Number of the Day: 1,000,000,000

Posted on August 2, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Disasters, Environment
Total Views: 34145


Adil Najam

Karachi burns. Pakistan drowns. Pakistanis are desperate to clutch at some twig, some branch of hope. There seem to be none. Even the cricket team collapsed, much like the mud houses outside Swat and Nowshehra.

The brutal murder of MQM MPA Raza Haider has triggered a cycle of violence and arson in Karachi that has already consumed 32 more lives in its wake. And all of this as the rain waters rise as quickly as the death toll due to them: already over 1650 Pakistanis dead in their wake.

Here is the story thus far, as told by the numbers (all of these numbers are likely to keep rising, much like the flood waters):

Cost to Agriculture:
(US$ 1 Billion in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa only)

Pakistanis Affected:
(including incidents of disease and displacement and with rising threats of epidemics)

Households needing help:
(Mostly in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa)

People still waiting to be evacuated:
(Including 1500 tourists)

International Relief Pledged so far:
(Including US$10 million from the United States, another US$10 million from the United Nations and US$8 million from United Kingdom)

Death Toll:
(Estimate of 1500+ in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa only)

We continue to watch these rising numbers with fear of the worse that is bound to come. We have already written about the mounting deaths (hear and here), about how this is a human-induced calamity and not a ‘natural disaster’, about the need for all of us to help in any which way we can and that ATP has sent all of its revenue to relief agencies working with the poor hit by these flood (via Edhi Foundation). We continue to urge our readers to do the same.

More details on this calamity here, here and here; and a pictorial post of the misery it has brought, here.

22 Comments on “Number of the Day: 1,000,000,000”

  1. Haroon says:
    August 2nd, 2010 11:51 pm

    The overall cost of this to the economy is going to be much much more. In the multiple billions of dollars. And it will only rise as the waters flow down to the agricultural areas and devastate them.

  2. Brian says:
    August 3rd, 2010 12:12 am

    Thank you Prof. Najam for your relentless advocacy for this worthy cause.

    Please do list places that we can send money to help.

  3. Anwer says:
    August 3rd, 2010 1:04 am

    تیرگی ہے كہ امڈتی ہی چلی اتی ہے
    شب كی رگ رگ سے لہو پھوٹ رہا ہو جیسے
    چل رہی ہے اس انداز سے نبض ہستی
    دونو عالم كا نشہ ٹوٹ رہا ہو جیسے

  4. Sikandar says:
    August 3rd, 2010 1:42 am

    I guess India is no longer holding the water of pakistani rivers.

    It is God’s will. What is that Will?

  5. ZH says:
    August 3rd, 2010 2:18 am

    Everything is a conspiracy on Islamic Rep of Pak by Israel, Hindus, CIA, UK, West, Mossad, RAW, India, Jews, Americans, Christians

  6. Zafar says:
    August 3rd, 2010 3:37 am

    The irony is you will be writing about the deaths due to scarcity of water few months down the line.

    This is all mismanagement and non-development of our resources for which we have no one but ourselves to blame.

  7. Fatah says:
    August 3rd, 2010 9:01 am

    What is happening in Karachi is the relentless killing of Pathans by MQM. The media is too scared to state that MQM death squads are responsible for this. Yesterday after the killing of the MQM MPA, their death squads unleashed a killing spree. So far they have killed 50 people nearly all Pathans, with over a hundred lying in hospital with bullet wounds. While Altaf Hussain, the terror kingpin of MQM resides in London and orders the killings and destruction of Pathans and their properties, David Cameron has the nerve to accuse Pakistan of “looking both ways” when it comes to terror.
    Further more the local media keeps on stating that law enforcement agencies did nothing to stop the gangs of arsonists and murderers who were acting with impunity. Well the fact is the police for one are too scared to take action against the MQM. They fought valiantly in the operation against MQM in the nineties, only to see the MQM allowed to reemerge with state sponsorship under Musharraf. Under Musharraf in a calculated and steady pace the MQM gunned down 190 police officials who spearheaded the operation against the MQM. Alas they fought for the state, yet when they were gunned down, the state had other matters which were more pertaining, such as Musharraf’s gameplan to extend his stay in power.
    The only solution is the declaration of the MQM as a terrorist organization and their complete eradication. No more can Pakistan afford its financial capital to be held hostage by a few thousand thugs, who draw support only from the barrel of the gun.

