KARACHI: Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary General Dr Ekmeledin Ihsanoglu said on Tuesday that member countries had mobilised pledges of $1 billion for Pakistan’s flood victims.
Talking to President Asif Ali Zardari at the Sindh Chief Minister House in Karachi on Tuesday, Dr Ihsanoglu said that the OIC will allocate funds for Pakistan’s flood victims during the organisation’s next meeting. The secretary general also said that the OIC will establish a fund - Emergency Fund for Natural Disaster - to help victims of disasters occurring in any Muslim country.
Briefing the media on the meeting, the president’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that Dr Ihsanoglu had also offered his condolences on the loss of lives and property as a result of the recent flood disaster. “I am touched by the losses I have seen myself during the aerial visit of the affected areas,” Babar quoted Dr Ihsanoglu as saying.
Babar said that the general secretary has assured the president that the OIC will make all-out efforts to help rehabilitate flood victims. The president thanked Dr Ihsanoglu for the support OIC is extending to Pakistan at this time of crisis.
According to Babar, President Zardari told the secretary general that the scale of devastation is so large that Islamabad cannot handle the situation without the support of the international community. The president said that the government will issue visas on arrival to international NGOs coming to Pakistan. He urged OIC’s secretary general circulate this information among international NGOs working with the OIC.
Dr Ihsanoglu was accompanied by two assistant secretary generals of the OIC, Abdul Moiz Bokhari and Atta El-Manaan Bakhiet while Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, and the chief minister’s adviser on information, Jameel Soomro, were also present during the meeting.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st, 2010.
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