Crying shame

Published: August 8, 2010
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The writer is executive director news and current affairs at Aaj TV
syed.talat@tribune.com.pk

The writer is executive director news and current affairs at Aaj TV syed.talat@tribune.com.pk

It is strange that Pakistan is not erupting in rage while deadly floods have affected millions. The rulers, including the president, are happily missing in action. The fury of water is not new to this land, but this year it has been exceptionally murderous. Already about 2,000 people have died. Many more are missing. Millions of acres of agricultural land have been submerged. Standing crops worth billions have been ruined and millions of farmers, already on the edge of economic precipice, have been pushed down to the depth of wretched poverty. Power plants that supply electricity to homes and industrial zones have become dysfunctional.

The elderly along the banks of the Indus say that they have not seen anything like this in nearly a century. Official records suggest that the last such flood came in 1929, which left the area in tatters. I have no reason to doubt these claims. I have travelled almost 1,700 kilometres with the furious river. I have witnessed the havoc the water has played with the community alongside the banks and deep into the city. Consider this: Kot Addu, a city bigger than Muzaffargarh, is completely under water. In Sindh, especially in the Katcha area, thousands of people are now in jeopardy. The sights that I have seen and tales I have heard are soul-searing. I remember a doddering old man who had walked barefoot for 15 miles along 40 members of his family and 35 sheep. He said that two babies were lost on the way; one died of a snakebite and the other was stillborn as his granddaughter had to give birth on the roadside. Children slipped out of their mother’s arms straight into the raging water; wives wailed as their men drowned before their eyes. Families clung to trees for days and some had to make the painful choice of leaving behind older family members because there was not enough space on the occasional rescue boats. I have seen corpses afloat in the water in abandoned villages and people stranded on their rooftops for days fearing death.

Even now thousands are stuck in Kohistan and Swat. Residents in the tehsils of Kabal, Matta and Shamozai, right up to Kalam face the prospect of starvation. But since most of us understand national tragedies only in terms of loss of life, and since the floods have not thrown up enough bodies, we have not woken up to its ugliness. The cold numbers on death-toll lists hide the torture and pain the people of Pakistan are undergoing. They hide the social and economic destruction that we will face in the coming months and years.

The scale of the tragedy is staggering. Never before has a single problem hit so many in so many different ways, including all the four provinces besides Azad and Jammu Kashmir and the Northern Areas. Most of the people I have spoken to said that they have now discovered there is no government in the country. A teacher from Muzaffargarh was livid that President Asif Ali Zardari was travelling to France and the UK when the country is sinking. He also recalled how, on the day he came out of the water on an inflated tube, he saw in the bazaar Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on national TV regaling himself with Adnan Sami Khan’s music and good food. He called it a crying shame, an act of unforgivable betrayal. As thousands move to the cities in search of shelter, and many more are packed along the roads, President Zardari’s happy pictures are indeed distasteful to look at. No less appalling is the shoddy PR the chief minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, is doing in the name of relief efforts. For the flood-affected, these pictures and official antics are as bad as the tragedy the heavens have sent down on them. Frankly, one doesn’t know which is more saddening and hurtful — the floods or a set of rulers who enrich and enjoy themselves as the people suffer an awful fate.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Aug 9, 2010 - 12:03AM

    A definitely shame period for us……The joota stuff(whther it was thrown or not) some denied is even more crying shame….from a laughing shame, its now transforming to a “crying shame”…so many people stuck up in flood,,, before that crash….and blast in peshawar……what will happen? The rulers are enjoying a chill time…not even economically, the country is sinking socially and morally too (thefts and crimes during floods) people looting air crash victims….stealing their left things….what is more to come? Recommend

  • rehan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:15AM

    Talat Bhai..we are a dormant Volcano(..IF we are one,that is).We never erupted in 1971 when we lost half our country.’Amnesia’ has however erupted in this flood ravaged country.Recommend

  • Anum Khan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:20AM

    Your article was well written.
    Two questions are left unanswered in my mind
    1. How will the people displaced people recover?
    2. Does this government deserve to stay in power?Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:31AM

    If we will not seek the forgiveness from Al-Mighty Allah, the Creator will call us back.

