By B Raman
The Pakistani floods, which have reached Sindh, have inundated vast areas and caused considerable devastation. But is the devastation really as bad as Pakistan claims it is?
Originally, the Government of Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani had claimed that about 20 million people were affected by the floods. But here are the figures posted by the Federal Flood Commission on August 23, 2010.
The number of people has come down to 7.7 million, just over a third of the initial estimate.
The Karachi-based The Dawn newspaper wrote on August 22:
A mix of reasons were being given for the world’s sluggish response to the calamity. These ranged from a corrupt image of the government to being a supporter of Taliban. British Prime Minister Cameron’s terror export remarks reinforced this perception and made donation collection more difficult […] Going through the hostile remarks posted on various websites seeking comments on assisting Pakistan floods reveals that there is hardly any friend of Pakistan in the outside world.
“Governments are giving donations because of the geopolitical considerations, some multinationals are also donating after being encouraged by different capitals, but Pakistan clearly lacks public sympathy, which is crucial for generating funds,” a Western diplomat commented.
The Government of India has done well to make a contribution of $ 5 million as a mark of solidarity with the victims of the floods, which the Pakistani authorities have accepted after some delay.
Salman Haider, former Foreign Secretary, has circulated an appeal on behalf of the so-called Balusa group with which the ill-tempered and ill-behaved Pakistani Foreign Minister used to be associated, asking the Indian public to donate generously for the flood relief in Pakistan.
Instead, well-wishers of the Pashtuns, Sindhis, Balochs and the Kashmiris of Gilgit Baltistan should appeal to the people to donate instead to India-friendly organizations in those areas for use in flood relief.
B Raman is an expert on security and anti-terrorism operations. He headed the Counter-Terrorism Division of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) for six years. He has been a member of various special task forces related to security and intelligence issues. An internationally acclaimed writer and lecturer, he regularly contributes articles to various national and international publications on security-related topics. He is also the Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and an Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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