With the nation reeling from the worst flooding seen in nearly a century, Pakistan’s civilian government is coming out a big loser, as the disastrously slow response from the bureaucrats puts them in a dim light compared to the Islamist factions and indeed, their own military.
It was perhaps predictable that the Islamist factions would be the first on the scene with humanitarian aid, after all, this has been the case in many of the refuge crises created by the Zardari government’s military offensives.
But increasingly the civilian government’s efforts are being overshadowed by their own military as well, as military rescue operations are one of the few indications that anyone inside the government is capable of anything at all.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the US government is also trying to hype its own direct role in relief operations in the nation, even as resentment grows that the Zardari government, seen increasingly as America’s proxy, appears to be losing what little credibility it has left.
Indeed the big story today in Pakistan is that a Pakistani national in England, infuriated by Zardari’s inaction, threw his shoes at the Pakistani president. Rather than doing damage control the ruling PPP has used the report as an excuse to crack down on an unfavorable media outlet again leading to criticism from many that the flood itself is being ignored.