Where has all the food stuff gone?
Essential food items in KP have either disappeared or are in short supply. The local authorities are exploring the possibilities of hoarding by the city’s major storekeepers. After the change of guard in Kabul on August 15, the supplies of vegetables and fruit could not remain stable. From the Punjab side as well, the supplies of wheat, rice, wheat-flour, cooking oil and sugar have been erratic.
In border areas, the government has already made arrangements to prevent the illegal movement of agricultural products. With the arrival of winter months, the poor people in Lugar, Panjshir and others of Afghanistan’s Northern provinces are facing an unprecedented shortage of food. There is a real-life danger of Pakistani food items getting smuggled into Afghanistan.
BBC, CNN, and Aljazeera television channels are beaming into homes the pathetic photos of poor Afghans. Like the famine-stricken people, they storm the trucks bringing food supplies from the UN aid agencies. The coming months may accentuate the conditions. There is no dearth of guns and bullets in Afghanistan. But guns and bullets can only kill. These cannot fill the empty stomachs. When empty stomachs abound in a society, the seeds of a revolution are automatically sown.
On humanitarian grounds, all nations tend to feel sympathetic about the less privileged Afghans. Pakistan is on top of the sympathetic countries. But Pakistan itself happens to be in financial difficulties. Its own people are hard-pressed by inflation, high prices and mismanagement. It can make attractive promises. But empty promises cannot feed the hungry families next door.