    I would request Muslims of Pakistan to become true Muslims. The Holy month of Ramadan is approaching in few days. In this month Al-Mighty Allah open the doors for those people who seek forgiveness.

    Looking back of the Muslims of Pakistan in early 60’s and of today, I find a vast difference in our acts and deeds.

    Money has become everything for us. We cannot tolerate each other. We are ready to kill the other person who is not liked by us. We have lost faith in Al-Mighty Allah and we think that most powerful thing on this earth is money, which we should earn by hook and crook.

    I have given shoulders to many dead bodies in my life and have walked with the dead people to the graveyards. I could not see them taking away anything from this world. They came with empty hands and they also went with empty hands, so why there is so much of hue and cry?

    A day will come when people will also take my dead body to the grave yard, and I know that I will also go with empty hands like others. Then why should I accumulate wealth which is not mine, the wealth which cannot keep me alive for another 100 years, so why should I worry about the wealth which is not mine.

    I therefore try my best to do the good deeds and acts to serve humanity without any religious believe, cast and creed and serve humanity in whatever manner I can serve to seek the forgiveness of Al-Mighty Allah who is the Creator and to who one day I have to return.Recommend

  • Uzee
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:48AM

    Great Article. I wonder if these rulers will EVER show a LITTLE bit of mercy on the people. I don’t know how they can sleep at night and how they can move around with smiling faces as if everything is just perfect!!Recommend

  • Aug 9, 2010 - 12:50AM

    A flood of rulers who enrich and enjoy themselves while people suffer an aweful fate.Recommend

  • Fahad
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:51AM

    Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is travelling an average of 500 kilometres daily by road to reach out to the flood-hit masses contrary to low activities of his provincial counterparts at this critical time.
    Punjab government has put in place a pool of 100 officers at the provincial secretariat to look after rescue and relief activities in the areas allocated to them. All Punjab secretaries are engaged in this work.

    Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=30596Recommend

  • Deee Haider :)
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:57AM

    Oh My God… Right on! Direct and ruthless… The saga have just begun. Today it was one of the State Minister’s House. Lot more to come in near future… Stay tuned folks! God help US!Recommend

  • AA
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:16AM

    To your question “one doesn’t know which is more saddening and hurtful — the floods or a set of rulers who enrich and enjoy themselves as the people suffer an awful fate?”, I would say it’s a combination of three: the floods, the rulers — and the talking heads on TV, not necessarily in that order.Recommend

  • Dr.Fatima
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:44AM

    I think this tragedy is an eye-opener for all of us.It showed us the reality of our leadership,the lack of a disaster management system,and the importance of a dependable governance.After the betrayal of our leadership,the whole nation has realized that we need to change our governance,we need to change our attitude,and we need to wakeup from our slumber.This time is the critical rescue period.The Pakistani nation should unite and help their countrymen without expecting anything from the leaders who are oblivious to the suffering of their nation.Recommend

  • rehan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 3:43AM

    @FAHAD.
    Practically IMPOSSIBLE to travel 500km in a day by road to those places where the road network has been inundated.Yes patrolling on his brother’s M2 only,very much possible..even more.Recommend

  • Yusaf Khan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 3:52AM

    Time for all of us to stand together and not be divided. United we can over come this catastrophe, divided we will fall.Recommend

  • Ashraf Mehboob
    Aug 9, 2010 - 4:02AM

    I suggest our army should freeze its budget at last year’s level and donate the recent raise in its budget to the flood relief. It would alleviate a little pain. This is the biggest chunk of money I can think of which we can use to help th poor. Civilian budgets are so small that they would not make any differnce.Recommend

  • RajaJee
    Aug 9, 2010 - 4:59AM

    We are a dead nation, a country lead by ruthless and disgraced rulers, working for with their own motives. Mr. Talat, i would recommend if you can give awareness to our people about importance of Dams, and please don’t bring these so called politicians on media, a while ago who were fighting for releasing water from Chasham Jehlum Canal( pardon me if its wring). You are doing a brilliant job. These politicians must be very happy and looking forward to grab shares in restructuring the infrastructure.Recommend

