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Continuing coverage of the Pakistan floods

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Peter Horrocks Peter Horrocks | 20:25 UK time, Friday, 27 August 2010

The flooding in Pakistan has caused hundreds of thousands of people to be in desperate need of food, shelter and water. Nazes Afroz, Regional Executive Editor for Asia & Pacific for the World Service, explains how they have been contacting us and how World Service and BBC Urdu are getting news and information to them.pakistan_ap.jpg

It's been four weeks since we first reported the flood story in Pakistan. Very rarely, we carry on covering a disaster story like the way we are doing with this one.

In the case of the earthquake in Kashmir in 2005, the 2006 Asian tsunami or Haiti's crisis early this year, the breaking and the unfolding nature of the story ended within a few days and the world media's attention moved away from reporting the disaster to the impact and recovery angles in a week or so.

But currently the disaster phase hasn't come to an end yet. As I write this, new areas are being submerged with more flood waters flowing in and hundred of thousands of people are still moving away from their homes to safety.

Close to a million people are completely dependent on supplies by helicopters, as roads and bridges to those areas have been washed away. Our coverage is still largely focussed to the ongoing disaster and the plight of the survivors.

When the disaster struck a month ago, it became apparent that the story would be very big, affecting millions of people. As the story became bigger within the first few days, we made the decision to start a "Lifeline" programme with essential life-saving information for the flood victims.

The broadcasts contain information like fresh flood alerts, weather reports, how to cope with diseases, how and where to get aid etc. From our past experience we have found that at the time of any major disaster, people tune in to radio for such essential information.

The BBC World Service Trust, the BBC's international charity, quickly found the funding to carry out this humanitarian information service or "Infoasaid" for the victims. We also felt that we needed to broadcast in Pashtu alongside Urdu as the main language of the badly affected north-western part of the country was Pashtu.

When we approached our 34 FM partner stations, they readily agreed to take this "lifeline Pakistan" service on their airwaves ensuring an audience of 60 to 80 million across the country. pakistan2_ap.jpg

The Urdu service had to put together the editorial teams very quickly in Islamabad. They also decided to use a toll-free phone with voice recording facility and asked the flood victims to call and record their stories. This generated a huge number of calls across the length and the breadth of the country.

They recorded more than 800 calls within the first four hours after it was opened up. People were telling their stories of despair and utter hopelessness. They were trying to reach the world through these recordings, saying how desperately they needed urgent help - shelter, food and water. These voices are forming important segments of the BBC's overall coverage of the flood story.

"We are sitting in the Risalpur Centre and waiting for aid. We have been here five times but the administration is doing nothing. There are no arrangements for Sehri and Iftar during the month of Ramadan." Sakina, from Risalpur, Punjab

"We have been without food and water for three days. The devastating flood has damaged everything. People are suffering from diseases. We need medicine, water and food." Ahmed Ali from Kashmore, Sindh

"We are trapped in the flood water. We have nothing to eat or drink. Please rescue us. Our lives are in danger. For God's sake rescue us, otherwise we will die. Please help us, please!" Khyber Husain, Jacobabad, Sindh

Some of these messages are broadcast in Urdu, some in Pashtu and some are passed onto the Pakistani authorities and relief organisations.

After four weeks, the main question now being asked is how we are going to sustain interest in the story.

It needs no elaboration how important Pakistan is in terms of geo-politics. There are already discussions and debates as to what end this massive disaster will change Pakistan.

This is something we will be focussing on soon after the acute phase of the disaster is over, and once the country enters the reconstruction and rebuilding phase. So the story will not go away.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    An excellent editorial decision by the BBC to re-invigorate the discussion on this essential issue.

  • Comment number 2.

    It needs no elaboration how important Pakistan is in terms of geo-politics. There are already discussions and debates as to what end this massive disaster will change Pakistan.

    This is something we will be focussing on soon after the acute phase of the disaster is over, and once the country enters the reconstruction and rebuilding phase. So the story will not go away.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That's good to hear from the BBC. Some of us will be watching to make sure that it doesn't.

  • Comment number 3.

    I can't believe I hadn't heard of the BBC World Service Trust before. What a great idea. To work for them would be a massive honour ... I've just given a small donation to help it continue.

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks for that clarification, Mr. Horrocks. I understand now why we are being fed an hourly diet of human interest stories on the Pakistani disaster on the World Service. It is commendable that you are so passionately involved in drumming up aid and helping coordinate the aid effort. However, the World Service is also a news organisation and you are failing in your task to bring us all the relevant news from Pakistan.

    Like this:

    Australian aid to Pakistani flood victims is being distributed at a camp funded by a banned Pakistani terrorist organisation.

    The outlawed welfare group Jamaat-ud-Dawa was linked to the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and has been blacklisted by the US, Pakistan and the United Nations.

    But the UN World Food Program (WFP) is distributing aid, including containers of cooking oil donated by Australia, at a camp which receives funding from Jamaat-ud-Dawa.


    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/26/2993685.htm

    And this:

    The Taleban hinted today they may launch attacks against foreigners helping Pakistan recover from the worst floods in the country's history.

    The terrorist group say they consider the foreigners' presence in the country to be "unacceptable." The UN said it would not be deterred by violent threats.

    The Pakistani Taleban carried out a suicide attack against the office of the U.N.`s World Food Program in Islamabad last October, killing five staffers. In March, militants armed with assault rifles and a homemade bomb attacked the offices of a U.S.-based Christian aid group helping earthquake survivors in northwestern Pakistan, killing six Pakistani employees.


    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10669214

    We look forward to the World Service rectifying the serious omissions in its coverage of the Pakistani floods.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    I understand people especially UK citizens are concerned about terrorist groups; I am more concerned about their disruption while relief efforts are made, and onsite (Pakistan) destruction while people need help.
    A golden opp. for demanding Insurrrections and militants turn swords into plowshares, an opportunity to shame them, vast numbers of nationals will see it clear as crystal.

    The thing to do is act.
    Information is important (esp. this website!), so here goes:

    Build a multifunction multidirectional (in which there is a Pointy end! :)) marine vessel for which reverse has no serious effects in flotation. Set up monitors on it for stability, have the structure right.

    Have the materials right. Storage capacity humungous.

    Set up fifty Wi Fi capabilities. make detachable Units to base in communities.

    Have however many Doctors, nurses, Assistants and Disaster-hardened experts ON ROTATION.
    Give personnel downtime, provide drop-offs and replacements frequently or they all go Insane!
    Install and test thoroughly hundreds of Jetboat/ jetskis/ lifejackets/ survival units packed with appropriate medical aid for This Disaster. Have this vessel with multi terrain capabilities, or a Unit to be deployed for such. Provide a 'Ranging' capability.
    Make it go.
    And get a Master Mariner who can handle a Big Job. Do this big.

    Get an Ark.

    Ports

  • Comment number 7.

    More really pertinent information on the flood victims:

    The Christian victims of devastating flood in Southern Punjab are still waiting from any aid and selling their valuables to buy expensive food while Muslim flood aid organization are preferring Muslims.

    The Christian flood victims are denied registration by district administration due to which they can not receive tents, food and medical assistance.

    The Southern Punjab is hot bed of banned terrorist Muslim organizations which declare Christians to be Infidels and administration with fear of these radical Muslim elements not permitting Christians to keep in tents areas allocated for Muslim flood victims....

    ...."I appeal to organizations and countries which are giving aid to government of Pakistan for flood victims to allocate separate or special funds for Christian flood victims and transfer it to Caritas Pakistan or Bishops Conference of Pakistan for food, tents and medical facilities" said Nazir Bhatti.


    Please do something to spread this vitally important information, Mr. Horrocks.

  • Comment number 8.