  8. Akif Nizam says:
    August 3rd, 2010 12:14 pm

    ……eerily yet predictably missing…….any aid from our muslim brethren !

  9. Shiraz says:
    August 3rd, 2010 12:19 pm

    Thanks to Dr. Adil and Pakistaniat for highlighting the issues faced by Pakistan.
    We need to get out of this drug that Government will fix everything. Time is NOW.
    We need to work with a bottom up approach.
    We all are blessed with $, skills, education and planning skills. Please use that.
    On our side, we are consistently mobilizing the Alumni of College of Telecom (legacy College of Signalians) – NUST- Pakistan.
    We did mobilize resources for IDP and now doing same for Pakistanis which are impacted by recent floods.
    This shows our resilience and resolve. This is essentially what Islam and Pakistan is about.
    So quit waiting, whining and blaming world and take charge.

    If you want to help, please drop an email to me at

    On behalf of Alumni
    -Shiraz Bashir
    Advisor to Alumni
    College of Telecom

  10. Ben says:
    August 3rd, 2010 1:55 pm

    Please add to this cost, the cost of lost prestige due to a senseless UK trip of our President in the wake of insulting statement of David Cameron shamelessly reiterated yesterday. Please also add to it cost on the coronation of Pakistan’s new king, Bilawal son of Bhutto son of Zardari. In view of this Cameron was right to insult us for his own commercial gains. Read more at:

  11. Hina says:
    August 3rd, 2010 3:30 pm

    Could someone be kind enough to list reputable organizations to donate to? I see the Edhi Foundation is mentioned above…it would really help for all those who would like to donate but don’t really know where to donate…

  12. Rasheed says:
    August 3rd, 2010 5:46 pm

    I can’t help noticing (with pain) that Pakistan is showing every sign of a dying nation in accelerated decay. Everywhere you look, you see problems multiplying, like maggots; fungus; vermin. It’s like the nation is ready to kick the bucket.

    Leaders aren’t helping either, setting the worst possible examples of betraying the people in times of dire need while pursuing self-serving errands. It’s as if it has literally turned into a Godless and God-forsaken nation that has not only lost its spirit; its way, but its moral compass as well – like the “drunken giant walking on the legs of a mosquito”, to borrow an African proverb from Chinua Achebe. The efforts of a few good souls like the author(s) of this series of articles are like a drop in the bucket.

    I guess we all got caught off guard. Even NGO’s don’t seem to get a grasp of the enormity of the natural calamity.
    But why wern’t we paying attention? Why were’s measures taken over the years to protect the public, and this time even in the wake of clear meteorological predictions of dire consequences?

    It seems that the blame goes in part to the role of the Mullah over decades, who has lulled the masses and distracted the nation’s colletive attention toward futile pursuits, many of them based on hatred. People have wasted way too much energy toward fueling sectarian and divisive rivalry. They gave a false sense of accomplishment to the masses, viz-a-viz the goals of life being fighting against the others’ beliefs and rights. They drugged the nation with this national catharsis, so much so that the false sense of security that we’re all set with God, made it seem like nothing physical needed to be done to get our lives on earth secure as well.

    Even after a delay, there is hope that some systems will not be broken, and they (UN? small NGO’s?) will come to the rescue for those for whom it might not be too late. Sindh should not have to go through what their northern compatriots have suffered. There will be some short-term help coming, but the problem is due to decades of neglect. We need better planning than leaving everything to God. God helps those who help themselves.

    Lessons learned from this calamity must be applied to future, comprehensive, long-term security mechanisms both physical and psychological. Unity among the masses can go a long way towards getting the nation to work TOGETHER on goals of common national interest. This way, resources available to every faction or sect could be pooled toward productive security. This would entail revolutionary changes in the system of laws, to include ALL pakistanis in the dialogue and the nation-(re-)building process that should begin within this decade.

