ISLAMABAD: The International Committee of Red Cross has decided to restart its activities in Pakistan which were shut down after the killing of ICRC official Khalil Rasjed Dale in April 2012, the organisations officials said Tuesday.
However, overall operations would be reduced, the ICRC said in a media release, adding that it has decided to resume work in Peshawar and Islamabad while its offices in Sindh and Quetta will be shut down.
“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,” the release said
The head of the ICRC delegation Paul Castella has said: “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.”
“In the coming weeks, we will coordinate with Pakistani authorities the resumption of health services as conditions permit, in particular the re-opening of our surgical hospital in Peshawar, which was 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.
However, 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 while visits to detainees in Pakistan will also stop.
The ICRC release also said that, the organization’s offices in Sindh province, where flood recovery work is now complete, and in Quetta will be shut down.
Castella said that though some of these decisions would affect vulnerable people in some areas 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.