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DEC Pakistan flood appeal

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Jon Williams Jon Williams | 12:24 UK time, Wednesday, 4 August 2010

On Thursday, the BBC and the other UK media will broadcast an appeal by the UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

Pakistani flood survivorsThe DEC is an umbrella organisation of the 13 main UK-based charities - and at times of overseas emergencies, it swings into action.

Earlier this year, following the earthquake in Haiti, the BBC broadcast an appeal by DEC which raised more than £100m - second only to the Asian tsunami in terms of the amount of money raised.

We will broadcast another appeal on Thursday - this time for those affected by the floods in Pakistan.

The BBC is not part of DEC but has an understanding, that at times of international crisis, it will broadcast an emergency appeal provided three main tests are met:

• The disaster must be of such scale and urgency that it requires swift international humanitarian assistance
• The DEC agencies must be in a position to provide effective and swift assistance, at such scale, to justify a national appeal
• There must be reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal would be successful

The BBC believes that in the case of the Pakistan floods, the threshold has been met. And while the appeal is quite separate from the on-going editorial coverage of the disaster, clearly, the response is - in part - shaped by what our teams have been reporting on radio, TV and online.

Two years ago, we ran a series of promos on air, celebrating the BBC's global presence around the world.

That value has been demonstrated in recent days. The BBC is the only UK broadcaster to be based in Islamabad - a year ago, we doubled the size of the team in Pakistan, to enable us to focus on the deteriorating security situation there and in Afghanistan.

It's part of the tragedy of this story, that many of the places now so badly affected by the flood waters, are the same as those visited by Orla Guerin, Aleem Maqbool and their colleagues from the BBC Urdu Service in recent months, as they have been reporting Pakistan's insurgency.

But it's also meant that while our colleagues from the other news organisations have been scrambling to report the summer's big story, the BBC has had a head start.

Through the BBC Asian Network, we're also able to reflect and report the response among those in the UK with ties to Pakistan.

Estimates suggest around a million people in the UK can trace their heritage to Pakistan - around 1.5% of the UK population, making it the second largest Pakistani population in the World - the same reason that Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, has chosen Birmingham as the place to launch the political career of his son, Bilawal, this weekend.

It's from Birmingham that the charity, Islamic Relief, is co-ordinating its appeal for Pakistan, as well as being part of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

DFID - the Department for International Development - has already pledged £10m to the relief effort. DEC and other international charities hope to raise much more in the coming days and weeks.

When others go home, the BBC team in Pakistan will remain on the ground, reporting on the relief operation, and following how the money raised is being spent.

It's a vital part of ensuring accountability - part of the BBC's core public service, and why those of you in the UK pay the licence fee.

Jon Williams is the BBC World News editor.


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  • Comment number 1.

    "Through the BBC Asian Network, we're also able to reflect and report the response among those in the UK with ties to Pakistan. "

    Is this the same Asian Network that the BBC wants to close??

  • Comment number 2.

    Any country that can afford to develop nuclear weapons can afford to look after its people following a natural disaster. I will not be donating.

  • Comment number 3.

    I am not sure we should welcome the Pakistani president's attempt to rope the citizens of Birmingham into supporting another act of nepotism by the ruling elite of a corrupt political system. One wonders what the reaction there would have been if Mussolini had turned up in New York to rally support amongst the Italian-American population there?

  • Comment number 4.

    Ahh yes - a humanitarian crisis - send for Orla Guerin. Why does this journalist get assigned to every natural/humaninatian disaster story? As your Pakistan correspondent, the current floods clearly fall within her remit. But how then does that explain her presence in Haiti earlier this year? Her one-note but highly emotive reporting blurs into a single, repetitive narrative (central agency incompetence and corruption, the indifference and inadequacy of western response, etc., etc.) and makes these tragic events indistinguishable over time. At a time when compassion fatigue already impacts donations, I'd say that Guerin's reporting actually compounds the problem.

  • Comment number 5.

    Pakistan have a huge military might, including Nuclear weapons, they need to spend money on infrastructure and that means helping them selves.
    The UK is all to keen to poke our nose in and give hand outs….. I question why we never look at our own poverty and mis-fortune in the same way?

  • Comment number 6.

    I often find myself compelled to put my hand in my pocket to donate to disaster relief funds across the globe, Haiti being the last from memory. In this case I am unwilling to do so, having listened for so long to reports of terrorist training camps, anti-western teaching at madrassa, home grown terrorist in the UK being sons and daughters of Pakistani descent and a general feeling of duplicity I get when listening to some officials within Pakistan. With the recent outcry over David Cameron making a statement of fact about some elements within Pakistan supporting terrorism, showing once again a culture that seems willing to shake your one hand and cut off your other when you are not looking (Good on D.C. for standing his ground). I'm sure that many of those poor souls affected by the floods are outside of all of this, but sorry, I won't be donating and I think I'm not alone.

  • Comment number 7.

    Why isn't some of UK Aid diverted from Afghanistan to Pakistan? Last night's news reports on C4 News highlighted the plight of Afghan refugees that had yet to receive any help at all.

  • Comment number 8.

    Please can we not muddle the issues of providing a humanitarian response to the thousands of people who are without food and shelter with the issue of nuclear weapons, terrorism and the diplomatic war of words between dc and zardawi.
    For the record oral guerin is a fantastic reporter. It's great to see also that the BBC have beefed up their Islamabad team, this is reflected in the increased depth and speed of coverage.

  • Comment number 9.

    DC was right to say what he did.
    The UK throws far too much tax payers money at states like Pakistan in the form of so-called aid.

    The real question should be, Aid for what? Since hardly any of it seems to get any further than the governments.

    While UK finances are in the state that they are, all forms of overseas aid should be halted. After all. Charity should always begin at home, and at the moment we aren't short of people in need ourselves.

  • Comment number 10.

    Our UK troops in Afghanistan are relatively close to the areas of Pakistan affected by the flooding. Surely we in the UK must instruct our troops to drop their guns, and travel to the flooded areas as quickly as possible, bringing with them all the equipment and supplies which will help: not least helicopters and bridge-building equipment and skills.

    And if we do this, maybe the Taliban might show, too, that they, too, have humanitarian instincts and do the same. It could be a 'Good Firday Agreement' moment for a settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.

