One cannot have a normal sleep for nights after seeing the distressed families, marooned in flooding caused by relentless rains and hill torrents in parts of Balochistan, south Punjab and Sindh. I am grateful to Minute Mirror’s journalists Hanif Samoon and Ali Jan Maqsood, who have documented the trail of deadly moments for our readers. Footages doing the rounds on social media show the gushing water of the stormy rains in Balochistan, Sindh and the mountains of the Sulaiman Range, which has created havoc in the adjacent areas.
A friend from south Punjab tells me that wherever you go from Dera Ismail Khan along the Indus Highway to Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur, the flood water rules everywhere. The Taunsa area, which got famous for the infamous rise of former chief minister Usman Buzdar, suffered from continuous rain for three days. Some residents say Usman Buzdar spent billions on Taunsa, but the development could not weather the worst face of Nature. When I am writing these lines, the city has been without electricity for the last four days. Boats were arranged to evacuate the residents. The nearby areas have been washed away by flash flood, stemming from raging hill torrents. Most of the settlements are mud houses, which could not withstand first the rain, and later on the storming tsunami of torrents. Their children, livestock and belongings were washed away in the flood waters. According to an estimate, more than 10,000 families have lost their roofs in Taunsa alone. Yes, 10,000 families – it is not a small number.
From Dera Ismail Khan district to Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur, and almost the entire parts of Balochistan and Sindh have been ravaged by the floods. Families have suffered death but a large section of the media only covered rain-related situations in Karachi. When it rains in Karachi, the media wakes up in view of the financial and regional and family interests of their owners. The ground reality is completely different from the official reports.
At the time I am writing these lines, I have watched disturbing videos of the flooded areas, floating bodies, marooned families, and drowning cattle. Every video is a tale of death and destruction and brings tears of blood. The situation is getting worse with every passing moment and there is no good situation for the creatures of the settlements.
The calamity demands that the philanthropists rise to the occasion and the owners of businesses, textile mills, and sugar and fertilizer factories should help the villagers. It is very important to preserve what little life has left for the ruined families, so that they move on. Help your distressed brothers and sisters.
What I have seen is that neither the federal government nor the Punjab government showed interest in addressing the concerns of the flooded areas of south Punjab. The Balochistan government is looking to Islamabad for help. The Sindh government has yet to come up with a concrete plan for the flood victims. Every hour of calamity makes the people of Sindh, Balochistan and south Punjab realize that they are second class citizens of Pakistan. The people stuck in the flooding ask the people of Pakistan to keep their hands on their hearts and tell us what they have done for them in the recent stormy rains and flood situation. I learned from a friend that the officials of the revenue department in Sindh asked the affected families to produce their identity cards and then they will get help.
One of the families pointed to their destroyed mud houses, and expressed remorse for not keeping their identity cards safe.
“I should have saved my ID card instead of rescuing my family first,” cried a flood victim.