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Terrorism & Security

Pakistan floods continue on rain forecasts, further delaying aid distribution

Authorities battling Pakistan floods have forecast heavy monsoon rains and exceptionally high levels for the Indus River at two dams in Sindh Province.

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“The unprecedented flood needs an unprecedented assistance from the world. The scale of this disaster is so large that one out of 10 Pakistanis has been affected directly or indirectly,” Ban said.

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The Christian Science Monitor reports that the slow disbursement of aid has led to anger and resentment toward Pakistani politicians. President Asif Ali Zardari has been widely criticized for continuing a planned trip to Europe while the floods ravaged Pakistan, instead of returning home. But the criticism hasn’t stopped there. Local politicians are bearing the brunt of the anger, as people turn to local groups – some connected to militant organizations – that are providing the aid the government cannot.

The situation threatens to weaken Pakistan’s civil institutions, reports the Monitor:

Anger is spreading throughout this flooded region at the local politicians who have been missing from a scene in which Pakistan's Red Crescent, Red Cross, and even the United States Marines have been providing aid. The feeling of abandonment by local politicians is common among Pakistan's poorest, and raises questions about future support democracy in Pakistan. Militant groups who have challenged central government authority have been quick to jump in with promises of aid.…

[S]tepping in to fill a perceived void have been groups such as the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, allegedly a front organization for banned militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is believed to have been behind the Mumbai attacks in 2008, as well as the Al Khidmet Foundation, the charitable wing of Pakistan’s hard-line Jamaat-e-Islami.

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