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Appeal for donations to the Pakistan Peace Coalition Flood Relief Fund

by PILER, 11 August 2010

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Dear friends

Greetings from flood affected Pakistan.

Hope you are getting enough news about heavy rains and flesh floods and some other conflicts in Pakistan, affecting lives of millions of ordinary citizens.

Floods in, after badly damaging lives and properties in Khyber Pakhtonkhwa and Punjab provinces have now entered in Sindh province through mighty River Indus. Death tool is counted in thousands. There is a huge loss of properties and livestock as hundreds of small towns and villages have been washed away. Those who have lost shelter and livelihood run in millions.

As usual the government response to this natural calamity was pathetic and inadequate. In the absence of any comprehensive mechanisms to meet such high scale disasters, people have been left helpless on the mercy of nature.

Ironically, when Pakistan is facing the worst ever floods in its history, terror and other conflicts continue to affect a vast majority of people. Khyberpaktoonkawa lost a senior law enforcement officer in a suicide
attack last week besides scores of others.

Karachi, the commercial capital of Pakistan is witnessing violence and shooting guns. Over 100 common people, mostly daily wage workers have been killed during week long target killings which erupted after the killing of a legislator belonging to a political party Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM). Several dozen vehicles and properties of the other ethnic groups have been set on fire by angry mobs. People are being targeted on ethnic grounds.

Pak- India relations remain strange and recent efforts of resuming the halted dialogue did not bear any fruit. Both the countries are leveling accusations on each other’s interfering in their internal affairs.

Taking note of the conflict situation between the two countries, Peace
activists in Pakistan and India decided to start a Peace Caravan to mobilize masses against war and put pressure on their respective governments for initiation of peace and cooperation. The Caravan in India left on 28th July from Mumbai and will reach joint Wagah-Attari on 14th August, the independent day of Pakistan.

In Pakistan, the caravan was first scheduled to leave Karachi on 4th August but due to law and order situation and violence in city, it delay the departure and left on 8th August amid heavy rains. It will reach Wagah border on 15th August, the independence day of India. In Pakistan, this initiative is being organized by Pakistan Peace Coalition, a network of civil society organized. PPC secretariat is based in PILER.

Given the situation of flood and rains, this peace caravan has also decided to collect funds for flood affectees in Pakistan and fund called “PPC Relief Fund” has been established. Indian friends have also agreed to collect funds during caravan’s journey.

The fund was formally announced on Saturday, 7th August on the occasion of the launching ceremony of the Peace Caravan at Karachi Press Club. So far an amount of Rs. 583,000 ($ 7,000) has been collected.

We would like to request our partners, friends and well wishers to contribute to this fund. Banks details can be provided.

Please don’t hesitate to ask should you require
further information.

Sincerely,

Zulfiqar Shah,
Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER)
ST-001, Sector X-5, Gulshan e Maymar, Karachi. Pakistan.
- Ph: 00 92 21 36351145-7
- Email: piler(at)cyber.net.pk
- www.piler.org.pk