NGOs demand protection -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NGOs demand protection

PESHAWAR: Civil society organisations have condemned the killing of workers of a foreign NGO in Mansehra and called upon the government to ensure immediate arrest of those involved in the attack.

Speaking at a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday, joint action committee member Shakeel Waheedullah said NGOs were busy carrying out development work in different areas of the province but there was no protection to lives of the workers and their offices.

Representatives of Amn Tehrik, Alliance for the Protection of Human Rights, Citizen Rights Movement, Women Action Forum, Tribal Development Network, Pakistan Minority Rights Committee and the Sarhad NGOs Ittehad were present on the occasion.

Condemning the Mansehra incident, they said the victims had done nothing wrong and were working for the welfare of local people, regretting that the culprits could not be arrested.

They said escaping of the culprits from the crime scene showed failure of police. They demanded action against police officers concerned, including the district police officer, and the district coordination officer. The killing of innocent people, they said, meant to harass foreign donors and those working in far-flung areas of the hitherto neglected areas of the province.

They said the Mansehra attack was not the first such incident and a number of NGO offices had been attacked in the past, but the government had taken no effective steps for protection of the organisations and their workers.

They demanded compensation of Rs3 million for each victim’s family and Rs500,000 for each wounded person.

They called upon the government to provide protection to those associated with NGOs.

“NGOs are playing a vital role in boosting local economy and have provided employment to thousands of educated people in the country,” they said.

They also expressed concern over kidnapping of NGO people from different areas, adding the government had failed to recover the people and those who returned had paid huge ransoms to kidnappers.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/13/2010