Monday, August 02, 2010


All is not well in Pakistan. While visiting India, Prime Minister David Cameron caused great offence in the Islamic Republic by implying that individuals in the Pakistani security service were actively helping the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Then in the 1st Test match At Trent Bridge, the Pakistani cricket team was walloped by England. The defeat was so overwhelming that they have sent for their disgraced former captain to return for the next test.

You may ask why I juxtapose these two events. It is because for the average Pakistani, the second far outweighs the first in importance. Cricket is a religion on the Indian sub-continent.

However, far outweighing either in importance in my view, are the floods that have hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in north west Pakistan and Punjab province, affecting over 1.5 million people. By yesterday (Sunday 1 August), the death toll had reached 1,400, with thousands of people left homeless by the torrential monsoon rainfall. People have lost everything in the flooding and subsequent landslides. Livestock, homes and businesses have been swept away; the communication network is down; dozens of bridges have been washed away; roads and rail tracks are under water. There have also been reports of water-borne diseases such as cholera in some areas.

It will cost an estimated £44 ($66) to provide basics to last a family of six people for 20 days, including rice, flour, beans, pulses, dried milk, cooking oil, tea, sugar, salt, spices, soap and matches. Prices are high due to the flood itself as well as to the approach of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, which begins on 11 August and always causes prices to rise. In addition families will need plates, cups, cooking utensils, mattresses etc. Although a minority in Pakistan, poor Christians have been especially badly hit.

Donations may be made via the Barnabas Fund using the online secure server to the 00-634 Disaster Relief Fund.

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