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Why I don't contribute to Desaster-Stricken Pakistan

karan.1970

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Since we talked a lot about perception and its role in people's action, I am putting in an article that gives a view into how amature journalists in North America percieve the current humanitarian crisis in Pakistan. Gives some insight into why its a little difficult for UN to garner up the required aid

Why I don't contribute to Desaster-Stricken Pakistan | Germerica

Pakistan.jpg



By Patrice Lagacé

Before talking about the disaster in Pakistan, I would like to tell you about this marvelous “killing machine” called F-16.

You know what a F-16 is, don’t you? Well, it’s one of the most popular fighter planes in the world. They cost approximately $40 million each. And of course, during its lifetime, it will have cost one and half the purchase price for maintenance, repairs (and windshield washer – you wouldn’t believe the insane price of each can of windshield washer that these toys use).

So, coming back to the disaster in Pakistan . Terrible! If we weren’t talking about a Muslim country, we could refer to the flooding as being of biblical proportions: 20,000,000 disaster victims. Just appalling.

Over the last two or three days we’ve been hearing voices accusing the West (Canada and United States ) of a lack of generosity towards a very seriously afflicted Pakistan. People are being told off in Canada, France and Great-Britain.

Why Haity and not Pakistan?

In a recent article in La Presse, my colleague Marie-Claude Malboeuf mentioned that a humanitarian coalition had barely collected $200,000.00 for Pakistan whereas, during the same period of time, a phenomenal sum of $3,6 billion was collected for Haitians after the earthquake that devastated their country.

The NGOs are “stamping their feet”. They are getting impatient. They are clamoring of catastrophe and cholera. The most tragic thing is that they are probably right. Internationally, the United Nations has collected only 40% of the 460 million dollars needed for urgent aid.

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister of England has berated the international community for its stinginess: “The reaction of the international community is deplorable.”

But I’m extrapolating. I was talking about the F-16. Quite recently, a country acquired a brand new fleet of twenty or so of these fantastic killers in the air.

Which country was this now? Yep, PAKISTAN .

Before going any further, I’m warning you: the writer of this article is a naïve journalist. A naïve journalist who admits it candidly and who wants to know: If Pakistan had $1,4 billion to acquire fighter planes from Lockheed very recently, why doesn’t Pakistan have $460 million to help its own “drenched” citizens?

I apologize to the Red Cross, to CARE, to Oxfam and other non-governmental organizations, but I, for one. will not give one red penny towards the humanitarian relief in Pakistan. I will NOT give a penny to help Pakistan because Pakistan never had any problem buying military equipment or getting financial help to buy some.

I don’t mind helping Haiti , a small country that has nothing (except corrupted rulers). I don’t mind giving help to Africa; it’s the least I can do. I will not give to Pakistan as I will not give to the New Orleans fishermen who have lost their source of income since the oil disaster caused by BP in the Gulf of Mexico.

Naïve Quebec singers

Zachary Richard (a Cajun singer from New Orleans ) is going to produce a CD with the help of many Quebecois singers. The profits will be given to the New Orleans fishermen. Then, they’re planning a charity concert.

Concerts are very nice. Musical charity is very nice too. And I do sympathize with the New Orleans fishermen. But here again, it’s your naïve journalist who is talking: Why should I give one penny to the inhabitants of the richest country in the history of humanity, whose source of income was annihilated by a giga-multinational company with a market valuation of $120 billion US, and belonging to one of the most lucrative industries – energy – on this planet?

It seems to me that the United States of America , that BP, that the energy industry have enough money to compensate the New Orleans fishermen and their families and the offspring of their families until 2060, at least.

But let’s come back to PAKISTAN. On July 19, the New York Times published a condemning article on the tax system of Pakistan. A banana republic tax system, where the rich concocted a way to avoid paying taxes. I’m not talking about not paying a little income tax… I’m talking about total tax evasion. I’m talking about a country where 10 million people should be paying taxes, but only 2.5 million do.

And all of this is legal. The rich managed to come up with a plan which dispenses them from paying taxes. The New York Times mentioned that average – average! - worth (?) of Pakistani parliamentarians is $900,000.

