22 February 2006
by Mubasher Bukhari
Danish non-governmental organizations and volunteers engaged in relief activities in earthquake-hit areas have started wrapping up their projects after the angry Pakistani reaction to caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, a United Nations official told the newspaper Daily Times.
Asking not to be named, the UN official said that several Danish NGOs working in collaboration with the UN in earthquake-affected areas had indicated that they would discontinue their projects amid fears of being attacked.
More than 50 Danish volunteers were working here and over half have left, he said. “I know five Danish volunteers working in Mansehra who left last week and five others are preparing to fly back in a few days,” he added.
The official said the remaining volunteers would also leave soon, adding that their departure would be a huge setback to relief activities in Pakistan. The volunteers would have stayed if the protests here had been peaceful, he said. “Already, European volunteers in North-West Frontier Province and Azad Kashmir were working under fear of jihadi organizations – and the cartoons issue has added fuel to the fire.”