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Daily News Analysis

Helicopter rides, photo-ops amidst worst flood disaster in Pakistan!

Crescent International

While the people of Pakistan are reeling from the worst flood disaster in living memory, politicians and generals take helicopter rides and indulge in photo-ops.

Their callousness is mindboggling.

They offer little help apart from issuing vacuous statements in front of television cameras.

Official figures of death and damage are nowhere near the actual scale of destruction.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on September 3 that over 1,200 people had died in the floods, mostly children, while hundreds had been left injured.

“Over 5,000km of roads, 200 bridges, 1.4 million houses and 700,000 livestock have been washed away,” according to NDMA.

Many remote villages have still not been reached where people are stranded.

How many have died there is difficult to tell.

Many of these villages are mud houses that collapsed amid rising waters.

The poor villagers’ children, women and cattle have been washed away by floods.

Amid this massive disaster, the army-installed prime minister Shehbaz Sharif was seen dropping a few food packages from helicopter for cameras.

Following the photo-op, his helicopter that did not touch down, flew away for a photo-op session at another location.

Maryam Nawaz, the self-appointed heir-apparent, finally came out of purdah after weeks of hiding, to visit a carefully select group of women.

The amount of money she had spent on her make-up could have fed at least a hundred families.

How cynical can they get?

All four provinces of the country have been affected but Sindh and Balochistan are most severely affected because they are downstream.

The politicians’ criminal conduct, especially in Sindh has also caused the destruction of hundreds of villages with the resultant deaths of innocents.

Asif Ali Zardari, the Dakoo of Sindh who has fled the country ordered local authorities to breach barrages to divert water toward villages in order to protect his lands from flooding.

This dakoo (mega-thief) has also unleashed his goons to attack and plunder relief convoys.

Trucks carrying relief goods donated by people have been attacked and their goods snatched by Zardari’s thugs.

His goons have also illegally occupied schools in different parts of the province, especially Karachi.

Both in South Punjab and Sindh province, standing crops have been destroyed.

With 60% of the country under water and 35 million people affected, it will take decades if not more to recover.

The Meteorological department had warned the government three months ago about the monsoon rains and the resultant flooding.

Far from taking any preventative measures, the regime indulged in dirty politics.

The army top brass, especially army chief general Qamar Javed Bajwa cannot escape blame either.

He was directly responsible for overthrowing Imran Khan’s government at the behest of the US.

True, the regime could not have averted the disaster completely but if resources had been mobilized and people evacuated from vulnerable areas ahead of time, the number of deaths could have been minimized.

Their cattle could have been saved as well.

Further, people are now been afflicted by water-borne diseases as well as snake-bites.

But successive Pakistani regimes have never cared for the people’s well-being.

They have no time from plunder and loot although there is little left to steal now.

Famine will soon follow.

Even before the floods, 90 million people were living below the poverty line.

This number will easily swell to 120-150 million because of damage to crops.

Pakistan’s future looks grim under a military dictator who takes orders from the Americans and the gang of criminals and murderers he has installed in power to carry out his nefarious agenda.

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