Pak democracy under threat over politicians' absence during flood crisis: Expert

Posted By: Mamatha
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Islamabad, Aug 13(ANI): A Pakistani political analyst has said that through corruption and negligence when the country is reeling under the worst floods in its history, the politicians are cutting away at the future of democracy in Pakistan.

The politicians have been missing, while the Pakistan Army, the Red Crescent, Red Cross branches and even the US Marines have been providing aid.

A sign of the mounting anger was seen when Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Hina Rabbani Khar was pelted with stones by protesters after arriving at her constituency in Punjab one week after the flooding had begun.

According to Rasule Baksh Raes, a political analyst at the Lahore University for Management Sciences, the perceived failure of public officials ultimately weakens Pakistan's civilian institutions, especially when contrasted with the efforts of the Army.

"The Army isn't acting with some political objective in mind. But if you look at the character and level of integrity of the political class it seems they don't belong to Pakistan," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Raes, as saying.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit, however, dismissed the argument.

"The democracy in Pakistan is not endangered by the floods...democracy and the government are getting stronger and soon the flood challenge will be under control," Basit said.

On Thursday, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who has been harshly criticized for not cancelling a trip to France and Britain during the flooding, made his first visit to the flood affected areas.

After the visit, his spokesperson Farahnaz Ispanahi said that the President has always been concerned with the welfare of Pakistan's people.

"He has been involved in directing and coordinating resource mobilization for flood relief internationally. His visit to flood affected areas should effectively shut up those who would rather play politics than focus on helping those uprooted by raging waters," Ispanahi said.

The UN has said that the floods have affected 15 million people, with the death toll put at around 1,600 by the provincial government. (ANI)

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