The recent floods in Pakistan have resulted in a colossal loss of life and property and require the government to go an extra mile for the rehabilitation of the victims. Yet a very important aspect which needs attention from media as well as the government is the terrorist connection. This may sound unusual but the militant organisations, terror groups and fundamentalist groups like Jamaat-e-Islami, LeT, Jamaat e Dawah, LeJ, etc. have thrived in multiple ways in times of calamity and disasters.
These organisations use multiple covert and overt means to exploit the times of human misery and distress caused by natural disasters for their own benefits. This calls for an extra vigilance from the state as well as the media. As the state functionaries as well as most of the people are involved in responding to the calamity these scourge of the land have an ample opportunity to operate freely.
Foremost of these activities is the establishment of Fund Raising camps all around the country in every street and every town as well as in other countries where the Pakistani community is present by their clandestine operatives. The irony is that most of the people who even don’t subscribe to the views and activities of such groups are ensnared just for the sake of helping the victims of disasters.
There is no check on such activities and nobody knows from where they crop up, one fine morning you will see the camps appearing in your nearby markets and streets and after some days these are gone. The receipts provided in lieu of cash/kind are spurious too. And how these collected funds and goods are used is anyone’s guess. In the disaster areas the most heinous activity by these groups is enlisting, with consent or coercion, of the stranded, abandoned and poor. Moreover the kidnappings of children for being trained were also widely reported in case of EQ 2005. So is the case in recovery and relief which provides them ample opportunity for propagation of their ideologies as well as recruitment of unemployed and distressed. The welfare faces of these bandits also provide them a perfect disguise for monitoring and conducting surveys of their potential victims and targets. This connection becomes of particular importance in the present context of actively operating religio-political terrorist outfits in civilian areas in Pakistan. As in the times of disaster most of the state agencies have more attention to provide relief and rehabilitation of the victims and this lax environment provides sectarian/terrorist outfits an additional opportunity to make good of the misery of people.
Besides other things this scenario underscores the failure of state as well as the political parties to provide means for the citizens to be part of the response as well as recovery and rehabilitation effort. And as such events gain attention and sympathy of all and sundry these are also used to gain political weightage by the marginal political groups. Pakistan Peoples Party is the only party with national presence and it’s really sad to see that in such times we fail to see its cadres work. This provides a big time opportunity to the minions to act big as well as to use the situation for their ulterior motives.
So to make people aware of nature and dynamics of such actions of these groups should atleast be a part of LUBP’s efforts for flood victims.