Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
from The Great Debate UK:
Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq is a Ph.D. student at Delft University of Technology and Dr Nick van de Giesen is Professor of Water Resources Management at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are their own.
According to official reports of the Federal Flood Commission of Pakistan, at least 1,556 people have died and more than 568,000 homes have been badly damaged or totally destroyed as a result of the recent floods in Pakistan. Almost 6.5 million people have been affected by this flooding and 3650 sq km of Pakistan's most fertile crop land have been destroyed.
The flooding hit 11,000 villages and cities. The situation is deteriorating in flooded areas, where waterborne diseases may increase the human death toll if measures are not taken in time.
The devastating flooding occurred at a moment at which Pakistan was still confronting the consequences of a severe drought. As such, the flood came as a complete surprise, especially in the province of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa where flash flooding occurred.
U.S. plans to triple aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year appear to have run rather quickly afoul of the law of unintended consequences – by threatening to create tensions between the government and the army.
The Kerry-Lugar aid bill is meant to bolster Pakistan’s civilian democracy and help the country fight Islamist militants. But it also stipulates that U.S. military aid will cease if Pakistan does not help fight the militants; seeks Pakistani cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and provides for an assessment of how effective the civilian government’s control is over the military.