    Sorry, I think I forgot the link for that last comment. Perhaps that's why it was referred - quoting without a link?

    Anyway, it is a most revealing look at the plight of Pakistani Christian flood victims denied aid by Muslim distributors:

    http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/viewnews.php?newsid=1653

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Thank you for your decision to start a "Lifeline" program with essential life-saving information for the flood victims. Thanks to your 34 FM partner stations for readily agreeing to take this program.
    The personal exerpts that you included in this piece are heartbreaking, fearful, close to hopeless...
    It’s incredibly sad, unbelievable that you would have to work so hard to sustain interest in this story. Have we become so caught up with “survival” TV that we cannot recognize the real thing?
    Pakistan is facing one of the worst tragedies in its last 80 years.
    @ 22M people are affected by the floods.
    Much infrastructure has simply collapsed or been washed away.
    The UN estimates that there are 5M homeless.
    The economic loss amounts to billions.
    The UN member countries committed $200M (US), but these commitments are often bent (downwards) or simply not kept. They make good sound-bites.
    The Asian Development Bank, which had to deal with the December 2004 tsunami, stated that it would lead the reconstruction effort in Pakistan and announced a $2B loan. The World Bank added a loan of 900M.
    No matter how you look at it, it seems the world’s response is to increase Pakistan’s humungous debt.
    In 2008, Pakistan – close to default – was literally forced to accept IMF assistance; so far it owes 11.3B in IMF loans. Of course the IMF loans came with (always come with) onerous conditions:
    - sale of a million hectares of farmland,
    - end to government subsidies on fuel,
    - increase in the price of electricity, and last but not least
    - drastic cuts in social expenditures.
    The IMF has made living conditions difficult and jeopardized Pakistan’s sovereignty (It’s ability to govern its people in its own way.).
    Pakistan’s debt amounts to 54B with 3B due annually. In 2001 the US asked for Pakistan’s support in Afghanistan. Musharraf – an ally of the United States – agreed Pakistan would be used as a support base for US troops. The Musharraf regime contracted more debts, with the help of the World Bank. These loans were to support & protect the Musharaff Regime. These loans (in my opinion) have no legitimacy. Creditors knew where the money was going when they made these loans; to me, it’s rage-ful that the Pakistani people should be made to pay for money that was intended to strengthen the Musharaff dictatorship.
    Does this situation (for God’s sake) not cry out for debt relief, debt forgiveness?
    Failing that, Pakistan should refuse to repay – under state necessity. i.e. These funds must be used to meet the vital needs of the people. In this way Pakistan gains $3B/year, without any other country raising a finger, which most countries seem reluctant to do anyway.
    Finally Pakistan should carry out an audit re monies used to bolster Mushareff and simply repudiate it.

  • Comment number 11.

    Pakistan has ordered nearly half a million people to evacuate towns.
    Monsoon rains are affecting a fifth of the country – roughly size of England.
    Water lined the road from Hyderabad to Thatta.
    The Pakistani Government has confirmed 1,600 dead & 2,500 wounded, but millions are at risk from starvation and disease.
    In the southern Province of Sindh floods have washed away huge parts of the rich farmland on which Pakistan's economy depends.
    Meanwhile, the United States, State Department Spokesperson, Philip Crowley, spoke to reporters about efforts to beat back the Taliban in Afghanistan, of the threats facing those helping flood victims. "We have information of the potential targeting of foreign relief workers in Pakistan, as well as government ministries." Crowley pointed specifically to the extremist group Tehreek-e-Taliban and voiced concerns that its militants may attack foreigners or government agancies involved in relief efforts.
    My guess: this statement was designed to explain why United States drones are still killing Pakistanis during this time of great suffering.
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it was exploring "all options" to help the country. Well, here’s an option for them:
    FORGIVE PAKISTANI DEBT, and whatever more you do for Pakistan, make it a gift, not a loan.

  • Comment number 12.

    I note that Pakistani Websites (not all, but several) have accused the CIA of Causing the Pakistan Flooding:
    - ‘US Research Program 'HAARP is being Used in Pakistan' or
    - 'They Can't Win a War with Nuclear-Armed Pakistan...So They Are Using Other Ways to Do It'
    Of course the labeling of these headlines as conspiracy theories, tends to make the writer into a "nut". Anyone we believes the writer is also a "nut".
    August 6, 2010: "Pakistan Flood: HAARP Used in Pakistan? – Urgent". This headline blatantly accused the CIA of using the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) to artificially cause massive flooding and do what the US had thus far failed to do with all its bombs and droning and pressure on the Pakistan Government.
    The August 6 report, was picked up published widely, sometimes with the observation: "We have investigated this matter and concluded that HAARP has been used in Pakistan.
    August 8th report: "Is the CIA playing the HAARP in Pakistan?". This report alleged that the US military is using HAARP to cause flooding in Pakistan. It observed: "We are now seeing another phase of floods targeting Pakistan." The report went on accuse HAARP researchers of experimenting with different types of weather weapons in recent years:
    - 2005, hurricanes;
    - 2004, tsunami;
    - 2007, floods; 2008 – tornadoes;
    - 2009, earthquakes.
    Here are just a few exerpts re Pakistan:
    "All started suddenly and thousands died, millions displaced, hundreds of villages vanished in the matter of just four days! Strangely, there were no weather warnings, no alarms...”
    'This Flood Disaster is More Manmade than Natural'‏. The choice of starting point was perfect... all the flood is going in downstream i.e. Khyber (Hills) to Karachi (Sea)... It is designed to submerge all of Pakistan and produce the worst crises and chaos ever... “
    In addition, "'Andrei Areshev, a Russian scholar and the Deputy Head of the Strategic Culture Foundation, warns: current devastating fires raging throughout Russia could have been triggered by American weather weapons.”
    The European Union called the project a GLOBAL CONCERN. The EU passed a resolution calling for more information on the environmental risks posed by HAARP. Despite the EU reaction, the American officials at HAARP insist the project is no more sinister than a radio science research facility. My opinion: American hogwash!
    World weapons are changing from nuclear to weather: HAARP, SURA, Eiscat…
    Thank God, the EU is taking an interest, starting investigation, because at least one powerful body is out there playing God with HAARP, and whichever country that is (and I think we all know which one), it is just plain evil.

  • Comment number 13.

    Pakistani people are starving, without water, shelter, and medicine. International relief agencies need to delivery supplies to desperate areas of the country.

  • Comment number 14.

    It looks like a conspiracy to me:I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist,so i am going to give you a scenario on how this disaster may have happened.
    Is it not possible for the U.S.or NATO to have created this disaster,we know what kind of deadly and sophisticated bombs/weapons the West has.
    Is it not possible for the dams and levees may have been blown up with silent explosives.
    We all know the obvious reasons the U.S.and NATO being there in the first place.
    I know the monsoon rains are natural and God provided.
    It's just a theory,i really think the Haiti quake was also created.
    Go ahead,give me some feedback,i will frustrate some of you HYS members.

  • Comment number 15.

    I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist,so i am going to give you a scenario on how this disaster may have happened.
    Is it not possible for the U.S.or NATO to have created this disaster,we know what kind of deadly and sophisticated bombs/weapons the West has.
    Is it not possible for the dams and levees may have been blown up with silent explosives.
    We all know the obvious reasons the U.S.and NATO being there in the first place.
    I know the monsoon rains are natural and God provided.
    It's just a theory,i really think the Haiti quake was also created.
    Go ahead,give me some feedback,i will frustrate some of you HYS members.

  • Comment number 16.

    @14 and 15 joe kahn

    To quote John McEnroe "You cannot be serious".

    Add this thought to your conspiracy theory - Hurricane Katrina was a trial run for HAAARP technology.

    This thread is a forum for debate on a very serious issue - not a comic strip.