    Due to global climate change, some more of this must be expected (El-Nino; global warming; etc.). With an elevated aquifer after the cyclone and the floods, another cyclone could be devastating in the short term.

    But with careful planning, one can even reap benefits (e.g. irrigation) from such cataclysms rather than suffer such death blows toward national extinction. One simple and natural benefit, for example, would be to plant life in the long run. So while one season’s crop might be washed away, there might be several good years after this one.

  13. ShahidnUSA says:
    August 3rd, 2010 6:37 pm

    Thank you Rasheed!
    What you said, it hits the heart, hope it hits the brains too.
    Thank you again.

  14. Truth Seeker says:
    August 3rd, 2010 8:43 pm

    Why don’t anyone blame God for murdering small children in floods and earthquakes?

  15. Danish says:
    August 4th, 2010 2:44 pm

    Let’s not forget Pakistan lies in a complicated part of the world in terms of many different dimensions. You are sitting under three of the worlds highest mountain ranges, so what do you expect? It is a difficult terrain, and a difficult place to live, and govern. True that the nation is facing many problems, but because of consistent bombardment related mostly to the sensational news everywhere , many people have just become used to seeing dark side of things. There are many positive things coming out of Pakistan and I sure hope that those get proper coverage as well. Things like the rescue efforts by people of Pakistan for their fellow country men, going out of the way. Where there are stories of wreckage, there are stories of selfless altruism in the face of worst catastrophes, and the way in which the nation has come together is not a manifest of a dying nation. People should take Pakistan for what it is, based on ground realities, and learn to deal with it.

  16. August 5th, 2010 1:58 am

    Due to heavey monsoon rains in Pakistan, about half of the Pakistan is under flood. Millions of people need help. They have no food and shelter. Please create awareness and try to help these needy people. You can give your suggestions to us at , your little help can save a life.

    A message from , we request all the charity organization in the

    world to come in Pakistan and help in this hour of need.


  17. Kaisar says:
    August 5th, 2010 9:29 am

    Pakistan is a failed experiment; as a state it has failed to fulfill its promise. I think it should disintegrate peacefully without further bloodshed.

  18. Kashif says:
    August 5th, 2010 2:18 pm


    Please check what kind of ads are appearing on the site. On the homepage, in the right-hand column, there is a long ad for Liz Cheney’s organization. I am pretty sure this is not the target audience for her type of people.

    Please have someone review your google ads account as I know this is not your fault, just some code needs to be fixed.

    Keep up the great work.


  19. USMAN says:
    August 5th, 2010 10:47 pm

    The way Google Ads works is that each user sees different ads. It is not as if everyone who visits ATP sees the same Ads. I have never seen a Liz Cheeney Ad. What happens is that each time you visit a page (any page), Google looks at the other pages you have been visiting and based on your traffic and viewing habits serves you Ads related to the types of sites you commonly visit. That is the whole magic of google and how it makes money.

    So, if you are seeing Liz Cheeney Ads it is probably because you have been visiting sites that are right wing (maybe just to see what they are saying) and based on that Google has determined that is the type of Ads that will appeal to you. Similarly, people who will see too many ‘singles’ ads are probably people who have been lurking and searching for that type of stuff elsewhere. Again, Google does this based on our surfing habits and also some matching to the content of the site, but its the first that is the critical factor.

  20. Kashif says:
    August 6th, 2010 4:56 am

    I highly doubt its my surfing habits that are causing the extremely brutal punishment of my having to view Liz Cheney’s mug here (man, the nightmares!).

    Anyhow, its not a big deal, there are so many other horrible things going on these days that this is least of the problems. I’d rather that Aadil and the team devote their time doing what they are doing i.e., collect donation for the flood relief fund.


  21. Jamil says:
    August 7th, 2010 12:52 am

    Thank you for putting this in perspective. I hope someone will look at what you are writing and start thinking about the real impacts on agriculture, etc.

  22. Shahbaz says:
    August 9th, 2010 2:05 pm

    My family have been affected badly by the floods as I live in Mardan. I have always dreamed of being able to support my family by becoming a footballer.
    If you could watch my video it would be of great help to a fellow pakistani

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)