Sunday, 29 August 2010

NYT: Pakistan Floods By Tyler Hicks

Photo © Tyler Hicks/NY Times-All Rights Reserved

The catastrophic flooding of the Indus is considered as Pakistan's worst natural calamity, which has ruined almost every infrastructural aspect that connects the country together — roads, bridges, schools, health clinics, electricity and communications. The destruction is also estimated to set Pakistan back decades, will weaken its feeble civilian administration and add to the burdens on its military.

The New York Times has recently featured Tyler Hicks' compelling photographs of the disaster in Pakistan's Floods, as the one above of two young girls quenching their thirst at a water pump in Sukkur. It's said that 20 million people have been affected by the floods; a number of people equal to the population of New York State.

According to the New York Times, a joint study from Ball State University and the University of Tennessee, puts the total cost of the flood damage at $7.1 billion. That is nearly a fifth of Pakistan’s budget.

I sense an apathy amongst the Western and Islamic nations to assist Pakistan in its difficulties. Is it because of the widespread perception (or knowledge) that the Zardari's government is riddled with corruption and cronyism, and thus may divert some of the aid? Or is it Islamophobia? Or is simple donor fatigue after Haiti? I tend to think it's all of the above and perhaps more.

And while I'm on the subject, is it only me who now increasingly relies on foreign cable news like China Network Television (CNTV) and RT (the Russian 24/7 English-language TV) for in-depth international news??? The added bonus of course is that these stations have no interest in Glenn Beck and the repellent clowns of his ilk as does CNN, MSNBC, et al.