  • Comment number 11.




  • Comment number 12.

    Noone will be donating as we are poor ourselves

  • Comment number 13.

    we are not poor atleast we got a house to live,got food 3 times a day what else do a person want ?

  • Comment number 14.

    The severity of the problem has been recognised. 4 million people homeless and thousands killed. The DEC appeal deserves to be broadcast on the BBC. Well done! But what was the first item on the Ten o'clock BBC flagship news bulletin tonight 5th August? - Naomi Campbell giving testimony in a trial of an alleged terrorist which has been given little coverage in it's two year existence. The SECOND item was the Pakistan disaster. Please get your priorities in order. Naomi Campbell will get plenty of coverage in the mindless photo magazines catering for that market. The BBC news coverage of the Pakistan disaster deserves FIRST place at Ten o'clock. Your editors need to be reminded of what is important in life. Celebrity should not take preference over lives lost in any News programme. Pete the Gardener

  • Comment number 15.

    There's some disgracefully mean comments after this article. I *will* be donating to DEC on this occasion, and for the following reasons:
    1. I, like thousands of Brits, know how devastating it is to have my home flooded. Even in a very developed town, with plenty of unaffected neighbours to help, fresh water, and reasonable communications and services nearby, a three-hour flooding event left my house wrecked, my street in chaos and my health affected (I caught a rotavirus from the raw sewage that swept through the house along with a month's worth of rain and a whole lot else). The misery of those affected in Pakistan at the moment is almost impossible to contemplate. Who wouldn't want to help? Especially when a small amount of money can go so far.
    2. I, again like many Brits, have worked, lived and gone to school with people of Pakistani descent, and haven't noticed any more extremism than amongst anyone else. I would no more expect them to be terrorist extremists than I would expect any of my Irish acquaintances to blow up my car. Such assumptions are preposterous and this should be pointed out more often.
    3. We are in no position to write off a nation's disaster-struck citizens just because we don't like the way its government spends money. The UK is hardly a paragon in that respect, and, of course, spends an absolute fortune on nuclear weapons itself...
    4. This will disproportionately affect children, who aren't responsible for their parents' political affiliations in any case.
    [actually there are many more reasons, but those who agree with the mean comments will already have stopped reading... and those who don't, won't need to have it explained]

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    so you decide gaza is not a crisis so no DEC post , but this is so there is a DEC post. oh but you also pre moderate eveything. no chance of this post making it then,and check your journalists understanding of the 'border' between Israel and Lebanon, international law still applies, not what you reported.(blue line, green line etc )

  • Comment number 18.

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

  • Comment number 19.

    If you are reduced to poverty, then trade with Allah (SWT) through giving in charity. Imam Ali (AS)

  • Comment number 20.

    I say Food/Drink/Internet/Medicine is the things they need. But you could donate a old Radio too

  • Comment number 21.

    Sadly, the meanness around here no longer surprises me.

    For those using the 'rich enough to have a nuclear weapon' argument... presumably you said the same thing at the time of Hurricane Katrina? And you'd adopt the same benchmark for catastrophes in India? And Russia? Or are you forced to shift your argument in those cases, and put forward 'other reasons'?

    For those going on about terrorist training camps... the desire to help in a catastrophe - regardless of such things - is an entirely noble trait. Add in the fact that the great majority of those victims have, in all likelihood, nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism, and you're left in the morally dubious position of denying innocent people help because you feel their political leaders haven't been doing enough to clamp down on terrorism. Well that's very generous of you.

    Just thing once: put down your Daily Mail, unpurse your lips, and pick up the phone.

  • Comment number 22.

    4. At 12:52pm on 05 Aug 2010, Digitagit wrote:
    Ahh yes - a humanitarian crisis - send for Orla Guerin. Why does this journalist get assigned to every natural/humaninatian disaster story?

    Because she is Irish.

    So long as she does not mention she is from the BBC she can operate much more safely amongst people who would happily abduct/kill any English reporter they could get their hands on.

  • Comment number 23.

    I find the BBC biased on this issue like so much else from this part of the world.

    As others have noted here why, is this crisis in Pakistan worthy of a DEC appeal whilst the undoubted suffering of the people of Gaza not deemed worthy enough ?

    Also why does the BBC feel the need to comment on the "alleged ties" of "muslim fundamentalist" charity groups to Al Queda whilst refusing to comment on the inclusion of "extremist" parties in the official government of the state of israel.

    Surely what is important in a state of emergency such as this is not the politcal or religious ties of the civic minded folk who chose to help but rather their ability to organise and deliver aid where needed.

  • Comment number 24.

    23. At 1:13pm on 06 Aug 2010, SotonBlogger wrote:
    " As others have noted here why, is this crisis in Pakistan worthy of a DEC appeal whilst the undoubted suffering of the people of Gaza not deemed worthy enough ?"

    This is tens of thousands of people at acute risk of dying. They are the victim of a natural disaster over which they have no control. None of the victims voted in a government which then deliberately provoked the flood.

    None of the above applies to the hamas controlled zone.

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    I just think the world is getting a bit overcrowded. We should move rich people to all locations of the world to ease the crowd

  • Comment number 27.

    Dealing with crisis is just one of the aims of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Currently the European Journalism Centre has a blogging competition 'Th!nk3: Developing World' to promote these goals in the lead up to the UN Summit in September.

    There are over 1100 stories from 100 bloggers. It has a wealth of ideas and information. I am a participant from Australia.

    Please help to spread the word so that we can make a long-term difference:

  • Comment number 28.

    25. At 5:46pm on 06 Aug 2010, SotonBlogger

    Gaza like WWII gulags? - ho, ho, ho

    How many are dead of starvation? How many have been taken in cattle trucks and gassed?

    Look at events only this week - the 'palestinians' are importing Mercedes cars down their tunnels. Presumably this is for hamas officials. If things are so bad for them, perhaps they should have a word with their elected government to import fewer mercs and more food?

  • Comment number 29.

