Robert's Feed
Aug 19, 2010

Pakistan flood survivors struggle to save livestock

SUKKUR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Many Pakistanis displaced by the country’s biggest floods in decades are struggling to save their livestock, not just survive themselves.

For many villagers forced from their flooded villages and seeking refuge on the outskirts of the southern city of Sukkur, their flocks of sheep and goats and herds of cows and buffaloes are what guarantees they have enough to eke out a living.

Aug 16, 2010

Pakistanis block highways to protest slow flood aid

SUKKUR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani flood victims, burning straw and waving sticks, blocked a highway on Monday to demand government help as aid agencies warned relief was too slow to arrive for millions without clean water, food and homes.

Public anger has grown in the two weeks of floods, highlighting potential political troubles for an unpopular government overwhelmed by a disaster that has disrupted the lives of at least a tenth of its 170 million people.

Aug 15, 2010

Desperate struggle as water rises around Pakistani town

JACOBABAD, Pakistan (Reuters) – Men were digging through an earthen embankment on Sunday on the outskirts of the Pakistani town of Jacobabad hoping to drain away steadily rising flood waters.

Three quarters of Jacobabad’s 300,000 people have already fled for dry ground, fearing the town would soon be swamped.

Aug 15, 2010

U.N. says no aid yet for 6 million flood victims in Pakistan

SUKKUR, Pakistan (Reuters) – United Nations aid agencies have provided assistance to hundreds of thousands of victims of Pakistan’s worst floods in decades but relief operations have yet to reach an estimated six million people.

The lives of 20 million people — nearly 12 percent of the population — have been disrupted by one of the worst catastrophes in Pakistan’s history. Six million still need food, shelter and water, the UN said in a statement.

Aug 14, 2010

Thieves compound misery in Pakistani floods

KHANPUR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani farmer Taj Mohammad was taking his family back to his flooded village on Saturday despite the danger of rising waters to protect what few possessions he had left, not from the deluge but from thieves.

Two weeks after huge floods hit Pakistan many of the 14 million people affected have yet to get any help from the government or aid groups, and amid the desperation, there are signs of increasing lawlessness.

Aug 14, 2010

Aid agencies struggle to reach Pakistan flood victims

SUKKUR, Pakistan (Reuters) – United Nations aid agencies have provided assistance to hundreds of thousands of victims of Pakistan’s worst floods in decades but relief operations have yet to reach an estimated six million people.

The lives of 14 million people — eight percent of the population — have been disrupted by one of the worst catastrophes in Pakistan’s history. Six million of them need food, shelter and water.

Aug 13, 2010

Scenarios: Political and economic impact of Pakistan’s floods

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The most serious floods in Pakistan in decades will compound economic and political problems for the nuclear-armed U.S. ally.

Following are some scenarios for what might unfold in coming weeks.

POLITICAL OUTLOOK

The government is in no immediate danger of being brought down. The ruling coalition, led by President Asif Ali Zardari’s party, has a comfortable majority in parliament and the military, which unlike the government is seen to have responded effectively to the disaster, is not going to stage a coup. But anger with a government already unpopular is likely to intensify. The economic impact of the floods will be severe and food shortages and rising prices could spark protests. The opposition, led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has been critical of the government but has not called street protests. Analysts say the opposition is content to let the government struggle but opposition leaders could come under pressure from their rank and file to take advantage of growing discontent to go on the offensive. A well-organised opposition taking the lead of popular protests over prices and food shortages could be explosive. In a worst-case scenario, the military might feel compelled to step in if protests got out of hand. But analysts say the opposition is loathe to create the conditions which would precipitate military intervention, which would block its bid to gain power through a general election, due by 2013.

Aug 10, 2010

Q&A: What are the political costs of Pakistani floods?

SUKKUR (Reuters) – Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari returned home on Tuesday from official foreign visits to a chorus of criticism over his government’s response to the worst flooding in the country’s history.

The floods were triggered by exceptionally heavy monsoon rains over the upper Indus river basin over nearly two weeks and have plowed a swathe of destruction more than 1,000 km (600 miles) long across the country.

Aug 9, 2010

Islamists win thanks from Pakistani flood victims

ISA KHEL, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani Islamists have been quick to step in to help after this month’s devastating floods, winning hearts and minds as frustration with the U.S.-backed government grows.

The worst floods in 80 years have killed more than 1,600 people and left two million homeless along a broad swathe of the Indus river basin, from the north of the country to the south.

May 31, 2010

Key political risks to watch in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan remains among Asia’s riskiest investment destinations, with a weak government struggling to contain a deadly domestic insurgency.

Sovereign 5-year credit default swaps are trading at a spread of 750 basis points, down from 875 two months ago but still by far the riskiest component of the Thomson Reuters Emerging Asia Index.