Pakistan apparently found itself sufficiently embarrassed, at least in this case, for putting its jihad against India ahead of the suffering of its people.
This situation proves once again that the greatest vehicle for modification of human rights violations in the Muslim world — albeit on a case by case basis, because most regimes would not willingly reform Sharia-based legal systems in a meaningful way — is outside scrutiny and embarrassment over practices that are bad for business. Just ask the Saudi whose best hope of not getting his spine deliberately severed by doctors (hey, Hippocrates was a dirty infidel) is most likely the moral outrage and pressure of the non-Muslim world.
And that level of scrutiny requires a free press of the kind that would shrivel and die under Sharia, or under the gradual, incremental bowing to Islamic “sensitivities.”
“Pakistan accepts flood aid money from rival India,” from the Christian Science Monitor, August 20:
Pakistan has accepted an offer of $5 million of flood aid from neighbor and longtime rival India, in a move that could spark a political backlash at home.
In an interview with Indian news channel NDTV, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi described the offer of aid, made last week, as a “very welcome initiative” which the government of Pakistan has agreed to accept, after taking some time to decide.
But it would have been better to say “thanks, but no thanks,” according to Liaqat Baloch, secretary general of Pakistan’s second-largest religious party, the Jamaat-e-Islami.
“Pakistan has many disputes with India, with reference to Kashmir, and the Indian Army engaging in brutality in occupied Kashmir,” he says. “In the past, when Pakistan tried to support India after their natural disasters, India never accepted. Therefore it would be better if [our government] refused the aid with a big thank you.”
Al Khidmet foundation, Jamaat-e-Islami’s charitable wing, has been one of the most visible aid organizations in the flood-affected areas.
The two countries have made efforts in recent months to repair bilateral relations, which took a plunge following the 2008 Mumbai attacks. India blames those attacks on Pakistan-backed militants. The two countries have fought three full-scale wars, most recently in 1999.
The United States had urged Pakistan to accept India’s offer of aid earlier this week. When Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called his Pakistani counterpart to offer his condolences following the worst natural disaster in Pakistan’s history, it was an event widely reported in the Pakistan media.
“In such times of natural disasters, all of South Asia should rise to the occasion and extend every possible help to the people of Pakistan affected by the tragedy,” Mr. Singh said, according to a statement released by his office.
According to Badar Alam, editor of Pakistan’s Herald magazine, the amount of aid pledged is “symbolic, but its effect is immense. It’s a good confidence building measure between the two countries.”
But, he warns, Pakistan’s religious parties will try to spin the move “as a sign of weakness.”
“They will see it as a capitulation to India, that our own government is so weak we have been forced to accept help from the historic enemy,” says Mr. Alam….
You used to be part of India until you severed yourselves from it. Wouldn’t that make you your own worst enemy? You have to admit, it works on a number of levels.