Tax cheaters
Sharif.png


Nawaz Sharif, photo, the opposition leader, and a millionaire hasn’t, for his part, paid any income taxes in 2005, 2006 and 2007. “This system favors elitists (a system by elitists for elitists), says Riyaz Hussein Naqvi, a retired public servant who worked as a tax collector for 38 years.

It is a distorted system in which the poor pays for the rich.” What the Times did not mention but what you probably know is, that Pakistan already has nuclear arms. In fact, it owns countless nuclear missiles.

So, if I recap all this…Pakistan is an oligarchy (a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes) which exempts the rich from paying income tax. Pakistan has money to buy F-16’s. Pakistan has money to keep an atomic arsenal capable of destroying half the planet! I am not that naïve after all… Pakistan has the means to help its own people.

Who doesn't remember September 11, 2001, when terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers in New York. I do remember very well having seen live television coverage showing adults and children from Iran, Pakistan and other muslim countries, dancing in the streets and having a whale of a time because the United States had been touched right in the heart.

They were elated because thousands of Americans were killed. Well now that they’re in deep sh.., they ask for our help!!! And what will they do to us in five years, in ten years?
 

Awesome

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Simplistic. One has to be naive to assume, that just because Pakistan won't buy F-16s, it won't be under the threat of invasion.

Pakistan has a seriously powerful enemy and has to maintain minimum deterrence to well, deter an invasion.

Pakistan has not built an arsenal to fulfill ambitions of invading foreign lands across the oceans, its 20 F-16s, deter an even more appalling reality - the total destruction of Pakistan.

These 20 are bought to strategically offset the purchase of 100 possibly more advanced F-16s by its chief enemy.

Budgets always have to be allocated and are there for some very real purposes, numbers can't be moved around without taking into account ground realities. It's simple, 20Mn affected vs 170Mn affected.
 

InPhilTraitor

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Simplistic. One has to be naive to assume, that just because Pakistan won't buy F-16s, it won't be under the threat of invasion.

Pakistan has a seriously powerful enemy and has to maintain minimum deterrence to well, deter an invasion.

Pakistan has not built an arsenal to fulfill ambitions of invading foreign lands across the oceans, its 20 F-16s, deter an even more appalling reality - the total destruction of Pakistan.

These 20 are bought to strategically offset the purchase of 100 possibly more advanced F-16s by its chief enemy.

Budgets always have to be allocated and are there for some very real purposes, numbers can't be moved around without taking into account ground realities. It's simple, 20Mn affected vs 170Mn affected.

You cannot outsource humanitarian needs of your people to UN and foreign nations. If you are collecting aid, there is expectation that the country in question has reduce defense budget no matter what.

Any ways, I as an Indian do not mind arms race with Pakistan, that is a race where odds are in our favor.
 

Spring Onion

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This sounds familiar we had been hearing this rant about F-16s even during 2005 Earthquake the only difference is that Indians have started this rant and this time the morons have changes to some gora writer .

During Tsunami and Bhoj earthquake in India aid was pouring in does it mean India one of the biggest arms' buyers in the world should have postponed all its military purchases
 

Zebronic

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Well Pakistan need aid and they have asked from many country but even in that they are choose..From this country we will take, from this we will not take and about this country i think they should give through UN then acceptable and rest....sir sir this country are giving very less..who are they?...are they Islamic country..OOOOO take it take it next day headline Islamic country the brother are ahead and west and are not helping the way the did to haity...
 

karan.1970

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Just to clarify. I personally dont buy into the arguement of the writer here. My objective was more around highlighting how the perception and response of the west towards the current crisis in Pakistan

Also the writer has spent more time on the tax cheats than F 16s

A way to look at this is that the writer feels that Pakistani leadership has capability to raise capital to manage a lot of downside the current floods have caused, but does not seem to have the political will or intent to do the same

Hence the comparison with the New Orleons
 

fast and furious

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This sounds familiar we had been hearing this rant about F-16s even during 2005 Earthquake the only difference is that Indians have started this rant and this time the morons have changes to some gora writer .

