Climate change, once a myth has become a reality and it has started showing its adverse effects on human society. Carbon emissions, deforestation, and industrialization have increasingly revealed their impacts in the form of rises in global temperatures, the melting of glaciers, unprecedented rainfall, floods, rises in sea levels, tsunamis, wildfires and droughts. Nowadays, the world is passing through tough times and every country is at an ever-greater risk of natural calamity. Deadly wildfires in California and Australia, extreme weather events in Europe and the melting of the Antarctic icecap are all alarming signs not only for the natural environment but also present a grave threat to human life.
Pakistan is a country blessed with high mountains in its north, which is home to more than 7,000 glaciers, more glaciers than any other country on earth outside of the polar region. It has beautiful valleys and fertile plains. The livelihood of the people of Pakistan is connected with the five rivers passing through these plains. These rivers, mountains and fertile lands are an absolute blessing for the people of Pakistan. Pakistan contributes less than 1% towards the emissions of global greenhouse gases, but it is among the most vulnerable countries affected by climate change.
Nowadays, these rivers, mountains and melting waters from the glaciers are the main cause of people's sufferings. According to a Green Network report, during the ongoing monsoon season of 2022, Pakistan was subject to a 784% increase in rainfall, which was the highest volume of rainfall ever recorded in the country’s history. Melting glaciers combined with an unexpected downpour has caused flashfloods in the country and according to the national disaster management authority of Pakistan, around 1,350 people have been killed as a result, in addition to 50 million people that have been displaced, nearly 1 million livestock deaths, about 1 million houses having been washed away, as well as more than 40 water reservoirs that have been breached and over 220 bridges that have collapsed. This has led to a $10 billion loss to the South Asian country’s economy and with one-third of its total land area coming underwater as a result of these devastating floods. Pakistan is in a sorry state, a country where its people are now homeless and surrounded by water.
There is a famous Chinese saying that a friend comes in handy in times of trouble, while a brother rushes to one’s help. This has been witnessed during the ongoing devastating floods in Pakistan when China provided timely support by supplying emergency humanitarian aid to the country’s many flood victims. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to his Pakistani counterpart, President Arif Alvi, upon hearing of the severe floods. Xi has expressed solidarity and highlighted that China has responded with immediate action, and will continue to provide urgently needed assistance and support to Pakistan in its disaster relief work.
In this respect, Hamid Waleed, a senior journalist and famous TV and radio anchor, said that “China’s relief assistance is not new for the Pakistanis, as China has always been on its toes and when there is a calamity in Pakistan, like the present one, that has led to crossing the death toll of 1,000 already. China has never left Pakistan alone domestically as well as internationally. The international community is well aware of the fact that the heartbeats of the two countries match each other’s frequency very well.” He went on to add that “both of us are true friends, good brothers, share wheal and woe, and are always ready to help each other in terms of money, materials and vocal outreach.”
Indeed, during the ongoing devastating floods, when the people of Pakistan looked towards their brother, they found him reaching out to provide help. During this hour of difficulty, China’s help and response towards the people of Pakistan will be recognized and it will be written in golden words along with past stories of Pakistan-China friendship and brotherhood.