  • eraj khan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 5:54AM

    talat bahi…i have stopped having faith in our government. And, we the youth, are trying to do as much as we can, on our own. Unfortunately, i reside in karachi and the recent killings in the city has prevented me and others to collect more funds but we are doing the best that we can. May God help us. AmeenRecommend

  • Active4PK
    Aug 9, 2010 - 6:38AM

    Rebuilding infrastructure will take years but another opportunity for our ministers and politicians to make money. Heartless people..Recommend

  • mussarat ahmedzeb swat
    Aug 9, 2010 - 7:32AM

    We as a nation should do what the elderly man did in Birmingham, to all the polititions from every party.Recommend

  • Sultan, Abbottabad
    Aug 9, 2010 - 9:30AM

    My answer would be the set of rulers we have imposed upon ourselves, may it be Provincial or the Federal.
    I being from the area worst hit by the 2005 earthquake, which killed more than 100,000 people and injured a lot more, have a comparison to make. After the Earthquake the then President of Pakistan Mr. Pervaiz Musharaf (I have no soft corner for the dictator and even hate his name ‘Pervaiz’ as this was the name of a person who tore our Holy Prophet P. B. U. H’s letter) had said “We will change this disaster into an opportunity” and I being a witness to the Projects and reconstruction activities say that Mr. Musharaf was true to his commitment and words and he did that. Only yesterday our worthy Prime Minister was saying we cannot do anything as the catastrophe is beyond our imagination and control.
    Now you see for yourself the difference in attitudes of our Democratically Elected Representatives and a Dictator. Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Aug 9, 2010 - 9:53AM

    Why is the writer crying now, he was one of the biggest propagate for these people to come in to power. These so called big main stream leaders, Zardari, Nawaz, Shahbaz etc all are only interested in 1 thing & 1 thing only, themselves.

    Pakistan has become a joke for the whole world, a cruel joke. We all need to thank only a few players for this, Lawyers, Media (Jang & Aaj especially) & Judges.

    Thank you for this democracy.

    All Hail Democracy!!!!Recommend

  • Saleha Khan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 10:32AM

    Crying shame indeed!!! Recommend

  • Muzzammil
    Aug 9, 2010 - 10:34AM

    Yes, you are right, because we have been divided by democracy and by the evil power of Capitalism that prevents us to raise our concerns!Recommend

  • Usman Aslam
    Aug 9, 2010 - 10:34AM

    Talat Sir, It really is a heart-rending havoc. People will remember this for a while & then they just forget all this saying that the life has to go on. I don’t blame anyone for this rather I feel ashamed myself that what have I done to this country. Don’t rely on others & take the first step yourself to help flood affectees. It’s now or never … Recommend

  • Zareena Butt
    Aug 9, 2010 - 10:56AM

    Where have all hero’s gone? Our main goal in life these days seems is to play the BLAME GAME! Its always someones fault….cry..moan..complain !!!
    I dont see a massive movement by the civilan population of young men and women who took the initiative & did something, provided clothing, food, water or medicines to the victims.
    Shame on all of you writing comments on this post, my friends can you honestly ask yourself what EACH one of you has done to ease the pain and suffering of the flood victims.
    Forget the Army and the federal government,we are living at a time of spineless cowards and each one of you proudly wear that TITLE, that is proving to the world that people of Pakistan are bringing upon themselves these tragic eventsRecommend

  • ashwin
    Aug 9, 2010 - 11:56AM

    IT is extermly sad .It is time for international community to help pakistan.Isnt Isaf right next door probably they should step in.Recommend

  • Aug 9, 2010 - 12:03PM

    Mr Talat, no doubt this time the flood was realy a horrible one and natural clamities of such enormity are not easy to tackle, not only pakistan, any country of world would have not managed it effectively.
    But on the contrary,you are very right that flood is not something brand-new to our land. This nation confront this prince of darkness every year. But still the self-interested politicians of our country are not taking this issue seriously and has miserably failed to construt new dams in the country.
    whenever the idea of construting new dams comes under disussion it dies unmateralized owing to their cunning provincial-politics without caring for the national interests.
    If there had been new dams most of the flood water would have been stored and the enormity of destruction would hve been minimised and secondly this stored would have been used for crops on proper time.
    Recommend

  • M.Atif
    Aug 9, 2010 - 12:24PM

    I want to ask some questions?