During Tsunami and Bhoj earthquake in India aid was pouring in does it mean India one of the biggest arms' buyers in the world should have postponed all its military purchases

Please go and check the allocated amount for Indian Defence budget and the actual amount spend.
Special attention to the 2005-2006 figures please as the Tsunami tragedy happenned on 26-dec -2004.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/india/budget.htm

Even if the details would have shown that India followed the same pattern as Pakistan ,the reality is that the aid did pour in for us.One word.Image.

off topic;The delay of LCA and Arjun is making sense now.The money was diverted to the poor.:azn:
Pardon the bad joke.
 
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Bang Galore

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Simplistic. One has to be naive to assume, that just because Pakistan won't buy F-16s, it won't be under the threat of invasion.

Pakistan has a seriously powerful enemy and has to maintain minimum deterrence to well, deter an invasion.

Pakistan has not built an arsenal to fulfill ambitions of invading foreign lands across the oceans, its 20 F-16s, deter an even more appalling reality - the total destruction of Pakistan.

These 20 are bought to strategically offset the purchase of 100 possibly more advanced F-16s by its chief enemy.

Budgets always have to be allocated and are there for some very real purposes, numbers can't be moved around without taking into account ground realities. It's simple, 20Mn affected vs 170Mn affected.

You are right about this being very simplistic. You are also right that Pakistan has to do what it needs to safeguard itself. However the author & others like him have a right to not give aid on that basis. This would apply to India equally. Neither of us can make moral demands for charity by others & therefore cannot expect that the "world community" give as much as it does to countries like Haiti.

During Tsunami and Bhoj earthquake in India aid was pouring in does it mean India one of the biggest arms' buyers in the world should have postponed all its military purchases

The only difference is that unlike Pakistan which has been asking for aid, in neither of the two cases mentioned did India ask for international aid & people who shared the sentiments of this writer would have been justified in not contributing.
 

TechLahore

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This is a somewhat broad response which attempts to address the myopic thinking that goes into articles such as the one in post #1. But with that, I am also sharing what I believe to be important considerations that are often disregarded when one focuses too much on the news of the moment, and too little on the long term framework within which this news unfolds.

The fact of the matter is that Pakistan is one the largest and most important countries in the world. Whether it is in the news for good or bad reasons, it just cannot be ignored. It has tremendous potential in almost every dimension; economic, military, human resource, food production, political etc. A few years of hardship don't fundamentally alter the potential of a nation. You can be naive and look at simplistic, short-term realities such as per-capita income and bucket Pakistan with countries who will never be as large, as important or as significant to the future of the world as Pakistan. But this would be stupid. If you look at how long term military or foreign policy planning is done, it is not just based on the past 3 years of GDP growth, the past 5 years of how a country has fared in the international press or the past 2 years of its government's performance. This sort of policy planning is based on the fundamental characteristics of a country and its people which form long term realities; demographics, population, location, history, unaltered strategic interests, nature of the people (have you ever read pre-partition british analyses of the "martial races" in what is now Pakistan? why would they bother spending so much time discovering the character of the people, and far less being focused on per-capita income at the time? there is sound reasoning behind this)

So, net-net, comparing Pakistan with countries like Haiti etc. is ridiculous on almost every level; religous, international importance, perception in different quarters of the world, haiti's threat perception vs. pakistan's threat perception, economic potential, demographics, absolute population numbers etc. It is like claiming that a bird is almost human because they both have two legs. Yes, they may both have two legs, but everything else about them is different. Bucketing them together and comparing and constrasting their vastly different situations simply because you happen to be talking about two countries that underwent natural calamities borders on the ridiculous.

As for aid etc. and why people would not give aid to Pakistan when they would to Haiti. There are a huge host of reasons, including the fact that the people of Haiti are christian and hence share their faith with the west, they do not have the potential to ever be a threat, they have not been perceived as significant or large - everything about them is benign and will continue to be. That said, it would be unfair to suggest that Pakistan does not have friends who have helped it. China, Turkey, the US, the UK, many in Europe, and of course our Arab friends, have put forward financial and in-kind assistance in the billions. We have the UAE AF, Turkish military doctors, Chinese engineers and doctors, USAF personnel and numerous others on the ground, helping every day.