  • Comment number 17.

    Great thread and post. Well done.

  • Comment number 18.

    @TrueToo.
    The BBC has covered at least one of those stories, maybe more.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11095267

    I don't know if it showed up on the world service, but it sure showed up on the general BBC news.

  • Comment number 19.

    18. soulgrind,

    Thanks for that. No, they are being very quiet indeed on the World Service, which I listen to a lot, on both the terror threat and the denial of aid to Christians. Just listened to a clip on the World Service on Pakistan - again, nothing about those two vital concerns. And Googling BBC Muslims block Christian aid Pakistan floods brought me straight to this blog and the text referred to my comment at no. 8., with nothing whatsoever from the BBC itsef on the story.

    It strikes me that the Christians in Pakistan are now the flood victims most at risk and that aid should be directed to them as a priority. Any ideas on why the BBC is being so grimly silent on this issue?

  • Comment number 20.

    @TrueToo

    Well, I don't know anything about that issue, but googling it, it doesn't seem to have been covered by any major news sources. So it may be considered a minor issue, or it may not have reached the attention of any major sources yet, or it may be a local issue that has no reporters nearby.

    I'd imagine that there are hundreds of stories that could be covered in such a big disaster, and as such a lot will always be missed. Whether you think they were important will probably depend on your view of the issue and closeness to those involved.

  • Comment number 21.

    If you want to help, If... and i see the fear in G.Britain is real, with grounds.

    So is hope, grounds for hope.

    Get an Ark.

    Support pragmatic experienced bodies and individuals who can get their hands dirty down there.

    Blogging is clean, isn't it? People can take a hint.

    Get an Ark. It transports people out who need it, goods and medical aid in, where needed.
    the obvious practical things are done anyway, people WILL have security whio offer aid, thery WILL have transport, they will be informed of the scenario over there.

    I suppose undermining the imperative to care is the Iago method of getting something done that you want, rember Othello? It leads to murder, though.

    Plainly it is our brief to care, for people who are all on little islands, 2 million moved and 8m. struggling - no man is an island.

    Mobility is the only way to go (for Aid), and access to their own networks. real networking. Devilry and intrigue may be occurring, it does not relieve us of our brief - care.
    Ports

  • Comment number 22.

    20. soulgrind,

    I would agree with that, except that this is an entire group of people that are being discriminated against purely on the basis of their religion. This is not the same as stories of difficulties people have in receiving aid because of logistics.

    Now it is evident that the BBC will publish little or nothing that might interfere with the free flow of aid by suggesting that the Pakistanis are not exclusively victims here, but are also exacerbating the victimhood of their fellow Pakistanis.

    I have no axe to grind here and I am simply an interested observer. I find it ironical that the BBC, funded by the taxpayers of a predominantly Christian country would remain silent about the plight of Christians in Pakistan.

    Perhaps they don't know about it? Well, they are a news organisation and it is their business, when you think about it, to find these things out.

  • Comment number 23.

    The way BBC world service TV reports, I wonder BBC funded by Pakistani-ISI and besieged by Muslim editors. News such as quote.. The Pakistani army is sexually assaulting minority women and using them as sex slaves, alleges the European Organization of Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), an NGO working for the rights of minorities in Pakistan...unquote never gets coverage. In my opinion BBC lost its credibility due to excess leftwing ideology.

  • Comment number 24.

    I as a Christian feel for those in the floods, but they do have 'worldy goods' to sell to survive, many millions of others have nothing...just fresh air..
    In aid cases they must cover the majority on dire need of help, where there IS NO FOOD TO BUY..even if they had money..NO FRESH WATER yet up to their knees in flood water..no place to go!
    Let those in dire need have the aid much needed...

  • Comment number 25.

    And YES BBC, ongoing news from the flood are'as is most welcome, it is important that families in UK and the rest of the world have such news, beit good or bad...so very important......not knowing what is going off there must be a huge strain on the ir families abroad, which are helpless to help other than donate, as many of the families there have had to move many many miles away, no contact at all with international world...except the BBC telling their plight....amazing just amazing!! as ever

  • Comment number 26.

    Your coverage is good but you have the most annoying habit of accompanying your headline summaries with a background drumbeat which often mocks the unhappy content of the headlines. You will do no less well if you remove this humdrum drumbeat: in fact you will gain many more intelligent viewers. Thanks.

  • Comment number 27.

    You guys are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 28.

    @ no 16 Ebahgum:I think you haven't a clue as to what these Western powers are capable of.
    Please humour me when Iran is blown to smithereens in the coming months.
    Technology these days move mountains and build airports on water,is it not conceivable to create disasters with the technology we have?..
    It is very possible.Nuclear testing created earthquakes in the early 50s and 60s in the U.S.and the Soviets confirmed the same back in the day.

  • Comment number 29.

    @28 Joe kahn

    My interpretation of your earlier post was that you believed the "west" capable of using technology in a covert rather that an overt manner to create national disasters.

    This I found fantastical and unbelievable and still do so.

    What possible objection can you have for the use of technology to construct an airport on water?

    I do not beieve there is any real prospect of Iran being "blown to smithereens" in the comming months. If such an unlikley event were to come about it would certainly not be an issue from which either of us would be drawing any humour.

    Whatever the shortcommings of recent Iranian political leadership there can be little doubt that the people of Iran are advanced and sophisticated. Sufficiently advanced and sophisticated to ensure that their leadership would never be allowed to put them in such a position.

  • Comment number 30.

    I pray for the people of Pakistan. This disaster is awful, but it should never subvert the conscience of those both inside and outside this devastation. Private contributions are the only honourable way of dealing with disasters like this – not confiscating money from taxpayers. Allow human dignity here and allow individual donations to dominate – governments step aside: you’ll be surprised at how generous us "little people" can be even without the magnanimous and vicarious help you inglorious politicians make through my paycheque deductions. Let me donate independently, honourably and privately...please!

    Whose side is Pakistan on? Isn’t this an important question? This includes the politicians and those that lead the armed forces. This includes the people, in the villages, towns and cities across this nation. Do they like the West? Do they side with Britain and the US? Do they favour our lifestyle of individual liberty and rule by precedential common law? Do they care about the West in any respect at all? Do they respect Christianity and favour its proselytization within their local communities? Do they practise human rights tolerance with respect to woman and homosexuals? This is a really important question. The world needs to know whose side these guys are on.

    However, even if these folks do indeed "privately" ('infidels' can be deceived in Islamic practise) hate everything we in the West are about, I still urge private individuals to donate as their conscience dictates. And I urge government to stop donating on my behalf without my express written permission. That last sentence should at least get a chuckle, although I fear that I'll still be seen as uncaring. I assure you though, being mean is the furthest thing from my mind.

  • Comment number 31.

    23. At 11:05am on 29 Aug 2010, KMR Overseas wrote:

    The way BBC world service TV reports, I wonder BBC funded by Pakistani-ISI and besieged by Muslim editors. News such as quote.. The Pakistani army is sexually assaulting minority women and using them as sex slaves, alleges the European Organization of Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), an NGO working for the rights of minorities in Pakistan...unquote never gets coverage. In my opinion BBC lost its credibility due to excess leftwing ideology.

    Absolutely 100% correct. The BBC minimises or completely ignores stories that jar with its left wing agenda. And it's doing it in the current reporting on the floods.

  • Comment number 32.

    @30 Ollathair

    Great post. Lots of thought provoking questions. Well written. As to;

    "I fear that I'll still be seen as uncaring".

    You most certainly will my friend. Prepare to see yourself described as Anti-Islamic, anti-Pakistan(the state), anti-Pakistani (the entire population?) and anti anything else that the more biggotted members of this blog can dream up.

  • Comment number 33.