    If these politician are so bad as Mr. Talat is saying, why people are choosing them again & again. See the recent Election in Gujranwala, & Sargodha, if you belief on democracy then don’t cry people because like them and want to see them there representatives.
    We are shouting if Mr. Zardari did not cancel his visit(UK) & could not visit the flood affected areas, Media is crying that he should be there rather in UK but on the other hand if Mr. Shabaz is there we are again criticizing what we want I think just criticism ?Recommend

  • Aug 9, 2010 - 1:00PM

    Build 200 Feet deep and similarly wide tankers underground along the river, 20 of these should be made in every Got, City and village to suck the river dry to minimise such a risk.

    Such a disaster management would ensure, much water is available for utilities for many years to come.

    Recommend

  • Dr. Dejavu
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:27PM

    My request ! Please forget the rulers and politicians…….they have done nothing and they will do nothing ! Its the people, us, the ordinary people of Pakistan who have to come forward. I have seen the tremendous, selfless response of the people at 2005 Earthquake and 2009 IDPs crisis. I have worked in those areas & I can assure that the goodness, sacrifice and brotherhood that the ordinary people showed has no match anywhere in the world. Its time again to mobilize the people….the GREAT people of Pakistan. Forget the rulers ! Forget the politicians ! Don’t expect anything good from them !Recommend

  • Amna Zaman
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:29PM

    @sadaf. The ‘joota story’ is the result of frustration in the people who are surrounded by a threat of terrorist and floods and aviation failures. We must condemn such actions and learn to be more responsible citizens.Recommend

  • Salman
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:41PM

    Dear Talat,

    I have to say you have been extra ordinarilly diplomatic in your writing considering 1700KM of devestation you have seen and our poor brethren you have talked to otherwise I am sure you would be boiling with emotions.

    Anyway, I believe nation is on the verge of revolution now and its only time which these draconian rulers are buying.

    –SalmanRecommend

  • nasser
    Aug 9, 2010 - 1:43PM

    Why don’t Talat, Dr. Shahid, Hamid Mir and their ilk contest the elections? Their true test will be in the assemblies. In the past we have seen the likes of Mushahid, Maleeha Lodhi, Shireen Mazari, Late Irshad Ahmad Haqqani not only making it to the power corridors through their columns but also serving the dictators to their hearts’ contents.Recommend

  • Adeel Haider
    Aug 9, 2010 - 2:17PM

    I won’t blaim Mr. Zardari’s Government for anything as I can confidently and shamefully say that the people struck by this havoc will re-elect the same people to Govern.
    I completely agree with Atif that if these politicians are so bad lets make sure that this bunch of politicians do not appear again on the screen and lets elect those who are at least to SOME use of this country and this nation. GOD HELP THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES !!!!Recommend

  • shy
    Aug 9, 2010 - 2:35PM

    It is the result of bad selection in all related departments.Should be serious about next election and selection.Recommend

  • shahid
    Aug 9, 2010 - 3:00PM

    iam yet to read a optimistic opinion from you.your consistent pessimism is not helping the nation.please read irshad haqqani,s collums.you might find something new. Recommend

  • Aug 9, 2010 - 3:06PM

    Our political masters are a reflection of society at large. While we have rightly criticized Zardari and his minions for their apathy, the apathy of our upper and upper middle class is even more disappointing. Yesterday, a Civil Defence Force donation point in F-8 Islamabad was shut down due to a lack of donations. While a similar donation point in F-6 has raised peanuts.

    As a society we have have become used to “othering” away the miseries of those affected by terrorism, earthquakes, crippling inflation and today floods. Recommend

  • salman
    Aug 9, 2010 - 3:08PM

    i totally agree with Mr Adeel Haider. It seems we are not acceptable to God let alone the Outside world. Pakistan have been mocked by the world over its policies and the role of Its leaders in and outside country.
    We for the time beind should help whole heartedly these affected people(due to flood). But remember recently By-election again concluded in PPP’S victory. Another evidence that people themselves are not helping their causeRecommend

