far less compared to the colossal area that’s involved. But, financial loss is magnanimous, superimposed by distrust created by governments massive corruption concerning fund handling over years. Hence, exceptional measures will have to be embraced. Meanwhile donate!

Posted @ ProPakistan

PakSpectator

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