In a great sign of Pakistani resurgence and fatherland rejuvenation Nawaz Sharif is now reflecting popular Pakistani sentiment when he says–that “we can rebuild ourselves” and have the resources to rebuild ourselves. Foreign Aid is very unpopular in Pakistan as evidenced by the huge tsunami of criticism of the Kerry Lugar bill. The current administration is not trusted with money–hence the response from the international community.
Dr. Farrukh Saleem had calculated that for universal education Pakistan needs 63000 schools and 65000 new teachers. He quickly calculated that a couple of billion Dollars would accomplish the task. All that is needed is a will and a plan. The Kerry Lugar bill that brings in intrusion into Pakistani decision making only represent 3% of the Pakistan budget. Any country can surely tighten belts and reduce 3% of the budget. The PPPP government’s first reaction devoid of any plan to utilize internal resources.
Imran Khan, the Jamat e Islami and now Nawaz Sharif have have vocalized the inner feelings of the Pakistani people–rejection of aid as a crutch.
Nawaz Sharif is right, Pakistan can garnish $3 Billion to rebuild the infrastructure and the lost homes. 80% of Pakistanis live in the villages. Other than the sowing and reaping season, there is labor which is available. Every village can use the labor pool to rebuild the villages. These villages will be built by the villagers themselves. Government help is needed to rebuild the infrastructure. In the earthquake, the victims were given money and building materials, and they used them very affectively to build homes and houses.
Nawaz Sharif said his country had sufficient resources to rebuild millions of homes, buildings and bridges destroyed in the worst floods in 80 years.
He was speaking amid growing concern that the international community was not responding quickly enough with aid for more than 20 million people displaced by the floods.
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, yesterday backed the appeal of Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s prime minister, and President Asif Zardari for urgent assistance.
“I’m here to urge the world community to speed up their assistance to the Pakistani people,” Mr Ban said as he visited the disaster zone for the first time.
But in an interview with The Daily Telegraph at his home in Lahore, Mr Sharif, the former Pakistan prime minister, said it was time for his country to take responsibility for the welfare of its people and to meet the costs of rebuilding swathes of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa from its own budget.
He has proposed a series of cuts in government spending to raise £2 billion to rebuild homes and infrastructure. “If the government agrees, we have about $3 billion within our own resources,” he said.
He was speaking amid growing fears in Pakistan that the international community would not give as much aid for flood relief as it did following the 2005 earthquake. Although the number of lives lost in the current floods is far fewer — 80,000 died in the earthquake, and 1,600 in the flood so far — the destruction and displacement of families now is greater.
Roads and bridges have been swept away and countless villages inundated. Agriculture has been hit hard with crops and stocks of grain destroyed. Six million people still need food, shelter, water and medicine, according to the UN, which has warned that the death toll could rise amid fears that disease could spread with survivors sleeping in makeshift tents.
Islamabad has said it needs billions of dollars to rebuild. The US has pledged $100 million, while Britain has earmarked £31 million. The UN has an appeal for just under £300 million — significantly less than the $5.5 billion given in response to the 2005 earthquake appeal. Mr Sharif said suspicion that aid would not reach the victims was deterring both international organisations and Pakistanis from giving more.
Mr Sharif said if the fundraising effort was run by an independent commission and all party leaders worked together, Pakistan could generate enough money. “If we don’t follow this route, I can tell you there will be no rehabilitation of flood victims because people won’t trust it,” he said