  • Fateh Ullah Khan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 4:18PM

    Respected Talat Hussain. You are all discussing about the flood and connected to the politicians is understandable but this is not understood as to why non of the politicians belonging to provincial government and federal government have visited the far flung area of Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat, South and North Waziristans and even you as a journalist not highlighted the miseries, people of these areas are facing. These areas are also the part of the country and I would expect you that you along-with your television team visit these far flung areas rather than writing articles, whom from the centuries are without food and shelter and they have no dams, barrages and to quench thirst even well. Although, these localities are residing on the bank of great Indus, here called as Darya Khan, Darya-e-Dera, Ghambila River and Kurrum River. But they travel miles to get drinking water and to get treatment from General Hospitals of their districts.
    علاج اس کا بھی میرے چارہ گراں ہے کہ نہیںRecommend

  • Anjum
    Aug 9, 2010 - 4:22PM

    I gurantee you all there ,our country shall be rulled like wise as it is . Corruption has peeped in roots and it is now daily commedity.Even Indians are shocked at Flood but Pakistani Rullers are not effected.

    God may erridicate this corruption .

    AnjumRecommend

  • Tauseef Khan
    Aug 9, 2010 - 7:32PM

    We must think if this is a wrath of God upon the Pakistani people. What have we done that we deserve such punishment. Pakistan is now a country facing innumerable crises coming one after another without respite. If this is not God’s wrath then what is.

    We should turn back to the Holy Qur’an and see that all the sins of the olden people are being committed by Pakistan, therefore, we are facing the same punishments.

    For me the only way out of this is to cry to God like the people of Prophet Jonah (Yunus(as)). We should cry and plead for forgiveness, promise to accept the reformer that God has sent and never to persecute other fellow humans. Recommend

  • ashwin
    Aug 9, 2010 - 8:07PM

    please stop all this passing judegements and negatives even india faced tusnami . Please get out there and help those helpless and needy people . You have time to Blame president PM and all the other people.RIGHT NOW POOR PEOPLE NEED HELP SO PLEASE HELP !!!Recommend

  • HAMMAD ALI HASSAN
    Aug 9, 2010 - 9:41PM

    our government doing nothing..
    they tagging army as their official GOVERNMENT RESCUERS, if they want that then hand over this country to army.
    they are not this much ignorant and selfish. Recommend

  • sohail ahmed
    Aug 9, 2010 - 10:28PM

    It is definitely a sad affair. More so because of the following reasons:

    March and April has been the toughest in recorded history in the sub-continent as these were the hottest months since recording commenced, i.e., 1800 onwards. In Pakistani part, it was 32 years before so hot summer was witnessed. Millions of tons of vapors were already in upper atmosphere by end June.
    The concerned deptts and other agencies were horribly unprepared even from the conventional standards.
    No attempt was made to even get the information from indian counterparts to explain to the people of impending horrors which were imminent and well understood through IT and Metrological set ups.
    The criminal negligence has compounded the problems of the poor lot who are already on the receiving end.

    I wish that it is high time some of the heads should roll. I predict people’s wrath once the deluge subsides. With shortage of food stuff and potable water, forgetting about medicine and other essential items needed, people are going to resort to mass killing if government does not take proper action. Simple write ups will not serve the purpose; proper planned actionable points with follow up are needed, if we are to alleviate the problems of the affected people. Recommend

  • Nida Malik
    Aug 9, 2010 - 11:48PM

    It is indeed sad to see how the nation struggles with natural as well as man-made calamities, while the supposed “protectors” of the state continue to fill their pockets and continue to live happy, healthy lives full of world tours and all other worldly pleasures. However, what I fail to understand is how, we, the people of this nation are suffering quietly and in fact are letting more of these leaders to come to power. Especially as I heard the news of Bakhtawar Bhutto’s decision to enter the politics of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Babs
    Aug 10, 2010 - 12:16AM

    What ever happened to those lawyers who helped to restore “democracy”?Recommend

  • saleem uddin
    Aug 10, 2010 - 2:12AM

    Dear Mr.Talat,
    It is the irony of fate that Pakistani Nation is facing a two-fold disaster. One in the form of heavy floods and the other in the form of indifferent, incompetent and unsincere democratic representatives which, we can see most of them, leaving the nation alone in need and try to escape the lands of disasters.Recommend

  • TANIA FATMI
    Aug 10, 2010 - 8:51AM

    Talat Sb, every word you have expressed, is true. Though i strongly feel the devastation is so huge that one cant expect our careless government to do much. Its the private sector, the NGO’s the groups who are working solely for the flood relief projects to bring drastic change. I request everyone to PLEASE help the flood victims in any form, giving food, clothes, water or a home.Just sitting at home & saying ‘o its so sad whats happening” wont change anything.look around, they are so many people sending stuff, if you dont know, i’ll be more than happy to guide you BUT PLZ do something, give a min of rs 100, encourage your kids to share their pocket money. We have to make the difference.

