Pakistan pledges security for int’l relief workers
WASHINGTON: Pakistan has pledged security for international flood relief workers. "The government has, of course, a whole security strategy for aid workers and, so far, no aid worker has ever been hurt in Pakistan in the last several years," Ambassador Husain Haqqani told MSNBC following after the Taliban's threat against international relief workers.
He noted that while every terrorist threat should be taken seriously, the Taliban "also use threats, sometimes, to intimidate and dissuade people from coming." One of their objectives, of course, is to create greater discontentment and greater unrest against a government that is democratically elected, the diplomat added.
Haqqani recalled that the Taliban militants had also issued a similar threat after the 2005 earthquake when aid workers came to Pakistan in big numbers."We were lucky; no one got hurt. We hope that we will be able to provide for the security of aid workers," the envoy said.
In this respect, he also underscored the fact that an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis welcome the assistance they are getting."In fact, if anything, they want more people to come and assist them. This is a major catastro- phe, 21 million people affected, 9 million children on the move," Haqqani said, referring to the devastation triggered by unprecedented monsoon flooding.
He said the Taliban were no doubt a very dangerous militant group but relief work was going on smoothly. "I am saying that one should take every threat seriously. One should be cautious... that said, there are almost a hundred aid groups from several countries in the West working in Pakistan, and most of them are able to deliver assistance to a very grateful public."
To a question, he observed, "The Government of Pakistan is stable for the simple reason that it's a legitimate, democratically elected government. Now, there is unrest, of course. If you have 21 million people out of 180 million who are affected by floods, homes washed away, infrastructure damaged massively, and many areas that are still in accessible for assistance, it is a tough situation.
"But with the help of our international partners, we are trying to deal with the situation. And we hope that once we can get the assistance to the people, then the anger and whatever fears people have will dissipate." -PB News
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister/Chairperson BISP Farzana Raja along with Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Social Sector Shahnaz Wazir Ali presiding over a meeting of the Pak-UK Education Task Force at BISP Secretariat. -Online