Blighted Pakistan: Swamped, bruised and resentful

Into the void have stepped aid organisations, local and international, as well as Islamic charities, some of which are hardliners. Among the religious outfits active in flood relief is Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a supposedly banned group linked to the horrific November 2008 terrorist attack on civilian targets in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital.

Such groups may now gain in popularity at the expense of the national government, led by the secular Pakistan Peoples Party, and the provincial government of North-West Frontier, run by the Awami National Party, which is also secular. Pakistanis have not been inclined to back religious groups in elections that were held fairly, but the generally hapless and lofty rule of the two secular forces since they came to power early in 2008 is worrying.

As if Pakistan didn't already have enough problems caused by this horrendous natural disaster.