Pakistan - a Failed State?

Topics: Pakistan, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Karachi Pages: 2 (803 words) Published: January 2, 2013
It’s been about a week since the Connecticut school massacre, and Americans are still grieving. Yet we’re comforted by the thought that, with time, the bereaved community of Newtown will bounce back. Students will return to school, and victims’ families will somehow get on with their lives. This is because America, as politicians and the US media have intoned repeatedly in recent days, is a strong and resilient society. For me, such words bring to mind another strong and resilient society — one that endures constant afflictions, tragedies, and privation. I can think of few nations that suffer more misery than Pakistan. Pakistan certainly isn’t the only country where, in a span of hours, an infant can be bitten by a rat in a hospital nursery, and 16 people can die from consuming toxic cough medicine. This happened several weeks ago. Yet, place these individual incidents alongside the unending onslaught of natural disaster, insurgency, terrorism, corruption, poverty, natural resource shortage, and disease. Now you can understand why so many Pakistanis suffer from PTSD, and are driven to desperate measures. In 2008, in one of the most harrowing pieces of journalism I’ve ever read, Newsline’s Shimaila Matri Dawood wrote of Pakistanis murdering their children, jumping in front of trains, and setting themselves on fire — all because they couldn’t provide for their families. Still, the aim of my final post of 2012 is not to dwell on Pakistan’s suffering. It is to showcase the remarkable strength and resiliency with which the Pakistani society responds to it. When the 2010 floods plunged 20 per cent of the nation underwater, the government was largely missing in action. Yet doctors, housewives, students, and many others (not to mention the military) immediately deployed to the affected areas to render assistance. Of course, many Pakistanis minister to the needy every day, and not just after humanitarian catastrophes. Witness the tireless work of Pakistan’s living legend,...
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