Attack forces NGO to close down work in parts of Balochistan

International NGO Doctors Without Borders has suspended its activities in parts of Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan after a recent incident of firing at one of its vehicle that injured two security men.

Last Updated: Apr 08, 2011, 00:27 AM IST

Islamabad: International NGO Doctors
Without Borders has suspended its activities in parts of
Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan after a recent
incident of firing at one of its vehicle that injured two
security men.

The suspension of activities leaves 100,000 children
and 18,000 pregnant women without medical assistance from the
organisation called Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in an area
with very limited health services, said PierluigiTesta, head
of its mission in Pakistan.

On April 4, a mobile team of MSF was caught in gunfire
directed at the security forces escorting it.

Shots were fired at the MSF vehicle carrying the
medical team, which returned safely.

None of the MSF staff were injured though two security
personnel were wounded.

"We had to suspend our medical activities after the
shooting at our vehicle. It was a difficult decision because
this suspension directly impacts on children and women, the
most in need of medical care.

"But it is impossible for our team to work and provide
medical aid without a minimum guarantee of security and
respect for humanitarian work," said Testa.

The move will affect MSF`s programmes for mother and
child healthcare in Dera Murad Jamali area and emergency
feeding programmes for children under five years in Mir
Hassan, Sohbatpur and Dera Alla Yar.

MSF further said that all parties concerned should
guarantee the safety and security of its healthcare personnel,
facilities and vehicles in order for it to continue to provide
urgently needed healthcare to the people of Nasirabad and
Jafarabad areas.

The NGO has been working in these areas of Balochistan
since 2008.

PTI