Pakistan: The worsening IDP crisis: The challenges of democracy in Pakistan (2010)

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This paper deems that beside the unprecedented natural disaster of floods, Pakistan confronts the twin challenges of stabilising a fragile democratic transition and countering violent extremism. The author notes that in light of the urgency for relief and rehabilitation, donors may opt to collaborate with the ruling military regime. However, the international community must not allow it to dictate the humanitarian agenda or the reconstruction process; otherwise, current efforts will fail to meet the needs of affected communities, just like some prior experiences.

The report emphasises that the pace and success of the post-flood recovery will depend on a well-planned and well-executed rehabilitation and reconstruction policy. Thus, community-based civil society groups, national NGOs and professional organisations as well as elected representatives should lead the process of devising this policy. In this respect, the paper recommends the following: 
  • donors should give these organisations and representatives key roles – from planning to implementation to monitoring expenditures and ensuring transparency
  • the political leadership, in particular, must lead the reconstruction phase, ensuring that local communities help identify priorities and strategies, and that projects are cost-effective and appropriate
  • the national and provincial parliaments should oversee these efforts, including maintaining accountability over donor and government funds through their public accounts committees
  • the tribal belt should be incorporated into the constitutional and legal mainstream
  • domestic agencies and institutions have yet to acquire and donors have yet to provide sufficient resources even for immediate relief, and far more vital tasks lie ahead.
The author concludes that the international community must send unambiguous signals that the current situation is no longer acceptable. Alternatively, if flood-affected communities believe the government and humanitarian community are indifferent to their needs, they may look to others to fill the gap, including armed organisations.
Language: English
Imprint: International Crisis Group. Asia Briefing N°111 Islamabad/Brussels, 16 September 2010: 2010
Series: Report,