There are few things more deplorable than the dishonest appropriation of goods or funds meant for charity. The sin is even worse when one considers that such theft was meant to deprive those affected by the floods, disadvantaged people who are left homeless, displaced and without a roof above their heads due to the calamity.

That is why the news report regarding relief aid, including more than 500 tents and ration bags, being recovered during a raid at a rice mill warehouse in the town of Nasirabad, quickly became viral on social media and drew the ire of citizens. The outrage appears to have prompted the police into action; with reports that police have registered the case and taken a few people into custody. For now, at least, it appears that some measures for accountability against those involved are being taken—District and sessions judge Kamber Shahdadkot Zahid Hussain Mitlo has ordered the SSP to register a case against a PPP local councillor, the rice mill owners and the concerned SHO for their involvement.

However, the fact that this was allowed to take place, and that government officials, elected representatives and the police aided in this horrific fraud is unacceptable and calls for an apology from the highest levels of government. According to reports, the tents were stored on the directives of the local MPA who had handed over the tents, and the revenue officials including the police were aware. While the facts are not confirmed yet, the information made available so far speaks of rampant corruption. The situation seems even more bleak considering this is just one instance that has actually been caught, and the question remains as to how many such frauds are being conducted where the culprits are never held accountable.

The damages such incidents cause are irrevocable. Lack of trust in charitable causes can erode the generous spirit that our countrymen are known for. Furthermore, such instances will also jeopardise whatever foreign aid and assistance the country is trying to occur. The federal government, and especially PPP’s high-level officials should not ignore this and take strict action.