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

  • Comment number 30.

    i think the disaster is terrible and offcourse we must ensure we provide as much aid into pakistan as we can afford despite the rough economic times we are enduring at home however surely some compassion needs to be applied to our aid and money prior to this being sent and used like reassurance that some of the population wont be burning our elected leaders face and the union jack nor will they try in effect to bite the hands that are trying to feed them so yes give aid and help that as christians is what we should do but also self preservation means just that are we helping some back to health so they can then enter into a campaighn of hate for britain surely this question needs to be asked or is it me that doesnt get it (yes help) but seek assurances that they can return some sort of forgivness and help britain destroy terrorisim in its tracks. i certainly am a good christian person but the buck needs to stop somewhere.

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    I wonder if the UK, or any other small Christian Country had a natural disaster, how many Muslim Countrys would rush to our aid with cash?
    Don't hold your breath.

  • Comment number 34.

    @toycollector, #33

    Three questions:

    1) You describe the UK as a "small Christian Country". Can you tell me, in what sense are you using that word "small"? (And please share with us how precisely that "smallness" is relevant to your point)

    2) How does the total wealth and the average standard of living in Britain compare with the total wealth and the average standard of living in "many Muslim countries"?

    3) Will you personally be donating?

  • Comment number 35.

    I certainly hope that monies donated go to the right people.

    The saddest bit of news I heard was the old man who refused to be rescued because he would have to leave his water buffalo behind, and he loved her. Tragic and honourable.

    And seeing people on roofs with no land in sight - we have to act. How can you walk away?

  • Comment number 36.

    "25. At 5:46pm on 06 Aug 2010, SotonBlogger wrote:

    Are you truely so naive ? Do you truely believe in the 21st century we cannot engineer water control features to prevent such catastrophic loss of life."

    I'm afraid the planet is capable of throwing more at us than we can ever deal with. Regardless of money. USA suffers severe flooding and loss of life, earthquakes, tornadoes. They're relatively rich. Japan's loss of life due to tsunamis is high. They're relatively wealthy. Chile, Haiti, Hawaii, Bangladesh, many areas of Africa, central Turkey, the list of places which are prone to devastation by natural forces is depressingly long.

    As Egypt has discovered, the Aswan Dam prevents the Nile from flooding, and once fertile areas are now sterile.

    Life is sadly not that simple.

  • Comment number 37.

    Should money aid be offered or expertise on water systems, construction equipment, supplies, microloans and help in building factories? When does the Pakistani government start helping its own population rather than buying military equipment and lining the pockets of its corrupt politicians? It's time for an aid re-think.

  • Comment number 38.

    Disaster response is a world concern. Devastating earthquakes, floods, and wind storms occur in most countries. Many nations do not have the technology for recovery. The United Nations might consider an emergency management function.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    There were no existance of contry NAMED pakistan before 80 years. So please change the title of article.

  • Comment number 41.

    On other News Channels - CNN, Euronews, CCTV(China), NDTV (india), Russia Today, France 24, Al Jazeera and Press TV (Iran) - help has been getting through to Pakistan. We see marquees, tents, people receiving food and medical help, areas where water has receded. I know that the state of affairs in Pakistan is appalling and the needs of the people are great but I sometimes get the impression that the BBC is only showing, and repeating, film of total devastation and nothingness because they have become an arm of the aid industry. Do you perhaps think we'll give more money if you tailor the news to show only helplessness and despair?

  • Comment number 42.

    "When does the Pakistani government start helping its own population ...."
    Its always interesting to watch the responses to disasters by the populations in different countries. The Chinese have responded to their parallel floods with admirable efficiency and organisation. They haven't sat around saying "Woe is me. Give us some money". They've just got on with it.

  • Comment number 43.

    kindly donot donate any penny to the govt of pakistan as that aid doenst reach to the deserving ppl of pakistan ....... instead you can give it to UNO or any other international helping organisation .........

    shame shame ..... ppl dont have food to eat in pakistan due to flood ..... n president zardari is strolling with his family in uk and france viewing his palaces ....

    Although its not all appreciated to insult any human being and leaders but in these circumstance ...... its welldone babe jeeeeeeee who threw the shoe on zardari ...... so wat if they have closed the tv channels in pakistan due to this shoe incident ..... we are goin to spread the message against this brutality around the world .......


    Bina Islam ul Haq
    London - UK

  • Comment number 44.

    MaggieL wrote: "When does the Pakistani government start helping its own population ...."
    Its always interesting to watch the responses to disasters by the populations in different countries. The Chinese have responded to their parallel floods with admirable efficiency and organisation. They haven't sat around saying "Woe is me. Give us some money". They've just got on with it.

    Spot on.

  • Comment number 45.

    Wow, some people on here think they have problems and that they are poor. How on earth can you afford to use a computer then. Most of us in the UK do not know what real abject poverty and hardship is. I'm really shocked by some of the statements. I wonder, did those who are saying that they aren't going to donate make any donations to the Astan Tsunami appeal. There was a country, Thailand (I know others were affected but I think this is why most donated), although known as a 'developing country', with a wealthy government. We still donated though. It's not the government, hopefully, that I will be donating to. It's the people of the provinces affected. I don't want them to have to suffer any more than they already have and if I can do something then I will. I would donate to a disaster fund here also, if there were a disaster (hopefully there won't be), even though our country owns several nuclear weapons.

  • Comment number 46.

    Pakistan became a begger state(country). It always exaggragate the facts related to its country. As the very first news of flood starts coming, it has started begging the whole world instead starting rescue operaton on its own.
    World must be careful to donate this time because Pakistanis transfer all the funds to fund its army, helping Taliban, funding terrorists organisation of kashmir(HURRIYAT). Pakistan is master of duplicity.

  • Comment number 47.

    I would rather donate to other organization, won't be repeating myself pple have listed the reasons above! But why won't BBC equally report about other countries being flooded not just think that Pakistan is the only news-worthy subject abroad. One example: Poland - the country is still fighting with severe flooding since May! and there is nothing mentioned about it one the news...

  • Comment number 48.

    JET1977 (#45)

    "Most of us in the UK do not know what real abject poverty and hardship is."

    Spot on.

  • Comment number 49.

    Many countries suffer from hurricane activity. Recovery is a slow and a expensive process. The United Nations should consider strategies to provide for victims of massive natural disaster situations.

  • Comment number 50.

