Sindhi-American’s Letter to President Obama

The White House, Office of the President, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500

Honorable President Barack Obama,

The floodwaters have risen in Sindh-Pakistan for the past week. Roughly 20 million people have been affected, losing their homes, livelihoods, villages and loved ones. 1600 people have died, two million are homeless, 36,000 are suffering from waterborne illnesses and 2,439 villages have been totally destroyed. This natural disaster has been compared to and believed to exceed in magnitude that of the Sri Lankan Tsunami, the Haiti Earthquake and our own Hurricane Katrina- and the situation is worsening by the hour as the monsoon season continues.

The Sindhi American Political Action Committee, on behalf of the Sindhi-American Community, wishes for you and your administration to fully understand the urgency of this situation and the limited impact that foreign aid (including our own) has made to relieve this crisis. Pakistan is no doubt grateful for the assistance so far provided- $73 million in aid, food, shelter and fresh water for those displaced, and the help of American service men and women have helped hundreds survive the flood. Sindhis, however, remain fearful.

Sindhis have experienced first-hand the corruption and ineptitude of the Pakistan Government. Government programs have not provided equal aid in the past across the populace, and they are failing to do so now. The delay in assistance has cost thousands all that they’ve known. Seventy percent of all Sindhis have been directly or indirectly affected by the flooding. The Sindh Monitor urges all US aid to be dispensed to the people rather than put in the hands of the government so that those most in need will receive help as America intends. Sindhi-led programs working on the ground should also be directly supported by international aid, allowing them to most effectively assist their people.

Mr. President, please continue to authorize funds for food, water and shelter. Please continue sending boats and helicopters to rescue survivors. Please continue to set aside funds for the rebuilding of submerged villages and towns, allowing the people of Sindh-Pakistan to help themselves. Without this stipulation, Sindh fears that it will again experience the persecution and inequalities that it has suffered for so long. Sindh-Pakistan needs your help, but Pakistan will not help Sindh.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this urgent matter. Do not allow this flood to destroy Sindh-Pakistan and discredit the American Spirit of Goodwill. We wish you the best of luck to you in your endeavors.

Sincerely,

Munawar Laghari

Executive Director, SAPAC

August 14, 2010

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