Pakistan Is Our Story – Global day of Solidarity Actions for Floods in Pakistan this Friday
A third of Pakistan is underwater, thousands were killed, homes and land destroyed. Pakistan is one of the countries least responsible for the climate crisis, yet it’s suffering the most. On Friday, 09th of September, activists all over the world are taking to the streets, in solidarity and in rage against those responsible for this crisis.
The climate justice movement is calling upon people everywhere to go to the streets on the 9th of September in international solidarity with the peoples in Pakistan. Actions and gatherings will take place at least in California, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and Washington, D.C. “The fossil fuel industry and the capitalist system it supports are directly responsible for this crisis. We must overthrow this system and stop the ones responsible now!” can be read in the call to action #PakistanIsOurStory.
Pakistan is in the midst of an unprecedented climate catastrophe.
In March, the country was thrown head first into heatwaves, combined with long power outages. June came with early monsoon rains. In July, the rains combined glacial caps bursting. In August, unprecedented floods hit like never before. These events not only herald the dystopian future that lies ahead, but also show that much of that future is already a reality today. Over 2 million acres of agricultural land have been destroyed and hundreds of thousands of livestock have been destroyed, triggering fears of massive food shortages in the coming months. At least 35 million people were displaced. Aisha Baloch from FFF Balochistan points out that most of the affected regions are areas with vulnerable and marginalised communities, such as in Balochistan, where the floods have increased the inequalities, lack of access to humanitarian support and repression.
The peoples of Pakistan caused less than 0.5% of all global CO2 emissions yet are paying for the wrongs of climate criminals with their lives. “We are not responsible for Climate change the way the USA, China, Russia and Europe is. Pakistan may look like a distant reality right now, but what is happening on our soil is the future of the rest of the world if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels. Wake up” shared Ayisha Siddiqa from Pakistan on twitter.
End Fossil Fuels and for Climate Reparations For Pakistan, starting with the unconditional cancellation of all external debts.
Under such a catastrophic situation, the role of international financial institutions, integral component of the Global North-led pillaging of the planet, becomes even more questionable. The IMF is pushing the country into a punitive programme that demands draconian austerity measures and exorbitant taxes on working class people. According to the IMF, Pakistan’s external public debt is projected to reach $28.3 billion in 2022-23. These numbers will only increase as a result of the $10 billion in losses the country has already incurred and the enormous expenditures required for reconstruction and rehabilitation. In the current moment of floods, unemployment, hyper-inflation and huge costs of reconstruction, demands for austerity and higher taxation are nothing but an outright attack on life itself in Pakistan.
#PakistanIsOurStory call to action affirms that it is time for society to hold the countries that have colonised and exploited and the companies profiting from climate destruction accountable for the ecological crisis and crimes against humanity they have caused.
Ammar Ali Jan, member of the Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement in Pakistan, says “Climate justice is not just about words, but about action. We are internationalists who see every person on this planet as worthy of living with dignity. We are building a strong international movement to dismantle the extractivist fossil economy and create systems of production and exchange that affirm life, starting with the most marginalised. We call not only for flood relief, or even debt relief, but for climate reparations for Pakistan. We stand with the people of Pakistan and frontliners all around the world who are bearing the brunt of a crisis not of their own making.”
Information is available on the website about how to organize actions for the 9th of September, this Friday, and about the situation in Pakistan.