UN General Secretary in Pakistan
Image courtesy: DW

Muhammad Faheem

In his speech to the 77th meeting of the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif called on international community to help Pakistan. US President Joe Biden in his address while announcing to stand with Pakistan while it was struggling with aftermath of devastating floods also asked the international community to extend help the country.

President Biden in his address stressed the importance for extending help to Pakistan. He said that a large part of Pakistan was underwater due to floods and the country needed global help. President Biden said that the humanity was paying the price for the climate change.

UN Secretary General António Guterres in his speech said that one-third Pakistan was still submerged; however, international community has not yet risen to the occasion.

He said that nations of the world were stuck in a vortex of inactivity and were neither wanted to face the challenges faced by the humanity nor ready for them.

Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif in his UNGA address said that Pakistan was facing a catastrophe after the floods which have rendered 33 million homeless. ““For 40 days and 40 nights, biblical flood poured on us,” PM Sharif said.

The premier said that he was there to tell the world about the situation which his country was passing through. However, he said that Pakistan’s carbon footprint was nearly non-existent but the global warming was destroying families.

Regarding UNGA calls for helping Pakistan, Dr Manzoor Afridi, a expert on international affairs, said that this was a global issue and will spread to entire world if not checked in time. He said that President Biden raising his voice for Pakistan at UNGA was a huge thing and it will help internationalize the issue.

Mr Afridi said that talking to taking up this issue at UNGA with 196 members makes this issue global issue. “An issue faced by all countries requires efforts by all,” he said.

Mr Afridi said that joint efforts were necessary to address the impacts of the climate change.

He said that in order to stand one feet,, countries need investment and trade besides aid. “At one hand while Pakistan needs aid while on the other hand, international community should also open their markets for Pakistani products so that Pakistan can stand on its own feet,” he said.

Professor Dr Ijaz Khan, an expert on international relations, said this one has to rise above to politics to see this issue. “Floods have caused havoc at such a time when Pakistan was facing dire economic straits,” Dr Khan said.

He said that impact of this devastating flood will be continued to felt over the coming years. “Currently large tracts of agricultural land were destroyed and were unlikely to rehabilitated and this will affect next year crops production,” he said.

Besides, he said that Pakistan can use this opportunity to forge trade links with rest of the world instead of waiting for aid. “The world has acknowledged Pakistan’s problem and now it is upon us which route we are going to take to overcome the situation,” Dr Khan said.

He said that at this juncture, Pakistan needs to take the route of trade and business.

Dr Khan said that relations should be forged with those countries having great share in climate change as it was their responsibility to help Pakistan.

H said that international community also needs to rise up to this occasion. Dr Khan said that France has planned to arrange donors conference at the end of this year; however, those sitting under open skies needed immediate relief.

He said that immediate aid will enable government to start work on the rehabilitation of the flood affectees.

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