Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
On Friday, Sept 3, a boy stands outside a house destroyed by flood waters that swept through Mehmood Kot a month ago. Residents of Mehmood Kot have been waiting a month for relief aid, which they say they have not received. (REUTERS/Chris Allbritton)
After three days traveling the flood path down the Indus River Valley, from Nowshera in the northwest down to Multan and to the confluence of the Indus and Pakistan’s other major rivers, it’s clear the devastation is as great as everyone feared.
A month ago, angry flood waters scoured clean the land in some places, leaving only muddy bumps and piles of rubbish where villages once stood. Stagnant waters still stand in the south, breeding mosquitoes, disease and preventing the planting of crops.
Some 17 million people were affected, 6 million made homeless and 10 million are in immediate need of humanitarian aid. More than 100,000 women are due to give birth in horrible, unsanitary conditions in the next 30 days. Tens of thousands of children are at risk of acute diarrhoea, cholera and malaria.
One of the labels being attached to President Barack Obama is that he is a committed incrementalist - an insult or a compliment depending on which side of the political fence you sit, or indeed whether you believe it to be true.
A couple of articles on U.S.-led strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan fill out what that could mean going into the new year.