    I commend our courageous Prime Minister for speaking the truth about Pakistan, though I would like to hear what our Government has to say about President Zardari’s decision to shut down ARY and GEO News after it had reported the shoe throwing incident). Is it right that our Government should openly support a regime that despises free press, embraces violence and lacks proper democratic credentials?

    Should we support a leader who is beating up reporters, newspaper sellers and burning TV channel offices?

    Like many other people, I am utterly disgusted at the morally outrageous way this Pakistani dictatorship is behaving, including lavish life style of the family members of the Pakistani Prime Minister - I understand they are renting a large house in Knightsbridge and the son drives a Lamborghini!, while the President during his current visit to London has booked over 25 rooms in a hotel in Knightsbridge at a time when many millions are starving and without shelter. Please explain why our Government is supporting this despicable regime?

    Any reasonable fair minded person would find this exorbitant lifestyle (funded at the behest of the West and the World Bank) morally unacceptable and an affront to common humanity, especially when people in Pakistan are facing unprecedented natural disasters - the current floods have left over 2 million homeless and claimed over 1,500 dead, with many protesting about their government’s lack of response.

    As taxpayers, we have every right to ensure that our funds are not misused by corrupt Pakistani politicians who I believe are largely responsible for the current problems in that country. Why is our that country helping this corrupt regime? Why do we not investigate how our funds are actually used by Pakistan and the extent to which poverty and unemployment plays a role in promoting extremism? Is Pakistan actually encouraging extremism to serve its long term interests? Is it right that Western business interests in Pakistan (McDonald and Pizza Hunt) should pay protection money to extremists?

    It is high time we exposed some uncomfortable facts about Pakistan and how it is the leadership not the ordinary and hardworking people of Pakistan that are fomenting hatred against the West and not serving and protecting their own people against extremist (I strongly suspect it is the failure of the Pakistan government in terms of social care, education and medical health that prompted many to turn to extremists).

  • Comment number 51.

    Dotconnect - What's your proposal then, throw money at the problem until it goes away? Odds are only a fraction of it will reach the people it is supposed to. If you're lucky.

    Pakistan needs to set its own house in order as 50) above suggests. Social care, education, medical health - not to mention endemic corruption. A little flood contingency planning wouldn't go amiss either.

    One video stream from a mobile phone has arguably done more damage to the Taliban than the Pakistani Government has managed in the last ten years.

    You don't make these problems go away by trying to bail out a corrupt government that is quite happy with the status quo. Only Pakistanis can change Pakistan for the better.

  • Comment number 52.

    Yes extremist chanting and flag burning...hmm kind of reminds me of BNP and EDL who act in a similar racist capacity. Maybe I should stop donating to the Marie Curie foundation or Great Ormond street and stop volunteering at my local care home every weekend...I mean they help all these children of white British people who want me out of their country even though I probably pay more tax than the vast majority of them (and no benefits for me!)...sure the overwhelming majority of those British people are opposed to such measures but hey these EDL people are white and British therefore logically they must all be trying to extradite me or harass me by calling me a Paki.

    Terrorists attacking and killing people in Britain...may be I should look things up and see how many Pakistani soldiers and civilians have fallen victim to such acts or terrorism by these very people. I suppose I can look at civilian causalities caused by drone attacks by allied forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan and how many people were forced to flee the impending war and hardships caused by a disproportionate response by Allied forces. Heard about the innocent mother who was making her four-year-old breakfast and got hit by a missile fired from a Predator drone? It was civilian death they said but didn't apologise...when her son grows up we'll tell him that his mother was killed by the Allies but it was her own fault...obviously...he will harbour no thoughts of revenge I think nor will the woman's husband.

    Honour killings. Could be a cultural thing I suppose...I mean people die in Britain due to alcohol-induced violence all the time. Maybe one should compare no. of honour killings and no. of people killed by alcohol-induced violence between the two countries...but I won't because I don't like the sound of that and Britain might not come out on top.

    Nuclear weapons...Britain is in an economic depression and doesn't have much money, I wonder why we're upgrading Trident and haven't we also ordered a few new air craft carriers and other aircraft...maybe it's for another cold war. In case we get attacked by a new enemy who are so powerful that our current nuclear arsenal will probably not deter them...I mean we can develop weapons that are even deadlier and meaner. What about those trade deals with Saudi Arabia and India concerning weapons? Well we're getting money there so what if so many people in those nations live below the poverty line...statistics say that whenever Pakistan has had a military government we've given them more aid and we've usually not given aid to any government that didn't agree with us like Nawaz Sharif or much further back during Bhuttos time. We can only curse that these corrupt government spend money on themselves.

    Oh we made a statement they didn't was the truth honest. Sure India is suppressing people in Kashmir and coming down brutally on other insurgent movements and other countries we deal with support terrorism too but it's not in our interest to criticise them. Plus for bonus points, we win India's favour by criticising Pakistan...sure it might be a little tiny bit insensitive.

    Maybe we should help them...I mean 70% of all supplies to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan pass through Pakistan and damage to Pakistan's economy was estimated at tens of billions of dollars by an independent report due to the Afghan war...not to mention loss of life. But we won't because they make a nice scapegoat to blame things on when the going is tough in Afghanistan.

    Sorry if you find my self-righteous attitude to be annoying. I am a Muslim really and obviously because you don't like Islam and don't agree with it (particularly face veils...I mean women might choose to wear it but you they are obviously demented and wrong and it is my duty to take away that choice because I find it offensive), it makes everything I say wrong.

  • Comment number 53.

    What a lot of prejudice is showing in these recent blogs. For me, Kevin Rennie has the best approach. Good luck to him and his work, I say.

  • Comment number 54.

    It stuns me that BBC news continues to ignore reporting the humanitarian support (let alone the sacrifice in human terms) of "other" nationals in Afghanistan, working alongside the Brits. Today, for example, I can read on other websites, of Dutch, Danish and even Australian forces' contributions, but not anywhere that I see, on the BBC site. Why, or why not? OK perhaps in the UK audiences are most interested in UK connections, but when Taleban propaganda statements are carried, why no acknowledgement of "allied" contributions?

  • Comment number 55.

    Darkfiresong: So anyone not prepared to donate to Pakistan is automatically racist, eh? How convenient.

    If you truly believe that all white British people want you to leave based on your ethnicity, you need to seek help.

