After the deluge

No time for cheap point scoring

On his political tour of the country, former premier Imran Khan criticised PM Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto for being abroad at a time of natural calamity like this.

Perhaps the PTI chief does not realise that not only are such visits a part of the job description of the prime minister (and obviously the foreign minister) but they also serve useful in order to get help from the international community when it comes to disaster relief. If the former prime minister were to take off his political goggles, he just might realise that the sheer scale of the disaster makes it impossible for relief and rehabilitation to take place without international support.

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As it is, he made some very ill thought out statements during the very initial days of the current climate catastrophe, when he expressed doubts over whether the funds collected will be going to the right places. Even though he backtracked a bit from those initial statements, his more confrontational talking points always reverberate through his support base, which is unaffected by his subsequent distancing from said statements and, in some cases, even formal apologies in court.

The sheer chutzpah of stating that the federal government is not taking the floods seriously while Khan, whose party runs close to two-thirds of the nation, is on a series of political rallies. The federal government might coordinate, it might get funds from abroad, it might even use federal forces like central policy forces and civil armed militias to help chip in as far as rescue efforts are concerned, it is the provincial governments that are a primary agents of rescue, relief and rehabilitation, whether it is through the police or the various district administrations.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]


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