By the CNN
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Floods resulting from monsoon rains have killed 422 people and left nearly 3,000 injured across Pakistan, a disaster agency spokesman said Saturday.
Some 350,000 people have been forced from their homes and another 4.7 million people affected by the flooding since August 22, Ahmed Kamal of the National Disaster Management Authority said.
More than 15,000 villages have been affected and many houses destroyed or damaged in the past five weeks, he said.
Pakistan has suffered a series of devastating inundations, affecting millions of people, in recent years.
Pakistan, India hit by deadly flooding
Flooding last year killed 470 people and impacted 9.1 million others, Kamal said.
In the worst-affected area of Sindh province, in southeastern Pakistan, the waters submerged more than 4.5 million acres of farming land, damaging an estimated 80% of cash crops.
Continue reading Hundreds killed in Pakistan flooding
A ray of hope? — Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur
There is no denying that Sardar Akhtar Mengal has influence but his capitulation has alienated many Baloch people and his powerbase will erode rapidly
Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s unexpected capitulation and appearance before the Supreme Court (SC) has pleased a few but angered a majority of the Baloch. He has climbed down from his position of demanding an independent Balochistan. In the Daily Times of May 8, 2009, its then Quetta correspondent Malik Siraj Akbar reported Akhtar Mengal’s speech from the western Panjgur district bordering Iran. Mengal said that the ultimate goal of his party (BNP-M) was to seek Balochistan’s independence from Pakistan, for which the party was striving to prepare the ground and ensure unity among all Baloch nationalist political groups. The BNP-M chief said the Baloch had become tired of the unabated military operations and the excessive exploitation of their natural resources by the federal government, and now the BNP-M wanted the separation of Balochistan from Pakistan. Such climbdowns certainly have good reasons, the good reason here being a shot at the lucrative chief ministerial post. A bad bargain for sure, because Baloch rights would be bartered for a pittance. Wading through Baloch blood to this coveted position is insincerity personified.
Mengal’s six points, not akin to Sheikh Mujib’s six points, are certainly not the demands that the Baloch have fought and shed blood for, but are his spin on his capitulation in preparation for participation in the elections in the hope to once again adorn the post of chief minister that the Baloch label the ‘Cheap Minister’ seat. He has called for measures for the alleviation of symptoms but, unfortunately, has conveniently forgotten the disease that caused these symptoms in the first place. He has forsaken the Baloch sacrifices on the altar of uncertain personal gains and has tried to sabotage the Baloch demand for their inalienable rights. His submission to the wishes of the Pakistani state and going along with the SC charade of recovering the missing persons will simply lend legitimacy to all the past, present and future atrocities and excesses against the Baloch. He has thrown in his lot with the very establishment directly responsible for the disappearance of his brother, Asadullah Mengal, and Ahmed Shah in 1976.
Continue reading A ray of hope? or Akhtar Jan Mengal’s capitulation?