'Biggest peacetime calamity’: Mahathir urges world to help flood-hit Pakistan

If we can commit funds for weapons, surely we can spare some for saving humanity, says ex-Malaysian PM


News Desk October 04, 2022
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. SCREENGRAB

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called upon international community to come together to help Pakistan deal with massive devastation caused by deadly floods triggered by unprecedented heavy downpours.

In a video message released on Monday, the Malaysian leader stated the gravity of the flood devastation in Pakistan.

Placing emphasis on the magnitude of the natural calamity, he stated that the staggering number of victims could make this one of the biggest “peacetime calamities”.

The 97-year-old leader urged the international aid agencies to mobilise their resources to help in rebuilding critical infrastructure particularly public health facilities.

"Critical infrastructure is damaged, homes and farms [have been] destroyed, and livestock perished with millions of survivors facing the daunting task of rebuilding their lives from zero."

He said that the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, public utilities and health facilities must take precedence as Pakistan tries to rebuild itself.

Also read: Mahathir refuses to retract Kashmir statement despite Indian pressure

“The world cannot expect Pakistan to handle all these on its own,” he said.

"If we are prepared to volunteer for wars and commit funds for weapons and killing machines, surely we can spare some for saving humanity."

He concluded his message saying, "I sincerely hope the world, especially the rich, will mobilise resources to assist Pakistan at a time when humanity faces the perils of nature."

His appeal comes as the United Nations revised up its humanitarian appeal for Pakistan five-fold to $816 million from $160 million as it seeks to control a surge in water-borne diseases following the country's worst floods in decades.

Nearly 1,700 people have been killed in floods caused by heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers in a crisis that the government and the UN have blamed on climate change.

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