ISLAMABAD – With millions of its own Pashtun displaced persons amid military offensives in tribal belt, Pakistan has stunned the national and international community by donating $ 1 million for Palestinian refugees.
According to official sources the permanent representative of Pakistan to UN Ambassador Masood Khan personally handed over a cheque of $ 1 million to UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) specifically for Palestinian refugees.
The official news agency described the move as “The cheque is a Pakistan’s contribution to alleviating the sufferings of the Palestinian victims of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. The aid comes at an opportune time, since needs have increased due to the onset of winter and the recent flash floods in the region.”
Reportedly, the Ambassador Masood Khan, on this occasion, reaffirmed Pakistani government and people’s commitment to supporting the Palestinian cause.
However, the move came just before the announcement that Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif is going to attend the London Conference on December 3. This conference is going to be all about Afghanistan – a country whose more than 3.5 million refugees are living in Pakistan ever since Afghan Jihad of 1970s.
However, the much grave concern for Pakistani state right now is its own displaced persons. Although relief camps and items are being readily provided for displaced persons but civilian governments – both federal and provincials – often get indulge in tug-of-wars to shift responsibilities of taking care of displaced persons.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government’s claims are on record where they call Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)’s displaced persons a federal subject. Imran Khan had went as far as stating “We (KP government) cannot take care of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) all alone.”
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led federal and Punjab governments have been facilitating IDPs in shelter, food and relief. However, undoubtedly the major contribution came from Pakistan Army who organized special relief camps, provided medical aid, security and periodic relief items for the internally displaced items.
Country head of one International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) told PakistanTribe‘s correspondent that “UK is a hub of Islamic diaspora. Ever since fresh Israeli offensive in Gaza, Muslims of all ethnic background have donated billions of pounds for their brethren in Palestine. It is the one issue close to their hearts. Perhaps a good charity generation opportunity for the NGOs as well. It would not be astonishing for me if Pakistan had made this move to gather the sympathies of Islamic diaspora of UK before the premier’s visit.
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