    To KMR Overseas #23

    I searched for:

    "Pakistan army is sexually assaulting" and
    "European Organization of Pakistani Minorities" and
    "EOPM"

    in "Google News" and there were no stories about this.

    You need to add "Google News" to your list of News sources that are biased and lack credibility due to leftwing ideology.

    Have you got many links to news sites about this event, to show that it is being extensively covered by lots of other media? It is important that news organizations are held to account if they minimize or completely ignore stories.

  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

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  • Comment number 36.

    All this bleeding heart cacophony for what is in essence a country with no respect for the British people and the west generally. Didn't they all laugh and cheer when the twin towers came tumbling down? Wouldn't they do the same if London town was blown to smithereens?
    Pakistan has received untold billions of aid in the last few decades, partly of course due to their proximity to war zones, perhaps it should be asked what Pakistan has done with all this cash. Still they contribute to the enemies of the western alliances over their backyard boundary. What part of this aid went into infrastructure and agriculture rather than armaments? What alone did the development of the nuclear devise cost Pakistan? If a country can not differentiate between wise spending and debilitating waste ... who can help them?

  • Comment number 37.

    @36 roy smith

    I'll be very surprised if that comment doesn't stir up a comment or two on this rather touchy subject.
    I look forward to the debate developing.

  • Comment number 38.

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  • Comment number 39.

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  • Comment number 40.

    Once the floods have cleared, the question must be asked about investment in flood defences and in dealing with disasters in general. Some countries seem to be good at it, others are not. Banglahdesh has annual floods, is still labelled as a poor country, but has fewer deaths and no nuclear capability. Pakistan has had many natural disaters, has extremes of affluence and povety, has lots of deaths and nuclear capability.

    That does not mean that they are not deserving of our help, but if the battle is for hearts and minds, more money going to making people safe from such natural disasters would seem a good thing. If I lived out there, I know what the answer to the following question would be, "Do you want Kashmir or do want a home that is not going to be washed away every few years?"

    One further thought about the money from the UK. Money for Haiti probably came from all sections of the country. Is this true for the money being sent to Pakistan?

  • Comment number 41.

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  • Comment number 42.

    To roy smith #36

    Man Already Knows Everything He Needs To Know About Muslims:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-already-knows-everything-he-needs-to-know-abou,17990/

  • Comment number 43.

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  • Comment number 47.

    The floods do get alot of covergae.

  • Comment number 48.

    Flood recovery needs a great amount of money. After the Katrina hurricane, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency transferred federal funds to Victims of the disaster. Commonwealth lead grants officer Ron Killins personally handled cash from FEMA to the state of Louisiana.

  • Comment number 49.

    I don't care I would rather hear about the Pakistan cheats in cricket. The floods are nothing to do with us.

  • Comment number 50.

    I find it sad when natural disasters go out of the news so quickly. I mean, look at Haiti? There still struggling but it seems news has forgotten about them.
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 51.

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  • Comment number 52.

    I believe Pakistan is essentially a feudal state where the wealth is held by 50 or more Families rather than the state.What are these Families doing individually to bring in aid? If they pledged £100M per family would bring in £5Billion which would be a great help.I wish the BBC would investigate and look into this.

  • Comment number 53.

    @52 mike120
    I think most people would agreed with your assessment of Pakistan as a feudal state (in the broadest sense of that term), but do you have any evidence for the suggestion that as few as 50+ families control the states resources?

    I pose the question in an entirely non-confrontational manner.

    Even if the figure were 500+ I would find that astonishing in a population of 350Million plus.

    If this could be shown to be the case I believe it would have a profound impact on the attitude of most people towards the general populous of this benighted nation.

    I will happily endorse you call for an investigation, by the BBC or whoever, into this issue.

    Personally I've always had a nagging doubt about the sincerity of Imran Khan in the Pakistan political firmament. But that might be rooted in his undoubted ability to always make the English look second best at cricket. (That's my prejudice showing through I suupose).

  • Comment number 54.

    Why do you never have an open thread on here? The discussion is always defined by the BBC agenda - let's talk about what the license fee payer wants to talk about for a change.

    And this license fee payer wants to know why the Royal Bank of Scotland story, you know the one about the 84% taxpayer owned RBS shedding thousands of jobs in England while creating new jobs in Scotland doesn't appear on the BBC England news page.

    Surely this is in the public interest of English license fee payers. The story has also vanished off the business page - 24 hours after release.

    The story remains on BBC Scotland but this news story actually affects England more than Scotland.

    Anyone would think the BBC doesn't want the people of England to know what's happening with their taxes i.e. English jobs for Scottish people.

  • Comment number 55.

    HI its my first comments on BBC. But i wrote blogs mostly in Jang news online.

    I would like to mentioned one thing here that BBC corespondent and Journalists are doing their best to cover stories but there is some truth missing like today bombing in Quaita city in Pakistan.

    Raza Shihat was saying that their is Sectarian Violence, yes i agreed but one sided.
    2 days before there was Suicide attack on Shia worshipers, today attack was also on Shia Student who was marking the Al Qudus day. If you see the last 5 years bombing it seems clearly that Only Taliban, Lasker Jangvi p, Sipha e Sahaba all Alliance with Al Qaida, all of them are against Shia Muslims specialy, Modarate Suni's and Monorities (Sikh, Hindus, Christian, ahmadies etc).
    So today news should be that ' Again Shia Muslim has been targeted" and if you see the History. Shia Muslims only defended them selves each time they are the victims and it is in every one knowledge that Sharif Brothers and Muslim League "N" who is upholding the government of Punjab where these groups are mostly involved to get money and logistic sport are sports of All that baned groups. They all fear from them to be executed by suicide bobbing. They are not taking action against these groups and its destroying Pakistan.
    I hope some day they will lose their family member in suicide blast and then may be they will stand against these Terrorist groups which they are sporting now.

    Regards,
    Qaisar

  • Comment number 56.

    To the BBC
    QUESTION - Which is more important / newsworthy at present ( Sept 10 ) ?

    The Pakistan Cricket betting scandal OR the Pakistan floods affecting 20 million people

    Answer - Going on news coverage through August and September the BBC hasnt given far greater coverage to the cricket issue It is reported every night, often being the lead story on BBC news channels. Whereas the floods are only reported every other day or less and not as a lead story.

    What is wrong with the BBC ? The biggest human disaster in the 21st Century is being ignored by the BBC. This wasnt the case with Katrina ? Darfur ? Even the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. All of these got daily coverage

    SHAME ON THE BBC. A NATIONAL DISGRACE

  • Comment number 57.

    After the rewrite of some of the website isn't it a real shame that the BBC couldn't find it appropriate to open up the debate on other stories (one comment on the debate about prof Hawkins makes the excellent point that we get to comment on polarising drivel - that discussion and one can think of others about 'will you miss fred who was some comic in a supermarket carpark somewhere in outer mongolias left hand corner...).
    The BBC should then take the feel of the comments made to influence its reporting rather than the editors personal views (it would be nice but is obviously not attainable in the current climate to just report the whole collection of facts rather than the ones that support the personal opinions of the editor/reporter).

  • Comment number 58.

    "54. At 11:53am on 03 Sep 2010, englandrise wrote:
    Why do you never have an open thread on here? The discussion is always defined by the BBC agenda - let's talk about what the license fee payer wants to talk about for a change.

    And this license fee payer wants to know why the Royal Bank of Scotland story, you know the one about the 84% taxpayer owned RBS shedding thousands of jobs in England while creating new jobs in Scotland doesn't appear on the BBC England news page.

    Surely this is in the public interest of English license fee payers. The story has also vanished off the business page - 24 hours after release.

    The story remains on BBC Scotland but this news story actually affects England more than Scotland.

