Shaky Pakistan avoids flood donation from Bangladesh
Islamabad/Dhaka: According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency, unprecedented heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers in the northern mountains of Pakistan resulted in huge floods that affected nearly 33 million people and killed an estimated 1,355 people including over 450 children.
Having no option of resurrecting the shattered economy due to sheer mismanagement, climate change, and natural calamity, the Pak government has appealed to the international community to provide aid for the flood victims.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also visited (Sept 10) Pakistan to express solidarity with the Pak government and people and to exchange views on the national and global response to this catastrophe caused by climate change.
The USA has responded by announcing an aid of USD 30 million while help has also been promised by the UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, Qatar, and Turkey.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi too offered assistance but Islamabad is apparently still undecided whether to accept the same, perhaps due to domestic compulsions.
File image/UNICEF/Asad Zaidi
Meanwhile, in her characteristic large-heartedness and altruism, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced aid worth Tk 14 million for flood-ravaged Pakistan.
The Bangladesh Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief reportedly allocated (Sept 1) funds for 10 tonnes of biscuits, 10 tonnes of dry cakes, 1,00,000 water purification tablets, 50,000 packets of oral saline, 5,000 mosquito nets, 2,000 blankets, and 2,000 tents to be sent to Pakistan.
Bangladesh PM noted that the Awami League government had always been generous towards humanity and that the concerned authorities had been directed to assist in the relief efforts in Pakistan.
She further underscored that though Bangladesh had won the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan, it was their duty to help Pakistan as Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had always emphasized helping those in need.
Ironically, Pakistan had not provided any assistance to the erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh at the time of the 1970 Bhola cyclone in the region.
However, it remains to be seen whether Islamabad would accept the friendly and humanitarian Bangladeshi gesture.
Pakistan Army is reportedly averse to the proposal of aid from Bangladesh as any such relief assistance may undermine Pakistan’s global image.
Taking any help from a country that was once part of Pakistan could be embarrassing for the Pak Army which still denies the genocide perpetrated by it against Bangladesh in 1971.