Looting of flood victims
ATTACKS on food convoys, such as those seen in Muzaffargarh on Friday, obviously cannot be condoned but it is possible to understand why they take place. Desperate times sometimes result in desperate measures, and starving people who have been badly let down by the state can turn unruly if little or no relief is forthcoming. But that is entirely different from what is happening in parts of Sindh where bandits are reportedly looting flood affectees as they try to make it to safer ground. The meagre be- longings of an already ravaged people have been snatched at gunpoint while livestock too has been stolen. The key difference here is that the bandits who are robbing the poor are doing so not so much out of desperation but because they are criminals by profession. Unlike the hungry who looted food on Friday, these armed robbers in district Sukkur are looking to profit from the misery of the poor.
Our moral compass clearly went askew at some point. Instead of lending a helping hand in a time of crisis, some of us instead turn into predators. Imagine this if you can. A family`s house has been inundated by floodwater and standing crops as well as farm animals have been washed away. The victims try to grab whatever they can before the dash for safety but are robbed on the way. This is not to say that such despicable acts of violence are the norm in Pakistani society. Far from it, for there are also reports of ordinary citizens who have gone the extra mile to help their neighbours and even complete strangers. But the state too must play its part. Flood victims must not only be housed, fed and given medical care, their protection from criminal elements should also be ensured.