    Anyone would think the BBC doesn't want the people of England to know what's happening with their taxes i.e. English jobs for Scottish people
    "


    Its worse than this...
    The new jobs are being created (at our expense) in India, China and USA
    The cost in lost tax and increased benefits has to be at least 5 million a year, every year for ever (we haven't been near full employment for the last 30 years or more so those jobs won't be 'replaced').
    There is worse...
    RBS requires before it will consider interviewing anyone (- even someone with 25 years IT experience) you to have experience in the British financial industry, yet it can outsource those jobs to these foreign countries where they will NOT have the experience that is apparently required by us.
    The above means those jobs will NEVER return to the UK
    We know from bitter experience with the NHS system (and I know from working with some of the biggest and best recognised IT names in the business) that offshoring is not as cheap as beleived, the quality is poor, lateness guaranteed and often massive rework is required.
    We are talking about loss in two of our supposedly major industries - IT and banking, once we have lost these we have little left at all - carrot growing?
    We all know that phoning a 'call centre' in India is a very poor experience - the line quality is bad, the people on the other end have poor access to the data needed to help you, little understanding of the British banking system. While they can talk English - and ?I can't talk Hindi or any similar - the accent is so difficult that combined with the poor phone line it is not usable.
    We also know that many leaks of data have taken place in India and China where corruption is at least as bad as here but our laws and law enforcement don't apply.
    We know the Chinese are behind many viruses, if RBS has lost its ability to maintain its own IT and has given up control of its security to a country that makes its name (in the IT world at least) by overcoming security then RBS data will be freely available to any criminal that wants it.
    Talking of that, any data held by RBS or moved through the USA will become - by US law - avaialble to the US government - and - I know the EU are offering much of this data anyway - that data will no longer be under any form - even illusionary - of control by this country.
    All of this is being paid for (in every sense) by the British tax payer.


    We ARE the owners of this bank, it is time the press pointed out the folly here and then pressed the government to force RBS to abandon these plans.

    Perhaps the editors of the BBC can take the hint (and God knows I've made enough of them) and start the journalists taking a REAL interest in the news and doing IN DEPTH and INVESTIGATIVE reporting looking beyond the quick 10 second media oriented sound byte and getting to the real stories and real effects of some of these announcements.

  • Comment number 59.

    56. John wrote:

    The biggest human disaster in the 21st Century

    The Pakistani floods? You can't be serious. The Haiti earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people. I believe about 1500 people have been killed in Pakistan.

    The BBC is not covering it? The most ironic thing about your comment is that you probably think it's the greatest disaster precisely because of the excessive BBC coverage. It has been wall-to-wall on the World Service, as one example, with not a day going by without a batch of human interest stories from victims and appeals for aid. The massive amount of coverage is actually unwarranted and the focus is as narrow as possible, with little or no real news emerging of what is happening with the aid, how it is being distributed, who is selling it for their own profit it instead of giving it to those who need it most, and so on.

    That's what you should be complaining to the BBC about.

  • Comment number 60.

    I understand the Taliban are considering attacks on "foreigners" who are trying to help victims of the flood. I had never quite appreciated how compassionate the Taliban are! Why would the Pakistani people worry? The current government are all crooks who are only out to line their own pockets...and the alternative want to kill any foreigner trying to help victims of the flood. WOW...the future is coming up roses for Pakistan...peace.

  • Comment number 61.

    TrueToo,

    too too much TrueToo, eh?... so, we have miners imprisoned till Christmas and we have this... crisis, as well.

    dial 9/11

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    Dear Sirs,

    no problems!

    Best regards!

    B.Š.

  • Comment number 64.

    First all all - thanks for continuing with at least some coverage for this horrible catastrophe.
    A view of Pakistan from Canada:
    Sindh Province, Pakistan, World Vision Canada says children who have been affected by the flooding in Pakistan can't survive much longer without immediate aid. Dave Toycen, President & CEO of World Vision Canada, has touched down in Sindh Province. Here hundreds of thousands of displaced children and families have settled in Sukkur, Pakistan's third-largest city.
    Toycen says people are camped everywhere in tent camps, in makeshift shelters or simply on exposed homemade beds. "After three or four weeks in a traumatic situation, without proper food and drinking water, babies are especially vulnerable to common diseases.
    "Families are in worse shape than they were two weeks ago."
    Access to the hardest-hit areas is difficult; as many as 1/2 of the affected population still has received NO aid. Floods have taken out roads and bridges. Mobile phone networks are not working in most areas.
    Lack of sanitation & clean water is causing outbreaks of diarrhea, concerns about cholera; people have no change of clothes. Lack of cleanliness can lead to skin diseases like scabies.
    Dave Toycen, President & CEO, World Vision Canada: "Innocent children urgently need Canadians to set aside hesitation. The need in Pakistan is immediate and everywhere. There are huge challenges to delivering aid, bit children's lives are at stake."
    - World Vision Canada is trying to set up 20 child spaces and 20 women spaces - where children and women can move about and feel safe.
    - World Vision Canada is running 3 health clinics in Lower Dir; thus far it has reached @ 4,100 people suffering from waterborne diseases and other illnesses related to the floods. Of these @ 2,0000 have been children under 15.
    - World Vision aims to establish 40 mobile clinics throughout the hardest-hit areas.
    - In addition to the distribution of food, water and shelter supplies, World Vision plans to provide 1,000 cash-for-work jobs to assist Pakistanis to restart some semblance of normal life.
    So far, Canadians have donated $1.97M to World Vision's Pakistan relief efforts. The Canadian government is matching all Canadian donations dollar for dollar till September 12.
    So, how about an update on what your own country is doing?
    (Lastly, I note with deep sadness that The United States has not stopped droning and several Pakistanis have been wounded and killed. It's not clear whether these are civilians or "terrorist".)

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    @ BluesBerry
    On the behalf of Pakistani people, I am very thankful to all the Canadians and to the organisation that you mentioned in your post and especially to CEO who personally visited Pakistan in present situation.
    As far as our on efforts, there are two divisions working, one includes the government and international communities + states + NGOs (say team A) and the second includes the local ordinary peoples (say team B).
    The affected people are totally dependent on the efforts of team A in long run, but as the working of team A is chained from donors to end point so work is too slow and it is taking time, people still living shelter less and no access even for drinking water, food is a far far story, for a single bag of rice there is stampede.
    Everyone is questioning government’s creditability and all those corruption talks, but in reality govt don’t have the recourses and machinery to cover the whole country, starting from cold Himalayan mountains and to hot waters of Arabian sea. So its hard and complex work, where to start aid work from, which place 1st, if north 1st then there will be rout kind of situation in south….so its all mixed up here, aid trucks are standing between two provinces Punjab and Khyber, both governors(mayors) claim it, then they talk if I don’t get it no more coalition government.
    So team A work is getting slower and peoples are suffering. Here now team B is putting a tremendous effort, they are providing them food, used clothes, used house hold stuff, shelter for their women n children in their own house, a kind of first aid facilities to the affected people. As it is the month of Ramadan in Muslim calendar, so a lot of zakat money is being disturbed by ordinary even by low income families to them. But this won’t last for long as team B itself is not self sufficient.
    I have a salary of about $200/month, I gave $60 on the very 1st week of floods and $100 on the 1st of this month, I don’t have more to donate, even we wont wear new clothes on Eid celebration coming up on this Friday/Saturday. Like me there are million others doing the same, but we can’t do it for longer.
    So we all pray that situation will get better before winters and international community will stand together with us in this great catastrophic disaster.

  • Comment number 67.

    It is a terrible natural disaster, and now so many people homeless, we extend a helping hand to help them out of the disaster.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    1. At 9:00pm on 27 Aug 2010, EBAHGUM wrote:
    An excellent editorial decision by the BBC to re-invigorate the discussion on this essential issue.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    What about the essential issue of pensioners in the UK? They are freezing, starving, undernourished, thrown out of their hoses as they cannot pay their rates? Doesn't the BBC think this is an essential issue? Or is it just because the headline does not interest the media?

