I have had my heart broken, day by day, over the last few weeks as floods have ravaged Pakistan. Most of the places I have had the privilege to visit over the last few years are now under water, or have suffered severe losses, both of life and livelihood. Dera Allah Yar, South Punjab, the KKH – these are not just dots on the map for me (covered now in shades of blue if one looks at the satellite images) – and nothing will ever be the same again. For more information on how to donate, please head over to Chapati Mystery or Changing Up Pakistan.
But the heartbreak is nothing compared to the rage and disgust I felt this morning, when I read this report in the Express Tribune:
“The government and local clerics refused to shelter around 500 flood-affected families belonging to the Ahmadiya community in South Punjab’s relief camps. Not only that, the government also did not send relief goods to the flood-hit areas belonging to the Ahmadiya community, The Express Tribune has learnt during a visit to the devastated Punjab districts of Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur.”
If it’s not bad enough that the government’s response for providing relief to the flood victims has been anything but remarkable, the President thought a trip to his chateau was more important as the floods hit the country or that fake IDP camps are being set up for the benefit of duping the Prime Minister and the media, let’s throw in some more state-sponsored religious persecution. Sigh – I would write more, but am at a loss for words as I decide whether to scream with rage or cry in frustration.