This paper uses the summer floods of 2010 as a lens to examine Pakistan’s worsening economic, security and governance issues since the February 2008 elections. It initially explains the background to the inundations which displaced 20 million people, caused massive damage to infrastructure and threatened to suppress an already sluggish economic rebound from the world recession. The politicization of the circumstances surrounding flooding is discussed along with its historical significance.
The paper then reveals how the natural disaster exacerbated the multi-faceted challenges facing the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led coalition. It also discusses the political impact of President Asif Ali Zardari’s absence from the country at the time of the national calamity. The paper also lays bare the fact that the Government had inherited a declining economic and security situation from the Musharraf era and then that structural economic and governance problems can be traced back to much further in Pakistan’s history.