Monday, August 16, 2010
Giving aid to terrorists
Nick Clegg is keeping Callmedave's seat warm while he has a holiday and today he described the West's level of donation to the Pakistan flood disaster as "lamentable".
So far the bulk of money raised has come from UK citizens and that is understandable as many thousands if not millions have settled in the UK since the Indian partition in the late 40s. The act of helping one's relatives is entirely laudable.
So why should any Western government be giving aid to Pakistan at all? For a start they are wealthy enough to have nuclear weapons. If they can afford those then surely they could build flood defences and a decent infrastructure?
Secondly the government of Pakistan is corrupt on a scale that is breathtaking. Last year it slipped from number 47 to number 42 in the list of the world's most corrupt nation. So there is no certainty that any money aid given will actually reach its target. And don't get me started about their president, Asif Ali Zardari, who has amassed a huge fortune at a time when the average wage of the population is tiny.Indeed, he and his huge entourage were swanning around Europe at the Pakistani taxpeyer's expense while the worst of the floods were drowning the country.
The Pakistan opposition leader Nawaz Sharif says that Pakistan does not need international relief and that the country could easily raise the money to repair the damage. read it here
Of course that is unlikely to happen, because there are so many fingers in the pie that nothing can be done unless the West stumps up.
And why the West? Pakistan is a fundamentalist Islamic country. Where is the aid from the rich Arab/Islamic countries. Surely Islam would look after its own?
Don't hold your breath.
And can Pakistan be called a country anyway? Like it's neighbour to the North and West, Afghanistan, Pakistan is a loose coalition of tribal areas. Indeed, each area of Pakistan speaks a different dialect and seems to swear allegiance only to itself. Can political boundaries exist in this part of the world? There is currently unrest in Kashmir where the Islamic population is in revolt against the Indian government.
There appears to be little loyalty to any concept of nationhood among the tribes of this part of Asia.
In a country where kidnap is seen as a legitimate occupation, can giving money be a wise thing?
Next there is the indeniable fact that Pakistan exports terrorism. We've all seen the effects of allowing Pakistani Imams into the country to teach in the UK's mosques. All the recent terrorist atrocities in the UK, India and the US had links to Pakistan.
There are Islamic extremists in Pakistan who hate the west and want to kill us all and destroy us. And Clegg wonders why no-one wants to help them?
Christians may argue that Jesus commands his followers to love those who hate you, bless those who curse you.(matt 5:44).
I have two comments to make. The Christian faith is a private and personal faith. Jesus was speaking to the individual, not the nation. If as an individual I am wronged, then I am commanded to love those who wish me ill. That is a personal matter between the individual and God. It is not and can never be a basis for diplomatic policy.
Secondly and far more importantly- the ability to forgive is considered a strength in the Christian world.
However, it is seen as a weakness in the Islamic world. Showing weakness is unthinkable to an Afghan or Pakistani tribesman. Forgiving your agressor causes him to lose face, and to lose face is unthinkable. Instead of showing him love/care/concern for his well being, you have deeply insulted him and he will vow revenge.
I will not be giving any aid to the Pakistani people, and I strongly advise you not to either. Their opposition leader has said that he doesn't want it, that the country can sort its own problems out. Their worldview is such that to accept aid would be demeaning and they would lose face. And then honour would have to be satisfied.
They really would bite the hand that feeds it.