Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Pakistan Must Not Refuse Flood Aid From India

Now this is the flip side of my earlier post.

Apparently, the Pakistani government is still “considering” the Indian aid offer of $5 million.

Wow, that seems to be a really hard problem! What should they do??? Can someone help them make up their minds?

It's sort of like the USSR refusing US aid under the Marshall Plan after World War II. Ideology is far more important than human life and suffering, it would seem.

According to this article, India’s initial offer of just $5 million is to test the waters. If Pakistan responds favourably, India will donate more. That makes sense given Pakistan’s contemptuous treatment of Indian aid during the 2005 earthquake (allegedly letting food rot at the border, ripping off the Made in India tags before distributing aid, etc.) Even now, they seem to want Indian aid to be routed through the UN rather than be made available directly.

All I can say is, this is a really callous leadership that doesn’t have the best interests of their people at heart.

From the article,

“Sources said the [Indian] government has already begun preliminary work on an assistance package with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA - awful website, by the way) which is resource-rich, and would even be willing to route the assistance through the UN if that’s what Pakistan wants.

But it feels the bilateral approach is better because given the short distances, India would be able to reach assistance much faster to the affected areas in Pakistan. In fact, India is even willing to be the source country for assistance material for other countries, multilateral organizations helping out Pakistan, even NGOs.

[...]

During the civil war in Sri Lanka, India had sent across family-packs that contained everything for a family for a specific time period. In Afghanistan, India supplies fortified biscuits which could be a good source of nutrition for children in Pakistan right now.”

Will Pakistan allow India to fly supplies directly to where it is needed, or will it prefer to let its own people die rather than grant air access to the “enemy”? Courage is not just the ability to face enemy troops in battle. It takes courage to once again venture help to someone who has never been gracious in the past, and it also takes courage to trust someone who is offering to help you.

India has passed the test of courage. Let’s see if Pakistan does.

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