    And yes. I do find your self-righteous attitude to be annoying. Time you ditched that victim mentality you wear so well.

  • Comment number 56.


    I'm of the opinion that it is Pakistanis themselves who infuriating insist on voting these idiots into power and then complain...they are to blame. We (pakistanis and muslims) have dug this hole for ourselves.

    I just have a problem with people giving silly excuses for not donating. If you're not donating, all good and well but please do not exhibit the attitude "Taliban from here so no aid" or "honour killings so no aid".

    Perhaps you should reread my earlier comment. I was being is obviously absurd to assume that because EDL have racist tendencies that all British people are racists as people here are implying that because there is a Taliban presence in Pakistan, people here are terrorists and generally hate the Western world.

    If I am a victim, I am for a large part a victim of my own doings.

  • Comment number 57.


    In your first sentence, you're putting words into my mouth and in your last, you are exhibiting ignorance...a weak statement that to me reflects the lack of solid arguments on your part. By implying that I am possessed by a victim mentality, you are also demonstrating the victim mentality that seems prevalent among many people in Britain...Britain has supported dictators in the past and if countries said dictators have ruled over have anti-British sentiments among their population, there is no point in being indignant about it.

  • Comment number 58.

    Darkfiresong: Fair enough. I think you went off on something of a diatribe intially; the appearence of excusing honour killings is never going to help your case. Appreciate you got carried away.

    My reason for not donating is that Pakistanis need to make a better Pakistan for themselves. Making a country reliant on outside aid in times of crisis gives that country's leadership absolutely no incentive to improve things moving forward.

    If Pakistan is to avoid further radicalisation it needs to act now. Not through use of munitions, but use of education and social programs. As things stand, the Madrassas are used as centers of indocrination. The fact that extremists are attempting to use the same tactic here I find infuriating.

    I also would not throw money at India either, though for different reasons. Any country that can afford a space program.....

  • Comment number 59.


    I'm sorry...maybe I did get carried away. I agree with the points you've made. I am in no way in favour of honour killings and would argue that such evils would go away through social education and more focus on education spending instead of defence spending within the country.

    Madrassas need to be regulated within Pakistan but this can't happen if the people in power refuse to do anything to such institutions for fear of losing votes and much needed support that mullahs bring in terms of followers of their brand of religion. I can understand why parents send their children to meals and lodgings and the instant credibility among local folk having a "mullah-in-training" son brings never mind the fact that people leave these places with a hundred and one prejudices...

  • Comment number 60.

    Darkfiresong wrote: "By implying that I am possessed by a victim mentality, you are also demonstrating the victim mentality that seems prevalent among many people in Britain."

    Rrrriight... "I am a Muslim really and obviously because you don't like Islam and don't agree with it (particularly face veils...I mean women might choose to wear it but you they are obviously demented and wrong and it is my duty to take away that choice because I find it offensive), it makes everything I say wrong."

    A written apology is fine.

  • Comment number 61.

    Why is the article all about how wonderful the BBC is, rather than how deserving the cause they have chosen to publicise is?

  • Comment number 62.


    // "Pakistan needs to set its own house in order as 50) above suggests. "


    Indeed it does. In the meantime, 1,600 people are dead and it's being reported that "at least" 14 MILLION people are affected. It's my opinion that there are better times to be concerning yourself about "bailing out a corrupt government" and "teaching Pakistan to stand on its own two feet".

    Withholding aid is one thing, and I fully understand the sentiment behind it.

    Withholding emergency aid, however, is quite another.

    You may think now is precisely the time for "tough love". I do not.

  • Comment number 63.

    While the Pakistan government considers investment in nuclear weapons a priority over the welfare of it's people I believe that donating anything to that country totally inappropiate

  • Comment number 64.

    #62: "Withholding aid is one thing, and I fully understand the sentiment behind it. Withholding emergency aid, however, is quite another"

    Exactly, so why is the Pakistan government itself being so slow - or in some cases not getting help through at all - when it could have set up a disasters and emergency fund itself, instead of wasting its money on corrupt officials, or warmongering over Kashmir and developing offensive weapons? Fair enough, all UN countries should help, but the Pakistan government should not shirk its own responsibilities to its people.

  • Comment number 65.

    "The BBC is not part of DEC but has an understanding, that at times of international crisis, it will broadcast an emergency appeal provided three main tests are met"

    What about the other test...

    - the appeal must NOT raise money for humanitarian aid to Gaza

    Actually, I suspect this article is really the BBC setting out its position before people like myself criticise you for airing a DEC appeal this year, but point blank refusing last year. At least have the courage of your convictions and make your motives clear...

  • Comment number 66.

    Earlier in the comment thread, Joe remarked in comment #2 that he will not be donating to the flood stricken people of Pakistan because he believes that any nation that can afford to develop nuclear weapons can afford to look after its people following a natural disaster. While I can see an inkling of logic in that train of thought, however it is severely short-sighted.

    This kind of thinking assumes that the governing bodies of countries and the millions of citizens which populate those nations are one unit and body, when the reality is that for many populations, the people and its leaders are at odds, corruption in authority is strife and the leaders are more interested in power than the well-being of their citizens. For many of those people, they have gone from a state of poverty to worse. The government of Pakistan is not in need of your donations to survive, but the people of Pakistan are certainly facing huge difficulties and need every help they can get. Many people and nations don't like the leaders of N. Korea, but that doesn't blind us to the plight and poverty of its people. Similarly, we should not become hard hearted to a humanitarian cause because of our political biases and God forbid you find yourself in a similar disaster and see no help forth coming from your own governments, lest you have to eat the sourness of your own words.

  • Comment number 67.

    I stand to be corrected, but my understanding of the work of the DEC is that they use the funds raised through their appeals to buy essential relief equipment (plant & machinery, water purification tackle, temporary shelters, blankets etc etc) and then ship this out to the affected areas. They do not channel large amounts of cash to potentially corrupt govenment officials.
    If this is the reason anyone is deciding not to donate I would, respectfully, suggest a re-think of your reasoning.
    As a first time visitor to this blog I have to say I find the amount of biggotry as depressing as the pictures comming out of the SWAT valley.
    The political elite of Pakistan have run the country as a personal fiefdom since it was created in the 40's but that should not influence our response to the millions of ordinary Pakistanis affected by this monumental disaster.
    It doesn't cost much to show a crumb of basic humanitarianism

  • Comment number 68.

