NDMA’s wakeup call ahead of Mon­soon

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

AS the mon­soon is fast ap­proach­ing, the Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age ment Author­ity (NDMA) on Thurs­day re­viewed all prepara­tory home­work chalked out at Fed­eral and Pro­vin­cial lev­els to min­i­mize the im­pact of im­pend­ing pos­si­ble floods and to stream­line the res­cue and re­lief mea­sures and flood re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion plans. The con­fer­ence was chaired by its Chair­man, Ma­jor Gen­eral As­ghar Nawaz, who has in­fused a new spirit in the Author­ity as far as its pre­pared­ness to tackle any emer­gency is con­cerned.

On many oc­ca­sions in the past, both peo­ple and the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned were caught un­aware by nat­u­ral calami­ties and as a con­se­quence the coun­try suf­fered avoid­able losses. There­fore, the timely move of NDMA to sen­si­tize all stake­hold­ers about pos­si­ble dan­gers dur­ing the forth­com­ing mon­soon sea­son would surely help ad­dress the chal­lenge ef­fec­tively. This is im­por­tant as al­ready Pak­istan Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment has fore­cast ten to twenty per­cent above nor­mal rain­fall across the coun­try with high prob­a­bil­ity of heavy down­pour, which may gen­er­ate flash flood­ing along Sule­man Range be­sides ur­ban flood­ing in big cities. It is un­der­stood that NDMA’s main role and re­spon­si­bil­ity comes af­ter nat­u­ral calami­ties as it co­or­di­nates res­cue, re­lief and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ef­forts. The main re­spon­si­bil­ity of tak­ing pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures rests with Civic au­thor­i­ties, Tehsil and Dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tions and Pro­vin­cial govern­ments, which have the ju­ris­dic­tion and nec­es­sary para­pher­na­lia to un­der­take pre­ven­tive mea­sures. We are, how­ever, con­fi­dent that Gen­eral As­ghar Nawaz, who has de­mon­strated his lead­er­ship qual­i­ties and dis­as­ter man­age­ment skills in the past, would help im­prove co­or­di­na­tion among all stake­hold­ers so that they are fully pre­pared and mo­ti­vated to cope with any emer­gency sit­u­a­tion. The most im­por­tant as­pect of the cam­paign should be to strengthen early warn­ing sys­tems as our weak­nesses were ex­posed in the re­cent dust­storm that played havoc in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try but there was no ad­vance warn­ing from the quar­ters con­cerned.

AS the world of Is­lam bleeds in seven ma­jor states, namely, the oc­cu­pied Pales­tine, Libya, Syria, Iraq ,Ye­men, So­ma­lia, and Afghanistan, the US Mid-East pol­icy con­tin­u­ally en­sures that the blood­i­est of all the is­sues- the Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion of Pales­tine- does not make even a col­umn-sised headline as against the me­dia cov­er­age needed for the US Anti-Daesh pri­or­ity-war in the re­gion. De­spite all the hur­dles, a sig­nif­i­cant ini­tia­tive re­cently emerged when the pres­i­dent of Pales­tine, Mah­mood Ab­bas, flew into Cairo for talks with the Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­dul Fat­tah Al­sisi, and the French Prime min­is­ter Manuel Valls, vis­ited both, Is­rael and Pales­tine where he out­lined his plan for an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence to be specif­i­cally con­vened for the res­o­lu­tion of the Pales­tinian is­sue.

Al­most si­mul­ta­ne­ously, the Egyp­tian pres­i­dent broke his si­lence on May 17, and an­nounced, in the Egyp­tian city of As­siut, his peace pro­posal that in­vited both Is­rael and the Pales­tini­ans to start talks on the ba­sis of two states so­lu­tion. In­ter­est­ingly, the Is­raeli prime min­is­ter, Natanyahu, re­jected the French pro­posal, but, ex­pressed his praise, and that too quite pub­licly, for the Egyp­tian peace over­ture. The un­tir­ing US sec­re­tary of state, John Kerry, was no less en­gaged over the Pales­tinian is­sue as he was also seen hold­ing talks in Cairo with Pres­i­dent Al Sisi on May 18.

In his first speech on Pales­tine, the Egyp­tian pres­i­dent made a pas­sion­ate ap­peal to both Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans


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