LONDON,(APP)- Chairman, Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan has said the world has failed to understand the true extent of the flood catastrophe in Pakistan and warned the West that the stability of his country could be under threat if enough aid was not provided.
In an interview with “The Times” the cricketer-turned politician said there are 20 million hungry people and with the Pakistan Army busy in relief and rehabilitation, the State will not be able to maintain 40,000 troops to fight the war on terror.
“The situation could lead to famine. It could lead to hyper inflation. It could lead to our currency breaking down. Our national cash crop, cotton, is already 20 to 30 per cent gone. In the floods, 80 per cent of those worst hit were subsistence farmers – that loss is devastating to our agricultural-based economy.”
According to the daily, Khan, who has raised more than 14 million pounds for disaster relief efforts, said that global leaders had to wake up. “This is going to change Pakistan like 9/11 changed the world. The country cannot go on as before. Neither the international community or normal people are willing to give money to help us.”
Khan said that he was disgusted that Pakistan’s cricketers had recently stolen the media spotlight.
“The floods are a bigger disaster than the tsunami tragedy; they are bigger than the Haiti earthquake. Yet look at the coverage those disasters got in comparison. Look how much money has been raised in comparison. The world has forgotten this tragedy.”
He said that what aid had been given was making little impact in the worst affected communities. He said that the priority now should be “rehabilitating villages”. “The big problem is that people have nothing to go back to, there is only rubble,” he said.
“The winter is coming, it will hit particularly hard in the north. People need somewhere proper to sleep, sustenance.”
Khan hopes to build 100 villages of 500 homes each with the money that he raises. However, the clock is ticking. “I realise that I have about a month left to raise final funds,” he said. “Outside, people are beginning to forget that this disaster ever happened – soon it will be too late to attract any more money.
“We have to get results now. These people need our help. Without it, huge problems await – and we all pay the price.” – App