AT a time when the people of the country would wish to see a cooperative political consensus evolving amongst the major players, so that the devastation of the floods and the suffering it has caused can be ameliorated quickly and efficiently, the government continues to strike a contrary position. This is being done despite the fact that the governments trust deficit is itself a major issue in the flow of relief aid. Then there are growing question marks over the governments own commitment, given the cases of fake relief camps that have haunted the Prime Minister on his forays to the flood stricken areas. That is why the PML-N leaders suggestion,accepted by the PM, that a credible and independent commission be formed to receive and disburse flood aid was a viable one. Unfortunately, political pressures seem to have pushed the PM into another direction and now we have the farce of a National Oversight Disaster Management Council (NODMC) which will supposedly have members of impeccable character but which effectively will be an extension of the already-failed and some say, now illegal NDMA. So the demanded transparency will certainly not be forthcoming and suspicions will remain as to where the aid money coming through the government is going. That is why perhaps the PML-N has decided to raise its own funds for relief work which it will disburse while other leaders like Imran Khan, who is always able to raise vast amounts because of the trust he commands and the transparency his fund raising has, is also embarking on large-scale flood relief fund raising. All such efforts, if they deliver quick and effective relief to the masses suffering loss of life and property, should be welcome. Mian Nawaz Sharif also has the capacity to raise large amounts from all segments of society, including the business community, and he should have no problems doing so on his own without waiting for a national clean commission. In fact, he can show how his relief effort is effective and transparent. However, there is already a political issue being raised by some quarters regarding the move by the army to establish its own relief fund, with the Chairman PAC declaring that the army should have first gotten permission from the government. Be that as it may, it is no secret that it is the army that is leading the national flood relief effort and in many far flung places there is no presence of the state, in terms of official functionaries, beyond that of the military. This is not the time for political point scoring or settling of scores. Whoever can do something for the flood affectees should. The people are already wiser from their suffering and know full well who did what and who did nothing. Equally, it is hoped the government will not come under US pressure and prevent Pakistani charities, religious or otherwise, from doing the effective relief work quietly and without publicity that is already ongoing. It is hoped that the government and opposition will not make things worse for the nation by getting into the politics of relief aid.