Natural or man-made disaster? - Pakistan Today

Natural or man-made disaster?

We are a strange country, where when it rains, there are floods and when it does not rain, there is a drought. In both situations, we blame mother nature for all the miseries that are wrecked upon the unfortunate millions by floods or the drought, while failing to hold ourselves accountable.
Pakistan is an agricultural country and monsoon rains are a vital source of much needed water required for cultivation, storage and hydroelectric power generation. After the Indus Basin Water Treaty was signed, Pakistan should have ensured that enough water storage dams should have been built, which could store not only excess rain water, but also floodwater released by India to protect their own population. Our government has failed to take these steps.
What we as a nation have failed, is to apportion blame on the government, whom we pay taxes to build durable roads, bridges, canals, embankments, dams etc,. If funds allocated for infrastructure are being pocketed by corrupt public servants , who have not been punished for what amounts to culpable homicide or a conspiracy to kill people, than the government, be it elected or the dictatorial military junta, is directly responsible and cannot evade allegations of patronising corruption. After all, even the recent monsoon rains, are far less than rains that pour down in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore etc. It is not that these countries are corruption free, but there exists within them a system of checks and balances with exemplary punishment for those caught in outright plunder.
The ferocity of the misery that struck our people during last year’s floods would have been far less had an infrastructure been in place to dilute the impact. One year after the floods, disaster has again struck millions, because the government neither bothered to do the needful, nor did it punish those responsible for the failures in the infrastructure last year, thereby encouraging the corrupt to continue with their plunder. Even Karachi, our largest city lacks basic water drainage system in spite of the fact that hundreds of billions had been allocated during the past 7 years. Mere calls for prayers will not resolve our problems because God helps those, who help themselves.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Lahore



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