Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interview with Shahid R. Siddiqi

Kourosh Ziabari - The 2010 Pakistan flood was one of the most unpleasant and painful incidents of the year which attracted widespread international attention due to its extensiveness and destructive impacts. The floods started in July following heavy monsoon rains and overflow of the Indus River in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan regions of Pakistan. It is estimated that more than two thousand people lost their lives and over a million homes were destroyed since the flooding began. According to the United Nations estimates, over 21 million people have been injured or displaced as a result of the devastative flood.

Pakistani journalist and former Air Force employee Shahid R. Siddiqi joined me in an interview to discuss the aftermaths of the unprecedented flood which

encompassed the whole Pakistan in a matter of days and caused serious damages to the country’s agriculture, industry, energy sector, infrastructures and even politics. Mr. Siddiqi answered my questions about the government’s management of the flood and the distribution of humanitarian aid sent by different countries to the flood-hit regions. He explained that how the unanticipated disaster paralyzed Pakistan in an astonishing way and surprised the unprepared government which failed to manage the crisis appropriately. In this interview, I also seized the opportunity to ask Mr. Siddiqi some questions about the prospect of Iran – Pakistan relations and Pakistan’s stance on Iran’s nuclear program.

Shahid R. Siddiqi has been a broadcaster with the Radio Pakistan and the Islamabad bureau chief of the “Pakistan and Gulf Economist”. His articles and political commentaries appear in the Pakistani newspapers such as Dawan, The Nation and Pakistan Herald. He is also the founder of Asian American Republican Club. Siddiqi is a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy Journal, Middle East Times and Axis of Logic.

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