Saudi relief reaches cold-hit Gilgit-Baltistan

Residents of Astor district in Gilgit-Baltistan receive winter kits from KSRelief. (Photo courtesy: KSRelief)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Saudi relief reaches cold-hit Gilgit-Baltistan

  • Saudi relief program will help 150,000 Pakistanis in winter-affected regions
  • KSRelief’s winter assistance program in Pakistan is worth $1.5 million

ISLAMABAD: King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed much-needed warm clothing and winter kits in Astor district of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Saudi Embassy said in a statement on Tuesday.




Residents of Astor district in Gilgit-Baltistan receive winter kits from KSRelief. (Photo courtesy: KSRelief)

As severe cold has struck several regions in Pakistan, in Astor, where hundreds of families have been badly affected, KSRelief distributed 3,000 blankets and 1,500 pieces of winter gear, including “men’s and women’s shawls, socks, gloves, and caps,” according to the statement.




Residents of Astor district in Gilgit-Baltistan receive winter kits from KSRelief. (Photo courtesy: KSRelief)

Earlier this month, KSRelief launched its winter aid program to distribute $1.5 million worth emergency kits in 21 districts of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, which have been hit by severe cold spells this winter.
The initiative will benefit 150,000 people.




Residents of Astor district in Gilgit-Baltistan receive winter kits from KSRelief. (Photo courtesy: KSRelief)

With one of the largest humanitarian aid budgets in the world, KSRelief has been working in 46 countries. Pakistan is the fifth-largest recipient of its help and has received more than $117.6 million in aid since 2005.




KSRelief officers distribute winter aid to families in cold-affected Astor district of Gilgit Baltistan. (Photo courtesy: KSRelief)

In November, hundreds of have undergone eye surgery and regained vision in Khairpur district of Sindh province during a medical campaign by KSRelief to prevent and treat blindness.


Alice Wells in Pakistan to discuss Afghan peace, regional security

Updated 19 January 2020

Alice Wells in Pakistan to discuss Afghan peace, regional security

  • The US deputy secretary of state for South and Central Asia visited Sri Lanka and India prior to her arrival
  • On Friday, FM Qureshi reminded Washington of Pakistan's help in Afghan peace process and asked for help in FATF issue

ISLAMABAD: Alice G. Wells, chief US diplomat for South Asian affairs, arrived in Islamabad on Sunday on a four-day visit centered on discussions regarding the peace process in Afghanistan, bilateral and regional issues, the US embassy in Islamabad said in a statement on Sunday.
Wells — US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs — was received at the airport by foreign office and US embassy officials. She has been on a tour of South Asia since Jan. 13 and has been to Sri Lanka and India prior to her arrival in Pakistan.
Wells’ visit to Islamabad comes immediately after Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Qureshi concluded his trip to the US where he interacted with senior United Nations and American officials in New York and Washington. 
According to Amir Rana, director of prominent Islamabad-based think tank, Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, the Afghan peace deal will be top of Wells’ agenda during her Pakistan tour.
Pakistan’s role in recent developments in the Middle East has positioned it as “an effective backdoor communication channel between Iran and the United States,” he added. 
In a news briefing in Washington on Friday, Qureshi strongly urged the US to help get Pakistan off the grey-list of global anti-money laundering watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at a decisive meeting in Beijing next month. A downgrade from the grey-list could result in crippling economic sanctions.
During the briefing, Qureshi said Pakistan had fulfilled its commitments to the US on facilitating the Afghanistan peace process, brought the Taliban to the negotiating table and assisted in releasing western hostages from insurgents — and had met FATF’s demands. 
The foreign minister reminded Washington: “Pakistan fulfilled your expectations. Now, we too had some expectations, what have you done (for us)?”— hinting Pakistan expected the US would help Islamabad in turn.
The US has consistently enlisted Pakistan’s help in facilitating rocky US-Taliban negotiations, which are reported to be inching near a peace deal this month.
“This is a sequel to Foreign Minister Qureshi’s visit, to coordinate the expected peace deal signing with the Taliban and potential US troops’ pullout from Afghanistan,” leading security analyst, Imtiaz Gul, told Arab News. 
Political expert Taimur Shamil told Arab News: “FATF is a tool to politically pressure Pakistan to do America’s bidding in Afghanistan. It... will likely continue till the Afghan issue is resolved.” 
Wells is expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during her visit, as well as foreign minister Qureshi.
Her last visit to Pakistan was in August last year.