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  Relief Work For IDPs  

1. At an emergency General Body meeting of PESA held on 16 May, 2009, it was decided to send teams in the areas affected due to the influx of the people from Swat, Buner and Malakand.

2. On 17 may three teams were sent to give their survey reports so that the relief work could be immediately started. One team consisting of Adm Tasnim, Maj Islam and Mian Mahmood were to visit the Islamabad and Rawalpindi areas to assess the situation. Another team under Brig Khadim was earmarked to go to Swabi and Mardan. The third team comprising of Brig Mahmud , Brig Salam Akhtar and Asif Bashir of Geo TV was to proceed to Risalpur and liaise with the Army which had arrived in the area for relief work.Adm Tasnim and his team toured the area and met the personnel from the other relief workers. They gathered all useful information for the relief work to start in the area. Similarly Brig Khadim gathered all the requisite information for the relief work in the camps at Swabi, Yar Hussain and Mardan. The visit to Risalpur and interaction with Army units sent in for relief work was equally useful. Brig Badre, who had arrived in the area just a night before, gave a very comprehensive briefing on the situation and the planned relief operations. He clearly summed up,” This is the test of our Nationhood. If we can possibly understand the sufferings of the people and take adequate steps to ameliorate their conditions and provide a reasonable degree of relief, we would give them some hope. Equally important will be to rehabilitate them back in their homes from where they have been driven away. If these tasks can be achieved with a reasonable degree of success, we would prove that we are one Nation.” It was very heartening to see that they were all working in that spirit. We established a good liaison with them at all levels The relief goods that we were carrying we left with them and gauged a good idea of their priorities. We were told that water purification plant was an urgent requirement. We promised them that we will make our humble contribution and act on equal sense of urgency as being displayed by them,

3. We then proceeded to Mardan and visited Ikram Clinic. This was manned by Dr Omair. All the rooms of the clinic were choked with the patients who had been displaced from their homes. The sight was pitiable. We contacted Brig Badre and he acted very promptly. He instructed his field hospital at Shahzad Camp to attend to the patients and share the load with Dr Omair. A direct connection was established between the two and it is working very well. Some civilian casualties from the area of operation had arrived at the Ikram Clinic. When the matter was referred to Brig Badre by Dr Omair , he promptly sent the ambulance and had them admitted at the CMH. The medicines that we were carrying, which were donated by REKO Pharmeutical Lahore, were delivered to Dr Ikram as he was most in need of them

4. The Yasin and Shahzad Camps were visited to see the conditions of the inmates. It was clear thart pure drinking water was the foremost need.

5. At a meeting held on 18 May, under the Chairmanship of Brig Taj , the teams briefed the members of their observations and made specific recommendations. It was decided that we must start the relief work almost immediately. On 19 May, Adm Tasnim Group started the relief work for the IDPs living in Islamabad and Rawalpindi surroundings. The brother of Brig Salam Akhtar, Qamar Salam Akhtar took the relief goods in his own truck for the Swabi and other camps in the Mardan area. At this stage donations also started coming in generously. Brig Simon who was tasked to set up this filtration plant worked around the clock and completed it in two days time. He also sent his team to Yasin Camp to prepare the foundations for this plant and also to arrange for a suitable bore for water supply and the electric connections.

6. On 21 May again the teams fanned out in different areas. Adm Tasnim, Brig Salam Akhtar and Brig Khadim were all busy assessing the relief requirement and coordinating where it was most needed. Adm Fasih Bokhari accompanied by MG Sabih Bokhari, Maj Siraj-ul-Mulk and Brig Mahmud proceeded to Risapur, Mardan and Charsadda for liaison, coordination and most importantly for the setting up of water purification plant at Yasin Camp. They had useful meetings with Brig Badre, Dr Ikram and they visited Yasin Camp for the installation of the Plant. Brig Simon also synchronized his arrival with the plant and his team at Yasin Camp at the same time. We were hoping to commission the plant the same evening , but the bore for the water had not been completed and their was no electric connection available which delayed the works. The plant was commissioned on the morning of 24th May 2009.It was the best thing for the people of the camp.They were getting cool and pure drinking water,for their use.Their happiness was all showing with broad smiles on their faces.