    This is related to a story broadcast 8/11 --

    It began

    "Britain's hoteliers, pub landlords and cabbies have been given tips on how to avoid cultural no-nos with the Chinese and faux pas with the French.

    Tourism agency VisitBritain has come up with online advice to help give foreign visitors a warmer welcome ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

    It advises against hugging an Indian straight off, implying Poles drink a lot or calling Canadians "American".

    It also warns against mentioning the 1845-6 war to a Mexican."

    I don't want to embarrass VisitBritain or the BBC unnecessarily, but the Mexican American war was declared May 13, 1846, and concluded by treaty on Feb. 2, 1848. Any Mexican (or American) who knows his or her history won't be offended by mentioning a 1845-6 war, just mystified.

  • Comment number 69.

    Pakistan is one of the world's major Islamic terror centres. Here's a small fraction of Pakistan's contribution to terror:

    *The abduction and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl, simply because he was Jewish.

    *The bloodthirsty terror attacks against innocents in India and then the ducking and diving when held to account.

    *The training of terrorists in madrassas and exporting them to the West.

    *The murder of Benazir Bhutto because she represented a threat to the medieval tenets of radical Islam.

    *The exporting of nuclear technology to Iran - another major centre of Islamic terror.

    Pakistan plays a double game with the West, pretending to be clamping down on terrorists such as the Taliban while in reality in sympathy with them.

    Now the bleeding-heart "liberals" on this thread might claim that the "ordinary" people of Pakistan have nothing to do with the actions of their government. I disagree. People get the government they vote in and a country riddled with Islamic fundamentalists, though they are obviously not all terrorists, will get a government that reflects their fundamentalism.

    Now already stories are coming in of the aid not getting through to the people who need it most and of food prices soaring. No doubt corrupt officials are holding onto it and selling it to the highest bidders, as inevitably happens in these cases.

    Feel free to line their pockets. I wont be doing so.

  • Comment number 70.

    4. Digitagit,

    Yes, the BBC's Orla Guerin certainly does get around. She was based in Johannesburg when the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war broke out. Suddenly there she was in Lebanon, reporting (inaccurately) that the Israelis had totally destroyed a Lebanese village. Now she's in Pakistan? BBC journalists really do get around. I sometimes wonder if they are a law unto themselves and they are the ones who tell their editors and managers whence they are going to report and that they are going to follow stories that take their far left-wing fancy, wherever they are.

  • Comment number 71.

    When I saw the title of this thread I knew it was only a matter of time before someone would link it to the BBC's refusal to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza after the attack by Israel. It was the correct decision, because the BBC did not want to be seen as automatically supporting any cause that the "liberal" left insists it supports and also because there was and is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, despite the best efforts of the Israel-haters to manufacture one and the support they get in this endeavour from so many in the media.

    So comments no.17 from xpl0de and no. 23 from SotonBlogger can be dismissed as the typical knee-jerk and unthinking responses that come whenever there is an opportunity for Israel-bashing.

    Yes, there is obviously a very real humanitarian crisis in Pakistan and on a massive scale. So what are Pakistan's fellow Muslims doing about it? How much aid is pouring in from the likes of Saudi Arabia, which wallows in wealth others can only dream of? Have any Saudi engineers rushed to Pakistan to assess the need for bridges and the possibility of their construction? I guess the Saudis are too busy infecting Western educational institutions with their brand of radical Islam to worry about their fellow Muslims in the East.

  • Comment number 72.


    // "Yes, there is obviously a very real humanitarian crisis in Pakistan and
    // on a massive scale. So what are Pakistan's fellow Muslims doing about it?"

    Interesting that you even think to ask a question like that; choosing to position a GEOGRAPHICAL and NATIONAL catastrophe along a Muslim/non-Muslim axis. Very interesting.

    // "How much aid is pouring in from the likes of Saudi Arabia, which wallows
    // in wealth others can only dream of?"

    $100 million. And?

  • Comment number 73.

    I dont mean to be harsh but in my opinion the world is way overpopulated as things stand causing untold damage and destruction to the natural environment and future generations.

    This kind of natural diaster is part of nature's attempt to rebalance the situation in my opinion and hence I will not be donating.

    Incidently this over population is I believe part of the root cause of the poverty in this area with far too many people living in a resource poor region and forced to live in substandard accomodation and sub standard flood defences.

    Actually I have heard tell from people involved in the country that the poor flood defences are also due to corruption of relevant officials, again a good reason not to donate in my opinion

  • Comment number 74.

    @69 TrueToo
    Been out for the day so a little late in responding.
    If your reference to bleeding heart "liberals" is directed at my posting at 67 I object.
    I couldn't give a *oss about politics. I became politically ambivalent at an early age - probably due to reading the Daily Herald at Grandma's every day from the age of five.
    Your subsequent postings simply re-inforce my earlier remark about biggotry on this blog.
    What the heck has the issue to do with religion.
    Can Christians only help Christians, Muslims only help Muslims, Buddists only help Buddists et al.
    Your list of criticisms of current Pakistani society is probably accurate to a large degree, as far as the specifics are concerned, but are we in the west blameless of all the worls ills?
    I was mearly calling for a human to human response to the situation.
    I hope you never find yourself needing a helping hand - I fear it may not be forthcomming.
    It certainly won't be from any Muslim reading your contribution.
    What a sad world you must inhabit.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    I have donated a modest sum to the appeal, but I would like to hear what the oil-rich Muslim states are doing about their brothers asnd sisters in the faith.

  • Comment number 77.

    I sincerely Feel sorry for the innocent people of Pakistan.But AS we all know about two weeks ago U.K P.M very manly announced "Pakistan is been exporting terrorism to rest of the world" and rest we alll know...
    Austalia, U.K , USA , and U.N is trying to help pakistan out in this situation, so my question is why any of the middle east country or any arab islamic country is coming forward to help them.
    They probably busy sponcering taliban from back door.

  • Comment number 78.

    72, dotconnect,

    You are claiming that I am claiming that only Muslims should help their fellow-Muslims. I'm not. I'm just interested in the appalling lack of concern they show when their Muslim brothers are in trouble.

