Faith, when strong enough, is supposed to move mountains but this kind of faith doesn't appear to be as evident in Pakistan as one automatically presumes. Horrifying as this is, it really does seem to be the case and the fact that this happens to be the holy month of Ramazan only serves to underscore this bitter truth. While approximately 20 million people wallow in misery having lost all they possess to flooding and now stare starvation and decimating disease in the face, many of those who should, if they were to practise what they preach, be offering a helping hand are doing nothing of the sort. Take those who regularly attend Islamic congregations, for example: How many of them are currently out there helping their fellow Pakistanis in need? Not as many as one would expect. A great number of them are busily preparing for Eid festivities with all the expense that they entails when it is surely a more important religious duty to assist those so desperately in need. Then there are those who quietly withdraw most of their money from their bank accounts in order to avoid paying obligatory zakat, yet, in public, posture and pontificate as if they are goodness itself scowling at those they consider to have strayed from the true path. Shouldn't they, along with every other believer in the country, all be doing something, within whatever means they have at their disposal, to help at this heartwrenching time? Every single person needs to do something, anything, to alleviate suffering right now and this also includes wealthy politicians, bureaucrats, feudal lords and the like who, be their riches honest or ill-gotten, have been notably tardy in distributing largess, calling on the international community instead, even creeping to them on their hands and knees, in search of handouts and, in some deplorable cases, loans which, remember, have to be paid back, with interest, over the coming years with the money, as usual, being extorted from the shrinking pockets of ordinary, working class citizens. As in so many disaster situations, not just in Pakistan but in other countries too, it tends to be quiet, often completely unassuming citizens, along with school children and college students, who do all they possibly can to feed, clothe and house the victims: Singly or together, they collect cash donations, clothes, bedding, cooking utensils, medical supplies, food and even hire transport to take it, themselves, to where it needs to go and, whilst even these wonderful people were, perhaps, a little slow in getting moving this time, they are currently in full flow, working against the odds and round the clock, to contribute what they can. They do not seek accolade for their work, do not court photo opportunities and the like and may not even be openly religious but they do feel for other members of the human race as they understand, all too well, that it could be their turn next. The majority of those considering themselves to be the upper-class, however, are largely unaware of the implications of the catastrophe still unfolding. Shielded by money and all it can buy, they inhabit a parallel world of their own invention, a world in which disasters are nothing more than a passing ingredient of dinner party and general get-together gossip and which have absolutely nothing to do with them. They simply cannot relate to the people whose lives and livelihoods have been washed away and certainly wouldn't dream of venturing into an IDP camp to lend a hand. To them, the IDPs are aliens and will remain so unless their votes are required come the next election when and if there is one. In a nutshell, a large percentage of the 'holier than thou' won't help, neither will the filthy rich or those in high places and the government is not, never was, in a position to do so. The international community is wary, thanks to blatant corruption and now Taliban threats, of getting overly involved and who can blame them for this? This leaves the armed forces, they are doing an incredible job by the way, and already cash strapped, thanks to government policies, quiet citizens and young people to deal with the massive rescue and rehabilitation programme on hand and neither have enough funding to see the job through to where it needs to go. These latter two groups, if one can be forgiven for terming the army thus, will understand and sympathise when the 20 million react in desperation, get organised and revolt, but the other groups mentioned will most certainly not. If and when this scenario comes to pass, it only took 10 million Russians to turn that country and its leaders upside down when poverty and hunger drove them to it, then the future for Pakistan will be terribly bleak. Every single section and individual in this falling-apart-at-the-seams country sho-uld be made to understand that if they don't work, shoulder to shoulder, to mitigate the current situation, the country will not only be a miserably failed state but will completely whither and die on its distinctly staggering feet. The writer is a Murree-based freelance columnist