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http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/05/pakistan-floods-failure-state But it is not only the matter of response but also that of cause which implicates the state of Pakistan. In the last few years, environmental groups, activists and journalists have talked repeatedly of the power of the timber mafia, which has a particularly strong hold on the areas now affected by flooding. One of the most powerful and ruthless organisations within Pakistan, the timber mafia engages in illegal logging, which is estimated to be worth billions of rupees each year – the group's connection to politicians at the local and federal level has been commented on in the media for years. The constant warnings about the timber mafia almost always include mention of the increased susceptibility of de-forested regions to flooding, landslides and soil erosion. But, in the way that horror tends to pile on horror in Pakistan, not only has the flooding been intense in areas where the timber mafia is active but the felled trees, hidden in ravines prior to smuggling them onwards, have caused havoc. Dislodged by torrents of water, they have swept away bridges and people and anything else in their path.

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