7. MG-Sabih Bokhair and Brig Mahmud went to Peshawar on 22nd May to meet with Mr Khalid Aziz.It was a very useful meeting,as Khalid Aziz is very closely working with different NGO’S,other international agencies and the provincial government of N.W.F.P.We exchanged notes with him to achive a closer coordination between all the agencies working for the relief work.It was also agreed that if a need arises a convention of all agencies doing the relief work may be called at Peshawar. We decided to remain in close touch with each other.

8. Again a meeting was called on the 25th May to review the overall effort being made.The meeting was Presided by Adm Fasih Bokhari.Lt Gen Ali Kuli suggested that he could arrange a meeting with Lt Gen Nadeem at Peshawar so that PESA team could brief him of the problems of the IDP’S. On 26th May a team composed of Lt Gen Ali Kuli, MGSabih, Brig Mahmud and the younger generation represented by Akbar Mian and Fasih proceeded to Peshawar and had a meeting with Lf Gen Nadeem.The main problems that the IDP’S were facing were brought out for the early notice and suitable action at the highest level.The main points were lack of pure drinking water, slow construction of open sheds instead of the tents for the living of the IDP’S in the camps, lack of coordination by the different teams at work and the urgent requirement of provision of at least Rs 5000 per family were raised. All the points were noted and it was promised that best efforts will be made to fulfill them at the earliest. We were also advised to remain in close touch with them for further coordination in the relief work.

9. The PESA had also taken the decision to try and accommodate some of the displaced families who were scattered all over and had very little relief goods and other facilities available to them. We had proposed to Brig Badre and his team that we will make arrangements to look after as many families as we could within our limited resources. We are glad to say that five families have been accommodated by Brig Faqir at Topi.Siraj-ul-mulk has taken upon himself to look after ninety eight IDP’S. Brig Salam Akhter has been touring all the areas around Islamabad and Rawalpindi and has identified 85 families for whom arrangements for their looking after is being made in collaboration with Khidmat-e-Khalq.

10. MG Sabih Bokhari has been working with great dedication and arranging donations from a wide cross-section of his friends and relations. We appreciate his excellent work and we hope that all members will work with equal zeal and spirit to collect the maximum donations. We have an account at the Askari Bank AWT branch, the Mall Rawalpindi cantt..The account is in the name of Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association. The number is 010123906-7.The branch code is 0001.

11. Another meeting has been called on 1 June, 2009 to review and further streamline our efforts. A decision is likely to be taken to install another water purification plant at Camp Yar Hussain.

Best Regards

The Activities from 1 June, 2009 to date:-

• We have the second filtration plant functional at Camp Yar Hussain since June, 2009. Brig Badre and his team of officers especially came from Risalpur to see this plant. They and more importantly the 35,000 residents of the came were very appreciative of the effort. We also took the opportunity to discuss the urgent need to move the displaced personnel from the oven like tents to the cooler shades of sheds being constructed. We were told that this is being taken up on priority basis.

• During this visit , a team of nine members of Pakistan Agrcultural Researh Council team led by Mr Sher Khan also accompanied us. At the iniative of Dr Zafar Altaf, Chairman PARC, their teams have already been visiting the camps and had prepared a very comprehensive report. The same is attached . This was shown to Brig Badre and he lauded this excellent effort. PARC is already implementing the program of training in modern Agricultural practices for the males and female personnel are doing a lot of handicraft work. We are coordinating this with the Army. Ikram Sehgal has already promised to help in the marketing of this work of excellent quality. Brig Badre and this team of PARC will remain close touch with each other and will continue their close cooperation. Later this will be extended to the areas of rehabilitation on their return once situation becomes normal.

• On 14 June, 2009, Maj Gen Sabih Bohhari and Brig Mahmud went to Risalpur with the relief goods. These were essentially stitched clothes donated by our families and friends. About 1000 of these were new clothes and the rest a large quantity of used clothes were distributed both direct and through the Army set up. We are particularly grateful to Mr Farooq Naseem, of Samsung TV, for this very generous donation. Some more are in the pipeline

• A meeting of the Executive Council of PESA was held on 15 June, 2009, to review the progress of work so far a and to plan the future relief priorities.

• We are issuing letters of thanks to different generous donators for their for their concern for these displaced people.

• We will also be soon circulating the accounts in respect of this relief work for the information of all.

Best Regards


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