Islamistiske veldedighetsorganisasjoner er ledende i arbeidet for flomofrene i Pakistan. Regjeringens innsats er ineffektiv eller halvhjertet. Denne kontrasten undergraver tilliten til myndighetene generelt og kampanjen mot islamistene spesielt. Resultatet kan bli alvorlig.
Victims of the floods and political observers say the disaster has provided yet another deeply painful reminder of the anemic health of the civilian government as it teeters between the ineffectual and neglectful.
The floods have opened a fresh opportunity for the Islamic charities to demonstrate that they can provide what the government cannot, much as the Islamists did during the earthquake in Kashmir in 2005, which helped them lure new recruits to banned militant groups through the charity wings that front for them.
In just two districts in this part of the northwest, three Islamic charities have provided shelter to thousands, collected tens of thousands in donations and served about 25,000 hot meals a day a since last Saturday — six full days before the government delivered cooked food.
“The West says we are terrorists and intolerant, but in time of need, we’re the ones serving the people,” said Maulana Yousaf Shah, the provincial leader of one of the groups, Jamiat-ulema-e-Islam.
Mian Adil, the vice chairman of another group, Falah-e-Insaniyat, said the aid he distributed at a center in one of the districts, Nowshera, came with a message attached — “not to trust the government” and its Western allies.
Falah-e-Insaniyat is the charity wing and the latest front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group behind the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
Jamaat-ud-Dawa is the political arm of Lashkar, which the United Nations has listed as a terrorist group.
The chaos and inadequacy of the government effort contrasted sharply with the efficiency and reach of the Islamic charities.
Khadim Hussain, an analyst at the Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy who has studied the expansion of the militant groups, said it was “very alarming” that the Islamic groups had moved so fully into the mainstream.
He warned that a failure by the government to reach the people could lead to a “complete reversal” of public support for the military’s campaign against the militant groups that have threatened the state.
In places where foreign and government officials retreated for security reasons, the well-mobilized Islamic charities have consistently been a step ahead and penetrated even remote villages with ease, survivors said.
The Islamic charities sprung into action immediately after the floods hit last week, they said, sending a brigade of 4,000 volunteers in Nowshera, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, to rebuild homes in villages far too dangerous for foreign aid workers to enter.