With best compliments,
Subject: "Pakistan refuses relief work visas for Indians and Israelis"-The Times of India.
Bishwa Nath Singh from Dalmianagar (Bihar),India.
Pakistan battled on August 25,2010 to save areas threatened by more devastating flood waters as the United Nations warned that eight lakh people in desperate need of aid had been cut off by the deluge.The UN launched an urgent appeal Tuesday for more helicopters to deliver aid to those people reachable only by air, after floods triggered As monsoon floods continue to displace millions in southern Pakistan, an estimated eight lakh people in need across the country are only accessible by air," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has said. Pakistan’s worst humanitarian catastrophe has affected more than seventeen million people, while officials warn that millions are at risk from disease and food shortages. Around one thousand five hundred people have been confirmed dead by Pakistani authorities, but UN officials have suggested the death toll could prove higher. These unprecedented floods pose unprecedented logistical challenges, and this requires an extraordinary effort by the international community," said John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. Global pledges have topped seven hundred million dollars, but Pakistani and international relief officials have raised concerns about the slow pace of aid and Islamabad has warned that total losses could reach forty three billion dollars. Some four & half million people remain in urgent need of shelter, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Aug.25,2010.Another two million left homeless by the floods were due to have received shelter materials such as tents and plastic sheets within the next couple of days, IOM representative Salim Rehmat told a press conference. Officials warned yet more Pakistanis could be affected in the fertile southern plains of Sindh Province, which is worst affected. After dilly-dallying for several days, Pakistan recently accepted four days earlier India's offer to provide USD five million for the millions of victims of the devastating floods that have swept the country. Pak. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the move to accept the assistance has enhanced Pakistan's diplomatic image and asked those opposed to taking aid from India to give reasons for their stand. He had futher said that he would like to ask the critics of Indian aid on what ground we should refuse it. It will be a narrow approach if we refuse aid from India that is what Gilani had briefed to the Press Medias. It is true that the move has been criticized by some politicians. The Pak. Govt.. has accepted the Indian aid offer on the US call as revealed by the Senator Raja Zafar ul Haq, chairman of PML-N party However, Gilani had said: that it would have been a contrast if Pak. Govt. had refused the Indian aid that too at a time when Pak. faced worst ravages of flood. On the one hand, we are stressing on the resumption of dialogue with India and on the other, we refuse its aid. We should come out of this approach and give a strong image to Pakistan .What an unfortunate that India and Israel are the only two countries whose aid workers will not be granted special visas by Pakistan to join relief efforts for the millions of people affected by country's worst floods! Following a suggestion from foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for easing visa regulations for foreign aid workers, the interior ministry decided to issue three-month "relief work" visas for those coming to Pakistan to join relief
operations. A letter sent by the interior ministry to the foreign office made it clear that this special facility will not be available to Indian and Israeli nationals. What a wrong notion the Pak. is carrying for our country when India is out and out to help Pak. Govt. in this natural calamity and had mind of sending aid workers to expedite proper relief there amongst worst affected people but on refusal their entry Pak. has shown that it has no faith in us that is the most unfortunate!
World News Network
August 25,2010. at 9:53 PM (IST)