Our beloved land, Pakistan; has been faced with insurmountable trials such as: floods, extremists, suicide attacks, war on terror, Flight 202 crash, target killings and sectarian violence. Why is this so? Are we moving in the right direction? Have we identified the cancer? It is shameful that when the people in Pakistan, under the threat of an utmost catastrophe, our President has chosen to vacation in five star hotels with family in Europe. According to news reports, a single night stay in Europe is equivalent to £7,000 ($11,160.) However, Zardari’s welcome in Europe was less than royal. On the drive to the hotel, protesters held placards reading, “Zardari: King of Thieves,”, “Zardari: 100% Pure Corruption,” and “GO Zardari GO.” According to Pakistani press, Zardari’s European tour is more cynical than it already seems. The trip is meant to kick start the president’s young son’s political career.
With Zardari intent on impressing his cohorts in London hotels, Pakistan was nearly obliterated (and has yet to recover), from the deadliest floods to hit the country in 80 years. Pakistan can ill afford a President who prioritizes his personal political future over the lives of millions of his citizens.
The nation of Pakistan is entitled to a share of Zardari’s bounty. Will President Zardari, as a good Muslim billionaire give 1/4 of his 1.1 billion wealth in flood relief? After all, he has made his money in 10% commission as minister for procurement in his wife’s government. I, myself, have been deeply touched upon learning that 40 Christian billionaires joined together to give half of their wealth to charities in Pakistan. Pakistan is calling for help.
Many people of Pakistan are homeless, dying, and do not know what tomorrow will bring, while we sit comfortably at home typing comments online. It does not matter if you are from the United States, Pakistan or another nation. Supplying aid to those in need is not about religion. It is about bettering the lives of people. It does not matter who is giving, the point remains clear that others are indeed helping. If any one of us lost our home, family, and belongings, one would not be concerned with who were sending aid and saving lives. One’s concern would simply being grateful that one were alive.
The first priority during any disaster is to save the lives of people. I have seen and heard comments being made such as: “Allah will help us, we don’t need anyone.” Such ignorance is intolerable in times of great need and those who make such remarks need to study their faith. Allah does not physically come down and magically all problems cease. The help of Allah comes in many ways, times and least expected such as military help and countries sending aid.
The Pakistan Army continues its rescue and relief efforts for affected persons in the flood hit areas of the country. I salute The Pakistan Army for their contribution to the land, the people in need and their nation. Our brave Jawans deserve our appreciation. Whenever we face extremely difficult situations, where are our elected leaders? The Pakistan Army are always standing behind us.
The present disaster provides all of us with immense things to ponder as a people, a nation, and individually. It is time to grow up. Progression is essential.
© Nooruddin Jalal 2010