    The £7.4 billion official aid, as stated by the Gov - is not taking into account the support of the EU, Immigrants with no work, their claimed dependents in their countries of origin for whom they can claim as soon as they set foot in the UK, which is never considered when stating £7.4 billion, but the money is spent in indirect or "black" aid. The money spent on Afghanistan alone comes to an excess of £50billion a year, so where does the gov get £7.4billion?

    Immigration:-Consider one immigrant whom claims he has 15 children, 3 wives, 8 sets of in-laws, coupled with their relations, whom they are entitled to claim for when the bread winner enters the UK. There is NO proof of dependents required by these immigrants and even if there was, do you think they should receive this money?
    This will amount to at least £3000 per week to pay out for just for one registered immigrant and this doesn't include accommodation for that immigrant in the UK.

    Of one instance there was a foreign immigrant, whom received a 7 bedroom mansion in Essex, supplied by the state to the tune of £2500 per week rent, for her and her 6 brats and she is pregnant again. The food, medical, rates, utilities, transport, clothing and health visitors are all paid for by you the tax payer, another £2000 per week. Now their is another one come to light, a woman breeding like a rabbit with 10 brats and receiving £95k per year not counting the rent, rates and utility payments for the massive house she is living in.

    Immigration was stated in May this year as being only 230,000 entering this country last year! Plus a further 350k on student visas with no student places Ha! At least 75% of these are poved not to be students, all living off our welfare system.
    Another set of immigrant figures came out this week which stated Immigration in 2008 was only 180k with a 35% increase last year, raising it close to 240k, (even after telling the Brit Public immigration had fallen 30% in 2009) another conflict from our glorious leaders. when the brutal truth is told up to 5 million immigrants enter the UK every year.

    Also we have the illegal’s held, prior to deportation all of whom, according to the EU are entitled to Legal Aid, food, accommodation while the legal case is heard and continues in some cases drags on for 2 years.
    The Illegal’s that break the law are also kept in prison and along with the illegal’s that we can deport, are deported. Their brats are also paid for by the state food, accommodation and return fares home, all paid for by you the tax payer.

    Many of the immigrants are also given mobile phones, (to assist in getting a job) a car, (so they can
    search for a job) most with no insurance, driving licence or road tax of which I know is true thru experience. I know 2 people who have been rammed by foreigners whose failure to communicate in English was excused by the police and the victims were told no compensation is available. Claim on your own insurance !!! The perpetrators were released without charge.

    I hope this explanation is clear enough, if the HYS will allow it to be posted, as this is one of the reasons it was not detailed previously. Their code of practice may not allow it to be printed.

  • Comment number 70.

    ....so its all mixed up here, aid trucks are standing between two provinces Punjab and Khyber, both governors(mayors) claim it, then they talk if I don’t get it no more coalition government.

    Thanks so much for bringing us a rare bit of real news about what is gong on with some of the aid - officials bickering while aid is stalled and people starve. This is precisely where the alleged journalists of the MSM are failing miserably.


  • Comment number 71.

    70. At 09:51am on 06 Sep 2010, TrueToo wrote:
    ....so its all mixed up here, aid trucks are standing between two provinces Punjab and Khyber, both governors(mayors) claim it, then they talk if I don’t get it no more coalition government.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Of course its all goin to the Taliban you dummy. Who do you think allows the aid to travel thru? If the Taliban started killing aid workers then the aid would not be delivered to the Taliban.
    How simple some people are to think the aid goes to the needy there

  • Comment number 72.

    I certainly would not be described as pro-Pakistan but I do believe it's shocking that much of the first world is turning a blind eye at the current crisis in that country. And I'm not referring to the news coverage which I think has been pretty good by the BBC thus far - I'm talking about actual contribution and aid for the thousands of destitute Pakistanis that are suffering the most.

    Peter, as you say Pakistan is certainly important in terms of geopolitics and I wonder if the world is thinking that this is one of those cases where if you ignore the problem, it will hopefully just disappear!

    Anna Sempe (African blogger)

  • Comment number 73.

    Let us all be blind we are in a severe depression and our own are losing their houses. We have given enough.

  • Comment number 74.

    @ 36:I couldn't agree more,especially having to do with aid money for the poor.
    The west needs to stop giving money to these people,the money ends up in the politicians'pockets e.g.Zardari,Qureshi,etc.
    The U.S.pu,mped billions into Pakistan in the 80s & 90s to help the Mujahedeens and Afghan refugees instead the corrupt thieves either spent it on weapons or simply pocketed the money and living lavish lives in the West,Surrey,England being one of the safe havens for thesse Pakistani crooks.

  • Comment number 75.

    @74 joe kahn

    So precisely where and to whom, do we direct out help in order to ensure it reaches the people we wish to assist? I have a modest sum available that I will be willing to send by international telegraph.

    @66 Khan

    Your personal sacrifice is very commendable. An example to everyone.

  • Comment number 76.

    @69 joshua goldblum

    I don't think you will find much sympathy for your views on this blog if you choose to express them in such a vitriolic fashion.

    When I posted the first comment on this blog I had no intention of excluding any other topic, and if you wish to focus on the plight of UK pensioners, so be it.

    Personally I find your use of the term "brats" particularly offensive.

  • Comment number 77.

    "40. At 07:57am on 31 Aug 2010, Boilerbill wrote:
    Once the floods have cleared, the question must be asked about investment in flood defences and in dealing with disasters in general. Some countries seem to be good at it, others are not. Banglahdesh has annual floods, is still labelled as a poor country, but has fewer deaths and no nuclear capability. Pakistan has had many natural disaters, has extremes of affluence and povety, has lots of deaths and nuclear capability."


    Perhaps Pakistan's problem in dealing with disasters is that they are variable?

    On a much lesser scale, it is why northerners laugh at the south when a snow flake is spied, and our infrastructure grinds to a halt. For the amount of snow we get, it may not be worth spending millions on snow ploughs, snow blowers and stockpiling grit for the roads, and there would be an outcry if train fares or council taxes rose in order to purchase these items.

    I am not sure that flood defences will work in any circumstances, but Bangladesh may be better prepared in that people know what is coming and vacate rather than wait to see what happens.

    I hope that after all of this, the actions of some militant/fundamentalist "Muslims" are brought to the attention of all as they create more havoc or deny aid in some areas - these actions need to be advertised across the world. The true Muslim communities worldwide need to be the ones leading the condemnation - that alone would probably bring in far more aid to Pakistan.

  • Comment number 78.

