The Report published by World Food Programme comes with an early warning for the months from June through November 2023. Last year 8.5 million people were threatened with food insecurity; the country is looking at a bigger number this year. Pakistan’s financial crisis has deepened due to the increasing public debt
Pakistan has tried to window-dress every aspect of its existence before international bodies, alas the May 9 catastrophe wiped the tower of lies when a mad mob of people wreaked havoc across the country. The degree of violence wasn’t a reflection of people’s concern for Imran Khan, but their frustration towards the multiple crises in Pakistan that have still not persuaded the government to change the dictum and pull a common man from misery.
The social media was flooded with videos of young men ransacking the corps commander’s house; hurling abuses while emptying the luxurious contents of the fridge – frozen strawberries, okra, keema, yoghurt, etc. While inflation has touched 45 per cent and the FAO-WFP (Food and Agriculture Organization-World Food Program) has declared Pakistan a ‘very high concern’ area in food security, political rivalry and blame game still take precedence.
Pak government remains preoccupied with commenting on international events that do not concern them such as the recently concluded G20 Tourism Group Meeting in Srinagar.
If not that, then the focus shifts to yesteryear’s glory. On the 28th Pakistan celebrated the Youm-e-Takbir to recall the day when Pakistan became a nuclear power 25 years ago. But for what? Ranked between 150 and 170 on democratic values, human rights, per capita income, and other parameters, they remain delusional to their reality.
The plight of minorities is even worse. Thousands of women and children across Balochistan are facing acute malnutrition. NGOs working on their rehabilitation are limited to paperwork. Added to that, due to the lack of awareness among the public about ongoing programs on malnutrition, the citizens are not receiving the benefits. In lost hopes, it is the citizens working as a community asking the United Nations and nutrition officials to take the program out of closed doors and grips of political leaders who redirect any aid to their homes or the black market.
The Report published by WFP comes with an early warning for the months from June through November 2023. Last year 8.5 million people were threatened with food insecurity; the country is looking at a bigger number this year. Pakistan’s financial crisis has deepened due to the increasing public debt.
Between April 2023 and June 2026, they have to pay $77.5 billion, and judging from the worsening political instability and complacent attitude of the government the problem of food insecurity is here to stay long term.
The demo of Pak’s future is being witnessed in a big city like Karachi. As entacles of hunger spread, looting the residents preparing for Bakra Eid at marketplaces has become commonplace. Last week in the fight for survival in Pakistan, a robber shot a person for food and money. Sellers of sacrificial animals now fear for their life as meat is worth its weight in gold!
The IMF is also second-guessing its decision to extend a helping hand to a rogue nation. The tumultuous political environment urges IMF and its bilateral partners to halt the release of a new line of credit.
The May 9 debacle was an eye-opener for the rest of the world. The citizens will become a danger to themselves and the leaders will catalyze the national hysteria for the smallest personal gain.
For now, the fight is over vegetables, flour, and sugar, but the next big issue will be over clean drinking water. The 2022 flood water has been stagnant and staring into the face of authorities for 10 months now. Malaria, Typhoid, and E. coli are common problems in Sindh and Balochistan, besides gastrointestinal, reproductive, and neurological problems due to waterborne diseases.
Medication is either unavailable or out of reach. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see people fighting over water, as Pakistan slowly slips into anarchy.
The gravity of the problem has still not ruffled the feathers of the state. The elite is busy gathering vote banks for the Riyasat-i-Madina, selling a purist fantasy to 43 percent of Pakistani teetering on the brink of starvation. Even the Pak army is unable to feed its poor soldiers two meals a day owing to cuts in special funds!
Some people have made shrines their permanent residence as every once in a while a kind benefactor shows up with rice and meat stew to feed the crowd. Reputable government employees and social leaders also sit for this langar hiding their faces, unable to digest their financial helplessness. Some gaze teary-eyed at distribution centers and walk away because their dignity doesn’t allow them to eat free food.
It’s hard to see much good coming out of petty fights within the ruling class that only thirsts for power and revenge. The above events foreshadow a time when the country will swallow itself tugging on each other to remain afloat, fighting over the last bread like animals. Now only providence can save the innocent Pakistani citizen.