    Join us on http://www.facebook.com/giveahome and help re-build homes for our Pakistani families

    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!Recommend

  • Amna Zaman
    Aug 10, 2010 - 1:03PM

    @tania. Truth is always bitter. I agree with you. Not much can be done. If the state was so damn responsible we would not have terrorist killing thousands in the first place.Recommend

  • Aug 10, 2010 - 1:14PM

    talat:

    our collective inaction on these floods will act as recruitment catalyst for the terrorists

    it has the potential to destroy or remake pakistanRecommend

  • Jamil Uddin
    Aug 10, 2010 - 5:42PM

    It is actually happening: Politicians are busy in their mundane politics, bureaucrats are wasting time as usual, government is shifting blame to not opposition but the nature itself, opposition is busy in finger pointing at President, PM etc etc.,common man not affected by the flood is apprehensive of the price hikes that will be a direct affect of floods and the flood affected people do not know what to do. What I hate on the media is that when they are showing the worst conditions of the people they show us the ad of Ghee Co’s and mobile operators who are offering reward and showing happy people. Are we a nation of Mad people who have no sense???Recommend

  • Aug 10, 2010 - 5:45PM

    It is indeed so shameful. But that’s not all. The people have refused to wake up to the plight of those who’s pain we cannot feel. I know for a fact that people are not taking the same interest that they have in other disasters. And then there is the fact that we are so engrossed in ourselves, we do NOT want to be bothered with all this disaster management and relief activity stuff. We’ve been numbed to the plight of the displaced, hungry and dead.

    Talat has said it all. There is nothing more to be said. However, these are my two cents on the issue:

    http://www.thetrueperspective.com/2010/08/what-did-we-do-to-deserve-this.html

    May God have mercy on us. Amen.Recommend

  • Gulzar Kandrani
    Aug 11, 2010 - 12:19AM

    effectees need help and solace,whether government provides or ordinary people. UN warns again and again about the victims and WHO expressed its concerns for epidemic diseases. People before were caught in the vortex of poverty and prey of food-security but recent downpours and flood played havoc role to devastate them. It is more lamentable to hear that our unconscious rulers just make hollow claims. But I ask question to the masses that yet they await for relief and tie hopes that our so called leaders, political Jokers will come and hug them? I guess that yet we did not learn from 62 year apathy of rulers. Now we (masses) ought to come forward to give shoulders and help out our brothers in this critical juncture. And we should beg forgiveness from Allah almighty for our bad deeds as well. Talat Sahib! come what may our rulers neither take any step nor their conscience rebukes them. Nevertheless, I m grateful to you that now I can read you twice time in the week in News papers. In EXPRESS I read between the lines Javed Chouhdry, Oriya Maqbool Jaan,Abdullah Tariq Suhail and your columns. I like your Urdu writing style. Because it so different among others.
    May Allah keep you happy and shower his blessings upon you.
    Regards,
    Gulzar Kandrani
    QuettaRecommend

  • Salman Kidwai
    Aug 11, 2010 - 2:08AM

    I was listening to BBC this morning and I heard this statement “Swat has gone back to stone ages” by an Englishman who lived for forty years in Swat. If my recollection is accurate a similar statement was quoted by Gen. Mushraf made by an American diplomat that if Pakistan does not cooperate in the war on terror then US will bomb her back to Stone Age. The General acted in compliance; however in the case of Mother Nature “Nobody” heard the warning and hence we are being rolled back to Stone Age. Everybody is making acquisitions against the political leaders. I want to ask where is the religious leadership? Why our scholars are not coming out to lead this nation? What do they have to loose? Do we still hope with our politicians?Recommend

  • Hamood
    Aug 11, 2010 - 10:57AM

    @Sultan, Abbotabad very rightly said. These democratically elected leaders are shameful and lack any backbone. Your comparison between a dictator (Musharraf) and Gilani is true and thought provoking.Recommend

  • Sana
    Aug 11, 2010 - 12:15PM

    AOA,
    First of all, the article was really nice including most of the comments. I appreciate such efforts that we can make via Web, JazakAllah.

