Mountains cry: where are NGOs? By Amir Wasim


People are wondering as to where all the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have vanished after the earthquake disaster that hit the country on October 8. In different gatherings here in the capital city, people are talking about the missing NGOs which, they say, have been seen very active until a day before the earthquake disaster in holding seminars and workshops in five-star luxury hotels on various issues. Talking to Dawn, Ecotourism Society Pakistan (ESP) president Agha Iqrar Haroon said that at least those NGOs that were actively holding seminars and festivals in big cities and in mega hotels about mountains and mountain people should now come forward and work in devastated mountain areas of Muzaffarabad and Balakot where people were waiting for even a drop of water and bandages to stop their wounds bleeding. Mr Haroon was of the view that there were a large number of international and national NGOs getting millions of dollars (funds) in the name of mountain people and their development. Now it is time that they (NGOs) should support the poor people in the hilly areas. Replying to a question, Mr Haroon said the ESP had already sent its team of volunteers to Muzaffarabad on the very next day of the disaster. He appealed to international NGOs working in the field of mountain development to come forward and help people facing devastation in the mountain areas.

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