Remember, we just underwent another calamity in 2005 with the massive earthquake. So if there are budgetary constraints on contributing to the same country in a short period of time, I am sure we are running into those issues also. Despite this, I think the assistance from both within and without Pakistan has been very good and truly worthy of appreciation.

Now that the flood waters are receding and we are looking forward to the future, one hopes that the historical truism that flooding in alluvial plains produces bumper crops after the flood, is borne out. If this is so - as it always has been in the past - the people who have lost mostly mud homes and some animals (the loss of animals has not been as significant as was feared in the beginning) will be able to get back on their feet quite quickly. In this period, aid to them needs to continue and *very* importantly, they need to continue to get access to subsidies and financial aid to plant their crops or replace lost animals. From everything I see, I think this is happening. You can't stop a natural calamity of this scale completely, but you can certainly try to get back on your feet quickly and with courage. I think we're doing that in spades.
 

karan.1970

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This is a somewhat broad response which attempts to address the myopic thinking that goes into articles such as the one in post #1. But with that, I am also sharing what I believe to be important considerations that are often disregarded when one focuses too much on the news of the moment, and too little on the long term framework within which this news unfolds.

The fact of the matter is that Pakistan is one the largest and most important countries in the world. Whether it is in the news for good or bad reasons, it just cannot be ignored. It has tremendous potential in almost every dimension; economic, military, human resource, food production, political etc. A few years of hardship don't fundamentally alter the potential of a nation. You can be naive and look at simplistic, short-term realities such as per-capita income and bucket Pakistan with countries who will never be as large, as important or as significant to the future of the world as Pakistan. But this would be stupid. If you look at how long term military or foreign policy planning is done, it is not just based on the past 3 years of GDP growth, the past 5 years of how a country has fared in the international press or the past 2 years of its government's performance. This sort of policy planning is based on the fundamental characteristics of a country and its people which form long term realities; demographics, population, location, history, unaltered strategic interests, nature of the people (have you ever read pre-partition british analyses of the "martial races" in what is now Pakistan? why would they bother spending so much time discovering the character of the people, and far less being focused on per-capita income at the time? there is sound reasoning behind this)

So, net-net, comparing Pakistan with countries like Haiti etc. is ridiculous on almost every level; religous, international importance, perception in different quarters of the world, haiti's threat perception vs. pakistan's threat perception, economic potential, demographics, absolute population numbers etc. It is like claiming that a bird is almost human because they both have two legs. Yes, they may both have two legs, but everything else about them is different. Bucketing them together and comparing and constrasting their vastly different situations simply because you happen to be talking about two countries that underwent natural calamities borders on the ridiculous.

As for aid etc. and why people would not give aid to Pakistan when they would to Haiti. There are a huge host of reasons, including the fact that the people of Haiti are christian and hence share their faith with the west, they do not have the potential to ever be a threat, they have not been perceived as significant or large - everything about them is benign and will continue to be. That said, it would be unfair to suggest that Pakistan does not have friends who have helped it. China, Turkey, the US, the UK, many in Europe, and of course our Arab friends, have put forward financial and in-kind assistance in the billions. We have the UAE AF, Turkish military doctors, Chinese engineers and doctors, USAF personnel and numerous others on the ground, helping every day.

Remember, we just underwent another calamity in 2005 with the massive earthquake. So if there are budgetary constraints on contributing to the same country in a short period of time, I am sure we are running into those issues also. Despite this, I think the assistance from both within and without Pakistan has been very good and truly worthy of appreciation.

Now that the flood waters are receding and we are looking forward to the future, one hopes that the historical truism that flooding in alluvial plains produces bumper crops after the flood, is borne out. If this is so - as it always has been in the past - the people who have lost mostly mud homes and some animals (the loss of animals has not been as significant as was feared in the beginning) will be able to get back on their feet quite quickly. In this period, aid to them needs to continue and *very* importantly, they need to continue to get access to subsidies and financial aid to plant their crops or replace lost animals. From everything I see, I think this is happening. You can't stop a natural calamity of this scale completely, but you can certainly try to get back on your feet quickly and with courage. I think we're doing that in spades.

