Red Cross suspends aid projects in Pakistan | Pakistan Today

Red Cross suspends aid projects in Pakistan

The Red Cross on Thursday suspended most of its aid projects in Pakistan and recalled foreign staff to the capital, following the brutal murder of a British worker.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it had suspended activities run from Karachi and Peshawar, while it reviewed its operations after the killing of Khalil Dale. The move puts on hold activities at all facilities run by ICRC apart from a physical rehabilitation centre in Azad Kashmir. “The recent attack against the ICRC compels us to completely reassess the balance between the humanitarian impact of our activities and the risks faced by our staff,” said Jacques de Maio, ICRC’s head of operations for South Asia. The mutilated body of 60-year-old health worker Dale was found outside Quetta, the capital of the insurgency-plagued southwest province of Baluchistan, on April 29, nearly four months after he was abducted. Aid bodies spend millions of dollars helping millions of Pakistanis, yet attacks on their staff are increasing, according to the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF), which represents nearly 50 international organisations. Since 2009, at least 19 aid workers have been murdered and more than 20 abducted across Pakistan by militants and criminals, according to the PHF, to which the ICRC does not belong. Elderly US development worker Warren Weinstein was snatched after gunmen tricked their way into his Lahore home in August last year, and on Sunday a video emerged of him urging President Barack Obama to save his life by agreeing to his abductors’ demands.
The kidnapping of Weinstein in Lahore, and an Italian and a German in Multan — both cities previously regarded as relatively safe — has further rattled NGO nerves. ICRC froze its activities in Quetta in the aftermath of Dale’s death, said the aid group, which had about 100 foreign staff in Pakistan at the end of 2011. Dale, a British Muslim who had been managing a health programme in Quetta for almost a year, was abducted in the city on January 5 by eight masked gunmen, who forced him from his car at gunpoint as he came home from work. A source close to the case said his captors had demanded a ransom of $30 million.

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  1. Jawan said:

    Shameful…Red Cross is respected and protect even in running wars….but these terrorists has no morality….they are doing a great job however by closing their offices and field operations, will adversely affect the poor, IDPs, and marginalized communities… Its a big event and will further destroy the image of our country across the world….Government should give them security, protection and trust for their smooth operation….

  2. krahim said:

    It only shows the pathetic condition of this government ! so badly engrossed in activities that compelled Red Cross to stop operations.But worst is our civil society that sleeps quietly.

  3. dialmformurdo said:

    These murderers were not terrorists, they were quite simply gangsters who killed solely for money. Khalil was a great friend of mine, the world is a lesser place without him. I am angered that a great humanitarian has been so senselessly killed helping people whom the Pakistan government should have been helping.

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