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Monday, August 30, 2010

U.S.A Senator warns of instability if Pakistan unaided

In an commentary published in Monday's International Herald Tribune, U.S. Senator John Kerry wrote that the international community is not meeting its responsibilities towards the south Asian nation, where floods have killed more than 1,600 people and left at least six million homeless.

"The danger of the floods extends beyond a very real humanitarian crisis," Kerry wrote.

"A stable and secure Pakistan, based on democracy and the rule of law, is in all of our interests. Pakistan has made enormous strides in combating extremism and terrorism - at great sacrifice. But its ability to keep up the fight requires an effective response to this crisis."

Pakistan has struggled with its response to the massive flooding, which has left one-fifth of the country underwater, an area the size of Italy. Pakistanis have grown increasingly angry with the sluggish government response, and are turning to Islamist charities sometimes tied to militant groups.

Pakistan is battling Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban, and the speed and efficiency with which Islamist charities have helped flood victims worries government officials and the United States, which wants a stable Pakistan because of its role as a frontline state in the war on militancy.

"We don't want politicians. We want the Islamic groups in power. The government just steals," said Haidar Ali, a college student in the devastated Swat Valley whose life has been reduced to laying bricks all day in stifling heat.

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