    Saudi Arabia has given 100 million? If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. There's a major difference between pledging and actually donating money. (Any other Muslim countries on the list?) But I guess it's possible that Saudi Arabia will find a way to funnel money through to the Taliban, fellow-believers in radical Islam.

    The West is always expected to rush to the aid of any country in trouble. Let's see the oil-rich Arab and Muslim world do the same for once when the West is in trouble.

    74. EBAHGUM,

    No, I was not responding to your no. 67. In fact I found it one of the more reasonable comments from those supporting aid. Pity you had to change the tone in your no. 74, which quickly deteriorated into insult and petty judgement.

    There is one way and only one way aid to Pakistan will get to the people most affected by the disaster: put the coordination and distribution of aid under the control of a multinational force. This force would have to be armed to prevent hijacking and selling of aid by the Pakistani army or anyone else. But of course Pakistan would never allow that, so it will just be business as usual, with the unscrupulous making a fortune out of the suffering of their fellow Pakistanis.

    Anyone recall the big fuss recently about the BBC revelations that most of the Bob Geldof-inspired aid to Ethiopia way back then went to buy arms for rebels? Typical of the naive "liberal" left with their rose-tinted glasses, Geldof was furious, insisting that every cent reached its intended target. The reality, of course, is that in dictatorial third world countries the strong man takes all and to hell with the common man. From the stories already filtering through from Pakistan, it appears to be, as I said, business as usual.

    There is one positive I can think of resulting from this massive disaster: Pakistani terrorist activity will be seriously disrupted.

  • Comment number 79.

    @TrueToo, 78

    "You are claiming that I am claiming that only Muslims should help their fellow-Muslims."

    No I am not.

    I do however get tired of this tribal mindset that even thinks to respond to a catastrophe on this scale with a kneejerk "Yes but why should WE? What about THEM?" attitude, along with that old chestnut about how we apparently rush to everyone's aid, and what about the Egyptians and the Ruskies, blah blah blah.... As if Britain is some poor third-world country where living standards are only average. We might be in a right royal mess with our economy right now, but the idea that we're not considerably wealthier than most Muslim nations is laughable.

    By the way I will concede one point: you are right, my $100 million figure was incorrect and it seems it didn't just refer to the flood. I apologise for that.

  • Comment number 80.

    I would not donate as look at the devistation some of their people cause when they bomb and terrorise us. Now they want help?

  • Comment number 81.

    If it wasn't for so called "British" Pakistanis I wouldn't have had to queue for half an hour at the airport last week before having to remove my belt and shoes to go through a scanner. I also wouldn't have had to fork out ten quid for drinks that a few years ago I could have brought from home.
    Maybe then I'd feel like giving that tenner to disaster relief for their families.

  • Comment number 82.

    And so it continues...

    zoe, 80

    "I would not donate as look at the devistation some of their people cause when they bomb and terrorise us. Now they want help?"

    Who's "they", for goodness sake?

    SeeDubya, 81

    "If it wasn't for so called "British" Pakistanis..."

    Ahh yes, they're all the same aren't they?


    It's precisely this mindset that's at the root of the world's problems, be it from Islamic extremists or the anti-Muslim voices in this country. Two sides of the same coin in my opinion.

    As is treating an entire nation as a singularly moral entity, and applying collective punishment using the incredibly flimsy argument of "they voted for their government" - where else have I heard that reasoning before? Oh that's right - Islamic extremists, seeking to justify punishment against an entire country for their government's warmongering. Again, funny how the two mindsets so often overlap isn't it? Meanwhile, all the millions of Pakistani citizens who didn't vote for the government (not to mention the millions underage) are to be dismissed as unpeople. Selective blindness or casual indifference, either way, I'm sure it makes for a better night's sleep for you.

    Honestly there is no hope for the human race until we can all evolve past this "them and us" mindset that some of you epitomise (and that our right wing press does its utmost to provoke).

    That some of you can take such an obvious humanitarian catastrophe, and offer up what spite you have in your way of contribution, is nothing short of odious.

  • Comment number 83.

    Not one penny from me to the citizens of a nation whose prime raison-d'etre is to sow hatred & discord throughout the world. After railing against other religions & even killing their own co-religionists, as well as spreading terror world-wide, Pakistanis are surprised the world is not contributing to relief efforts to the same extent as Haiti etc. To them I say "You reap what you sow". Get the required funds from your nuclear weapons & ISI budgets.

  • Comment number 84.

    RE: the "them and us" mindset

    I think you just have to accept that there are some people who see the world in these simplistic tribal terms and that they also feel that others also perceive the world in these "them and us" terms. It's just too complicated/expensive/irrelevant to cultivate a more sophisticated model of large swathes of humanity and very convenient/comforting to have this view even if there's not much accuracy behind it.

    Is the origin of this outlook due to self-interest or a lack of knowledge/interest/difficulty/relevance in understanding other people from far away lands?

  • Comment number 85.

    @78 TrueToo

    An unreserved apology for any offence. As I get older I get tetchier.
    I'll try to improve.

  • Comment number 86.

    Pakistan spends over 70% of its budget on defence, and most of these weapons are directed against India. Its Nuclear weaponry is bigger than India's in terms of numbers even though it is a failed state. The fundamental problem with Pakistan is that the Army has no responsibility of running the state with a sham civilian government in place but has all the powers. Rogue Elements of the Pakistan Army are closely tied with the Taliban and it is quite evident that their policy on terrorism is to hunt with the hounds and also run with the hares which is why Prime Minister David Cameron asked Pakistan to stop looking at both. Therefore it is absolutely imperative that any aid to this country must be tied to 1) getting rid of its nuclear weapons and 2) demilitarisation on the eastern front with India. S Rajendran

  • Comment number 87.

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

  • Comment number 88.

    "..82. At 1:04pm on 16 Aug 2010, dotconnect wrote:
    Selective blindness or casual indifference, either way, I'm sure it makes for a better night's sleep for you.."

    Frankly, yes it does. Thanks to the Muslims promotion of terrorism, and more specifically their targeting of me and mine, I no longer care in the slightest what happens to the inhabitants of any Islamic nation.
    Does not the word Islam mean "submission to the will of Allah". If Allah in his infinite wisdom chooses to flood Pakistan, why should an infidel like me try to interfere?