    Donations to Pakistan need to be given with extreme vigilance and in the right direction because you don’t know but you might be funding the Taliban or making a politician richer or both ,the NGO’s private are working for them selves and gobble up 90% of the donations and mere 10% ever make it to the needy which is better then the government controlled NGO’s and the government its self that has no problem eating up the whole 100% .
    Here in Pakistan firstly there are so many people willing to help but they cannot find any place or anybody to donate ,there are stalls everywhere asking for donations but the donators all know what will happen to their donations , they would never make it to the public .
    They all saw what happened in the earth quack in which hundreds of thousands died and billions of dollars were collected by the public and the companies and the foreign aid ,but where did all the money go ? the government cannot show a single Man who has received any money or any help .
    Each and everyone helped him self and there was no government or NGO there to help .
    The Law ? It does not exist in Pakistan and all the Police boosts up the terror and the courts belong to the richest and are never there . In short they do not exist . Every man here is out there in the open without any protection of any sort and if anyone gets stuck with the law here (that is the law of corruption) he is thought of as dead already .
    The level of corruption is extremely high in every department ,the railways ,PIA ,WAPDA ,LDA all are fill of corruption and everyone knows it andare living with itand have decided to live with it for the rest of their lives . its OK with them and they don’t seem to have any problem with any of the corruption , they see it as something they were born with and are living with .
    The country is surviving on the mere 20% of the entire budget and the 80% goes to the Army ,why we would be better off hiring a foreign Army that would be there for our protection and they would cost much lesser then 80% of the entire Budget and we would be safe then ass well and wouldn’t be living like this .We wouldn’t have to live like we are living right now under the open Sun with no one there to protect us .
    And we are Muslims?? who ever said that guys who blow up everything in their way ,guys who preach dead Men and bow in front of graves and guys who have Pirs (a religious man thereto get us through to heaven {and are heavily paid for}) .we are never even close to Muslims but we have a different religion .a Muslim is supposed to be admired by all humans because of his Character and his doings .only 1% of this entire Nation is actually Muslim .
    With corruption and pathetic governance no one can possibly help this nation but its self .they urgently and utterly need to get their acts together .and your donations of even endless money is no good ,it will never reach any needy but will be eaten by the politicians at the top or some NGO’s owner .

  • Comment number 79.

    "78. At 3:04pm on 07 Sep 2010, Arki wrote:"


    I think this is one of the saddest comments I have seen. How do you deal with any of it - I have no idea.

  • Comment number 80.

    BBC UK news over this weekend has been dominated by allegations of covert betting scams by Pakistan cricketers. MSF has criticised national broadcasters for focussing on the betting and corruption story and sidelining the much bigger story of flooding and human disaster in Pakistan. News editors constantly exercise judgement about what is and what isn't news. I think BBC news editors got it wrong this time. Betting and corruption in sport is a minor and inconsequential issue compared to the continuing disaster caused by the flooding in Pakistan. The cricket story should be relegated to the specialist sports pages to leave the front pages open to the much bigger stories that truly have a human and global impact.

  • Comment number 81.

    @ 79
    You are absolutely right, even for me those were some of the saddest comments ever seen, because they were totally based on someone’s emotions rather than actual facts and figures. Arki should be nominated for Oscar for putting her illusions into a sad fantasy story.

    @ 78 Arki
    You might be in Pakistan and you might be a Muslim, but one thing is for sure that your social interaction is almost equal to zero. You seem to be one of the persons who just have table talk while having a meal and watching TV news.
    I am not a journalist or anything near it, when an issue breaks its normality for good or for bad than it becomes a news, unfortunately the news we get about Pakistan through media is mostly about the negative factors like corruptions, terrorism, blasts etc, so people with less social interactions when see images of a policeman beating a innocent, and a politician accused for corruption and having foreign accounts, thinks everything around them is bad. They are only few in numbers, you can’t blame the whole nation for the acts of few people. Did you ever heard a news of a policeman killed in action while preventing a robbery, a minister walking bare footed on newly built road to feel and satisfied himself that his plan came off well, does media highlight’s these kinds of news, I am afraid so, not. Try to see the world through your own eyes instead of a box that is measured in inches.
    Your views about Islam in Pakistan are totally irrational but you have all the rights to say anything about everything.

    @ all
    I am really surprised to see the views of world about Pakistan, Pakistan developed nukes long before 9/11, but after 9/11 world seems to be more concern about it, its just a strategy of war games that American CIA is playing. How strange, world believes them…….
    Weapons of mass destruction for Iraq, al-qiada, mujahideen, Taliban for Afghanistan, and now corruption, instability, nukes, presence of osama, Taliban for Pakistan..

  • Comment number 82.

    I am not a journalist or anything near it, when an issue breaks its normality for good or for bad than it becomes a news, unfortunately the news we get about Pakistan through media is mostly about the negative factors like corruptions, terrorism, blasts etc, so people with less social interactions when see images of a policeman beating a innocent, and a politician accused for corruption and having foreign accounts, thinks everything around them is bad.

  • Comment number 83.

    "I am really surprised to see the views of world about Pakistan, Pakistan developed nukes long before 9/11, but after 9/11 world seems to be more concern about it"

    9/11 changed the game totally. If AQ do get hold of nukes, I expect a US city or two to vanish. After that I am not sure there will be a middle east any more....

  • Comment number 84.

    As a muslim, my heart goes out to the people of Pakistan; the millions who do not deserve their current fate. However, i am angry, frustrated and disillusioned that for so long Pakistan has depended on International aid and contnues to do so. and the news focus on the inadequacy of international aid..I am NOT saying these people do not deserve all the help we can offer, but what about the so-called pakistani elites- the government, the rich, the cricketeers...how many of them have put a hand in their pockets to help their Countrymen. Until corruption is rooted out of the paksitani system, pakistan will always be depended on international aid. How can the International community get these elites take some responsibility and accountability in helping their countrymen?

  • Comment number 85.

    @ 75 ebahgum:a very good question:I suggest trustworthy leaders in the local level should be given the responsibilities of handling these matters.Your average teacher,a non corrupt imam,a non corrupt community leader,etc.I guess people who are not affiliated with political officials come to mind.
    I do a little something in India and i personally try to go there every two years and help out a few families with the help of other families who donate as much as they can.
    A little love goes a long way.
    I guess a NGO needs to be established by and for the people of that region as opposed to the ones that exist,from what i hear and i don't want to be biased they may be corrupt.
    There has to be a way to monitor where the money goes.
    As Michael Moore put it,if the the U.S.were to spend $15billion on digging wells around the world 1 billion people would have drinking water,instead of $15billion a month in unnecessary invasions and wars/aggressions and displacing/murdering innocent civilians.

  • Comment number 86.

    @75 ebahgum:I have to correct myself on the $15 billion a month war spending on the U.S.part but the U.S.has spent billions and are still spending billions in aid to Israel and Pakistan,that money can be put to good use.I know,it's the strategic importance of this region that matters.The U.S.govt has plenty up it's sleeves and i know we don't live in a perfect world.

  • Comment number 87.

    @85 and 86
    Thank you for your positive response to mine @75.

    I shall speak to my local newspaper vendor, Tanwar. He's a 2nd generation Asian immigrant into my community, that I welcome with open arms, as he's a guaranteed source of soy sauce or bay leaves whenever I find myself short of supplies.(Not wishing to sound flipant).

    He's also a very nice individual who I can have a conversation with about anything, irrespective of our different ethnic or religious origins.

    As far as I can be I'm sure that Tanwar is utterly trustworthy. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

    On your suggestion, I shall seek and TAKE his advice as to directing financial support for his relatives in the Punjab.

    You wrote:
    "There has to be a way to monitor where the money goes"

    There probably is not, so we will have to put our faith in the Tanwars of this world.

  • Comment number 88.

    As a very regular consumer of BBC News I am surprised at the lack of updates on the current position in Pakistan, following the first impact of the floods.
    After the initial effects of the disaster one might assume that the situation is improving, but this assumption could be misplaced. In the absence of any follow-up reporting it is difficult to form an opinion.
    The initial loss of life appeared to be mercifully small but what has the actuallity of the aftermath really been?
    Some meaningful updates please.
    Surely a £3.2 billion poll tax income gives you the ability to have a reporter or two on the ground, especially given the amount you waste on the drivel poured out by your UK based local news service teams.
    Going off topic.
    Has anyone in the heirarchy monitored the output of BBC North recently.
    Self-indulgent drivel beyond belief, night after night."Harry I love you", "Christa, You're wonderful, "Here comes Little Paul". At least, until last month, when I finally stopped watching.
    Hollyoaks is even worse - if it ever stops raining I'll get back into the garden.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    Re : News of foxes in London
    Why don't you have a word with the multitude of protestors who invaded parliament to stop foxhunting. Come on use your loaves.... you ban fox hunting and then find there are lots of foxes. Interview the leftie pinkos and see what they have to say
    Shurly shomething wrong !!
    Theott

  • Comment number 91.

