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Pakistan: ICRC activities to continue on reduced scale

28-08-2012 News Release 12/170

Geneva/Islamabad (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), following a thorough review of its activities undertaken after the April 2012 murder in Quetta of Khalil Rasjed Dale, an ICRC health programme manager, has reiterated its commitment to carry on with its work in Pakistan but on a reduced scale.

"We are ready to continue helping people in need, such as the wounded and the physically disabled, provided working conditions for our staff are adequate," explained Paul Castella, head of the ICRC delegation in Islamabad.

"In the coming weeks, we will coordinate with the Pakistani authorities the resumption of health services as conditions permit, in particular the re-opening of our surgical hospital in Peshawar, which closed down after the murder of our colleague," he added.

The ICRC's partnership with the Pakistan Red Crescent Society and support for physical rehabilitation services, notably in Peshawar and Muzaffarabad, will continue, as will the assistance provided by the ICRC for families seeking to restore and maintain contact with Pakistanis detained abroad. The ICRC will also maintain logistics assets in the country to support its operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan and throughout the region.

The ICRC has decided to terminate all other activities for people affected by the current situation in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. All visits to detainees in Pakistan will also stop. As a result, the organization's offices in Sindh province, where flood recovery work is now complete, and in Quetta are being closed.

"Having worked in Pakistan for more than 60 years, we are aware that some of these decisions will affect vulnerable people in some areas," said Mr Castella. "But we need to take into account the challenges faced by our staff and adjust our activities accordingly."

The ICRC has been working in Pakistan since 1947, providing health care, physical rehabilitation and other assistance for people affected by violence and natural disasters.

 

For further information, please contact:
Albert Madrazo, ICRC Islamabad, tel: +92 300 850 81 38
Najum-ul-Saqib Iqbal, ICRC Islamabad, tel: +92 300 852 91 08
Arshad Mahmood  Yusufzai, ICRC Peshawar, tel: +92 346 590 09 29
Bijan Frederic Farnoudi, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 21 80 or +41 79 536 92 59