Militants can exploit Pak flood-affected people's misery, warns UN envoy

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Paris, Aug 12(ANI): UN Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Jean-Maurice Ripert, has warned that militants, including activists from the banned terror group Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), can take advantage of the country's worst humanitarian disaster by operating among its displaced victims.

"We all hope that militants will not take advantage of the circumstances to score points by exploiting people driven from their homes by the floods," The Dawn quoted Ripert, as saying.

"The people's misery can always be exploited by those who have political or militant aims," he added.

His comment came in response to a question about reports that some local aid groups working for the victims in Pakistan had links to extremists.

Ripert further said the Obama administration's aim is to help the Pakistani authorities tackle the disaster and provide humanitarian aid to the affected people.

"That is the best response to make to those who want to use the catastrophe for other purposes," he added.

Activists of the JuD, considered the front face of Lashkar-e-Toiba, have been providing relief to flood victims despite having been banned as a terror group by the United Nations.

JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid had earlier said that the organisation had sent 10-truck loads of relief goods and nine medical teams to affected areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

"Our teams have evacuated up to 20,000 people from the worst-hit districts of Malakand, Charsadda, Nowshera and Peshawar. We have around 2,000 volunteers working in the affected regions," Mujahid had said.

The hardline Islamist organizations are trying to win hearts and minds in a region most hit by militancy and the threat of a Taliban takeover by providing relief to victims.

The UN has said that the floods have affected 15 million people, with the death toll put at around 1,600 by the provincial government. (ANI)

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