    81. Khan wrote:

    @ 78 Arki
    You might be in Pakistan and you might be a Muslim, but one thing is for sure that your social interaction is almost equal to zero.


    That's a strange judgement to make about someone whose English is pretty good and who comments on the Internet. You have jumped to conclusions about her but you have provided absolutely no evidence to show that she is wrong in her assessment of what happens to aid to Pakistan and the general situation there.

    Her comment has far more credibility than yours.

  • Comment number 92.

    What about the flood victims in Yorkshire, Humberside, the South West, Cumbria, Scotland (£1million divided between them), New Zealand Earthquake as well as flooding, USA Tornados and Flooding, Australia Flooding, many losing their livelihood. £68million extra in aid to a foreign power (Only to Pak)– is this the govs fairness for all? Puzzles me this fairness for all. Some appear to get more fairness than others ! I am on the state pension having lost 2 pension systems (both recommended by the Gov) with no compensation.

    The national media is making it known that the British public's generosity is falling well short of the norm when it comes to the flood tragedy in Pakistan, whom have a nuclear weapons program, and yet we are the 3rd biggest contributor giving over £60 million of which at least £45million will end up with the Pakistan military, corrupt officials and Taliban.? Something is wrong with the mathematics here! It appears to be a bigger lie than the MP’s expenses scandal. No wonder other countries have seen the light and don’t give !

    Surely the gov giving an annual total of £800 billion, although the gov claim it is only £7.4billion-this is not counting the black payments, (hidden), in support of all the immigration and their dependents abroad, is paid by this country every year to a total of 90 different countries in so called aid not to mention the stupidity of the amount “voluntary” given by donations from the Brit public. None of our tax money should go abroad disguised as “aid” when we all know 80% of the money and food given by our gov out of our tax money, and voluntary donations, when we are in a recession, ends up with the War Lords and corrupt foreign govs. Stop all overseas payment and spend it at home to PULL us out of recession and make so called “foreign Aid” voluntary donations from the brit public. Currently the areas of Cancer research, Spina Bifida, Breast Cancer, etc etc, are all supported by voluntary donations in this country. Why do we not use the £800billion in foreign aid for these projects in the UK and then any one whom wishes to donate to “foreign Aid” can thru voluntary contributions. If you want to donate then perhaps you should consider one of the charities aimed at helping our forces personnel, injured, retired etc. Chelsea Pensioners living in 19th century conditions because there is no money to modernise their accommodation !

    95% of the Brit public voted to stop foreign aid and immigration during the recession. What does the PM state, foreign aid will be protected and immigration will be reviewed with a view to limits being set. All front and bull. If we were in the same boat all we would get is a kick in the pants which has been proven by the meager payouts to the flood victims in the UK, whom cannot be now covered by insurance. Like the last gov stated quote, “floods will be prevalent now with global warming taking affect in this country, you will just have to get used to it” unquote!
    What about the couple in London whom an inquest has just been held over, they died in January brought on by the freezing weather ? What does our gov care about them. Many cannot afford the food, rates, utility bills and can only afford to pay one of them out of their £650 per month state pensions? What could £800billion have done for them? Or the bowel cancer patients whom have been refused the life extending drug because it costs too much, or the breast cancer patient in Kent who cannot have treatment because the treatment is not financially rewarding enough ?

    Now on top of this lot we are asked to pay more tax :( Is this for real or is it just a camouflaged tax increase ordered by the Gov to pay more in foreign aid?)
    Mr Cameron : - look after our own and stop wasting our taxes in support of foreign powers. We can no longer afford it.

  • Comment number 93.

    @ 91
    I have been working in affected areas as a volunteer since the flood started, so far not a single bad incident has occurred, except delayed shipments/ slow process of management as everything has to start from scratch. If anything bad had happened you should have known as everyone is monitoring Aid is reaching the rightful, and the rightful are so overwhelmed that they are thanking the unseen/unheard donors even in their prayers.

    @92
    I agree with you, state should resolve its domestic issues first, once the internal issues are resolved, after that they should look for their foreign polices and INTERESTS, whom to aid and whom to attack/bomb with their citizen’s tax money.
    Aid to Pakistan, I can assure you that not a single penny of aid will end up with military, corrupt officials or Taliban, because its not the cash being handed over to Pakistan, it’s the items/machinery/equipments etc being purchased and sent to Pakistan under the flags and names of the concerned.
    I don’t think so as a British you should doubt your government as British government/ intelligence agencies have spend much more than this aid, on so called war on terror against Taliban for at least last nine years or so, not only the money but lives of British soldiers. So intelligence agencies aren’t fool enough and should be closely monitoring the aid situation, if not than I think sacrifice of British soldiers went all in vain. You can trust your government or you on the same boat as Pakistanis are against government officials.

  • Comment number 94.

    As for reports we have been seing here in the Middle East TV channels and papaers it seems that much of the aid from the West to Pakistan is ending inthe black markets of Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

    I guess that giving aid to charities from local agencies un the Middle East which they have their people in the ground was quite a good decision at least I know that the meoney and help reach the most needed.

    Ese,

  • Comment number 95.

    Despite the critical situation Pakistan is facing now,it's govt is still reluctant to take aid from India.This is unreasonable.We all want to help them but we are sorry if they do not accept.

  • Comment number 96.

    Pakisthan is now facing the biggest humanitarian crisis but still it is reluctant to take the help of India. I do not find any justification of this tactic. It should take what it is getting and it should try to keep the political differences aside at least for the time being.

  • Comment number 97.

    Sorry folks
    I saw my neighbours flooded out for 18 months with no help from the gov, now they cant get insurance. Where is their hand out?
    No way would I give to a foreign power, only ends up with corrupt govs, warlords or the Taliban.
    Have no choice with our gov giving £800billion away every year.

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm from the United States, but run three shelters for battered and abused women in Pakistan. The shelters are Christian-based, but open to women of all faiths. Our non-profit limits our donations to supporting the shelters only.

    In the last few weeks we have received desperate pleas from the pastors there, asking for help for flood relief. They want to help those in their communities because when aid is distributed they are told by the workers that this is "for Muslims only" and they will have to rely on their own Christian supporters for help unless they are willing to convert to Islam. We hare collecting all we can to send, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to what they need.

    Media coverage of this type of prejudice in light of such a disaster might put enough pressure on the overnment to treat all of their citizens equally. Please cover this angle of the story.

  • Comment number 99.

    I really appreciate BBC 's efforts to help flood victims of Pakistan . I am sending a poem depicting problems of those affected by floods .

    RECENT FLOODS IN PAKISTAN

    I lived at a place

    heaven on earth

    surrounded by snow covered mountains

    almond and walnut trees

    the scene always filled my heart with joy

    I loved my place

    On that fateful night

    it rained which was not going to stop

    and the river nearby over flew

    I could hear the noise of waves

    and suddenly

    water entered our houses

    within minutes it was up to waist

    I took my younger brother on my shoulder and ran towards mountains nearby

    My mother was with me

    but I cant see my father

    he was sleeping in courtyard and was taken away by waves

    he was disabled

    and could not find his crutches

    we spent three nights on the mountain

    without any food and shelter

    saw our houses falling and households floating away

    Today I am homeless and orphan

    looking to you for help

    but for how long

    who is going to build our houses

    who will earn bread for us

    God has taken away all his blessings

    and I pray to Him to give us courage

    to bear this trauma , destruction and loss
    By shahnaz

  • Comment number 100.

    @99 shahnaz

    An obviously heartfelt contribution, for which, many thanks.

 

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