    Secondly, I would like to add few things, just to reinforce the points.
    – Bomb Blasts, Plane crash, flood – all speak to a Call for Allah’s help. We should pray day and night for the help and say Astaghfar for every thing that we have done bad.
    – We should start taking productive steps for each other’s help. If today, those people are suffering, no one knows what tomorrow brings for us.
    – Individual grooming and positive attitude could do wonders. Stop relying on government and blaming it. Start your own efforts. Time for a Quick ActionRecommend

  • shahid ali
    Aug 11, 2010 - 4:13PM

    It is no doubt an unexpected disaster and it is usually seen that government does not exist during national crises and badly failed to control or overcome the situation. As being shown on televsion, our ministers are visiting the areas but nothing to relief the victims.The time when disaster begins, specialy five days of starting, no government exist at the spot and people are crying someone to be come for assisting them by government. On the other hand i have a question to the people of Pakistan why they chose them those are ever selfish or disabled to control the admistration or to run government. This is our punishment upon our choice.Recommend

  • John Donne
    Aug 12, 2010 - 5:22AM

    Mr Ashwin, why should people obey your command and not voice their frustration, which you categorise as blame to President and other so-called leaders. I’m afraid you are bent of blaming our people for raising their voice against the right cause. It’s a positive response not negative, as you claim it to be. We do things our way, while the Indians do it their way. Is India a model for us to follow, as you implied. Our people are not passive to sit by and tolerate nonsensical behavior. If you are not happy with our way of doing things, why don’t you leave this country and live where it suits you better. Mr Adeel and Mr Atif, do you know that only 10.7% of the people cast their votes while the rest couldn’t care less, because they knew this election was engineered by our enemies,in order to install rulers who would facilitate their objectives? Is this then a representative government of the people?Recommend

  • Aug 12, 2010 - 8:49AM

    It is a shame to us all. We are safe here sitting in Lahore, Karachi or maybe some other metropolitan city. In time like these, the national character of our leader and our people come to the forefront. I see some pictures of Army helicopters moving and throwing food items from the sky, or Shahbaz Sharif pushing sacks from his helicopter, and I remember the report in the newspaper some time back in a News Channel where a fictitious camp was set up for a photo session of the Prime-Minister with fake victims. And I remember the prime minister campaigning for a fake degree holder. I recall that our president is out of the country when we are experiencing a tragedy of historic proprtions even though when he was publicly advised not to. And I recall the time in last election when I voted for the People’s Party!Recommend

  • Aqeel
    Aug 12, 2010 - 12:13PM

    I tend to agree with Jamil uddin’s comments! This duality actually feeds the money hungry corruption, be it a politician, bureaucrat, MNC, media or any other industry, which is a direct product of capitalism and consumerism.

    Unfortunately, I do not foresee anything different in the coming years either! This situation will only change when we are able to change the mindset of the nation and is not an overnight cause.

    An employee in an MNC or local private organizations faces severe repercussions for failing to perform and eventually gets the boot without any hope for a better job elsewhere since his/her credit rating has fallen, but our politicians have a different sort of luxury which can only be compared to royalty! If they were taken to task with a performance checklist – which shouldn’t be difficult to prepare for a candidate willing to become a public SERVANT – and given ultimatums for one failure only, where upon his failure he should be booted from politics for life!

    This could be a strategy for cricket as well!Recommend

  • faith
    Aug 14, 2010 - 1:56AM

    i agree with Mr.Atif.
    we elected this government and we go on doing it?
    Indeed ! its shameful.Recommend

  • Umair Arif
    Aug 16, 2010 - 10:04AM

    We need an alternate leadership, we need an alternate system.. thats all what can be said. The youth should stand up for the revival of Islamic way of ruling which would care for its people!Recommend

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