I'd wanted to refrain from criticizing the Pakistani government at a time like this, but the thought of children trapped in schools without means of rescue (quoted in the Slate roundup) prompts the following thought. We are told by the Pakistani government that there is no equipment to rescue these children. And yet Pakistan has atomic weapons. Is this not an odd inversion of priorities? Did the government of Pakistan think that they needed an "Islamic bomb" more desperately than they needed Chinook-type helicopters and heavy-moving equipment? Or that India (or Israel!) posed a greater threat to Pakistan than an earthquake of this kind?The Times reports that help to affected areas is painfully slow to arrive, evan as military helicopters "clatter by" overhead. “Why are they not stopping to help us?” asks a man who buried more than 60 people yesterday. “We need help here or more of our children will die.” Fair question.
Wednesday, 12 October 2005
Looking for coverage of the disaster in Pakistan -- how many more disasters in just one year! -- I was pointed to Slate, which has a compilation of American coverage of the tragedy. Hat tip Irfan Khawaja, who has some thoughts about the seemingly odd priorities of the Pakistani government: