Back in 2005 when the earthquake hit Northern part of Pakistan, we witnessed what was perhaps the biggest humanitarian aid effort taken up by Pakistanis. People from all over the country including Diasporas living in other parts of the world contributed to relief and rehabilitation efforts. Individuals and local charities both donated and the city that put in most; both in terms of monetary donations and human resource was Karachi.
Last year, districts in all 4 provinces of Pakistan were flooded after torrential rains and we saw donation camps were set up across Pakistan. This year, districts in Sindh and Baloachistan are affected with yet another flood but this time neither the media nor the citizens are taking it as seriously as they did it last year. Sanghar and Badin may not be the news hotspots but the misery that the floods have brought in is just the same there as it is elsewhere. Camps have been set up in Karachi and Hyderabad but things are quiet in other parts of the country. I have not seen a single camp, either in Rawalpindi or Islamabad, receiving donations and goods for flood relief efforts in Sindh and Baloachistan. Al Khidmat Foundation, charity wing of Jamat-e-Islami, is the only organization that has put up some banners with a bank account number where people can donate money for flood relief efforts in Islamabad, otherwise it looks as if it is business as usual and no natural calamity has hit the country. I find it mind numbingly cruel that parts of Sindh and Baloachistan are submerged in water and the rest of Pakistan couldn’t care less. If this does not breed discontent and dissent, I would be most surprised.
Despite being beleaguered with unprecedented violence in the previous months, Karachiites are helping their countrymen and women in flood affected areas, it’s about time rest of the Pakistan wakes up. It is easy to blame the politicians and yes, they are to be blamed along with the whole bureaucracy that live off the wealth generated by the poor Pakistanis and does nothing, but common people in areas not affected by either violence or natural calamity also must stand up and be counted. Blaming others is easy, taking up responsibility is hard.
Photos were taken from The Atlantic which has some of the most heart wrenching visuals of the current floods.