It is in times of adversity when nations face natural or man-made calamities that are leaders judged and governments evaluated. Claims of being saviours, and serving the people either consolidate or stand exposed. The fact is that heavy rains accompanied by floods were forecasted a year ago and preventive measures such as building embankments to stop the flow of water could have been built, especially in the light of the 2010 floods. Unfortunately, funds were not allocated, nor there existed necessary infrastructure and organisational structure to tackle the challenges posed by such calamities as floods, earthquakes, landslides etc. It was in January 2022 that thousands of motorists were stranded on the roads, cars covered with heavy snowfall and scores frozen to death near Murree Hills, within yards of government offices. Nobody within NDMA/PDMA or NHA, nor the elected and paid public office holders were held responsible. It was a natural phenomenon that turned into a man-made disaster because the administration did not do enough in three days, while people were trapped in heavy snowfall.
Fast forward to August 2022, heavy rains forecasted by Met along with floods ravage the country from Swat, Dir, Charsadda etc in KPK to South Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. The political elite was involved in their pursuit of power politics, spreading hate, while their keyboard warriors were busy targeting political rivals or trolling state institutions. The insensitive remarks by a few send shivers up my spine. While the large majority of overseas Pakistanis working in the Gulf, ME etc., who send remittances to support their families, are involved in donations, there were few in US etc. who are too involved in intra-political party rivalry, spreading venom. One wonders why Indian Diaspora remains united, and lobby for India, although they are not dual nationals, but are actively involved in American politics. Sadiq Khan Lord Mayor of London is a rare exception, who has never been a member of any political party in Pakistan but holds a key public office in the UK.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,