Stories about flood relief

An older, scarier version of ‘tabdeeli’

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has become quite a talking point these days. Its chairman, Imran Khan, has been giving ‘dharnas’ for the past 50 days (though one must question the legitimacy of the dharna since it keeps hopping from Bani Gala to Karachi to Lahore and so on and so forth) in the name of… well, I’m not really sure. Perhaps some of the angry, cussing, hatred-filled insafians can enlighten me with their version on this. I’ve faced enough abuse from PTI trolls for not supporting PTI and openly criticising Imran’s version of facts and events. Khan sahib wants a ‘Naya Pakistan’ and chimes for ‘tabdeeli’ (change). He ...

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Disaster victims are boring, lets cover Bollywood instead

Did you know that the estimated number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is around one million according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)? Did you know that another 1.5 million were affected by floods this year according to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)? There are 1.2 million people in Pakistan urgently in need for winter items this season. I am quite sure that most people are unaware of these statistics. This is because the content on TV channels is driven by sensationalism which is essential to win the ratings race. Hence, we only ...

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The flood victims didn’t choose to beg, you made them!

The devastating rains in Sindh, which started on September 8 and continued for five days, have once again submerged the province. Seven districts of upper Sindh have been affected, with the worst-hit being the Jacobabad and Kashmore districts, where over 100 people have died in rain-related incidents. In 2010, most parts of upper Sindh and some parts of lower Sindh and Balochistan were affected by the floods, due to which millions were rendered homeless. In 2011, torrential rains wreaked havoc throughout lower Sindh and some parts of upper Sindh. After these tragedies, the government made tall claims about providing relief to ...

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Here’s the evidence on Hafiz Saeed

The US has been generous enough to announce a hefty $10 million bounty for information leading to Hafiz Saeed’s conviction. After the embarrassment the Americans faced by announcing a reward for collecting information about someone who lives like any free human being without any court-admissible evidence, I felt the need to enlighten them with some hard-hitting, and much needed, evidence. Listed below is what I found after a great deal of research. Some of the figures quoted are mentioned in media reports while a great deal of the record has been shared by JuD themselves, which they claim can be independently verified. Education Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) runs 140 ...

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Revelry for relief: Fiddling while Sindh sinks

The sensitivity of young people today should ideally never be gauged by the first question that comes to their minds when a bomb goes off in Karachi: Will there be school tomorrow? Instead, Karachi’s generation-next should be assessed on how much hard work, effort and time its members put into relief camps and charity distribution, placard holding and general running around they did in an effort to contribute to alleviating the pain of the people hit by the flooding this summer. There was a definite perception that young privileged girls and boys just live in their bubble on that side ...

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Fashion could save Pakistan!

In the year 2010, several things have gone wrong in our country and our beloved city Karachi. We’ve had our fair share of bomb blasts, floods, robberies and murders. Let’s face it;  this hasn’t exactly stopped us from having our fun. Karachiites, are strong, determined individuals who tend to have a “c’est la vie” kind of mentality, which is not likely to change in the near future. Of course, it is likely that we will donate to a good cause and proceed to the Karachi Press Club several times a year to be involved in a safeguard of human rights campaign, but ...

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A US pilot’s tale: The gauntlet of goodwill

I’m a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot with Task Force Denali, a US Army aviation battalion sent from Alaska to provide flood relief to Northern Pakistan. I blogged about my first impressions of Pakistan nearly two months ago, and I’d like to share some more thoughts about my new friends here. Surrounding our barracks and the control tower, hangars, airfield, and base itself are Pakistani military guards and commandos – tough, well-trained men armed with assault rifles and pistols tasked with maintaining security 24 hours a day. I didn’t know what to make of these guys when I first saw them. Take, ...

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Sexy people need to care about Pakistan

I must admit that the number of flood awareness related display pictures, events and links shared on Facebook have significantly decreased even though the problem, itself, has not. Display pictures have changed from victims submerged in water or looking up at helicopters for food or to be rescued to people joyfully posing at weddings and parties. My events page, once full of requests from charity organisers, is now dominated by clothes exhibitions. This gradual change left me with slight grief as I realised that we had hit a saturation point – done what we felt we could and now wanted to ...

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Survivors, not killers

Pakistan is a brave nation. It takes a lot of guts for a people to continue on after a year that can only be called the year of death: 8,000 people have died in Pakistan this year – devastating floods, a dumbfounding air crash, deplorable target killings and decimating suicide bombings. And the year hasn’t even ended yet. Those from northern Pakistan have had it the worst. The year opened with a deadly blast that killed 94 people who had gathered to watch a volleyball match in Lakki Marwat in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, quashing all hopes that Pakistanis had had that this ...

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Flood tax: Leave us alone, go catch tax evaders

So far Pakistan’s economic loss due to the massive flooding is calculated to be$43 billion. This is equivalent to one fourth of the total GDP  which today stands at $170 billion. For Pakistan, where financing the state, military and debt costs more than what we earn, such an enormous loss to the country’s economy has left everyones mouth agape. And it seems that due to the recent economic losses incurred, the dream of increased spending on human development is far from materializing. There is a dire need of funds to finance the relief and rehabilitation work keeping in view that the tax-to-GDP ratio ...

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