The Islamic Post
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During the month of Ramadhaan, Pakistanis in flood-stricken areas were forced to fast, all day and all night, having no access to fulfill basic human needs, except what accommodating families and government assistance programs have been able to render – often only to the most severely affected. No one in the world could have imagined the scale of destruction this nation now faces as the flooding reaches a dangerous stage with water borne diseases, such as cholera, on the rise.

During the month of Ramadhaan, Pakistanis in flood-stricken areas were forced to fast, all day and all night, having no access to fulfill basic human needs, except what accommodating families and government assistance programs have been able to render – often only to the most severely affected. No one in the world could have imagined the scale of destruction this nation now faces as the flooding reaches a dangerous stage with water borne diseases, such as cholera, on the rise.

 
The American Muslim Medical Relief Team (AMMRT), arriving in the country weeks ago, has already been met with the challenges of serving an overwhelming number of displaced people with fresh drinking water, proper medical attention, and food. Meanwhile, this American Muslim group of doctors and nurses is fighting against the unexpected- the clock- as the Pakistan authorities surprisingly refuse to allow them to prolong their stay beyond the original 30-day visa.
 
Before the flooding began, the United States pledged to give Pakistan $500 million in aid money to boost the country’s infrastructure, but the political players could not have known that ten days later the basic survival of the entire countryside and its residents would loom near destruction, devastated by floods from monsoon rains. Today, the millions of dollars flowing into the country cannot keep up with the needs of so many displaced persons.
 
“Our commitment and our resolve notwithstanding, the scale of the challenge is colossal, far too big for any developing country to handle alone”, says Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. The General Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon described this catastrophe as the worst disaster he’s seen in his life, calling for increased global contributions.Without being guided by political gain or prejudices, and with US government and community support, the American citizens of AMMRT departed hoping to reach as many affect regions as possible. EL Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, Vice Chancellor of the International Quranic Open University, formed the AMMRT on the foundation that “mankind is the family of God”, with a commitment to serve humanity in their time of need. But time is running out for the AMMRT, who on one hand have been met with the open, grateful arms of the people of Pakistan; and at the same time
are perplexed by an ungrateful government who will not even help their people by simply extending the visas of a group that has selflessly responded to the needs of mankind- moreover the needs of Pakistan, again and again.
 
“Before we left, we had the unexpected expense of transporting our medical supplies. Pakistan International Airline withdrew their offer to carry aid for free to the region. That was a major setback. Transportation and travel visas should not be an issue during a humanitarian crisis”, a member of the AMMRT asserts. The attention of the entire world should continue to be focused on Pakistan’s aid and rescue by supporting and invigorating humanitarian aid campaigns to stimulate civilian compassion.
 
Much like that $500M pledged by the US for New Aide Projects to win over the hearts and minds of the people; contributions are needed for years to come to rebuild the area, as Pakistan seeks to restore normalcy to its nation’s fabric. For forty days, like the faithful of Noah's Ark, the Pakistani's have survived as best they can. The end of Ramadhaan still brings the joy of the id-ul-Fitr celebration, but in the flood stricken areas of Pakistan, this Eid will be spent in relief camps where millions upon millions remain homeless. 
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The newly dispatched AMMRT team faces an unexpected challenge in flood stricken Pakistan- officials who are unwilling to extend visas to allow them to continue their efforts to help the disater’s victims.

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