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ICRC pulls out of two cities

Will review 'all operations' after killing of British program manager reporter, Lahore

May 11, 2012

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The International Committee of the Red Cross yesterday said it was suspending operations in Karachi and Peshawar and would reassess all operations in the country following the death of one of its program managers. “The recent attack against the ICRC compels us to completely reassess the balance between the humanitarian impact of our activities and the risks faced by our staff,” said Jacque de Maio, ICRC head of operations for South Asia in a statement. British health worker and ICRC program manager Khalil Dale went missing four months ago in Quetta. His beheaded body was discovered on April 29. “In the coming weeks, the ICRC will announce a decision on its future presence and set-up in Pakistan,” said Paul Castella, head of the ICRC delegation in Pakistan in the statement. Shezan William, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan Quetta, said the worsening law and order situation, disappearances, kidnappings and targeted killings in the area have increased safety concerns among all NGOs. “Even our staff cannot travel to remote areas,” he said, adding that the Church’s social arm will nonetheless continue to operate in the Apostolic Vicariate of Quetta as well as other dioceses. “Quitting is no solution. Aid agencies need to review their methodology and must replace all foreign staff with locals,” he added. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization in March closed five district offices in Balochistan after two of its Pakistani workers were shot and killed by unknown assailants while they were traveling from Quetta to Mastung. Related reports: Balochistan needs life support Activists protest Quetta massacres

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