[Opinion] Aid for Pakistan

By Ali Maqbool Channa

Recent flooding in Pakistan has caused great distress to its population. The floods that have been happening were unexpected and due to monsoon rain that melted glaciers flooding land from Gilgit in the North to Karachi and Gwadar in the South of Pakistan.
This mega flood has already been disastrous and the rain continues to fall. This has been the largest displacement of people in Pakistan since the country’s independence in 1947.
Floods have displaced million’s of people, and exposed them to diseases like cholera. Large amounts of livestock have died and more than 23 percent of the agricultural land is under water.
People have fled from their homes, for they have nothing left. They are forced to live in camps, schools, colleges, or beneath the sky on the ground or road.
Innocent children travel in miserable conditions and are facing hunger and disease. Several people died due to starvation. Many children have perished in front of their parents; many girls have become orphans; many wives have become widows. Numerous families have lost their relatives, and friends have lost their friends.
The education and health of the people has been disturbed, and at this time, the people of Pakistan are in critical condition. The U.N. and world community have responded positively to Pakistan’s situation. According to the Pakistani newspaper, The Daily Kawish, even the General Secretary of United Nations Ban Ki Mon and President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, personally distributed some food items to a crowd of people.
The immediate steps taken by the U.S. government are not in vain. Donations have been provided, and U.S. helicopters are in place to rescue people from water. They will also assist people in finding food, medical supplies and shelter. The people of Pakistan see America helping them in this time of need. American policies have increased the number of people who want better ties between Pakistan and the U.S.
In some parts of northwest Pakistan, due to the lack of resources, religious fundamentalist groups who support the Taliban are taking advantage of this opportunity to manipulate the population. They seek to influence by offering help to the people. This might be very hazardous for the people of Pakistan.
Terrorists and extremists have their own agenda behind the temporary help, and it would be dangerous to the democracy and stability of Pakistan to accept it. The people are aware of the evil ideology, and the harmful situation that could result from the acceptance of aid from these fundamentalist groups.
The people of Pakistan want help from their democratic brothers in the world. To get involved, the Pakistani Student Association has weekly meetings. PSA is gathering donations and splitting them between the Red Cross, Islamic Relief, and Helping Hand.

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