HAD it not been for the peoples own sense of duty to their brethren caught in the floods, especially the NGOs, educational institutions, charity groups, the business class and a sizable section of conscientious individuals from all over the country, things would have been much worse for the flood victims. It is comforting to learn that certain known welfare organisations have bravely stepped forward, and thanks to their impeccable record of transparency, their call for funds has been heard by all and sundry resulting in timely help. To a very large extent, the positive role played by this section of society has quite effectively filled the vacuum created by the governments lack of action. On the contrary, the laidback official attitude that left the victims to the mercy of the raging torrents of floodwater, has not just been the cause of popular anger countrywide but also has reaffirmed the common perception that the government was corrupt and lacked the will to look after the calamity-hit people. Little wonder the general public is loath to give donations to the government. Prime Minister Gilani remarked that the NGOs would themselves eat up half of the financial assistance and thus should not be depended upon, yet he failed to shed light on the point why the international donors were so unwilling to hand funds directly to the government. But what has really aggravated the situation is the leaderships confusion and lack of vision. It is a pity that the politicians at the helm have come in last in the rescue operation. They have been clamouring amongst themselves and despite a lapse of over a month, their shadowboxing over the distribution of funds between provinces and centre is still going on. On one day they are seen arguing whether to have an independent aid commission or not and on the next, they are fighting over how much money should be given to the flood affectees. This has invariably sapped much of the energy that could be used to tackle the disaster.