A classical example of why I so enjoy reading your posts when you are not in a bad mood ;)
 

Tayyab1796

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The writer has mentioned himself as ' naive journo' . International transactions especially purchases of military equipment is a process which spans years(so payments for purchases are n't made at once but rather in stages also cancelling a transaction halfway through incurrs huge penalties for the buyer and even bigger loss is of repute in the future dealings ... bad repute means financers demand higher returns citing past deal) . I am doing ACCA and have been a solider before so i have the fortune of knowing how international arms deals work.
 

Developereo

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The lack of aid is due to Western media 'censorsip' -- consistent with their long running anti-Pakistan bias. Even during the worst of the flooding, Pakistan was barely mentioned in most evening news broadcasts.

There are no Hollywood telethons, no mass concerts or 'we are the world' songs, and no Oprah specials.
 

Awesome

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You cannot outsource humanitarian needs of your people to UN and foreign nations. If you are collecting aid, there is expectation that the country in question has reduce defense budget no matter what.

Any ways, I as an Indian do not mind arms race with Pakistan, that is a race where odds are in our favor.
May be that's why humanitarian efforts should've been made first to remove India as our chief enemy. Instead, India has received high tech equipment, a huge arsenal of offensive weaponry, this n that, in exchange for its continued brutality against Kashmir.

We are right on the mark when it comes to Kashmir - Kashmir deserves its freedom. We maintain our claims on Kashmir for purposes of Good and India is on the side of the evil.

As far as humanitarian aid goes, it's not needed from people who will purposely be overly simplistic and sell false half truths. India has not been opposed for the wrongs it did, hence India got as powerful as it did, hence it threatens Pakistan. India's power is thus also the fault of these nations who have already committed the wrongs of opposing the Kashmiris, their hands are bloodied with the genocide of Kashmir just as much.

So what aid can be expected from supporters of mass murderers, rapists and arsonists. Thanks but no thanks.

The culture where we belong to, people who give aid, do not give it with a showed-off piety, superiority and arrogance. A wise man who we follow said that when you give with your right hand, the left hand should not know about it.
 

muse

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There are no Hollywood telethons, no mass concerts or 'we are the world' songs, and no Oprah specials


Nor should there be - Pakistan are not entitled to sympathy or largess or generosity to these people -- You know everybody respects those who respect themselves, right? and you know that everybody wants to help those who help themselves, right?

So, if this Johnny doesn't want his money stolen by Pakistani bureaucrats and politicians who can blame him, and if this fellow does not want to help out Muzlooms who have caused such trouble for these people, well why blame him, there is no law that he or she or it ha to like you or help you.

Let him be happy with his and lets be happy with ours.

Pakistan will always be "face against the wind" -- Always, lets get used to it and we will be easier in our own skin.
 

karan.1970

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May be that's why humanitarian efforts should've been made first to remove India as our chief enemy. Instead, India has received high tech equipment, a huge arsenal of offensive weaponry, this n that, in exchange for its continued brutality against Kashmir.

We are right on the mark when it comes to Kashmir - Kashmir deserves its freedom. We maintain our claims on Kashmir for purposes of Good and India is on the side of the evil.

As far as humanitarian aid goes, it's not needed from people who will purposely be overly simplistic and sell false half truths. India has not been opposed for the wrongs it did, hence India got as powerful as it did, hence it threatens Pakistan. India's power is thus also the fault of these nations who have already committed the wrongs of opposing the Kashmiris, their hands are bloodied with the genocide of Kashmir just as much.

So what aid can be expected from supporters of mass murderers, rapists and arsonists. Thanks but no thanks.

The culture where we belong to, people who give aid, do not give it with a showed-off piety, superiority and arrogance. A wise man who we follow said that when you give with your right hand, the left hand should not know about it.

1. Correction.. India has not received but bought High Tech equipment and weaponary.. Loads of difference between the two.

2. Kashmir is not the topic here. Good and evil are decided by the victors of the struggle. The match is not yet over. Let the history judge this distinction of good and evil. Niether Pakistan nor India can make this judgement because of their vested interests

3. India is powerful because of itself and Pakistan is weaker than its potential, again because of itself and its policy. Its a lame attitude to cast off the reasons for your enemies strength and your weakness on to others
 

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