Natural calamity and the role of politicians

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has appealed to the well-to-do segments of society to come forward and make arrangements for the supply of food items for the infants and the nascent children in the flood-affected areas. While convening a meeting to review the flood situation, besides ongoing rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit areas, the prime minister further urged the wealthy people to also arrange blankets, quilts, and warm clothes as the winter season was approaching.

The recent torrential monsoon rains and recurrent spills of uncontrollable floods had caused unprecedented damage to basic infrastructure including roads, bridges, schools, and health units along with over 1500 deaths, and countless injuries. Floods also affected over 33 million people and rendered millions homeless in Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan and the UN had launched a worldwide flash appeal for global assistance in ongoing rescue and relief operations and subsequent reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood-affected area. The UN relief agencies, friendly countries, and charity organizations provided massive economic and relief assistance to Pakistan, however, the volume of destruction was so enormous that the country’s domestic resources and foreign aid have become insufficient for this gigantic job.

The government has announced significant monetary assistance for flood affectees including compensation for deceased and injured, reconstruction of households, waiver in government taxes, utility bills, and deferment of debt servicing, while PM Shehbaz is tirelessly working to reduce the sufferings of flood-hit people. While the majority of the political leadership including the treasury and opposition are issuing nonstop appeals to the world for assistance to flood-hit people in the country. Although, several ministers and departmental heads handed over cheques for the contribution of their respective institutions to the Prime Minister, but no single politician, head of a party, or representative of a constituency offered his personal contribution to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund so far, which not only fully exposed the truthfulness and sincerity of our leaders but set a bad example to the public. Hence, the parliamentarians are requested to demonstrate generosity, be role models for the public, and lead the nation from the front instead of instant photo sessions, media sermons, and social media blogs. So, the public could be mobilized for this great national cause.