A tale of two countries: Japan and Pakistan
Pakistan and Japan are two countries who have been on target of natural disasters for a long time now. From floods to earthquakes and even tsunamis (in case of Japan only), both the countries have lost many lives due to the catastrophes. Whereas, those left alive lost their properties and loved ones. Yet there is a difference between the two countries that help Japan stand out – their dedicated and honest leaders.
Pakistan hasn’t been able to come out of the effects of the earthquake that rocked the northern areas and the floods that swamped the other parts of the country during the past 6 years. In fact, nothing concrete has been done by the government, mostly because no one trusts them with their aid. It is common knowledge now that President Zardari – on his visit to China – asked them for help and was refused monetary aid because even the Chinese knew about his reputation. NGOs and local institutions gathered more money and helped more people than the government elected to do so because there was no transparency in the money they got nor was their a will to help the devastated people.
On the other hand, the Japanese government has done a tremendous job in making the devastated areas livable by just being honest. They didn’t ask foreign governments for aids, they didn’t blame the previous governments nor did they ask the provinces to look after the evacuees as if it was their problem. That’s how things should be done, and for a country that recovered from atomic bombs 70 years ago, this now seems a routine matter.
One look at the picture shows that the country managed to stand up on its feet even after the constant earthquakes, including the one last year that was the biggest in the country’s history. The roads were damaged beyond repair and had that been the case in Pakistan, they would have been labeled as beyond repair. But it’s Japan we are talking about, and it took them just six days to revamp the broken roads and make them useable. Strange, isn’t it!
What the Pakistani politicians lack is what the Japanese excel in. People don’t trust the politicians in Pakistan and in fact, some of the NGOs in the country are also not working to their full capacity. That and the fact that rural and urban areas in the country are managed by iron hands – feudal lords and Bhatta mafia AKA crime syndicate. Even the banks deduct money when one deposits money for those in need – that’s how the government and its allies work in Pakistan. We must reject these people who form the government and then fail to deliver, no matter how seasoned or influential they might seem. In the end, the vote counts especially when natural calamities take their toll.