Unity in testing times

Some of the videos on social media showing whole buildings just dismantling like a house of cards would scare even those with a heart of stone. We are in the midst of a disaster that could turn out much worse than the 2010 floods or the 2005 earthquake.

The misery caused by the flood is compounded by unprecedented inflation and serious unemployment. There may be civil unrest in the days ahead, which could excite foreign rogue elements to make the most of it. There is only one safeguard against such a possibility; unity among the provinces, political parties and institutions.

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Not a single party leader or institution is above board in these troubled times. The government seems preoccupied with its own wish list, while all the opposition can think of is holding political rallies. The future can only be decided in positive terms through some collective decisions by the stakeholders who seem to be least interested in such an undertaking, even though they all individually have the capacity to turn things around with collective action.

Instead of political rallies, we need some actual well-intentioned politics, and we need it rather badly. Ministers, lawmakers and prominent members of civil society need to raise funds by setting personal examples. The opposition leader should focus his entire attention on at least Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) where he has greater control over what happens where. He can effectively raise funds and use all his international contacts and donors to help where it is needed the most.

The prime minister, on his part, should make policies for immediate relief across the country and ensure proper and justified use of funds.

Pakistan Army, as always, is carrying out relief activities. The army chief can ensure rehabilitation and mass-scale volunteering effort by mobilising the enormous youth force of Pakistan. The target should be to reach all calamity-struck areas, particularly Balochistan, the seemingly forgotten province of the country.

This is a chance for the leadership across all sorts of divides to show compassion and empathy for the masses by putting aside grudges and petty conflicts for now.

One cannot emphasise how important it is for us to stay united as a nation right now, and steer Pakistan out from not just deep waters, but also from a possible economic meltdown and compromised internal security.

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Hopefully, once we recover from the issues at hand, maybe our relevant institutions seriously brainstorm and prepare against global climate change and its hazards that we are witnessing currently.

The current situation may turn into something much worse if differences and political war-mongering are not put aside for now. This is the least the politicians can do.

DR TAIMOOR KHALID JANJUA

KARACHI

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