The warnings regularly given by all manner of experts had been ignored for decades.
If Pakistan's authorities continued to allow the country's timber mafia and a benighted and oppressed peasantry to strip the country's forests at a faster rate than anywhere else in Asia, as is happening, floods of Biblical proportions would be inevitable. They would not be acts of God. They would be man-made catastrophes.
What then happened, reports by Pakistani journalists and environmental campaigners have steadily established, was truly terrifying.
Trees felled by so-called illegal loggers - an infamous "timber mafia" that has representatives in the Pakistan Parliament in Islamabad and connections right to the top of government and the military - are stacked in the innumerable nullahs [steep narrow valleys], gorges and ravines leading into the main rivers. From there they are fed into the legal trade, earning the mafia billions of dollars yearly. Full story...