  • Comment number 89.

    Well at least the facade is dropping around here.

    "...the Muslims promotion of terrorism..."
    "...their targeting of me..."
    "...the inhabitants of any Islamic nation..."

    Going back to what _marko wrote, I sometimes wonder if a certain number of people on the planet are incapable - genuinely intellectually incapable - of getting beyond this simplistic way of seeing things. Fuelled by fear and other base emotions, hampered by their own ignorance, they try to make sense of the world in the best way they can using the limited tools at their disposal, and the result is the kind of tribal lumping-together of 1.5 billion people that we see above.

    In parts of the world with lower educational opportunities and poorer standards of living, it's more understandable. But in countries like Britain and the US, such prejudice is a little embarrassing. What always strikes me as odd is that such people seem indifferent (or perhaps oblivious) to the crucial fact that their approach actually exacerbates the very problem they're seeking to expose or solve. Their prejudice and hate encourages extremism.

    It is those who reject such primitive thinking, the decent moderates both Muslim and non-Muslim alike - people who show compassion in spite of misfortune, people who have not been brainwashed into thinking that liberalism and intellect are things of which to be ashamed - people who recognize shades of grey - these people are the real opponents of extremism, and our best hope for the future.

  • Comment number 90.

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

  • Comment number 91.

    Osama Bin Laden's alive in Pakistan. Armed drones, artillery shells, and missile attacks failed. Many people died in the floods. The American interest is military and propaganda. Their rationale is spending tax money allocated to the DOD. Funds disappear to the rampant war profiteering.

  • Comment number 92.

    "89. At 12:37pm on 17 Aug 2010, dotconnect wrote:
    Well at least the facade is dropping around here.."

    What facade would that be?
    I think I made it perfectly clear what my views are. I didn't feel the need to insult your superior intelligence by hiding behind pseudo-intellectual hyperbole; I probably couldn't, given the limited tools at my disposal.
    I'll make things even more simplistic. I think our government should send Pakistan a message "You want aid, you start by giving us Bin Laden's head on a plate."
    What a fear and hate fuelled barbarian I am.

  • Comment number 93.

    85. EBAHGUM,

    Thanks for that. I appreciate it.


    You should try to sneer a little less at people. It makes them disinclined to read your comments.

  • Comment number 94.

    @92 See Dubya

    I suspect that, in reality, you are neither a fear nor hate filled barbarian.
    A barbarian would be defined a someone without taste or refinement.
    I'm sure that someone who uses language such as hyperbole and facade would not fall within this definition.
    You seem as frustrated,as the rest of normal humanity on this blog, by the failure to find the solution to these seemingly intractible problems.
    I believe dotconnect has made points well worth considering. I, for one, will ponder. Please do not dismiss his/her comment in undue haste.

  • Comment number 95.

    @SeeDubya - the facade that it's about Pakistan rather than Muslims generally.

    @TrueToo - not so much sneering as openly despairing.

    @EBAHGUM - thank you, that's appreciated.

  • Comment number 96.

    It is very true that the money donated will go straight into the bank account of Zardari but I think it is very shocking to see that people think the people of Pakistan are also bad or are supporters of terrorism. We ourselves are victims of terrorism. We are absolutely helpless because our government is not doing enough for the victims. All they are doing is beg for money that isn't even going to reach the victims. Whoever is kind enough to donate even a penney should donate it to the UN because they are the only ones who will help the millions of people who are left with almost nothing. Some don't even have clothes to wear. All the government is doing is taking tours of the disaster from the helicopters pretending that they care. I hope the world dosen't isolate us by thinking that Pakistanis are terrorists and they should not be helped. We are certainly not weapon loving people. We ourselves want peace for our people and for the world.

  • Comment number 97.

    This catastrophe of unprecendented proportions could not have come to Pakistan at any worst time for one single reason; the image of the country in the World eyes.

    This could be beacuse of comments made by the UK PM recently quote ¨ Pakistan Supports Terrorism¨ in which case the message got very well around the World but most of all, I believe that the indeference of the World in the face of this Calamity, it is because they know that there is a crafty crook in charge of the country.

    My personal experience as an European expatriate working there during the late Benazir rule was quite frightening as I had to work under army scort 24/7 because Mr. Zardari gangs were shooting foreigners as he wanted to have many larger pices of the ¨pies¨ inlcuding pand grabbing, etc.etc, not only in Karachi but other parts of Pakistan..caporal British citizens where killed then.

    In this time of hardship where the Pakistani people which has been always used and abused by its leaders under the guidance of foreign powers, for one I am making my donations through the only channels which I know that the people in the ground are going to get my had earned Euros and that is through the Islamic Associations in Pakistan that have already more than 350,000 aid workers in the ground,other than that my money could end in the worng pockets.


  • Comment number 98.

    The heart-rending pictures make you want to give.
    BUT, Wikipedia states the population of Pakistan at:
    1950: 39 million
    2000: 146 million
    2010: 179 million
    Number of immigrants in the population, born abroad, is only 6 million.
    So, a 16% rise in the last 10 years, and numbers not being swelled by
    helping out poorer surrounding countries with immigration: no excuses.
    Clearly, the Pakistani regime is a failed government: it can't control
    population, building on flood plains, religiously extreme masala schools,
    or terrorism. Over the next few years it won't even feed its people.
    I approve of aid by foreign governments, but this MUST be linked with
    strings to introduce birth control, de-religification, and better policing.
    I will NOT be giving to charities, who cannot ensure these crucial improvements.

  • Comment number 99.

    The countries that create construction labor camps to build their own country's stuctures, include a high percetage of Pakistani laborers. Where is their aid and assistance? The benefit of their talented engineers to correct some of the physical deficiencies is needed and long overdue. Those remarkable countries need to step up with a long term well as some immediate relief (food, water, medicine) for their source of labor. To not do so would give the appearance of exploitation of Pakistani workers for their own benefit.

  • Comment number 100.

    At least 1,500 people died in the disaster, so far. The United Nations should send humanitarian assistance to the area. The victims of this flood need food, water, medicine, cots, tents, and clothing. Obama should end the bizarre armed drone flights and other military attacks on the country.


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