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Recent Floods In Pakistan 2012 Essay Contest

Agriculture is considered the backbone of Pakistan's economy, which relies heavily on its major crops. There are vast gaps between the acquired and actual output of produce, which suffers due to a lack of appropriate technology, use of inputs at improper times, unavailability of water and land use and inadequate education about insect pest control, which not only negatively affects the produce but also significantly reduces the amount of produce. Farmers mainly use synthetic chemicals for the control of insect pests, but these are used unwisely. To emphasize the major shortfalls and actual performance of major field crops, this study investigated the relationship between agricultural GDP and the output of major crops, including wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize and cotton, in Pakistan over a period of 65 years from 1950 to 2015. Time series data were collected from the Economic Survey of Pakistan (various publications). Crop data were analysed using the ordinary least square method and the Augmented Dickey Fuller (ADF) test, and the results were interpreted using Johansen's co-integration test. Our study finds that the output of wheat, rice and cotton has a positive and significant relationship with the agricultural GDP of Pakistan, while the output of sugarcane has a negative and non-significant relationship with the agricultural GDP of Pakistan. Therefore, this study recommends that the government of Pakistan should launch new funding programmes for the development of the agricultural sector.

The current flooding in Pakistan is mainly due to climate change (Report, 9 August). It is the unusual climate-change-led seasonal cycle of land temperature in Pakistan that has exacerbated the monsoon rainfall and produced the hugest volume of water in the northern mountainous region of the country ever recorded in the history, causing floods in the Indus river basin. Various scientific studies have already shown that the monsoon regions of the world will be affected by climate change more than any other regions on Earth. 

It is high time that the world in general and carbon-emitting industrial countries in particular showed responsibility and extended help to Pakistan not only in relief activities for the flood affectees at the moment, but also for developing a sustainable adaptation mechanism in the country to mitigate climate-change-led calamities of such kind in future.

Syed Mujahid Ali Shah

University of Greifswald, Germany

• The people of Pakistan may be in God's hands now that swathes of Sindh lie under water, but for decades they have been in the hands of an Islamabad coterie who have failed to deliver autonomy or basic rights to its citizens. Pakistan's problems are regional problems and they lie rooted in bad governance. Islamabad's attempt to centralise a state around Wahhabism promoted institutionalised Islamic extremism and destroyed traditional values of tolerance. Globalisation offers a chance to shrug this off and support the viable self-determination of Sindh, Baloch and Punjab peoples within a Pakistani state – a state that, if reformed, could bring security and a new model of governance to the region. It's time the international community recognised this and listened to Pakistan's people instead of its jet-setting leaders.

Andrew Swan

Project co-ordinator (Brussels), Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation