USAID chief visits relief camp run by JuD arm?
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 21:50
Islamabad: Conflicting claims were made on Wednesday about the visit of USAID's Indian-origin chief Rajiv Shah to a relief camp, run by a front organisation of Jamaat-ud-Dawah, in Pakistan's flood-hit Sindh province and his handing over of aid to it.

JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid said USAID Administrator Shah had visited the relief camp run by Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation at Sukkur in Sindh.

"He handed over two trucks of relief materials for distribution among the flood victims," Mujahid told PTI.

The US embassy spokesman Rick Snelsire denied that the camp visited by Shah was run by Falah-e-Insaniyat.

He told agency that 'Save the Children', which receives US funding, is providng supplies to the camp.

Snelfire did not rule out the possibility that Falah- e-Insaniyat may have provided aid to the camp in the past.

Journalists who visited the camp, located within a school, said they had seen a banner with the words "RELIEF CAMP FALAH-E-INSANIYAT FOUNDATION" hanging at its entrance.

A statement issued by JuD quoted Shah as saying that the JuD has been "actively taking part in operations to provide relief to flood victims".

The statement also quoted USAID's Indian-origin chief as expressing appreciation for the work done by the JuD, which is headed by Hafiz Saeed, whom India blames for masterminding the Mumbai terror attack.

Senior JuD leader Hafiz Abdur Rauf, who is chairman of the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation, said the body has been working with international relief agencies to provide aid to flood victims.

He said international bodies should come forward to provide more aid to the people affected by the deluge.

The Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation is a front for the JuD. It was formed after the Pakistan government clamped down on the JuD in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The Foundation came to prominence last year when it set up camps to help the thousands of people displaced by anti-Taliban operations in northwest Pakistan.

People who have visited camps set up for flood victims by Falah-e-Insaniyat, including Western journalists, have reported seeing JuD flags and banners.

Photographs of volunteers working at these camps have shown them sporting the JuD's emblem on their clothes.

The JuD was formed by Saeed after the Lashker-e-Taiba was banned during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Saeed claims the JuD has no links with the LeT.

When the UN Security Council banned the JuD in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, it described the group as a front for the LeT.

Despite the Pakistan government's direction to all provinces to crack down on banned groups raising funds or operating camps for flood victims in the name of different organisations, sources said the JuD and other proscribed outfits were still running camps in different parts of the country, including Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh.

The statement issued by the JuD said the group and the Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation would remain in flood-hit areas till all the victims were rehabilitated.


First Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 21:50

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