Just over three years ago, National Review Online published an article I wrote urging the U.S. to rush aid to Pakistan in response to a cyclone that had devastated Pakistan’s coastal regions. Much of it appears all too relevant now.
July 6, 2007 7:30 A.M.
Pakistan Needs U
And we need Pakistan.
Hopefully the United States is preparing a massive relief package for Pakistan’s coastal regions, which have been hard hit by flooding caused by a cyclone and heavy monsoon rains since June 23. In addition to the humanitarian importance of this mission, aiding Pakistan’s response to the flooding could have some positive implications for the U.S.-Pakistani relationship.
While possibly not as horrendous as the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, there have been over 200 deaths so far and at least two million are homeless. Karachi, Pakistan’s leading port, and a sprawling megalopolis with over ten million inhabitants (some population estimates double this figure) that suffers from power outages and poor municipal services at the best of times, was battered. Particularly hard hit were the coastal regions of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, where the floods have isolated communities, cutting transport and communications links.